We’re inviting you to come and learn Thai!
Chiang Mai, the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom, is set in the luscious green hills of Northern Thailand. A dreamy city of panoramic hill top green and golden stupas shimmering in the lazy northern sun. A place for full immersion in Thai culture and language without the sacrifice of western comforts, consistently voted among the best places to stay anywhere in the world.
Chiang Mai is a laid-back city, brimming with arts and festivals. It’s the cultural hub of Thailand, annually illuminated during the Loi Krathong festival and soaked in New Year’s Songkran parties. Named the center of traditional Thai culture, Chiang Mai has never lost touch with its roots in arts, handicrafts and cuisine. They even have their own language.
A blissful calm from the Bangkok whirlwind, Chiang Mai is a place to recharge those batteries. A place for some ‘you time’, tailored for contemplative walks down the river bank. Where else could you ride an elephant, bliss out on a waterfall and then wine and dine on 5-star cuisine, all in the same day?
(“Part of the moat surrounding the historical city centre of Chiang Mai.” byDavid McKelvey is licensed under CC BY 2.0)
The city center is an eclectic labyrinth of winding streets dotted with cafes and delicatessens. Just the right size, small enough to get around but large enough to contain all the features needed to make a great city. Modern shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants and bars juxtapose the ancient temples and classic Lanna architecture. Chiang Mai, said to be a melting pot, is always changing and morphing – it’s a virtual mecca for hip café’s and trendy bars.
The mornings are often refreshing, with a cool breeze blowing while jogging through backstreets or sipping fresh grounded coffee on your balcony. The northern weather is more agreeable than the rest of Thailand, rest assured, your mood will not be beaten down by the stifling Bangkok heat.
Chiang Mai is eminently affordable with a good standard of living available at around $1000 per month. A comfortable city center apartment would start at $200, and for around $300 you can find a condominium with a pool, gym and centralized WiFi. Accommodation will still be your largest expense, but at a fraction of the prices in your native land. Although Chiang Mai is a walkable city and transportation cheap, for the adventurers among you, scooters can be rented from $100, giving you the flexibility to get outside yourself and the city.
Food is where you will make your biggest wins, with delicious street meals available from $1. Some of the best food anywhere is served by street vendors on the thoroughfares of Chiang Mai. If you feel like releasing your inner chef, there are multiple markets, selling choice cuts of meats, fresh vegetables and the kind of fruits you thought they’d only serve in heaven.
Thailand’s lower cost of living is magnified in Chiang Mai, and will have a direct positive impact on your lifestyle. If you feel the need to pamper yourself, massages start at $5 with more exotic treatments to find on any Spa’s menu – if you feel the need for a full body yoghurt scrub, now is the time.
Convenience is paramount
Drive 10 minutes in any direction and you will soon find yourself in pastoral green. A personal favorite of ours is in on the western edge of the city, where a weaving road will lead you up a trail of Doi Suthep, past ancient temples, coffee plantations run by Hill Tribe villages and scenic outposts. To the North there are strawberry fields, almost forever.
If you’re looking for short trips or an adventure, Chiang Mai is well positioned in the region, with daily international flights to Singapore, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and more, with a handful of low cost airlines.
Cultural Experiences Await
Chiang Mai holds the key to personal growth. If you would like to explore a new hobby in your Thai lesson down time, why not take a class in the traditional art of Muay Thai, or learn to cook, massage, maybe even rejuvenate your body with yoga and deep meditation?
For those looking for some nourishment of the soul, there are Hill Tribe villages and orphanages throughout the city and it’s out-skirts that are continuously looking for volunteers to assist.
The Lanna People
Thai’s are known the world over for their sincerity and friendliness. This is typified by the locals from Chiang Mai, always willing to help and assist you. It’s the little things that matter and a welcoming smile from your local noodle vendor can always set your day off to the greatest start.
Starting a new language is always exciting but the relaxed Lanna style means you can practice in real environments in confidence and most of all: fun.
In Chiang Mai you’re never alone. There is a large expat community and tonnes of welcoming foreign communities, groups and teams. The core profession for many in Chiang Mai is as an English teacher, however it’s a hub for NGO activities due to its proximity to both the Burmese and Laotian borders and the numerous Hill Tribe villages located in the north.
Recently, there has been a growing and increasingly visible population of ‘digital nomads’, a group of international freelance writers, graphic designers, programmers and marketeers. If you are inspired by a passive income lifestyle, the nomad hangout of Nimmanhaemin Road could help you learn the ropes.
Does Chiang Mai sound like the place for you to learn the Thai language? Don’t hesitate and come join us, we’re ready to welcome you!