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Chiang Mai Expats Club

For those ex-patriots who have just moved to northern Thailand, the Chiang Mai Expats Club is a vital necessity to boosting your stay. The Club was designed to help expats settle in and make the big move to Chiang Mai more enjoyable.

As with emigrating to any country, the language, the laws and lifestyle which you are used to can take a little time to adjust to. With regular Chiang Mai Expat Club (CEC) meeting held at the Shangri La Hotel on Chang Klan Road on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, you can be assured to learn and find out the answers to those questions you may have. The meetings start at 10.30am and cost 80bt for members or 150bt entrance for visitors.

The topics which are aired help integrate foreigners into the Thai way of living. Of course, it is a place to meet new faces and make friends as it can be a little daunting at first when you arrive. With seasoned expats being in Chiang Mai for many years, they can give a fast-track course in fitting in more quickly. The CEC hold quiz nights at various locations around the city centre, in popular venues such as The Pub, The Garden Bar and The Olde Bell on Loi Kroh Road. The weekly quizzes makes for a light-hearted way to introduce yourself, partner and family into the expat community. To become a member of the Chiang Mai Expats Club you must fill out an application form, include two passport sized photographs and pay 800bt. As the Club is non-profit organisation the cost is purely collected to help run the Club. Being a fully paid up member reduce entrance fees to Club meetings, you receive discounts at CEC member Friendly Merchants and the ability to tap into the knowledge of the Kingdom from fellow expats. The Club can help you get ahead the Thai language, which can be tricky at first.

The Thai community has given generously in helping members become more comfortable in learning and using the language. Most of the local Thai people can speak very good English, although it is much more helpful and respectful if you try and learn. Being new to Thailand, the Club can show and offer help in how to deal with immigration, visa laws, medical providers, insurance providers, education, realtor's or estate agents and building contractors. It is these vital facts which will bolster your new life in Chiang Mai and make for an easy transition. This will help as local knowledge is far more valuable than guesswork. The Club has close ties to the Sunday Bicycle Club. For those wanting to get fit in the sunshine and see the beautiful Thai scenery by bicycle, the team meet up and have leisurely rides out around the area. At a relaxed pace, you can see the wonders of Northern Thailand and get fit at the same time! Details can be found at the CEC meetings.

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