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Advice on Chiang Mai

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So I'm playing my next visit and thinking about going to Chiang Mai, Bangkok to Chiang Mai via plane seems to be the best option as 10hrs + on a train or a bus doesn't seem like a good way to spend a day.


Goal: Mongering/Shopping/Sight seeing 


Few questions:


Any thoughts on airlines any advice currently looking at MyTravel Airways and Air Sylhet both return to Bangkok less then $100US

Is it really cheaper? 

How is the "red light" scene?

Any recommendations on anything from hotels places I should check out? 

Three day enough?(back to bangkok after)





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Do a search,there are several posts up on Chiang Mai. I like it, get a Hotel on Loi Kroh Rd. The Ramming Lodge is a reasonable choice in the middle of the action. Foxy Lady is nearby and is the only go go. There are a couple of Soapies near by,nearest one is just past the night market called CelebX,last I checked. I use Thai Airways or Air Asia,not sure about the others. Most things are cheaper there, lots of bargains at the night market. Plenty of options to play but nowhere like Bangkok or Pattaya. I always take the trip up to Doing Suthep,go early to avoid the Crowds. Be ready to see more Chinese travelers, they like Chiang Mai. The Elephant Sanctuary is also a nice day trip into the mountains.

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I liked Chiang Mai.  Loi Kroh is a small scene but I found a fun bar there and had a good time.  Very affordable - I think I paid 300bht bar fine and 1000ST.   Been a couple of years though.


There's tons of sightseeing options.  I took a three day/two night private (just my buddy and me) van tour up to Chiang Rai, taking in lots of fun like rafting, elephant park, tiger park, Chiang Rai temples, etc.  No chance to monger on that portion of the itinerary, but it was a lot of fun.

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Chiang Mai is a great place to visit and most things are a little cheaper than in Bangkok.  I flew with AirAsia from Don Muaeng after looking for flights through Skyscanner and Kayak.


Chiang Mai is more laid back than BKK and there is less hassle.  It has a good vibe.


Sightseeing is good.  I did not enjoy the hilltribes - its sad, like a bad human zoo.


Night market is large and some good value stuff.


Plenty of options to play but nothing like BKK/Pat.

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I took thai lion air, air Asia, and the train round trip Bangkok to Chiang Mai.


Prices for airfare range from $50-100 out of Don Mueng. Depends on sales being offered and advance purchase. Lion air has lower weight restrictions on carry on and savings on ticket can quickly be lost if needing to put luggage in cargo hold.


Air Asia a little better on carry on weight. Bring your own portable bag scale to avoid hassles.


They have an overnight train that I took with sleeping car. It was an interesting alternative that I did once and enjoyed. I left Bangkok around 6 and arrived in Chiang Mai around 9 in the morning. You might even find a willing bed partner to make it more enjoyable.


A few days is enough time. I could find a weeks worth of fun there too. Don't go there expecting a scene like Bangkok.

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Over night train not bad but air is much better. in 1992 I was a normal very low budget tourist now its the girl action I am after so Koko's report of one ONE gogo is not encouraging. Question: is the weather cooler in summer than down south ? 

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