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It’s been years since I’ve been living in Thailand and I never made it up to Chiang Mai. This obviously isn’t too upsetting with places like Bangkok and Samui to keep me occupied. However, the time has come where I had to find out exactly what Chiang Mai is all about.
Everywhere I went in Thailand, there are three common things I hear about Chiang Mai:
1- It’s really cheap to live there
2- The most beautiful Thai women come from Chiang Mai
3- Much more Thai culture than other places in Thailand
Fast forward one month = I’m on a plane to Bangkok not overly impressed with Chiang Mai.
As you probably know from this website, Traditional Thai culture doesn’t interest me much. I love to party, find women, and adventure. Chiang Mai is OKAY for this, but not great.
Within the month, I went out at least 20 nights going to nearly every venue in the city. I don’t speak Thai and had no friends in Chiang Mai that I previously have met. I wanted to experience C.M. as a standard traveler.
So here we are, Our Nightlife Guide to Chiang Mai
After checking out all the nightclubs in Chiang Mai, the nightclub guide for all foreigners is pretty easy, it consists of three places that you’ll regularly visit:
This place is loaded with mostly foreigners and some Thais. It consists of two bars right across the street from each other. Both are a combination of a small bar and nightclub. One is indoors and the other is simply covered. Here you have your choice of MANY foreign women and some very pleasant looking Thai girls to choose from. But you will have competition, there are plenty of good looking foreign guys who speak fluent Thai here.
Free cover charge.
Once Zoe closes, a good portion of the group moves to Spicy Club. This is also a freelancer hangout, so if you are tired of playing the game, simply find a Thai girl and go home 30 – 60 dollars poorer.
There will be a bunch of average looking girls here and only 1 really cute girl a night. When you see that girl, you have to go straight to her or another guy will.
Warning, the blonde hair one with an amazing body who is there every night is a ladyboy.
Free cover charge.
If you’re not willing to throw in your towel and admit this just isn’t your night, then you’ll probably end up here. You can find some cute girls here, but not many. And beware of the ladyboys!
Free cover charge.
Other Chiang Mai Nightlife Options:
Go Go Bars:
If you are coming from any other place in Thailand, you will not be impressed with the Go Go bars in Chiang Mai. There is only one of decent quality, Foxy Lady Go Go Bar
One of the major benefits in C.M. The messages here are really cheap. Where most of the places in Thailand, an hour long oil massage will cost between 300 to 500 baht. Chiang Mai will cost you about 200 baht (6usd) and another 300 baht (10usd) for the happy ending.
One of the greatest things about Thailand…if you pick the right girl. Chiang Mai has 4 soapy massage parlours with only Sayuri Massage Parlor and Ping Payom Massage Parlor worth mentioning. Prices are about 2,000 baht for the full package. (If you take a taxi directly to the place, they will charge you an additional 500 baht for the driver’s commission.)
Although there are many lady bars in Chiang Mai, there is only one areas that caters to foreigners, Loh Kroh road. All the other bars will be playing terrible Thai music.
I will eventually be compiling a list of the Nightclubs to Chiang Mai, but what you need to know is that most of them play Thai music. And Thai music is terrible.
Although the best nightclub in Chiang Mai is “Warm Up.”
A Few Thoughts About Chiang Mai:
– If you’re going to stay in C.M. for awhile. Learn to speak Thai. I’ve been in Thailand for over 3 years and never had a need to learn Thai. However here it’s needed.
– I ran into more American’s here than I have in any other place in Thailand. A good and bad thing.
– There are no late night massages parlors that are open. When I don’t find a girl that I like by 5am, I tend to get a massage. In Chiang Mai you do not have that option.
– I only saw one drop dead gorgeous girl in one month.
– It’s bullshit when people say C.M. has the most beautiful Thai women. The best looking women go to Bangkok to become actors and models. The beautiful women who can’t make it in Bangkok or comes from poor farming families, go work in Pattaya.
– There are cute women in Chiang Mai, but very few are stunning. You need to go to Bangkok or Pattaya for that.
– Visiting Thai Temples is nice, but boring after a couple days.
– Lots of traffic.
– I stayed in Vangbua Mansion (http://www.viangbuamansion-chiangmai.com/). An okay serviced apartment for only 400usd a month.
– C.M. has a very relaxed feel compared to other parts of Thailand.
– Almost all the nightclubs play Thai music…which sucks.
One other thing worth noting, I asked every foreigner that lives in Chiang Mai, “What makes Chiang Mai so great to live in?” Most of the responses I received were, “It’s amazing here.” But when I dug a little deeper, specifics could not be found on what makes this place any better than other parts of Thailand.
Frankly, I think people fall in love with Chiang Mai for the same two reasons everyone falls in love with Thailand, it’s cheap and there are plenty of cute Asian women who love foreigners.
Final Verdict = Chiang Mai is nice but overrated. A place to visit, but not a place to live…unless you are on a VERY tight budget.