Chiang Rai nightlife is much quieter than what you would find in big cities like Bangkok or even a smaller one like Chiang Mai. There are few glitzy nightclubs where you can enjoy live music or theme bars and discos where you can spend an entire evening watching glamorous people. However, as long as you keep in mind that you are in one of the most rural parts of Thailand, and if you remind yourself that you are here to enjoy nature, nightlife in Chiang Rai has options such as night bazaars, go go bars, massage parlors, discos and restaurants where you can spend a relaxed evening.
Like other parts of Thailand, nightlife in Chiang Rai has its share of go go bars, beer bars and massage places. You will find the beer bars in a lane off Jetyod Road close to Wangcome Hotel, with girls outside inviting you in. However, don’t expect the busy scene that you might have experienced in Bangkok.
Chiang Rai bars are much smaller and not as swank, but they are less aggressive, so you can enjoy a laidback evening. Along the road, you will also find a few small establishments that offer massages. There is a short strip of go go bars in a lane known as Punyodyana, close to the Clock Tower.
Most tourists who come to Thailand look to go dancing at night to meet people. There are some places on the nightlife circuit in Chiang Rai that have discos with live music and DJs. A place that is popular with the younger crowd is Sohub, along Banphaprakan road, where it meets Sanambin. Another row of discos can be found on Ratnaket Road in an area known as Tawan Daeng. Popular among these are Par Club, Sperm, Womb and Hot Beat. Some of the clubs have excellent live performances.
If you are looking for a romantic evening with your partner, then Chiang Rai nightlife has a couple of places that might interest you. The first is the beach, a park near the Mae Kok River, where you can join local couples enjoying the scenery and a quiet conversation. For a romantic dinner by the riverside, there is a row of restaurants in the area north of the town off the superhighway. You will need to take the left exit just before the ramp leading to the bridge crossing the Maekok River. These restaurants offer views of the river and good food.
Chiang Rai nightlife is not so dull that you might have to spend every evening in your hotel room. As long as your expectations aren’t too high, you will enjoy the easy going atmosphere of its restaurants, bars and discos.