Chiang Mai Hotels and Accommodation
(Chiang Mai, Thailand)
More than 300 different guesthouses and hotels currently operate within the city of Chiang Mai, meaning that there is usually a good supply of accommodation. Hotels are in great demand during Chiang Mai's high season, which falls between December and February and this means the lodging rates can rise to cope with increased demand.
In general, most hotels in Chiang Mai are reasonably priced and quite affordable, although the most upscale hotels are on the pricey side, but the facilities are both extensive and excellent. Always avoid the hotel touts, which are known to congregate around the bus and train stations.
Where to Stay
Central Chiang Mai is brimming with guesthouses, which often display the relaxed character of the city, being noticeably less commercial than other cities. The cheapest hotels in Chiang Mai are often very basic and some don't even offer hot water, let alone air conditioning and private bathrooms, so choose carefully.
Also worth noting, some parts of the city can become rather noisy at times. Therefore hotels and guesthouses tucked away down backstreets within the historic walled Old Town area of Chiang Mai can be a sensible accommodation option, usually within easy walking distance of the main sights, temples, restored gates, market square and many nearby amenities. Also popular in Chiang Mai are hotels close to the Mae Ping River and along Huay Kaew Road, both of which enjoy particularly scenic views.
The most popular guesthouses and accommodation in Chiang Mai is concentrated within several main areas. These include a selection of hotels on Th Moon Muang and its surrounding interconnecting streets, and also along a number of lanes on the southern side of Th Tha Phae. Further hotels in Chiang Mai can be found along Th Charoen Prathet - which runs parallel to the Mar Nam Ping, and to the east, along Th Charoenrat.
In general, lodging in Chiang Mai falls into two main categories. Budget guesthouse accommodation consists of converted family homes with small guest rooms and plenty of character, while chain hotels and apartment blocks tend to cater for the masses and feature rows of rooms with often only sparse furnishings. Regardless of price, most hotels in Chiang Mai usually include a fan. Many of Chiang Mai's cheapest guesthouses make the majority of their money from selling both food and trekking tours, so if you want to avoid being pressured into a trek or two, pay a little more for your guesthouse accommodation.