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Life in Chiang Mai  


Why I love Chiang Mai

Written by: Sydney Moss for Chiang Mai Mail
I visited Thailand back in 1974 and ever since then I wanted to return and spend more time here. This came to pass six years ago when my wife, two sons and I left America for Thailand. We were fortunate to get music teaching jobs in an international school in Chiang Mai and during our five years here we lived in a gated community surrounded mainly by Thai middle income families.

I was fortunate to meet and cultivate some long lasting relationships many of which are with Thai nationals. The people I have come to know over the years are filled with compassion and always ready to help. As a result I was able to successfully initiate many student focused and community based projects that helped integrate us ‘Farangs’ with our Thai hosts and I thank them for this.

Instead of boring you with the details, let me just say it was possible, with the help and support of my Chiang Mai friends, to successfully establish the very first Chiang Mai IDOL and Challenge of the Bands Inter School Music Talent Competitions that showcased the rich talent and skills focused on school aged children. This developed into an annual tradition that lasted four exciting years and I hope motivated many children to develop their musical gifts.

As a result of my friendships I was also offered to host the Sunday weekly Jazzamatazz Live broadcasts on FM 93.25 from the Helping Hand Studios of Radio Thailand. This grew into the popular Jazzamatazz Live Parties that were a weekly event at the Playhouse Entertainment Complex downtown.

Among a host of other projects, during this time I met Khun Boong Chaladlam, President of the unique Chiang Mai Friends Group and as Vice President contributed my skills to help grow this organization that focuses on integrating Thai’s and Foreign Residents by involvement in a variety of community based projects. This group of friends meets regularly every last Wednesday of the month and usually invite informative guest speakers who speak to a variety of topics. and

Living and working in Chiang Mai is an experience that created a multitude of very precious memories. Chiang Mai continues to be my number one city of choice. I like to describe it as a city that offers to match any mood with plenty to offer so life is never boring.

The many fresh-markets all over the city are packed with vegetables, fruits, meats and fish and other groceries often cheaper and healthier than the supermarket produce. This is hard to come by in the west and an amazing opportunity to get a better insight into the local life styles. Not to mention the colorful night-markets that display local, traditional and Hill-Tribe handicrafts. Most of these are really a bargain especially as much of what one sees is not so readily available back home. Add to this the rich music and culture that is strewed all across this magic city that was once called The Rose of the North and it rapidly becomes clear, Chiang Mai is not a city that one can claim to have really visited inside of three or four days.

Remember, reaching out is the best way to accumulate experiences and there are so many people of all nationalities ready to help you discover the magic of Chiang Mai.

I am now on assignment in Hanoi with my family but my love, admiration and connection to Chiang Mai will always remain as strong as ever. I do not miss an opportunity to go back and visit my friends and ‘tank-in’ the beauty, friendliness and uniqueness of Chiang Mai.

The Chiang Mai Mail is publishing a series of articles on residents’ experiences of life in Chiang Mai. If you would like to contribute please email [email protected]

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Why I love Chiang Mai