This webpage.. Nightlife in Chiang Mai.. makes nightlife recommendations to our website visitors and clients who have retired here or are considering retiring here.
While most of our clients tell us "Been there and Done that" as to the bar scene we are not dead .. just yet.. because we are over 50 years of age and we do enjoy the ocassional drink and visit to a go-go or bar. Rather than list and evaluate every bar in town we prefer to list the best places in our opinion for a retiree to visit and enjoy in the evening hours.
Having visited Bangkok, Phuket, Patong, and Chiang Mai bars I personally prefer Chiang Mai bars. Why?
Three reasons.. The best bar complex is the Entertainment Centre about 200 yards west of Chanklan rd. It houses about 25 small bars and provides ample seating, most have small pool tables and on average 3 girls work in each bar. On most nights the total complex has about 75 bar girls and about 15-20 bar patrons. Great odds if you want to talk to the girl of your choice.
Second reason is that the bars in Chiang Mai are easy to get to. If I do not like what I see in the Entertainment Centre I can walk to one of the best go-go's in Chiang Mai which is Star 6 and that is right next to the Entertainment Centre or walk along Loi Kroh rd to Cherry bar and the other small bars at the end of Loi Kroh rd. just before the moat or continue on to Spotlight go-go which is only a short 10 minute walk from the Entertainment Centre. No need for taxi, or even to use a motorbike if you have it with you.
And the bar girls who I have met in Pattaya appear to be pro's while the bar girls in Chiang Mai appear to be less experienced and more friendly. One person's opinion.
Our retire clients are mainly men who are here alone to live their retirement lives. They did not come here to live alone but to meed and live with and share their retirement years with a nice Thai lady.
Some retiree's do not know where to look for a Thai girlfriend other than the bar scene and here in Chiang Mai where bars have more bar girls than patrons makes it easier to meet and get to know a Thai girl.
After all, if a girl is working in a busy Pattay or Phuket or Bangkok bar then she is making a good income and would prefer to keep working there. A girl working in a bar here in Chiang Mai will not earn a good income nor a steady one and may want to make the acquaintance of a good hearted retiree.
I am not into drinking to excess, or listening to music that is too loud for my liking, or in watching girls in bikini's dance for hours on end.
As a retiree I want music I enjoy most be it from 60's to 80's and not too loud thank you. If the music is too loud I cannot talk to a bar girl and that would be one of my reasons for going there.
As to the best go-go's in Chiang Mai I would recommend Spotlight as being number 1 and it is a 5 minute walk north of Loi Kroh rd. The actual address is 47 Kotchasan Road and they are open from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. There is room to move around, about 10-12 pretty Thai girls dancing in bikini's and willing to sit next to you and chat with you.
Second best go-go is Star 6 which is right next to the Entertainment Compplex. There is a small admission fee of approximately 100 baht and you will find the lights dimmed, about 10-12 dancing girls who are willing to talk to you or even use the room on site.
Foxy Lady we do not recommend as one cannot move around without spilling a drink on oneself and it is too brightly lit and on a sidestreet with nothing nearby.
As to musical entertainment for a retiree we feel that "Fine Thanks" on Nimmenheimen rd. is a winner with fine food, gorgeous waitresses, and live music. Our second choice would be "Riverside Restaurant" on the other side of town near Night Bazaar. Very good location by the side of the Ping River, good food and live music and popular with tourists and Thai's.
There are several disco's in town .. Bubbles at Porn Ping hotel and Mandalay (with cover charge for farangs) and if you are in your 50's and considering taking a g/f there then you will end up feeling like you are in your 70's. For the young and not the retiree's.
Karaokes are available throughout Chiang Mai and most are not ones designed for couples or friends interested in having a snack and trying their hand at singing but rather they have lovely Thai ladies sitting out front and ready to charge you an arm and a leg for drinks and singing some songs with the Thai lady.
For the average tourist and retiree Chiang Mai has more than enough to offer.
A popular nightlife activity is that of shopping. The largest shopping area is that in the Night Bazaar area - Chang Klang rd.
Hundreds of small booths offer everything and anything and all at prices that can be negotiated. It is common to bargain for discounts of between 20-40% of the asking price. Antique shops, Thai crafts shops, silver/gold/gems, and clothing stores are located throughout the city. For shopping this is paradise.
A declious meal, shopping in the Night Bazaar area or the malls followed by a relaxing massage be it foot or body. All for a fraction of the price you are accustomed to paying back home.
At the Kalare Centre located on Chang Klan rd. about 40 metres north of McDonalds there are about 50 shops and also small vendors offering clothing, crafts, tours, massage and also a large dining area which can sit hundreds. When you are ready for dinner (food stalls open at about 6 p.m.) purchase a food ticket in advance and then pick out the foods that you prefer and pay with the tickets which are in denominations of 5, 10, and 20 baht and which if unused are returned for a refund up to 11 pm Same Day.
There are soups, noodles, seafood, sushi, desserts to select from and a filling meal for me with a drink is less than a 100 baht which included a pita with pork, 4 sushi (2 salmon), and a coke with ice. At one end of the food court is a stage and you may even be treated to a complimentary show featuring Thai traditional dances or more contemporary music. Washrooms are at both ends of the dining area and are kept very clean. The food is freshly prepared, delicous, value priced and for a quick meal this is highly recommended by us.
Several blocks south of here (also on the western side of Chang Klan rd.)in the Anusarn Market area there is a similar setup but it is outdoors. About 40 food vendors to select from in terms of freshly prepared food. There is also entertainment here and also vendors selling crafts, fruit, candies, and offering neck and foot massage. This area is also highly recommended by us.
And if you can, visit "Walking Street" on Sunday from about 2 pm to 10 pm. Much better selection of crafts and items for sale as compared to Night Bazaar, delicous and cheap meals and snacks and a great outing that costs next to nothing and one which a Thai girlfriend would enjoy as well.
Make a note that here in Chiang Mai some restaurants allow you to bring your own bottle of liquor. Management will put your name on it and will prepare your drinks from your own bottle which will be brought to your table when you arrive. This is common here in Chiang Mai. Quite often it is a bottle of Scotch that diners bring with them and it reduces the cost of your alcohol tab as there is only a small fee plus the mix.
Normally for a large bottle there is fee of 100 baht and for a smaller bottle 50 baht. In some restaurants you may see a glass partition with 50-100 bottles inside with small labels on each. These are the customer's own bottles. So drink what you enjoy most and for a lower price.
As to dining there are Greek, Italian, Thai, American, Japanese, Chinese and cuisines from around the world available everywhere. Prices range from downright cheap to moderately expensive depending on your selection. There are several McDonalds, Colonel Sanders chicken and Pizza outlets in the city but if you can sample the Thai cuisine as it is delicious, fresh and healthy.
For more on dining in Chiang Mai and for our recommendations simply visit our Dining in Chiang Mai web page.
Dining in Chiang Mai
Most individuals or couples visiting Chiang Mai take pleasure in a relaxing massage. This could be a foot massage in the evening after a long day of walking seeing the sights and shopping or a back massage, neck massage or full body massage. Massage parlors or spas's are located primarily in the touristy areas. Prices for a 2 hour massage range from 300 baht up to 800 baht and more and it all depends on whether you are content in a small establishment which has mattresses on the floor and a middle aged masseuse or if you want a spa with a private room and a younger masseuse.
If you want an outcall massage then best to check with your hotel to see if they allow masseuse to come to your room and if there is a "joiner fee". Accommodations we recommend to our clients are larger than hotel rooms, better equipped, lower priced and never charge "joiner fees".
There are establishments that offer a Thai oil massage or Thai traditional massage, or foot massage and there are other establishments that offer that and a bit more if you understand what I mean and let's call them naughtie massage. The ladies are more attractive, the prices after all is said and done are a bit higher and they are located outside of the touristy areas.
Extremely popular with some males are the men's clubs or soapies. They do not offer massage but sex. Bus loads of Japanese and Koreans visit several well know establishments and some of the recognizable names are Sayuri and Pandora. The price of a soapy massage can run from 1,500 baht to 4000 baht depending on Thai girl selected and whether you are a farang or Thai or whether you arrived on your own or not. Tuk tuk drivers will be more than pleased to take you to a soapie as they receive a commission of 500 baht from the management, and farangs are charged a higher price than the local Thai customers.
We DO NOT recommend any of the soapies or Men's Clubs. WHY??
The ladies can be attractive and the service can be good but it boils down to price and habits and chop chop.
As to price for a retiree spending 2-4k an outing it can add up. As to habits.. bad habits are hard to break and including this one. Lastly chop chop.. most retiree's have Thai g/f who are faithful to them and they expect the same in return. And a Thai g/f who finds you cheating on here .. well she may chop something off and it won't be your moustache.
Best to find a nice Thai g/f and stay faithful to her. We offer more details on our Finding a Girlfriend page.
related pages.. Night Bazaar Walking Street Finding a Wife/Girlfriend