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Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

Melbourne
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Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

Hi everyone,

Travelling with my Partner

10th trip to thailand, 1st time to Chiang Mai

3 weeks in CM and surrounding areas.

Budget -

Likes : Interests/Objectives :

Looking around, chilling out, learning, adventure, meeting people, enjoying thai food, thai hospitality, culture and fun and interesting country.

Dislikes : Not Interested In :

Too much shopping, Early to Bed, Organised Tours, or 'honeymoonish' style accomm where no one talks to each other and is that upmarket that it is too stuffy.

After researching TA for the last 6 weeks I still can't decide which area suits us best, The Old City, the Riverside, or Night Bazaar or City areas :

Could someone suggest what each of these areas I should be looking at based on our like/dislikes. I have seen some great places to stay, but not sure if they are going to be in the right area.

Could someone suggest some comfortable accomm

with a Pool somewhere will a good social, laid back atmosphere

close to cafes restaurants and nite life ?

I hope I haven't waffled on for too long or asked the same questions that have been answered before. Thanks

regards

meme

Greensborough...
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1. Re: Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

If you are not really into shopping then maybe the Night Bazaar area won't be for you. Since you are there for 3 weeks maybe you could stay in two areas - old city and riverside perhaps?

Maidstone, UK
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2. Re: Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

Hi I have lived here for 3 years and from what you are saying I really don't think you will like the area around the night bizarre, very commercial catering for tourists only and not exactly a 'pretty area'. Riverside, in my opinion is just a little bit away from the action and caters imo for a slightly upmarket and/or retired clientele. I would certainly recommend somewhere inside or just on the outside of the east side of the moat. Also, depends whether you will hire a moped or car etc....moped or pushbike better for exploring the city. The east side of the moat is much more lively with easy access to the many and varied bars and nightlife. 3 weeks is quite a long time to spend in Chiang Mai just on holiday...I would suggest taking a break up to the mountains for a few days...Pai is a good option, good vibe and chilled out with quiet bars and the like.....Golden Triangle possibly but imo a bit boring at night and not much to do. If you fancy something different you could spend a night in a floating 'shack' in a Mae Gnat Dam in a stunning location and really away from it for one night. In conclusion from what a can deduce from your requirements......definitely somewhere on the east side of the moat. Also don't necessarily be lured by the expensive hotels GBP40+ as many of the smaller guest houses are more fun and sociable than some stuffy hotel. Remember, a nice modern clean room here in a nice apartment block is around 5000-8000 Baht PER MONTH!

Edited: 18 February 2011, 01:41
Rochester, NY
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3. Re: Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

Hello Hello: My 50-something wife and I have been to Chiang Mai twice, staying both times at the Thapae Boutique Hotel on Soi 5, off of Thapae Road. This location is just outside of the old town. We've found this location to be very nice - you can get anywhere from there easily. Old town is a 5 minute walk. Night Bazaar, Ping River Markets are each about 10 minutes away.

The Thaepae Boutique is very pretty and laid back. Breakfast is served in their outdoor covered area (other than the rooms, there is no 'indoor' area to the boutique. The rooms are simple, but very comfortable, all with room-based showers/facilities. The staff will do anything for you, including holding your luggage if you travel out of Chiang Mai for a few days.

Being slightly down Soi 5, the Thaepae is very quiet at nite - sleeping has never been a problem.

We had a 'Jr Suite' and I think the cost was $50 per nite. Regular rooms are in the $35 range.

While you're in Chiang Mai, be sure to visit our favorite massage parlor called Lillians. This is on the road that Thapae turns into as you enter the old city (sorry, I don't know the name of the road). This is also the road that the Sunday nite market is on. You'll go about 3/4 of the way down. You'll pass a building with a 'SINGER' sign, and then past a hotel called the 'Purple Petal'. Lillians is on the right hand side of the road, as you walk from the Thaepae Gate. While a bit more expensive than the 'street' massage services, (180 baht for a 1 hour leg massage), the experience is much nicer. The massage takes place in a quiet room with soft lights and soft music. The women do not chat to each other while performing the massages - in all it is a very relaxing and wonderful way to rejuvenate yourself.

Have fun !

California
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4. Re: Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

I also agree that old city and riverside will suit you. I prefer the inside of the moat to the outside of the east side of the moat.

If you stay in Chiang Mai city for more than a week, you may split your stay between the old city and riverside.

If you are going to visit Chiang Mai in low season (March ~ October except several days of Songkran - Thai new year - in April), you would make reservation in either location for the first several nights, and then you would find places where you like to stay.

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

I am with everyone else who has replied - definately stay in two different places. We always do. You get a really good feel for the area around where you are staying and make new discoveries.

Based on the things you enjoy, I think you will just love Chiang Mai. It ticks all the boxes.

I would stay inside the old city - somewhere nice with a pool to relax around and cool off. Not sure about your budget per night to recommend anything specific - but there are some wonderful choices in this area. No doubt you've been looking at some.

My other choice would be over on the riverside. We love the road that runs along the river - lots of great bars and little restuarants on this strip. It is a really nice local neighbourhood. We always stay at the Baan Orapin which is a family run B&B on this road. Beautiful grounds, lovely pool, only 15 rooms and very friendly. It is also right near the foot bridge over to Warorot Market to buy fresh flowers and fruit. The superior king room in the front of the property is only about $70A a night and is huge with a lovely balcony and outdoor table.

Caroline.

Queensland
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6. Re: Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

Hi Caroline,

We have also been looking at Baan Orapin but aren't sure about being there when the festival is on in november. Will it be too noisy there do you think?

Wendy

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

We enjoyed our time in the old City. Whilst we did not stay at this hotel, we did look at SiriLanna in the Old city and thought it would be a great place to stay, very central, traditional Lanna style hotel with pool and mid-price range. Well worth some consideration.

Andy

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

Sirri Lanna is beautiful and gets great reviews - also De Lanna in the old city.

My mother in law spent two weeks at the Baan Orapin during Loi Krathong just last November. It was an excellent location. The Baan Orapin is across the road from the river - not right on the river. It is set back on a large property with a high gated fence in front - so the property runs back further away from the river.

She walked down to the river a number of times during the lantern floating and said it was amazing.

It is a noisy time generally to be in Chiang Mai - fireworks for days on end - but a wonderful time to be there. Perfect weather - not too hot and so colourful.

Caroline.

Queensland
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9. Re: Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

Thanks. I'll look at SiriLanna. I've also looked at Butterfly resort but am unsure if it's too far out for our first visit.

Brisbane, Australia
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10. Re: Which Area, Old City, Riverside or Night Bazaar or City ??

Butterfly is a long way out - well about 15 mins, not in town. However, you have three weeks.... you could stay there for a few nights if you like the look of the place. Their web page is beautiful and they have a really nice pool and restaurant.

Have you considered spending some of your 3 weeks up in Chiang Rai?

That's another option. A nice new hotel called Baan Songtree up there has great prices at the moment and a side trip to CR is a great thing to do to experience something different.

Caroline.