The 5 Essential Apps for Easy Chiang Mai Living

by | Feb 11, 2022 | Thailand | 1 comment

Chiang Mai is a city of convenience. If you live close to the famous ‘Old City’ you are only twenty minutes from all the amenities you would need, not only survive, but to thrive in your new homeland. But there are some handy apps to download and explore before you go. Apart from traveling over for a reconnaissance mission, what better way to get a feel about life overseas by exploring the apps that are most frequently used?

Chiang Mai, Thailand Apps


Delivery motorbikes are everywhere in Chiang Mai by Rachel Devlin
Delivery motorbikes are everywhere in Chiang Mai by Rachel Devlin

Tuk is a food delivery app. There are actually quite a few on the market at the moment. Others are LINEMAN, Food Panda and Grab Food. I like Tuk right now because it seems to be the cheapest one, and it has a better system to find houses.

If you know Thailand at all, you understand that addresses and road names can be confusing. This app has always found me and has a great range of Thai and international cuisines. Right now, our family favorite is a pepperoni pizza from The Gekko Garden, delivered piping hot for only $4.60.


Lazada is often talked about in local expat groups. You can source almost anything from this app. It offers non-perishable food items but also features anything you may find in Walmart. If you need a nail to hammer, a mixing bowl, or an extra pair of runners, it is on Lazada. This app is also popular because you can find things discounted. Some of the stock is from within Thailand, but a lot of it also comes from China. In Thailand, if you bring something in via mail from overseas and it is worth over $40, they will ask you to pay tax on it. If you order from Lazada, there seems to be zero tax. So it is a great way to save money. I am just buying my Christmas presents on Lazada. It is going to save me a heap of time.


Flush is a free app that can tell you where a nearby toilet is located. My friend uses this throughout her travels and finds it very handy. In Chiang Mai, toilets can be tricky to locate. Even some restaurants will refer you to public toilets. There are many ‘toilet locator’ apps, so if it is something you feel better about having, it may be beneficial to find the one that works best for you.


Line is an app that works like Messenger, but all Thai people use it. There are Thai people who don’t use Facebook Messenger and prefer LINE. LINE is handy because that is the best way to communicate with local tradesmen and Thai friends. It also has a QR code system, so that you can scan QR codes and get information at tourist sites and ‘check in’ to places you visit during COVID restrictions. You might not want this app, but you will find you need it. I do, here in Chiang Mai.


Ancient temples amongst modern conveniences in Chaing Mai By Rachel Devlin
Ancient temples amongst modern conveniences in Chaing Mai By Rachel Devlin

The sad fact is that Chiang Mai has a few months of pollution when local farmers burn their waste. This can begin as early as February and is at its worst in April. Expats buy air filters for homes and special filters for their air-conditioning units. But we pay attention to the pollutions levels.

On some days, it is just best to stay indoors (or fly down to the relaxing Thai beach towns.) But for those who stay, having an app that can tell you the particle matter data can help you make better choices. It can even recommend wearing an N95 mask outside, which many people do during this time. Some days look clear but still rate with a high PM score, so it is best to be informed by real data.

When you move abroad, old apps may be useful to keep in touch with home, but different places often use tools we haven’t heard of. What are the special apps used where you are? You can let us know when you sign up for free on TCI – your ultimate expat planning tool.

by: Rachel Devlin