Getting a Room – Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Because Chiang Mai is a hotspot for tourists, there is a glut of guesthouses and hotels to choose from. The Tha Pae Gate at the eastern edge of the moat (Moon Muang and Ratchadamnoen roads) is a backpackers’ haven. If you require luxury, more upscale accommodations can be found along the Ping River near the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. Just watch that your guesthouse doesn’t require you to sign up for a trek in order to rent a room – there are less reputable ones that sometimes insist on it.
Moon Muang Golden Court (95 Moon Muang Road): We chose this hotel after our preferred guesthouse was booked up. The staff speaks little English. The rooms are a bit cramped and quite dingy, although it’s fine if you want something centrally located and won’t be spending all day indoors. Fortunately, we did pay the right amount for what we got: 300 baht for a double room with A/C and private bath. It’s near Ratchadamnoen Road, which has the Sunday Market as well as numerous restaurants, Internet cafes and ATMs/currency exchanges.
Libra Guest House (28 Moon Muang Road, Soi 9): My guidebook recommended this family-run establishment, which offers treks, a cooking school, laundry service, and free pickup from airport, train or bus stations. It sounds much better than the Moon Muang Golden Court, at least on paper. Dorms are 50 baht, doubles with bath are 100, doubles with bath and hot water are 150. It tends to fill up fast, so try to make a reservation.
Richly Guest House: A friend stayed here as part of a package deal and praised it for having a central location and large, clean ensuite rooms. Although A/C is unavailable, the guesthouse serves a nice breakfast and “delicious fruit shakes.” Rooms go for 350 baht. The staff also organizes trekking trips (see “Getting Away“).
Ben Guest House (4/11 Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road Soi 2): This spot is closer to the Night Bazaar and the bar scene downtown. It’s also down an alley near the tourist police station. Rooms come equipped with big beds, fans and hot showers for 150 baht. Guests can enjoy a garden as well as Internet (30 baht per hour) and laundry service. You can rent a motorcycle from here, too, for 150 baht per day (200 with insurance).