I've never been to Chiang Mai and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the hotel options. I'd like to stay in a hotel that is central and gives me good sense of what Chiang Mai is like. I'd love to know where locals tell their friends to stay when they visit, and why those areas and hotels are special. thanks!
Hello, I'll try to help you but there is no one good answer. And I haven't stayed in the center of town in years, so I'm a bit out of touch with that area now. Are you young and adventurous? Old? On a budget? Like night life? Or do you prefer quiet? For your first trip you might want to consider staying in the center of town, also known as "inside the moat." You will find everything you need there, from budget guesthouses to nicer hotels. Most people seem to like the area near Tha Phae Gate(pronounced tah-pay) because it is easy for first-timers to get around. I don't recall any places by name (and I know there are many to choose from), but you can't go too wrong at most of them. Unless you are traveling at the VERY high seasonal periods you could always just make a reservation for one or two nights and decide later whether to stay there or move to another place. The Songkran festival is always very popular, and so is the Chinese new year. If you plan on visiting at those times you will need advance reservations. Check the internet for dates for these events because they vary slightly from year to year. And remember that in Thailand bad manners and a grumpy disposition will only make any situation worse. Stay calm, keep smiling, and eventually you will get what you need.
Inside Chiang Maiold town is suit your need.
Locals tell Thai friends to choose around Nimman Rd. but for foreign friends, old town is the first choice, due to old town is fulled of temples and cultural oriented environment while Nimman Rd. is hip area.
When visiting Chiang Mai I stayed in Smile House Guesthouse in the Old City. I really liked it, being in the old city we were able to walk everywhere. We stayed in one of their airconditioned rooms with our own balcony. It even has it's own swimmingpool and is located in a quite alley.
I would really recommend it ;)
Enjoy your stay!
I simply took a free transfer from the railway station to the hotel they were promoting with a pool. I later tried a hostel door room with an airconditioner and then a room with a fan. It isn't hard to shop around with so many options in the old city.