Chiang Mai is becoming more and more popular with expats from across Europe and the USA. It’s not surprising really, the weather is very nice all year round, the people are friendly and the cost of living is quite low.
Normally the problem with expats moving to Thailand is they can not support themselves well enough. A teaching job is the usual path to take here. That pays around $600-800 per month. You can get by on that quite easily there but you will not be very comfortable.
Many entrepreneurs have taken the plunge and moved into the city. These are people that work mostly online or within an industry that can work through the internet. This includes web designers, seos, internet marketers, content writers and programmers.
One of the people i met in chiang mai started a car rental company with another thai native.
In thai the website states:..
เรามีความภูมิใจที่จะมีการให้บริการรถเช่าที่ดีที่สุดในเชียงใหม่ เมืองที่สวยงามเป็นบ้านกว่า 300 วัดพร้อมกับสถานที่ธรรมชาติที่น่าสนใจมากมาย
They produced a good looking website, logos and brochures for the company by outsourcing from a local business. The car hire firm operates a service to pick up new arrivals from the CNX airport, where their customers can book a car online and have it waiting for them at the airport upon arrival.
There are several ways for designers to go when working online. Using a platform like odesk you can leverage great online visibility without the hassle of starting your own website and trying to rank it or gain more traffic. Odesk is able to show your services off to people that need them. In return they take a % of the buyers fees. Overall it is a good place to start for new online workers.
As you become more established you might start to get regular customers. At this point it would be a good idea to move away from using these platforms and start your own company under your own name.