Chiang Mai nightlife can be whatever you want it to be as the city offers a broad scope of drinking and dancing options. For the most part, though, live music venues have the monopoly. Riverside drinking is a popular pastime, with residents and visitors settling down by the Ping River with a chilled drink and some good company, while the live band entertain with classic blues, jazz and rock tunes – a hallmark of any Chiang Mai visit.
The Nimman Road area has emerged as a popular haunt with the city’s younger set, in particular the Monkey Club, where live music and great food go hand in hand. Within the walled city there is a multitude of backpacker and hotel bars that cater to a range of budgets, from the cheap and cheerful to boutique-chic. As with the rest of Thailand there is quite a high concentration of reggae bars where cheap beer, cushion-laden floors and chilled-out beats make for a laid-back evening.