I enjoyed your article last week. You have been up north and liked it, but are still dubious about how it would work for you as a man of Bangkok. I have lived here in Chiang Mai on and off since 2004 and have to fire back at you, The Stick, what is keeping you in Bangkok?
You said, you thought you'd get bored in CM but what do you do to keep entertained in BK? I gather you still like to attend the bar scene, as a spectator, and like to visit the various districts, Chinatown, Thonburi etc, and maybe go on a wild night out in the suburbs with the locals, but seriously, what is so amazing about Bangkok?
In Chiang Mai I live a quiet life. It's what I've always craved, but come the weekend I can go downtown, watch live football in an expat bar. Drink for nothing, peanuts and then roll on. I can go to one of the average strip shows, but sometimes they are great. I can go to a late night watering hole – Yellow is currently Chiang Mai's big one and is owned by a Turk who's married to a Thai. It's a huge place with an inside dance floor, small and a huge bar / outside drinking area. You are under trees, sucking it in, and who's there? Backpackers, always fun to talk to, long-term expats and come witching hour, 1.00 AM, all the working girls who didn't find a date. It's a melting pot and far more laid back than I imagine anywhere in BK ever could be. Around this bar there's a dozen more, many with live music.
You want to shoot pool with a girl, head down to Bar Beer Centre. So expensive, 60 baht for a small boy, 120 for a large. You want spirit, 60 baht a glass. Go to Jackies bar and there's no pressure from the girls.
There are nightclubs which start early Warm Up and Moneky Club, near the university, but these places are full of student groups and unless you're smooth, or bring friends they're a hard nut to crack. Downtown there's a big club, Fabric, huge, but pretentious. Not to my taste, and usually packed. Again, Thais go with Thais.
Head down Loi Khroh and you're in shot gun alley. The only real lady bar street in CM. A lot of the girls are 50/50 and it's pretty boring, unless you go home in on a target and leave quick, or go with friends then you'll get less hassle. I went single a few weeks ago and the manager of the bar wanted to play Connect 4 with me subbing her 150 baht drinks. I did o.k. 4 games to 6, but Jackies bar is where I can relax. Girls available, but zero pressure, 'you want play pool,' and it's just a game, unless you want more.
The ladyboy bar in Bar Beer Centre is also fun, the owner very welcoming and if you're lucky she'lll show you her snake, no a real python, she keeps behind the bar.
Bubble disco used to be The Place, but since 2006 has died a death and you'll be dancing with a lot of space around you. Upstairs at the Porn Ping Hotel is another bar, Hot Shots, people have told me this is a great pick up spot, usually a live act on stage, but I don't, personally, like it.
At 2.00 AM when all else is over, people still head to Spicy. This is a bar, disco, with a dancefloor upstairs, relocated since 2009. It's where all the working girls without a customer end up and everyone else. A girl will give you LT for 1000 baht, or you can just enjoy your night, or you can meet some regular girls, who usually hang out downstairs.
If you want more class, head to Riverside bar from 9.00 p.m. onwards and enjoy the live music, covers of Western rock/pop done to an awesome level.
But the reason I question how do you not get bored of BK. On Friday night I can watch my football, play pool with some girls, get laid if I want to and then it's Sunday. This is a city surrouned by mountains, aka not BK. I can hit my motorbike on the dirt trails, go to a lake, and eat on a floating platform, go to a Hot Spring and relax in the pool. And you can do all this with the girl you met the night before, if that's your thing.
If you want paid sex it's in CM, i.e. massage places Sayuri, Phucome Hotel etc, personally I find paid sex, not fun. If you stay in CM a while you don't need to be paying.
Then there's a million restaurants Thai and international, and they're good. Then there's the prices. Boozing is cheap, rent is cheap, you're estimate of a house in a housing estate, sorry Stick, was well off. I have a friend who's always rented houses, pay between 6-7000 for a 3 bed. He pays 6 months upfront, but even if you don't for 10,000 you can get a good house. <The prices I quoted were all from long-term Chiang Mai expats and while I don't doubt cheaper is available, I never recommend rat holes – Stick>
CM girls same as BK, bad girls, good girls, hi-so girls.
Perfect night out in CM. Head to Bar Beer Centre and do Jackies bar for a while. Go to Riverside and take in some tunes. Go to Yellow 10.00 p.m. onwards and meet new and interesting people. 2.00 a.m. follow everyone else to Spicy, and if the Police haven't shut it down *have been recently* on occassion, hit there, and see where that takes you.
It might be small, but all can be done in Chiang Mai.
We have 2 great malls, Robinson, Airport Plaza, upper class, Central cheap and for everyone. I get you are into BK Stickman, I know you have been there a long time, and it's somewhere I might live myself for a while, but Chiang Mai, you can do it all here.
It's nice to hear you like Chiang Mai and no doubt plenty enjoy and even prefer the lifestyle there. Good on them if that is what they prefer. I have a life in Bangkok and I just simply prefer Bangkok with all of its energy.