Chiang Mai is a city that sleeps. This is no party central, as most pubs and bars close at midnight. But if you don’t mind going home before being turned into a pumpkin, then there Chiang Mai’s entertainment venues are varied, fun, and as great as anywhere…for a few less hours.
In the past the people of Chiang Mai liked to take their evening activities outdoors; so riverside bars with live music, restaurants and karaokes on mountain sides and rooftop or roadside pubs were de rigueur. However, as the city became more sophisticated and international, the Chiang Mai entertainment scene reflected that change. Today you can find sophisticated little wine bars in the old town, craft beer and bbq joints out in the suburbs, hip little hip hop and burger bars, massive clubs and just about everything in between. The prices are also reflective of this variety, so you can start the evening at a mum and pop shop with a cold beer down a small soi and end up sipping world-class cocktails in a sleek and elegant lounge later at night. The choices are endless.
There are certain areas where Chiang Mai entertainment venues are clustered. The eastern bank of the Ping River is where many of the traditional open-air restaurant-pubs are to be found, and an excellent place to do pub hop, stopping in for a drink and moving on. Then there is the old city with its smatterings of pubs and bars of all varieties, mostly frequented by tourists and expats. Nimmanhaemin and the west side of Chiang Mai have more trendy bars and pubs, which draw a more Thai and expat crowd. Then there is everything else in between and beyond.
Check them out.