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The best places to live in Thailand for nature lovers



Stock photo via Skift

Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and immigrants can definitely vouch for that claim. Here, settling down comes with many choices as travellers can either venture up north to the beautiful mountainside and Golden Triangle, or choose an island vibe down south. Regardless of where you want to live, the Kingdom offers great accommodations and a plethora of adventures awaiting for you.

Thailand’s 10 Best Places To Live

1. Pai

This small mountain town which is north of Chiang Mai, attracts loads of nature-lovers and those seeking the bohemian way of life. Known for its diverse, well-connected community that is driven by a mutual love of nature, art, and wellness, Pai is a great place for those who enjoy a slower-paced life.

The community has roots to Burmese and Chinese immigrants, who created the multinational atmosphere before masses of Western tourists arrived. Now, the village is continuing to keep its bohemian charm, focusing on the growth and betterment of the town. Here, nature lovers can join reforestation projects or volunteering with ethnic minority groups to help them lead better lives.

17 EPIC Things to Do in Pai, Thailand [2021 Guide]


2. Ao Nang, Krabi

This is the place to be if you want to be close to Phuket’s conveniences but not right in the hustle and bustle. Ao Nang is teeming with natural beauty and is perfect for long-term expats. The relaxed beach town close enough to airports, hospitals and shopping but far enough to give residents peaceful privacy.

Moreover, the area has an old-world charm that accents natural attractions such as the climbing spots on Railay Beach and island hopping. Thus, those who like adventure sports being nearby, without the hoards of tourism, this is definitely the place to settle. Furthermore, its local economy is still alive as it is driven by like-minded local and immigrant-owned businesses, keeping its future bright.

Ao Nang beach guide: Krabi's mainland beaches

Ao Nang, Krabi

3. Hua Hin

The coastal town of Hua Hin is appealing for those who still want to be within driving distance of Bangkok. However, its slower pace of life is definitely appealing, along with the backdrop of the ocean. Known as being the playground for those on holiday from Bangkok, it is teeming with things to do and loads of shopping.

Moreover, golf enthusiasts will enjoy its world-class golf courses that are popular with expats and locals alike. And, if you are looking to retire in Thailand, this may be the best place to be as the expat retirement community is quite large, making it easy to connect with others.

Hua Hin, Thailand's Fashionable Resort | Goway

Hua Hin

4. Nimmanhaemin, Chiang Mai

Nimmanhaemin is the perfect place for those wanting to live up north in a place that still has all the amenities and perks of a large city. However, this Chiang Mai town is definitely slower-paced and more relaxing than Bangkok, and it has attract visitors for decades. With a lower cost of living than Bangkok, and much cooler weather, this is where most immigrants settle.

Here, those wanting to find a long-term accommodation have their pick from basic dwellings to luxurious. And, the area has more lower-priced restaurants and shopping than the tourist-laden Old City. Moreover, if you are a digital nomad, the neighbourhood has many co-working spaces and coffee shops. Thus, this is the place to be in northern Thailand if you want the feel of a bigger city but the cost of living of a smaller town.

Explore Nimman Area in Chiang Mai - akyra Manor Chiang Mai Hotel

Nimmanhaemin, Chiang Mai

5. Sathorn, Bangkok

Although Bangkok is known for its intense traffic and exciting attractions, Sathorn is a great place to settle if you are wanting to be around a quieter group of expats and locals. As the area is located by the Chao Phraya River, it remains in a central location but its accommodations are much more affordable. Here, you can find upscale dwellings for a much cheaper price than the rest of Bangkok.

Sathorn blends city comforts with its natural surroundings as it is close to Lumphini Park. It is also home to a growing number of immigrants who want to access Sukhumvit without its high cost of living. As its place by the river makes it easy to take a ferry, Sathorn itself, sits upon a fusion of Bangkok’s famous nightlife and local charm.

9 Best Things to Do in Sathorn - What is Sathorn Most Famous For? – Go Guides

Sathorn, Bangkok

6. Kanchanaburi

This western province is known for accepting weary ex-Bangkok residents as it provides a respite from the city life. Moreover, it features rock-bottom accommodation prices and a glorious local life that is absolutely refreshing for those wanting to break out of a large city.

Attracting retirees and English language teachers, Kanchanaburi is a great place to meet like-minded professionals. Here, it is enticing to be away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, yet still close enough to travel there if you need. Nature lovers love Kanchanaburi as it is home to Erawan National Park, which is one of the best parks to visit in Thailand.

Kanchanaburi | InsideAsia Tours


7. Koh Pha Ngan

Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Pha Ngan is known for its bohemian, island culture that focuses on health and wellness. This small island offers the perfect compromise of local Thai life and the excitement of mass tourism. It is known for its Full Moon Parties as well as world-class yoga and meditation retreats.

However, its reputation as a party island is misleading as local expats describe the island as quiet and low-key. Many nature lovers enjoy the island as sustainable living initiatives are quite popular here. Moreover, the immigrant community is well-connected and friendly. And, the more built-up Koh Samui is just a boat ride away if you need to access more amenities.

Koh Samui vs Koh Phangan: Hotels, Prices and Comparison

Koh Pha Ngan

8. Chiang Rai

This northern Thai city is smaller and quieter than neighbouring Chiang Mai and its appeal is that of a nature-lover’s dream. With plenty of adventurous activities like hiking and wildlife watching, Chiang Rai is a retreat-like city that allows a more tranquil life.

As it has a lot in common with Chiang Mai, it is different in that it doesn’t bring in loads of tourists. Although there are plenty of bars and restaurants, it is still a mini-version of a much larger city. Thus, if this slower-paced life is what you yearn for, you won’t be disappointed with its natural and low-key vibe. Waterfalls, motorcycle trips and rock climbing are some of the most popular activities that draws in like-minded people to this beautiful city.

12 Top Tourist Attractions in Chiang Rai (with Map & Photos) - Touropia

Chiang Rai

9. Pak Nam Pran

Pak Nam Pran is a great choice for those who want to get in on something amazing. As an up and coming community, this town in Pranburi Province already has a small immigrant community. However, its appeal to a younger crowd of entrepreneurs is apparent with the local industry focusing on ecotourism and sustainability. Furthermore, residents here are actively part of organic communal gardens, farmer’s markets, and artisan trade.

Moreover, the government has taken a vested interest the area’s sustainable growth, alongside Thai and Chinese partners. The government is also rebuilding the beachfront and other areas in an effort to prepare the area for more visitors. Thus, those who come will surely find many things in which to participate, including many outdoor activities.

Pak Nam Pran Vacation Rentals & Homes - Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand | Airbnb

Pak Nam Pran

10. Khanom

Nature lovers who want to be close to the ocean but not secluded on an island will love Khanom. As it hasn’t yet experienced the influx of mass tourism, this Nakhon Si Thammarat town is a hidden gem. Here, you can see the rare pink dolphins and other exotic marine life, without needing to get on a ferry. Moreover, as it is located on the mainland, it is easy to travel to other areas.

Khanom’s pristine, untouched beaches and jungle-clad mountains make it an absolute paradise in which to stay. Moreover, its rubber, fruit, and other farms signify its charming, local way of life. And, with plenty of friendly locals, living here lets you experience tropical beaches while being in a close-knit community that is unspoiled by tourists.

Khanom: The undiscovered paradise of Thailand | The Blond Travels


Known as a nature-lover’s dream, Thailand is full of tropical rainforests and outdoor activities. These places above are great places to settle down, where local Thai food and culture is abound. Thus, immigrants to this beautiful country will surely find a place that they can call home, whether its by the ocean or nestled in the mountains.


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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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