This is an upmarket backpackers guesthouse popular with all ages. We paid £13 a night for a double room with aircon, ensuite, TV, fridge, free wifi and a small balcony with views towards the mountains behind. The house has character with murals on the walls and quirky decor. Our room was very spacious and homely. The bathroom was wetroom style and fairly dated and well-used but clean with a good hot shower. It is in a very central location but set back from the busy street so feels like a welcome retreat. There is also a huge roof terrace with sunloungers and a four poster bed where you can chill out. Staff are friendly and helpful and don’t push tours and trips but do offer both. They also own a massage shop across the road which is very cheap and a really relaxing environment with experienced trained masseuses. I paid 150 Baht (£3) for a head, shoulders, neck and back massage but was given this pyjama outfit to wear and had my whole body worked on for a full hour and came out floating on air! The room rate doesn’t include breakfast but there is a café next to a small swimming pool on the ground floor. Thai food was good and better value and taste than the Western menu. We actually went just along the road to another café for breakfast run by a lovely tiny lady called Eing who makes the most amazing banana pancakes!
7 Ratchadamnoen Road, Lane 1, Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
It's an amazing outdoor vegetarian cafe in the grounds of a beautiful temple in Chaing Mai. The name "Pan Pan" means "a thousand varieties" as the people who run it also have an organic farm and seed bank where they grow the produce for the cafe. The food is always delicious and fresh and the menu is pretty innovative with a Thai herb salad and a fried flower salad (tempura style) and they make their own tofu which is two tone black and white coloured by black and white sesame seeds. The food is very resaonable about 50 Baht (1 pound) a dish. They also have great smoothies and herbal drinks. It's open during the day but closed in the evening.
In the grounds of Suan Dok temple on Suthep road. Go into the temple grounds through the main entrance and passed the main temple building and it's in an courtyard area under a large tree in an area behind a building with a sign "Monk chat".
Google map: bit.ly/gQxrZ5
If you are looking for clean no frills accomodation in Chaing Mai 'Nice Appartments' will be a good choice. Ms Chon is an easy going landlady who will provide clean rooms at a very affordable price, throwing in free tea and Thai bananas for a good meassure.
She will also allow you to leave your bags when you go off on a trek, even if it is a three day trek, and will put away your valuable possesions on a security lock. She will make you sign several forms for that and seal your possesions, but I felt better for that.
There is a 1AM curfew, so if you are here partying this may not be your place
Off the main road just by the main gat
15 Soi 1 Ratchadamnem Road
Everyone likes to do some bargain shopping. In Chiang Mai, the night market is almost a “must see” place. But, if you can, save all your shopping for the Sunday market. When I was there (January - April 2004), it operated almost every Sunday. It is open from noon to late night.
It's just outside the Thai Pat Gate. The Nerve Touch Massage Studio is near the Gate entrance. You will be surprised what you can buy there
All but a luxury hotel for all but a backpacker's price. The Lai Thai has a great location, minutes from the night market; the air-con rooms are clean and beautifully decorated with teak and bamboo; there's even a swimming pool.
If you're still not satisfied, the hotel has its own foot masseur and fortune teller too. Doubles from 600 Baht (about £8)
111/4-5 Kotchasarn Road, Tel: +66 5327 1725 or 5320 6438
This is fantastic! Little huts (some on stilts) just outside the centre. Trees and plants are totally overgrown so you feel like you're in the jungle. A great breakfast is included in the very cheap price and the nice guy who runs it will help you book treks and elephant rides. It's a complete gem.
3 Soi 4, Ratchadamnoen Rd, Chiang Mai (most taxi/tuk tuk drivers will know it well when you get in at the station or the airport);
tel: (053) 278 140;
The You Sabai is a guesthouse located in the heart of Chiang Mai. It has 8 comfortable, clean and affordable guesthouse rooms (150 – 250 Baht per night), a charming outdoor restaurant that serves up healthy authentic Thai dishes and western breakfast favourites, and assists with a wide variety of traveller arrangements.
Visitors staying at the You Sabai guesthouse can avail of free use of an open space to practice Thai massage, yoga, or to meditate in privacy.
I kept going back to the same Guest House in Chiang Mai because the people that owned it were really friendly, honest and fun. Now I am lucky enough to be good friends with them. And I wish to tell anyone that is going to Chiang Mai that they should call in and see for themselves.
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