Chiang Mai week 1 as a Digital Nomad

Live in my new home

After we arrived at Chiang Mai train station early in the morning, we took a ‘Rot Daeng’ or Red Car or taxi to our place. We have paid 200 Baht for almost 10 km drive for both of us packed with 2 huge luggage and 2 hand luggage.  There was another guy on the taxi. Guess what, where does he come from? Yeah, he comes from Germany. We have met a lot of German people in Thailand.

Buy my first motorcycle

When we got everything arranged for the house, we went to do other important thing. Transportation is very important in Chiang Mai. We decided to buy a motorcycle as they are cheap and faster when there is traffic jam.

Before we came to Chiang Mai we have joined several Facebook group. There are several groups that are quite useful

  • Chiang Mai Digital Nomads – Digital Normad general information. There are admins who moderate the group. Every post will be approved. I have posted my questions there twice.
  • Chiang Mai Nomad Girls – Digital Normad for girls. There are information such as what you will do in Chiang Mai.
  • Chiang Mai, Buy, Sell, Swap. – Stuffs can be sold and bought here. I have not bought anything yet. But there are really a lot of interesting things such as kitchen stuff till washing maschine.
  • Chiang Mai Motorcycle Buy and Sell – Because of this group, we have bought our motorcycle sold from Marc. It costs 31000 bath for 1 year old automatic motorcycle with the green book and tax. The motorcycle has been taken away from the owner by the bank as the owner could not pay. So, we are sure that the motorcycle is safe 🙂
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    This is me with the motorcycle. We went to Tesco to buy pillow, blanket and household stuffs.

    Legally, when you bought a motorcycle you have to go to ‘Landtransport office’. In Chiang Mai you can find it here. Then, you will be legally owner of it.

    In Thailand you have to pay tax around 100 baht. Before you can pay tax, you have to buy kind of “government insurance”. It cost around 324 baht. If you have an accidents you are immediately covered for 15000 baht if you are injured. Make sure, that they write your name correctly. After 2 working days, I got a motorcycle in my name!

  • Helmet. We have bought the helmet for 550 baht and 650 baht. It is important to save yourself as you know that Thailand has a lot of road accident. If the police found you not wearing helmet you have to pay a fee for 200 baht and not more than 500 baht.
  • Driving license. Make sure that you keep the driving license with you when you drive. I have an international driving license from Germany. I have paid around 25-30 Euro. But I use Thai license in Thailand.

Then, we explore Chiang Mai.

Pilates and Swim in Chiang Mai

My husband swim almost every day and I do 3-5 times sport per week. It is very important for us to do exercise as both of us work long hours with the laptops all the time. I will start with how we found the sport place

Swimming in สนามกีฬาสมโภชเชียงใหม่ 700 ปี Chiang Mai Provincial Sompot 700 Years Sports Complex. This is the link. The official page has different information than the information at the swimming pool. My husband bought the membership card for 750 baht and he can enter the swimming pool for 30 baht. He can swim all day long.

Back in Frankfurt, I went to TG Bornheim sport club. I paid 10 Euro per month and I could visit around 100 classes if I want to. I did Pilates every week and I really miss it. The quality was good and the price was perfect. Now, in Chiang Mai, there are many studios providing pilates but they are quite expensive. At the end I have choosen ‘Power House Gym‘. I could pay 10000 bath for 1 year to take all classes. The mats are clean no need to bring the towel. They provide a locker, sauna, bath room. The changing room and toilets are clean. They offer Pilates with ball. It was quite hard but I love it ^_^

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Preparation for Digital Nomad in Chiang Mai

There are several stuffs that we have to managed before settled down in Chiang Mai. These are

  • financial plan
  • Insurance
  • visa
  • flight ticket
  • ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • accommodation

Financial Plan

we have arranged a share account. Both of us put some money in it. I put around 30% more money than my husband as he quit his job 1 month before me and had to work for our ‘Simply Learn Languages’ project full time.

We have calculated rough expenses that we will need in Chiang Mai per month. Our plan is that we can stay in Chiang Mai for 1 year without earning. The calculation was based on when we have lived in Bangkok.

These are one time payment:

  • Transport – motorcycle 30,000 baht
  • Rental deposits – 2 months 20,000 baht
  • Move in stuffs – 10000 baht

In total: 60000 baht (1500 Euro)

These are monthly expenses

  • Rental – 10,000 baht include internet, electricity, water
  • Phone – 2000 baht
  • Fuel – 1000 baht
  • Eating – 200 baht per day –> 6000 baht
  • Consume -2000 baht

Totally 20000 baht (400 euro)

So we need around 7000-8000 Euro (including traveling to my hometown and to the beaches) to be able to live in Chiang Mai for 1 year for both of us.

The shared bank account (Deutsche Kreditbank) provides a visa for us. This is pretty nice as we can withdraw money for free no matter where we are in the world.

Insurances

In Germany, you can find all kind of insurances. I found one very funny. This is an insurance against insurances. Anyway, we will keep a German insurance as it is very powerful. You can get treated for almost everything for free. I got for example 2 times per year a free tooth cleaning (normally it will cost 60 Euro), I got travel vaccinations for free. My tooth got extracted for free. To have these services we have to pay a lot. We would pay around 400-500 Euro per month to stay in the insurance. But, you can do so called ‘Anwartschaft’ so that you only pay around 50 Euro per month to ensure that when you come back to Germany you will be immediately insured.

One of a best thing to be married is that you can be insured as a family. This means instead both of us pay 50 Euro each, we pay 50 Euro together!

Visa

For me, I do not need a visa as I am Thai. But for my husband, he needs one. It is not that comfortable as if he will arrive Thailand with a tourist visa, he will need to leave Thailand every 3 months and there are some differences between borders how long he will be allowed to stay. As we are married, he can get the non immigrant type o visa. If he get this he can stay for 1 year in Thailand. As he plans to register his business (other business idea – I am not involved in this as we do not want to do every thing the same) he can maybe apply from immigrant type o to type b without leaving the country. However, we still are not sure.

 

Flight tickets

We have a lot of luck on this. Germany just introduced a new airline ‘Eurowings’ and this airline operates direct flight from Cologne to Bangkok with small fee. We have paid 250 Euro each for the direct flight. But of course, you will not get good services as flying with Arab airlines. You do not get a blanket. An earphone costs around 3 Euro. If you booked the cheapest tickets you will have to order meal separately. One meal will cost around 10 Euro. So for budget travelers Eurowings is a good choice.

You are allowed to bring 23 kgs luggage and 8 kgs cabin luggage. As we have lived so long time in Germany I have sent 20 kgs back home via post to my home in Buri Ram. It costed 80 Euro and it took around 2 weeks to arrived at my father home.

Ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

there are several ways to arrive Chiang Mai from Bangkok. The fastest way is of cause by plane. There are several airlines that fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. You can choose the one you like the most. But I do not like flying. I am scared that the plane will crash although I have been flying a lot, this fear still stays with me.

Long distance buses will take around 9-10 hours from Mo Chit. It is quite on time compared to train and it is cheaper than train. But I do not like buses as they are not as safe as train.

Trains leave from Hua Lamphong. We took a night train that almost take 12 hours and costs over 1000 baht as we bought the tickets through an agency. It is very complicated if you want to buy the train ticket by yourself. Because you have to pickup the train ticket yourself. If you do not know someone that can pick up the ticket for you, you have to buy it from the agency.

Experience: We could sleep although it was really cold. I would say, I like it more than German Night train as the bed makes you feel like you sleep in the real bed. The bed is done by the officials. The toilets are ok. They are not that clean and modern as Swiss railway but they work. 🙂 You can get breakfast for around 5 Euro but we have ordered nothing. So be prepared by taking something to eat and to drink with you. The scenery along the way is beautiful. 

Accommodation 

We have tried to find a house over websites ddproperty.com and www.kaidee.com. Many of the posts are managed by agents and they always request you to contact them when you are in Chiang Mai. So I have no chance to find a place.

But we have again a big luck. My friend has rented her house as she moved to France. The house is very big and has everything I want e.g. a 2 bedrooms (1 for guest), big kitchen and a small garden in Jedyord area. It is very near to Nimman and Maya shopping mall. The rental is good and we can keep all costs (including internet and electricity) around 10000 baht per month.

I would say, it is very beneficial to move to Chiang Mai as I am Thai. 🙂

Next post will be more related to first week in Chiang Mai.

Who am I?

I just want to say something about myself and the reasons why I started to write this blog.

I am a Thai girl who has spent almost half of her life in foreign countries. After I finished my school, I went to Germany to study and work. After my master degree, I was working for a big consultancy company as an IT-consultant and had a comfortable life style. I could save money every month and got 28 days holidays per year. I have been at least in 2 different countries per year. I had  a public health insurance that covers all costs in case of illness. I lived in my beloved 2 rooms apartment in Frankfurt together with my boyfriend (now my husband). Everything seemed to be ok but…

I felt, that I miss something. Something, that I am always searching for. It is freedom. I love travel and I want to see many countries, various types of people, cultures, and diverse food 🙂 I want to explore locals by living with them and not just watching them as a tourist.

Moreover, I want to have a control of my work. As a consultant, I have traveled every week to different customer sites. Sunday evening I had to prepare my luggage as my life of the next 4 days will depend on it. Monday early morning sometimes at 4 a.m. I had to get up to get finished and then to catch the train. Thursday evening, again I sat on the train on the way back home. If I had been home early, I went to gym and do some sport. I love sport but I am limited to do it. I want to change it.

Also, I want to have financial freedom. One day, I want to live without worrying about money. I can do things, that I want to do. And if you to earn different amount of money, do thing differently.

First business – learn Thai Android app

Long time ago, when we were studying, we have been to other countries to do an exchange semester.Both of us love to learn languages. We have downloaded several language apps and found out, that they are not the one that suits us. So, we decided to develop our own language app. We both studied Information Systems and are Java developers. At that time, there were no Duolingo or Babbel. We started and only started. The project has been left alone.

As I always passionate to teaching Thai, two years later, I brought the project back to life again. I must admit that it was really hard. When you work almost 60 hours per week and on the weekend you have to work for your own. But somehow, it makes me proud of myself. Five months later, the App ‘Simply Learn Thai‘ was live in Google Play Store. It was not that beautiful. Later on, we have thought about how to earn money out of it. Four months later, the app has a pro version and since then we have earned some money out of it. It was not much but it makes us confident that if we want to achieve something, we can do it.

Almost one year later when we have started the app, we both quit our job and now here we are ‘living on our own terms’ in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I am an Expat in my own country! I kind of love it 🙂

To be continued…