Problems in Chiang Mai

Problems in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is great, but it sure can be frustrating sometimes. I think that problems in Chiang Mai can be loosely sorted into different categories, as can be seen below. How do you feel? Are there problems in Chiang Mai that you have experienced that annoy you? Or do you think that this is a relaxing paradise? Let me know what you think!

Problems in Chiang Mai in Rainy Season

  • Having no idea whether to take a poncho, not taking a poncho, and then being caught in a monsoon.
  • Dressing for rain and cold for a twenty minute storm, followed by blissful sunshine.
  • Dressing for blissful sunshine, for it to be followed by a twenty minute storm.
Rainy day

Rainy day

Food Problems in Chiang Mai

  • The girl that works in the Burmese restaurant on Nimman.
  • The guy who wraps his salad wraps loosely in the Salad Concept.
  • The constant internal battle of craving pizza and burgers, but not wanting to be that western stereotype.
  • The size of the coffees – why are you so small and yet so expensive?
  • Forgetting to ask for your khao soy/green curry/red curry etc. ‘not spicy’.
  • The fact that it’s acceptable for waiters and waitresses to sit around and play on their phones instead of serve you.
  • Not being able to focus because you’re daydreaming about the South Gate market Thai gyoza.
  • The smell of dried squid.
Thai dumplings

Thai dumplings

Driving Problems in Chiang Mai

  • Doing your hair then remembering your moped helmet.
  • Constantly having tuk tuk drivers and songteaw’s shout at you/beep their horn/slow down – I LIVE HERE.
  • Getting a songteaw for them to try and overcharge you – I SAID I LIVE HERE.
  • Thai people’s inability to use mirrors when overtaking, pulling out, and so on.
  • Songteaw drivers.
  • Tuk Tuk drivers.
  • Getting stuck behind a food stall attached to a moped, with no way of overtaking as it takes up 1.5 lanes.
  • That it’s OK for people not to wear a helmet, nor to put one on their toddler who is precariously balanced on the front of their moped as they weave between moving traffic.

Toilet Problems in Chiang Mai

  • Never knowing the strength of the butt hose until it is too late – will you blast off your genitals or feel very unclean?
  • Having to pay to pee in public toilets, even though they clearly are never cleaned.
  • The intricate acrobatics of using a squat toilet and then having to use the butt hose without soaking your clothes.
  • Knowing which buttons to press on the toilets in Maya (how many of you have pressed them after they had used the toilet and sprayed the entire cubicle?).

Lifestyle Problems in Chiang Mai

  • Farang tax. No more explanation required.
  • That it takes 25+ hours to get home in the case of an emergency, and costs you what you would earn in about 5 months.
  • Not being able to do anything alone without bumping into someone you know, so living in constant fear of being caught singing in public.
  • The angry secretly competitive nature of almost every digital nomad, when you literally couldn’t care less.
  • Adjusting to Chiang Mai prices and then looking at other Asian destinations and being mildly horrified by the cost of living (and let’s not even mention going home).
  • The number of internet trolls hiding behind a computer screen, ready to comment on every single post you ever may write in a Chiang Mai community Facebook group.

Knowing that wherever you go to next, nothing will compare to the friends that you made, the cost of living, the access to fruit and incredible food, and the lifestyle…

Wishes in Chiang Mai

Wishes in Chiang Mai



  1. “Never knowing the strength of the butt hose until it is too late – will you blast off your genitals or feel very unclean?” made me LOL. #TheStruggleIsReal

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have just arrived in Siem Reap, and I have to say, Chiang Mai is MUCH better. But maybe that’s just because I got to hang out with you a few times. 🙂

    • Hey Amber! I’m glad you liked it, I wasn’t sure if it was a little bit too aggressive, but I have been compiling this list for several months so it felt good to finally get it out there! Glad that you got off safely and enjoyed your time here. Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future!


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