Working remote in Thailand, why not?

209 View

COVID ushered in remote work as never seen or imagined previously. Typically, this involved working from home but as the severity of the pandemic lessened, truly working remotely in a different country became much more feasible. Companies are starting to require people to return to work and it is a good time to take advantage of this opportunity.

Thailand is not far from Vietnam, but it is different and almost unfailingly interesting.

Bangkok or an exotic beach such as Phuket come to mind when people think of Thailand, and these are both great locations. However, there is much more to this country than these places and this newsletter looks at Chiang Mai and Hua Hin, and two weeks of working remotely and sightseeing in these locales.

Chiangmai

There is no beach in Chiang Mai but there is a river and also mountains and a climate more pleasant than Bangkok.

Food is one of the Chiang Mai stars. The most famous star is Khao Soi, a noodle soup featuring a chicken leg and flavored with coconut curry among other things. I tried several and they were all good. Curries are also very good and Burmese curry is one of the most popular and it is good. Yet another popular entre is Khanom Jeen Nam Ngiaw which is a noodle soup with pork. Watch out for the chicken blood cubes. Throw in sausage and dips and sweets and a surprising Tom Yum soup and with its markets, food stalls, streetside restaurants and nicer restaurants, Chiang Mai is an excellent food city.

Food is important when one is working but so is a little exercise.

If you just want to walk in the morning, just head in a direction and you will almost certainly come to a temple. There are many in Chiang Mai including famous ones such as Wat Phra Sing and Wat Chedi Luang and many not so famous ones. You might not want to see 10 in a day but a couple on a morning walk is quite refreshing and interesting.

If you want a more substantial outing, head to Doi Suthep or Doi Inthanon or the Elephant Sanctuary or another of Chiang Mai’s favorite sites. Doi Suthep is a good half day adventure highlighted by the Wat Doi Suthep temple, the Hmong village and maybe the summer palace. The view is also a highlight.

Doi Inthanon, the highest point in Thailand, is an easy drive from Chiang Mai.

If you like people, go on New Year’s Day. Otherwise, this is a pleasant half or full day excursion that includes temples, hiking trails, waterfalls, dining and shopping. On the way back, stop at Wat Phra That Doi Kham, a unique temple with animal statues and a giant seated Buddha.

You are working a week in Chiang Mai so enjoy the food, the temples, the national parks, the people, the markets and, of course, your work.

Hua Hin

Phuket, Pattaya, Krabi and other such towns get much of the Thailand beach recognition. If you want a sneaky, low-key spot, try Hua Hin.

Just a four-hour drive from Bangkok, Hua Hin sits quietly on the Gulf of Thailand and has some fame for its golf courses and association with the royal family. It is also a great beach town and more popular with locals than foreigners.

All this may change in 2023 as a high-speed rail will attach Hua Hin with Bangkok. In the meantime, enjoy the five miles of warm water, a couple small night markets, tasty seafood, an excursion to the Phraya Nakhon cave, and many other activities within a reasonable radius.

There are also nice local hikes. Among my favorites are Khao Takiab and Khao Hin Lek Fai. The first is a temple complex with great views of the coast, great temples, and lots and lots of monkeys. The second is also called radar hill and provides six viewing points for a great Hua Hin perspective. There are also monkeys here. The aforementioned Phraya Nakhon cave is a great half day adventure but well worth the excursion.

There is no public transportation and instead a boat trip, an uphill hike and then the cave culminating in mystical small pavilion.

If you time it correctly, the morning sunlight illuminates the pavilion and makes it even more mystical and memorable. We can’t forget the food. The primary attraction here is seafood, best enjoyed at many restaurants including some constructed on piers jutting into the Gulf of Thailand.

There are also many hotels, including the big chains. The Hilton is on the water and in the city and a walk to the night market and restaurants. Some hotels, such as the Anantara, are more private and self-contained and not as close to downtown Hua Hin.

So, find your way to Hua Hin, get up in the morning and hike to one of the local spots and then put in a day of work followed by dinner and a night market or a bar or a walk or some combination of these. Of course, you can always just skip the work.

209 View