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Old 09-26-2018, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZpharmer View Post
Just wondering, why is Thailand so popular compared to e.g. Malaysia and Vietnam? (I've never traveled to South East Asia before)
Because Thailand leaves those countries in the dust when it comes to tourism, ex-pat retiree accommodations, and multiple top destinations:

Phuket
Bangkok
Pattaya
Chang Mai

Thailand is a very easy decision to become an ex-pat and if you’ve been to atleast two of those cities on the list you would know why people flock towards moving there.

Having been to Thailand it is no doubt on my short list of places to retire.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
Thanks for that reply AE. For someone who enjoys urban living with big city amenities, is CM the only alternative to BKK? And would you say the drop off is worth it for the better weather and aesthetics? (Obviously you pretty much said it's not but just want to confirm)

I ask as someone with great interest in Thailand but have only been to Bangkok, twice.
Korat..Pattaya...Hat Yai...Khon Kaen...
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:19 AM
 
Location: Western Asia
3,187 posts, read 1,441,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
Thanks for that reply AE. For someone who enjoys urban living with big city amenities, is CM the only alternative to BKK? And would you say the drop off is worth it for the better weather and aesthetics? (Obviously you pretty much said it's not but just want to confirm)

I ask as someone with great interest in Thailand but have only been to Bangkok, twice.
Phuket and possibly Pattaya would be your other options but I prefer Bangkok & CM more myself. Pattaya is for people that want bars and hookers mostly. Phuket has good beaches if that's what you like.


I prefer the bigger cities and all they offer which is why I prefer BKK over CM but CM has its advantages such as calmer and more peaceful, better climate in my opinion and more scenic as well as cheaper. BKK pretty much has it all if you can hack the heat/humidity.
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:18 AM
 
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After years in CM, I moved to BKK. Unfortunately, CM has gotten trashed, overrun by zero dollar Chinese tourists, and while I love cheap chic, recent years have seen more retirees come looking for simply cheap. Nightlife is just about dead. It sure was great, in its day.....Phuket has some great beauty, but it seems to be a magnet for Disney type tourists...yeah, lets rent a jet ski, and then see if we can crash a motorbike. Hua Hin is another option. BTW, Phuket is commonly called Pirate Island.
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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Thanks guys for the posts. I am much more into the big cities with a plethora of cultural and musical opportunities, entrepreneur communities, international diversity (and also specifically a significant Chinese community). It sounds like from what you're saying that BKK is it. Regions with 1MM or less population are usually going to be borderline, and I guess in this case they don't quite offer up everything.

Incidentally thinking back I realize I've also been to Songkhla a few times on short trips with my family from Penang. So I've probably passed through Hat Yai as well, though I wasn't paying particular attention.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,144,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Roach View Post
After years in CM, I moved to BKK. Unfortunately, CM has gotten trashed, overrun by zero dollar Chinese tourists, and while I love cheap chic, recent years have seen more retirees come looking for simply cheap. Nightlife is just about dead. It sure was great, in its day.....Phuket has some great beauty, but it seems to be a magnet for Disney type tourists...yeah, lets rent a jet ski, and then see if we can crash a motorbike. Hua Hin is another option. BTW, Phuket is commonly called Pirate Island.
I've been to CM a couple times, and I like it as a visitor. I can't imagine living there though. Granted it's kind of large with 1 million people or whatever it has, but I think I'd be within that 'box' in the center the majority of the time, going to the same places all the time, without much variation. As a tourist, I end up in that little muy thai boxing ring area with a plethora of bars...but it's a little...too much...touristy/backpackerish.

I think I could live just about anywhere in Bangkok though, even on the periphery parts.

I visited Hat Yai and I liked it....but I'm sure it would have a much smaller repetitive feel than CM even, as would most anywhere that wasn't BKK.
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Roach View Post
After years in CM, I moved to BKK. Unfortunately, CM has gotten trashed, overrun by zero dollar Chinese tourists, and while I love cheap chic, recent years have seen more retirees come looking for simply cheap. Nightlife is just about dead. It sure was great, in its day.....Phuket has some great beauty, but it seems to be a magnet for Disney type tourists...yeah, lets rent a jet ski, and then see if we can crash a motorbike. Hua Hin is another option. BTW, Phuket is commonly called Pirate Island.
Granted, Chiang Mai is filled with tourists, but most of them are pretty much downtown. Bangkok is also overloaded with tourists from all over the world. There is a lot more to appeal to tourists and foreigners who like the hectic fast pace of the city. Bangkok is definitely not a boring city. Still, as a place to live, it has plenty of conveniences, and is far more relaxed than Bangkok is. If you're located away from Tourist Central in Chiang Mai, life can be pretty easy going. That the cost of living there is considerably lower than Bangkok is not a liability in my opinion. It can get hot in Chiang Mai, especially during the day, but Bangkok seems much hotter and the air rather stuffy and humid. One big drawback to CM, is the seasonal air pollution from slash burning. Bangkok has plenty of pollution as well, but mostly from traffic. Bangkok has features that are more appealing to some people but Chiang Mai is appealing to others. The thing is that if you're just looking for a place to settle down, Chiang Mai definitely scores points. But if a person is looking for a wider variety of activities both day and night, Bangkok and the surrounding areas is ideal. I think it's more a matter of personal preference.
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:29 PM
 
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better climate in CM, but not when you factor in the burn. I sold my house in Hang Dong, about 7 miles south of the old city in 2008...Traffic has gotten four times worse on 118 since then. My attorney and I bought a house in Baan Wangtan in 2006 for 23,500 USD. I hate the dog problems on the outskirts, but it was fine...had sold in Arizona in 2005..could see the crash coming like a freight train.
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Roach View Post
better climate in CM, but not when you factor in the burn. I sold my house in Hang Dong, about 7 miles south of the old city in 2008...Traffic has gotten four times worse on 118 since then. My attorney and I bought a house in Baan Wangtan in 2006 for 23,500 USD. I hate the dog problems on the outskirts, but it was fine...had sold in Arizona in 2005..could see the crash coming like a freight train.
General period of pollution in CM is between October and February. That said, we've been to CM in December, January and February many times. Out daughter and her family live there, and I have a number of Thai friends who live there. I can only speak for myself, but we've seldom encountered any heavy smoke problems. It's clearly a problem there (our daughter was having a difficult time with it this last season), but we've been lucky to not experience it.

I agree that traffic has indeed increased, but it's still nothing like it is in BKK, primarily because KK is vastly larger than CM. I know what you mean about dog problems, a number of which are stray soi dogs. Nasty, ragged, sore-ridden mutts that live in the streets. The problem isn't as bad in gated communities, but is kind of problem in other communities as well as around the city. Most are owned by residents, but they let them wander around at night. What I don't like about such dogs are that they lay right out in the drives at night, and barely move out of the way when cars are headed home. Soi dogs are a big problem in most of Bangkok, and elsewhere around Thailand.

One time, long ago, when I was staying in the Sukhumvit Road area, I took a shortcut in the morning through Soi Cowboy to head for a laundry. There was just a single lane of bars then. A lady was out sweeping out front of a bar, and a soi dog ran up behind her and nipped her in the leg. She swatted at it with her broom. They're a real pest.

Back in the early 1990s, we looked at a few places in the Koolpunt Ville area, Project 5, also out in the Hang Dong district. We had some good Thai friends who live in Project 3 or 4 (can't remember). It's south of the airport, off to the west of 108. More recently, we've been considering the house at Koolpunt Ville's Park Avenue Project 15, located somewhat NE of the city, just off Hwy 121 (Outer Ring Road). It's a nice area, but property space is almost completely filled up. There are other areas of interest as well around Sankampaeng and Sansai. Nothing in the price range you've mentioned though. I'm guessing that the houses you bought were pre-owned and older. That's not to say they weren't nice. Most of the places we've seen that were close to but a little higher priced than what you bought, were pretty run down and described as "fixer-uppers" or "good for person with handyman skills" . Your house at Mu Ban Wang Tan is kind of in the same area south of the airport, off to the east of 108. $23,500 is a very good price. What size was the house?

I figure if the smoke gets too bad in Chiang Mai, we can always head south to Saraburi Province where we built sort of a single story 4-plex in a village area. I don't really like it all that much because it's kind of out in the sticks, and there's definitely nothing much to do there, but it's okay. My wife's family live in the area, and most of the other people there are pretty friendly with a few squirrely people here and there. The closest sizable "cities" (sort of ) are Saraburi or Ayutthaya. Bangkok is about an hour or so away.
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:26 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,144,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Roach View Post
better climate in CM, but not when you factor in the burn. I sold my house in Hang Dong, about 7 miles south of the old city in 2008...Traffic has gotten four times worse on 118 since then. My attorney and I bought a house in Baan Wangtan in 2006 for 23,500 USD. I hate the dog problems on the outskirts, but it was fine...had sold in Arizona in 2005..could see the crash coming like a freight train.
Dog problems on the outskirts. That's something in much of Thailand...rural and outskirts. How is that in BKK where you are now?
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