Getting out at night in Chiang Mai is a relaxing and easy affair, with many great bars and pubs located within walking distance of the Night Market or Old Town. There’s plenty of themed pubs in Chiang Mai catering to tourists and you’ll find a busy atmosphere on most nights during the tourist season.
Chiang Mai bars provide something for everyone, whether you prefer a quiet whisky over a tête-à-tête, live sports, or funky lounge music. Drinks prices are far more sensible than Bangkok or Phuket, but vary wildly from roadside ‘cocktail combis’ to plush luxury hotel bars.
Punters looking to find female company for the evening should browse our page on go go bars.
Music and lively bars in Chiang Mai
Rasta Cafe’: Popular, laid-back outdoor place now located in the Night Bazaar area along Charoen Prathet Road (right next to the one-way Iron bridge). Features live music nightly – mostly reggae and ska along with a sprinkling of jazz and rock. Open: 18:00-01:00, 73/10-11 Charoen Prathet Rd., Tel: (089) 838 8148.
Roots Rock Reggae: Chiang Mai’s premier riddim venue is busy most nights with a mixed crowd of dreadlocked Thais and backpackers with reggae and ska sounds rocking the house. Open: 19:00-01:00, 40/12 Ratvithi Rd., Tel: (083) 762 2017.
North Gate Jazz Co-Op: A small bar & music jamming venue with bohemian crowd and atmosphere (when bands are playing), with mid-priced drinks and a mixed crowd of Thais and foreigners. 95/1-2 Sriphum Rd., Tel: (081) 765 5246.
Pubs in Chiang Mai
The Writers’ Club & Wine Bar: Popular with local writers on Friday nights, with friendly owners, great wine selection and good food specials. Stop off here while strolling the Sunday Walking Street. Open: 12:00-Midnight (Sunday-Friday), 141/3 Ratchadamnoen Rd., Tel: (053) 814 187, Email.
The (UN) Irish Pub: A Magnet for the local expat crowd; serves good pub food, multiple sports channels on big screens. It’s hardly Irish but hosts quiz and live music and is busy during big sports events. Open: 09:00-Midnight, 24-24/1 Ratchawithi Rd., Sriphum. Tel: (053) 214 554, Email.
The Pub: An ageing, but very reputable, English-styled pub that is popular with the older, long-standing expat crowd. 189 Huay Kaew Rd., Tel: (053) 211 550.
O’Malley’s Irish Pub: Air-conditioned Irish pub with several good beers on tap and comfy interior. Has good pub grub and is conveniently located in the Night Market area. Open: 09:00-02:00, 149/14-15 Chang Klan Rd., Tel: (053) 271 921.
The Red Lion: Conveniently located in a central spot within the Night Bazaar, this long-running favourite serves a good selection of food and drink, including draught Guinness and Tetley’s bitter (rarities in this part of the world) to weary shoppers and locals alike. Drink and dine indoors or outdoors in British Pub tradition. Open: 09:30-23:30, 123 Loi Kroh Rd., Chang Klan. Tel: (053) 818 847, Email.
Bachelor bars in Chiang Mai
Number 1 Bar: One of the most popular places in town, featuring lots of pretty waitresses, though not an in-yer-face ‘girlie bar’. Number 1 is the main distributor of Belgian & Craft Beers in the north of Thailand and also has an outlet alongside the river to the south of town. Open 13:00-01:00, Loi Kroh Rd., Soi 1. Tel: (053) 206 724, Email.
Sax Music Pub: Popular with visiting German motorcycle crowds, with good music and a convenient location. Moon Muang Rd. Tel: (081) 022 9257.
Chiang Mai Saloon: American-styled burger and steakhouse with great South-western food, friendly owner and staff, nice atmosphere, music videos and live sporting events on a large screen. Draft beer and the largest selection of margaritas in Chiang Mai and a kitchen open from breakfast until late. Chiang Mai Saloon 1: 80/1 Loi Kroh Rd., open: 11:00-midnight. Chiang mai Saloon 2: 30 Ratchawithi Rd. Tel: (053) 219 667.
The Half Moon Pub: A long-established sports bar & restaurant situated on Moon Muang road. Good music, slate pool table and darts area guarantees a great time while enjoying one of the many local, and imported, drinks. Open: 09:00-02:00, Moonmuang Soi 2. Tel: (086) 913 8190.
Hotel bars in Chiang Mai
The Mix Bar: Perhaps Chiang Mai’s most sophisticated bar, located in the hip D2 hotel. Uber-chic bar-tenders and atmosphere, regular parties, a place to be ‘seen’. Open: 11:00-01:00, dusitD2 Hotel, 100 Chan Klan Rd., Tel: (053) 999 999.
The Horn Bar: For a really discerning experience, find your way out of town to the remarkable Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in Sankhampaeng. Arrive before sunset and marvel at this extraordinarily-themed, five-star that has few equals in Asia. Open: 17:00-Midnight, Dhara Dhevi Hotel, 51/4 Moo 1, Chiang Mai-Sankhampaeng Rd., Tasala. Tel: (053) 888 888.
Chilling bar lounges in Chiang Mai
The @ Living Room Bar: A chic place with pool table, with a nice atmosphere when busy. This new, stylish bar is open until early morning and is a popular relaxing bar when most bars close, not far from Thapae Gate in Somphet Gold Place (near Spicy), and the friendly owners, Denis and Kung, certainly put in the effort. Open: 21:00-06:00, 95/5 Sithiwongse Rd., Tel: (087) 579 3301, Email.
THC Rooftop Bar: A bohemian place above a Hemp Shop, with good views of Thapae Gate and floor-level seating. Good for chilling out with funky tunes and cheap drinks, but sometimes gets very busy. Open: 16:00-Midnight, 19/4-5 Kotchasarn Rd., Thapae Gate.
Chiang Mai’s very own backpacker-cum-little Jamaica is a cluster of bars around a car park just off Ratvithi, down from the Irish Pub. Here you’ll find a lively collection of shacks or open air bars with several live bands, cheap beer and food. It’s downmarket but has character and is popular with beatnik locals and backpackers alike. Best bars include Zoe in Yellow, Babylon Café (Irie), Roots, Rock, Reggae (Live Music) and Heaven’s Beach (Pool Tables).