Nightlife can easily be spotted around Chiang Mai, radiating loud and chaotic energy, no matter where you look (2). Nightlife exists beyond your expectations: clubbing zones, strip clubs, massage parlors, and shopping are the most fantastic attractions that will leave you wandering throughout the night.
Chiang Mai’s nightlife can be found anywhere from the famous Nimmanhaemin Club Zone to the Night Markets around the streets. Cabaret shows, dinner cruises, and rooftop bars fill the atmosphere with energetic energy and charm. Whether you travel with friends or family, the night will not disappoint.
Let’s look into some of these top famous attractions and ways in which you can experience Chiang Mai’s nightlife to the absolute fullest.
Where Is the Nightlife in Chiang-Mai?
Chiang Mai is well-known as a nightly couple-destination. Although you will not see skyscrapers as high as Bangkok, you will be invited to some of the most spectacular rooftop bars in the region. The Doi Suthep Mountain, one of the most beautiful elevated locations, can be overshone by other options with just as good views, offering cocktails and refreshments (3). High-end drinks and musical evenings among buildings as high as twenty floors up.
Let’s dive into some of these options and why rooftop bars are a must-visit (3).
1. The Roof-Sala Lanna
Location: Sala Lanna Chiang Mai, 49 Charoenrat Road
The Sala Lanna Hotel is a newly opened resort at the bank of the Ping River. With rustic decor and dozens of suites, The Roof is its specialty. The restaurant is specifically famous for its cooler weather (3). There are long beach stools and low tables, which can help you relax by the pool. After 18:00, visitors from outside the hotel can also take a swim (3). As for the decoration, The Roof is decorated with candles and lanterns, serving cocktails starting at 290 Baht (3).
2. Xanadu Rooftop Pub & Restaurant
Location: 17/F Furama Hotel, 54 Huay Kaew Road
Located on the 17th floor of Furama Hotel is the Xanadu Pub, a good restaurant full of surprise meal courses and cocktails (3). Thanks to the hotel being on the west side of the city, you can catch a view of the famous Doi Suthep Mountain – including the temple glowing during the clear night. If you prefer to dine indoors, the restaurant also offers The Grill Room, with romantic energy (3).
3. Myst-Maya Shopping Mall
Location: 6/F, Maya Mall
If you are looking for a more convenient and multi-purpose area, there is no better place than the Maya Shopping Mall. Offering shopping brands worldwide, you can look through stores and then find yourself back on the Myst Rooftop Bar (3). Located on Nimman Road, this location also views the Doi Pui Mountain. Open from 18:00 onwards; you will find a wide range of gifts, starting at 300 Baht (3).
The most popular item on the menu is the rainbow shot mix, which comes in seven different colors shots with dry ice (3). Besides that, you can also order beer or non-alcoholic drinks.
If you are looking for a family-friendly location, the night bazaar is the perfect destination. The main venue for shopping in Chiang Mai, or we might as well say all of Thailand, is on the local streets (5). Located at the intersection between Chang Khlan Road and Khor Road are beautiful stalls full of various items. The perfect time to visit is around 18:00, after sunset, until 22:30 (5).
Let’s consider some of the interesting items and aspects you should consider while night bazaar shopping.
What to Buy:
Night bazaars are packed across the sidewalks, spilling into the streets. Vendors sell almost anything you could think of, from clothes, shoes, accessories, electronics, CDs, DVDs, books, jewelry, antiques, art, souvenirs, kitchenware, and furniture (5).
You will find copies of designer wear, custom-made patterns, and hand-tailored Thai silk in the clothes department. It is important to remember that you spend wisely; most items at night markets are of low quality and are sold at affordable prices (5). However, there are also pricey items with solid durability that can last you long. Moreover, you might also find some unique treasures worth spending your money on. These specialized markets have an endless supply of Thai culture that you couldn’t possibly explore in modernized models.
The first thing you should remain cautious of in Thailand is your money. While this might not always be the case for locals, tourists often get manipulated into spending more money. It is important to remember that night bazaars rarely follow a fixed price; you have to bargain for the best deals (%).
This is often the best way to spend nightlife in Chiang Mai – convincing the shop owner that you would only buy their product at a reasonable price. It is often the case that buyers would confide in lower amounts, especially if you are looking to leave or have not received customers the following day. A few jokes and patience will get you items at low-cost and convenience (5).
What better way to experience nightlife in Chiang Mai than local street food? In this city, we are all for mid-spree snacking wherever possible. The night bazaar offers some of the best restaurants and bars at high and low prices. You can practically find everything from local Thai street food to fancy restaurants (5).
As for the foreigners out there, night bazaars are also conveniently located by Starbucks, McDonald’s, Subway, and other international fast food chains (5).
Chiang Mai has a diverse culture for nightclubs. Outside the old city and Thailand’s capital lies a famous culture for pumping clubs. The epicenter of these clubs are located at Nimmanhaemin, a trendy road for local students and tourists (1).
Here’s some of the most popular clubs in this area!
1. Warm Up Cafe
Location: 40 Nimmanhaemin Rd, Chiang Mai
The number one club in Chiang Mai is called the Warm-Up Cafe. Although it can be a bit noisy and crowded, it is the pure definition of nightlife in the city. The multi-zoned venue features a Thai slash-club experience (1). With couples, pre-drinking students, and techno music, you are also welcomed by an alfresco terrace with acoustic music.
Moreover, the large room at the back of the cafe belts out Thai pop; buckets of ice, whiskey bottles, and boxes of free popcorn are handed out as the room jumps to EDM music (1). There is also a soundproof dance room on the left side. After 22:00 on weekends, it is almost impossible to get a spot inside the club, so it is best to book before 18:00 days in advance (1).
2. Infinity Club
Location: Off Soi 6, on the main Niman Road
The Infinity Club is the closest you will get to a European experience in Chiang Mai. With impressive lighting and green laser beams, the club has an excellent quality sound system for local and international DJ’S (1). Being extremely packed on the weekends, you will find it better to book a table in advance. The timings are from 22:00-3:00 (1).
3. Zoe in Yellow
Location: 40/12 Ratvithi Road, Chiang Mai
Another famous club is a backpacker destination called Zoe in Yellow. Located near Tha Pae Gate, you can find clubs on the T-shaped road, off Ratvithi in Old Town. Since tourists are most likely near this location, it makes sense for them to spend time near a convenient cultural spot (1). The club features Top 40 dance music cheap drinks and has a 90% young western generation vibe. You will likely find that the tourists are dressed in neon shorts from the Full Moon Party (1).
Another essential aspect of tonight’s culture in Chiang Mai is the Ladyboy Cabaret Show. Known as one of the most popular shows in the city, it is at the top of the list for visitors coming to Thailand for the first time (4). The performances happen inside the night bazaar and are dedicated to Thailand’s prettiest and liveliest ladyboys. They sing, dance, and put on a good show while wearing extravagant dresses, makeup, and wigs (4).
You will also find that the ladyboys bring people into the performance, asking for audience participation. This makes the event perfect for couples but also families. Happening at two times – 21:30 and 23:00, you can buy your tickets in advance (4). Tickets cost around 290 baht per person and come with a complimentary drink and snacks (4).
Dinner Cruise on the Ping River
A cruise is the best option if you are looking for a more chilled way to spend your night. The Ping River is one of the most romantic aspects of Chiang Mai, especially around dusk when you can embark on a relaxing dinner cruise (6). With delicious Thai cuisine, the boat passes through houses and temples lit up in lights.
The cruise is notable for its Riverside Bar & Restaurant, which offers traditional meals. You can also get convenient access to transportation services from the voyage back to the pier near your hotel (6).
The menu for the restaurant includes pork, chicken, and beef alongside vegetarian options such as coconut milk soup, spring rolls, and mixed fruit (6).
There is no doubt that Chiang Mai is as full of vibrancy as Thailand’s capital. Packed with reassuring and friendly people, you will get carried away through the night. Rooftop bars, night bazaars, clubs, the cabaret show, and the luxurious dinner cruises will blow your mind beyond wonders. Whether it be for a casual drink out, a drunken night to not remember, or a chance to learn about Thai culture, you can find nightlife all around the city.
1. Chiang Mai By Hotels.com. 5 Best Nightclubs In Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai By Hotels.com. [Online] [Cited: February 20, 2022.] www.chiangmai.bangkok.com/5-best-nightclubs.htm.
2. Chiang Mai by Hotels.com. 10 Best Nightlife In Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai by Hotels.com. [Online] [Cited: February 20, 2022.] http://www.chiangmai.bangkok.com/best-nightlife.htm.
3. Chiang Mai By Hotels.com. 5 Best Rooftop Bars In Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai By Hotels.com. [Online] [Cited: February 20, 2022.] www.chiangmai.bangkok.com/nightlife/5-best-rooftop-bars-chiang-mai.htm.
4. Chaing Mai By Hotels.com. Chiang Mai Ladyboy Cabaret Show. Chaing Mai By Hotels.com. [Online] [Cited: February 20, 2022.] www.chiangmai.bangkok.com/nightlife/ladyboy-cabaret-show.htm.
5. Chiang Mai By Hotels.com. Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. Chiang Mai By Hotels.com. [Online] [Cited: February 20, 2022.] www.chiangmai.bangkok.com/shopping/night-bazaar.htm.
6. Chiang Mai By Hotels.com. Ping River Dinner Cruise. Chiang Mai By Hotels.com. [Online] [Cited: February 20, 2022.] http://www.chiangmai.bangkok.com/tours/products/ping-river-dinner-cruise.htm.