Congrats! You’ve decided to visit one of my favorite cities – Chiang Mai, Thailand! Now, where to stay? You can spend hours looking through Hotels.com, Airbnb, or Travelocity to find the perfect hotel. You know your budget, but OMG there are too many options. What to do!?!
To be perfectly honest, you don’t need to set up your accommodation before your arrival. There are so many options out there that none of the major booking websites even list them all. But, if you are like me, you like to arrive in a new place and not have to think about where you are sleeping. So the big question is what part of town do you want to be in?
To figure out where you want to stay depends on what sort of lifestyle do you want to live in Chiang Mai? For convenience sake, I’ve highlighted a few areas of town to help narrow your search. Now. this is by no means all inclusive. There are 5 star hotels outside of the highlighted area just like there are backpacker hostels all over town, but I think you will get the idea.
- Shopping/Market – Highlighted in Turquoise
- Saturday Night Market
- Sunday Walking Street
- Night Bazaar
- Resort Life – Green
- Anantara Chiang Mai Resort (AMAZING, at least go for tea)
- Rati Lanna Riverside Spa Resort
- Backpacker – Yellow
- The highest concentration of bike rentals, hostels, and farangs
- When you just need a pizza, this is the area to visit.
- Fastest way to make new friends as many travelers in this area are solos or in groups.
- Nightlife – Pink
- Welcome to Nimmanahaeminda (aka. Nimman)
- This is my personal choice on where to stay – short and long term
- Close to work areas, coffee, live music, university, hospital
- Local/ Expat – Blue
- If you are interested, there are some amazing deals on Condos in this area.
- Close to the train station.
- In the heart of local living.
That should get you started in picking a place! For your first visit, I would suggest staying within the old city at least for your first few nights. If you want to use some hard won SPG points, the Le Meridien is just outside the Old City and right by the Night Bazaar. Once you feel that you’ve gotten a handle on the Old City, I would suggest that you venture over to the Nimman area.
What’s your favorite part of Chiang Mai to stay in?