TheLoneRider
a nomad in search of...
Chiang Mai, Thailand

CHIANG MAI

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is a sprawling mountain city with the backpacker areas scattered within the Old City where remains of 30 ancient temples were preserved. The city is more laid back and placid compared to Bangkok - but a vibrant city nonetheless! The most animated time to come is in mid-April for the Songkran Festival - and be prepared to get wet for 3 days! The Night Bazaar is an experience...get lost inside equipped with good bargaining skills. Walk into different neighborhoods and discover a great eating place! Chiang Mai is also the gateway to Thailand's north - Chiang Rai, Pai, the Golden Triangle, etc.

Chiang Mai Blogs by TheLoneRider

Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel traveling

Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel

(Feb 18, 2019) Among the hotels of the Nawa hotel chain, Nawa Saraan comes closest to my heart. I've stayed here 3 years ago and I keep coming back here every time I stay in Chiang Mai. So, when the owner and friend told me that Nawa Saraan needed a soul, I thought to myself that I could be that...more »»

Peoplescape of Chiang Mai people

Peoplescape of Chiang Mai

(Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019) Once again, being in Chiang Mai brought me back to good friends and introduced me to new people who drifted into my peoplescape as I begin to settle down and make a new life.....more »»

Movie Review: Vox Lux (2018) movies

Movie Review: Vox Lux (2018)

(Mar 2, 2019) A school shooting claiming, Celeste, the main character, as victim was the genesis of her tumultous and mercurial rock-star life. The movie started with a powerful and disturbing scene that set the stage. Everything went well until Natalie Portman's character came into the screen and everything else seemed like caricature.....more »»

Movie Review: The Favourite (2018) movies

Movie Review: The Favourite (2018)

(Feb 25, 2019) The Favourite is a period film in the early 18th century England about 2 devious females in fierce competition with each other in winning Queen Anne's affection and favour.....more »»

Curing Cancer with Yoga? yoga

Curing Cancer with Yoga?

(Feb 21, 2019) A lady who once did yoga with me approached me again for a series of daily private one-on-one practice during her entire stay in Chiang Mai. Apparently, she liked my yogic philosophy and approach entailing asanas, calisthenics, pranayama, meditation and Thai massage. But in our conversation, she also intimated that she has cancer and was hoping that my brand of yoga would supplement her treatment. I lost my Mom from that same cancer she's afflicted with. Hearing that changed my game plan...more »»

Movie Review: Alita Battle Angel movies

Movie Review: Alita Battle Angel

(Feb 19, 2019) Movie-making benchmark has been upped a notch with Alita Battle Angel. All the elements that go into a classic and memorable movie are etched into this compelling 125-min action sci-fi that bridges man and machine.....more »»

International Training Massage School (ITM): LEVEL I: Foundation of Thai Massage massage

International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1

(Feb 11-15, 2019) Thai Massage is world-famous and there's no better place to learn it than at Chiang Mai's most prestigious massage center, the International Training Massage School. This is my first day to earning my Level 1 Certification Course in Thai Massage. 30 hours altogether. Time to roll up my sleeves.....more »»

Green Book movies

Movie Review: Green Book

(Jan 30, 2019) Green Book is a true-to-life movie about an unlikely friendship between a racist Italian WOP and an established Black concert pianist as they tour the deep south for a series of concert engagements. 2 thumbs up!....more »»

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) movies

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

(Jan 27, 2019) Much has been said and written about Queen's flamboyant band leader, Freddie Mercury, but this movie added new insight into the man and the band. The superb acting by Rami Malek who played the lead role breathed life into Freddie. For the 2 hours the movie played, Freddie Mercury rose from his ashes and played his music one more time to mesmerize a global audience.....more »»

Movie Review: Aquaman movies

Movie Review: Aquaman

(Jan 26, 2019) Aquaman is a DC comics-based action adventure movie about a half mortal, half merman and his fight to claim the throne of Atlantis. It's got many genres going for it - action, romance, drama, sci-fi with generous pouring of high-tech CGI visual magic. It all works out. Good movie to spend your buck on!....more »»

Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa meditation

Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa

(Jan 26, 2019) I saw a posting on Facebook about a free Reiki Share and got curious. I've received reiki twice but I don't know much about it. As a self-healer, I wanted to know more. Perhaps there would be elements I could integrate into my self-healing practice.....more »»

Resuming Life in Chiang Mai traveling

Resuming Life in Chiang Mai

(Jan 24, 2019) With a proper tourist visa to stay in Thailand, I am back in Chiang Mai (from Hanoi) to start a 60-day mini-life. It will be a different life from most of what I experienced in 2018. This time, I have sufficient cash for a few months (instead of landing on a country with only $50) and a rood over my head. These are 2 of my most pressing concerns - but now, I can put those worries away and be more open to other things that land on my plate.....more »»

4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel traveling

4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel

(Jan 2-6, 2019) After Pai, Mike and I headed to Chiang Mai where he checked me in at his luxurious Nawa Saraan Hotel. With 4 days before my Thailand visa expiration, I had to plan out my next move. Mike suggested I apply for a 60-day tourist visa with Thai Embassy in Hanoi and I could stay at a room in Nawa Saraan. Whoa!....more »»

Mike Chong people

Mike Chong

(Aug 8, 2018) There are people who will kill you with kindness. But you don't meet these kinds of people everyday. Indeed, they happen once in a blue moon. I am lucky to have come across one - Mike Chong...more »»

Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa traveling

Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa

(Aug 4, 2018) A few days ago, I feigned an excuse to a B150 foot massage with some friends to conserve my cash. But I wanted a Thai massage in Thailand! My white knight (my universe!) comes to the rescue and gives me (and Mike) a luxurious B2,400 spa package at Chiang Mai's most prestigious spa resort - Zira Spa....more »»

Yoga In The Park - Chiang Mai yoga

Yoga In The Park - Chiang Mai

(July 31, 2018) Yoga In The Park - Chiang Mai is a daily gathering of yogis in Chiang Mai where resident/traveling yoga teachers take turns in teaching free yoga classes to anyone who wishes to join. Great way to meet the yogi community here in Chiang Mai....more »»

Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai yoga

Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai

(July 29, 2018) Hidden House Yoga was the new kid on the block in Chiang Mai after having opened just a year ago. Adam conducted an Evening Yoga Flow that was challenging and well articulated with a slow enough cadence to sink into the pose.....more »»

2 Weeks in Chiang Mai traveling

2 Weeks in Chiang Mai

(July 25 - Aug 7, 2018) When I landed in Bangkok, I thought I would spend my entire 30 days there. As a general rule, I do a 30-day mini-life in any destination before I move on. But Mike offered his hotel in Chiang Mai for 2 weeks. On top of that, I couldn't find an extension in Bangkok beyond my 15 days. The die was cast for Chiang Mai. Why? Only one way to find out.....more »»

A First Timer in Chiang Mai traveling

A First Timer in Chiang Mai

(Apr 9-23, 2016) I long heard about Chiang Mai as the mountain town of Thailand where the air is cool and crisp. Somehow, images of Sagada came to mind. Finally, upon arrival, it was a surprise awakening for me. Chiang Mai is a big city!....more »»

Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree yoga

Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree

(Apr 19, 2016) When I asked The Yoga Tree studio owner, Areeradh, if I can teach free yoga in her studio, she invited me instead to attend the Dance Mandala...didn't have a clue what that was, which got me even more excited. This would be my first in Chiang Mai....more »»

Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai traveling

Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai

(Apr 13-15, 2016) Thailand celebrates its New Year with Songkran Festival - a 3-day wet-and-wild mayhem that is sure to bring out the child in you. While Songkran is celebrated in all of Thailand, Chiang Mai is ground-zero. Be there or be square!....more »»




Google Map

Chiang Mai, Thailand

important places in Chiang Mai IMPORTANT PLACES
Chiang Mai Bus Station Bus Station
Chiang Mai Train Station Train Station
Chiang Mai airport Chiang Mai International Airport
Nong Buak Hard Park Nong Buak Hard Park - free yoga classes daily

hotels in Chiang Mai HOTEL
Chiang Mai Arun Dara Villa Arun Dara Villa - 7 exclusive rooms, 1 swimming pool for every room, grand opening
Chiang Mai Nawa Sheeva Hotel Nawa Sheeva Hotel - big rooms, high ceiling, salt-water pool, restaurant, cafe
Chiang Mai Nawa Saraan Hotel Nawa Saraan Hotel - low density (4 spacious rooms), stone garden setting, Koi fish pond, Old City location

birds nest restaurants in Chiang Mai RESTAURANT
La Pizza Chiang Mai La Pizza Chiang Mai - Italian pizza, pasta, wine, dessert, coffee
Chiang Mai birds nest restaurant Natural Bird Nest by Burapa - authentic bird's nest soup

Thai massage in Chiang Mai WELLNESS
ITM  International Training Massage School ITM - International Training Massage School - Chiang Mai's most prestigious massage school
Float Chiang Mai Float Chiang Mai - sensory deprivation float pod
Chiang Mai, Royal Thai Lanna Massage Zira Spa - upscale authentic Thai massage and spa treatment

motorcycle rental in Chiang Mai MOTORBIKE RENTAL
Chiang Mai birds nest motorcycle Tawan Bike - motorcycle rental | +66 91 635 2863 | Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200

cafes in Chiang Mai BICYCLE RENTAL
Chiang Mai bicycle rental Top Thailand Adventure Tour - bicycle rental


USEFUL INFORMATION

Chiang Mai FYI / Tips
  • crop-burning season in Chiang Mai is between late Feb to early April. But laws change everytime. This year, 2019, there is a 61-day ban on burning so the farmers started burning early. When my plane was approaching Chiang Mai on Jan 24, 2019, there was already a thick blanket of smog covering the entire city (and beyond). But within the city itself, you won't feel it (but that doesn't mean the air is healthy). To monitor air conditions in real time, refer to site: Chiang Mai Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI)
  • hot season begins March and lasts until June
  • wet season begins July and lasts until September
  • best time to visit Chiang Mai is mid-September to mid-February
  • visit Chiang Mai between October and April - best time, without the monsoon rains
  • you have to try Khao Soi, this is north Thailand's culinary staple
  • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located in the Old City
  • to exchange your dollars to Thai Baht, the Super Rich Money Exchange give the best rates. There are many branches scattered around Chiang Mai
  • get a red cab (songthao) outside the train station for Baht 50 (instead of paying B100 if inside the train station) to Old City - if you haggle nicely enough...I did!
  • shared red taxi (songthao) - B30 standard fare plying all over Old City
  • for only B50/day, best to rent a bike to go around the Old City - it's a 2.5km2 with lots to discover
  • FREE daily yoga classes from 9:00am to 10:15am at Nong Buak Hard Park (southwest corner of Old City). Resident and passing-through teachers take turns conducting yoga classes.
Blues/Jazz Bars in Chiang Mai
  1. North Gate Pub - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session, Blues on Sundays by the 11pm band
  2. Road House - in front of Porn Ping Hotel
  3. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar
Chiang Mai Cost Index
  • B60 Chiang beer
  • B250 1 hour drop-in yoga session
  • B200 one hour Thai body massage at WAYA Massage (highly recommended)
  • B50 noodle soup with meat
  • B50 coffee
  • B40 pad thai
  • B30/kilo wash-only laundry
  • B50/kilo wash+iron laundry
  • B100-150 dorm bed/night
  • B250 fan room/night
  • B30 internet cafe/hour
  • B170-190 Movies Sat-Sun and public holidays
  • B130-150 Movies weekdays
  • B100 Movies Wednesdays (movie discount day)
  • B750 1/2 day Thai cooking lessons
  • B900-1000 1 full day Thai cooking lessons
  • B400 Muay Thai boxing ticket
  • B2500 starting room rate at the luxury hotel, Nawa Sheeva (highly recommended)

  • Transportation
  • B450 bus, Chiang Mai to Bangkok
  • B160-180 bus, Chiang Mai to Pai
  • B1250 bus, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B1650 slow boat, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B210 bus, Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, 3-4 hours
  • B360 Green VIP bus, Chiang Mai to Mae Sai (Thai border town for visa run to Tachileik, Myanmar)
  • B50 bicycle rental, 24 hours
  • B200 motorbike rental, 24 hours
  • B273 #51 sleeping train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B638 #7 a/c train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B50 red taxi fare from point to point
  • B100 red taxi fare from train terminal to city

  • Tours
  • B2000 full day elephant sanctuary
  • B750 Chiang Rai one-day tour
  • B1500 mountain biking scenic ride
How to Get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok by Train from Bang Sue Train Station

For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)

(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)

  1. take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
  2. Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
  3. daily train schedule:
    • 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
    • 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
    • 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
    • 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
    • 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
General Travel Tips
  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
  4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!

Currency Converter

»» back to Traveling
»» back to Homepage

ARCHIVE: 2019 | JAN | FEB | MAR

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | ALL BLOGS