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NomadicDave

Retiring To Thailand-My Introduction And Questions

50 posts in this topic

Hello All

I'm about 60 days from retiring and my initial plan is to move to Chiang Mai. I'm not wed to any particular city as yet and I have researched a number of countries including; Argentina, Bali, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. But, Chiang Mai sounds like a really good place to start. The variables I considered most important were; Culture-am I attracted to it and do I want to learn more and be willing to assimilate? Cost-can I live decently (1 or 2 bedroom condo or house in a good neighborhood) for $2500-$3500/month as a single man? BTW, I don't drink or at least it's better if I don't but I am single and I gather a lot of socializing happens in bars. Is the location convenient for regional travel? Are the people welcoming and, positive-does the place have a good vibe? When the culture shock hits (and I'm certain it will) is there a good support group that I can utilise? While I have done due diligence on these issues I certain your perspective is broader and I welcome any and all input.

My reading list has included 6 or so books; Thai history, books on Thai retirement, the Thai versus Western value system and just general reading about the activities/things to do in various cities. I have also gotten pretty deep into a number of blogs on Thailand. I welcome any/all suggestions for further reading material or particular threads/forum groups.

I'm very open-minded usually and typically embrace change. One of the things I want to begin is to reach out to others and maybe establish a few new acquaintances online prior to my move. This is my first attempt at doing that.

Thank for your time.

Dave

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Have you ever been to Thailand? If not why are you considering spending the rest of your life there?

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Have you ever been to Thailand? If not why are you considering spending the rest of your life there?

I've been to Thailand probably 10-12 times beginning in the '70's. I've spent a cumulative of 3-4 months and only in the southern part of the country. I have always enjoyed my stays immensley and felt more comfortable there than in the other countries I have visited either on business or holiday.

While I'm not Budhist I have leanings towards it and definately like the idea of living in a country where it plays a big part of everyday life.

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$2500-$3500 a month for accommodation?

That's 70,000-100,000bht !!!!!!

A nice house will cost you 5,000-10,000bht a month ($150-$300)

But yeh, CM is great, I visit it almost every month.

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Chiang Mai in many ways is a good choice in Thailand. It has a large expat population, so there are plenty of western restaurants and English language films in the cinema. However, there are two obvious drawbacks: the air pollution at certain times of year, and the traffic in central Chiang Mai.

When you talk about "socializing", do you mean finding a partner? If so, the Gaydar website is probably a better alternative. I would think that the vast majority of gay Thai men don't go to gay bars.

As a transport hub, Chiang Mai doesn't have many international destinations, but flying via Bangkok is always possible. And you can go by coach to virtually anywhere within Thailand.

Moving to live in another country is a big step. I'd recommend moving to Chiang Mai and living there for six months. If you like it, fine, stay. And if not, move on to another destination for further six months. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

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I'd just like to add that Gaydar is seen in many countries as a way to get a quick shag. It can be used like that in Thailand, but there are a lot of men on the site that are looking for a committed relationship.

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$2500-$3500 a month for accommodation?

That's 70,000-100,000bht !!!!!!

A nice house will cost you 5,000-10,000bht a month ($150-$300)

But yeh, CM is great, I visit it almost every month.

My total budget is in the range of $2500-3500/month but I get your point. Why do you like CM so much, if you don't mind me asking?

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My total budget is in the range of $2500-3500/month but I get your point. Why do you like CM so much, if you don't mind me asking?

The nightlife, live music everywhere, everynight.

The international feel of the city, many English speaking people, many types of food available.

It's really easy to meet people and make friends.

Reasonable prices for food, drinks and accommodation.

Mountains and lakes wherever you look.

Good internet access, English bookshops, loads of really great (non-chain) coffee bars

Good personal safety, you have to try really hard to put yourself at risk.

If the gay scene is your thing, many gay bars, laydboys, really easy to meet gay people.

(I'm not gay, but meet loads all over the city)

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$2500-$3500 a month for accommodation?

That's 70,000-100,000bht !!!!!!

A nice house will cost you 5,000-10,000bht a month ($150-$300)

But yeh, CM is great, I visit it almost every month.

My total budget is $2500-3500, I should have been more specific. I do get your point though.

Mind my asking why you like CM so much?

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$2500-$3500 a month for accommodation?

That's 70,000-100,000bht !!!!!!

A nice house will cost you 5,000-10,000bht a month ($150-$300)

But yeh, CM is great, I visit it almost every month.

I should have been more specific. My avg. total budget is $2500-3500 but I get your point.

If you don't mind me asking, why do you like CM so much?

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$2500-$3500 a month for accommodation?

That's 70,000-100,000bht !!!!!!

A nice house will cost you 5,000-10,000bht a month ($150-$300)

But yeh, CM is great, I visit it almost every month.

My total avg. budget is $2500-3500...I should have been more specific. I get your point though.

So you like CM a lot it appears. Mind if I ask why?

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Chiang Mai in many ways is a good choice in Thailand. It has a large expat population, so there are plenty of western restaurants and English language films in the cinema. However, there are two obvious drawbacks: the air pollution at certain times of year, and the traffic in central Chiang Mai. I live in Los Angeles and I'm used to traffic. If its gridlock well then I'll just work around it as best I can I suppose.

When you talk about "socializing", do you mean finding a partner? If so, the Gaydar website is probably a better alternative. I would think that the vast majority of gay Thai men don't go to gay bars. Sure I'd like to find a partner but this is not first on my agenda, nor second. I do want to establish new friendships and plan on being very social but gay bars are not high on my list of places to frequent. But I'm sure I'll visit them. I plan on continuing my education and I do appreciate art and history.

As a transport hub, Chiang Mai doesn't have many international destinations, but flying via Bangkok is always possible. And you can go by coach to virtually anywhere within Thailand. I noticed that CNX routes are very limited and I plan on using HKG or SIN as my primary hubs. Good to know about coach travel. Thanks

Moving to live in another country is a big step. I'd recommend moving to Chiang Mai and living there for six months. If you like it, fine, stay. And if not, move on to another destination for further six months. Rinse and repeat as necessary. Exactly! As my handle implies I'm Nomadic in spirit and always have been. At some point I want to have a base that I call home but to start I'll keep an open mind to all possibilities

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My total budget is in the range of $2500-3500/month but I get your point. Why do you like CM so much, if you don't mind me asking?

The nightlife, live music everywhere, everynight.

The international feel of the city, many English speaking people, many types of food available.

It's really easy to meet people and make friends.

Reasonable prices for food, drinks and accommodation.

Mountains and lakes wherever you look.

Good internet access, English bookshops, loads of really great (non-chain) coffee bars

Good personal safety, you have to try really hard to put yourself at risk.

If the gay scene is your thing, many gay bars, laydboys, really easy to meet gay people.

(I'm not gay, but meet loads all over the city)

Wow! That's great to hear. Thanks.

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Thanks Tommo & Brommers & AyG

All of the information is helpful and pretty much confirms what I have read or already know. It is nice to get the first-hand confirmations though.

I have a new local contact, a farang & Thai wife, that have lived there for many years and they seem to be very in tune to the city and appear to be willing to help me around and get aclimated.

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Don't lend ANYONE money, Don't invest in ANY business.

Don't buy ANYTHING in somebody else's name.

NO matter how nice or honest they appear to be.

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Don't lend ANYONE money, Don't invest in ANY business.

Don't buy ANYTHING in somebody else's name.

NO matter how nice or honest they appear to be.

I operate by the rule that a fool and his money are soon parted. Heck, I don't lend $$ to my family.

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Good information on the gay scene here can be found in OUT in Thailand Magazine- http://www.out-in-th...-to/chiang-mai/

James, "Good information" would be a link to pages like un-biased articles which offered a fair and balanced view of the Gay Scene in Chiang Mai and retirement here. "Bad information" would be a link to a page on a commercial website that only lists the advertisers in your magazine and gives a totally distorted view of gay life in Chiang Mai. Have you no shame rolleyes.gif ? tongue.png

To the OP, try Googling "gay chiang mai retirement" or similar, you should find lot's of useful information. Just ignore the total Homophobe who's site claims you can retire for 550 USD, his view of Chiang Mai's gay scene is REALLY bad information, as well as being six years out of date.

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Don't lend ANYONE money, Don't invest in ANY business.

Don't buy ANYTHING in somebody else's name.

NO matter how nice or honest they appear to be.

I operate by the rule that a fool and his money are soon parted. Heck, I don't lend $$ to my family.

CM is my home and it's great, loads of things to do, lots of great side trips to explore surrounding history and nature etc etc. City has a nice buzz about it, good Thai langauge schools if that's on your agenda.

Locals are pleasant, polite, and helpful, and it's not too dificult to find some English language help from locals when needed.Plenty of geat supermarkets, lots of foreign imported items, if that's what you need.

Be prepared for the culture shock (totally normal), there will be a few mild bumps but certainly not a great concern.

The one small downside of CM IMHO is public transport. Could be worth thinking about buying a car, maybe second hand to start with, or motorcycle, getting a Thai licence is not too difficult.

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Thanks Scorecard

I'm the adventerous type so it's great to hear that the surrounds of CM offer much to see. In thinking about my priorities I know near the top is learning the fundementals of the language and I'm encouraged that CM has fine schools.

I've been reading a lot in reference to the vast cultural differences, There are many but I certainly respect their attitudes towards The Royal Family and Bhuddism, in fact I admire it. The aspects of "face" and the fact that Thais might tell me what they think I want to hear opposed to their true feelings will be challenging and confusing. I plan on smiling a lot.

I'm glad you brought up the issue of cars. I was thinking about importing mine (if I apply for a retirement visa) but I've read a number of posts in TV that suggest it is a real hassle. Any thoughts?

Regards

Dave

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Hi, ND, welcome to the forum.

It depends on what you are looking for- to say the least- but you may wish to invest in some basic language classes as soon as possible to see if you have an 'ear' for Thai before making longer-term commitments.

Some people (even some who are very talented at other types of languages) just can't hear the tones, and it rather limits their options here. If Thai doesn't work for you, one of the countries with a non-'tonal' language might be a better fit.

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Plenty of retired persons in CM who don't speak a word of Thai and get on there very well.

Loads of Thais that speak English everywhere you go, Loads of English speaking foreigners.

You can certainly have a good time and still only speak English.

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Hi

Just be careful when you drive, either a Car or Motorbike, as ''Thailand'' as a Country, is mega mega Dangerous...

you have to keep your wits about you .. thats for sure...

as no doubt you will soon find out...

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