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Thailand’s second-largest city is known for its beautiful temples, excellent cuisine, friendly locals, rich cultural heritage. Nestled in Thailand’s mountainous region on the banks of the Ping River, Chiang Mai has a reputation for being a city with a little bit of everything. Whether you’re exploring the traditional Thai-style architecture or trekking through the lush jungles on its periphery, Chiang Mai is truly enchanting. With a metropolitan population of roughly 1,000,000 million people, Chiang Mai appears downright quaint compared to Bangkok, The city has over 300 Buddhist temples and is also one of the few cities in the world featuring a fully-preserved, one-square-mile moat.
Learn more about the Chiang Mai apartment market through trends and average prices.
There is a multitude of options for purchasing a quality apartment in Chiang Mai, from budget-friendly units to more high-end selections. Expats that relocate here or recognize the good rental investment mean that the apartments now being built cater more to western standards in their finishes and amenities such as basic kitchens, washing machines, and balconies. From pre-owned apartments to brand new, ultra-modern dwellings, there is a wide spectrum to choose from. What is really astounding, however, is the competitive pricing you’ll find. Cozy studio apartments for purchase can be procured for as low as 1,000,000 Baht (approx. 30,000 USD), while higher-end, multi-bedroom units can be found for as little as 3,500,000 Baht (approx. 105,000 USD) and beyond.
● The Old City area is one of the oldest parts of Chiang Mai, surrounded by a moat and featuring pristine temples and ancient architecture. Many of the city’s 300+ temples can be found here. Old City is at the heart of Chiang Mai, and only a stone’s throw from the merchants and vendors on Sunday Walking Street. It is an extremely popular area that has the city’s most popular destinations.
● Nimmanheamin- or “Nimman” as it is often referred to, is generally considered to be the “hippest” and most trendy part of Chiang Mai. Here you will find the epicenter of Chiang Mai’s nightlife, which is quite popular among the local students of nearby CMU (Chiang Mai University). It’s not nearly as intense as the nightlife in cities like Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket, but that’s exactly what many people like about it.
● Santitham- This up-and-coming neighborhood is located between the Old City and Nimman, and has seen a lot of growth in recent years. Housing options can be found across all budgets and there is a bustling street market located nearby.
● Lang Mor- has carved out a reputation for itself as something of a cheaper alternative to Nimman. It is extremely popular with CMU students and there is a wealth of bars, cafes, and restaurants to be found here. There are many housing options available here, though most are on the more budget-friendly end of the spectrum.
● Wat Ket- This sleepy pocket of the city is located between the Ping River and the Superhighway, and offers peace and quiet while still providing a wide selection of fine restaurants and fun bars for entertainment purposes.
● Jed Yod- Another relaxed part of Chiang Mai with an authentic neighborhood feel, Jed Yod is located between the Superhighway and the Canal and provides a laid-back, local vibe that can be difficult to find in other parts of the city.
You can easily enjoy a very comfortable standard of living in a city like Chiang Mai at almost half the cost of Bangkok. The nearby cities of Chiang Rai, Pai, and Nan are all popular destinations, so there is no shortage of day trips to be had. There is an abundance of great local food, vibrant, quality entertainment to keep you busy, and you can enjoy the natural beauty surrounding the city. There is a large population of retirees living here, as well as a younger “digital nomad” community, so there is no shortage of expats (estimates put the expat population at roughly 25,000). A person choosing to settle down here could easily live modestly on 600 US dollars a month, though the possibilities for amplifying your quality of life here are essentially limitless, depending on how much you decide to spend. The city has its own international airport and it is the fourth busiest within the country.
1. Affordability- Living in a city like Chiang Mai (when compared to other cities in Thailand such as Bangkok and Phuket) will show you just how inexpensive things are in the North of Thailand. The cost of living, by itself, is a major draw when choosing a place to live, and Chiang Mai provides an excellent return for the cost.
2. Growth- Chiang Mai is by no means a mega-metropolis, but its relatively smaller size means there is lots of room for this city to grow. In recent years, Chiang Mai has only increased in popularity, and it is projected to continue gaining further popularity among tourists and expats in the foreseeable future, so an investment now will prove to be a wise move ahead of property price increases.
3. Atmosphere- With its exotic mix of old and new, Chiang Mai creates an atmosphere unlike anything else in the world. Whether you’re exploring the ancient temples (or “wats” as they’re known in Thai), visiting an elephant sanctuary in the ,or just enjoying a delicious meal at one of its many restaurants, Chiang Mai is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
4. Profit- Because Chiang Mai is so ultra-popular with travelers from all over the world (there are over 2 million visitors per year), there will always be opportunities to turn a profit renting your property out during peak times, when you are not there. As a form of supplemental income, owning a property in Chiang Mai is guaranteed to turn a profit and rental yield during the year.