The Famous Question: Where to Stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand

When people talk about Thailand, they talk about Bangkok and the beaches.  I first came to this beautiful city of Chiang Mai back in early 2008 with my mother knowing  very little about it.   It was a side trip from Burma and our Pilgrimage in India.

My first trip to the northern Thailand had more to do with visiting a man (a physician) who, on his own, started a program near Chiang Rai providing assistance of all kinds including medical care to the hill-tribe people in that area.  Though I was only here for a few days I knew within those few days that I could very well and easily live here immersing ourselves  in service projects through volunteering with my little family.   A year later, in summer of 2009, we returned here as part of our three-month long summer holiday split between the US and Asia.

And now that we have somehow managed to start Team CM on FB that has grown to 120+ friends and have tweeted about Chiang Mai so much that we receive a ton of questions about Chiang Mai.  The most frequent questions are “where to stay and what to do” in Chiang Mai.

So the next time we get that question about where to stay we can now simply direct our friends to this regularly updated page of resources.  This list is not in any order of preference.  Some we found during our search and others are places we know our friends have stayed and liked.

Arrive here in Chiang Mai and you can find a place to stay easily for a few days. If you need a place to stay longer, stay somewhere temporarily (a couple of days) then look for an apartment.

You’ll probably find something below 6,000b per month.  You’ll be required to give a down payment of one month of rent.  Electricity is usually 6-7b per unit.  Water varies with each landlord.  We pay 200b per month.    Wifi is extra and can cost up to 500b per month.

We will update this list regularly with more specific.  As of today, we just want the info to get out there to help our friends, hopefully reduce the anxiety of finding a place to stay.  YOU WILL FIND A PLACE.  There is plenty to go around here in Chiang Mai.

NEXT UP:  What to do in Chiang Mai and a round-up of everything Chiang Mai from our friends.


Chiang Mai Lodge is nicely tucked away in the back on a street perpendicular to Huay Kaew Road across from Shell Station and Bitter Sweet coffee shop.  It is close to  Nimmen  (popular, hip & trendy part of town) and Kad Suan Kaew Central Mall where you will find a night market on Thurs- Saturday weekly.

Mai Mansion is located close to the YMCA and close to the old city as well.   A friend of ours has stayed here and loved it.  Has studios and one bedroom apartments.   Contact @Dzema for more info about this place.

Huay Kaew Place – It’s on huay kaew road just past huay kaew residence.  Not the most westernized decor, but many locals and Asian expats live here, and there are 1 – 2 bedroom apts., in addition to studios, which start at 3,000b/mo.  It’s also occupied by many American college students on an annual basis, who are here for service learning projects.

Smith Residence – several friends stayed here.  It is right at Chiang Mai gate in the old city, very convenient if you don’t have a motorbike.

Suan Dok MansionThis is also close to Nimmen and Huay Kaew road.   @OurOwnPath stayed here for about one month.

Malin Residence – This is located on Huay Kaew across from CMU, past Canal road. A friend is staying there now and seems to like it a lot.  Maybe because it is the night market down below! 🙂

Wa Lai House Northwest of the moat.  We’ve been told this is a great place to stay with lots of cheap eats nearby. Walking distance to Akha Ama Coffee and very close to Thanin Market (which is a great market!)



Sabai GardenWant to try a traditional, Thai teak house?   We have stayed there several times.  Owned by Vicky, a well-known Thai Chef, & a hardworking single mom.  No Air Con, but has an air blower that you put ice in to cool you and the room.  In the cool season, this is all you need.  Worked for us, we stayed there in July 2009.  Her food is awesome, and there’s space to relax and get a massage.   Very close to Chiang Mai Gate.

Gap’s House Our friends @Spunkygirllogue @DriftingKiwi stayed here.

Na Inn Bessie and Kyle of @OurOwnPath stayed here.

BP Chiang Mai – Stayed here in 2008 and 2009.  Buffet breakfast included.  It’s a large hotel.  Not very cozy though like other guesthouses we’ve stayed in.

SK House II @Ccburns  @tracy_burns and their kids stayed here and they seemed to like it.  Newly remodeled and  has a pool and a restaurant.   Near Tha Pae Gate.

RCN – a friend is staying there now.  It is close to Tha Pae Gate and Somphet market.

Jay Guest House – a friend is currently staying there until Feb. Also near Tha Pae gate.  Close to RCN.

Will update this list regularly with more specifics.  Email or find us on Got Passport FB page if you have particular questions.

If you’ve stayed in a place you recommend to others in Chiang Mai, please mention it in the comments.


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38 thoughts on “The Famous Question: Where to Stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand

  1. lots of great info for me,coming ch in sept 14 for 2-6 months,still checking different places to rent from 3000 to 5000month,thx for the input

  2. Hello,

    Thank you for sharing this great information. I will be spending one month in Hua Hin in February 2014 and travelling through Thailand for my second month. Do you think I need to book a guest house or hotel ahead of time or is it safe to think there will be availability in Chiang Mai in March without difficulty, I will be staying approx. 10 days in Chiang Mai?

    Thank you for the advice anyone can share


  3. I want to chime in here with another recommendation. I have been staying at the Chiang Mai Mansion ( for the last month and like it very much. We get a really good price on Agoda (about $17 night or $520/month all bills paid). It is down a side alley, so quiet; 4 minutes down another alley to Halal Street where we often eat, and very easy walking to several markets for shopping and entertainment. The owner let us decorate and rearrange the room to create the feeling of a studio. It has only a refrig, no kitchen, but it is otherwise perfect. We eat out all the time anyway. They change the sheets and service daily. I happily trade that for a kitchen.Their laundry service is cheap, and the best we have found in SE Asia; they iron everything!

  4. I’ve checked out many places and stayed in a few but the last place I stayed at was perfect for me. It’s a new building with big bright windows in Santitham called Sunshine House. Daily and monthly rates at very reasonable prices for very nice rooms. Great staff, quiet location (although there is some construction next door right now…you could request a room on the opposite side if you like to sleep in). More authentic Thai neighbourhood so you aren’t hounded by tuk tuks and people trying to sell you stuff all the time and there is lots of great cheap food nearby. They also have larger suites available for monthly rent if a single room isn’t big enough for you. I recommend this place to my friends and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again. For some people, it may be too out of the way (red trucks rarely go by), but if you have a bike or don’t mind walking to Kad Suan Keaw (about 10-15 minutes) you can snag a red truck there.

    -Mark D

  5. hey robert dont worry about ur age im 66 and im off to live in chiangmia in april next year, maybe see u there and have a beer with u

  6. I’m a 62y.o.Aussie Male and am thinking of moving to Tailand. As an “old bloke” do you think I would fit in…or are all the ex-pats young folk? I’m a pretty outgoing and friendly bloke who plays Ukulele, guitar, and percussion.
    I love your site…well done.

    1. Hi Robert, thanks for dropping by!
      There are ex-pats at every developmental stage of life, from kiddos, to young backpackers, to young families, us (middle agers), and retirees as well. I think you’ll fit in nicely.


  7. I am a 54 year old Irishman who has spent a lot of time looking for information on moving to Thailand. All the information on this side of the world is about the tourist areas (beaches etc ) I am not interested in this, Your information on Chiang Mai is very informative, Thank you. If you think you can help me with advice on long stay visas and how to get a place to live in Chiang Mai I would be truely grateful. You can contact me on My Regards to you all. thank you

  8. Hi,
    My wife (Lorena) and I will be traveling to Chiang Mai in October and plan to stay 6-12 months
    Any help you could give us to help us as they say settle in would be very much appreciated.

    You must have put a great deal of work and thought into this web site as the presentation and content are excellent.

    Hope to see you and your fam in about 8 months.

    Steve & Lorena

    1. Hey Steve and Lorena,
      Drop us a line when you get here, and we can meet up. You can always stay in a guest house for a week or so while apartment hunting. That will give you time to look around and see what suits you.

    1. I stayed at Banwiang Guesthouse in 2010 and 2011. 2010 was good so that was why I returned in 2011 but unfortunately I think it may have changed hands in the meantime because room flooded from rain on first night and staff not very helpful to rectify the problem. Needless to say I will not go back there this year or ever again.

  9. I can recommend and they have good monthly rates. Also Tip Top Thai if you can get in, she has lots of long term renters. FYI MiniCost hotel has one single room and it was on 500BHT a night. Both MiniCost and Boonthavan are near Tha Pae Gate.

    Love Chaing Mai!

  10. I stayed in Baan Thai in the trendy Nimmanhaemin district — a very popular apartment complex among expats. The staff was friendly, apartments were clean & there was a pool. It’s a bit of a trek from Old Town, but very convenient for the CMU campus and my work, which was off of Canal Road. Plus, I really enjoyed living in that neighborhood. I’d highly recommend it!

  11. This is fantastic info, guys. My daughter and I have decided to tackle Asia in 2012, so we have an entire year to save up. We definitely have Chiang Mai on our list along with Hong Kong, China and who knows where else. We are open to suggestions! This will certainly help a lot so thanks for the list!

  12. You mentioned Sabai Garden has no air con, but has a air blower that you put ice in. I wonder how this system works. Do you happen to have a picture of this machine?

    1. Hey Eric,
      No pic of the faux a/c fan, but I’m sure local electronic stores sell them along with fans and a/c’s. There’s an ice tray on top, and the fan blows colder air than a regular fan.. Since it’s a traditional Thai house, it’s a matter of personal preference in terms of whether a person can tolerate the heat in the hotter months.

  13. We stayed for a month at WaLai House, NW of the moat in “Santitown” (named for Santisuk Rd). It’s in a really nice non-farang local neighborhood, with plenty of cheap eats to be found. Daily prices are 350 for a fan, 500 for a/c. Monthly rate 5000.

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