A Guide to Living in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is a popular location for expats, retirees, and digital nomads, who are tempted by the ease of living and the blend of familiar and exotic. It has everything you need from cinemas and shopping malls to international cuisine, but it’s not a bland Westernised city. It has a fascinating culture with hundreds of Buddhist temples, their golden spires shimmering on almost every street in the Old City; captivating Buddhist festivals; and a superlative food scene with abundant inexpensive food stalls and dozens of vegetarian restaurants.

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The Wats of Chiang Mai: A Photo Essay

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There are over 300 wats (temples) in Chiang Mai. As you wander around the city you find one around every corner. Some are large and showy and full of visitors. Others are hidden down quiet backstreets with not a soul in sight. Some are working temples of shimmering gold with hundreds of novice monks in glaring orange robes streaming past and Thais lighting incense in front of giant gold Buddhas. Others are long neglected, chedis crumbling and being taken over by tropical vegetation.

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Photo of the Week: Loy Krathong Lanterns

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We have left Chiang Mai now but when we look back at our five months there the Yee Peng and Loy Krathong festivals last October/November stand out as the highlights. The city was decorated with lights and lanterns and this photo was taken at one of the colourfully decorated plazas.