Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods

where to stay in chiang mai

Are you looking for the perfect stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a city cherished by both tourists and ex-pats for its harmonious blend of stability and vibrant chaos? Whether you crave an exhilarating night out or a deep dive into local culture, Chiang Mai promises to cater to your preferences.

As someone who has fallen in love with this historic city, navigating its multi-faceted charm, I understand the overwhelming task of choosing the right neighborhood. Chiang Mai offers diverse experiences, from the bustling heart of the Old City to the tranquil embrace of Riverside. To guide you through this maze of possibilities, I’ve crafted a detailed guide based on personal travels and extensive research.

Highlights:

  • Explore the historic charm of Chiang Mai Old City for budget-friendly accommodations and cultural immersion.
  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife and digital nomad scene of Nimmanhaemin.
  • Uncover the blend of shopping and budget travel near Chiang Mai Night Bazaar.
  • Experience the tranquility of Riverside, ideal for families and couples.
  • Dive into the cool vibe of Santitham, offering a unique Chiang Mai experience.
  • Connect with nature in Suthep, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

In this Where to Stay in Chiang Mai article, discover your ideal Chiang Mai neighborhood, tailored to your travel style, whether you’re a couple, a family, a backpacker, or anything in between. Let’s get started!

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai for First Time Visitors: Chiang Mai Old City

Why Stay in Chiang Mai Old City?

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

Looking for the ideal spot in Chiang Mai for your first visit? Look no further than Chiang Mai Old City. It’s the go-to choice for many reasons. Budget-friendly accommodation is abundant here, making it perfect for those looking to explore Chiang Mai without breaking the bank. From backpackers’ havens to pocket-friendly guesthouses, you’ll find a range of options.

If you’re a traveler on a budget, Chiang Mai Old City is a top pick. The abundance of street food options not only satisfies your taste buds but also keeps your expenses in check. However, if you’re dreaming of a luxurious stay with amenities like outdoor swimming pools, you might want to explore other areas.

What sets the Old City apart is its unparalleled convenience. Staying here means you can easily walk to key attractions, including the impressive Wat Chedi Luang. This not only saves you money on transportation but also allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

With limited accommodation space, it’s advisable to book early. The Old City serves as a hub for many embarking on their exploration of Chiang Mai, making it an ideal base for first-time visitors.

Things to See and Do in Chiang Mai Old City

  • Sunday Walking Street: Explore the vibrant local crafts, food, and souvenirs along this bustling market, perfect for a leisurely stroll.
  • Zoe in Yellow: Experience the nightlife at Zoe in Yellow, a renowned outdoor bar and disco, offering a lively atmosphere for those who want to dance into the night.
  • Wat Chedi Luang: Discover the historical remains of Wat Chedi Luang, an ancient temple dating back to the late 1300s, once housing the revered Emerald Buddha.
  • Wat Bupparam: Immerse yourself in contemporary religious art and traditional Lanna architecture at Wat Bupparam.
  • Local Culture Exhibition: Engage in a local culture exhibition while savoring traditional Thai cuisine.
  • Wat Phan Tao: Admire the craftsmanship of Wat Phan Tao, one of the city’s few remaining wooden buildings, located at an old monastery.
  • Wat Phra Sing: Marvel at the grandeur of Wat Phra Sing, one of Chiang Mai’s revered temples.
  • Lanna Folklife Museum and Chiang Mai Historical Centre: Gain insights into local life past and present at these informative cultural institutions.
  • Sunset Bike Tour: Take a picturesque bike tour through medieval streets, enjoying the beauty of a Chiang Mai sunset.
  • Wat Chiang Man: Visit Chiang Mai’s oldest temple, Wat Chiang Man, showcasing rich historical significance.
  • Thapae Gate: Stroll around the outer defensive walls and enter the city through Thapae Gate, a historical entrance.
  • Three Kings Monument: Capture a photo of the Three Kings Monument, depicting key figures in Chiang Mai’s founding.
  • Cooking Schools: Attend cooking schools to replicate your favorite Northern Thai dishes.
  • Spa and Thai Massage: Indulge in pampering at a spa or experience the invigorating benefits of a traditional Thai massage.
  • Somboon Market: Shop like a local at Somboon Market, offering a genuine taste of Chiang Mai’s vibrant local scene.

What’s the Catch in Chiang Mai Old City?

While Chiang Mai Old City has its perks, it’s essential to consider the trade-offs. Traffic congestion during rush hours is a common challenge, particularly around the moat where one-way roads can slow you down. Additionally, it’s the most commercialized area in Chiang Mai, bustling with activity. If you’re envisioning resort-style accommodation or high-rise buildings, you won’t find them here.

Is Chiang Mai Old City Safe?

Chiang Mai Old City is generally safe for visitors. The locals are welcoming, contributing to a friendly atmosphere. While the city tends to wind down early in the evening, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and travel wisely, as you would in any destination. It’s advisable to avoid public drinking, especially near Tha Phae Gate, where a 1,000 baht fine is enforced.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai Old City

Cheap Backpacker Hostel in Chiang Mai Old City – Smile Robotist Hostel

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

Smile Robotist Hostel offers comfortable beds with amenities like breakfast, snacks, and coffee. It is SHA Extra Plus+ approved for safety and health standards. The Wi-Fi is fast, encouraging in-bed browsing. While not a party hostel, the focus is on fostering social interactions. The local staff provides helpful advice on travel, transport, restaurants, and more, ensuring a Sabai Sabai (relaxed) customer service experience unique to Smile Robotist.

Best Digital Nomad Hostel in Chiang Mai Old City – Hostel Lullaby

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Situated in the Old City of Chiang Mai, this digital nomad hostel fosters a friendly atmosphere for travelers. Although not a party hostel, it offers daily yoga, meditation, and boxing classes. With a ban on onsite alcohol, the focus is on wholesome tourism. Amenities include free breakfast, free bike rentals, lockers, and a washing machine, providing a convenient and relaxed environment for those looking to unwind after or before more adventurous travels.

Budget & Family Friendly Hotel in Chiang Mai Old City – Ma Guesthouse Chiang Mai

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Ma Guesthouse Chiang Mai, situated in the Old Town district, is centrally located near Nong Buak Hard Public Park and Wat Phra Singh. The guesthouse offers comfort with amenities like bathrobes and free toiletries. Free WiFi is available throughout the property, ensuring connectivity for guests.

Affordable Boutique Hotel in Chiang Mai Old City – Le Canal Boutique House

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Le Canal Boutique House, located in Chiang Mai Old City, offers convenient access to Sunday Walking Street and provides free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Central Kad Suan Kaew is 1 km away, while Thapae Gate is 1.6 km away, with Saturday Walking Street at 2 km. Each air-conditioned room features a flat-screen TV and en suite bathroom; some offer balconies and fridges. The hotel provides a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage. Guests can also explore the area with free bicycle rentals, adding an extra layer of convenience to their stay.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai for Nightlife & Digital Nomads: Nimmanhaemin

Why Stay in Nimmanhaemin?

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

For a vibrant, modern experience in Chiang Mai, look no further than Nimmanhaemin. This district stands in stark contrast to the traditional charm of the Old City, offering a youthful, trendy atmosphere. Nimmanhaemin is the prime choice for those seeking vibrant nightlife and immersing themselves in the digital nomad and expat scene.

This area isn’t just about nightlife—it’s a hub of trendy cafes, diverse restaurants, and excellent shopping spots. Nimmanhaemin strikes a balance, boasting both contemporary attractions and cultural sites, making it a well-rounded choice for a memorable stay in Chiang Mai.

Unlike the backpacker vibe of the Old City, Nimmanhaemin’s nightlife attracts a local Thai crowd, providing a unique and lively atmosphere.

Things to See and Do in Nimmanhaemin

  • MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Center: Explore bargain fashions, catch a movie, and unwind in a rooftop bar at the trendy MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Center in Nimmanhaemin.
  • Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders: Delve into the world of tiny creatures at the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders, offering an offbeat and educational experience.
  • Wat Suan Dok: Engage in a conversation with a monk, tour the enchanting Wat Suan Dok, participate in free meditation classes, and wander through the serene gardens.
  • Huay Kaew Arboretum: Experience tranquility, lush greenery, and rare flowers at the scenic Huay Kaew Arboretum.
  • Princess Mother’s Health Garden: Take a leisurely stroll through the Princess Mother’s Health Garden, a charming retreat in Nimmanhaemin.
  • Chiang Mai University: Explore the beautifully landscaped grounds of Chiang Mai University, rent a bicycle for easier exploration, and don’t miss the picturesque Ang Kaew Reservoir within the university complex.
  • Minimal Gallery and Jojo Kobe Art Gallery: Discover captivating artwork at Minimal Gallery and Jojo Kobe Art Gallery, showcasing unique collections.
  • Coffee Street: Enjoy a break in one of the area’s cute cafes, as Nimmanhaemin is renowned as “Coffee Street,” featuring a multitude of cafes.
  • Global Cuisine: Indulge in a variety of international cuisines and savor authentic Thai dishes in small family-run restaurants tucked away in the side streets.
  • Nightlife Exploration: Immerse yourself in the vibrant local nightlife, hopping from bar to bar for a fun and lively evening in Nimmanhaemin.

What’s the Catch in Nimmanhaemin?

While Nimmanhaemin boasts a lively atmosphere, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. The area, popular among expats and digital nomads, can get touristy. Rush-hour traffic is a common challenge, causing potential delays in getting around. Being under the flight path from the airport means occasional plane noise. If you’re seeking deep cultural immersion, Nimmanhaemin may not be your top choice, as it leans towards a more modern vibe with fewer traditional attractions.

Is Nimmanhaemin Safe?

In terms of safety, Nimmanhaemin is generally secure, but there are important considerations when enjoying a night out. Thailand has strict drug laws, and getting caught with drugs can lead to severe consequences, including the death penalty for trafficking. Police occasionally conduct raids on popular clubs and bars. It’s crucial to steer clear of any involvement with drugs to ensure a trouble-free stay in Nimmanhaemin.

Where to Stay in Nimmanhaemin

Best Digital Nomad Hostel in Nimmanhaemin – Alexa Nimman

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Alexa Hostel is an ideal choice for socializing and meeting fellow travelers in Chiang Mai. The accommodation offers mixed and female-only dorms, along with private doubles and shared bathrooms. Guests enjoy complimentary breakfast, drinking water, and fast Wi-Fi. The hostel features an onsite restaurant bar, cozy common areas, a terrace, laundry facilities, a book exchange, a tour desk, and bike rentals, enhancing the overall comfort and convenience for a diverse range of travelers.

Mid-Range & Family Friendly Hotel in Nimmanhaemin – ARMO Nimman

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

Built in 2014, ARMO Nimman provides air-conditioned accommodation with free WiFi, featuring a seating area. The property offers amenities such as a lift, full-day security, and luggage storage. The units include a flat-screen TV, microwave, kettle, shower, slippers, and a desk. Some units boast a terrace and city view. All units come with a private bathroom and wardrobe, equipped with heating facilities. The apartment complex ensures a comfortable stay for guests, combining modern conveniences with a range of features like city views and heating options in select units.

Affordable Boutique Hotel in Nimmanhaemin – NORN Nimman13 Boutique Hotel Chiang Mai

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

NORN Nimman13 Boutique Hotel in Chiang Mai, a 3-star accommodation, offers rooms with pool and city views along with free WiFi, located 2.3 km from Chang Puak Market. The hotel provides access to an outdoor swimming pool and features a restaurant serving American cuisine. Guests enjoy amenities like air-conditioned rooms with a desk, kettle, fridge, safety deposit box, flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom with a shower. Free private parking is available. The rooms include bed linen and towels, ensuring a comfortable stay for guests seeking both scenic views and modern conveniences.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai for Shopping & Budget Travelers: Night Bazaar

Why Stay near Chiang Mai Night Bazaar?

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

For an unforgettable shopping experience in Chiang Mai, consider staying near the renowned Night Bazaar. Located close to the Old City, this area is a haven for budget-conscious travelers and shopaholics alike. The Night Bazaar is celebrated for its diverse offerings, featuring exquisite handicrafts, vibrant portrait paintings, jewelry, toys, clothing, and an array of souvenirs.

Operating every evening from around 6 pm until midnight (with some vendors extending into the early morning), the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re exploring the stalls on a weekday or weekend, the bazaar offers an opportunity to discover unique items that reflect the essence of your trip.

Situated along Loi Kroh Road, the Night Bazaar area not only caters to your shopping desires but also boasts the best local eateries. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, indulge in the diverse offerings, and find mementos to cherish from your Chiang Mai adventure.

Things to See and Do near Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

  • Chiang Mai Night Bazaar: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, spanning over a kilometer on Chang Khlan Road. Explore a diverse range of items, from art and handicrafts to clothing and electronics, and enjoy numerous street food stalls, live music, and even Muay Thai fight events.
  • Khao Soi Experience: Indulge in the local delight of Khao Soi, a must-try northern Thai dish. Visit Khao Soi Islam Noodles, our favorite restaurant in Chiang Mai, to savor this delicious specialty.
  • Lemongrass Thai Cuisine: Delight your taste buds at Lemongrass Thai Cuisine, another excellent dining option near the Night Bazaar, offering a diverse menu of authentic Thai dishes.

What’s the Catch near Chiang Mai Night Bazaar?

While Chiang Mai Night Bazaar offers fantastic shopping and budget-friendly stays, it’s essential to note a couple of aspects. Evenings at the Night Bazaar can get bustling, with crowds gathering for the shopping extravaganza. If you’re seeking a quieter ambiance, especially during peak hours, you might want to consider this. Additionally, the area doesn’t boast many cultural attractions, focusing more on the vibrant market scene.

Is Chiang Mai Night Bazaar Safe?

Exploring the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar? Stay safe by being cautious of pickpockets and scammers, especially in crowded areas. Keep a close eye on your belongings and avoid leaving valuables exposed. When it comes to food, opt for busy, popular street food stalls to ensure freshness and hygiene. Steer clear of meals that have been sitting out in the sun all day. For those with sensitive stomachs, exercise caution with certain dishes like papaya salad or cut fruit, and be mindful of seafood and buffet options.

Where to Stay near Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

Cheap Backpacker Hostel near Chiang Mai Night Bazaar – Mad Monkey Chiang Mai

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Mad Monkey in Chiang Mai is a top backpacker hostel offering excellent cleanliness and global travel deals with significant discounts. Mad Monkey provides the ultimate hostel experience, featuring a large saltwater pool, bar, restaurant, onsite gym, yoga spaces, chill lounge areas, and modern rooms and dorms. Guests are welcomed with a complimentary drink and can indulge in a diverse menu of international and local cuisine. The hostel hosts nightly events, pool parties, and provides a vibrant social atmosphere for meeting travelers worldwide.

Mid-Range & Family Friendly Hotel near Chiang Mai Night Bazaar – Ban Chang Tong

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Ban Chang Tong, located next to Thapae Road in Chiang Mai, offers an outdoor pool, restaurant, bar, and free WiFi. Embracing traditional Thai design with wooden furnishings, the hotel provides air-conditioned guestrooms featuring dark wood, a flat-screen cable TV, refrigerator, and complimentary coffee and tea. The private bathrooms include hot/cold shower facilities, towels, and toiletries. Additional amenities like a hairdryer, safety deposit box, and slippers are also provided. The 24-hour front desk assists with services such as luggage storage, laundry, and airport transfers. Car hire for exploring the ancient city can be arranged on-site for guests’ convenience.

Affordable Luxury Hotel near Chiang Mai Night Bazaar – Melia Chiang Mai

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Melia Chiang Mai, a 5-star hotel located 400 meters from Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, provides an upscale stay with an outdoor pool, free private parking, a fitness center, and a restaurant. The hotel offers room service and a concierge service, with features like a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, a kids’ club, and free WiFi. Air-conditioned rooms include amenities such as a wardrobe, kettle, fridge, minibar, safety deposit box, flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom with a bidet. Guests can enjoy a daily breakfast with buffet, American, or Asian options, and the accommodation also offers a sauna for added relaxation.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai for Families & Couples: Riverside

Why Stay in Riverside?

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

For a serene and luxurious escape from the city buzz, Riverside in Chiang Mai is the perfect haven. Located alongside the Mae Ping River, the area offers a tranquil ambiance with picturesque views right from your hotel window. Ideal for laid-back travelers, families, and couples seeking a peaceful retreat, Riverside provides a relaxed setting away from the city center’s hustle.

One highlight of Riverside is the annual Yi Peng Lantern Festival at Nawarat Bridge, a mesmerizing event where thousands of lanterns illuminate the sky, creating a magical atmosphere around November. The streets exude old-world charm, contributing to the area’s authentic appeal. With a variety of hotels available, Riverside caters to different preferences, ensuring a comfortable stay.

Moreover, the presence of numerous markets adds to the charm of Riverside, allowing families and couples to explore and shop for fresh produce, making it an excellent choice for those considering an apartment stay.

Things to See and Do in Chiang Mai Riverside

  • Waterside Restaurants: Explore charming waterside restaurants along the Mae Ping River, offering a perfect setting for couples and families seeking a relaxing or romantic experience.
  • Warorot Market: Immerse yourself in the authentic local vibe at Warorot Market. Don’t miss Dumrong Northern Thai Food Shop, renowned for the best Sai Oua (Northern Thai sausage), and indulge in delicious pork cutlets.
  • Mae Ping River Cruise or Kayak: Take a scenic Mae Ping River Cruise or Kayak to view the city from a different perspective, offering a serene escape into nature.
  • Yi Peng Lantern Festival: Experience the enchanting Yi Peng Lantern Festival along the Riverside, adding a touch of magic to your visit.
  • Ton Lamyai Flower Market: Explore the vibrant Ton Lamyai Flower Market, where you can witness and purchase an array of colorful blooms.
  • Higher-End Shopping: Indulge in higher-end shopping experiences available in the Riverside area.
  • Elephant Parade House: Learn about elephant conservation at the Elephant Parade House and engage in painting a souvenir elephant to take home.
  • Wat Ket Karam: Discover the historical significance of Wat Ket Karam, an ancient temple dating back to the 1400s, offering a glimpse into Chiang Mai’s rich cultural heritage.

What’s the Catch in Chiang Mai Riverside?

While Riverside in Chiang Mai offers a peaceful escape, there are trade-offs to consider. The area is a bit removed from the city’s main attractions, requiring transportation for sightseeing. If you’re a shopaholic or a nightlife enthusiast, Riverside may not be the ideal choice, as shopping and nightlife options are limited. Additionally, budget travelers may find fewer accommodation options in this area.

Is Chiang Mai Riverside Safe?

Chiang Mai Riverside is generally safe for families and couples. However, be cautious of gem scams, where sellers may offer seemingly valuable gems at a cut price; these are often just glass. Exercise caution with credit cards, as some travelers have reported information theft through card skimmers in ATMs.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai Riverside

Budget Hotel & Family Friendly in Chiang Mai Riverside – Celosia Chiang Mai Hotel

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Celosia Chiang Mai Hotel, situated in the Wat Ket district, offers a 3-star experience with an outdoor pool and air-conditioned rooms featuring free WiFi and private bathrooms. The hotel provides room service, a 24-hour front desk, and tour organizing services. Rooms are equipped with a kettle, desk, and flat-screen TV; some include a terrace. An American breakfast is offered daily. The accommodation ensures comfort with amenities like bed linen and towels. Additional services include a laundry service and business facilities such as fax and photocopying, enhancing the overall convenience for guests during their stay.

Mid-Range Boutique Hotel in Chiang Mai Riverside – At Pingnakorn Riverside

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At Pingnakorn Riverside in Chiang Mai offers a delightful setting with a garden, terrace, restaurant, and bar. The property includes an outdoor pool and babysitting services. Guests enjoy amenities like a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service, and free WiFi. Rooms feature a balcony, air conditioning, and a flat-screen TV. Some rooms offer city views. Each unit includes a safety deposit box, ensuring the security of valuables. The hotel provides a comfortable and convenient stay, combining a tranquil riverside setting with essential services for a pleasant experience in Chiang Mai.

Affordable Luxury Hotel in Chiang Mai Riverside – Rarin Jinda Wellness Spa Resort

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Rarin Jinda, located by the Mae Ping River, offers 4-star accommodation with a world-class spa and a spacious outdoor pool. The resort provides complimentary Wi-Fi and parking. Situated a 10-minute walk from Chiang Mai Night Bazaar and a 15-minute drive from Chiang Mai International Airport, the air-conditioned rooms feature modern Thai-style furnishings, private terraces, seating areas, and bathrooms with bathtubs. Amenities include a fridge and tea/coffee making facilities, with DVD players available on request. Guests can indulge in body treatments at the spa, and the resort also offers a fitness center and a library with computer stations. The 24-hour front desk assists with travel arrangements.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai for the Coolest Experience: Santitham

Why Stay in Santitham?

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

For the ultimate and coolest Chiang Mai experience, Santitham is the neighborhood to explore. Offering a unique taste of Thai life, Santitham provides a refreshing escape from tourist crowds while remaining conveniently close to both Nimman’s vibrant nightlife and the Old City’s attractions.

Santitham’s appeal is amplified by its sizable student population, infusing the area with a youthful and dynamic vibe. The neighborhood boasts an array of local nightlife options and dining spots, ensuring there’s something to suit every taste. This, coupled with its proximity to Chiang Mai’s main attractions, positions Santitham as one of Thailand’s most attractive destinations.

Things to See and Do in Santitham

  • Nightlife in the LGBTQ+Area: Experience a vibrant night out in Chiang Mai’s main LGBTQ+ area, located in Santitham, offering a lively and inclusive atmosphere.
  • Wat Santitham Temple: Visit Wat Santitham Temple for a unique and local temple experience, away from the more touristy spots.
  • Three Owls Gallery: Peruse diverse artworks at Three Owls Gallery, showcasing local talent and creative expressions.
  • Siri-Wattana Market (Tha-Nin Market): Explore Siri-Wattana Market, a bustling hub also known as Tha-Nin Market, offering fresh goods and a variety of meals cooked right in front of you—a paradise for food enthusiasts.
  • Street Stalls Exploration: Discover your favorite street stalls in Santitham, with a plethora of options to satisfy various tastes.
  • Chilled-out Cafes: Relax in one of Santitham’s laid-back cafes, providing a perfect atmosphere for a leisurely break.
  • Chiang Mai National Museum: Explore the nearby Chiang Mai National Museum to delve into Northern Thailand’s rich history, heritage, and culture.
  • Muang Chiang Mai Stadium: Stay active and enjoy various sports at Muang Chiang Mai Stadium, providing facilities for those seeking a fitness-oriented experience.
  • Khao Soy Maesai: Savor Khao Soy, a Northern Thai staple, at Khao Soy Maesai, known as one of the best local joints for this iconic dish.
  • Passion Project the Cafe: Experience the culinary delights at Passion Project the Cafe, a popular western-style health food cafe where digital nomads often gather for delicious meals.

What’s the Catch in Santitham?

While Santitham offers a unique experience, there are a few considerations. The neighborhood is approximately a 20-minute walk from Nimman and the Old City, which may require transportation like a bicycle or motorbike for convenience. Additionally, being close to the flight path, there might be occasional noise concerns.

Is Santitham Safe?

Santitham is generally safe, but stay alert to common scams. Tuk-tuk rides, though fun, may involve overcharging, so agree on a price beforehand. If renting a motorbike, be cautious as scams, where renters claim new damages upon return, can occur.

Where to Stay in Santitham

Best Hostel in Santitham – Tangmo House

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Tangmo House, a 2-star property located just outside the city center and 5 km from the airport, attracts numerous travelers with its convenient location. The accommodation prioritizes guest comfort, offering superior services and a range of amenities. These include free Wi-Fi, daily housekeeping, taxi service, luggage storage, and Wi-Fi in public areas. The guest accommodations provide thoughtful amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay. Tangmo House offers an ideal location and recreational opportunities, making it a suitable choice for travelers looking for convenience and comfort during their visit to the city’s must-see destinations.

Affordable Luxury Hotel in Santitham – ISTY Hotel

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

ISTY Hotel – SHA Extra Plus is a 3-star accommodation featuring a shared lounge, restaurant, and bar. The hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and private bathrooms, complemented by an outdoor swimming pool. Services include a 24-hour front desk, concierge assistance, and tour organization. Rooms are equipped with a desk, safety deposit box, and some feature a terrace with city views. The units also include a flat-screen TV and a hairdryer. ISTY Hotel provides a comfortable stay with modern amenities, making it a suitable choice for travelers seeking convenience and quality service.

Affordable Boutique Hotel in Santitham – The Opium Chiang Mai

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The Opium Serviced Apartment & Hotel offers a year-round outdoor pool, sun terrace, and free WiFi. Tastefully furnished rooms blend contemporary and traditional hill tribe decor, featuring amenities like a flat-screen TV, microwave, electric kettle, and safety deposit box. En suite bathrooms include a rain shower and a hairdryer, with complimentary bottled water provided. The property provides a free one-way airport pick-up, bicycle rentals, and laundry services. The 24-hour front desk assists with tour arrangements and luggage storage. Guests can enjoy free private parking on-site, making The Opium a well-equipped and convenient choice for accommodation.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai for Outdoor Enthusiasts: Suthep

Why Stay in Suthep?

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

For outdoor enthusiasts seeking a nature-filled retreat in Chiang Mai, Suthep is the prime choice. Located at the base of Doi Suthep and adjacent to the expansive Chiang Mai University Campus and Angkaew Reservoir, this area provides a unique blend of urban convenience and natural beauty.

Despite the tranquil surroundings, Suthep is only a 20-minute drive from the bustling Old City, ensuring easy access to Chiang Mai’s cultural and historical attractions.

Things to See and Do in Suthep

  • Wat Umong: Immerse yourself in history at the ancient temple of Wat Umong, where the serene atmosphere and unique tunnels create a distinct experience.
  • Chiang Dao Cave System: Go on a full day of adventure with kayaking, caving, and exploring the jungles at the remarkable Chiang Dao cave system—an awe-inspiring natural site.
  • Lanna Golf Course: Enjoy a round of golf at Lanna Golf Course, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and providing a leisurely sporting experience.
  • Doi Inthanon: Visit Doi Inthanon, home to the highest point in Thailand, offering breathtaking views and opportunities for nature exploration.
  • Royal Park Rajapruek: Experience the blend of nature and architecture at Royal Park Rajapruek, featuring botanical gardens and cultural exhibits.
  • Wat Phra That Doi Kham: Soak up panoramic views from the hillside Wat Phra That Doi Kham and marvel at the large seated Buddha image.
  • Doi Suthep Temple: Climb the steps to Doi Suthep Temple, one of Northern Thailand’s most beautiful temples, showcasing intricate architecture and cultural significance.
  • National Parks and Waterfalls: Explore the surrounding national parks and waterfalls, discovering diverse flora and fauna in the natural beauty of the Suthep area.

What’s the Catch in Suthep?

While Suthep offers a nature haven, there’s a trade-off to consider. If you’re keen on frequent city sightseeing, be aware that Suthep is a bit farther from the city center. While the area provides a serene escape surrounded by mountains and jungle, the distance might require additional travel time to explore Chiang Mai’s central attractions.

Is Suthep Safe?

Suthep is generally safe for outdoor enthusiasts. During rainy months, monsoons can lead to floods and mud streams, especially outside the city. Stay indoors when it rains, avoid flooded streets, and use common sense. Additionally, in green areas like Suthep, mosquitoes can be pesky. Pack bug repellent to protect yourself and ensure an enjoyable stay without the distraction of constant itching.

Where to Stay in Suthep

Budget Hostel in Suthep – Insight Hostel

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Insight Hostel, situated in the serene Pimokemuk Meditation Retreat Center near Chiang Mai University, offers a tranquil setting surrounded by tropical rainforest. The hostel provides Dormitory and Private Rooms with amenities such as air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby. Located close to Chiang Mai’s popular attractions like Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep and Nimmanhaemin Road, Insight Hostel is an ideal choice for a peaceful and relaxing stay in Chiang Mai. Whether you’re interested in mindfulness or exploring nearby landmarks, Insight Hostel caters to those seeking a quiet retreat in this culturally rich city.

Mid-Range & Family Friendly Hotel in Suthep – Fullrich Lanna Suite

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Fullrich Lanna Suite offers stylish accommodation with free WiFi and an outdoor pool. The hotel provides free public parking and a convenient 10-minute ride to Chiang Mai Zoo and Bhubing Palace. Chiang Mai International Airport is reachable within 15 minutes, and the hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle pick-up service. Doi Inthanon National Park is a 1-hour drive away. Each room features a Smart TV, and the en-suite bathroom is equipped with slippers and free toiletries. With its modern amenities and strategic location, Fullrich Lanna Suite ensures a comfortable stay for guests exploring Chiang Mai and its surrounding attractions.

Affordable Boutique Hotel in Suthep – Merchant Villa

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: 6 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

Merchant Villa is located in the mountains of Northern Thailand, approximately 1.6 km from Chiang Mai City Center. The hotel offers a tranquil stay with amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, and charming garden and shared lounge areas. Guests can unwind in the hot tub provided by the hotel after a day of sightseeing. Merchant Villa also features a restaurant and bar, adding to the overall convenience and comfort of the stay. The serene setting and various facilities make it an appealing choice for those seeking a relaxed accommodation experience in Chiang Mai.

So… Is Chiang Mai Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! Chiang Mai seamlessly blends cultural richness, natural wonders, and gastronomic delights. Explore Buddhist temples, visit elephant sanctuaries, embark on scenic hikes, and indulge in diverse street food at nightly markets.

The Old City, our top pick for accommodation, encapsulates the city’s vibrancy, offering an array of activities and cultural gems. With its enchanting mix of experiences, Chiang Mai is undoubtedly worth the visit.

Share your insights or let us know if we missed any hidden gems in the comments below!


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