First Time in Chiang Mai Riverside - What To Do

Chiang Mai Riverside Survival Guide

Your first time in Chiang Mai Riverside could be a bit disappointing if you don’t do your research first. While the whole of the city is generally quite relaxed and laid-back, the area along the banks of the Ping River is undoubtedly the most relaxed of all. About a 10-minute drive from the city centre, it is an area of natural beauty, waterfront views, peaceful tranquillity, and is home to several luxury resorts.

This Chiang Mai Riverside survival guide is here to provide you with the essential information you need to make the most out of your first stay in this delightful part of the city. We’ve narrowed down the choices of things to see and do, places to shop and eat and hotels to consider to just our absolute favourites. If you visit no other places in the Riverside area, tick these ones off and you can consider your trip a success.

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Chiang Mai Riverside at a Glance

The Riverside area of Chiang Mai is the quietest part of the city, with the gentle flow of the Ping River setting the pace and tone. The selection of things to see and do may seem a little limited and widely spaced, but the area is excellent as a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the livelier parts of Chiang Mai. Naturally, the unique riverfront views do come at a cost and the area tends to be better suited to travellers who want a bit of luxury.

  • Peaceful
  • Variety of good value luxury resorts and hotels
  • Pretty views up the Ping River
  • Lots of picturesque riverside restaurants
  • Can feel a little distant from the city centre
  • Limited shopping and nightlife
  • Few budget options

Things You Can Do in Chiang Mai Riverside

On your first time in Chiang Mai Riverside, you will discover that it’s a rather odd sort of a place, when it comes to things to see and do. The choice of museums is particularly unusual and worth checking out. The river is, of course, the star attraction and taking a cruise on its calm waters is a must. Meanwhile, the local markets add a bit of bustle to the otherwise quite sleepy district. When you’re visiting Chiang Mai Riverside, we strongly recommend checking out the following places.

  • Art in Paradise Chiang Mai

    Art in Paradise Museum Chiang Mai is one of the most fun places in the city to take photographs of you and your friends. Read More»

  • Warorot Market

    Warorot Market

    Set by the river, Warorot Market (or Kad Luang) is a must-visit for food lovers as it offers a wide range of Read More»

  • Ping River Dinner Cruise

    Enjoy scenic views of the Ping River and experience the romance and magic of Chiang Mai at dusk as you embark on a Read More»

Great Restaurants We Link in Chiang Mai Riverside

Thanks to its rather quiet nature, most of our favourite restaurants in the Chiang Mai Riverside area also double as our favourite night spots. The offer great cocktails, served with lovely food and beautiful views of the Ping River. The following places are must-tries for your first time in Chiang Mai Riverside, and include one with an exceptional location, one famous for the quality of its cuisine and one serving low-cost local dishes.

  • The Good View Bar & Restaurant

    The Good View is one of the most famous restaurants in Chiang Mai and lives up to its name with some particularly Read More»

  • The Restaurant at Anantara Chiang Mai Resort

    The Restaurant at the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort offers breakfast, lunch and dinner to both hotel guests and visitors Read More»

  • Lemongrass Thai Restaurant

    Lemongrass restaurant serves traditional Thai cuisine and caters mainly for tourists. Located on Loi Kroh road, Read More»

Hotels in Chiang Mai Riverside We Recommend to Our Friends

As you can probably guess, the best hotels in this part of Chiang Mai are right by the river, often found in expansive landscaped gardens and boasting exceptional facilities. This being the more luxurious part of town, the choice of budget accommodation is a little limited. However, there are still some places where you can enjoy a comfortable stay without draining your bank account. The following are the places we recommend to our own family and friends for their first time in Chiang Mai Riverside, depending on their budget.

Anantara Chiang Mai Resort

The outside of Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa looks rather like an impressive wooden box, but once you step through the Read More...

Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel

Aruntara Hotel has twenty five rooms for you to choose from.Select from the Elephant Suite, White Elephant Suite or a Deluxe Read More...

Holiday Inn Chiangmai

Holiday Inn Chiangmai is a haven of comfort and style located in Northern Thailand's most fascinating city.The hotel is superbly Read More...


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