If you are planning a trip to Thailand and you aren’t sure which city to use as a homebase, then we recommend heading north and renting an apartment in Chiang Mai.
When we first arrived in Chiang Mai, we started off renting a room at a guest house in the heart of the old city, near the Thapae Gate. It was a perfect place to explore the city and to begin our searched for an apartment rental.
We did some research on our own, but we were also lucky to have a local realtor take us to view several condos in various parts of town. We ultimately selected a very comfortable and fully furnished condo via Airbnb (our favorite). It was located on Sirimangklajan Soi 3, in the Nimmanhaemin neighborhood, northwest of Chiang Mai’s central Old Town.
We negotiated a 6-month lease at a cost of $600/mo, which included all utilities, weekly cleaning, Wifi, and cable. It was large, comfortable, stylish, and had all of the modern conveniences, including a washer *and* a dryer.
Although, we’d reserved our guest house for a full two weeks, we moved into the condo earlier than expected after we discovered that our guest house had bedbugs. It turns out they aren’t dangerous (don’t spread disease), but they cover you in tiny itchy bites and they are notoriously hard to get rid of.
The condo location was perfect. We were on a quiet side-street within a 2-minute walk from the heart of the Nimmanhaemin neighborhood and we could walk to the Tops supermarket at Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Centre just as quickly. If we were feeling ambitious, we could walk to the old town within 15-30 minutes, depending on our destination, or we could simply grab a tuk-tuk or a songthaew.