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Where to live in Chiang Mai map included

If you're moving to Chiang Mai for at least 6months you need to make sure you are staying in the right place. Everyone has different budgets for those on a budget I recommend Jed Yord, for something a bit better I'd say go behind Chiang Mai uni and for those with some coin definately move to Nimmanheiman! No matter where you live in Chiang Mai you'll love how easy going life is here.

What I do recommend is that you stay at the Nomad Crashpad when first arriving in Chiang Mai. This place has everything you need in the middle of the city. The owner and the guy behind the idea has over 25 years as an expat in Chiang Mai. If you want an easy transistion and the best location in the city to stay at when you first arrive I recommend staying at one of the nomad crashpad's.

View Places to live in Chiang Mai in a larger map

The old City

New guys to Chiang Mai often stay in the Old City this is because it's easy to get around you can pretty much walk or take a red bus anywhere you like with relative ease and it's easy to get to the Farang oriented Chiang Mai nightlife. People don't live in the old city long though and for newcomers to Chiang Mai I would say spend a month in the old city make sure you know where everything is then move out as fast as you can. Food is expensive and there are only a few good Thai eats in the old city, there are cheap places to live but for what you get it's not worth it.

Chang Puak Area

Chang Puak and Santitam area is a very cheap place to live, there are new apartments there with large rooms that you can pay 4000 baht a month plus utilities. There are no farang places to eat but if you're in this area it's because your on a budget and you would be better off eating at Thai only places for 30 baht meals. I know places around here you can rent for as little as 1200 baht a month, but don't expect much a bed and four walls and shared bathroom! Bonus part about this area is there are about 10,000 uni students living in the area and if you enjoy a street pickup this is the place to do it.

Nimman Area

This is the HiSo part of town, if you like Thai women who drive cars dress well and do nothing but chat using their Iphone then this is the place you want to stay. I love the Nimman area it's clean great places to eat but it's also expensive. The Nimman area is where the best looking women in Chiang Mai hang out. Don't expect to be able to pick up any of these kind of girls easily though you'll need a lot of game and some well spoken Thai to pick up the mostly Chiang Mai uni girls. 3 out of the 5 most popular nightclubs are located in this area so if your a party guy and want to be close to the action day and night have the coin to live in this area (rents start around 10,000 baht a month) then this is where you want to live.

Hang Dong

Hang Dong has a good mix of Thai's and Farangs and is the biggest area for those who want to live in a house, most people living here have bought their property and intend to live here long time. Mostly retirees and young and old Thai families. If you live in this area you'll need a car!
where to live in Chiang mai
San Kamphaeng

This is a mostly Thai family area those who dont' like to live in the city again this is not really the kind of place Farang live in more farang live in Hang Dong than live in San Kamphaeng but if you're looking for a cheaper house you're better off looking at this area than you are in the Hang Dong area.

Maejo Area

The Maejo university is a big university of Chiang Mai and it's just far enough outside of the city that you don't get all the farang hanging around but because the university is there it's still young enough that if you were looking for a bachelor house this is the place to rent one. Again you'll need a car to really enjoy this area.

San Sai

San Sai is the second rate Hang Dong area a lot good facilities in this area and it's close to Chiang Mai than Hang Dong is. A good mixture of Thai and long term Farang guys live here. Because of it's location if I personally was going to buy somewhere I'd buy out here instead of Hang Dong because of it's location. Actually Hollywood are building studios out there so they can produce movies in Chiang Mai which can be cheaper than in the states (inside information!).

Chang Klan

This place always floods when the big floods come, it's super cheap but also very seedy with dozens of Karaoke houses lining the street, If you live here don't advertise it!

Mae Hia

Mae Hia is close to Central Airport currently Chiang Mai's biggest shopping mall there is also Bic C and lotus close by it's not a bad place to stay though traffic is a killer after 5pm till after 7pm. Only problem with this place is the planes fly so low into the airport that it really ruins the place. I'm not saying they do it but it's possible of course that at some point a plane will dump fuel over your house.

Nong Hoy

If you like getting robbed held up on your bike or raped in a back alley then find a place in a back soi of Nong Hoy! I wouldn't recommend anyone stay in this area unless you live by the river, when the floods come this whole place gets flooded!

Behind Chiang Mai University

This is where I live, I live here because every day I walk outside my place and see the beautiful Chiang Mai university girls walking around doing their thing. It's always busy day and night and I can get something to eat at any time of the day and the food is super cheap. Average price for an apartment here is about 4500 baht a month but there are a few places like Punna where you can get a 15,000 baht + apartment. It's only 4 minutes to the Nimman Area and 5 minutes to the freeway to get you around to the other side of the city.

In Front of Chiang Mai University

In front of Chiang Mai University is super quiet during the day, the markets that side of the Uni don't open until after 6 so getting something to eat around this area can be problematic during the day and you'll find your driving around to get something to eat in the morning. At night however this place lights up at night. I still recommend living behind the uni than in front of it but if you like things a little more quiet then choose the front of the Uni.

Jet Yord

If you like being close to the curtain hotels then Jet Yord is where you want to be, there are as many as 30 (well so I can count) short time hotels in this area with currently 3 being built as I write this. For whatever reason this part of town is known as being the place to take your Gik. Living here is actually good because it's so close to everything and it's easy to get to the freeway. It's still cheap in this area apartments from 3000 baht a month.

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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.

57 Responses to Where to live in Chiang Mai map included

  1. ChiangMaiGuy June 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Nimman? can’t agree with that I lived there for a year – over rated in my view, everything costs more (as you pointed out) and you should mention ‘age’ it maybe ok for 20s and 30s (but they are not your only readers) and I would say, overall, live near Thaepe Road is much better – close to everything.

    • RS September 29, 2016 at 3:32 am #

      yeah the blog is written from a young guy’s perspective. Im a woman who’s looking to spend some time in Thailand. What am i going to do staring at young thai women?

      • Josie November 22, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

        Im a woman and I agree, a little one-sided. My place of choice would be the alleys around the Thapae Gate area – close to everything and easy to walk everywhere. Plus close to several Thai friends I have now met.

  2. Serb June 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Hey Chris,

    this article is God sent for me! As I will be visiting CM in a couple of months (and stay for a couple of months), I wanted to ask you for an opinion on location and this looks like a perfect opportunity to do it. I am looking for something in these lines:

    1. Preferably serviced apartments, as I may want to move around the city from month to month if I am not happy with my place
    2. Outdoor pool on location is a huge plus
    3. Size doesn’t matter, everything above 20 sqm is fine
    4. Good internet
    5. Walking distance to cheap places to eat (think markets), clubs/bars to go out, fitness clubs etc
    6. Budget not to exceed 9k / month

    Even though I would gladly spend less on rent (like 5-6k / month), I haven’t been able to find a condo/apartment which is in that price range.

    The best I came up with is a Green Hill Place, which is pricey (8.5k / month), but they do have a swimming pool as well as free gym for their guests. It’s also close to Nimman rd which is a big plus.

    On a second thought, the area behind uni looks really interesting. As you live there, you would surely know the cons of living in that area and I’d like to hear some 🙂

    Any other suggestion is greatly appreciated!

    • Chris June 8, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      I know a place behind chiang mai uni is 5000 baht a month swimming pool gym and good internet access for 5000 baht a month it’s quiet fully furnished and close by food, it’s not listed on the internet but I took a guy there the other day and there were rooms available. When you get to chiang mai hit me up and i’ll take you there.

      • Serb June 8, 2012 at 9:37 am #

        I’ll definitely do that, thanks again Chris!

      • Jurko June 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

        I’ve just arrived in CM and want to rent a place like this (5K, gym+pool+inet, close to the uni). Care to share the address?


        • Chris June 21, 2012 at 7:04 am #

          I emailed you from my email Chiang Mai Service I can take you there.

      • Andrea January 2, 2013 at 7:52 am #

        Hey Chris.. could I know the place you mentioned with swimming pool and fitness 5000 a month?
        [email protected]

        • Chris January 19, 2013 at 4:49 am #

          It’s now in the VIP area

      • Becki October 28, 2013 at 4:51 am #

        Thanks for your blog! It’s been helpful in narrowing down my search. I like the sound of living near the university for the cheaper prices and access to good food. Do you have any specific recommendations for a modern place with pool and gym for under 15,000 baht?

        • Chris October 30, 2013 at 8:05 am #

          For that price I’d recommend Punna in front of the Uni (or behind) you’ll pay less than 15,000 some studios are 8k.

  3. charlieboz2 June 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    What’s some of the best sites to use for long term rentals Chris? Or is it better to get on your bike/in your car and drive around looking (as it is in Phuket)?
    Also does 20k a month get you a decent place in Nimman?

    • Chris June 11, 2012 at 6:37 am #

      that’s the problem with chiang mai there is no good real estaet websites. Nimman try the Empire around your budget it’s the best location and great rooms!

  4. Foreign Man August 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Hi ,
    I’ve been living in Chiangmai for about 8 years now. I live in the Changpuak area but still fairly close to Nimmanhemin area. I rent a house for about 10,000 per month however they’re hard to find. You’ll have more luck finding an apartment in this area. 10,000 per month will get you a decent place but for a kitchen and good decor you’re looking at 12,000 at least. One place I can really recomend if you are on a budget is the Chiangmai Lodge in Soi Ratchprunk off Kuay kaew Rd. This is only 6,000 or so per month and is really good value. You’re close to Central department store and also Nimman area.
    Good luck
    Foreigner In CM

  5. Steven November 22, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    Hi Chris, I’m living just to the east of CMU and interested in your neighborhood. Any suggestions for a 1-2 month rental <15k with reliable fast internet?

    • Chris November 23, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      it’s high season you’ll have to pay a daily rate, try the place accross the road from the dunkin donut shop on canal road about 10,000 baht all in a month. (place is down a little soi beside the see man pub)

  6. lexluthor May 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    Thanks for putting this up Chris, amazing amount of good info about Chiang Mai. Can you rent the 5000thb Uni Apt for just one month or is there a minimum or does it cost more for just one month?

    • Chris May 17, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Yeah it does actually, the rate i quote is for 6 months, but i know a cheap place same price near the city but with no pool and gym for about the same.

  7. lexluthor May 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    Most important do they have fast reliable internet to access your site easily 🙂 Thanks.

  8. Malefactor18 June 4, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    So what do you get for 15,000-20k behind Chiang Mai Uni? I’m considering moving to Thailand, Chiang Mai specifically, and it sounds like the best area for me. Cheap living, good cheap food, and easy to get around with a car.

    20K is about the top of my budget for rent, I’m looking for something along the lines of 2 bedrooms and 2 baths if at all possible. Maybe around 1,000 Sq Ft. Looked at some online listings on Craigslist, doesn’t seem that 2 bath rooms or even 1.5 baths is that common in Thai apartments. Do you know if I could find anything like that for my budget, or is that unrealistic?

    • Malefactor18 June 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

      Sorry, meant easy to get around without a car.

    • Chris June 5, 2013 at 1:42 am #

      At that price range you’re better off staying around Nimman or Punna in front of the university

  9. andy June 15, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Great info mate, one thing i cant figure out though, whats the name of the districts behind and infront of the uni??? Seriously thinking of relocating to Chiang mai for 6 months at least, how you get on with the visa runs/border runs???

    • Chris July 19, 2013 at 3:33 am #

      Behind the Uni is Suthep in front is Jet Yort area

  10. Jennifer June 21, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    I will be in chiang mai in August to attend cmu and what is this place 5000 with a swimming pool and good Internet?

  11. Charlie G August 28, 2013 at 3:52 am #

    Hey Chris,
    Could you tell/show me the place for 5k… what would the price be based on just 1 month?

    • Chris August 29, 2013 at 10:19 am #

      Just drive around behind chiang mai uni start asking most places are around this price range.

      • Charlie G August 29, 2013 at 10:22 am #

        I drove a scooter to the uni yesterday… I drove into the main entrance and drove throughout, what a beautiful place… How do you get behind it… where would i drive my scooter next time?

        • Chris August 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

          Look on the map for Suthep area

  12. Pablo August 29, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Hi, Chris do u know anything cheap with good internet to rent for a month?
    thanks man, great site

    • Chris August 29, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      Sure, plenty of places behind chiang mai university in the Suthep area or in the Santitam area

  13. Jay January 16, 2014 at 2:23 am #

    This is a great starter guide for anyone who’s not been in Chiang Mai. I will make sure not to move to Nong Hoy.

    My question is, are there any decent houses (10-15k/month) near the back or front of Chiang Mai University or around the Jet Yord/Nimman area?

    • Chris January 16, 2014 at 4:21 am #

      You should be able to find something small but not new. I recommend behind cm uni in the suthep area for houses especially if u have a dog. The upshoot of living in suthep is fewer mosquitoes. This is because its on a hill water doesnt stop like it does in the city.

      • Marc February 2, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

        Hi Chris,

        Thanks for the links to the search sites. Looking at DDPropoerty… I can’t tell which district/region is behind Chiang Mai university. Can you help with this?



        • Chris February 3, 2014 at 4:20 am #


  14. Roger December 13, 2014 at 12:53 pm #


    Just joined your website as I’ll be in Chiang Mai after living in Japan for 8 years. 6th time to Thailand, 1st to Chiang Mai. One thing I’ve learned is hooking up with a local makes a HUGE difference, natch. (Just try getting around Osaka by yourself!)

    My eyes are tired from trying to find a decent apartment in the Uni area…
    if you’re around in mid-January and still show people ‘the lay of the land’ let me know. Cheers! (Great website, btw).

    • Chris December 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

      Honestly just get her, stay at minicostcm.com for a few nights while you look for a place, espectially if you’re looking to spend under 8k for an apartment then you’ll have trouble finding it online. good luck.

  15. damian December 31, 2014 at 3:34 am #

    We moved into a newish studio apartment. has hard bed, desk, shower etc, tv and small balcony for 5000 a month. near maya shopping centre. think they have rooms still. we need a kitchen though so will move again soon

  16. Bob March 2, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    Not bad – but not fully accurate.
    Chuang Puak is a turdhole area.
    South Nong Hoy is good – lots of Expats.
    And what about Mae Rim?

    • Chris March 4, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

      Mae rim is way out there dude don’t know many people who wanna live there. South Nong Hoy, yeah you havn’t lived through a flood yet have you!

  17. Meena April 9, 2015 at 6:23 am #

    Hi Chris,
    I’m trying to find info on areas around CM that flood or suffer from subsidence, as I’m looking to buy land on the outskirts of CM. South of the city about 20 mins from the airport. Can you help me with any info? Have tried many sites but can only find info on floods in the city!

    • Chris April 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

      Nong Hoi area floods and honestly any area nearer to the river is prone to flood, buy a topographical map from the amphur and use your own judgement

  18. Patrick August 23, 2015 at 5:17 am #


    Is this place still available you mention in an earlier post? I will arrive in Chiang next month. Most likely, I will stay in a hotel for a month until I find the right place.

    (I know a place behind chiang mai uni is 5000 baht a month swimming pool gym and good internet access for 5000 baht a month it’s quiet fully furnished and close by food, it’s not listed on the internet but I took a guy there the other day and there were rooms available. When you get to chiang mai hit me up and i’ll take you there) ‘

    Thank you,

  19. Joseph October 10, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

    Hi Chris/everybody. Nice site. I am moving to cm in 1-2 months from cebu philippines and want to rent a house in a safe area for not more than 20k. Any recommendations? thanks.

    • Chris October 24, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

      I’d look at San Sai

  20. wade April 27, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I’m thinking to study at Payap University but live in Nimman. Any advice? I have a scholarship that can be used at Payap or Chiang Mai Rajabhat. Based on my research and advice from a local Thai friend it sounds like Payap is the best choice. Any advice on where to look for a place to stay or what you would do based on your experience and knowledge would be much appreciated. Thanks Chris!

    • Chris April 28, 2016 at 2:04 am #

      Chiang Mai Rajabhat is a government school, in chiang mai it’s concidered the school everyone goes who can’t afford or don’t have the grades for the other schools. If getting an education is important go with payap. wanna fuck a bunch of hill tribe girls go with rajabhat. everyone i know has studied rajabhat

  21. Nathan May 18, 2016 at 8:18 am #

    Hey Chris,

    Thinking about moving to Thailand for a year. Would want a house that allows for pets. Ideally, would like to be at 20-25k/mo for rent, or even less if possible. 2 bedrooms minimum.

    What district would you suggest?


  22. Adrian June 6, 2016 at 7:39 am #

    Hey Chris,

    I’ll be moving to Chiang Mai in july. I’m looking for something under 6k close to cheap food. It’s my first time to Thailand and want to stay at least a year. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  23. Kylee Aurelius Ellingsworth July 19, 2016 at 5:39 pm #


    I’m currently living in Hua Hin but my lease is up on Aug 7th 2016 and I am going to be moving to Chiang Mai. I came across your blog and was hoping to possibly get some assistance from you. I am a single mother of 2 babies under 3 years old and don’t have a vehicle yet…I need to be in a safe place walking distance to a store and preferably with a pool. My budget is anything under 18,000 if the utilities are included. I am staying long term, Thai Land is my home now. Also my oldest son is disabled and I would like to be close to a hospital … if you think you can help Facebook would probably be the easiest for communication .. my name is Kylee Aurelius Ellingsworth

    • Kylee Agrelius Ellingsworth July 19, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

      Totally forgot 2 bedrooms and AC is a necessity!! Thank you , hope to hear from you soon..if no Facebook my phone number is 0636431702

  24. paul muse August 15, 2018 at 4:51 am #

    a lot good questions I lived in Philippines 6 years but decided too move chiang mai looking for good area too live I’m in states and moving to thialand and will aply for retirement visa I’m 67 years old thanks


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