70 AskMen Rating
70 The AskMen Take
Chiang Mai is the gateway to the sleepy north of Thailand. It’s gone from
backpacker to flashpacker to full-blown luxury in the space of a few years. Although it’s one of the largest towns in Thailand with a population of around 160,000 and far from a remote retreat, Chiang Mai can be a restful place to pass a few days or weeks. This is also a popular place if you’re looking for somewhere to retire to later on -- that’s a growth industry
here. That in itself may tell you all you need know about the nightlife. 87 Why You Should Visit
This is a great place to discover that there’s more to Thailand than beaches and that there are certainly places in Thailand where you don’t need to be embarrassed to go by yourself if you’re a single man. Doi
(mountain) Inthanon stands at 8,500 feet and is in easy access of the town. For something a little less strenuous, you could rent a motorbike and scoot up Doi Suithep; you can say a prayer in the famous temple at the top and hope you get back down in one piece. There are more than 300 temples to choose from so if that’s your thing, you’re spoiled for choice.
More adventurous types can join the gibbons at the Gibbon Flight Experience and swing through the rain forest on flying foxes -- definitely not the for the fainthearted. Nighttime offers a choice of the high-end chains like the Duist or the Shangri-La, or some flashpacking at the 3 Sis. Lower and even lower ends of the market are also well-catered-to. But the highlight of any April visit to Chiang Mai will be the water-throwing madness of Thai New Year. Buy a water gun and prepare to be soaked as trucks filled with people race up and down the streets firing at everyone. There is no escape, so don’t think you can just observe.
52 Why You Should Live Here
Living in Chiang Mai means changing gears down to a very slow and mellow way of life. The nightlife here centers around quiet bars and long beers. Two of the popular expat groups are the backgammon-playing types and the Sunday cyclist gangs, both more than a little different from the hedonist expat scene in Bangkok. But it’s not all bad news, as adventure types
have recently discovered whitewater rafting and kayaking rivers near the city. The UN Irish pub is a good place to meet people and find out what’s
A motorbike ride on the corkscrew roads is thrilling enough to make up for the lack of clubs. One advantage for the young single man is that as most of the other male expats are a little older, so finding a date isn’t exactly rocket science. And if you fall in love, where better to get married than in the romantic setting where you met? Getting a visa to stay in Thailand is easy once you find a job; there will be lots of paperwork, but nothing too complicated. Choose between teaching, NGO work or start a tourist business. Just leave your dancing shoes and big-city pacesetter at home, and you’ll love it in Chiang Mai.