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Chiang Mai Nightlife No Longer Dead

More than a year ago i left Chiang Mai because quite frankly it had turned to shit. I wrote a post about it saying simply that the Chiang Mai night had died, and it had. I recently came back to Chiang Mai after over a year in Bangkok and 3 months in Saigon to find a very new Chiang Mai. Reinvigorated by the cities energy I've since discovered Chiang Mai to have a better nightlife scene then when I left. It seems that since I proclaimed that the nightlife was shit people have been working really hard to turn things around.

It wasn't 2 days i was back in Chiang Mai before I had blood splattered all over me out the front of one of the most popular tourist bars in Chiang Mai. The needless attack on underage tourists shouldn't have happened. Because of libel laws i won't be mentioning the bar but you guys should know which place i'm talking about. Instead i'm going to strip this site of any mention of the place. I don't respect thuggery and you should mind yourself of supporting it also.

As the nightlife and tourist numbers continue to grow in Chiang Mai you'll expect to see this sort of stuff more frequently so it's best to avoid such a place and go to some of the more interesting bars around town run by ethical people.

So why am I so optimistic about future of the nightlife in Chiang Mai? Firstly things are no longer dead after midnight, if you want to spend some coin try Take It Club or Mandalay which are the electronic dance halls you'd see in Bangkok. Mandalay is a little on the gay side though. There is a new late night place open called After Bar (the last place to close they are so hidden the cops can't even find them) After Bar has a good mix of locals and tourists and every time i go back to the place they have done something new, i love what they are doing there. There are two other late night places that you may not have heard about SangDee and Living Room. Sangdee has kinda a pretentious vibe to it like you're in someones living room but at least it has some charm to it unlike Living Room which looks exactly like someones living room with a bar in it and is popular place for those who want to willingly or unwillingly hook up with a ladyboy.

Chiang Mai Pub Crawl

Another reason i'm super optimistic about the nightlife in Chiang Mai is the Chiang Mai Pub Crawl who aren't just doing pub crawls but setting up free pool parties (first one is 13th August) check it out.

Lastly the pay for play scene in Chiang Mai hasn't looked brighter, the little guy at the a small world bar on Loi Kroh has some of the most decent girls on the whole street. Actually Loi Kroh doesn't have a lot of talent but it just seems a lot better than it was a year ago. After promoting Orchid Karaoke for a long time seems they have taken advantage of it and jacked up their prices to unreasonable levels. So I recommend going to Ten Karaoke instead much more fun and the girls are only 240 an hour, some of the girls do go home for a very reasonable cost.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

10 Responses to Chiang Mai Nightlife No Longer Dead

  1. TylerB August 2, 2016 at 3:00 am #

    Hey Chris good to hear you have been back to CM. I have been avoiding the place because it had turned to shit. But now after reading your article seems CM has picked up again.
    Thanks for the update.
    Any chance there is a map for the places you mention?

    • Chris August 2, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

      you should be able to click on the place names in the article and link to their Facebook page which will have the current location of each bar.

    • did August 13, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

      you use your hand as well ^^

  2. William August 2, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

    It’s easy to just go to a chill bar, and when it closes down plenty will invite you to some place open. Usually I don’t even know how I end up at these aces and I never remember their names.

    In any case I like that most places close at 12. Wouldn’t be here if it was filled with party people.

  3. ChiangMaiGuy August 4, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

    Welcome back Chris – I was in that ‘small’ bar last night and to be honest the quality was not great but I agree it can be when they get new talent in. It’s still about hunting the diamond in the rough and I found one last night but she wanted 3000 LT 2000 ST and although prices have gone up it normally is 1500 ST 2000 LT so I didn’t take her – she would have to exceptional for me to dish out 3000. I hope this is not a sign of things to come!

  4. Jake August 4, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    Aye, went back eh? Might head up there for a little bit, get out of this mess of a city.

  5. Sean August 16, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    Nice report. I notice you seem to gravitate towards Chiang Mai and maybe Bangkok to a lesser extent. What do you think of Pattaya?

    • Chris November 8, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

      I’ve tried to live in Pattaya 3 times, just didn’t work out. At least for me I think it’s hard to find decent people to hang out with down there long term.

  6. Mac October 29, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    SMALL karaoke places are almost closed around CM…though no bad thing, as that highest rate of foreigners getting fleeced.
    About 6 I’ve see shutter up in last 12 months. Miss their neon seediness on my night cruises !

  7. Pplover May 27, 2017 at 4:31 pm #

    I asked locals at closing time where to go and they took me to a few underground type of bars. A bit like the old lock ins they used to have in pubs in the UK. One bar owner told me that they get away with it for a while but eventually have to pay off the cops. However the cops get greedy and the bars often become uneconomic and close down and the cycle starts all over again.

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