Trekking Collective, Ethical Travel, Authentic Experiences Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Long Stay Visitors to Chiang Mai
Luckily for us, Chiang Mai has been our home for over 20 years firstly as traveller’s discovering the nuances of South East Asia, especially with Chiang Mai and the magical ‘hold’ it has on you. Having since settled down here, experiencing first hand a life style that bridges both Thai and foreign understanding making Trekking Collective an ideal care specialist for Long Stay visitors working closely with certified Long Stay advisors based in Tokyo and other countries, offering personalised services for each individuals lifestyle.
Chiang Mai has all the attributes of a perfect winter oasis for the many visitor’s whose homes are frozen over, and now with climate change coming into the equation, extended colder winter’s are predicted, so if your health suffers, nowhere is more inviting than a warm sunny climate that combines the colours of autumn, spring and summer all rolled into one.
Chiang Mai is a quality stand alone all year destination. It is the capital city of the ancient Lanna Kingdom, steeped in old cultures and customs combined in a new contemporary facade. Lanna is made up of the eight far north provinces of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is situated 700 metres above sea level and surrounded by the immediate hills of Doi Suthep, Doi Pui and Doi Saket with some of Thailand’s highest peaks just a drive away from the city.
2011 will be the city’s 715th Birthday within the old city moat are ancient Buddhist temples, age old Chedi’s (pagodas) shooting up like mushrooms all around the city, the most striking is that of Wat Chedi Luang close to the three kings monument and the colonial buildings and inner courtyard of the Chiang Mai Cultural Museum. Criss crossing the numerous narrow lanes (soi’s) you’ll discover traditional Lanna style teak family homes with their tropical gardens mingled with contemporary design.
Living standards are high with a wealth of luxury hotel accommodation, comfortable affordable housing and condominiums in secure locations with all amenities considered along with boutique resorts in the hills plus ‘alternative living’ such as ‘Homestays’ and ‘Farmstays’ to suit individual tastes.
Food and local cuisine, your are spoiled by the unending choice of ‘flavours’ There are some wonderful traditional northern Thai menus mixed with other regional tastes from around Thailand . Ethnic restaurants abound with expatriates (expats) running Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Mexican, British, American, Isreali, Indian, Spanish and Burmese plus the one’s I’ve forgotten to mention! With Japanese food easily found with excellent sushi freshly available, all your favourite noodles and ramen plus quality evening style dining. If you ever get bored ‘fusion’ food at many trendy restaurants is in vogue.
Health and well being are high on the priority list of the long stay visitors. International standard hospitals and dental clinics are based in Chiang Mai with 24 hour emergency care services with translators available for your peace of mind. For the less mobile there are qualified nurse assistants that can care for you at your home and private retirement homes with 24 hour care are situated in peaceful locations close to the city.
This is an exciting creative city of traditional and contemporary design, Chiang Mai’s historic artisan villages and skilled craftsmen complement local and international design themes created with locally sourced products. Excellent ideas for your home furnishings in cotton and silk, teak furniture, ceramics and stylish one off design items are sourced from Chiang Mai. Hand tooled Jewelry, leather and quality local tailoring means you return back home with a quality, new designer wardrobe in time for Summer!
For Long stay visitors it’s essential to be able to access most of your favourite ‘comfort foods’ from home and now specialty stores in Chiang Mai are very aware and now cater to your needs, offering a huge choice of American, British and European imported and locally sourced products with a wealth of organic farmer’s markets and produce available.
For Japanese visitors you will be pleased to hear Yamazaki Bakery and the Daiso brand 100 Yen stores are in Chiang Mai for all those gadgets and handy nick-knacks that the Japanese are famed for – every item 65 Baht each.
Things to do, Attractions and Activities abound in Chiang Mai taking in the the more typically promoted visitor destinations and attractions such as Doi Inthanon, Elephant Camps, Buddhist temples and sites around the city as well as niche ethical tourism operators offering exclusive trips and activities supporting local wisdom and knowledge of the varied indigenous cultures of the Lanna kingdom.
Come to study, Thai Dance, Thai Boxing, weaving, natural dyeing, leather work, ceramics, dressmaking, Lanna traditional crafts , learn Thai cooking, Thai Massage, organic farming, earthen homes. Practice Yoga and meditation daily or on retreat . Sports are well supported here such as classic golf with many quality courses close to the city. Swimming, Horse riding, Tennis, Archery, Daily Aerobics and Tai Chi along with every other sport imaginable is supported here at exclusive sports orientated resorts and local clubs.
Alternative therapies are practiced and studied here such as Reiki, Ayuvedic Medicine, massage techniques and intriguing Feng Shui, Tarot card and numbers readings with a local cultural twist.
Additional study trips where you can learn most importantly if you wish to communicate effectively to understand, interact and be proactive in the Thai community, the language and the culture. English and other globally recognised languages such as German, French or Chinese as private one to one classes or the possibility of a small group. One month quality accredited TEFL courses where you qualify to teach English worldwide are a new feature of our ‘Long Stay’ activity programs
Transportation around the city ranges from cycling following a city bicycle lane, which is increasingly popular, fashionable and economically smart supporting the low carbon vision for Chiang Mai as the first green eco city in South East Asia (http://www.youtube.com/holisticearth) if you wish to be in tune with the ways of local northern Lanna culture travelling by Samlor thip ( tricycle) is the best way to get a good feel of the old city and you will contribute to a great low carbon way of getting around town plus support the uncles ‘Loong’ that truly appreciate your fare. Our love hate affair with red truck taxis (Seelors) are that they are convenient and run pretty much 24hrs, but more than 2000 seelors ply the streets with their black smoke exhausts going unchecked by the powers that be even when it is acknowledged by every scientist the detrimental side effects to the City’s well being! The iconic Tuk -Tuk’s which are a fast, but a loud way of getting around are run on LPG, but could easily convert to electric are handy as they also operate the graveyard shift, proud owner’s personalise their vehicle with bright neons, mega sound systems and dangling kitch gadgets it’s like being on a magical fun fair ride…….hang on!
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