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Chiang Mai, Thailand Activities For Residents

Updated on July 28, 2011

Things Ex-Pats Do in Chiang Mai.

Painting at ArtSpace in Chiang Mai
Painting at ArtSpace in Chiang Mai
Yoga for the soul
Yoga for the soul
Guitar Man will rock your world in Chiang Mai!
Guitar Man will rock your world in Chiang Mai!
Bowling by Blacklight
Bowling by Blacklight
Acupuncture - enjoy it or learn how to administer it while in Chiang Mai
Acupuncture - enjoy it or learn how to administer it while in Chiang Mai
Wild Rose has a sauna where you can apply mud masks to your face, or just eat them.
Wild Rose has a sauna where you can apply mud masks to your face, or just eat them.

What to Do in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a small city with loads of activities to do, nourishing all sorts of interests. There is everything here from Yoga and shopping, to spiritual teaching and a go-cart course. Of course, much of those activities are listed in your everyday tourist magazines and travel guides.

This is a list of what some ex-pats who live in Chiang Mai do during their daily routines. It's a bit off the beaten path, far from riding elephants or petting tigers (very dangerous activity which you may want to skip out on - seriously). These activities help to keep our brain cells active, our bodies in shape and our souls fed. This is not necessarily a list for tourists or backpackers, but is more for travelers and adventurers who are wishing for a long-stay list of things to do in Chiang Mai.

For Your Eyes and Ears Only

Chiang Mai is full of artists. It is inspiring to see so many studios, art openings and people learning how to make art all over the city. Since the Chiang Mai economy is a bit dodgy at best, I'm going to list the locations for art schools and galleries that are currently open and will hopefully be open when you visit.

  • ArtSpace has been around since 2005 and is run by a 3 Americans. Two of them are visual artists, and one is a musician. This is "where the art community meets". They have consistent painting classes which follow proper syllabi and offer art exhibitions for both students and professionals in the area. They have done everything artistic from singer/songwriter nights to story-telling fundraisers and even theater shows. They are known for their reliability, follow-through, eccentricity, and experimentation. Their cabaret style venue seats 40. Look on their website for upcoming events or email them to arrange for an art class. A local favorite!
  • Guitar Man is located in the night bazaar area of Chiang Mai. The owner, Nikki Scott is an old punk rocker who invites all types of musicians to fill his stage. The sound quality is fantastic for such a small venue. Each night is filled with a variety of music, much of it is original. He often pulls in big name bands from Bangkok, such as The Handsome Furs (who played there for free), and shares them for free. Well worth looking into.
  • The UN Irish Pub is a place to kick back a cold Guinness, which is on tap, or play along at quiz night, see live Irish Bands, a live brass band or enjoy a singer/songwriter night. The large screen tv is always showing current sports and the owner, Gary, is always on hand to welcome newcomers to the mix. Located in old town.
  • Bowling - the 4th floor of Kad Suan Kaew or Central Mall offers blacklight bowling to funky music. They always have specials offered so you can practice your bowling arm without shredding your wallet.
  • North Gate Jazz Co-op is the place to go see the best jazz in town. They are located by the North Gate, or Chang Puak Gate in the old town side of the moat. Each week a variety of super talented musicians get together to strut their stuff. Friday nights are the most popular and oftentimes food is served for free.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

A markerChiang Mai, Thailand -
Chiang Mai, Thailand
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Feeding Your Soul

  • Thai Massage School, otherwise referred to as TMC, is a fully accredited Massage school where you can take lessons on massage and become certified. Your friends will love you because they want you practice your new found art on their tired, sore bodies!
  • Wild Rose Yoga and Sauna is a retreat for yoga lovers. There are weekly seminars in health and regularly scheduled classes with teachers from all over the world visiting to make your body, soul and mind glisten with harmony. Go and meet friends while toning your backside. They also have a sauna which is the city's favorite secret oasis.
  • Tao Garden Health Spa and Resort offers up some of the best healers and classes in town. It is certainly on the pricey side of things, but apparently well worth the splurge.
  • Mungkala Clinic is the best place for acupuncture treatments. There are two doctors, husband and wife. I prefer the wife. Not only does she nurture with needles, she also teaches how to do it. Her classes run for 8 weeks at a time and can be used toward certification. Dr. Roongrat can be seen at 21 Ratchamanka Rd in old town.
  • Get a foot massage at the the basement of Central Mall at Gold Hands/Silver Hands. It's on the lower floor of Kad Suan Kaew Mall and is a wonderful experience for under $6.
  • Moon Tree is a listing for healers and those who wish to be healed or to heal others. It is a relatively new listing and it offers teachers, healers and students something to look forward to. Moon Tree is not an actual place, but is a listing of all the places within Chiang Mai that are offering healthy workshops and studios to enjoy, inspire and learn from.

I will continue to add more listings to this page. Please check back, or feel free to ask about a particular past time that may not be listed in guide books and I'll see if I can recommend something to you! Happy learning and relaxing!


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    • Laura Spector profile image

      Laura Spector 7 years ago from Chiang Mai, Thailand

      Hi TravelinAsia,

      There are a couple that I can think of:

      The UN Irish Pub has quiz night on Thursdays at 8:30pm, and The Garden Bar has a quiz night on Wednesday evenings. They have a modest cash prize for the winners of the night.

      There was one at a place called Tuskers. However, I think Tuskers recently went out of you may want to check on that.


    • TravelinAsia profile image

      TravelinAsia 7 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

      Do you know any pubs that have a quiz night?