The major attractions and hotspots which are a part of nightlife in Chiang Rai include bars and restaurants, massage parlours and the shopping streets. However, Chiang Rai being impartial to its visitors also offers some offbeat experiences as well for some memorable nights.
The Bars and Restaurants of Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is packed with varieties of Bars and Cafes, ranging from neat family bars to Go-Go bars. Around the town’s centre, you will be amazed to see a bar at every step on the main road on either side. Some of the famous and must visit bars of Chiang Rai are listed below:
Serving beers and vodka at the most affordable prices in the entire town of Chiang Rai, this bar is located just 50 meters away from the Clock Tower towards the south. The comfy setup of the bar with wooden seats provides the perfect ambience to hangout place friends. Free WiFi is also offered, and there is a pool to enjoy one's drink in. A big TV screen which majorly plays the news and sports channel will entertain you in the middle of your gossips.
Timings: 03:00 PM till midnight 12:00 AM
Location: 50 meters south of Clock tower on Jetyod Road
Cost: Affordable (100* THB per glass of beer)
The Cat bar right in the centre of the town is owned and run by a Thai couple. It offers the most soothing nightlife experience. The husband and wife duo serve up a variety of drinks. Drinks and pool games go hand in hand and here one can play pool for free. Live music sessions held every night at this bar are what attracts customers the most. Majority of the time, one will find the husband jamming the floor with his guitar. The stage at the Cat bar also welcomes all its guests to showcase their talent.
Timings: 02:00 PM – 01:00 AM
Location: Jetyod Road
Cost: Affordable (150* THB per glass of beer)
Timings: 07:00 PM – 01:00 AM
Location: Off the Jetyod Road
Timings: As per hotel timings
Location: East of the Night Bazaar
Timings: 07:00 PM – midnight
Location: Kwae Road
Cost: Moderately expensive
Timings: 07:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: In the Night bazaar (Walking Street)
Cost: Free Entry. Affordable price food and drinks
Shopping in Chiang Rai
The shopping markets in Chiang Rai are not as fancy or huge as the markets of Bangkok or Chiang Mai. But these night markets still add to the charm of the nightlife in Chiang Rai. A vast range of traditional handicrafts and souvenirs are offered at comparatively lower prices than the city markets.
Every night the streets of Chiang Rai get crowded with local Thai vendors and the Night Bazaar is one shopping hotspot. The market is flooded with compact stalls selling age-old tribal craftworks and traditional handicrafts, knitted scarves, embroidered bags, silver jewellery, t-shirts, sneakers and much more. Almost all of the vendors are families selling various products, and they can charge absurdly high prices. So it is recommended to bargain to at least half the price for any product one wishes to purchase.
Apart from shopping, the major attraction of the Night Bazaar is the live cultural performances of the music and dances performed by local Thai people.
Timings: 06:00 PM – Midnight
Location: South East of the Clock Tower
Cost: Affordable prices. Bargaining is recommended
Timings: 05:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: Saturday market - Thanalai road, South to the Clock Tower
Sunday market - Sang Khon Noi Road
Sightseeing in Chiang Rai
A beautiful town in the lap of hills, home to colourful temples like White Temple, Black Temple, Blue Temple, etc. the nightlife in Chiang comprises of some quick sightseeing too.
It is a race to get a prime viewing spot in front of the Clock Tower as soon as the clock strikes 7 or 8 or 9 PM. At these hours, when the last rays of the sun have left the city, the shining golden clock tower is all set to flaunt its vibrant colours to the beat of energetic music. During this enthralling light show, one can witness the tower beautifully changing its colour from pink to green to further various colours. The centre of the town was designed by the Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the one who designed the famous White Temple of Chiang Rai.
Time: 07:00 PM, 08:00 PM, 09:00 PM
Location: The Clock Tower
Relaxing in Chiang RaiThailand is famous for its traditional Thai spas. So it definitely makes sense to rush into those aromatic massage parlours at night and treat oneself to a much-needed massage after a long day of sightseeing.
An original Thai massage that not only relaxes one but also helps in curing many ailments like asthma, migraine, anxiety, insomnia, etc. It also relieves the stress and makes one feel light and happy with a balanced mental and emotional stage. One such destination for such massages in Chiang Rai is the Arisara Thai massage parlour.
The staff is very professional and friendly. A variety of massages are available with prices little above the charges of the small massage parlours, but the service is worth the money spent.
Time: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Location: Phahonyothin Road, Chiang Rai
Cost: Starts from 300 THB per hour
An offbeat experience of nightlife in Chiang RaiA visit to Chiang Rai would be in Vain without experiencing some of the unique experiences it has to offer.
The hill enclosed town of Chiang Rai is home to the immigrant South Chinese hill tribal people who dwell in the nearby forest area. They live in mud and straw houses and lead a simple life. Visits can be made to their ethnic village where one can spend the day roaming around in their tribal society. At night get along with the families, have the local tribal dinner and learn about their lifestyle, occupation, culture and history. Local guides are recommended who can translate the language of the Akha people.
Location: Baan Huay Kee Lek, Longneck Karen and many more
How to reach: A Local auto can take you to these villages
In spite of the slow, sleepy nature of the town, the nightlife in Chiang Rai will never disappoint. Though it does demand some planning in advance at a few places, overall the experience will be one to remember.