Chiang Mai is not exactly the diverse metropolis Bangkok is, what with its tribal villages and elephant sanctuaries. In fact, that’s probably exactly the reason why you came, right?
Maybe you found yourself hiding indoors during an exceptionally hot day and now have an excess of energy after dark. Or maybe you had to work on something and are looking to let loose with a drink or two. OR, did you overdo that two-hour massage and get four hours instead?
Whatever the reason, you’re now looking for the top things to do in Chiang Mai after the sun goes down.
We scoured the best of what to see in Chiang Mai and what to do in Chiang Mai for those who are up for some nighttime exploration. Skip the temples and parks tonight and try these amazing Chiang Mai nightlife activities—you might just be surprised by what Northern Thailand has to offer when the moon goes up…
Enjoy an Original Chiang Mai Khantoke Dinner Show
Khantoke literally translated means ‘small bowl, low table,’ and is a signature Lanna dining experience. Dinner is served on a low teak tray that also serves as your table, and diners sit on the carpeted floor partaking of dishes with their hands. Seats are arranged to face a center courtyard, where a cultural performance is staged each night as guests dine on traditional food.
Dance the night away in one of Chiang Mai’s clubs
If you want to dance to EDM, techno, funk, jazz, and everything in between, then to a club you go! Some popular ones include Zoe in Yellow, Warm Up Cafe, Spicy, Infinity Club, Bus Bar, Northgate Jazz Co-Op, Sound Up, and Take It Club.
Relax and nurse a good drink in Chiang Mai’s bar scene
If you’d rather have a good time without the loud electronic mashup from the clubs, you can check out the bar scene instead. Check out Boys Blues Bar, THC Rooftop Bar, The Beer Republic, Myst Maya, Deck1, House of Beer (HOBS), OASIS Rooftop Garden Bar, Writers Club & Wine Bar, The UN Irish Pub, The Rooftop Sala Lanna, and Baa(n) Din.
Check out a go go bar to see what it’s all about
Thailand is known for burlesque-y themed go go bars, and Chiang Mai nightlife has quite a few that cater to foreigners. Head south from Tha Pae Gate, and you’ll see a short strip leading towards the Night Bazaar on Loi Kroh Road.
Catch a ladyboy performance and experience a cabaret show like no other
Like Bangkok and the rest of Thailand, Chiang Mai is also no stranger to ladyboy performances. If you’re in the mood for a cabaret-like performance from glitzy and glamorous ladyboys, go to the Anusarn Night Market at either 9:30 or 11:30 pm to watch the spectacle.
Watch a live Muay Thai fight
Spend the night watching one of Thailand’s most beloved sports. Try the the CM Entertainment Complex, where you can cheer at a real life Muay Thai fight. Be prepared to witness a combination of the ancient martial art with other entertaining performances. (Be warned that the complex is also has bars and pubs that make it a highly adults-only area.)
Sample some traditional Thai fare on a river cruise
A city is always different at night, and one of the best ways to experience this is to go on a river cruise to fully appreciate the bright lights of the dazzling cityscape. You can also enjoy some traditional Thai fare while admiring the view of the Ping river.
Looking for more areas to satisfy your appetite? See the only Chiang Mai foodie guide you’ll ever need!
Explore Chiang Mai’s many street markets
Synonymous with Chiang Mai nightlife are the street markets and the incomparable Night Bazaar. Whether you’re there to eat, shop, drink, dance, watch a show, or all of the above, a vacation in Chiang Mai is not complete without having at least one street market bazaar experience.
P.S. If you’re looking for some of the best shopping streets in Chiang Mai, check out these 12 Shopping Streets & Markets in Chiang Mai To Get Lost In.
Ready to see the best of this city by night? Which of these activities will you be trying out next? Did we miss anything essential? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’re still planning your Chiang Mai trip and are looking for some of the best places to stay and things to do, keep reading!
Featured Image: @teexatp
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