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NomadicDave

Retiring To Thailand-My Introduction And Questions

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NomadicDave    1

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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endure    1,834

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

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NomadicDave    1

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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TommoPhysicist    2,624

$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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AyG    2,878

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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AyG    2,878

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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NomadicDave    1

$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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TommoPhysicist    2,624

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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NomadicDave    1

$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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NomadicDave    1

$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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NomadicDave    1

$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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NomadicDave    1

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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NomadicDave    1

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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brommers    522

Hi there,

I have lived in CM for 5 years and been a frequent visitor for two decades before that. and I cannot imagine living anywhere else. My background is the UK followed by South Africa and working in global businesses so a lot of international travel and holidays over many decades.

CM is a small city but big enough to have a wide variety of restaurants, bars and shops to make anyone who wants most of the first world quality of life in a local context. Yes the international travel links are few but BKK is only an hour away and from SUV you can reach pretty much anywhere. So you will not feel isolated from the rest of the world.

However there are many things to take into consideration when living here or in any other country for that matter.

If you do not change your ways of thinking & behaviour to fit into the local ways you will be forever banging your head against a brick wall. This country has never been colonised and is therefore going to demand that you do it the Thai way, which is not difficult so long as you accept the fact that you are an alien and must always remember that.

If you do not have a Thai friend who you trust & who will help you it will be a lot more testing to get through life, especially when dealing with 'the system'. No matter how long you are here and become localised and speak the language you are always a farang. Once you can get that into your mind you will find this a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable country. But there are so many Thai ways of doing things that you need to learn about that you will be on a never ending learning curve. For example you had better get used to paying for everything in bars & restaurants, not particularly because you are a farang but more because as the senior person that is what you are expected to do. Anger management is crucial, the western way of letting it all hang out will get you nowhere, so you need to understand that quiet diplomatic discussion is much more productive. And be prepared to hear answers that are what the other person thinks are what you want to hear, not what you necessarily need to know.

Please understand that I am not in any way jaundiced, but as a resident you will need to be sensitive to the local ways to a degree that is different to the way that you can behave as a tourist.

Accommodation is plentiful. Apartments are much more expensive than houses & you need to consider renting for a period until you know the city, the shops etc and then can decide where you want to put down more permanent roots. But once again having a Thai person to help you is a bonus because Real Estate Agents here are not providing the kind of service you are used to.

As for the "gay thing' I really believe that it is so easy to carry the western idea of a gay-straight divide into your thinking here & that would be wrong. Being a man who likes men is not seen in the same light by the majority of locals. You do not have to be concerned about looking for so-called gay places to enjoy leisure time. Yes there are bars where the majority of customers are gay men, but you can meet gay men in any bar. So relax and find places where you enjoy the ambience and the rest will follow. Yes you will see the gay flag on places but that is for tourists and as a resident you can enjoy so many more places than these sad pick-up joints. Do not forget that you can be seen as an ATM/sugar daddy just as much as any straight tourist can, but also accept that not all guys you will meet are after your money.

Some people are fixated about the annual smoke haze, and yes it happens thanks to local farmers burning old vegetation, as well as lots of burning in Myanmar and even China. It all depends on the wind and the rains. And most locals forget that smoke haze is a problem all over South East Asia & not just CM. For a few weeks it can be smoky but at least it is not the chemical smog you find in so many other urban areas.

Traffic is a challenge in a small part of the city for a few months, especially when the local holidaymakers are in town. And it is not hard to avoid those areas, as long as you get to know the highways & bye-ways.

If you like mountains, history, local culture, food, friendly people, performing arts, coffee shops, food, all kinds of outdoor activities, food, hot weather & cooler winters, and food then CM is a great place to be.

I hope that you decide to try CM and have as positive an experience as I have had, without rose tinted spectacles.

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NomadicDave    1

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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BANGKOK 24 September 2017 11:56
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