Chiang Rai Nightlife
If you come to Chiang Rai hoping to find the same raucous nightlife that can be found in Bangkok or Pattaya, you're in for a disappointment. However, there is a low key nightlife scene and a handful of quiet bar areas to enjoy... the key is knowing where to look.
One of the first places new arrivals look is the Night Bazaar next to the bus station. There are a couple of open air eating areas where you can get some cheap food, enjoy a few beers and watch some live music. There are also a couple of girlie bars down a narrow soi just here that tend to open into the early hours when everywhere else has closed but it's a quiet, laid back affair.
A five minute walk from here is the Wangcome Hotel which is alongside Jetyod Road. Opposite the hotel is a handful of 'massage' establishments with some rough looking girls trying to entice you inside. Jetyod road itself has quite a few very small bars, some of which manage to cram a live act into the tiny hole in the wall style premises. Again, a relatively quiet, laid back atmosphere. This area and the bars around the night market are strictly on the tourist circuit.
There is actually a very small strip of gogo bars in Chiang Rai (pictured to the left) but it's quite hard to find if you don't know where it is. About 30 yards from the Clock Tower is a tiny private road called Punyodyana. At the entrance near the Clock Tower, there are a couple of lady bars where you can just enjoy a beer and some company. At the other end is a restaurant/bar with big screen for the football. In the middle is a handful of very small, rough, dilapidated gogo bars. Most of the girls working here are Akha Hilltribe girls. A high percentage of the customers are Thai.
If you want to party with the young locals, head a couple of kilometres out of town (any tuk tuk driver will know where to go) to a strip of bars with names such as Sperm Pub, MTV and The Par Club. There are also a few large places with great live acts and Carabao impersonators (hugely popular pop/folk band), just say you want to go to Tawan Daeng.
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