Meet a Good House for rent in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The roughly $500 a month pays for my portion of a three bedroom house in the heart of Chiang Mai, within the moat of the downtown inner city monthly for the house without wi-fi. 1 bedroom apartments run the gamut between 8,500 and 18,000 baht a month. Most offer wi-fi and on this front, Chiang Mai is a solid choice. Internet is better than many places, but can wildly fluctuate throughout the day, but not so much in the evening when everyone watches TV and thus slows the cable internet down to a crawl).

And the Food that Fills My Belly

I regularly chow down on pad thai and pad see ew from the street stalls around town for about 30-50 baht a meal (a buck!). I add a fresh fruit smoothie to that for a mere 20 baht and call it a meal – totaling out most nights at less than US $2 for fresh, made to order Thai food from smiling street food vendors. The occasional Western meal jacks the weekly food costs up quite a bit; a thin crust pizza from a farang restaurant sets me back at least 200 baht. I mostly eat Thai food … but I must confess, coffee is a daily habit and ice cream is a weekly addiction. iBerry, a trendy ice cream shop more fitting on a chic corner of Los Angeles than a side-street in Chiang Mai, shakes things up with tangy tamarind sorbet, a spicy roselle, and a cooler full of other flavors. Always different, always worthy of my undying affection.

My Sleek Ride: Renting a Bike in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s small enough to either walk, push bike, or take local song thaews around town, but I prefer a scooter. The rental was cheap enough and zipping around town makes me feel that much more like a local. Plus, the local Thais burst into giggles when I ride up to the night markets with my roomie on the back. It’s easier for us to take one bike when we’re hitting up the same spots, so we ride Thai-style, with two farang on one bike. And they love us for it.

Update: Costs on motorbike rentals are likely $20 more per month as of 2013; still cheap if you rent from a local though, instead of a shop.

Chiang Mai Style Evenings Out

Chiang Mai’s not lacking in choices for evenings out on the town (though I use that loosely, there’s nothing too wild here). But between the karaoke, dance clubs, quiet rooftop bars, and bowling, there is fun to be had in Chiang Mai! I’m not a party animal, so those who are will definitely find this portion of expenses quite a bit higher if they really like to get their groove on regularly. In fact, add at least $100 per month if you go out 2+ times per week and drink. Smile

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