Where to Stay in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, known as the “Rose of the North,” is a charming city in Northern Thailand. Thanks to its fascinating culture, awe-inspiring landmarks, and delicious cuisine, it has become an increasingly popular travel destination in recent years. With the city’s growing popularity, choosing the perfect place to stay during your visit can be overwhelming. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, plenty of accommodation options suit every style, budget, and preference. From traditional guesthouses to luxurious five-star hotels, there is something for everyone in Chiang Mai. In this blog post, we’ll guide you on where to stay in Chiang Mai and help you make the best decision for your trip. We’ll share our top picks for the best areas to stay in for easy access to attractions, dining, and shopping. We’ll also highlight some of each area’s best hotels, hostels, and guesthouses.
Old City: Historical area surrounded by ancient walls
Old City is a must-visit area for those interested in learning about Chiang Mai’s rich history and cultural heritage. Surrounded by antique walls dating back to the 13th century, this historic area is home to well-preserved temples, museums, and art galleries. Visitors can admire the intricate architecture of famous attractions such as Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Chiang Man, which offer insight into the city’s Buddhist heritage. Additionally, Old City boasts a vibrant night market and a variety of street food vendors, making it an excellent location to sample the delicious local cuisine. With plenty of guesthouses and hotels located within the Old City walls, visitors can choose to stay in the heart of the historic area and immerse themselves in the unique and authentic culture of Chiang Mai.
Nimmanhaemin: Trendy neighborhood, popular among younger tourists
Nimmanhaemin is a vibrant and trendy neighborhood in Chiang Mai, Thailand that has become increasingly popular among younger tourists in recent years. The area is situated just west of the Old City and is known for its unique blend of modernity and cultural heritage. Nimmanhaemin’s streets are lined with trendy cafes, art galleries, boutique shops, and night markets, making it a hotspot for both foreign and local visitors. This trendy neighborhood is also known for its rich street art and graffiti, attracting many art lovers and photographers. For those who love a good night scene, the area has many chic bars and restaurants serving delicious local and international cuisine. With its convenient location and trendy vibe, Nimmanhaemin has become an increasingly favored destination for travelers seeking a fun and authentic Chiang Mai experience.
Riverside: Quiet area with a scenic view of the river
If you’re looking for a quieter area to stay in Chiang Mai, Riverside is definitely worth considering. Located on the eastern bank of the Ping River, this neighborhood offers a more laid-back vibe compared to the busy Old City. One of the biggest draws of Riverside is its scenic view of the river, which is especially spectacular during sunset. Many accommodations in this area offer stunning balconies or terraces where you can sit and enjoy the view. The area has a good mix of hotels and guesthouses to suit any budget, and there are plenty of dining options nearby, offering traditional Thai dishes as well as international cuisine. With its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful setting, Riverside is a leading option for those seeking a relaxing stay in Chiang Mai.
Night Bazaar: Central location, close to shopping and nightlife
If you’re looking for a centrally located place to visit in Chiang Mai, the Night Bazaar place is a fantastic option. Situated in the city’s heart, it’s close to plenty of shopping and nightlife options. The famous Night Bazaar street market is just steps away, offering a vibrant mix of vendors selling everything from handicrafts to clothing and food. The Night Bazaar comes alive in the evening with street performers, live music, and other entertainment options. For those who love to shop, several modern malls are nearby, including the Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center and the Central Festival Chiang Mai. When it comes to dining, the Night Bazaar area has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, ranging from authentic Thai street food to contemporary international cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a lively, bustling atmosphere or simply a convenient location, the Night Bazaar location is a wonderful place to stay in Chiang Mai.
Santitham: Residential area, perfect for a peaceful stay
For those seeking a residential area to stay in Chiang Mai, Santitham is a great option. Located just north of the old city, it offers a quieter, more peaceful atmosphere compared to the busy and touristy parts of the city. The area is a mix of locals and expats and thus has a good balance between the traditional and modern way of life. The area has plenty of restaurants, cafes, and local shops, so it’s convenient for day-to-day living. The famous Nimmanhaemin Road, known for its trendy cafes and boutiques, is only a short drive away. The area also has a few tourist attractions, such as the Chiang Mai University Art Center and the Wat Suan Dok temple. For those who value a peaceful and authentic experience, Santitham is a great place to stay.
Hang Dong: Rural area, ideal for those seeking a countryside experience
Are you looking for a peaceful and authentic countryside experience during your stay in Chiang Mai? Look no further than Hang Dong! This rural area is located just a short drive from the city center, making it an ideal option for those who want to escape the rush and bustle of the city while remaining within reach. Here, you can enjoy stunning countryside views and immerse yourself in traditional village life. Visit local markets and shops to try unique crafts and food, or take a scenic bike ride along the idyllic country roads. Hang Dong also offers plenty of accommodation options, ranging from rustic rural homestays to luxurious boutique resorts. Whether you’re seeking a weekend escape or a more extended stay in Chiang Mai, Hang Dong is the perfect place to experience the tranquility of the northern Thai countryside.
Mae Rim: Mountainous region offering scenic views and outdoor activities
If you are looking for a mountainous region, Mae Rim could be the perfect location for you to stay in Chiang Mai. Mae Rim is famous for its enchanting natural beauty, serene climate, and outdoor activities. It offers scenic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and rejuvenation. You can explore the region on foot, bike, or even on an elephant ride. Mae Rim also hosts many adventure activities, such as ziplining, bungee jumping, and ATV rides. In addition to the stunning views and adventurous activities, Mae Rim is also home to several cultural attractions, such as the Mae Sa Elephant Camp and the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden. Overall, if you want to experience the best of nature, adventure, and culture, Mae Rim is an excellent option for your stay in Chiang Mai.
Chang Moi: Budget-friendly area with a local vibe and street food options.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly area to stay in Chiang Mai with a lively local atmosphere, then Chang Moi should be at the top of your list. Found in the central part of the city, this area is packed with street food options, making it an ideal spot for foodies on a budget. The night bazaar in Chang Moi is also worth checking out, as it offers a wide variety of local handicrafts and souvenirs. The area is well-connected with public transportation options, making exploring other parts of the city easy. Some of the popular attractions in the vicinity include Tha Phae Gate and the Warorot Market. Overall, Chang Moi is an excellent choice for those who want an authentic local experience in Chiang Mai without breaking the bank.
In conclusion, there are numerous options for accommodations in Chiang Mai, ranging from budget hostels to luxurious resorts. Your choice should depend on your needs, budget, and itinerary. Whether you prefer to stay in the city’s heart or away from the crowds, there is something for everyone. Consider the factors mentioned in this article and choose wisely for a memorable stay in this enchanting city in northern Thailand.