Why is Chiang Mai, Thailand the SEO Capital of the World?

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If you’re involved in SEO, it’s likely that at one point or another, the city “Chiang Mai” has come up in conversation.

Chiang Mai is a city in northern Thailand.

It’s a beautiful city that affords a very high quality of living, offers amazing food, and beautiful nature.

But why is Chiang Mai a hotspot for SEO?

What draws so many talented SEOs to come visit year after year, and many of them to stay indefinitely?

Let’s take a look.

What’s so special about Chiang Mai?

There’s essentially four main reasons why Chiang Mai is so popular amongst the SEO population.

Reason #1 – Quality of Life


Geoarbitrage: A well understood financial concept where disparities between markets are leveraged to generate or broker a return.

In a nutshell, your hard earned dollars, euros, etc, are going to be worth a lot more where the Thai baht is much weaker in comparison.

Put it this way…

  • You can find a pretty nice apartment for only $400/month.
  • You can eat very well for $5-10 per day.
  • A full body massage is about $5.50/hour

Read more about the cost of living in Chiang Mai here.
doi suthep

Reason #2 – Everything is Easy

In Chiang Mai, everything you want or need is at your finger tips.

  • Feel like working at a cafe?  There’s 100’s of nice cafe’s with excellent coffee and blazing fast fiber optic Wifi.  Chiang Mai can get to be quite warm in its hottest seasons, but cafes tend to blast their AC and make things quite comfortable.
  • Want to meet some friends across town?  Jump on your scooter and you’re there in 10 minutes flat, which is a pleasure in itself.

Chiang Mai also hosts a slew of excellent coworking spots, which are great to work at and provide an venue for networking opportunities.

Reason #3 – Thai Culture

hottest girl in chiang maiThailand is called the “Land of Smiles” for good reason.

And no, I’m not talking just about the beautiful women of the region, but the everyday people that travel through life with welcoming smiles on their faces every day.

Thai people, especially in Chiang Mai, are incredibly friendly, warm, and gracious.  At their same time, their culture and food are so rich and delicious, its easy to fall in love with the country.

The open friendliness is highly contagious.

In no time, even travelers start to adopt this friendliness as well.

My friend, Tyler Perez (SEO from Los Angeles) was shocked when he saw how friendly everyone is here.  “Matt, why is everyone so damn nice?”

Reason #4 – The Digital Nomad Scene

worst bartender in chiang maiA Digtial Nomad is essentially a person who owns an location-independent business, which they run while traveling the world.

Forbes featured an article, highlighting Chiang Mai as being the heart of the whole movement.  During the high season, Digital Nomad chicks and dudes flock to Chiang Mai to get beast mode on their businesses in a great environment for entrepreneurship.

Every week you’ll find meet ups related not only to SEO, but also FBA, dropshipping, PPC, and every other flavor of online entrepreneurship.

Chiang Mai is extremely start-up friendly because of low costs and the incredible learning resources available to bootstrappers.

Many of them end up failling in love with Chiang Mai and make a permanent decision to stay.

Which SEOs have lived in Chiang Mai?

  • Glen Allsopp
  • Arturs Apps
  • Alex Azoury
  • meetupRob Atkinson
  • Gerri Cortez
  • David Crossan
  • Diggy Dirk
  • Kevin Graham
  • Jesse Hanley
  • Stinus Hojensbo
  • Dan Joseph
  • Karl Kangur
  • Josh Kelly
  • Josh Larsen
  • Gene Milman
  • Sia Mohajer
  • Kurt Phillip
  • Daryl Rosser
  • Oliver Sketchley-Kaye
  • Tim Sutton
  • Brendan Tully
  • Morgan Westerman
  • Jay Yap
  • Myself
  • … and many more.

What kind of SEO events go on?

The Chiang Mai SEO Conference

matt on stage
2017 kicked off the first ever Chiang Mai SEO Conference, which was Thailand’s first-ever conference based strictly on SEO.

This was a sell-out event, as 502 attendees, came to Chiang Mai for a week of presentations, workshops, coworking and more networking than you could handle.

Monday through Wednesday featured free workshops given by Greg Elfrink, Holly Starks, and Stinus Hojensbo.

Friday was the big day of keynotes from Tim Soulo, Gareth Simpson, Daryl Rosser, Jonathan Kiekbush, and Charles Floate.

Chiang Mai SEO Co-working Sessions

weekly coworking session

Every Thursday, all the local SEOs get together from 1-4pm at a coffee shop.

The format is basically no-format.

It’s simply an opportunity for SEOs to work in the same spot, share ideas, and start collaborations.

Special Events

diggity presentation

During the high season (more on this later), nearly every week will feature a special event from a guest presenter.

Here’s some of 2016-2017 high season’s top events:

nomad summit

The Invitation-only Chiang Mai SEO Mastermind


Starting in 2016, Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, and Empire Flippers, combined forces to launch the first annual, invitation-only Chiang Mai SEO Mastermind.

57 high-earning SEO experts from all over the world came together for this week-long event.


Groups of 5-7 are formed based upon speciality (affilaite, client SEO, software, etc).  Each invitee is given 15 minutes to describe their business and the challenges they are facing.  Then for 45 minutes, the other top-tier experts in your group will help you solve these problems.

This mastermind has been an annual tradition that we plan to keep up for years to come.

When should you come to Chiang Mai?

The best months to come to Chiang Mai are October – February.

These are considered the “high season” months.

Typically, the SEO population of the city rises quite significantly as people flock to Chiang Mai for its ideal weather and high concentration of digital entrepreneurs.

For the rest of the year, most permanent SEO’s start to travel a bit more.  In the month of March, most SEOs are gone completely due to the smoky season.

Travel Tip: Before you visit make sure to check in with whomever you want to see in town to make sure they’ll be in Chiang Mai.  Especially outside of the high season.

One thing about folks living in Chiang Mai… we’re all here, because we’re essentially vagabonds.  We love travel and we do it with a passion.  So it’s always a possibility that whomever you want to visit might be out of country.

Check in first.


Here’s some additional resources for you to check out before your visit to Chiang Mai.

Thank you for reading.  We hope to see you sometime in the near future.