When it comes to Chiang Mai nightlife, you have surprisingly many options for such a small town. With a population of only around 130,000 residents, Chiang Mai is still the largest city in Northern Thailand, making it one of the most ideal places to party if you’re in the region.
Though the city is small, it sees roughly 10 million tourists each year, so there’s no doubt the locals know how to cater to travellers looking for a nightlife & party scene.
The city has something for everyone, from cheap local bars to open-air nightclubs, to jazz and rock bars. So sit back and enjoy the ultimate Chiang Mai nightlife guide you’ll find anywhere on the internet.
Where To Party In Chiang Mai
There are many areas to party in Chiang Mai, but we prefer the Old Town located within the large square, and also Tha Phae Gate to the east. Along Ratvithi Road you’ll find many bars, restaurants and of course, the popular nightclub Zoe in Yellow which we’ll cover later.
South of Tha Phae Gate you’ll also find many bars and clubs which could be considered more of a red light district area, especially along Loi Kroh Rd. If you follow this road toward the Ping river you’ll also find the popular Chiang Mai Night Bazaar which is a popular night activity.
Nimmanhaemin is a new area in the city and has more of a hipster vibe to it. In this hip district to the west of the Old Town, you’ll find the impressive Warm Up Cafe, which is several nightclubs and bars all in one, popular with the locals.
Chiang Mai Nightlife & Safety Tips
– Most places don’t charge cover unless it’s a very upscale club.
– Most places close around 2 am, however there are late night clubs you can find.
– We recommend only bringing some cash and not card, as there are pickpockets in crowded clubs, however, Chiang Mai is very safe in general.
– Drinking is allowed on the street in Chiang Mai, you’ll find lots of people pre drinking at the 7-Elevens
– The best method for getting around Chiang Mai is with Songtaews, truck-like taxis that do a circle around the main square and only cost 10 baht.
How expensive it is to party in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is one of the cheapest places on earth to live and travel in. The Chiang Mai nightlife scene is no exception, with very cheap beers at most bars, and of course the famous bucket filled with your choice of alcohol and mixer to get you tipsy on a budget.
Most backpackers and travellers pre-drink at their hostels, or hang outside of 7-Elevens pre-drinking with cheap alcohol before heading out to the bars and clubs.
Here is a basic overview of what you can expect to pay to enjoy the Chiang Mai nightlife:
Bottle of beer: 50-100 baht
Big beer: 90-140 baht
Bucket: 150-250 baht
Cocktail: 100-200 baht
The Best Bars in Chiang Mai
If you’re craving delicious Thai-inspired cocktails, then you can’t miss Nophaburi Bar near the south gate of the Old Town. It has unique decor, neon signs and a great atmosphere, the perfect spot to start the night.
Fancy some Jazz? Then head over to what is probably one of the most famous Chiang Mai nightlife spots in the city, a small, rustic little jazz bar located at the north gate of the old city.
The small spot gets incredibly busy on weekends around 9 pm and the crowd spills out onto the street. Be sure to check out the second floor where you can watch the band from above. Beers start at around 85 baht for a small bottle, and around 150+ for cocktails.
If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated than what you’ll typically find for Chiang Mai nightlife, then check out Caravan Bar for exceptional cocktails and one of the nicest-looking bars in the city.
It gets quite busy on a Tuesday, with the DJ playing house and disco music. The place isn’t cheap, so come prepared to spend money.
By day, Looper & Co. is a cute little espresso bar that turns into a cocktail bar at night. If you’re craving caffeine-infused and coffee inspired cocktails, then definitely check out this quaint contemporary bar set in a warehouse.
If you’re looking for a classic Irish pub or sports bar to experience the Chiang Mai nightlife, then we recommend O’Malley’s Irish Pub, located in the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar.
Relax with a pint of Guinness, play a round of pool and feast on their delicious fish & chips while enjoying the lively atmosphere of a classic Irish pub.
Myst Maya is a classy rooftop bar located on the popular MAYA shopping center near Nimmanhaemin district, specializing in fancy cocktails, mouthwatering food, and of course, amazing views of the city.
Like most rooftop bars, it is quite pricey, so be prepared to spend money, and also dress somewhat nice. On the same roof of the shopping mall, you’ll find other bars and restaurants such as Atlas Cafe.
Start your night by listening to some of the best blues bands in Thailand, it’s a large space that gets quite busy around 9 pm and on Mondays. Located above the Night Bazaar on a rooftop, the drinks are a little pricey but it’s worth it if you enjoy listening to great bands!
A popular bar among hippies and expats, if you like reggae music and a chilled environment, then you’ll like THC Rooftop Bar. While it doesn’t have much of a view for a rooftop, it’s more of a place to meet up with friends, have some drinks and relax. You should know – there is no THC at this bar, as it’s illegal in Thailand.
The Best Clubs in Chiang Mai
It’s impossible to talk about Chiang Mai nightlife without mentioning the most famous nightlife spot in the city: Zoe in Yellow. Located in the Old Town around near Tha Phae Gate and on the popular Ratvithi road, the hip spot is actually a mix of several clubs, bars and restaurants.
Don’t expect anything fancy when coming here – think more Khaosan Road vibes with buckets, cheap food and Chang shirts. The place is open until 2 am and when everything closes, people congregate in the center before deciding where to head to next.
Be sure to check out 48 Garage for cute cocktails, Full Moon bar for cheap drinks, Roots Rock for some reggae, and of course Zoe in Yellow as the main attraction if you’re into EDM music. Don’t forget to stop out front for some delicious street food, including Tacos Bell, our favourite Mexican spot in Chiang Mai.
Along the same vein as Zoe in Yellow but more classy, Warm Up Cafe is also a mix of several nightclubs and bars all in one. Perhaps the most popular Chiang Mai nightlife spot in amongst young Thais, and also foreigners, it’s one of the best spots to party in the city.
You’ll find local Thai bands playing modern Thai music, DJ’s playing modern EDM and electronic sounds and also more beer garden-like areas if you just want to relax and drink with friends.
You’ll either hate this place or love it. Perhaps Chiang Mai’s most popular late-night spot among foreigners and locals looking to meet foreigners, this place doesn’t get busy until around 2 am when Zoe in yellow closes and people slowly make their way here.
There is typically a 100 baht cover which includes a drink, the place can get incredibly crowded full of tourists looking to get lucky before heading out of town the next day.
The most popular gay club in Chiang Mai, Ram Bar is actually more of a cabaret and ladyboy show then a full on nightclub, but it’s definitely worth it to check out – and it doesn’t matter what orientation you are – you’ll have a great time.
Located just by the Ping River, Ram Bar doesn’t have a cover charge, but you should reserve a table beforehand to get a good seat for the show, as it does get very busy later on. The price is a little expensive, over 180 for a beer and 250+ for a cocktail.
Chiang Mai Nightlife Summary
In summary, if you’re looking to party and have a good time, the Chiang Mai nightlife scene will definitely not disappoint you. You can typically find something during every night of the week, with Zoe In Yellow always an option every night.
It’s one of the cheapest cities in the world to party, and also one of the funnest. While you’re not partying or drinking, Chiang Mai also offers many amazing things to do, from temple exploring, mountain hiking and enjoying the variety of delicious Northern Thai cuisine.