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One Day in Moon Muang Road

Moon Muang Road is Chiang Mai’s gentler, kinder and move sober version of the famed Khao San Road in Bangkok. For decades the labyrinth of sois meandering off Moon Muang Road which runs along the Eastern moat of the city, has been a haven for backpackers looking to take in local culture on a shoestring. Flanked by guesthouses, second hand bookshops and mum and pop shops, Moon Muang’s sois stretch the length of the moat at around a mile long, with its nearly dozen sois running branching out into a web of soilets, perfect for strolling and taking in the gentler pace of the city. Best explored on foot, I decided to take a few days to get to know this part of the city which I don’t normally ever visit, as parking can be problematic and there are few goods and services targeted at local residents.

In the morning, if you are looking for a good breakfast to kick start your day, I would suggest the Sleep Guesthouse on Moon Muang Soi 7. Moon Muang Road offers dozens of cheap hostel options, and the Sleep Guesthouse is both inexpensive and clean, making it fit for any backpacker or traveller.

Sompet Market
This is a lovely local fresh market and a good way to dip your toes into local daily life. Chefs and residents in the area come here to shop for their daily produce and there are all sorts of exotic fruits, delicious juices and smoothies as well as some interesting and often scary looking local dishes to sample. Cooking schools bring their students here to teach them how to shop for local produce.


Now Here Roast & Brew
A mellow and small café with super cheerful staff and a good selection of English language newspapers and magazines. A great place to take in a cup of coffee and spend a few hours.

Open daily 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Issara House 33, Soi 6 Moon Muang Rd.
Facebook: Nowhereroast&Brew

Baan Borijinda
This shop serves 100% premium Arabica coffee from the shaded rainforests of the northern Thai highlands. The coffee comes directly from under-privileged farmers, so you are supporting a good cause while taking up on caffeine.

Open daily 8a.m. – 5p.m.
Location: 51 Soi 9 Moon Muang Rd.
Facebook: BaanBorijinda

Peppermint Guesthouse
This casual breakfast and lunch joint is well-priced and has tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Open daily 8a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: Soi 6, Moon Muang Rd.

Da’s Home Bakery
If you wander around Soi 6, you can’t miss this place as the aromas of baked goods waft from the kitchen and the display of chocolate croissants beckons like a siren. There’s a fridge and a shelf full of around-the-world sweet goodies (pies, muffins, etc.), as well as delicious homemade ice cream and yogurt.
Location: Soi 6, Moon Muang Rd.
Facebook: DasHomeBakery

In the Afternoon it gets a bit hot, especially this time of the year, so why not take a gentle stroll though some temples and cool your mind with some teachings of the Buddha? Chiang Man Temple is a short walk, and the oldest temple in Chiang Mai, and Lamchang Temple where you can see traces of ancient pagodas. Another fun activity to do is to join a half day Asia Scenic Thai cookery course – you will find signs advertising schools everywhere – where you can spend the afternoon cooking up a storm and then enjoying your own cooked Thai feast…with a few cold beers.

Chiang Man Temple
Chiang Mai’s oldest temple and goes back all the way to the founding of the city in 1296.
Open daily 6 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free
Location: between Phra Pok Klao 13 road and Ratchaphakhinai 1 road.

Lamchang Temple
A quaint little temple whose name means shackled elephants there are definitely more than the average numbers of elephant statues dotted around the temple, standing guard around the entrances
Open daily 6 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free
Location: Moon Muang Soi 7

Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School
Cooking is considered an art-form by many people. If you’re looking for a place to learn about Thai food and Chiang Mai culture, Asia Scenic Thai Cooking School is one of your choices.
Open daily 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: 31 Rachadumneon Soi 5
www.asiascenic.com

Have dinner at Zoe in Yellow, known THE late night party spot, Zoe is also surrounded by many restaurants and themed bars like Roots Rock Reggae. You can go to the UN Irish Pub and watch your favorite sports while digging into some pub grub, grab a kebab from a food truck, or check out Loosey Goosey bar and restaurant where you can get quality crafts beers and cocktails to go with your finger food. After dinner make sure you get yourself a table at Zoe’s courtyard and let the party come to you. Drink from buckets, dance to the latest tunes, flirt and go crazy…and it is just a short walk back to your guesthouse afterwards.

Zoe in Yellow
Nice place to have a fun night out and have a drink or great music, great place for backpackers.
Open daily 6 p.m. – midnight
Location: 40/12 Ratvithi Rd
Facebook: yellowbarchiangmai

Loosey Goosey Bar & Restaurant
A brand new bar and restaurant to help you unwind whilst you indulge in fine drinks and food, as you slowly become all LOOSEY GOOSEY
Open daily 6 p.m. – midnight
Location: 48/7 Rajvithi Rd
Facebook: LooseyGooseyCNX

Moon Muang Road is pretty safe night and day, though of course you must be sensible and careful as you would be anywhere. So we hope that you enjoy this area of Chiang Mai on your next visit.