Chiang Mai Guest Houses Guide

Guesthouses can be boutique alternatives

Guesthouses can be boutique alternatives

The old town lanes of Chiang Mai are ideal for guesthouses and many visitors opt for the down-to-earth character of these rather than hotels. Certainly the budget traveller will be pleased with the large selection of cheap guesthouses in Chiang Mai, but those with more discerning taste can also find upmarket boutique places.

There are numerous guesthouses of varying quality scattered around the Old Town, as well as the leafy lanes closer to the Night Market, or south of the moat. A few are located on the riverfront, and some long-stay or more peaceful places are located out in the suburbs. Rates range from 150 to 800 baht per night, and it’s worth paying a bit more for an atmospheric place. Many of the guesthouses double as a one-stop shop for trekking, tourist services and even offer cooking courses. 

*Out of season (May-October) rates drop by as much as 30-40 per cent.

Guesthouses in the Old Town:

 Britannia Guest HouseIn the heart of a lively backpacker section of town, this apartment block is comfortable with clean and new rooms, a professional staff and cooking classes…more details and booking

 Chiang Mai Kristi HouseDecent rooms but lacks atmosphere our common area, convenient and quiet location…more details and booking 

– Chiang Mai White House: Lonely Planet favourite with clean rooms, good security, quiet location and nice garden. 12 Ratchadamnoen Soi 5, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 357 130.

– Gaps House 2: Sits only 1.6km from the city center and 8.3km from the airport. Features rooms with essential amenities like LCD TV, wireless internet and air conditioning. It’s one of quality places for your stay in Chiang Mai...more details and booking

– Gord Chiang MaiOne of the best lodging choices in the heart of the city for its friendly hospitality. They offer airport pick-up/drop-off, complimentary breakfast, daily room clean, free WiFi and bicycles for exploring…more details and booking

 Julie HostelPopular for its cheap rooms. Sits in the city center, 300m from Tha Pae Gate. It’s designed to be a meeting point for young travelers…more details and booking

– Jungala House: Is under new management from a Thai/German couple with plenty of experience in the trekking business. It’s a centrally located guesthouse, near the popular bars on Ratvithi, but quiet with 20 modest/affordable rooms, mostly fan although some are air conditions. All have en-suite bathrooms. It has a spacious and shady courtyard, wifi, and plenty of parking. Of course you can arrange your trekking from here also. 26 Ratvithi Rd., Soi 2, Sriphum, Muang, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 210 620.

– Lamchang House: Nice wooden house with small garden restaurant, run by friendly old couple. 24 Soi 7, Moon Muang Rd., Muang, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 210 586.

– Minicost Apartment & Guesthouse: Centrally located, new building with clean comfy rooms and efficient Australian run services, wifi in rooms, bikes for rent, internet café, excellent choice for those expecting comfort levels and can afford a bit more. 19-19/4 Rachadamnoen Rd., Soi 1, Sriphum, Muang, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 418 787.

– RCN Court & InnTucked out the way but popular for long-stayers, offering full amenities, a gym and decent sized rooms with cable TV, better value on long stay…more details and booking

 Safe House CourtResembles a small apartment block, popular long-stay venue with all mod cons…more details and booking

 Smile HouseVery convenient yet quiet location near Thapae Gate, includes a pool, various styled/priced pokey rooms and has atmosphere, but gets full…more details and booking

– Top North Guest HouseLocated in southeast corner of moat among quaint lanes, a large popular place with great pool area and atmosphere…more details and booking

Note: Finding more cheap guesthouses in Chiang Mai, we recommend you look online at Agoda.com. They seem to be the most competitively priced of the hotels sites.

Guesthouses East of the Moat:

– Galare Guest House: First class accommodation on riverfront, with all mod cons and hotel service…more details and booking

– Lai Thai Guest House: Popular place, alongside the moat (so noisy) with restaurant and pool. Plenty of rooms finished in wood but slightly overpriced…more details and booking

– Little Home Guesthouse: Near the Moat in modern Thai-styled building with private balconies. 1/1 Kotchasarn Rd., Soi 3, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 206 939.

– Parami GuesthouseCharming guest house in an authentic Lanna-Thai teak wooden house which is over a hundred years old and surrounds a private and breath-taking tropical garden. Parami is located in the centre of Chiang Mai, and close to the river…more details and booking

– River View Lodge: Well appointed rooms in spacious building with pool and lovely garden on riverfront. 25 Charoen Prathet Rd., Soi 4, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 271 109.

– Sarah Guest HouseLong running, established guesthouse offering cheap and convenient accommodation, in the very centre of Chiang Mai. Only 2 mins walk from the Night Bazaar or Tapae Gate. Trekking and cookery courses run from the guesthouse…more details and booking

– Thana GuesthouseIsraeli house of choice, with signs in Hebrew, Kosher food in the restaurant and good rooms…more details and booking

Meeting horny local girls for free:

Most ‘bachelors’ visiting Thailand opt for the easy solution of visiting go-go and girlie bars, but there are also lots of regular girls who aren’t prostitutes that are keen on meeting foreigners for a fling. Hundreds of lonely and horny modern city girls go looking online for sex with visiting or resident Westerners; no strings attached. They aren’t expecting money or a boyfriend and haven’t been with scores of other men. The best place to meet these girls is on Adult Friend Finder, where there are more than 10,000 registered Thai female members.

Upmarket Guesthouses:

– Baan HanibahLovely colonnial teak styled place with private home atmosphere, trendy boutique finish and professional management. Quiet, discerning and well placed in a quiet area, with pretty patio garden…more details and booking

– Baan Suay Jan: Luxury family holiday home and villa in Chiang Mai with private swimming pool, park and sports complex. Enjoys the peace and tranquility of a country home yet is ideally located for all amenities and tourist attractions. The lounge, dining and kitchen area leads out through a covered terrace to the swimming pool area where guests can relax during the day and enjoy open fire bbq’s under the crystal clear starlit nights.

– Ban Sabai Village Resort & Spa: Actually a resort and spa with a homely feel, certainly upmarket and comfortable with soothing pool and suburban gardens, 10 minutes from Chiang Mai city. Spa and wellness facilities a speciality, under Swiss management…more details and booking

– Club One Seven Chiang MaiLovely, quiet riverside location in old teak house, with creative food and friendly staff, but remote from the city centre…more details and booking

– Galare Guest House: First class accommodation on riverfront, with all mod cons and hotel service…more details and booking

– Doi Luang Private ResortThis is very large holiday home in the foothills of Doi Luang is perfect for a relaxing family vacation amidst the hot springs and waterfalls of this picturesque national park. There are six en suite bedrooms and ten acres of private grounds with an additional separate cottage and acres of land to pitch tents, but within easy access all the entertainment and cultural attractions of the Lanna capital. Weekly rates from 50,000 baht including maid service and free 4×4 rental. 

– Good Night Chiang Mai Hotel: This charming garden apartment comes fully serviced with breathtaking views of Doi Suthep. It is great for both tourists and business travellers being around ten minutes from the town centre and boasting free WiFi…more details and booking

– Pha-Thai Guest HouseA lovely boutique place with surprisingly cheap rooms, and a range of options to suit all comfort levels. Nice gardens, brand new and highly recommended for mature travellers…more details and booking

– Ping Nakara Hotel & Spa: This hotel is only five minutes walk from the famous night bazaar and features graceful gingerbread architecture and hand-carved fretwork throughout its nineteen rooms. A welcome retreat for the tired traveller…more details and booking

– River View Lodge: Retro rooms in spacious building with pool and lovely garden on riverfront. Rates reflect the location rather than comfort of the rooms. 25 Charoen Prathet Rd., Soi 4, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 271 109.

– Sang Serene House: A lovely low-rise apartment building out in the leafy suburbs near Doi Suithep mountain, especially ideal for long stays. Rooms are new, comfy and tastefully decorated, with apartments also offered at monthly rates, plus a range of facilities…more details and booking

Note: The best online place to meet Thai Gay for free is on Gay Friend Finder, where there are more than 10,000 registered Thai Gay members.

GAY FRIENDLY GUESTHOUSES:

– 137 Pillars House: This boutique hotel sits in the Nawarat area and only 1.5km from Chiang Mai city center. All rooms are decorated in contemporary style and well equipped with modern conviences. It features a variety of recreational facilities such as fitness center, spa treatment, massage parlour, outdoor pool and restaurant. It’s a perfect place to relax and unwind…more details and booking

– Club One Seven: A traditional Thai-style hotel, sits only 2km from the city center and easy access to the main attractions. All comfortable rooms come with air-conditioning, cable TV, minibar, safety box and bathroom. Other recreational facilities include sauna, fitness center, outdoor pool, cafe and bar…more details and booking

– Imagine Chiang Mai: A contemporary resort, peacefully sits in the Doi Saket area. The Chiang Mai Airport is only a 25-minute drive. It features private small villas overlooking the rice paddy fields and mountain landscape. An ideal place to escape from the crowds and pace of city life…more details and booking 

– Lotus HotelSits on Chotana Road and 1.1km from Chang Phuak Gate. Features clean and comfortable rooms come with standard facilities like air-conditioning, TV, free WiFi and a private bathroom…more details and booking  

– PJ’s Place: Situated in a quiet area in the northwest of Chiang Mai’s moat. All rooms come with air conditioning, TV, DVD/CD player, wireless internet and mini bar.  19, Soi Plubplueng, Huay Kaew Road, Chiang Mai. Tel: (053) 404 894.

– Qi 68 Hotel: A small boutique guesthouse, sits in Santitham area. All rooms come with a variety of comforts like LCD TV, wireless internet, air conditioning and non smoking room. It’s one of the excellent choices for your stay…more details and booking

– Sang Serene HouseA lovely low-rise apartment building out in the leafy suburbs near Doi Suithep mountain, especially ideal for long stays. Rooms are new, comfy and tastefully decorated, with apartments also offered at monthly rates, plus a range of facilities…more details and booking

 Santitham Guest HouseA nicely appointed, upmarket guesthouse, Northwest of the moat in a nice quiet suburb, but within walking distance of Kad Suan Kaew mall and conveniently located for biking to the Old Town. Offer massage and food…more details and booking

– Seven Suns ResidenceA friendly and comfortable place, centrally located in the old town with sociable restaurant and nice staff…more details and booking

– Soulmates Retreat: Sits in a quiet area of Doi Saket area and a 30-minute drive from the airport. A 5-bedroom hotel features tastefully furnished rooms come with comforts like LCD TV, wireless internet, air conditioning and non smoking room. Outdoor pool, garden and restaurant are also available on-site…more details and booking 

 Tokyo Vender Hotel: Located on the Northwest corner of the moat, this ..isn’t a guesthouse but a five storey hotel that offers the largest and liveliest gay accomodation in town. Recently refurbished and opened, with the Power Boys caberet and revue bar in the basement, pool, restaurant and friendly atmosphere…more details and booking

Tips for Choosing a Guesthouse in Chiang Mai: There are plenty of guesthouses in the city and even during the busy season you can find a place to stay by just showing up, although it’s best to book in advance to ensure your stay is a memorable one. Some guesthouses provide a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, while others put little effort in other than providing a cheap place to stay. Taking the time to find a good one will make all the difference to your Chiang Mai stay.

Those arriving by train will undoubtedly be approached by touts at the station and there’s no harm in following them to see the place, but do ‘shop’ around to appreciate the difference between a fun or dull Chiang Mai guesthouse. The nicer ones have a small garden area, well-maintained rooms, and other guests for company. Trekkers will find many guesthouses offering trips to their guests and this is a good way to get to know your trekking company before you decide to set out into the mountains. A good restaurant and common areas also adds to the appeal.

Noise is another factor to seriously consider and is generally inescapable in Thailand. The upmarket places will have seen to it that the environment is peaceful, but in the built-up old town, you never really can tell when an angle-grinder will fire up. The Old Town lanes are peaceful and quiet the further you get away from the Thapae Gate area.

For central convenience, the areas nearer Thapae gate are best, but most guesthouses in Chiang Mai are within walking distance of the sites. There are clusters of backpacker-friendly places in the south-eastern and north-eastern corners of the Old Town, while the windy lanes between the east flank of the moat and the Night Market are leafy and quiet.

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