The Foreigners Quarter
Chiang Mai used to be a popular destination for back-packers and hippie-types. No longer, while the back-packers are still visiting they are nowhere near the numbers seen in the 1980s to early 2000s. These days the tourist masses tend to be couples on a gap year from university, group tours of asians and middle-aged couples. Hence, what the rise of the tourist ghettos in the Foreigners Quarter.
Listed below are the areas and a brief explanation about them. If you click on the highlighted blue text a detailed page of the area will open up.
Huay Kaew Road - The massive shopping complex - The Kad Suan Gaew dominates this road and overlooks many nearby buildings. The pricey but sophisticated Chiang Mai Ram 1 Hospital also contributes the upper class atmosphere. Popular with the samsonite brigade tourists and a few expats alike, this area has a one or two ordinary bars and a popular student discotheque that see's some overspill from the University Quarter. Rush-hour can be troublesome at the Nimmanhaemin and the moat corner intersection.
Loh Kroi Road- To many this road is serves as the center of the beer bar industry for tourists and foreigners in Chiang Mai. Facing Moon Muang at the intersection it runs away to the east towards the Night Bazaar.
Moon Muang Road - On the eastern edge of the old city just south of the Thae Phae gate is a moderately busy tourist area. It has many beer bars, restaurants and a few 'karaoke' clubs. The prices for food and beer are aimed at tourists, so expect 70 - 100 baht for a small beer and about the same for food. Huay Gaew, Siri Munkhalajan, Nimmanhaemin. Suthep and Klong Chon Prathan.
The Night Bazaar - Also known as the Night Market. If nothing else this area has the highest density of tourists practically every night of the week. Business is booming, the streets are crammed with farang and hard-nosed traders. The prices they charge make hard bargaining a necessity.
Warrorot & Lam Yai Market - Also known as the Day Market. This is quite tourist-free compared with the Night Bazaar. The prices are generally lower and the goods on sale more local orientated and wide ranging.