Welcome to my Frequently Asked Questions about the best places to stay in Chiang Mai, you can see more about where to stay in Chiang Mai in this guide Best Areas to Stay in Chiang Mai.
- Where Is The Best Area To Stay In Chiang Mai?
- Where Should I Stay In Chiang Mai?
- Where To Eat In Chiang Mai Old City?
- Where To Stay In Chiang Mai for Backpackers?
- Where To Stay In Chiang Mai for Honeymoon?
- Where To Stay In Chiang Mai Near Night Market?
- Best Place To Stay In Chiang Mai For Lantern Festival?
- Best Place To Stay In Chiang Mai For Loy Krathong?
- Where To Stay In Chiang Mai On A Budget?
- How long should you stay in Chiang Mai?
- Does Chiang Mai Have A Red Light District?
- Is Chiang Mai Expensive?
- What Is Chiang Mai Known For?
- Where is Chiang Mai?
- How Far Is Chiang Mai From The Beach?
- What is the best things to do in Chiang Mai?
Where Is The Best Area To Stay In Chiang Mai?
The Old City of Chiang Mai forms its central and most famous area, and it is the perfect place from which to begin your explorations of this fascinating city.
The area is a veritable maze of streets bordered on all four sides by a moat and the remains of the old city walls and fortifications. Since much of the local traffic gets diverted around it, the Old Town forms a comparatively calm heart to Chiang Mai.
There are scores of places to stay here, particularly at the low to mid-price range. You are sure to be able to find a place that meets your needs.
Where Should I Stay In Chiang Mai?
To decide on the best place for you to stay in Chiang Mai, you should first ask yourself a couple of questions.
Do you want to be close to sights, infrastructure and to choose from a wide range of accommodation at all price levels? If so, then stay centrally at The Old City, around The Night Bazaar or, by the Riverside.
If you’d prefer to stay somewhere a little less touristy, look at other areas such as the East Chiang Mai, Suthep, or fashionable Nimman Haemin.
Where To Eat In Chiang Mai Old City?
There are so many great places to eat and drink in Chiang Mai’s Old City that it is hard to know where to begin. Here’s just a quick sample of the many tasty treats that await your taste buds.
You can sample a world of different breakfast options at Chiang Mai Breakfast World. My Secret Café in Town isn’t so secret these days. It is a hip coffee shop and co-working space that is famed for its delicious cakes.
Or you could try The Vorra Bistro at The Chiang Mai Old Town Hotel, which offers classy international dining. The nearby Canal Restaurant and Bar is a nice Thai restaurant right by the canal-side.
And these just scratch the surface of the wealth of great restaurants and bars that you can find!
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Where To Stay In Chiang Mai for Backpackers?
There are lots and lots of backpacker-friendly places dotted around all over Chiang Mai, so backpackers can really choose whatever area suits their tastes. Having said that, The Old City and the center of town around the Night Bazaar have the biggest choice of backpacker hostels, dorms, and guesthouses.
These areas are also right in the heart of the city and everything that a backpacker or independent traveler could need is located within easy walking distance. This area is perfect for anyone sticking to a budget.
Where To Stay In Chiang Mai for Honeymoon?
Chiang Mai is a great choice for a Honeymoon stay. Its relaxed atmosphere and wealth of things to do mean that you can celebrate your marriage in style. You can expect to have a honeymoon that you’ll always remember.
The Riverside area boasts the best views in Chiang Mai. So choosing a hotel on the banks of the Ping is a great idea for newly-weds.
Where To Stay In Chiang Mai Near Night Market?
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is justly famous and offers shoppers a jaw-dropping number of stalls selling local handicrafts, fake designer gear, food, furniture, and everything in between.
The market itself spreads out along Changklan Road, and there are many hotels and guesthouses on this road and scattered around its side roads, also known as sois.
These hotels cover a broad spectrum of budgets and traveler requirements from budget to five-star so you’ll have no problem finding good digs just a stone’s throw from all the shopping!
Best Places To Stay In Chiang Mai For Lantern Festival?
The lantern festival in Chiang Mai is known in Thai as Yee Peng. It is held in November every year on the full moon of the twelfth lunar month. The actual date changes from year to year. It is a special time to visit Chiang Mai since you’ll never forget the sight of thousands of flame-filled balloons ascending into the evening sky.
The Old Town is a good place to stay if you plan to be in Chiang Mai during the Yee Peng festival. The Old Town is the center for many of the Yee Peng celebrations and you can watch the annual parade around the old city gate. Plenty is going on, with live music, food and craft markets, and firecrackers and fireworks seemingly everywhere.
Best Places To Stay In Chiang Mai For Loy Krathong?
Loy Kratong is a Thai national festival that takes place in Chiang Mai right after Yee Peng on the 12th full moon in November. It is a charming celebration where Thai people gather at rivers and other bodies of water to float off “Krathongs,” which are small rafts made of leaves, candles, incense, and flowers.
They do this as a good luck offering and the longer the Krathong floats then, apparently, the better the person’s luck will be. I can’t guarantee it will work for you but it’s fun to have a try!
In Chiang Mai, the banks of the Ping River is the place where people gather to release their krathongs. So the Chiang Mai Riverside area is a great place to stay to witness this event.
How long should you stay in Chiang Mai?
If Chiang Mai will be your only stop in North Thailand, then try and give it at least three or four days of your time. It is a lovely place.
If you plan to travel around on a longer trip in North Thailand, then you might well come through Chiang Mai on two or three occasions. If that’s the case, staying a few nights each time will give you the deepest appreciation of the charm of the place.
Does Chiang Mai Have A Red Light District?
Like pretty much every town in Thailand, Chiang Mai has a red light district located around several streets in the Night Bazaar area. It features the usual beer bars, go-go bars, and massage parlors. Whether you like it or hate it, you should remember that this is just as much a part of Thai culture as all of the temples and festivals.
Chiang Mai’s bar area isn’t nearly as in-your-face as it is in places such as Pattaya so it is easy to avoid if you choose or visit if you wish.
Is Chiang Mai Expensive?
Chiang Mai can be as economical or as expensive as you want it to be. Many of the local sights are free of charge, and you can stay in super-budget places too. So if you are happy with cheap and cheerful travel and take steps like walking instead of getting tuk-tuks and taxis, then you can keep your costs very low indeed.
However, you can also lord it up at top-quality international hotels and restaurants as your inclination and budget dictate. If money isn’t an object, then you can hire a private car with a driver to see all of the sights and travel in air-con comfort.
But how you choose to experience Chiang Mai is entirely up to you.
What Is Chiang Mai Known For?
Chiang Mai is a fascinating and cosmopolitan city that is the old capital of the Lanna culture of Northern Thailand. The city is packed with history, and old forts, temples, museums. There is a deep Lanna cultural heritage here waiting for you to discover.
From a dining perspective, no visitor should depart without having tried the epic local noodle curry soup, Khao Soi. This sweet, sour, spicy, crunchy, creamy concoction is simply delicious.
If you come here in November, you can experience the city’s world-famous Yee Peng lantern festival.
A great Chiang Mai experience is to travel up the winding road that leads to the top of Doi Suthep. This mountain, which looms over the city, rewards visitors with a beautiful temple and some jaw-dropping views.
Where is Chiang Mai?
Chiang Mai is located in the Northern part of Thailand, some 650 kilometers from Bangkok. It is the capital of Chiang Mai province and the largest city of the Northern or Lanna region of the country.
Even if you plan to travel to other places in Northern Thailand, you will probably arrive in Chiang Mai first, whether by bus, car, train, or plane. It is the gateway to the North since most forms of transport from other areas of the country, and internationally, seem to arrive here.
How Far Is Chiang Mai From The Beach?
Chiang Mai is in the far North of Thailand and is, therefore, a very long way away from the beach. The closest beach is probably just South of Bangkok, over 750 kilometers away.
But flights are cheap, and you can easily travel from the beach to Chiang Mai in a day. And many people choose to do just this, combining some quality beach time at one of Thailand’s many beach or island destinations with a journey to Chiang Mai to explore the cultural delights that it has to offer. This mixture of destinations is a great and balanced way to get the most from your visit to Thailand.
What is the best things to do in Chiang Mai?
Chiang Mai is a great place to study. It is famous for its Thai cooking classes, and you can pick up some super culinary tips and skils here. But if you want to try something a little different, you can also take good meditation classes in Chiang Mai. There are also places where, since you’re here in Thailand, you can learn a little Thai to smooth your travels.Chiang Mai Zoo is a popular tourist spot, and so are the snake shows that you can visit by day trip. Temples like Wat Doi Suthep and Wat Phra Singh are also well worth a visit.
And finally, shoppers will get plenty of joy from the Night Bazaar and the Walking Street market on Sundays.
Best Luxury Hotels In Chiang Mai
Why not live a little and treat yourselves to some proper quality? Having a little splurge on some top-class accommodation in Chiang Mai will reward you handsomely. A five-star hotel in Chiang Mai will cost a lot less than it would somewhere like Europe, and the facilities are world-class. So here I have chosen two great 5 Star Hotels In Chiang Mai City Centre.
Shangri La Hotel, Chiang Mai, almost needs no introduction due to its international reputation. This imposing hotel is set in extensive landscaped gardens around a huge swimming pool. The hotel is located just to the South of the City Center in a quiet area that offers good views of the river and the city. The breakfast buffet is particularly singled out for praise by guests.
They offer a very handy airport pick-up and drop-off service. Guests also highly rate the professionalism and politeness of the hotel staff. The Shangri La offers you all the facilities and luxurious touches that you’d expect from five-star accommodation, and the spa facilities, in particular, receive high praise. It is a great choice for a treat.
Phra Singh Village is situated right in the center of the Old Town, and it offers a different kind of five-star luxury. It is an intimate hotel with a variety of room types ranging from doubles up to large suites.
Guests particularly enjoy the free mini-bar and free afternoon tea service. Also, the central location means that all kinds of things to see and do and places to eat, drink, and be merry are right on your doorstep.
There is an outdoor swimming pool located in a central courtyard, and the hotel also offers a large selection of spa and wellness services. Their massages are particularly popular with guests.
Other best luxury hotels in Chiang Mai:
- 99 The Gallery Hotel
- Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
- Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa
- Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort
- Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
Best Mid-range Hotels In Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai has great hotel options at all prices and levels of facilities. In particular, there are some extremely good value four-star hotels that offer impressive facilities at reasonable rates. Here I have select one of the Best 4 Star Hotels In Chiang Mai Near Night Bazaar and another great choice in a leafy suburb.
dusitD2 Chiang Mai is the best place to stay if you’re a shopper since it is situated right in the middle of the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. It has a sleekly modern and bright design, and it’s packed with facilities like the swimming pool and the well-appointed Deverana Spa. All rooms come complete with a flat-screen TV and DVD player.
The hotel staff is attentive and helpful, particularly in recommending and arranging trips, tours, and activities.
Eastin Chiang Mai is a good four-star hotel situated on the fashionable Westside of Chiang Mai. The hotel has a clean and modern design.
The huge wall-length windows offer some great views of the city and the mountains behind. Guests rate the Eastin very highly and are particularly impressed by the breakfast buffet and the chic, boutique décor.
All-in-all the Eastin is one of Chiang Mai’s highest-rated four-star hotels and is a great option if you’d like to base yourself a little way out of the busy center of town.
Other best mid-range hotels in Chiang Mai:
- Thai Akara – Lanna Boutique Hotel
- Makkachiva Hotel
- Kate and Hasu Boutique Chiangmai
- Arch39 Art & Craft Hotel
- 18 In Town Homestay
Best Budget Hotels In Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is particularly well-served with three-star hotels. There are over 500! I’ll save you the trouble of sifting the hidden gems from all those options and just recommend two of the very best places to stay that offer the best quality stay on a mid-price budget.
Chu Hotel offers you plenty of bang for your bucks with great facilities for a mid-range hotel. It is a low-rise hotel set in spacious grounds just a stone’s throw away from the Ping River. Rooms are spacious and extremely well-appointed. Guests rate the quality of the bed particularly highly, so you can be sure of a good night’s sleep.
It is a popular choice with families and couples probably because it is a cozy family-run resort. Despite being on the East Side of the river, the resort is next to a bridge. So it is still a very convenient location for the Night Bazaar, and the main city market is also nearby.
Lanna Tree Boutique Hotel is a very popular boutique hotel with a swimming pool. It is located in the middle of the Old Town and is a smart choice for the budget-conscious traveler who wants to stay in the heart of the city. They offer an airport shuttle service.
Since the location is so central, you can expect some traffic noise during the day, but this goes away at night. There are several room options and you might choose to pay a little more for a room that opens out onto the pool. You should also check out their rooftop bar, which overlooks the city.
Best Chiang Mai Hostels
Since Chiang Mai is extremely popular with independent travelers and backpackers, there are hostels everywhere, particularly in and around the Old Town. So it is easy to find one, but below, I’ve selected a couple of great options that are consistently highly praised by guests.
Amaka Bed and Breakfast is a very highly rated hostel in a convenient location just to the North of the Old Town. Guests are particularly impressed with the breakfasts, which come in an impressive number of varieties, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, Asian, continental, and American.
The hostel offers family rooms, dorms, suites, and king-sized bedrooms so there is something for everyone. The beds are very comfortable and the quiet side street assures guests of a peaceful night’s sleep.
The hotel is furnished in a chic contemporary continental style, and, as you would expect, there is good quality WiFi throughout. Reception staff will be happy to arrange trips and tours for you
Ashi Hostel is located just 300 meters from the iconic Tha Pae Gate so, it really couldn’t be much more central. It is also just a few hundred meters away from shopping heaven in the form of the Night Bazaar.
A nice touch is that the hostel offers guests free bicycle usage, so getting around the center of Chiang Mai couldn’t be simpler. It is a friendly, family-run place and there is a bar area which is a great place to meet other travelers. The modern and clean rooms each feature a bunk bed that sleeps two guests. There is great WiFi throughout.
That’s my Frequently Asked Questions about the best places to stay in Chiang Mai. See more about Thailand travel here: