Chiang Mai, Thailand was recently voted by International Living as one of the seven places on the planet that they recommend for retirees.

I have been coming here for the past twenty years to escape the Canadian winters and for several years to escape the Japanese winters.
Each year it is a slightly different experience as well as a similar experience.

Last year I purchased a Nokia cell phone. It is very inexpensive under 30 dollars and if you use it only for connecting with others and not for long gabs it is very inexpensive.

The phone allows you to stay in touch with people who you have met on previous trips ,who like yourself come here to escape terrible winters in their home land. It also is very helpful to keep in touch with new travellers you meet .

This year I did something different again. I joined a health club in a fancy hotel near my guest house which I pay around $8.00 a day. The 30 day health club with a great swimming pool, yoga and aerobic studio, weight room and all the high tech aerobic machines cost 999 Bhats a month or around $30.0 a month.

After one works out you can lounge about the pool reading and work on your tan.

This is what I call value living-live in East but earn your money in the West. Stay in a humble guest house but enjoy the lifestyle of a five star hotel.

The ideal manner to do this is to have a passive income from your country in the West.
In the East personal services such as massages , eating out, etc. are a fraction of what they are in the West. You only have to know where the best ones are.

Any comments dear reader.