The landscape in Hang Dong, the northern Thai district I call home, is a random mix of rural and urban Thailand. Rural villages with windy, country roads are dotted with Lanna-style temples amidst sprawling fields and tropical shrubbery. The urban roads are lined with low-rise shop-houses and local businesses selling everything from car parts to cosmetics. Residential areas range from pockets of small villages to grander, gated communities.
Last weekend I was enjoying an icy mango daiquiri with my husband at our local pub, the Gekko Garden, when we got chatting to an Australian couple on holidays in Chiang Mai. They asked us how long we were staying in Thailand and their faces dropped when we told them that we live here. Cue the questions on how we made it happen…
Chiang Mai is an exciting city to live in. The Thai people are warm and welcoming and my husband Alan and I enjoy the relaxed lifestyle on offer here. Surrounded by mountains and lush countryside, its cooler climate makes it a favourite amongst expats and of course, the low costs are a big plus too—for $900 a month we rent a fully furnished, one-bedroom apartment in a modern complex, with a swimming pool and gym, in a great neighbourhood.