My husband Michael and I were in our 50s when we made the decision to retire overseas. Before then I really hadn’t given retirement much serious thought. I suppose I had seen us as part of the grey nomad brigade, caravanning the well-worn roads of Australia, gathering at 5 p.m. for ‘sundowners’ then toddling off to camp for the night.
Low-key and uncrowded, fronted by a five-kilometre beach, Hua Hin, the Thai beach town my wife Vivien and I call home is also surrounded by three of the country’s biggest national parks. Its central location on the gulf coast means easy access to plenty of out-of-town beaches, too.
At the end of 2015, my wife Jacqueline and I moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand. We planned to spend a good chunk of the year exploring our new hometown.
My husband Alan and I moved from Brisbane to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to try it out as an overseas retirement destination. The plan was to stay for six months to see if life here suited us. We’ve been here over a year now so it’s safe to say it certainly does...
David Smith spent every holiday for 20 years in Thailand, revelling in the country’s culture and way of life. In 2002, at the age of 52, he found himself unemployed and decided the time was right to move there permanently.
I’ve been living on Koh Phangan for almost a year, happily settled in the rural hideaway of Hin Kong. Haad Rinn—home to the full moon parties that attract thousands of partygoers to the island annually—is half an hour away by car…but a world away in terms of lifestyle.
From the balcony of my 14th-floor home I can gaze upon a fertile landscape. The northern Thai city of Chiang Mai sits surrounded by views of lush, forested hills. The icing on the cake is the golden Buddhist temple on Doi Suthep mountain. During the day, it sparkles in the sunshine and at night local monks illuminate it, making it shine gold in a pitch black sky. The effect is stunning—the temple looks as if it’s floating in the darkness by magic.
“When I moved to Chiang Mai, I unearthed the rich and colourful life I thought was lost,” says Pam Manning of her new life in Thailand. Chiang Mai is famous for being a town of artisans and Lanna (Northern Thai) culture. It’s a place of flowers, temples, fruit, joyful festivals and colour is everywhere...velvety maroons, popping pinks…
Each morning, I begin my day by opening the French window of my studio apartment in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I am greeted by views of towering mountains on the horizon and the golden peak of the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple glittering against the lush green background.
People come from all over to live in Thailand’s mountain city of Chiang Mai. Besides its own sizeable local population—numbering more than 350,000—expats are increasingly coming here. They come from all over—Australia, Europe and the U.S. Recent estimates put the number of Western expats living in Chiang Mai at around 40,000. But it’s not just Westerners who are coming. Asian retirees, particularly from Japan, South Korea, and China are retiring to Chiang Mai’s relaxing surroundings. And more are coming each year.