Partying it up in Northern Thailand: the best nightlife in Chiang Mai

photo by CC user KayEss on wikimedia

Thailand is one of the most popular destinations in the world for young backpackers, as it offers amazing food, world class beaches, and some of the most epic parties in the world. While Bangkok and the southern Thai islands have a well-developed reputation for merry-making, Chiang Mai remains something of an under-appreciated quantity when it comes to having fun after dark.

Where can one find the best nightlife in Chiang Mai? The following three nightspots will have you singing the praises of the north by the time you have finished with them…!

1) Monkey Club

When you are in a new country, it is often best to go where the locals go in order to get a sense of how daily life is for them. The same rule applies when it comes to nightlife, so during the course of your stay in Thailand’s second city, head northwest of the moat to the Nimmanhaemin Road area, where many clubs geared towards Thai students can be found.

One of the best of the lot here is Monkey Club, which offers an expansive outdoor seating area where one can enjoy the chill of the cool season air while listening to the jams of a local Thai rock band. Be sure to tighten up your fashion game here, as this is one of the trendier spots in the city for young locals, making hippie pants stick out like a sore thumb in a place like this.

2) THC Rooftop Bar

If you can’t bear to part with your sarong or Thai fisherman pants, then you will fit in just fine at the THC Rooftop Bar. A long treasured backpacker hangout located in the vicinity of Thapae Gate on the outer portion of the moat, this bamboo and neon graffiti clad nightspot offers a prime view of one of the livelier parts of the city, and most important of all, the beers and buckets are dirt cheap, allowing you to groove out all night for less than 500 baht (~$15 USD).

3) Zoe in Yellow

If you’re looking to cut loose on the dance floor instead of chilling out in the former environment, then Zoe in Yellow is one of your best options in Chiang Mai. Located near the centre of the Old City within the confines of the moat, this nightlife hub is set on a courtyard that offers all the space you’ll ever need to bust a move.

All that movement is bound to make you hungry, so when the time to refuel comes, a series of food carts awaits your appetite, including the cheekily named “Tacos Bell”.

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