The Mae Nam Ping is one of the main tributaries of Thailand’s River of Kings, the Chao Phraya. The source of the Ping is close to the nation’s border with Myanmar. By the time it flows through Chiang Mai, the Ping is way over 100 metres wide and is an impressive sight. An evening spent watching the water flow leisurely past at one of the Riverside Bars in Chiang Mai is a relaxing experience.
There is a limited selection of Chiang Mai riverside bars and the best ones are listed below. Most are on the east bank of the Ping and north on Charoenprathet Road from Narawat Bridge. As with most Thai bars, the riverside bars double as restaurants too and offer exciting menus of Thai and international dishes. The bars also generally have live music in the evenings, but this starts well after sunset.
Last Updated: August 2019
Established in 1984, the original Riverside Bar and Restaurant still occupies the same spot on Charoenprathet Road. It dishes up the tried and tested mix of live music and a huge choice of drinks and food. The drinks menu comprises Thai draught and bottled beers, draught Hoegaarden, imported craft ales and wheat beers, a selection of 50 wines, classic cocktails, fresh juices, shakes and gourmet coffees. The 500 dishes available at the Riverside range from som tam papaya salad to pizza and apple pie. The Riverside features live music live nightly from 20:00 onwards.
Riverside Bar & Restaurant: #9-11, Charoenrat Road, Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 10:00-01:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 243 239 | Website | Facebook
Barely a two-minute walk from the Riverside, the Good View is another perennial nightlife favourite. This establishment also offers a varied collection of food and drinks. Food dishes include a plate of assorted Northern Thai sausages, pork and tamarind sauce, steaks, sandwiches and fried rice. A full choice of cocktails is the flagship of a drinks list with a great choice of beers, wines and non-alcoholic beverages as well. Two house bands play live music every night.
Good View Bar & Restaurant: #13, Charoenrat Road, Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 10:00-01:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 302 764 | Website | Facebook
The River Bar is a part of the Sala Lanna Hotel’s On the Ping Restaurant. The hotel is slightly upriver from the Good View. Guests are sure to enjoy the ambient location while sipping on Thai craft beers, imported wines or top-of-the range spirits. The house chef oversees the creation of the tapas and hand-crafted pizzas served at the River Bar while live music in the latter part of the evening rounds off the enticements of a trip to this magical location.
River Bar: 48, Charoenrat Road, Wat Ket, Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 17:00-23:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 242 588
The Deck 1 is right next door to the Riverside and opposite the Rarinjinda Wellness Spa Resort. The Deck is a modern, airy glass structure while its riverside terrace is perfectly positioned to enjoy the magical sight of the sun setting in the evening. An enticing range of wines and cocktails plus a menu boasting contemporary takes on Thai and regional Asian foods satisfies all tastes.
Deck 1 Bar & Restaurant: #1, 14 Charoenrat Road, Wat Ket, Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 07:00-00:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 302 788 | Website | Facebook
The Hollanda Montri is a place to enjoy a drink or meal in an ambient riverside setting slightly upstream of the central area of the city. The food menu offers a core selection of Thai and international dishes which include English breakfast, burgers, club sandwiches, spaghetti, saté, panang curry, yam spicy salads and French onion soup. A drinks list with standard Thai beers and soft drinks ensures diners do not get thirsty while soaking up the atmosphere.
Hollanda Montri Restaurant: #365, Charoenrat Road, Wat Ket, Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 10:00-00:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 242 450