Things to do in Chiang Mai at night

Chiang Mai, Thailand, is one part bustling city, one part laid-back, cultural haven. Known as the “Rose of the North,” Chiang Mai’s location helps keep temperatures a bit cooler than Bangkok and the islands. Better still are the locals, who are some of the friendliest in the entire country. 

The city is an expat haven, which comes to life at night. So, if you are looking for things to do in Chiang Mai at night, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got plenty of tips for making the most of your time in Northern Thailand.

In addition, we have a 2-3 week Thailand itinerary so you won’t miss out on anything when planning your trip.

Best things to do in Chiang Mai at night

Chiang Mai Bazaar

colorful soap in Chiang Mai market

While there are plenty of things to experience in the city during the day, Chiang Mai has a lot to offer once the sun goes down for locals and tourists alike. 

One of the top things to do is wander the Chiang Mai Bazaar. This night-time market is open from 17:00-midnight and is the best place to search for a bargain on local crafts or try some delicious street food. 

The Chiang Mai Bazaar is also called the Sunday Night Market, Sunday Walking Street Market, and the Chiang Mai Night Market. It’s located within the Old City walls and very easy to find. The market is located over a stretch of about one kilometer along Ratchadamnoen Road but also spreads through some side streets and the Tha Phae Gate. This has to be one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai, so try to visit at least once!

Other night markets

night view of market in Chiang Mai

Don’t stress if your time in Chiang Mai doesn’t happen to fall on a Sunday. There are a few other markets to explore in the city, including the Chiang Mai Gate Food Market and the Saturday Night Market.

Chiang Mai Gate Food Market is open every day from 17:00 until midnight and has some amazing local foods to try. 

The Saturday Night Market is open from 17:00 until 23:00 every Saturday and is located on Wualai road. 

How about a massage?

After you’re exhausted from all the market negotiations, you’ll surely need something to help you relax. How about adding an unusual massage to your Chiang Mai itinerary? No. Not that kind of massage. 

Supattra Blind Massage offers a Thai Massage for a cause and is open until 21:00. You’ll receive your treatment from a blind therapist who is well trained in the art of massage. People have traveled the world over to enjoy one of these top-class massages. 

There are plenty of other Chiang Mai massage parlors to choose from if Supattra Blind Massage isn’t your thing. 

Fah Lanna Spa is open until 22:00 and offers a complimentary shuttle to transport clients from the center of Chiang Mai.

The Oasis Top Class is also open until 22:00 and is one of the top-rated massage parlors in the country.

A quality massage is a great way to relax and pamper yourself for an evening, no matter which location you choose. 

Other Chiang Mai at night ideas

Another top-rated thing to do is the Chiang Mai night safari at the Nocturnal Zoo. This zoo is only the third of its kind in the world and has over 14,000 animals in three distinct and separate areas. You can explore the zoo on foot or in an open-sided tram car for a true safari experience.

Night safari’s start around 6pm and last for approximately four hours. If you choose to take the tram, tickets cost 800 Baht (~$24). This ticket includes the night predator show and entrances into Tiger World and the petting zoo.

It is important to note that animals perform in this park, and you can interact with them or feed them, so if that isn’t for you, you may want to give this attraction a miss. 

If you are looking for other things to do in Chiang Mai at night, consider taking a cooking class, watching a muay Thai fight, or taking in a cabaret show.

cooking class in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai nightlife

Chiang Mai nightlife is pretty incredible considering how laid back the city feels. While it may not be as crazy as Bangkok, there are still plenty of bars and clubs to check out to keep you entertained all night long.

Some of the best include:

  • Zoe in Yellow—Hip nightclub at the former Boon Yoo Market
  • Bus Bar—A bus converted into a bar and a local hotspot
  • Vintage Chiang Mai—Impressive interior and great drinks
  • CNX Rooftop—Lesser-known rooftop with great views of the city
  • We Didn’t Land on the Moon Since 1987—Very cool bar with great music, owned by a member of Chiang Mai’s all-girl rock group Itchy Band.

Do note that the police are pretty strict with closing times, so don’t expect too many extended hours. However, you can always ask the locals where the new after-hours spot is, and people will happily direct you to the latest place to party!

Getting to Chiang Mai

temple in Chiang Mai

Getting to Chiang Mai is relatively simple, especially if you’re traveling from Bangkok or Chiang Rai.

From Bangkok to Chiang Mai

If you are traveling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, you have a few options for transportation. Of course, the best way to get from Bangkok is to fly. Luckily, domestic flights from both BKK and Don Muang airports can be extremely cheap. We’re talking less than $20 for a one-way ticket if you book at the right time.

Flights take about an hour and 20 minutes and typically include one carry-on bag for free. There are a variety of airlines that operate this direct flight each day.

If flying isn’t for you, it is also possible to take an overnight VIP bus. The ride will take between nine and a half and eleven hours, depending on the company you book. Each company offers a variety of amenities, such as wifi, charging ports for your electronics, AC, and toilets on board. 

VIP buses are the more comfortable option compared to an express or economy ticket and generally cost between $20-$30 per person. 

There is also a Bangkok to Chiang Mai train, or you could book a private transfer.

Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai white temple

After you’ve spent some time in Chiang Mai, you may be ready for more adventure in Northern Thailand’s other iconic city, Chiang Rai.

A VIP bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai takes about three and a half hours. You should expect to pay about $10 for a one-way ticket on this bus service. You’ll be treated to AC, reclining seats, personal TVs, and toilets onboard these buses. 

It is also possible to take an express bus. These are a little less fancy, with no TVs in the back of your seat, and tend to make a few more stops. Don’t let the name fool you—a trip on an express bus will take about four hours. 

If a bus isn’t for you, it is also possible to organize a private transfer from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai for about $115. This is a great option if you’re traveling with a group or looking for a little bit more privacy. 

Now that you have a list of things to do in Chiang Mai, logistics for getting there, and ideas for your next stop, all you need to do is book your trip! Then, you’re bound to enjoy your time in the Rose of the North!

FAQ

How much time should I spend in Chiang Mai?

3-5 days is a perfect amount of time to get a feel for the city.

Is Chiang Mai safe for solo female travelers?

Yes. Thailand is a very safe country for females, but like anywhere in the world, be smart and pay attention to your surroundings. Use common sense and don’t do things you wouldn’t in your own home town.

Do I need to rent a car in Chiang Mai?

No, it’s very easy to get around with tuk-tuks, taxis and Grab. Plus, it’s a very walkable city.

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