Living in a Condo in Chiang Mai: Essential Things You Need to Know



Chiang Mai, nestled in the heart of northern Thailand, has emerged as a prominent destination for expats, retirees, and digital nomads. It's an appealing combination of easy living and a rich mix of facilities—from modern living accommodations to shopping centers and a diverse array of international dining options. Yet, it retains its unique charm, with alluring temples, lush mountains, and a local lifestyle. Arguably, Chiang Mai is among one of the best places to live in Thailand. This province offers all the essentials, and many are considering renting or buying a condo in Chiang Mai.


Today, we’ll introduce you to the essential things to know before starting to live in Chiang Mai and this will make your search for a Chiang Mai condo for sale/rent easier. 


Visa for Living in Thailand


If you are an expat, a working professional, or a foreigner visiting Chiang Mai, you will need to obtain a visa in order to stay in Thailand. The type of visa you need largely depends on the purpose and duration of your stay. The following are the common visa options that we recommend you take a look at:


1. Tourist Visa

Ideal for brief visits, this visa permits a stay of 60 days, which can be extended by another 30 days. It is a go-to choice for those initially considering Chiang Mai as a potential home.


2. Education Visa

If your intention is to study in Chiang Mai, including taking language courses, this visa covers the duration of your educational program, typically up to a year.


3. Non-Immigrant O-A Visa

Specifically for individuals 50 years and older, this annual renewable visa requires compliance with certain financial criteria, such as a specified amount in a Thai bank account or proof of a steady income.


4. Non-Immigrant B Visa

Necessary for employment or business endeavors in Thailand, this visa demands a confirmed job offer or business involvement in Thailand and is generally valid for one year, with the possibility of renewal.


5. Non-Immigrant O Visa

Also known as a “Marriage Visa,” it is available to those married to Thai nationals. This visa allows for a renewable yearly stay in Thailand.


6. Smart Visa

Designed for experts, investors, executives, and startup entrepreneurs in particular sectors, this visa offers extended stay benefits and exempts the holder from needing a work permit.


7. Elite Visa

Offered through the Thailand Privilege Card, this long-term visa option provides 5, 10, or 20-year stay options for a significant fee, appealing to those seeking an uncomplicated, extended stay in Thailand.


It is crucial to verify the latest visa requirements and guidelines, as they are subject to change. For the most updated and tailored advice, it's recommended to consult the Thai embassy or consulate in your home country or seek guidance from a professional knowledgeable in Thai immigration laws.


Getting Around Chiang Mai


If you are deciding on the perfect condo in Chiang Mai to settle in, knowing how to get around the city is a must. Similar to major hotspots like Bangkok, Chiang Mai has many roads and sois (sub-streets) that could make for a confusing visit. Fortunately, the city offers a range of convenient and culturally unique options, catering to different preferences and budgets.


1. Songthaews (Red Trucks)

Songthaews are perhaps the most ubiquitous mode of transportation in Chiang Mai. They are red pickup trucks with two bench seats in the back. To hail one, simply wave them down. You hop in and pay when you get off. It is important to study the route, as different trucks run on different roads.


Fares are very affordable, usually around 20-30 THB per trip within the city. They are cheap and convenient but can be slower due to multiple stops.


2. Tuk-tuks

The iconic tuk-tuks are an attraction on their own. These three-wheeled motorized rickshaws offer a faster, more private ride than Songthaews. Tuk-tuks offer a fun, open-air experience where you can enjoy the city with all of your 5 senses.


To use their service, simply flag them down, negotiate the fare, and enjoy the ride. Although faster, tuk-tuk fares depend on the travel distance, making it more expensive than Songthawes.


3. Motorbike Rentals

Renting a motorbike is another popular choice for tourists and expats who wish to explore the city at their own pace. To get one, you would need a valid driving license, and it is advisable to have international insurance coverage. 


Rental costs for motorbikes vary, depending on the service provider, starting from around 150 THB per day. Motorbikes offer great flexibility and are ideal for exploring outside the city, but they require confidence in your driving skills, especially in Thai traffic.


4. Public Buses

A less common but emerging option is the public bus service, which is slowly expanding its routes. This mode of transport is very economical, with fixed fares. However, they offer limited routes compared to Songthaews and can be infrequent.


5. Taxis and Ride-Hailing Apps

Regular taxis and app-based services like Grab are available in Chiang Mai, just as they are in Bangkok. Taxis can be hailed on the street or booked via apps on your smartphone. They offer comfort and direct routes but generally are more expensive than other options.


6. Walking

For those staying in or exploring the Old City or a more rural area like Hang Dong, walking is a viable option. It provides an up-close experience of Chaing Mai charm and is cost-free. Still, it is recommended to prepare an umbrella, sunglasses, and sunscreen, as the heat during the daytime can be extreme.



Regardless of the mode of transportation, it's essential to prioritize safety. Always wear a helmet when riding motorbikes or bicycles, be cautious when crossing streets, and be aware of your surroundings. When using local transportation like songthaews and tuk-tuks, a polite and respectful approach is appreciated. Understanding a few basic Thai phrases can also enhance your experience.


Costs of Living in Chiang Mai


Chiang Mai, Thailand, is notably affordable, especially compared to Western countries, making it a favored destination for expatriates, digital nomads, and retirees. If you are looking for a luxury condo without breaking the bank, Chiang Mai is one of the best choices.


To put it into perspective, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center typically costs about 10,000 to 20,000 THB per month, while outside the center, it drops to 6,000 to 15,000 THB. Grocery shopping varies between 1,000 to 2,000 THB weekly. Dining out is economical, with local meals costing between 30 to 70 THB, while international cuisine usually costs around 150 to 500 THB per meal. Leisure activities are quite affordable; movie tickets are around 150 to 200 THB, and gym memberships range from 1,000 to 2,500 THB per month. Domestic travel is also budget-friendly.


Chiang Mai presents a cost-effective lifestyle with its combination of low living expenses and high-quality services. Living like a local, utilising public transport, and opting for accommodation outside the city center are effective ways to manage and reduce expenses, allowing for a worry-free decision in getting a condo in Chiang Mai for a long-term stay.


This alluring city of Northern Thailand is definitely an excellent place to settle down or invest in a real estate opportunity. If you are searching for a luxury condo in Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, HyParc Residences is the answer.


HyParc Residences Hang Dong: Redefining Luxury Living


HyParc Residences harmonizes the three prongs of Serenity, Privacy and Nature to conceive a splendid new environment that delivers the luxurious comfort of resort living. This urban, highly convenient and extraordinarily comfortable luxury condo in Chiang Mai offers 41 attractive units available in varying sizes.


Half of these units are west-facing and deliver unobstructed views of Chiang Mai’s nature parks and magnificent mountain vistas. The remaining half of this luxury condo in Chiang Mai is east-facing towards the facilities and modern urbanscape.


The myriad of international schools and lifestyle amenities near the development makes it a popular choice amongst potential homeowners from all walks of life. Enjoy uninterrupted peacefulness at our luxury condo in Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, which is devoted to delivering absolute respite after a stressful day.


Contact Us


Visit HyParc Residences, Hang Dong: Hyparc


Tel.: +66 65 915 3462


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