I am flying into Chiang Mai to stay one night before going up to Pai the next day. Any advice on somewhere lively to eat and drink, and listen to some live music when I am in Chiang Mai? I have heard there are lots of places with live music. Also any suggestions on where to stay in Chiang Mai and how to book a bus ticket upto Pai in advance?
Reply from Thailand Info
I suggest you try the Riverside Bar & Restaurant on the Chareonrat Road, which is on the other side of the Ping River from Chiang Mai old town.
Getting to The Riverside Bar and Restaurant
To get there either take a taxi, every taxi driver know this place, or walk down the Tha Phae Road (this starts near the Tha Phae gate on the East side of the old walled town) over the Nawarat Bridge and turn left. From there it is 280 metres (4 minute walk) to the Riverside Bar and Restaurant.
Great Food, Drink and Music
The Riverside will give you all three things you are after: great food, drink and music. They have live bands in there every night. They start about 9 pm in the bar, and before that the house band (two old rockers on guitars) play from about 19.00.
Popular Hang Out For Chiang Mai’s ‘Beautiful People’
It gets very lively in here especially at the weekend. Its a student town, and the young, rich and famous of Thai society come here when they get to Chiang Mai. I saw a former Miss Thailand (my wife pointed her out) in the Riverside Bar and Restaurant last time I was there.
Come Early to Get a Table
The bar can get crowded but there is also an upstairs and outside restaurant area. The food is superb, with Thai, Burmese and International cuisine on a very long menu. Its popular as a consequence and I suggest you arrive early (7 pm) if you want a table in the main bar to eat and watch the music. It is really good fun if you are in a group. If not order a bottle of whiskey and mixers (a cheap way to drink in Thailand) and you will find you acquire lots of friends as the night goes on.
Great Hotel Near to the Riverside Bar and Restaurant
I would advise staying in the Porn Ping Tower, its a great hotel with good facilities and a decent buffet breakfast from around 1,000 THB (£20) a night. From the Porn Ping Tower it is a 5 minute walk to the Riverside Bar & Restaurant. To get from the Porn Ping Tower go to the main road off the hotel car park, turn left along the main road and walk to the roundabout, then turn right to go over the bridge. From there turn left again and walk 100 metres and you will see the Riverside Bar & Restaurant on your left.