Five Best Bars in Chiang Mai, Thailand

While Chiang Mai is perhaps best known for its abundance of temples, over 300 in fact, many visitors to the ancient city simply wish to unwind at one of local bars. Some locals like to think their city is a quaint and mellow place; however the reality is Chiang Mai is a dynamic yet chic metropolis with a lively nightlife and a superb selection of bars. These are the five best bars in Chiang Mai.


Trying to choose which one of the many expat bars in Chiang Mai to visit is like trying to choose a rucksack there’s so many good ones, difficult. Yet The Red Lion stands out for its superb location and fine selection of ales, including Guinness and Tetley’s Bitter – no wonder the place is so popular with those expats yearning for some home comforts.

With a name like The Olde Bell, this popular watering hole is a bona-fide English pub. Located on Loi Kroh Road the Sunday roasts keep the expats coming back as does the great selection of drinks.

The Half Moon Pub is a well-established sports bar on the Moon Muang Road. Featuring classic pub games such as pool and darts, the Half Moon Pub also has good music and a range of local and imported drinks.

Rooftop Bar is located above a hemp shop, so it’s no wonder the place has a cool bohemian feel to it. Offering great views of Thape Gate, Rooftop is a chill bar to relax and listen to funky beats and sample some cheap drinks.

Roots Rock Reggae is often described as Chiang Mai’s premier ‘riddim’ bar. The bustling bar is popular with hip locals and backpackers. All who visit must share a love for all things reggae and ska. Live music is offered nightly with reggae firmly represented.

Many of Chiang Mai’s bars and clubs are located within walking distance of the Old Town and with drink prices far more reasonable than Bangkok and Phuket it’s easy to see why many visitors who booked a hotel in Bangkok travel to Chiang Mai. What once was a jumping off point for those wishing to trek the surrounding hills, Chiang Mai is a destination of choice for many travelers in Thailand.

For now, I’m going to put my feet up, try out this new electronic cigarette starter kit; put on some music and sip on this Singha beer  and kick back and relax.