The Riverside possesses all of the old world charm Chiang Mai is so renowned for. The understated elegance of Thailand’s second city shuns the development of five-star hotels along its riverbanks in favour of affordable eateries and live music venues. Granted, there is an element of luxury to the river but unlike Bangkok’s Chao Phraya you are more likely to see locals and tourists dining out together, it is slightly less elitist and the first port of call for those looking for a good time.
Walking along the banks of the Mae Ping on the right-hand side of the river you will encounter locals fishing, street food vendors selling barbequed chicken and the fringes of Warorot day market where fruit and cheap textiles are plentiful. Crossing the bridge will take you to the north side of the Ping where galleries, restaurants and boutiques selling crafts, antiques, textiles and furniture pepper the side walks. Emitting an endearingly relaxed vibe, no doubt coming from the river's presence, the Mae Ping is a great reflection of the laid-back attitude held in the north of Thailand and is a soulful setting for getting better acquainted with this part of the country.