5 Reasons Why I Love Chiang Mai Thailand

  March 14, 2017 travel posts 🕑 4 minutes read

Me clutching the shedded cobra skin of the dude who slid through the property recently here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Kelli and I landed in Chiang Mai, Thailand a few days ago.


Our arms are still tired.


Anyway, we feel like we are home. Happens every time we visit Chiang Mai.


We are on a 2 month house sit watching an adorable French Bulldog named Yoda in an awesome Thai style home bordering the really really really big Doi Suthep National Park. Look up top. See that shedded cobra skin? The day we arrived the homeowners found said skin in the driveway.


Centipedes, scorpions, snakes, lizards; they got ’em all here in this quiet Thai village. Right up my alley.


Funny thing; CM is the digital nomad capital of the world. Yet it factors not into my decision. If I can get online I can work. Not picky about meet ups or co-working or any of that stuff.


Here are 5 reasons why I love Chiang Mai so.


1: Our Fave Buddhist Vegetarian Restaurant


One of our fave restaurants on earth serves amazingly tasty veggie fare. A little Buddhist veggie joint outside of the Old City in a sleepy Thai neighborhood.


Can’t beat the price either. 3 servings of veggies plus a heaping serving of rice for 35 Baht. Which is $1 USD. Not bad.


Street where we’re living. Traffic is a nightmare. Had to wait a whole 2 seconds for a chicken to cross the road in this Thai village.


We eat there on an almost daily basis for delicious, healthy and wholesome vegetarian fare served in a Thai environment.


2: The Convenience/Culture Factor


I am a world traveler but cannot lie: I like me some convenience. I go all Indiana Jones sometimes – see this Costa Rican house sit in a remote jungle – and help slay spitting cobras and sit with 400 pound tigers while locked in their cage, but I like some, dare I say, Western elements to my travels too.


Enter Chiang Mai. Where while you watch throngs of monks on morning alms runs for their daily bread you can dip into a 7-11 for a quick snack. Or while traipsing from temple to temple you can grab a burger from a reputable joint. A REAL hamburger.


3: The People


Chiang Mai folks are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Kind, polite and warm, the happy vibe in The Land of Smiles combined with Face Saving Culture makes for a pleasant experience for us farang.


Thai are friendly throughout the country but heavy tourism hasn’t jaded folks in dese parts compared to those who may have been beaten down by fat farang in places like Bangkok and Phuket.


I see these guys more than the neighbors. Because today I saw no neighbors and her once.


Bonus; we have become friends with awesome ex-pats here too. Amid a few colorful, cantankerous curmudgeon ex-pats you will find a collection of colorful but kind and generous ex-pats from all over the globe. Fun lot to spend an afternoon with.


4: The Weather


Yes it’s 100 degrees daily now. Sure as hell beats the blizzard they’s feeling in New Jersey right now. Besides…it’s a dry heat (love when they say that). But really, the lack of humidity and short span of genuinely hot conditions makes for an amazing weather profile in Chiang Mai.


Decembers here are pretty much the best weather on earth. 70 during the day. Not a cloud in the sky. Dry as a bone. 50’s at night. Fahrenheit of course. Us American morons have not gone metric yet.


January and February are delightful too. Light wet season. No brutal humidity. All in all, one of the better climates you will ever experience.


5: Walking Town


Kelli and I love our walks. From getting our cardio on to leaning down to seeing more of a city than you’d ever see flying by on a motorbike or in a car, you can walk virtually the entire city. Or, the entire city is walkable.


Yoda the French Bulldog.


Good sidewalks – is most areas – and tons of spots to stop for a cool drink or warm feast makes for a Pedestrian’s Paradise.


If you are living a little too far outside of town you can:


  • rent a motorbike
  • hire a tuk tuk driver
  • grab a songthaew


to move around town.


Your Turn


Have you been to Chiang Mai?


Do you dig it?

  1. Phillip Dews says:
    at 7:37 pm

    Hmm potentially a honeymoon destination then fella, Would you agree?
    I have got think of Lou though and the probs with her legs!
    Cannot imagine there would be too many pubs about (a prob good thing but you know me I do love my ales anyway)
    Would love your thoughts on some other potential Honeymoon destinations though matey!
    Just wondering how much this place would compare to Biddulph up the road from me!
    Have a great time you guys!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 11:14 pm

      Hi Phillip,

      It is a fabulous spot buddy. No beaches up here but you have everything else. Watering hole aka pubs, they have a few methinks with all the British pensioners who live here in Northern Thailand.

      Other potential honeymoon spots: Bali (outside of Ubud, or, Jimbaran), Costa Rica (Manual Antonio), Thailand (Phuket). Those places come to mind. We visited each and loved the vibe.

      Thanks much! Chat soon PD.


  2. Donna Merrill says:
    at 7:35 am

    Hey Ryan,

    I have to say that you are the adventure guy! 100 degrees? Cobras, scorpions, lizards? Yikes! It does sound like a wonderful adventure, especially meeting the people there. For me, I like a 5 star hotel, concrete and heels. he he he

    I always look forward to your adventures…..I can live vicariously through you and Keli.


    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 5:23 am

      Hi Donna,

      Feel free to vicariously travel through us; especially when we have those wicked stomach situations LOL 😉

      5 star hotels and all da trimmings rock though. We enjoy glamming it up too. In truth, convenience is one reason we love Chiang Mai so. Fab mix of culture and then, modern world living so we get a taste of the West in the Far East.


  3. Jan Limark says:
    at 11:42 pm

    This Chiang Mai adventure is super fun. And just a question, is the featured image you holding a snake’s old skin?haha

    All the Best,
    Jan Limark

  4. kevin Ngoc says:
    at 3:17 am

    I have never traveled to ThaiLand. Look like you have a great time here. Your adventures’re really interesting. I’m looking forward to your next tours. =)))

  5. Amar kumar says:
    at 7:23 am

    Hey Ryan,

    One of the biggest attractions of Chiang Mai, Thailand is the cost of living. Chiang Mai has an incredible amount of open social network groups that are always providing something to do. Thanks for exploring your experience.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:12 pm

      Hi Amar,

      Ridiculous dude. $2 USD lunch for 2. Filling food, big serving. Lodging cheap. Everything cheap. And you give up nothing as far as quality of loving.

      Kerala – Kovalam Beach for us – is the only place I’ve seen that comes close as far as a low cost of living and amazing quality of life.

      Networking groups like mad too. Crazy number of expats, travelers and digital nomads here.


  6. Elizabeth says:
    at 9:46 am

    You guys are in a fantastic old community, if your in the one near Viva Pizza. We love that area! I want to write a post someday in why Hang Dong is better to live in than CM city center as it’s so peaceful out here and the traffic is better, plus less tourists. 🙂

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:08 pm

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Actually we are close – as the motorbike flies 😉 – but by Wat Pong Noi. A little distance from Hang Dong. Bordering Doi Suthep National Park, literally. It’s the backyard, this park.

      I see that in Hang Dong. Like its own little world. No stifling traffic like the Old City. But close for a quick trip if you want that experience. Peaceful, quiet, chill, we love it out your way 🙂


    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 9:42 pm

      Hi Sabra,

      Home indeed. We are settled here for a week already. Seamless. Time flies by. We have our little veggie haunt for lunch, movies, fruit shakes, walks around town. Love this place!


  7. Jack Oldham says:
    at 11:24 am

    I’m well aware that I’m in the minority here, but I have to say having visited Chiang Mai twice I really haven’t warmed to it as most have. It’s not that it’s a bad place – far from it – it just doesn’t feel that special for me. In fact, I’ve often said I wonder if there’s an entire area of the city I’ve completely missed! It’s the only rational excuse I can think of!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 2:36 am

      Hi Jack,

      I think it is that human tendency of: “No one city or country is for everybody” 😉 simply being manifest. Or….I’ve yet to find a spot on earth everybody agrees on as far as loving it LOL.

      I loved every place I visited. But prefer Thailand and Bali and Costa Rica to all other places. Just contrast.

      I will say: being outside of town – we are house sitting at the base of the hills, by Doi Suthep National Park – is a different experience from being in town 24-7. Motorbike in for some food and walking then motorbike back to peace and quiet.

      Thanks much for sharing 🙂


  8. Jack Oldham says:
    at 3:15 am

    Yep! I can certainly relate to that, I visited a few places in the Philippines in particular that I fell in love with but they really polarized opinions amongst other people I’ve met. Different places for different people I guess!

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Carla Ireton says:
    at 1:15 am

    My first visit to Chiang Mai was in 1994. I decided to learn Thai Massage because I loved it and it changed my life. I have been back ten times and have been a Thai Massage Therapist and Yoga Teacher for the past 23 years. Chiang Mai, for me too, is like home. The temples, the food, the people. Love it all. I just found your site today and have had a few giggles. I’d love to start my own travel blog and would like to thank you for all your tips.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 2:10 am

      Hi Carla,

      I imagine this place looked a little diffie back then 😉

      The contrast from 6 years ago is noticeable. 23 years ago? A different city and country side all together. If I was wrapping up my first year in college it was a different lifetime, time-wise, LOL.

      Agreed on all counts. This place is wonderful on many levels.

      Way cool Carla. Go forit!

      Thanks for sharing.


      PS….if you are back in the next month I gotta hook you up with my wife Kelli; she is a Thai Massage addict.

      • Carla Ireton says:
        at 5:56 am

        Great to hear Keli loves Thai Massage. Unfortunately I won’t be in Thailand in the next month. I’d really like to meet your friend and yoga teacher Richard Weinberg one day. (I’m reading about him in your ebook) I too became a yoga teacher and practitioner after having numerous surgeries and have a very similar story to his. Im sure Richard has lots of ‘mind body soul’ knowledge to share.
        PS: I’m half way through your ‘7 tips for Writing Successful ebooks’ and feeling very inspired! Thank you.

      • Ryan Biddulph says:
        at 4:31 am

        Hi Carla,

        Oh OK; no worries 😉

        Richard is amazing. I hope he is still around….aka, on this plane. He lost a bunch of weight in 2014 when we were last here. It has been 3 years so not quite sure how he is doing. Gotta drop him a line since we are in down.

        You sound like you have an amazing story too. Would love to hear it 😉

        Carla, thanks a bunch! Glad you’re enjoying the eBook.


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