Live a safe and comfortable retirement in Chiang Mai

The low crime rates and high level of safety make Chiang Mai a comfortable and reassuring place to retire. The influence of Buddhism is reflected in the peaceful atmosphere throughout the city, with respect guiding interactions and decisions. Thai people are generally law-abiding and good-natured. They value family and take care of one another, which extends to foreigners and people they just met. Foreigners feel welcomed, respected, and even appreciated in Thailand. 

Personal belongings and bags are left on motorbikes outside 7-Eleven without worry of theft

Chiang Mai has very little to no theft. Unfortunately in most countries if you accidentally leave a phone or a wallet in a public place, you will not see it again. This is not the case in Chiang Mai. Every day all over the city belongings are exposed on motorbikes, the common mode of transportation, at risk of being stolen. Despite the risk, Thai people and foreigners alike do not fear of people taking their things. They leave jackets in the front basket and grocery bags hanging on the handlebars. People will even leave valuable items such as a large backpacking backpack or a newly purchased blender. While we do not recommend you leave your personal bag or backpack, there is a high likelihood of your belongings remaining right where you left them, regardless of their value. 

A culture of care

Buddhist values of compassion, understanding, and tolerance inspire Thai people to live ethically and act kindly. They believe in the “karmic law,” that how you act will come back to you. They follow Buddha's teachings, such as

“Whatever one sows one reaps”  

“Doing good receives good and doing evil receives evil”

This belief drives a culture of care and making merit, or doing good deeds. This can be seen on “Buddha Day” once a week with an offering of food or toiletries to a passing monk. Or this can be seen offering a hand to a foreigner. I’ve found that Thai people, even strangers, are always offering to help. A Thai friend once told me “Thai people take care.” And it’s true. They do not offer with empty promises, and it does not seem like it is their duty, but rather they really do want to help out of the goodness of their heart.


When you decide to live in Thailand, you can be rest assured that you will be respected and safe. Here are some of our expat friend's experiences in Chiang Mai:

“Lost my phone today. So, why was it the best mistake I have made in ages?

My phone dropped out of my pocket onto the road while driving my motorcycle to work this morning.

Someone found it.

They waited for someone (my wife) to text me... then hit call back from the notification on the lock screen and introduced himself and explained.

And then delivered my phone (and the 1000 baht I dropped with it) to me at Wat Don Pin just by my home.

Both the man that found my phone, and his girlfriend were beaming with joy and kindness.

I love living in Chiang Mai”

-Jacob, UK

"I've been living in Chiang Mai for 3 years now and I've lost count of how many times I've forgotten my keys in my motorbike.

I'm always so shocked to come back finding my keys still in my motorbike and that nobody had taken it.

As I look around at other motorbikes which have peoples bags and sometimes even personal items left there, I realise how lucky I am to be living in such a safe and beautiful city."

-Peter, Australia

"I forgot my bicycle at 7/11 and didn't realise until a week later... I went back and it was still there, unlocked the whole time"

-Adam, England

"My friend once left her purse in a taxi after a night out. The next morning the taxi driver knocked on her door with her bag + half eaten drunk food and said haha you so drunk last night! All of her personal belongings + cash were still in her bag."

-Amanda, US

"I parked my bicycle in the underground car park at Maya mall. I was looking for my wallet and placed my brand new iPhone on the saddle. This might seem impossible to some younger people but I can remember not having a phone so I don’t miss it when it’s not in my hand 🙂 So I went inside, caught a movie with friends, had a bite to eat at wrap master. I was gone about 3-4 hours. I came out and the phone was still on my saddle. I still didn’t know it was missing. This is an extremely populated area on a Saturday. It blew my mind.”

-Joe, England

"My partner and I once went to a restaurant for lunch. We dropped 500 baht on the ground as we left. We returned to this restaurant 3 weeks later and the owner of the restaurant gave us our 500 baht back. We didn't even notice that we dropped it there."

-Joelle, Canada