Chiang Mai's restaurant scene is surprisingly down to earth and wholesome. Modest family-run establishments and open-air food courts dominate the city's hot dining spots. Plus there are loads of vegetarian restaurants, ranging from backpacker cafes to religious society outreaches. You can also explore the local markets and small shopfronts for the re'gional speciality of kow soy, (sometimes written as khuo soi) a curried noodle dish claiming Shan-Yunnanese heritage. It's usually accompanied with pickled vegetables and a thick red chilli sauce. For more information on northern Thai specialities.
For fine dining Chiang Mai is still a little provincial. The hotel restaurants dominate the splash-out options but there arc a few independent upmarket eateries that attract the cxnats and exoense accounts.
There is a cluster of made-to order shops (rahn ah-hahn dahm sang), along from the police station on Th Ratchadamnoen, which do a brisk lunch business. Residents pick up gap kow (pie-made food served with rice) from evening vendors lining the stretch of Th Samlan south of Th Ratchadamnoen.
Tien Sieng Vegetarian Restaurant : This Buddhist society-affiliated restaurant serves a variety of pre made veg-etarian dishes over rice. Technically the dishes are jair, meaning they don't contain meat, garlic or onions, but they're still tasty and for 20B you get a choice of two dishes.
Mangsawirat Kangreuanjam : Look tor the difficult-to-see English sign that reads 'Vegetarian Pood'. The cooks put out several pots of fresh, 100% Thai vegetarian dishes daily.
Bang Moey Kaafae : Noodle-heads will find an unusual addition to their lunchtime pastime: ambience. Instead of the tables-and-tiles decor of most noodle shops, this spot occupies an old wooden house with antique metal advertisements adorning the tront.
Pak Do Restaurant : Across the street from Wat I'hra Singh, this morning curry shop displays its dishes in big metal bowls out front. To do as the Thais, you can lift the lid to survey the contents. Tt vour stomach has developed a hankering for rice in the" morning, you'll be glad you peaked into the pots.
Kow Soy Siri Soy : This simple shop prepares a rich and hearty broth for its kow soy, served with or without chicken. It also serves the popular kow man gai (chicken and rice) dish.
Nayok Fa : This ma-and-pa place cooks up fresh food in the massive woks out front Try pat see-ew (stir-fried wide noodles with a choice of beef, pork or chicken) or the suckling pig and rice.
Sailomyoy : The Thai equivalent of a greasy spoon, this simple place serves all-day breakfasts, should your days be your nights, as well as basic Thai dishes. It isn't the pinnacle of cuisine but it is cheap and conveniently located near Pratu Tha Phae.
Si Phen Restaurant : This inexpensive stopover near Wat Phra Singh specialises in northern- and northeastern-style dishes, including som-darn (spicy green papaya salad).
AUM Vegetarian Food : Eeel healthier and less anxious with a full belly of AUM's health-friendly meals. There's or ganic coffee from Laos, seasonal juices and a range of all-veggie Thai-style stir-fries. The restaurant is friendly with an attached secondhand bookshop and an additional eating area .with floor cushions and low tables.
HeuanPhen: At this well-known restaurant everything is on display, from the northern Thai food to the groups of culinary visitors and the antique-cluttered dining room. Chiang Mai locals might sniff at the quality, but for newbies the ambience and the dishes are a treat. Daytime meals are served in a large canteen out tront.
Rachamankha : Tucked away behind Wat Phra Singh, in the sumptuous grounds of the boutique hotel of the same name, one dines at the Rachamankha to enjoy the crisp white linens and antiqtte atmosphere as much as the food. The menu is Thai-centred, along with hints of Myanmar, Yunnan and Europe at the periphery. Do yourself a favour though and skip the one-dish noodle meals, which, by definition, should be eaten at a roadside wok for around 30B.
Bierstube :This cosy-wooden place is the restaurant version of an old German uncle. It has been cooking up German comfort fare for so many years that its age can be measured by the regulars' expanding waistlines. In Bangkok such dinosaurs would be shunned, but here in Chiang M.ii this is considered family.
Pum Pui Italian Restaurant : A charming 'date' restaurant, Pum Pui romances its guests with a garden setting and moderately priced dishes. The menu covers the usual Italian suspects, from antipasto to digestives and leaves room in the budget lor some fine Italian beverages.
Chiangmai Saloon : Welcome to the Wild West, Thai style, where a gunslinger, or more accurately a backpack slinger, can fill up on a real meal of meat - mainly burgers and steaks -before conquering some hill-tribe villages and taming wild elephants. The original branch is on Th l,oi Kroh.
Amazing Sandwich : A self-described island in a sea of rice, Ama/ing Sandwich delivers the bread to the wheat-deprived. Hxpats rank the make-your-own sandwiches right up there with sliced bread.
Ginger Kafe : Within the same grounds as the House, Ginger Kafe is a smart place for the local debutantes and LWLs (ladies who lunch). The sunny din ing room is dressed up in proper manor house prints and the chefs entertain the palate with well-educated international and Thai dishes.
Juicy 4U : This cute cafe serves hangover fighting juices,, make-your-own vegetarian sandwiches and standard Thai dishes. Bring along some reading material as the kitchen can be very slow.
Jerusalem Falafel : You might yawn at the thought of yet another Middle Eastern restaurant in a backpacker ghetto but let us sing the praises ot this exotic import. The restaurant is a lively place to assemble with friends and nosh on a mexe platter of falafel, shashlik, hummus and tabouli. Yoghurt, halloumi and feta cheese are home-made here.
House : This restaurant occupies a mid-20th-century house (it once belonged to an exiled Burmese prince) that's now outfitted with colonial accoutrements. The House menu is a pan-Pacific affair, combining imported lamb and salmon with local spices and cooking techniques. If you're commitment shy about dinner, stop in and enjoy a few tapas dishes at the outdoor Moroccan-themed bar.
East of the Old City
Chiang Mai's small Chinatown, along Th Chang Moi, is a tasty quarter to investigate early in the morning. On Th Khang Mehn, you'll find kii-ndm jcen and other noodle dishes. An alley next to the Top Charoen Optical shop, wakes up early thanks to a papular ndm dow-hi'o (soy milk) stall, serving warm soy milk accompanied with Chinese style deep-fried doughnuts.
Kuaytiaw Kai Tun Coke : This small food shop, directly opposite the main en-trance to the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, prepares a unique version of gaotiy dfco £.ii dun yah jecn. Here the chicken is marmatcv in Coca-Cola and spices overnight, then steamed and served with rice noodles. It's actually quite good and has become famous as far away as Bangkok.
Aomngurn : Next to the New Mitrapap Hotel, this humble spot is an easy escape troin Talat Warorot's chaos and crowds. It specialises in Thai Chinese dishes as well as grilled chicken and zesty yum (Thai style salads)
Ratana's Kitchen : For all the talk of Chiang Mai having cool temperatures, it still gets hot by midday. Jump out of the oven and into Ratana's kitchen. It isn't a culinary legend but the dishes and prices are sensible and it's got a prime spot near Pratu Tha Phae for wilting tourists.
Galare Food Centre : A classic food court, the Galare Food Centre offers a stress-free version of a night market. You buy coupons at the front desk, select a ready-made dish from one of the vendors and eat in a clean, traffic-tree environment. There's also nightly entertainment, including Thai classical dancing.
Taste From Heaven : Eat like an elephant at this vegetarian reslauiant benefiting the Elephant Nature Park.
Just Khao Soy : This is the gourmet version of know soy. Served on a wooden artist's palette you can create your own noodle broth with several condiments, including coconut milk to thicken it at will. Two different noodle shapes are offered: Chiang Mai style and Mae Salong style.
Dalaabaa Bar & Restaurant : One of Chiang Mai's first urbane eateries, Dalaabaa has aged gracefully into a stylish old friend with subdued lighting washing over orange and red silks that decorate a glass-encased dining room. The Thai menu is artful and affordable considering the sophistication factor.
Antique House : A postcard setting for out-of-town visitors, Antique House is a quaint two-storey teak house and garden filled with wooden antiques and mellow nightly music. The menu is mainly northern Thai with all the centra] Thai classics, but the dishes are just window dressing for the Thai-style ambience.
Whole Earth Restaurant : This confectionery-coloured teak house wears a garden stole of hanging vines, koi ponds and orchids growing in the crooks of tree limbs. It is the sort of place you might take your mum for her birthday - where the staff will treat her like royalty and the dishes seem exotic (Thai Indian and vegetarian) without being demanding.
Anusan Night Market : Further south of Galare Food Centre, Anusan is a buzzing food market best known for its Thai-Chinese seafood restaurants. Stalls sur-round a large cluster of tables where each 'restaurant' has a section allocated with its own waiters. Nearby are other stand-alone restaurants, some of which have their own prawn holding ponds acting as centrepieces for their menu speciality. The prices are higher than they ought to be but these are special-occasion splash-out restaurants for Thais.
Libernard Cafe : A low-key cafe, Libernard serves fresh Arabica cof-fee grown in Thailand. The usual backpacker menu is rescued from derision with such care that the banana pancake actually becomes a tasty recommendation. Try also the gaang mát-sà-man (Muslim-style curry). Pong does everything herself, which means service is a little slow, but comes with a smile.
Tianzi Tea House : Such hard-core health food is usually found in dirt-floor hippy shacks, but Tianz,i has adopted the ascetic's meal to an aesthetic surrounding. Pretty open-air sah-lah, decorated with flowers and dappled with sunlight, host a range of organic and macrobiotic dishes, such as Yunnanese tofu cheese, beetroot soup and herbal coffees.
Art Cafe : A classic holiday-land restaurant, Art Cafe could just as easily appear in an ageing beach resort back home. The menu aims to please with Thai, Italian, Mexican and American dishes. It is particularly good for breakfasts; the hours and location are both convenient and it gives your stomach a break from being adventurous.
Mike's Burgers : A little bit of Coney Island has been transplanted into Chiang Mai at this replica American burger stand. Prom the worn red vinyl stools, barely a barrier away from the moat-road traffic, watch the fry-cook flip burgers, or swivel 90 degrees for a view of Doi Suthep. There are other branches on Th Nimmanhaemin and near the night bazaar.
Giorgio Italian Restaurant : With a trattoria setting near the night bazaar, this well-loved Italian restaurant features all the favourites from the bout shaped peninsula. During the high season, dinner is also served on Sunday.
Moxie :This achingly hip restaurant in the DusitD2 hotel offers Chiang Mai a glimpse at what a more hyperactive metropolis would look like. The dining room is suited up in a clean geometric puzzle of orange, cream and dark wood. The dishes are edible sculptures of Thai, Japanese and Italian components.
Favola : Meridien's showcase Italian restaurant features a flamboyant chef who has transformed mama's cooking into a high-tech affair using molecular gastronomy techniques to prepare foams, infused oils and savoury ice creams. Hints of vanilla and pumpkin oil add dramatic character to fettuccini, but the best bets are the surprisingly affordable pizzas with wood oven-crisped crusts.
Good Health Store : Next to Suriwong Book Centre, this health-food store sells mainly chemical-free products, like whole grains, honey and nuts, as well as herbal remedies. They also sell fairtrade hill-tribe coffee.
The area east of the river boasts two distinct culinary attractions. North of Saphan Nawarat (Nawarat Bridge) is a cluster of riverside res-taurants that dish up dinner and entertainment with a view. Most are best visited on weekends when the locals celebrate a few days of rest. Somg-taa-ou and tuk-tuk drivers who sit outside of the restaurants typically ask for a flat and intlated fare of 1 (JOB to return to the old city after dark.
Further north, past Saphan Nakhon Ping, is Th Faham, known as Chiang Mai's kow soy ghetto. Situated here are Khao Soi Lam Duan, which also serves kii-ncim rangpcung (literally beehive pastry - a coconut-flavoured waffle), Khao Soi Samoe jai and Khao Soi Ban faham. Kdw ioy foodies sometimes spend the day sampling a bowl at each place to select their favourite. Also in the vicinity, near Prince Royal's College, is Khao Soi Prince .
Love at First Bite : Tucked deep into a residential soi on the east bank of the river, this famous dessert shop is filled with middle-class, cake-confident Thais. Don't be surprised to see folks posing in front of the dessert display case for a souvenir photo - the bakery's cheesecakes are famous among food bloggers.
Riverside Bar & Restaurant : This rambling set of wooden buildings has been the most consistently popular riverside place for over 20 years. The food - Thai, Western and vegetarian - is just a minor attraction to the good-times ambience. The clientele is a mix of Thais and fa-rung, lured into a singalong by the classic-rock band. There's inside and outside dining, as well as a spifty new overflow building across the street. Some veterans opt to dine on the docked boat (90B surcharge) before the nightly 8pm river cruise.
Kuan Soontaree : Visiting Thais from Bangkok make the pilgrimage to ihis rustic restaurant built on the west bank of the river, partly for the food but mainly for the owner, Soontaree Vechanont, a famous northern .singer popular in the 1970s. She performs at the restaurant on weekends while other local musicians perform during the week. The menu is a pleasant blend of northern, northeastern and central Thai'specialities.
Good View : Next door to the Riverside, Good View lives up to its name with open-air seating jn a contemporary setting. The formula is similar to the Riverside, except the menu focuses more on Thai food and the nightly music covers a broader genre range.
Mahanaga : The Chiang Mai branch of a Bangkok-based fusion restaurant, Mahanaga is all style and romance with flickering candles, traditional Lanna-style buildings and tall trees. Them menu features citified Thai food: classic recipes using high-end, imported meats, such as New Zealand lamb in yellow curry.
West of the Old City
The area west of Wat Suan Dok on Th SuthepJ has several popular vegetarian restaurants, indicated by yellow banners, as well as a carnivore's friend, a crispy pork (moo groip) restaurant. Dining becomes more contemporary on Th Nimmanhaemin but the busiest place is the grilled pork (moo king) restaurant, near the corner of Soi 9, that is open only in the evening.
Milk Garden : The backbone of the Western culinary tradition, bread is merely a fanciful dessert in Thailand, often toasted and drowned in sweetened condensed milk. It is normally served from vendor stalls, but milk shops, like this arty hangout, often pop up wherever there are students. Drinks and other snackable dishes are also served.
Kanorn Jeen Nimman : You don't have to trek out to a morning market to blast your senses with the intense flavours of ka-nom jcen (white rice noodles served with curry). This open-air shop along the main road saves you the commute.
Khun Churn : You might think that vegetarian means rustic, but Khun Churn has kept up with the times with its 21st-century minimalist dining space. The main attraction is the extensive daily buffet (8013) as well as a la carte fruit drinks, crispy rice with coconut dip or pomelo salad. It's closed on the 16th of each month.
HongTauwInn : Decked out in an ofd-fashioned costume of aged pendulum clocks and antiques, this intimate restaurant is a starter course on Lanna cuisine, including the banana-flower salad.
100% Isan Restaurant : Directly in front of CMU's main gate, this fluorescent-lit shop does a bumping business of northeastern standards: som-dam, kmv nic-o and gai ydhng. from the looks of it, everyone who leaves the university gets hungry when they hear Ban Kaew HeuanKam: Outside of town on the klorng road, this pretty teak building is a thoroughly Thai affair (even the menu is written in Thai) and it's a lovely spot to invite a Thai speaker to dinner. Without a translator, the first two pages of the menu are mainly northern Thai dishes (such as #1008 frog salad, #1014 steamed chicken in panda-nus leaf, #2003 Burmese-style curry and #2012 fish curry with forest vegetables).
Implaphao Restaurant : Dining by the water is an appetising feature for Thais and this barn-like restaurant lures in the supping parties for 'bluh pow (broiled fish stuffed with aromatic herbs) and Jam yam gung. It isn't the easiest restaurant to reach sin.ce it is 10km southwest of Chiang Mai, across from Talat Mae Huay, but it is an undiluted Thai experience.
Dong : Northern Thai food for northern Thai people, Dong nails the Lanna specialities - nam prik num- in a gewgaw-free setting, an incredible demonstration of restraint considering Chiang Mai's obsession with wooden knick-knacks. But the service is so slow you'll wonder if they had to trek to Burma to fetch the dishes.
Galare Restaurant : Out on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, Galare is a terraced open-air restaurant nestled by a small lake and a green park that overlooks the city. A carpet of flowers fills in the spaces between the wooden picnic tables. The menu is mainly northern Thai, and though it's not spectacular you'll hardly notice more than the tranquil setting.
Palaad Tawanron : Set in the woods near Doi Suthep, this restaurant draws in Thais and foreigners alike for the Thai food and the spectacular views over twinkly Chiang Mai. Truly eat like a Thai you should order a centrepiece of grilled fish adorned with smaller Northern Thai curries and salads. Entry- is via the rear gate to Chiang Mai Zoo.
I-Berry : A Bangkok-based tee-cream store has churned a pretty wooden lot into a hip phenomenon. Students and locals flock here with cameras in tow hoping to run into the famous owner, comedian Udom Taepanich (niclcnained 'Nose'). If he's not around they'll settle for the huge yellow sculpture out front said to mimic the star's signature feature (his big nose). The ice cream is pretty good, but watching Chiang Mai's celebrity worship is even better.
Tsunami : CMU students are really into Kyoto-style ramen and sushi stalls, which have sprung up all along Th Huay Kaew. The most famous is Tsunami, which always has a wait even during Bít teum (semester break). If you can't get a seat head further north to Na Mor Sushi, which is unsigned but recognisable by the big wok out front.
Smoothie Blues : Talk about expat HQ, this health-food cafe is an escapee from a yuppie neighbourhood in any Western city. Despite the geographic dislocation, the cafe is known lor its breakfasts, as well as its sandwiches, baguettes and namesake drink.
Mi Casa : A Mediterranean crash course is available at this vivacious restaurant located behind Chiang Mai University. The chef is from northern Spain and invites Chiang Mai's fresh produce and imported ingredients to tango with him in the kitchen, preparing tapas standards and artful entrees.
Chiang Mai reveals its Chinese heritage with its devotion to pork products, most obvious in the northern Thai speciality of sai oa-a (pork sausage). Good quality sai bo-a should bezesty and spicy with discernible flavours of lemongrass, ginger and turmeric. Two tamous sausage makers are Mengrai Sai Da (Th Chiang Mai-Lamphun), near the Holiday Inn on the east bank of the river, and Sai Ua Gao Makham (Rte 121), a small stall in Talat Mae Huay (Mae Huay market), which is a few kilometres south of the Night Safari on the way to Hang Dong.
Vegetarian Centre of Chiang Mai : Sponsored by the Asoke Foundation, an ascetic Buddhist movement, this restaurant serves inexpensive cafeteria-style ve'g. The society's founder was a leader of the PAD anti-government movement and the restaurant was closed at the time of writing due to the demonstrations in Bangkok.
Spirit House : Sometimes the most-charming restaurants are just display cases for an eccentric personality. This antique-filled dining room is the creative outlet for the American owner who's a master of many trades, from antique dealer to classical musician. A former chef in New Orleans, he's a self-described 'nut about food' and builds the daily menu around what looks interesting at the market. The restaurant hosts monthly classical concerts and many of the city's music professors and students hang out here. In the low season, the restaurant is open 5.30pm to 10.30pm.
Fujian : Thais traditionally celebrate a special occasion with a trip to a Chinese restaurant. And Chiang Mai is especially well-endowed with celebratory fare thanks to this sumptuous setting at the Dhara Dhevi hotel. Top flight dim sum fills the lunch menu while Cantonese and Sichuan classics are served family-style on fine bone china.
There are three types of watering holes in Chiang Mai: the backpacker bars on Th Moon Muang and Th Ratwithi, the student bars and clubs on Th Nimmanhaemin, and the riverside restaurants for live music. Chiang Mai is much more monogamous about nighttime encounters than Bangkok: the beloved bars have been around forever and are rarely the newest tap on the block. Another plus is that Thais in Chiang Mai aren't shy or snobby about hanging out with foreigners, so you're likely to find more mixed spots here than in Bangkok.
On Th Ratwithi near the intersection of Th Ratchaphakhinai is a parking lot filled with squatty bars with twinkling fairy lights and thundering sound systems. We've heard that this little piece of heaven is going to be torn down, but that's all the details we could find. Bob Marley -homage bars are fully represented here thanks to Babylon and Heaven Beach, while Cafe del Sol has garnered a steady crowd with its cheap cocktail menu.
Writer's Club & Wine Bar Run by an ex-foreign correspondent, this unassuming traveller hangout hosts an informal Friday night gathering of Chiang Mai's reporters and writers. There's also English pub grub to help anchor. a liquid meal.
UN Irish Pub : A standard-issue backpacker joint, this two-storey bar and restaurant is an old favourite for its Thursday quiz night and match nights. There's nothing particularly Irish here] other than an interest in drinking.
John's Plate : Another old-school spot, John's J dominates the triangular wedge of TM Ratchamankha and Soi 2 with neon and beer bellies. Climb the stairs past the faded posters ' of Thai scenery to the roof deck where you and your drinking buddies can howl at the moon and take turns playing 'beer narng' (a variation of the Thai tradition in which the youngest in the group is in charge ot keeping everyone's drinks filled).
Pinte Blues Pub : This place deserves some sort of award for staying in business so long (more than 20 years) while serving only espresso and beer, and for sticking to a blues-music format the whole time. It is easy to walk by and not notice it, so you'll have to use your ears as your guide.
Kafe : A cosy bar snuggled in beside Soi 5, Kafe is often crowded with Thais and backpackers when every other place is empty. It offers a simple formula: cheap cold beer and efficient service.
Khan-Asa : Too laxy'to cab it over to Th Nimmanhaemin, but need a break from the backpacker trail? This arty spot is mainly known for its Thai food, which is cheap enough not to put a dent in your beer budget. The soundtrack is light years beyond Chiang Mai's strange fascination with Phil Collins and jack Johnson.
Pub : In an old Tudor-style cottage set well off the road, this venerable Chiang Mai institution semi-successfully calls up the atmosphere of an English country pub. The Friday-evening happy hour assembles all the old expats who claim to have arrived in the city on the back of elephants.
Drunken Flower : Though this old standard has changed locations, it has carried across its loyal cast of characters, a mix of CMU bohemians and NGO expats. The closet sized bar invokes an antique mood where the shaggy headed students might have drunk and noshed away their haircut money.
Mix Bar : Looking for a night out on cocktail bar, a swish elixir alter roving the night market. The last weekend of the month hosts gay friendly rainbow parties.
NimMahn Bar : This "pen-air _bar used to be the warm-up spot for the Warm-Up club, but it has recently morphed into the smoking room now that the butts have been kicked out of the a'r-conditioned clubs. .
Glass Onion : Tucked away at the tar end of the walking mall is this small lounge bar outfitted in '60s-style mod fashions. While Ihe barely legals try to blow their Wrdrums out at Nimmanhaemin's dance clubs, this is the domain of grown-ups desiring cock-lails and conversation. The bar also enjoys a gay-friendly reputation.
Riverside Bar & Restaurant : In a twinkly setting on Mae Ping, Riverside is a one of the longest-running live-music venues in Chiang Mai. The cover bands made up of ageing Thai hippies stake out centre stage and till the room with all ihe singalong tunes from the classic-rock vault. It is the perfect antidote for electronica overload.
Good View : If the Riverside is too rustic for you, go next door to Good View, which features a more modern interpretation of cover tunes.
Le Brasserie : North ol the riverside restaurants, Le lirasserie is a popular late night spot filled with devotees oi local guitarist Took. Rock and blues from all the dead legends fill the set. Food service is available inside the bar or out the back by the river.
Tha Chang Gallery : Next door to the Gallery restaurant, this tiny music venue has great live jazz and blues nights. It was closed for renovation at the time of writing.
North Gate Jazz Co-Op : This tight little jazz club packs in more musicians than patrons, especially for its Tuesday open-mic night.
Sudsanan : Down a driveway diagonally opposite Kad Suan Kaew, this warmly lit wooden house is filled with a lot of local soul. Long-haired Thais and expats (who know how to use a squat toilet) come here to applaud the adept acoustic performances that jog from samba to pleng pêu-a- chec-wit (songs for life). Be prepared for some bowed heads and sniffles during particularly tear-jerking songs.
Warm-Up : The perennial favourite of the dance-floor divas, Warm-Up aims to please with a little bit for everybody, including an interior courtyard filled with seating for dancers who need a breather. Off to the sides are various enclosed boxes dedicated to different DJ genres, from lounge and break beats to rock. Young hipsters arrive in their coolest duds: tight jeans, spiked wolf hair-dos, sparkly shirt dresses and pointy heels. But ever youthful fti-rangjoin the crowd as well. Warm-Up occasionally hosts nationally known Thai bands.
Monkey Club : Merging dinner with dancing. Monkey Club attracts a tribe of affluent Thai students and a few expats who might migrate from the garden seats to the glassed-in, all-white bar and club. It is an alternative to Warm-Up for the social butterflies.
Discovery : You don't have to be hip to have fun at this disco. It is big, loud and totally cheesy -the perfect recipe for joining the massive blob of gyrating bodies. Discovery is across the street from Kad Suan Kaew.
Bubbles : A tad sleazy but Bubbles still mysteriously wins the affections of the prowlers and the ravers alike. The dance floor heaves with a mix of mainly tourists and some pros.
Spicy : Near Pratu Tha Phae. people pile into Spicy when everything else has closed for the night. Not the most salubrious place, it transforms from super-seedy to after-party cool around
Major Cineplex and Vista Movie Theatre : show rnedio-l ere Hollywood flicks and the latest Thai teenage movies.
Chiang Mai University Art & Culture Center : Feed your art-flick hunger at the university's weekly showings of foreign films, often showcasing a certain theme; screenings are in the main auditorium. Admission is free.
Thapae Boxing Stadium : Right in the heart of the backpacker scene, this stadium caters to foreign audiences complete with a cabaret.
Kawila Boxing Stadium : Near Talat San Pakoy, this is the locals' stadium for moo-ay tai (also spelt as muay thai).
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