Hello blog. Its been a coons age since we’ve spoken.

I’m sitting here in my new “home base” and feel inspired to write up a little post.

Here is the quick summary… I’ve been living in Chiang Mai, Thailand for 6 months now. When we moved here from the Philippines we did a bit of condo shopping and I ended up picking one at the higher price range that was pretty stylish (upper price range here being just under $1000 / month). When we were looking though we stumbled upon a place that was a diamond in the rough… A spacious 1 bedroom with a HUGE deck. This place is full of students so the price is reasonable but the trade off is that its furnished with rock hard beds and painted a very sad shade of green. Although I could see the diamond under all this, it would have meant I would have had to commit to buying all new furniture and styling it out in a way that I could live with. Since we didn’t know if Chaing Mai was going to be a place we wanted to stay long term we passed it up.

Very quickly we fell in love with this place. Its got an amazing community. Tons of events. The food is amazing… I could go on and on. After about 3 months in our fancy condo we revisited this place and they condo we looked at was still available and they were willing to reserve it for us 3 months ahead of time so we could finish our lease!! How crazy is that!

Anyway, I’m now sitting in my new leather sofa and already loving the place. The view is amazing!! I think I will love being here. Oh and did I mention the rent is only

$287 per month :)

Yep. Not a typo! What I love love love about this place is a that price I can afford to just keep it as a “home base” while we travel around a bit more. I left the stated in order to explore and I’ve done quite a bit of that but to be honest, picking up all my possessions and dragging them somewhere new, unpacking them all, getting settled, and then doing it all over again is super tiresome. Having this place means month long trips with only a small suitcase. Where do I have in mind?? Spain, France, Hungary, Tibet all sound really nice :)

Here are picts of what you can get for less than $300 bucks a month here in Thailand:


  1. What the heck?? Furnished? If only I was location independent…..

    • mark brenwall says:

      no, actually i furnished it myself. the stuff that was here was leftover from the 80’s so i had them get rid of it.

      • I like it buddy! Even with spending the money to furnish it yourself you’re getting a great deal. I love the idea of having it be a low cost home base that you wouldn’t mind leaving empty while you travel. Good stuff!

  2. Damian Thompson says:

    Brenwall the Bargain Hunter!


  3. Nice! Looks awesome! We’ve heard great things about Chaing Mai.

  4. Eben Illingworth says:

    Nice! Where in Chiang Mai? Google lat/long?

  5. You DO have a knack for finding sweet digs, Mark! Can’t wait to check it out when I visit in October!

  6. Hi, I’m new to the online travel world….How do you permanently move out to SE asia and not have to come back to the states? I’d like to move to chiang mai indefinitely but obviously the 6-9 month visa is an issue. Are there any ways you could live in thailand most of the year, and then hop to the Philippines the rest of the year, and then rinse and repeat?

    • mark brenwall says:

      Getting around the visa issue is a constant battle. But there are a ton of us here who manage it. You just need to ask a lot of questions and to figure out the best path. If you’re American you can get a double entry visa pretty easily before you leave which will give you an easy 6 months. You may be able to get another one after that by leaving the country.

      Don’t use the visa issue as a reason not to become an expat and live in Thailand. There are ways and we all make it work here.

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