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Chang Mai Thailand – Could This Be The Ideal Location For Renting or Buying a Condo?

Updated on September 2, 2013

Let’s Take a Look at the North of Thailand

Think of Thailand and you probably think of Bangkok, its vibrant and very popular capital. Whereas Bangkok is home to over 8 million people, the country’s second city, Chiang Mai, is somewhat smaller with a population of less than one million.

Situated in the stunningly beautiful mountainous region of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is both a popular tourist destination and an increasingly popular place to live for both the Thai people and for outsiders wishing to relocate.

The area is very popular amongst tourists as well, which is hardly surprising when you consider its picturesque setting and the raft of attractions that help to attract almost two million visitors to the area each year.

Anyone thinking of relocating to Chiang Mai would need to consider a number of important factors before doing so and for many the matter of education for themselves or for their children, or planned children, would be of paramount importance.

There is absolutely no need for any trepidation on that score however, Chang Mai boasts several universities which include Chiang Mai University, the Chiangmai Rajabhat University, the Rajamangala University of Technology, the privately run Payap University, the Far Eastern University, and the Maejo University. There are also a number of technical colleges plus various teacher training establishments.

The Chiang Mai University is a government operated establishment and was the first to be established outside of Bangkok whereas the Payap University was the first private educational establishment in Thailand to be granted university status.

Despite the modern and progressive feel of the place, it would be wrong to think that Chiang Mai is a recent development. In fact, the name Chiang Mai actually means “new city” and was originally founded by King Mengrai way back in the year 1296. It was located on the site of an even older city which was known locally by the Lawa people as Wiang Nopburi.

Transport and Travel

Around 28 flights land at Chiang Mai International airport each day from Bangkok. The journey time is approximately one hour and ten minutes. Alternatively, the journey may be made by bus, which takes about 10-12 hours or by the State Railway which has a journey time of around 12-15 hours and which run as sleeper services, mainly overnight.

Locally, public transport is available in several different forms, these being: tuktuks, (a kind of motorised rickshaw), songthaews, (basically these are vans converted with seats), traditional rickshaws and Chiang Mai’s local bus service.

The bus station is located out of town and would require one of the above transport methods to reach it comfortably.

Tourism & Accommodation

Thailand’s Tourism Authority, (TAT), on their website, promotes Chiang Mai city as a destination that is suitable for both backpackers and tourists seeking a more luxurious stay. They go on to say that the city is "one of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to experience both historical and modern Thai culture coexisting side by side: the city features centuries-old chedis and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels."

Estimates from The Tourism Authority of Thailand predict that the number of tourists coming to Chiang Mai from China will increase by 20 per cent or more during 2013. Much of this tourism will have been instigated by the successful Chinese film "Lost in Thailand" Over 80 per cent of that film having been made in the northern province of Thailand.

For travellers seeking accommodation, it is estimated that Chiang Mai has over 33,000 hotel rooms of varying standards from basic up to ultra-luxurious.

Entertainment and Dining Out

Chang Mai is well served with regards to eating out. There are numerous restaurants, including a number of notable Sushi restaurants, to be found around the city. Street food is also widely available.
Nightlife is abundant also, with a wide range of bars and night clubs to choose from. Karaoke is particularly popular and there are some quite large Karaoke bars to be found.

Property in Chiang Mai

In recent years, Chiang Mai has seen something of a property boom with many new and attractive properties having been built. Many of these new properties take the form of buildings that are widely known as “condos” although there are also plenty of houses available to buy or rent as well.

With the price of land, and of finished properties, being only a fraction of that to be found in and around Bangkok, Chiang Mai is proving to be a popular choice for those looking for both permanent and holiday accommodation.

Rental contracts are widely available for periods of one year or less, and many people are choosing to rent an apartment, or condo, when relocating to the area, with a view to buying a property at a later date. Chiang Mai property is a very popular choice amongst the Thai people when it comes to planning their retirement but the large numbers of the population that are at working age added to the increasing student population gives the area a younger feel.

To get a feel for the types of property that are available, and the rental and purchase prices being asked, you are advised to seek the advice of a locally based property specialist.

All in all, Chang Mai offers good value accommodation, a beautiful setting and all the conveniences of a modern city that has successfully managed to preserve its heritage as well.
This area could well be worth a look if you are seeking property in Thailand.


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