Charming Chiang Mai

Wonderguide by

Linda Hong

Charming Chiang Mai

There’s so much to do and see in Chiang Mai and after the past 3 years of living here, this is what I consider the best of the best in CM. I always say to everyone, “you will eat your way through Chiang Mai” and what better way to experience the culture than through your tummy!

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Where to stay?

There are also lots of options on Airbnb! Popular areas include, nimman and old city. Anything east of the square is just out of the way.

Image - Green Tiger House
Green Tiger House
Linda:$ - On the moat in the old city, on the cheaper end since its a hostel. There are private rooms as well and they have a vegan cafe.
Image - BED Nimman
BED Nimman
Linda:$$ - Popular hotel name that has a few locations around Chiang Mai.
Image - Buri Siri Hotel
Buri Siri Hotel
Linda:$$ - Nimman area
Image - Akyra Manor Chiang Mai
Akyra Manor Chiang Mai
Linda:$$$ - rooftop bar and pool. Pretty fancy if you are feeling those vibes
Image - zzziesta Chiang Mai (ซีเอสต้า)
zzziesta Chiang Mai (ซีเอสต้า)
Linda:$$ A couple friends stayed here and it's a super cute hotel - you are right in the middle of everything!
Image - Arch39 Art&Craft Hotel
Arch39 Art&Craft Hotel
Linda:$ This is right near the old city, I've always just passed it and thought it was super cute - affordable on travelers budget as well!
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Image - Akha Ama Coffee
Akha Ama Coffee
Linda:In Chang Puak (closed on Wed) no food but bagels and cakes, GO FOR THE COFFEE! No soy or almond milk here but you can buy their coffee beans
Image - Flips&Flips Homemade Donuts
Flips&Flips Homemade Donuts
Linda:The best in Chiang Mai (closed on Thursday) open 11 am but they sell out SUPER QUICK like 2 hours max and they are done!
Image - Passion Project the Café
Passion Project the Café
Linda:My friend Saya owns this place! She has the best almond milk cappuccinos I've ever had - stop by and tell her I said hi! This is also a great coworking space
Image - Gallery Seescape
Gallery Seescape
Linda:This is one my favorite brunch places - best chicken avo poached egg breaky ever! And good coffee (they use ahka ama beans)
Image - Bagel House Cafe
Bagel House Cafe
Linda:Need I say more? They have the best bagels with vegan options too!
Image - Rustic and Blue The Farm Shop
Rustic and Blue The Farm Shop
Linda:Super cute, farm style cafe. Very picturesque! I love their brunch. A bit pricey for the locals but technically still cheap - great coffee!
Image - The Larder Cafe & Bar
The Larder Cafe & Bar
Linda:Small, hip, cozy breakfast place - I come here for the sunny side up evoo dish (just simple and easy)
Image - Rx Cafe Chiang Mai
Rx Cafe Chiang Mai
Linda:This place is really cool because of the old shipping containers being recycled into a school called ISDSI and a coworking space.
Image - Overstand Coffee Old City
Overstand Coffee Old City
Linda:Super edgy, cool vibes kind of place. Great food and coffee! Two locations in the old city and nimman
Image - บ้านเลขที่สามสาม - House Number 33
บ้านเลขที่สามสาม - House Number 33
Linda:If you want a damn good cookie, come here.


Don't forget to try street food! A lot of vendors cook meat on a stick (skewers) and they are safe and yummy!

Image - ข้าวมันไก่ ป.7 (Por Jed Chicken Rice)
ข้าวมันไก่ ป.7 (Por Jed Chicken Rice)
Linda:$1 chicken and rice dish! The classic khao man gai - I LOVE THIS PLACE
Image - Lert Ros
Lert Ros
Linda:Lemongrass stuffed grilled fish - you can get all your northern Thai food fixings out of the way here!! Its SO GOOD! - MUST GO!
Image - TongTemToh
Linda:If you want grilled bbq pork and some real northern thai food - this place is a MUST!! The wait looks long but they get people in & out pretty quickly
Image - Cherng Doi Roast Chicken
Cherng Doi Roast Chicken
Linda:The best place for classic grilled chicken, sticky rice and som tom (papaya salad)
Image - Dash
Linda:Fancy(ish) Thai restaurant if you are looking for a nice dinner. Great ambiance - the tamarind chicken is a must try
Image - ร้านข้าวซอยแม่สาย Khao Soy Maesai
ร้านข้าวซอยแม่สาย Khao Soy Maesai
Linda:you want the chicken - "Khao soy gai" and the thai ice teas are soo good - even tho I try not to drink dairy sometimes you gotta give in
Image - Nong Bee's Burmese Restaurant & Library
Nong Bee's Burmese Restaurant & Library
Linda:hole in the wall burmese food - get all the salads! Tea leaf, pennywort, tamarind are my favorites! Esp if you are looking for something light and quick!
Image - Free Bird Cafe
Free Bird Cafe
Linda:Vegan Thai & authentic Shan food (The Shan are a persecuted minority in Burma, you are unlikely to find their cuisine elsewhere). Good cause
Image - Cat House Chiang Mai
Cat House Chiang Mai
Linda:Funky cool - vegetarian spot! Good for breakfast as well
Image - Amrita Garden
Amrita Garden
Linda:Japanese microbiotic food, everything is alive, soothing to the digestive system
Image - Bee VEGAN อาหารเจเพื่อสุขภาพ
Bee VEGAN อาหารเจเพื่อสุขภาพ
Linda:Amazing place all around - get the spring rolls! Extra sauce because you'll know why once you try it.
Image - Adirak pizza
Adirak pizza
Linda:THIS PLACE...THE PIZZA - enough said, just go if you are thai'd out and need some pizza because pizza
Image - Musashi Sushi Bar Chiangmai มูซาชิ ซูชิ เชียงใหม่
Musashi Sushi Bar Chiangmai มูซาชิ ซูชิ เชียงใหม่
Linda:SUSHI! This is just somewhere I go to all the time because I love sushi
Image - Beast Burger
Beast Burger
Linda:If you are Thai-ed out as I say, a good burger is always the best go too!
Image - Mindful Eating
Mindful Eating
Linda:This is such a cute - hidden spot for dinner. The ambiance is to die for! They have great cocktails as well. Italian inspired
Image - Food 4 Thought
Food 4 Thought
Linda:Western fusion, awesome wraps, and salads - great for lunch!
Image - Why Not?
Why Not?
Linda:An Italian restaurant if you are craving some good pasta!
Image - Salsa Kitchen
Salsa Kitchen
Linda:Surprisingly good Mexican food - don’t feel bad about wanting this haha we all go here!
Image - Sammich Homemade Sandwiches
Sammich Homemade Sandwiches
Linda:I came here for lunch when I just wanted a good and simple salad - so good!

Day Trips, Activities & Sightseeing

Image - Doi Suthep
Doi Suthep
Linda:At the top of Doi Suthep - the must-see temple!
Image - Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chedi Luang
Linda:Oldest temple in the middle of the old city. There’s a monk chat so you can talk to the monks who are practicing their English - really cool
Image - Huay Tung Tao Lake, Chiang Mai
Huay Tung Tao Lake, Chiang Mai
Linda:You can cycle there if you are feeling ambitious! Sit in a stilted bungalow on the lake and eat lunch among picnicking Thai families.
Image - Nong Buak Hard Public Park
Nong Buak Hard Public Park
Linda:In the Old City, rent a bamboo mat and watch the pigeons - really chill!
Image - Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon
Linda:It's the national park! Super lush and about 2 hours by bike about 3 in the car (there are tours you can book through your hotel - just ask
Image - The Chai Lai Orchid
The Chai Lai Orchid
Linda:I can’t talk highly enough about this place! Not only is this a great place to stay for a weekend - you are supporting human rights!
Image - Bua Tong Waterfalls
Bua Tong Waterfalls
Linda:It’s great during the rainy season because the water is high (June-August is rainy season but fear not it’s the on/off kind of rain)
Image - Samoeng loop around Chiang Mai, Thailand
Samoeng loop around Chiang Mai, Thailand
Linda:Beautiful scenery, fresh air, swings around back to Chiang Mai. Only if you are confident on 2 wheels I recommend doing this!


Image - Kad Luang Chiang Rai Market
Kad Luang Chiang Rai Market
Linda:Famous market - all the things
Image - Student Night Market
Student Night Market
Linda:After sunset - hang with the university crowd, Thai style clothes and stuff, great people watching
Image - Sunday Night Market
Sunday Night Market
Linda:Only Sundays 5pm-midnight. The “thing” to do in Chiang Mai, really cool stuff, super crowded, get there early!
Image - Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
Linda:Everyone likes going here for the shopping and because its just something to see - there’s a ladyboy show. I'm not a fan it's just TOO BUSY

Fun things to do ... maybe?

Image - SFX Cinema
SFX Cinema
Linda:If you just want to chill and it’s a rainy day. Cheap - 3USD. King's anthem is played before and everyone has to stand up to show respect.
Image - Art in Paradise Chiang Mai
Art in Paradise Chiang Mai
Linda:I actually haven’t never gone but it looks fun! It's down by the Night Bazaar Market
Image - Grand Canyon Chiang Mai
Grand Canyon Chiang Mai
Linda:This use to be just cliff jumping but now its a whole water park with the blowup obstacles. 30 min from the city - 300B entrance fee
Image - Chiang Mai Community Church (CMCC)
Chiang Mai Community Church (CMCC)
Linda:4 pm service and its in English, I see a lot of people come by even if they are tourists.
Image - Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co., Ltd.
Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co., Ltd.
Linda:Lots of fun! No Gravity - top rope/lead climbing
Image - Somphet Massage สมเพชรนวดไทย
Somphet Massage สมเพชรนวดไทย
Linda:Go get a massage! They are good and cheap! I usually go for oil because the thai ones kind of hurt haha
Image - Tiger Kingdom Thailand
Tiger Kingdom Thailand
Linda:DO NOT GO!! I REPEAT NOOOOOO Tigers are just sad and drugged - not a fan.

Coworking Spaces

So many more to choose from! Just depends what area you are or the vibes you prefer

Image - The Brick Startup Space
The Brick Startup Space
Linda:Located at Nimman
Image - Thesis Coffee
Thesis Coffee
Image - CAMP at MAYA
Linda:Nimman - Open 24 hours
Image - Rx Cafe Chiang Mai
Rx Cafe Chiang Mai
Linda:Located about 10 mins away from Nimman

Going out & Bars

Image - Hotel YaYee
Hotel YaYee
Linda:They have a great rooftop bar with amazing espresso martinis - go at sunset!
Image - Corner Bistro
Corner Bistro
Linda:They have trivia on Wednesdays and Hip hop and fries on Friday nights
Image - We Didn’t Land on The Moon Since 1987
We Didn’t Land on The Moon Since 1987
Linda:Such a funky and fun bar!
Image - Manung Bar
Manung Bar
Linda:Great for a beer and live music!
Image - Woods Bar Rooftop
Woods Bar Rooftop
Linda:rooftop bar - there's a pool - good for beer and snacks!
Image - Namton's House Bar
Namton's House Bar
Linda:hidden spot, mostly locals - live music and good beer!
Image - Boy Blues Bar
Boy Blues Bar
Linda:In the craziness of the night bazaar - great blues music!
Image - Bus Bar
Bus Bar
Linda:Great for a beer and cool atmosphere
Image - Tawandang
Linda:this photo isn't right haha - its a proper club club
Image - Thapae East
Thapae East
Linda:Cool space, kind of small usually there's an event happening - check it out!
Image - Sangdee
Linda:people would come here after midnight
Image - Differ Inc Chiang Mai
Differ Inc Chiang Mai
Image - Spicy
Linda:yea...I mean I didn't really come here but I'm a grandma.
Image - Zoe In Yellow Cocktail Bar
Zoe In Yellow Cocktail Bar
Linda:again, I don't go here but other people like it

Wonderguide map

  1. Green Tiger House
  2. BED Nimman
  3. Buri Siri Hotel
  4. Akyra Manor Chiang Mai
  5. zzziesta Chiang Mai (ซีเอสต้า)
  6. Arch39 Art&Craft Hotel
  7. Akha Ama Coffee
  8. Flips&Flips Homemade Donuts
  9. Passion Project the Café
  10. Gallery Seescape
  11. Bagel House Cafe
  12. Rustic and Blue The Farm Shop
  13. The Larder Cafe & Bar
  14. Rx Cafe Chiang Mai
  15. Overstand Coffee Old City
  16. บ้านเลขที่สามสาม - House Number 33
  17. ข้าวมันไก่ ป.7 (Por Jed Chicken Rice)
  18. Lert Ros
  19. TongTemToh
  20. Cherng Doi Roast Chicken
  21. Dash
  22. ร้านข้าวซอยแม่สาย Khao Soy Maesai
  23. Nong Bee's Burmese Restaurant & Library
  24. Free Bird Cafe
  25. Cat House Chiang Mai
  26. Amrita Garden
  27. Bee VEGAN อาหารเจเพื่อสุขภาพ
  28. Adirak pizza
  29. Musashi Sushi Bar Chiangmai มูซาชิ ซูชิ เชียงใหม่
  30. Beast Burger
  31. Mindful Eating
  32. Food 4 Thought
  33. Why Not?
  34. Salsa Kitchen
  35. Sammich Homemade Sandwiches
  36. Doi Suthep
  37. Wat Chedi Luang
  38. Huay Tung Tao Lake, Chiang Mai
  39. Nong Buak Hard Public Park
  40. Doi Inthanon
  41. The Chai Lai Orchid
  42. Bua Tong Waterfalls
  43. Kad Luang Chiang Rai Market
  44. Student Night Market
  45. Sunday Night Market
  46. Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
  47. SFX Cinema
  48. Art in Paradise Chiang Mai
  49. Grand Canyon Chiang Mai
  50. Chiang Mai Community Church (CMCC)
  51. Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures Co., Ltd.
  52. Somphet Massage สมเพชรนวดไทย
  53. Tiger Kingdom Thailand
  54. The Brick Startup Space
  55. Punspace Wiang Kaew
  56. Punspace Tha Phae Gate
  57. Punspace Nimman
  58. Passion Project the Café
  59. Thesis Coffee
  60. CAMP at MAYA
  61. Rx Cafe Chiang Mai
  62. Hotel YaYee
  63. Corner Bistro
  64. We Didn’t Land on The Moon Since 1987
  65. Manung Bar
  66. Woods Bar Rooftop
  67. Namton's House Bar
  68. Boy Blues Bar
  69. Bus Bar
  70. Tawandang
  71. Thapae East
  72. Sangdee
  73. Differ Inc Chiang Mai
  74. Spicy
  75. Zoe In Yellow Cocktail Bar

Like these tips?
High Five Linda