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Arriving in Chiang Mai Soon - Any Info on Chiang Thai Hotel?

I just booked a flight into Bangkok from Washington D.C., USA, and made reservations at Chiang Thai hotel for the end of August into mid-September.  Does anyone have info on this hotel?  I paid $717, which includes breakfast.  Did I pay too much?  I can still cancel if I find a comparable hotel at a cheaper price.

How about the train system and getting from/to BKK?

I'm coming to Chiang Mai because I've read great things about it, and am wanting to retire there (51 y.o. American man, retired military on a pension).  If, during this "fact finding mission," I decide CM works for me, I plan on making the permanent move in Oct/Nov 2014.

Any and all information regarding my visit/move would be greatly appreciated, and if I can make some friends here, so much the better, especially prior to my arrival.  Only thing is, I'm pretty shrewd, so I won't fall for anyone trying to scam me.  No offense to all the good people out there, but a fella has to be careful, right (I spent two years in Korea, so I have a little experience with Asia).

Thanks in advance and I hope to get some informative responses!

Rob

@Hewmundi 
You have paid a bit too much but not over the odds. I would suggest you visit trip advisor or just Google midrange accommodation chiang mai' and sort through them.

Hi Rob,

Your message has been read and understood that you are coming to Thailand end of
Aug. and your booking Hotel confirmation I knew that it is higher price, and so if you want get better price and good hotel 5 star hotel plus breakfast please let me know and I can booking for you as much you can save your money,

Please tell me your flight details, arrival time, and your full name and also your Credit card No. And I can book the better hotel for you in Chiangrmai, please tell me how many day you would. Stay in Chaingmai?

If more confirmation, please let me know,

Thanks and best regards.

Suphachai  ( JOHN)
Email buzbiz2011[at]gmail.com
M.b. +66-90-1754431/90-402-5234

Thanks for the info, but it is too late for me to cancel my current hotel registration.  I don't have a problem with the price I'm paying.  I stayed in Jomtien two years ago and rented a condo for three weeks and paid more than I am on this trip to Chiang Mai.  I arrive at CNX late on 28 Aug and will stay until 15 Sep.

Again, thanks for your offer to help....

[moderated: free advertisement is not allowed]

hullo Rob,

Did you need me to pick you up from Airport to the City or transfer to the Don Muang air port to transfer your flight to Chiangmai? If so please give me your flight details and full name and time of arrival.

Thanks and regards.

Suephachai ( John )

Thanks for the offer, John, but I won't need transport because I arrive from Dubai and depart to CM via BKK.

Hi Rob,
  For that two to three week stay here in Chiang Mai you could rent a place for one full month at$150.00 U.S. if not cheaper. You need to get yourself here and then pick the place to stay. Lots to see and do here also. motorbike rentals are about $60.00 to $100.00 a month and it would be nice if you came with an international drivers license. I say this just to be on the safe side. The driving restrictions here are getting a little better then they use to be. Forward me your email and I can sent you info on these places to rent from. Also I am willing to offer our place to stay for a few days till you get a place of your own. Norman   >nledoyen[at]gmail.com

Rob:

You are definitely paying way too much - but then you wanted a 5 star hotel ...

FYI:

A 30 sq m (323 sq ft) apt costs between 7,000 and 15,000 baht per month ($230 - $500). I'm paying 8,500, plus about 1,000 for electricity, water, etc., for a really nice building (Chiangmai Riverside Condo next to the Holiday Inn).

I always give this advice when traveling: Book a nice hotel for 3 days. Spend the first day and a half recovering from jet-lag and then start looking for longer term accommodation. You might need to stay an extra day or two but this will save you a chunk of money. In my experience it is ALWAYS cheaper to book in person - if you can turn around, walk out to go elsewhere. Right now it is a renter's market. Vacancies are everywhere so it is very easy to find special deals.

You should expect that rental of a motorbike or scooter to cost $100 a month but once you move here and get your retirement visa you'll want to buy as $1000 will get you a very good used one or $1500 a new one and they last virtually forever.

Being over 50 allows you to apply for a retirement visa. With it you can stay inside Thailand - no need for visa runs. It is valid for a year but you must check in with immigration (near the CM airport) every 90 days. I just did my first 90 day report. It took me about 2 hours. I showed up at 2pm, got a ticket number, filled out one very easy form, handed my passport to the photo-copy business there and told the girl '90 day report'. She made all the needed copies (at 2 baht per page so it cost me 6 baht) and stapled them together. I signed them and waited for my number to come up (about 90 minutes). I handed them the photocopies, the form and my passport (no money). Within 15 minutes they called my name and handed me back my stamped passport.

FYI: Also getting the retirement visa took me about 4 hours. I needed my passport (proving my age), a bank book showing 800,000 baht (or more) in a Thai bank account for over 3 months (I opened an account at Bangkok Bank the day after I arrived and deposited a bit of money - then transferred 2,000,000 baht into it a week later. Then I put 820,000 into term deposit at 3.25% - I never expect to touch that again as I will use it to annually renew my retirement visa). I had to get a letter from the bank (500 baht) confirming the account balance and show my lease agreement (you must have an annual lease - although it can be almost expired - ie: you've already lived there 10 months...). Plus, again, handing my passport to the girl at the photocopy shop and saying 'Retirement Visa' then signing each copy. Same deal with getting a ticket number, waiting for it to come up (although I left for over an hour and came back before it was up), handing in a single form (just slightly harder than the 90 day form) and 1,900 baht. Waiting an hour or so afterwards before getting my name called and handed my stamped passport with the 1 year retirement visa. That's it, Very simple. Do it yourself - don't pay others to do it for you!

I guess the main 'trick' on the retirement visa is you must have 800,000+ baht in a Thai bank account for 3 months BEFORE you can apply. That means it is very tricky with respect to continuous stay. You'll need to be here for 3 full months (probably a little more) before you get your retirement visa and that might be hard to do. If you can spend a month in another country you'll have no problem but right now the visa runs and multiple entry permits are very iffy so getting 3 months + in is difficult. (I did 3 visa runs to Mae Sai getting 30 days upon entry plus 30 days more each run. I needed that 3rd run to have my bank account aged 3 months before applying for my retirement visa).

Anyway, good luck to you, eh!

BTW: Head over to Thaivisa.com, ignore all the ads, go to the forum for Chiang Mai. There are lots of ex-pats very active on that forum (please ignore the sourdoughs!).

Hey Ron,

Thanks for the great info on relocating to Chiang Mai.  Very detailed!  I'm actually already here, on my sixth day in country.  The purpose of this trip is to see if CM is the place I want to settle.  Not ready to rent or buy a place, have to return to the U.S. and get things in order before returning to Thailand.

So far, everything I see leads me to want to live here.  The Thai people and some of the Farang (more so than in Jomtien), are friendly and helpful.  I've met a Thai woman who is the general manager of a pub who is willing to keep in touch with me and assist me to find a nice, affordable place once I return, probably in November.  But, any connections I can make would just give me more options, and maybe some friends to boot. 

I'm here until 15 Sep, so if you have any other helpful info/tips, please let me know: carp_d_meAToutlookDOTcom.

Hey Norman,

Thanks for the info and the offer to let me stay with you and your partner.  I responded with more details about my trip to recklessron's posting.  You can read my reply to his post to see what's up with my visit.

Rob

Hi you should try Golden Palace Inn. Offer grand opening prices: only ฿500 per night.
Email: golden-palace-inn[at]hotmail.com

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