We’ve been in Chiang Mai two years already! That flew by didn’t it? It’s fair to say we are pretty settled in our adopted home town, so much so that we are putting down roots…
Part of our long term dream is to own a little house – something we could never do in our home town in the UK without a whopping great mortgage. Property in Thailand is way more affordable than in the UK, which gives us lots more options. Ideally we were looking for a little house with a garden. Not huge but enough room to grow a few fruit trees and exercise the dog. So we started looking at houses.
The average Thai house in any city or suburb is built right up to the property boundaries, with every inch under cover or made into an inside room. I think this may be because Thai people (on the whole) don’t like being hot, so spending time sat in the garden is not something that appeals to them like it does for people from colder climates. It wouldn’t make sense for us to buy a house only to knock half of it down…so we started looking for land. We saw a lot of plots. From teeny tiny plots for waaaaay too much money to multiple acres which were a bargain but in the middle of nowhere. We needed a balance of size, price and location….
Finally, with the help of our friends’ mum, we found the perfect plot. Bigger than we expected (but that’s a nice problem to have) and about 30 minutes south of the city by car (of course it’s quicker by scooter because you can get around the traffic. But obviously you have to be able to ride a scooter, which I cannot. You can’t be good at everything)! It has a few mature mango trees which is a huge bonus, as most plots for sale are cleared of all trees – such a shame!
Above is a picture of the land in June before rainy season (Thailand gets six months without rain and six months with, this was at the end of a very dry year too). When they cleared the land they pulled up some huge trees which left pretty big holes, so they filled the holes with fine sand. You can see how dry it looked and we were a little concerned it might be difficult to grow anything. However, the picture below was taken just three weeks later at roughly the same spot. This was after the first couple of rains arrived, and boy do plants grow fast here in rainy season!!
Yeah – we’re not worried about the quality of the soil anymore (we even have cape gooseberries growing everywhere)! Now we get to plan our very own house and garden. So much to think about, from fences to fruit trees and everything in between. Looks like I’ll be doing a lot of reading….more on this coming up….
PS. If you are curious and want to have a look at houses for sale in Thailand visit DDproperty or Baht and Sold (see what they did there?). Or for Chiang Mai see Chiang Mai properties or Chiang Mai Lanna House. Be warned though, it’s an easy way to lose half a day!