Chiang Mai must be the easiest place in the world for the expat. There is everything for the westerner such as a variety of ethnic restaurants, endless guesthouses and hotels, live NHL games at an Irish pub, and an easy going pace that suits everyone. If it seems too western, though, you don’t have to go far to be right back in Thailand. Turn down a lane and you’ll find stores with only Thai script on their signs and houses where the locals live. In the nearby countryside to the west is a mountain range and to the east are the greenest fields you can imagine, growing rice year round due to irrigation. Then, of course, there are the over 300 temples (wats) with some ruins dating back to the beginnings of the city in the 13th century.
We grew roots here in Chiang Mai, staying for two months rather than our planned one month. I’ll miss it when we leave.