Cityguide: Pong Noi

Places to chill out and relax in Chiang Mai with Charlotte Pibulsawad.

By | Tue 29 Apr 2014



What are the defining characteristics of your neighbourhood?  What makes it special or unique?

It’s a close community with a good community spirit. It’s an area with lots of artists and art galleries such as Pongnoi Community Art Space and Rumpeung Art Space and unique shops. (Facebook: pongnoi, rumpueng.artspace.)

Why did you choose this neighbourhood?  What do you like most about it? 

My husband had just bought a house here when we met so I didn’t have much of a choice, but I really do love it here. The best part of this area is that it’s so lush and green.

What do you like least about it?

Because it is so lush and green, creepy crawly snakes, spiders, scorpions and centipedes are almost a daily thing here.

 Who lives here?

We have a good mix of foreigners and Thai. There are a lot of students here, as well as teachers and artists.

Best restaurant:

Bhukitta, located opposite Wat Rampoeng. It specialises in southern Thai food. Massaman with roti is delicious (Tel. 090 752 6532.)

Best cheap eat:

I love khao soy and there is a small shop near Pong Noi School (Tel. 053 329 162) that does it for 25 baht. That’s usually what I have for breakfast.

Best drinks:

Coffee is what keeps me going through the day. The best place to get a cup is at Luang Phabang Café  opposite Wat Pong Noi.  (Tel. 086 629 6362) The best Thai iced tea is found at Rampoeng Café. (Facebook: Ram-Poeng-Cafe , Tel. 053 329 092)

Best night out:

The people in this area either go to bed early or they head into town for their night out. But we do have a couple of lao kao shops if one gets desperate for a drink.

Best daytime activity:

Walking or riding a bike around the neighbourhood. It’s so beautiful around here and there’s very little traffic.

Best place to shop:

On Monday and Saturday afternoons there is a market on the grounds of Wat Pong Noi. They sell anything imaginable, fresh, cheap and plenty of it.

Best attraction:

The fields and lake at Chiang Mai University’s agricultural department. They’re got cows there and they grow sunflowers, rice and herbs. The view from here is breathtaking.

Best secret:

Rasta Mama Bakery is a small home bakery that bakes to order. I bake and deliver, but I haven’t got a shop (yet) where you can sit down with a cake. But feel free to give me a call if you need a cake! (Facebook: Rasta-Mama-Bakery, Tel. 093 270 0203.)

Best tip:

Pong Noi Lake and the community garden. Stunning! Don’t expect WiFi in any of the coffee shops or restaurants here. This is a slow moving village like part of town and the no WiFi is part of its charm.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Don’t be afraid to get lost in the small soi. You will find interesting places, friendly people and beautiful scenes wherever you go.