If you’ve found your way here because you’re wowed by the affordable cost of living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, here are some links to long and short-term accommodation. I either came across these while I lived in the city, friends have used, or has been recommended to me over the years by readers. Use this as a starting point only for your research—I have not lived in CM in years and cannot therefore verify which of these are still up and running or running with good standards. This list was originally compiled by GotPassport.org, but they no longer keep up the list, so I moved it here and update it as I can!
Companies/sites that will help you live in Chiang Mai
- Condominium listings on Chiang Mai Grapevine
- Consider Chiang Mai House if you are looking for help on a long-term house rentals
Monthly+ Options (some offer shorter-term too)
Chiang Mai Lodge: Located on a back street perpendicular to Huay Kaew Road, look across from Shell Station and coffee shop. Pros: close to the trendy and hipstery Nimmanhaemin area, and convenient to Kad Suan Kaew Central Mall too. (There is a very small night market at the mall on Thurs- Saturday weekly).
Chiang Mai Mansion: Near the Night Bizarre, clean and with Wifi.
Tip Top Thai: Has a kitchen and is in a great area. Popular with expats, and functions as a daily guesthouse as well as long-term lodging.
Huay Kaew Residence: This massive complex has studios for bare-bones prices, as well as one- and two-bedrooms with kitchens for very affordable prices. According to an ALA reader, this is also the best wheel-chair friendly accommodation in town.
Huay Kaew Place: Located on the very convenient Huay Kaew Road, go just past Huay Kaew Residence. A bit old-fashioned decor with heaps of expats from all over the world, as well as American students. Has the full range, 1 bedroom, 2 bedrooms, and studios, and is a solid budget option.
Smith Residence: This is just about the easiest choice, and I had a lot of friends there over the years. It’s super convenient, located just outside of the south side of the Old City, and thus you have the Saturday night market right there, as well as the nightly food stalls at South Gate.
Suan Dok Mansion: Close to the trendy Nimmen area, and Huay Kaew road.
Malin Residence: On Huay Kaew across from CMU, past Canal road.
Wa Lai House: Northwest of the moat. There are many cheap street eats and small restaurants nearby, as well as my favorite coffee shop, Akha Ama Coffee. You’ll also love shopping at Thanin Market super close.
Daily Guesthouses and Lodging
Check this list from Travel Fish, which is well-maintained with lodging reviews for CM.
Sabai Hostel: This area of the moat is a tad less touristy than the northeast corner, so this makes a fun base from which to explore. This is the part of Old City where I lived for about a year total.
Gap’s House: Simple, but it will do. Past friends have stayed here for convenient budget lodging.
9 Hostel: In the backpacker area of town. Well-appointed, a budget option, includes wifi, and is convenient if you’re only in town for a couple of days, want good proximity to everything, and don’t mind a lot of other travelers!
Na Inn: Very convenient and located in the heart of the Old City. Many friends have used this as a quiet, mid-range (you won’t find party backpackers here) hotel from which they search for an apartment.
SK House: Family friendly and fairly newly remodelled. Has a pool and a restaurant. Near Tha Pae Gate in the Old City.
De Naga Hotel: What a gorgeous property and a higher midrange option for a very comfortable and convenient place to stay in town.
Baan Hanibah: This is on the high side of mid-range. It’s a beautiful boutique guesthouse in a good location, very amenable staff and good value for the extras and ambiance you get.
Even if you pick a different hotel or hostel, ALA readers receive a discount on their first booking!
If you have further questions about areas of town, visas, or other issues related to living as an expat in Thailand, I recommend you head to Thai Visa Forum.
There are a number of other valuable posts sharing apartment information here, here and here. You can also join and then search a number of Chiang Mai Facebook groups for expats, and some even about real estate specifically.
And for things to do in Chiang Mai and local pace-of-life sites for expats, check here and here.
And if you need a great private Thai teacher, my niece and I used Lah. If you are looking to learn Thai merely for the student visa, you will have to go through one of the language schools, however.