Although known to be one of the quieter, more sober cities in Thailand, Chiang Mai is not without its own nightlife.
I’m always on the lookout for things to do when I stop by new cities and exploring a city’s nightlife is very near the top of my list.
I discovered that there are three big areas in Chiang Mai for the best nightlife.
Chiang Mai after dark
You can choose to spend your time in a few of the top clubs in Chiang Mai based on the kind of nightlife experience you prefer!
From the bustling night markets to the serene dining spots and cocktail bars, and the pulsating energy of the city’s clubs, Chiang Mai’s nightlife truly offers something for everyone, and in this article, we’ll dive deep into each facet of this vibrant after-dark scene.
See also: Thailand Nightlife Travel Guide Book
Top areas to experience the best of Chiang Mai nightlife
The Old City and Tha pae Gate (Main Chiang Mai Nightlife)
If you’re a party freak like me, the Old City area houses some of the best bars and clubs in Chiang Mai. The best of Chiang Mai’s nightclubs, Zoe in Yellow and Spicy, is located here.
Zoe in Yellow is great if you like lively crowds in clubs and is perhaps the city’s most popular partying spot. The drinks are pretty cheap here, too! Tourists normally head to Spicy after Zoe closes at midnight for some after-hours partying.
If you prefer pre-gaming instead of spending your Baht in clubs, you will find quite a few ‘bar buses’ scattered across the area.
These are, quite literally, cute re-modeled buses that go around the city selling essential mixes and spirits at very affordable rates! These are worth a stop if you’re looking for affordable nightlife in Chiang Mai.
For bars, the Old City offers a different vibe from other nightlife areas in Chiang Mai. The bars here are more laid back, lazy and offer great spots for tourists to sit down with a drink and chill for hours on end.
If you looking for daily tours and activities, check the video below!
Most popular is the THC Rooftop Bar, which sees a large number of backpackers making themselves comfortable on the carpet- covered tree-house bar, offering budget drinks for warm afternoons.
Another favorite is the Lost Hut, which, a little more up-market, is frequented by expats and locals alike.
If you’ve only got time to explore the city during the day, you might consider popping into the North Gate Jazz Co-op, where you can catch quality live music with tourists with similar interests in a cozy, orange nook in the city.
Writers Club and Wine Bar is perfect for travelers with a taste for the sophisticated, with writers sitting down, people watching, and putting together their stories.
Favorite expat oriented bars in Chiang Mai
Without the same level of diversity in bars, Nimman road more than makes up for it with its fantastic new clubs and bars, servicing Chiang Mai’s buzzing and demanding student population.
Since this nightlife area in Chiang Mai is very near the university, there are plenty of young students in pubs and clubs during the evenings. Thus, a lot of the clubs are trendy and cater to the needs of party-goers!
If you’re looking for great dance floors and new, young people to shake a leg with, Nimman Road is the place to be, with many of Chiang Mai’s nightclubs.
Some of the most popular clubs here are Parallel Universe, Warm Up Café, with its huge dancing area, and the more expensive and posh Monkey Club.
Walking along the ping river
If you’re still interested in a good night, but are not all that enthusiastic about dancing the night away, the many bars and night restaurants along the banks of Chiang Mai’s main river provide scenic dinners and drinking spots, promising idyllic memories!
Here is the place where I met a lot of people from western countries who live as expats in Chiang Mai.
The Bus Bar is great if you’re looking for something more simple – you can grab a drink and sit down on insta-perfect garden tables and chairs in front of a remodeled double-decker.
On the other hand, if you prefer a plusher and more private experience, the Riverside Bar has great scenic views of the river, reflecting the sparkling lights of Chiang Mai night.
Here, you can dine on scrumptious fusion food while listening to live band performances! Fair warning, though – if you do choose to spend your evenings by the riverside, be sure to carry a mosquito repellent with you!
Just before you head to the next destination, make sure you pay a visit to Chiang Mai’s Ladyboy Cabaret Show, one of the most popular shows in the city.
Usually, there are 2 shows every night and the entrance fee is 290 baht with a drink included. As a tip, the ladyboy cabaret Chiang Mai, Thailand is considered one of the most authentic shows in southeast Asia.
Chiang Mai Nightlife unfolded: from rooftop bars to best dance clubs
Thai food and local souvenirs in an exquisite atmosphere
Chiang Mai’s night markets are legendary and are a must-visit for any traveler.
The most famous of them all is the Sunday Night Market, which takes place on Ratchadamnoen Road in the old town area.
This bustling market is a treasure trove of local crafts, handmade jewelry, clothing, art, and delicious street food.
You could immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, shop for souvenirs, and indulge in mouthwatering Thai delicacies as you explore the stalls.
Another popular market is the Night Bazaar, which runs every evening along Chang Khlan Road. Here, you’ll find a wide range of goods, from clothing and accessories to electronics and traditional handicrafts.
The Night Bazaar is an excellent place to practice your haggling skills and pick up unique souvenirs.
Sunday Night Market
The Sunday Night Market in Chiang Mai is a captivating and celebrated event that takes place in the heart of the city’s historic old town.
Every Sunday evening, the iconic Ratchadamnoen Road is transformed into a bustling, pedestrian-only market that stretches for nearly a kilometer.
This market is a treasure trove of cultural delights, offering an extensive array of handmade crafts, local artwork, clothing, and souvenirs.
What sets the Sunday Night Market apart is its emphasis on preserving traditional Thai culture.
Alongside the vibrant shopping experience, visitors can witness live cultural performances, including traditional Thai music and dance.
The market is also renowned for its delectable street food offerings, with countless stalls serving up regional specialties, such as pad Thai, som tam, and mango sticky rice.
The Sunday Night Market is a captivating blend of shopping, entertainment, and culinary exploration, making it a must-visit attraction for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Chiang Mai’s unique cultural scene.
Chiang Mai night bazaar
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is one of the most iconic and bustling night markets in northern Thailand.
Located along Chang Khlan Road, it comes alive every evening with a vibrant atmosphere that draws both tourists and locals alike.
The market stretches for several blocks, offering a diverse range of shopping experiences.
Visitors can browse through an array of stalls selling everything from traditional handicrafts, clothing, and accessories to electronic gadgets and souvenirs.
One of the highlights of the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is the opportunity to practice your haggling skills lol.
Bargaining is not only accepted but often encouraged, allowing shoppers to secure great deals on their purchases.
Beyond shopping, the Night Bazaar boasts a delightful selection of street food stalls, offering an array of mouthwatering Thai dishes and international cuisines, making it an excellent spot to indulge in authentic flavors.
With its lively ambiance, the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is a must-visit destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant nightlife and culture.
Chiang Mai Gate Market
For a more authentic and local night market experience, head to the Chiang Mai Gate Market, located near the southern gate of the old city.
This market comes to life in the evening, offering an assortment of street food vendors serving up northern Thai specialties like khao kha moo (stewed pork leg with rice) and sai ua (northern Thai sausage).
It’s a fantastic place to savor genuine Thai flavors while mingling with locals.
Live music venues and bars
Good music and best bars in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai’s nightlife isn’t just about shopping and dining; it also boasts a thriving live music and bar scene.
Nimmanhaemin Road, known locally as Nimman, is a trendy area filled with stylish bars and cafes.
You can listen to live bands playing jazz, blues, and contemporary music while sipping on cocktails or enjoying a local beer.
Additionally, the city has several bars that cater to different tastes.
Whether you prefer a relaxed atmosphere with acoustic melodies or a more energetic vibe with DJs spinning tunes, Chiang Mai has it all. Warm, welcoming, and often frequented by a diverse crowd, these bars are perfect for socializing and making new friends.
North Gate Jazz Co-op
Located near the historic Tha Phae Gate, North Gate Jazz Co-op is a hidden gem for music enthusiasts.
This cozy, dimly lit venue exudes a laid-back ambiance and is renowned for its live jazz performances.
Local and international musicians grace the stage, playing a variety of jazz genres. The crowd is a mix of locals and tourists, creating a friendly and inclusive atmosphere.
Sip on a cocktail or enjoy some Thai craft beer while tapping your feet to the melodious tunes!
Warm Up Café
As one of Chiang Mai’s most iconic nightlife spots, Warm Up Café has been drawing crowds for years.
This open-air bar and live music venue features a spacious dance floor, making it a popular choice for those who want to groove to the beats of both Thai and international DJs.
The music spans a wide range of genres, from electronic to indie rock, ensuring there’s something for everyone.
The vibrant atmosphere and energetic crowd make it a fantastic place to experience the city’s nightlife.
Myst MAYA Rooftop Bar
For a more upscale and panoramic nightlife experience, head to Myst MAYA Rooftop Bar.
Perched atop the Maya Shopping Mall, this stylish bar offers breathtaking views of the city and Doi Suthep Mountain.
Enjoy the sunset with a signature cocktail in hand and let the evening unfold as DJs spin a mix of chill-out and electronic tunes.
The modern decor and sophisticated ambiance create a perfect setting for a romantic night out or a special celebration.
Chiang Mai Nightclubs
In the heart of Chiang Mai, a vibrant city celebrated for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, the transformation from day to night ushers in an entirely different world.
As the sun dips below the horizon, Chiang Mai’s nightlife awakens, setting the stage for a kaleidoscope of experiences that cater to every nocturnal whim.
Whether you’re a traveler seeking to let loose, a music enthusiast craving electrifying beats, or a partygoer in search of unforgettable moments, Chiang Mai has an array of nightclubs that promise to make your evenings truly remarkable.
Chiang Mai, with its blend of ancient traditions and modern vitality, boasts a nightlife scene that’s as diverse as the city itself.
As the evening unfolds, the streets come alive with neon lights, laughter, and the promise of adventure.
If you’re in the mood for an unforgettable evening of dancing, music, and revelry, Chiang Mai offers a variety of nightclubs, each with its own unique charm and character.
From the bustling streets of the Old City to the trendy vibes of Nimmanhaemin, you’ll find an assortment of venues that cater to different tastes and preferences.
Here are some of the best nightclubs Chiang Mai has to offer, promising an exhilarating journey through the city’s nightlife:
Zoe in Yellow
Nestled on the bustling Ratvithi Road, Zoe in Yellow is an iconic nightclub that has been a cornerstone of Chiang Mai’s nightlife for years.
The venue boasts an expansive dance floor where both locals and tourists come together to groove to a mix of pop, hip-hop, and EDM beats.
What sets Zoe in Yellow apart is its lively atmosphere and the choice of several bars surrounding the central dance area.
This is the place to see and be seen in Chiang Mai’s party scene.
Infinity Club Chiang Mai
Situated in the Nimmanhaemin district, Infinity Club is a modern and upscale nightclub known for its electrifying atmosphere.
The club features top-notch sound systems, dazzling light displays, and internationally renowned DJs who spin a variety of electronic music genres.
With its chic decor and stylish patrons, Infinity Club caters to a more sophisticated party crowd.
Located near the famous Night Bazaar, Spicy Club is a lively nightclub that’s been a staple of Chiang Mai’s nightlife for years.
It’s known for hosting live music acts, including Thai and international bands, making it a go-to spot for those who enjoy both dancing and live performances.
The club has a dynamic ambiance, and the spacious outdoor area provides a pleasant break from the dance floor.
So, if you’re stopping by Chiang Mai on your holiday to Thailand, you should definitely step out of your hotel or hostel and go have a bit of fun in Chiang Mai’s nightlife places.
You won’t regret the little you spend here since it does have good options for drinking, clubbing, and partying! Also, while here, you should try an authentic culinary experience, take a muay Thai class, and enjoy a lovely massage at one of the best massage parlours in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai’s nightlife is a reflection of the city itself – diverse, welcoming, and full of surprises.
Whether you’re strolling through vibrant night markets, savoring delicious street food, enjoying live music, or dancing the night away in a nightclub, Chiang Mai offers a unique and memorable nightlife experience.
As the sun sets behind the mountains, the city comes alive with a spirit that is both traditional and modern, making it a destination that truly has something for everyone.
So to make your visit Chiang Mai worthwhile, be sure to explore its nightlife and create lasting memories under the stars.
A night out here in this city is even more appealing since the town is smaller and you can really get to know people in restaurants and bars! I hope this guide to Chiang Mai’s nightlife helped you out!
Does Chiang Mai have good nightlife?
Chiang Mai offers a more relaxed and culturally oriented nightlife compared to cities like Bangkok, with a variety of bars, live music venues, night markets, and traditional dance performances, making it a good choice for those seeking a different type of evening entertainment.
What time do bars shut in Chiang Mai?
Bars in Chiang Mai typically close around midnight to 2:00 AM, although some may stay open later, especially on weekends. However, closing times can vary, so it’s a good idea to check with specific bars for their operating hours.
Where do expats hang out in Chiang Mai ?
Expats in Chiang Mai often gather in popular areas like the Nimmanhaemin Road district, which is known for its trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as the old town area, which offers a mix of cultural attractions and expat-friendly venues.
Is the night market every night in Chiang Mai?
Yes, there are several night markets in Chiang Mai that operate on different nights of the week, offering visitors a variety of options for nighttime shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Where to go next?
We recommend checking our Laos Travel Guide
Looking for more nightlife in Thailand? Check our guides for:
Bangkok: Bangkok Nightlife Travel Guide
Krabi: Krabi Nightlife: Things to Do in Krabi at Night
Phi Phi: Koh Phi Phi Island Nightlife: Best Parties
Pattaya: Pattaya Nightlife Tips: What to Do in Pattaya at Night?
Koh Phangan: Koh Phangan Nightlife Guide
Phuket: Best Phuket Nightlife Area to Party in 2020
Koh Chang: Best Koh Chang Nightlife Area
Koh Lanta: Best Koh Lanta Nightlife Bars
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