Where to Live in Chiang Mai – Different Neighborhoods


  1. Elizabeth says:

    In my humble opinion Hang Dong is where it’s at! We’ve been living here for a year and love it. The people are friendlier than in the city center, and there are less tourists and few traffic jams. The neighborhoods are very old school Lanna and we have great markets, although they are smaller than in the city center. There is also the perfect mix of expats and locals and we have a great variety of restaurants. Although I wish we had a few more Indian restaurants in the area lol!

    • Robert Bird says:

      thanks for the post Elizabeth,
      i am thinking about buying a home in chaing mai, however i am not sure of which area in chaing mai to choose from … i read your post and see many opportunities in the hong dong area.. which do you prefer ?
      i am from LASVEGAS Nevada and need the comforts that the USA has to offer.. if youu would be so kind to help me find a good area to settle in i would appreaciate any help ..
      thanks again
      Robert Bird

    • ronald j kushmaul says:

      My wife of 10 years is Thai still citizen. She is from Buriam but we lived for a few months in Chang Mai which I prefer. We now live 10 years in Coeur d’Alene ID but getting too cold for my 75 year old bones. We are looking to move to Thailand. She would spend 50% of her time in Buriram where she has family and the rest In Chang Mai. I have $6000/month retirement which I would use to qualify for permanent Thai Visa. We would buy a house under her name. Would you recommend Hang Dong for my circumstances? Thanks Ron K

  2. Ray says:

    I would like to bring my young family to CM, and Hang Dong sounds great. Where can I get more info on this locale? I’d love to talk to folks like Elizabeth who are living there now. Cheers!

    • Marvin says:

      Hi Ray, I’ve been living in Chiang Mai Hang Dong area for a little over a year now and I find it to be easy living at its core. You have various options in regards to international school, Shopping and restaurants. I live in a Moo Baan (gated community) in close proximity to a local thai market, Big C supermarket, HomePro (home improvement store), Movie thater, some foreign restaurants and several other convenient sopping centers where you can run errands. I don’t have to leave my neighborhood to do much else, but am about a 15 minute drive to the old town.

      Hang Dong is a mixture of foreigners and Thai. Although most people rave about some of the best Thai restaurants being in the city, There are a lot of great thais restaurants in Hang Dong too. I’ve eaten my way around Ching Mai and when you compare pricing, portion size, and taste, the outer eats of Chiang Mai are probably some of the best as they are cleaner, most of the time, and geared towards Thai taste buds and not foreigners. Again, Foreign food options are also available.

  3. Soraya says:

    Hi Elizabeth, Im trying to find an area near the Panyaden School. Looking for a condo or housing where there are onsite or nearby facilities such as fitness centres, restaurants and some shops. Do you have any tips? what is transport like? Do I have to drive? Thank you!

    • Ronell says:

      Hello Soraya. We are planning to enrol our boy in Panyaden too. Looking for something not expensive near yoga or fitness centre. Would prefer not to need a car. Any recommendations? Are you happy with Panyaden?

  4. Sue Song says:

    If we are a family with a 5 yr old which area do u suggest for a short stay if we’d like to be close to eating places and bazaars?

  5. pj says:

    A map showing the neighborhoods would be very useful.
    Using my humorous lack of Thai, I tried finding a couple of the neighborhoods.
    But no one understood.
    Perhaps Lat/long coordinates to the center area would be easy to insert.

    Best of luck.

  6. Taro Gold says:

    Loved wandering through Santitham while staying in Chiang Mai for a month! Found one of our favorite noodle shops, Kadnomsen, just by walking around. We stayed in Nimman, but kind of think we would have liked Chiang Mai even more if we stayed up in Santitham. Great post overall!

  7. Chris says:

    Thanks so much for this great post. Heading to Chiang Mai in October and this was exactly the kind of info we needed. I think we might be leaning toward Santitham now. Do you know if it’s a good neighbourhood for bringing a laptop to a café and working?

  8. Ronell says:

    Santitham sounds fantastic. We want to relocate and have our son attend Panyaden international school. Would it still make sense to stay in Santitham? I would love to be in a happening place.

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Santitham would be about a 30-minute dive to Panyaden with no traffic so a bit far. I think a lot of people who work or have their kids attend Panyaden tend to live on the south side of town or toward Hang Dong for easier access.

  9. SueR says:

    We are looking to move to Thailand as a retiree for approx. 6 months of the year (the cold months in England!). We loved Chiang Mai when staying there for a holiday and the idea of slightly cooler Northern living appeals to us more than the humid southern islands.

    We have heard quite a lot about slash and burn policy however and are concerned about the reports of smog covering CM for weeks at a time. The houses we have seen that we really like are in Mae Rim and thereabouts, but we don’t want to commit to moving there and then find that the air quality so near to the mountains causes us problems.

    It would be interesting to hear opinions of people living there please.

    • Alana Morgan says:

      Hi Sue – you will get a wide range of opinions on the ‘smoky season’ in Chiang Mai which happens from February until the rains come in April/May. The truth is that the severity of the smoke and poor air quality changes every year and even day by day and affects everyone differently, so you really won’t know how it will bother you until you’re in it. If you’re really concerned about it though, it’s probably best to avoid Chiang Mai during that time.

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