Chiang Rai is regarded as the northernmost city in Thailand, it’s much smaller and less developed than neighboring Chiang Mai however it offers foreigners a cool relaxing way of life. The sleepy city has been off the radar of expats for years however this is changing quickly.
Expats and Bangkokian‘s have now discovered the hidden beauty of Chiang Rai Province as well as taken advantage if its low living and housing costs.
As a Northern European women moving to Chiang Rai, I of course knew that this town wouldn’t have much in common with my windy, rainy home town by the north sea.
Having been to Thailand before making the decision of moving here, but mainly visiting central Thailand, I had some understanding of what would differ and how. But in my mind I though of things like the obvious. Like the weather, the food, the culture.
The thought of Thailand led me to thinking of golden pagodas and orange dressed monks, of food so rich in flavor, and chili, your eyes would water, of a evergreen nature, flowers in all colors of the rainbow and of the curiosity in which the Thai people always meet me, a smile and a question.
Having been living in Chiang Rai going on my second year now there is one thing that strikes me. The women. They are everywhere. In every field of business.
I have met women authors, women real estate agents, women business owners, women charity-founders, women hotel owners, women pastry chefs, women restaurateurs, women university teachers. All pursuing their dreams with passion and ambition.
Sometimes choosing career over creating, what for me would be the traditional choice, a family. Instead they seem to build a family consistent of friends, other women in power-positions.
To get inspired by, to team up with, to get empowered by
In my home country we talk a lot about equality and much focus is put on that question politically. In fact my home county of Sweden is famous for being leading in many questions regrading equality. So why is it I have met more women in power positions in under two years here, then I have during all my time previously in my home country.
I think the answer is that Chiang Rai is growing, creating opportunities for new and expanding businesses quickly. But I also think women here team up in a different way. It is inspiring to see how women help and support each other and how strong it makes them. Individually strong and also strong as a group, a support-net of knowledge and networks that connects them to, what seems like, the whole town.
And the fact that Chiang Rai is big and small at the same time I think also contributes to success in business. Because the city is big enough for business opportunities but small enough for people to get the word about your business.
Maybe, and I truly hope so, women in business like this is common in all of Thailand.
But here in Chiang Rai it is very evident, even after not having been living here for long. So if your a woman thinking of building a business or just want to be inspired by these strong, creative women, Chiang Rai could be the place for you.
By Lisa Peppe Lisa Peppe is a Teacher from Sweden. You can view here photo’s Everything Thailand by clicking here.