There’s no better travel advice than insider tips from someone who lives, works and plays in a destination. Here’s our list of Top 5 Hangouts in Chiang Mai, compiled by Apichaya Kankreangvong, aka ‘Aum’, one of our local Travel Specialists whose heart belongs to Thailand’s ‘Rose of the North’.
A great place to eat and drink in Chiang Mai, Nimmanhaemidra Rd is packed with wonderful dining options from street treats to five-star fine dining. One of our favorite destinations is an authentic Thai restaurant called Hong Tauw Inn which lies just opposite Nimmanhaemidra soi 1. Here you can experience real Northern Thai food such as nam prik Ong and Northern sausage or Sai Oua.
Nestled 30 minutes’ drive from the center of the city, Mon Cham is part of the mountainous terrain of the Mea Sa valley in Mae Rim and is a picturesque place for camping and losing oneself in nature. Sunrise and sunset are especially magical times of day and the traditional Northern food here is a joy.
Wat Sri Suphan
Located in the ‘silversmith neighborhood’ of Wualai Rd, the fascinating Wat Sri Suphan comprises a beautiful Ubosot (ordainment hall) made of silver. Every Saturday night, Wualai Rd hosts a street market selling various handicrafts made of bamboo, textiles and (of course) silver. If your shopping exploits leave you with heavy feet, try an invigorating foot massage at Walking Street Market to ease your suffering.
Extremely popular with music lovers, The Brasserie is one of the top live music bars in Chiang Mai. Located on the corner of Chaiyapoom soi 1, the atmospheric bar is owned by Khun Took, one of the most famous blues/jazz musicians in Chiang Mai who performs every week. The Brasserie isn’t for early birds though; the band only starts up around 11pm.
iBerry Ice Cream
If late nights aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps gelato is. After all, who doesn’t like ice cream? The iBerry shop is one of the ‘in’ destinations right now, found on Nimmanhaemidra Rd, soi 17 and features a collection of quirky décor – look out for the large yellow dog statue in particular. The main draw of the shop is the unusual art and funky atmosphere. Owned by Udom Taepanich, a famous Thai comedian and artist, the shop also serves a variety of milkshakes and cakes to complement the delicious gelato and kooky décor.