First Time in Chiang Mai: The Digital Nomad Haven

My curiosity about Chiang Mai started when I read a lot of Tweet updates from fellow travel bloggers sharing how they love this place in the Northern part of Thailand. The urge to visit became stronger when Mica, a blogger I wanted to meet for the longest time invited me to come over last year. Unfortunately, the lack of funds deprived me from booking a flight and the idea of flying to Bangkok and taking a long bus trip to Chiang Mai dreaded me. I found more blog entries where the authors have nothing but good words about the place.

Wat Pan Ohn
One calm afternoon at Wat Pan Ohn

Later on, more and more digital nomads express their love for Chiang Mai. Friends like Flipnomad, Frameless World and Crazy Sexy Fun Traveler mentioned it as one of the most ideal places for location independent travelers. On our way from Bangkok to Siem Reap, we met a Slovenian couple and they narrated how they love Chiang Mai and all the activities they did that weekend. The prices are much cheaper compared to Bangkok, the hotels in Chiang Mai are really cheap, the climate is very nice, so many activities and many, many more words of praises coming from non-bloggers. Woot. There’s something about Chiang Mai, really.

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Plotting where I’d go next while enjoying my favorite Thai Milk Tea

I didn’t entertain the idea of pursuing a trip to Chiang Mai much because I only have 9 days to spend in Bangkok-Siem Reap. Thanks to my curiosity and the convincing powers of my beloved friends that I can do it, I decided to extend my stay to 16 days to explore Chiang Mai on my own.

Hello, Lin Hui! Can I take you to the Philippines?! (Chiang Mai Zoo)
Hello, Lin Hui! Can I take you to the Philippines?! (Chiang Mai Zoo)

I stayed in Chiang Mai for four days and I can say that I couldn’t blame those travelers who fell in love with Chiang Mai because even I did! What I love about it is the fact that it is a Walking City – you can explore the Old City or even the outer part by walking. The people are a bit more friendly and relaxed compared to those in Bangkok.

Mrs. Pa's Smoothie
Mr.s Pa’s Smoothies – The Best in Chiang Mai
Roomorama-ChiangMai5
Glimpse of my Roomorama Accommodation in Chiang Mai

The fusion of city and laid-back life is also very visible. The climate is nice, the internet connection is fast, food is cheap and there’s a lot of activities to do! I only have a few money left on my pocket that time so I had to live within my means. Here are the highlights of my Chiang Mai trip:

  • Traveling Solo in Chiang Mai – The Ups and Downs
  • My First Roomorama Experience
  • Chiang Mai’s Night Market
  • A Day at Chiang Mai Zoo – First Time to see Pandas
  • Wat Pan On – My Favorite Temple in CM
  • The Magic of Mrs. Pa’s Smoothies
  • First Mixed Dorm Experience at A Little Bird Guesthouse
  • Shopping at Saturday Night Market and Eating Quirky Snacks
  • Early Sunday Market Shopping
  • Meeting Travel Bloggers in Chiang Mai
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Thanks to the Korean couple I met for taking this photo! πŸ˜€

I surely missed a lot of activities, but I can say that I am quite contented with my first Chiang Mai trip. I will be blogging about these adventures!

For the meantime, you can check out this short teaser I created about my Bangkok-Siem Reap-Chiang Mai trip last February. I have so many backlogs and I would like to share my adventures asap. I am hoping that this simple preview post about Chiang Mai caught your attention =P

Have you been to Chiang Mai? How do you find the ‘Digital Nomad Haven’ of Asia? Share your thoughts as I’ll share more of my Chiang Mai trip notes soon. Stay tuned! 

21 Comments

  1. Mica said:

    Micaaaaaa

    When will we finally meet???? I am so glad you liked CM, we loved it there as well and we’ll be going back to live there again at the end of next year maybe.
    You know I never had those famous smoothies everyone talks about? See, I must go back!
    Your video is funny & dramatic, I liked it πŸ™‚

    April 6, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks Mica! Hehe I would love to go back to CM as soon as possible! When Raymond and I met at Starbucks, I mentioned that you were inviting me to come over. He told me that he met you and you’re a sweet girl (like me! LOL it’s in the name I assume). Hope to meet you soon, Mica!

      April 6, 2012
      Reply
  2. Haha really there is something about Chiang Mai because we all love it! I am not sure if I could live there for so long like the other digital nomads, but it was my favorite town in Thailand. I miss my fruit and fresh coconuts πŸ˜€

    April 6, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks for the extra push, Alex! I miss the Thai Milk Tea at Wat Pan Ohn hehe and the fact that I can walk all day and not get bored at all. I missed a lot of activities but I know I’ll be back there soon πŸ˜€

      April 6, 2012
      Reply
  3. doi said:

    hmmm…we’re headed there in a couple of days and based on what you said we might get stuck in Chiang Mai too! wish we could find cheap accommodations so that we can extend our stay there πŸ˜€

    April 6, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      That’s nice! you will surely love Chiang Mai, Doi lalo na mas cheaper prices ng food tsaka cool yung weather. Hindi masyadong nakakainit ng ulo LOL

      April 6, 2012
      Reply
  4. Marcos said:

    WOW. Chiang Mai! Nice photos ^_^

    April 6, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks Marcos! πŸ˜€

      April 6, 2012
      Reply
  5. Like you, I’ve heard only good things about Chiang Mai. And hopefully, like you, I would be able to get there as well this year. How much ang total expenses mo for the duration of your stay?

    April 6, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hmmmm hindi ko pa siya na-compute at na-convert, pero approximately mga Php 2K-3k siya. Medyo nag-splurge na ako for shopping items (a.k.a. panuhol) nung last day haha

      April 6, 2012
      Reply
  6. flipnomad said:

    i like chiang mai… its very laidback and relax.. πŸ™‚ mura pa and sarap ng pagkain πŸ™‚

    April 6, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      I agree with you, Flip! Thanks for the push hehe. Kung hindi mo ako sinabihan na kaya ko mag-survive sa Chiang Mai,di talaga ako tutuloy LOL.

      April 6, 2012
      Reply
  7. Ayngelina said:

    I went to Chiang Mai years before I started blogging and loved it. I can see why so many bloggers would want to stay there.

    April 7, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      If I stayed longer in Chiang Mai, most probably I’d meet new travel bloggers every week! Have plans of going back?

      April 8, 2012
      Reply
  8. Karla said:

    Your post makes me want to go to Chiang Mai right at this moment! πŸ™‚ The place looks so lovely and honestly, I like laid back places more than the bustling city. Lin Hui the panda looks so cute! I want to take him home too! πŸ˜€

    Btw, do you work online? πŸ™‚ Because you mentioned Chiang Mai as a Digital Nomad Haven. My mom and I both work online and I think that Chiang Mai would be the perfect destination for our next trip. Hopefully we can go there soon.

    Take care and looking forward to more of your adventures. πŸ™‚ I’m crossing my fingers that you’ll soon have the chance to meet your high school batchmates again in UAE. ^___^

    April 7, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Lin Hui is the eldest among three Pandas and he did entertain us with his charming ways! Will upload a video soon πŸ˜€

      Yup I do that’s why Chiang Mai is one of the places I consider just in case I push through with a long-term backpacking trip. For now kasi I still enjoy yung umuuwi pa rin from time to time. There’s fast wifi almost everywhere in Chiang Mai. Sana nga matuloy ako dun hihi

      April 8, 2012
      Reply
  9. Would love to visit CM! I wonder how long I’d stay in such place since I really prefer shacking somewhere by the coast. Hihi.

    April 8, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hi Gaye! Hehe saw a number of families din na nagta-travel dun kaya naalala ko kayo nina Luna πŸ˜€ I think you’ll like it there lalo na kung gusto niyo munang mag-relax at lumayo panandalian sa temptation na mag-beach LOL

      April 8, 2012
      Reply
  10. dong ho said:

    teaser pa lang kaabang abang na. kakatuwa yung panda at yan ang di ko nakita sa china. meron din pala sa chiang mai. i like that part when you’re chasing the pigeons. hahaha

    April 8, 2012
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Awts sayang! Hehe angkyut nila. Buti na lang meron pandas sa Chiang Mai Zoo kaya kahit marami akong hindi nagawang activities, ok lang. Angkyut nila!!! <3

      April 8, 2012
      Reply
  11. ciki said:

    LOVE chiang mai.. And Thailand generally! Great shots.. We just got back from Hua Hin. A beautiful place too. Sigh, I wanna go back!

    September 3, 2013
    Reply

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