Chiang Mai Nightlife
The city is a great place for a pub crawl because it’s easy to walk from bar to bar (crossing the city center on foot takes about 20 minutes). Many bars in Chiang Mai feature live music and the Thais are fabulous singers, with repertoires that include lovely Thai ballades, soul, blues and pop favourites. There are also a number of discos which have talented DJs spinning dance floor anthems, cutting edge trance and house, and retro classics.
The Chiang Mai nightlife is unfortunately quite restricted after midnight due to a current directive from the Governor to spoil the fun. There have been considerable complaints from all quarters, but only a selected number of places have so far been allowed to remain open until 2am.
Bars are found all over the city, but are mostly congregated on either side of the Moat’s eastern flank (in the Tapae Gate area), along the Ping River near Nawarat Bridge or in the vicinity of the Night Bazaar. Some are lively, friendly affairs, others are quiet and more mature. The Night Bazaar keeps Chiang Mai’s center busy after hours, and there is plenty of late shopping and eating. At the Galare Center, you can enjoy some quick food while watching a free display of Thai cultural dancing and music. There is also a cluster of bars, coffee houses and restaurants at the intersection of Chang Klan and Loi Kroh road. A little further down Chan Klan road there is a small arcade, known for it’s “Peak Climbing Wall” where you’ll find several informal bars, some with plenty of “company”.
Like the rest of Thailand, the nightlife in Chiang Mai is well known for its go-go bars. These are located mostly along the western end of Loi Kroh rd, including a walk-in arcade near the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, and a stretch of Moon Muang rd south of Tapae Gate. Popular with some, these areas are well contained, more discreet than Bangkok and relatively tame.
There is also plenty of good clean fun to be had. Multiplex cinemas are found in the Kad Suan Kaew mall (also known as Central) and Airport Plaza, bothshowing movies with English soundtrack. An ice skating rink and bowling alley are also located in Central. There is also a karting track and mini golf, as well as a Thursday night quiz at the Irish Pub, while writers congregate at the Writers’ Club and Wine Bar on Friday nights to spin a yarn over some tipple
Chiang Mai is not just filled with various entertainment centers and the general excitement that evening brings, Chiang Mai’s night life is another attraction that draws many domestic and international tourists. Chiang Mai indeed provides many choices for a peaceful evening, you can relax to piano music in a hotel lobby. Blues, Jazz, Rock, and both Thai and Western Country are played live at the many pubs and coffee shops around the city. For a peppy atmosphere, try moving to the beat at a discotheque. Officially bars should close at 12pm, but many in the tourist areas stay open until 2am.