Thailand: Whats the facination?

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tommyTitch

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#84
It's actually a work trip so no go.

I leave on Friyay!!!
If you look like a westerner (farang), my advice to you would be to completely ignore anyone who approaches you in the street. They see you as one giant ATM card and before you know it you will be in part of one of their elaborate scams before you know it.
The majority of Thai people are very nice and quite shy. Meaning anyone openly approaching you is breaking away from their cultural norm and looking for your money.
 

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#85
If you look like a westerner (farang), my advice to you would be to completely ignore anyone who approaches you in the street. They see you as one giant ATM card and before you know it you will be in part of one of their elaborate scams before you know it.
The majority of Thai people are very nice and quite shy. Meaning anyone openly approaching you is breaking away from their cultural norm and looking for your money.
Been here for 3 weeks and haven't been approached since I'm in work gear and not sticking out like a tourist
 

Howard Littlejohn

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#86
Vietnam is where I wanna go next year. Seems an interesting place. Anyone sampled this country?
Not in depth by any means. Most of the tourist staples. And almost ten years ago now, so much will have changed.

Hoi An is a tourist trap, but still worth it. It can be done on the cheap reasonably comfortably without dorms in hostels, etc. I assume it can be done even cheaper with those, but I'm far too old for dorms. Day trip to My Son was good, take the boat along the river one way of its an option. That was much more scenic and interesting than the bus ride.

Weather-wise a real mixed bag, it can be quite warm in the south while the northern hills are cool and damp.

HCMC wasn't really my thing, or maybe just that I went there first and didn't have my bearings. Still some interesting stuff, just didn't hold my interest for long.

Until you've been clipped by a motorcycle while crossing the road you haven't been to Vietnam. Its true though, pay them no attention and they will find a way around you. It takes an adjustment.

Food : good, though I prefer Malay and Thai. Like most street food if you can see them prepare it its probably safe enough. Funny little plastic stools are awkward for people above average height. Definite regional differences, even in nationwide staples such as the ubiquitous pho. Different veges etc as you go.

Touts and scams : certainly there, mostly not too annoying. Taxis I only found a problem in Hanoi. Every taxi was a problem there, even the ones which are said to be reputable companies, from running the meter at triple pace to reneging on agreed fare when the meter "wasn't working".

Overnight sleeper buses did not work for me, if you're under maybe 160cm the sleeper pods would be fine.
I would like to get back to Hanoi and Hue. Hanoi was at the end of my trip and I think given more time I would have grown to like it. Hue was sort of rushed as well, and needed another day or two. The area around Sa Pa is great, my knees (and lungs and heart) don't let me do multi-day hill trekking unfortunately.
 

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Gigantic

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#87
+1 for Chiang Mai

I have a bit of time off next year transitioning between jobs so will be heading over and staying there for couples months
 
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#89
How much money do you reckon a single man who is smart with his spendings would need to live a comfrotable life in Chiang Mai?

Single apartment near the main road, eating street food a couple times per day, some time spent at coffee places for wifi etc.
 

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#90
How much money do you reckon a single man who is smart with his spendings would need to live a comfrotable life in Chiang Mai?

Single apartment near the main road, eating street food a couple times per day, some time spent at coffee places for wifi etc.
Inside the city, you could easily find a comfortable condo for $400-$500 per month.

Monthly phone plans with data: $20/month
Scooter hire: $100/month

Food prices vary between the more western-style influenced Thai food and traditional Thai food. I usually planned to spend no more than $3 or $4 per meal when eating Thai food, but you could easily find cheap rice/noodle dishes for like $2. I was eating well over 3,000 calories over there because of my lifestyle and was spending no more than $10 per day eating out.

Coffee was around $2-$3 if I remember correctly.

So if you add up those expenses, you'll need to budget for around $900. Then factor in things like petrol for the scooter, eating in restaurants rather than street food, buying sweets and things at markets and water, and you'll be set back around $1000.

I stayed 20 minutes outside of the city renting a place for $200 per month with a very comfortable air-con room with bills, wifi etc included. As it was also outside of the city, food was significantly cheaper also.
 
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#91
Gigantic Fantastic reply, thank you.

How hard was it to find the room for $200/m? I have been considering trying to 'bootstrap' a business idea and could easily cover a few months at AUD $800/m to make it work. All I need is a room with air con, wifi and a bed. I live on $400/week in Australia, including rent and bills, because I am frugal. Why could I not live on half of that in Chiang Mai? Even a $300/m place would leave $500 for food, water, coffee, maybe the occasional drink.

Talk me out of it.
 

Gigantic

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#92
Gigantic Fantastic reply, thank you.

How hard was it to find the room for $200/m? I have been considering trying to 'bootstrap' a business idea and could easily cover a few months at AUD $800/m to make it work. All I need is a room with air con, wifi and a bed. I live on $400/week in Australia, including rent and bills, because I am frugal. Why could I not live on half of that in Chiang Mai? Even a $300/m place would leave $500 for food, water, coffee, maybe the occasional drink.

Talk me out of it.
The room was offered by people I knew from a previous visit, can't imagine there's many of them around. Definitely not in the city, which is definitely where you'd prefer to be when in Chiang Mai.

I've never really looked too hard for places inside the city as most of my activities was outside of it, but I'd imagine you could find something for $300/m if you looked hard enough. Find yourself a few local cheap eats around where you're staying and a quiet coffee place that isn't Starbucks and you'll easily get by with $800/month.

I say go for it.
 
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#94
My mate went to Chaing Mai talking it up, to do this 'digital nomad' thing, expecting it to be resort-vibe-relaxation during the day and high speed, overwhelmingly cultural weekend trips away. Hated it then and hates it now. This is a bloke who's lived in Europe, been through the -stans for months. Apparently it's basically shit, lots of condos aren't very well kept and it feels dodgy staying there, simple things like the internet go down all the time and you can't even get decent food because it's far away and there's dogs errywhere.
 

Gigantic

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#95
My mate went to Chaing Mai talking it up, to do this 'digital nomad' thing, expecting it to be resort-vibe-relaxation during the day and high speed, overwhelmingly cultural weekend trips away. Hated it then and hates it now. This is a bloke who's lived in Europe, been through the -stans for months. Apparently it's basically shit, lots of condos aren't very well kept and it feels dodgy staying there, simple things like the internet go down all the time and you can't even get decent food because it's far away and there's dogs errywhere.
It definitely doesn't have the whole resort vibe. And quite frankly, the digital nomads tend to over hype Chiang Mai. The Nimman area is very nice, there's lots of development going on there. I saw plenty of nice condos, well at least from the outside.

Internet was never a problem for me there. So much faster and more reliable than my ADSL2+ here. Decent food is everywhere, no matter what you're after. There's traditional thai food, western food, vegan food. The dogs he may be right about though, lol.

Maybe your mate just stayed in a crappy part of Chiang Mai?
 
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fpcookie

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#96
My mate went to Chaing Mai talking it up, to do this 'digital nomad' thing, expecting it to be resort-vibe-relaxation during the day and high speed, overwhelmingly cultural weekend trips away. Hated it then and hates it now. This is a bloke who's lived in Europe, been through the -stans for months. Apparently it's basically shit, lots of condos aren't very well kept and it feels dodgy staying there, simple things like the internet go down all the time and you can't even get decent food because it's far away and there's dogs errywhere.
lol, he had some whacked expectations going in to that.

mouncey2franklin go for it!! If there was a place overseas that I'd consider doing what you're doing, Chiang Mai would be close to the top of the list.
 
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#97
mouncey2franklin go for it!! If there was a place overseas that I'd consider doing what you're doing, Chiang Mai would be close to the top of the list.
Let me share with you and the rest of this thread some personal information of a 'friend' of mine and ask your HONEST, no-holds-barred opinion.

My friend:

Has an online business generating about AUD $300/week (actually more but lets's round down i.e. be conservative)
Has been living on about $400 week in Australia (frugal life, no family, rarely goes out, live in sharehouse)
Has been working a regular job but less and less, focusing on the online business instead

Now here is the problem: he has already saved about $1000 and believes he is making more than enough money to live in Chiang Mai.

Part of his brain is saying, 'stay in Aus a few more months and save a bigger buffer'.
Part of his brain is saying, 'gtfo now and go and build your online business further in a new world'.

The smart thing to do is stay a few more months and save a bigger buffer, right?
But he feels like he is losing his mind in this country. Sick of his housemates, sick of the country, really.

What would you do if you were my friend?
 

fpcookie

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#98
I would try have a bit more of a buffer. There's always initial costs with getting settled in with things like this and also you want some buffer in case something goes wrong (medical, etc). But that's just me.

Maybe staying a bit longer give you a bit more time to build the business income further as well. If you can earn $100+ more per week then it will be much more comfortable once you're over there.
 

Ciderhound

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#99
Inside the city, you could easily find a comfortable condo for $400-$500 per month.

Monthly phone plans with data: $20/month
Scooter hire: $100/month

Food prices vary between the more western-style influenced Thai food and traditional Thai food. I usually planned to spend no more than $3 or $4 per meal when eating Thai food, but you could easily find cheap rice/noodle dishes for like $2. I was eating well over 3,000 calories over there because of my lifestyle and was spending no more than $10 per day eating out.

Coffee was around $2-$3 if I remember correctly.

So if you add up those expenses, you'll need to budget for around $900. Then factor in things like petrol for the scooter, eating in restaurants rather than street food, buying sweets and things at markets and water, and you'll be set back around $1000.

I stayed 20 minutes outside of the city renting a place for $200 per month with a very comfortable air-con room with bills, wifi etc included. As it was also outside of the city, food was significantly cheaper also.

Some decent condos around Maya shopping centre and not too far from the old town.

Buy street food 2 or 3 times a week and you save heaps of money. Decent sized expat community and 1 or 2 bars on Loi Kro road that show afl. Would happily live there for a year if i wasnt hamstrung with a mortage.
 
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