- Elephant chasing in Chiang Mai – Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Review
- Zip lining: Flying through the jungles in Chiang Mai
- The Ultimate Price Guide to Chiang Mai
- A short guide to Chiang Mai Markets
- Chiang Mai Temple Run – Top 5 + Tips
- Venture with Impact: living in Chiang Mai for a month
- 5 best Chiang Mai day trips: discover the nature and culture
- Escape to the Chiang Mai countryside: a getaway with Panviman Spa
- Bangkok Itinerary: 4 days of shopping, culture, and seafood
- Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport guide for those who arrive late or early
- Ayutthaya Day Trip from Bangkok
- Best temples in Bangkok besides Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun
- Food to eat in Bangkok: a comprehensive foodie guide
- Zazz Urban Bangkok: a hotel review
- Amphawa Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market day trip review
- Sakon Nakhon: one day in Northern Thailand’s indigo capital
- Postcards from Thailand – a giveaway with MyPostcard
- Zeavola: unexpected barefoot luxury in Koh Phi Phi
- Cheow Lan Lake Tour in Khao Sok: what to expect on an overnight tour
- Koh Phi Phi Island Itinerary: beaches and tour guides + more
- Koh phangan in 36 hours: a first timer stopover guide for non-motorbike riders
- Thailand 2 week itinerary: the best from north to south
- Chatuchak Market guide by a Bangkok market addict
- Test & Go Thailand and Thailand Pass: all questions answered (April 2022)
- Itinerary for Krabi: 3 to 5 days perfect for beach and nature lovers
- The Pavilions Anana Krabi – Ao Nang Krabi’s best kept secret
- Phuket Old Town: what to see and where to eat
- Chiang Mai Massage: best and cheap places to go
- Sustainable luxury in Phuket: Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay Review
- Best Chiang Mai restaurants, street food, and vegan places
- A first timer’s guide to Khao Sok National Park and its tours
- Hua Hin Itinerary: how to get there from Bangkok and what to do
- Street Food in Chinatown Bangkok: a foodie’s guide
- Dragon Crest Mountain: best hiking in Krabi
Wouldn’t it make our lives so much easier if we have a price guide to where we travel? How much the transport should be, what is the average price for meals etc. That way, we don’t have to worry about getting into a tourist trap and get ripped off.
While most of the temples in Chiang Mai ars free to visit, other things are not. Since we’ve got a grip of the general prices in Chiang Mai, we thought it’d be useful to share them!
In this guide, I will talk about the general price of things in Chiang Mai, in particular the ones you’ll encounter in markets. I will touch on 5 categories:
If you are only interested in one category, feel free to skip ahead down the article! If you want something more comprehensive, check out my friend Emily’s overall price guide.
- See the rest of my Thailand series here or look at the Chiang Mai recommendations
Chiang Mai Budget: let’s talk about the price
One thing I love about South-East Asia is how cheap things are due to the lower cost of living. Travelers are well aware of that and unfortunately, so do the locals; and there’s always someone or some company looking to rip you off. Most of the vendors in the markets I interacted with are generally okay, looking to make at most 100 Baht off those who just accept the price they offered. However, there’s one we met on this trip that ‘inspired’ me to write this piece.
My friends and I were at the Night Bazaar when a cute, patterned shorts caught my sister’s eye. I just bought one this morning at the price of 80Baht, and we knew the general price lies between 80 to 150 Baht. We inquired about the price which was 180 Baht, and was about to enter the process of haggling when the owner stepped forward to chat to us, claiming that the shorts are 350 Baht. That’s twice the amount before and my sister was outraged. So this guide aims to provide you with the knowledge of how much things are, so when you encountered people such as the vendor in our story, you can call them out and either haggle or look for a vendor that’s fairer.
Shopping in Chiang Mai
Haggling is a must whilst shopping, especially in Night Markets. A few general rules to keep in mind:
- Things are cheaper at the Saturday and Sunday Night Market compared to the Night Bazaar. This is because the Night Bazaar vendors are middle person, whereas the vendors at the weekend night markets made the things they sell.
- ALWAYS ask if they can lower the price, a simple ‘cheaper?’ will usually do. The worst that could happen is that they say no and you buy it at the price they offered, but generally you get 10-20 Baht off just by asking this simple question.
Some usual items to shop for:
Thailand’s mango is great, and I myself got several packs of dried mango as souvenirs
The cheapest deal I got is at the Warorot Market at 200 Baht for 3 packs, but personally, I found the one I got at the Saturday Night Market (80 Baht) better.
Recommend to get: Saturday Night Market
It’s quite standard, and you can haggle when you see a pattern you like, however, there is a store that’s particularly cheap:
Recommend to get: at the store next to Wat Lamchang (cheapest and no need for haggling!)
Patterned: 130-200 depending on cutting
Printed logo tank and shirt: 100-150
Recommend to get at: anywhere really
(100 Baht each)
Now the price for these notebooks is pretty standard: although most vendor asks for a higher price of 120 Baht if you are only getting one.
Recommend to get at: anywhere
Chiang Mai Massage Prices
Most massage places charged by the hour: whether you are opting for feet or neck, shoulder, and back.
Prices are generally 250 Baht
At the weekend night markets, you often see temporary store set up with rates from 80Baht/hour an hour (pretty standard all the way down the street)
There are a million an one massage place in Chiang Mai, you can find my favourites here.
Chiang Mai Transport Cost
Airport to Chiang Mai city centre
Taxi: ~200 Baht, Bus 30 Baht
The airport is actually less than 3 km from the city, and a taxi (for up to 4 people with 4 small pieces of luggage) only cost around 200 Baht. There’s no need to book in advance: there’s several booths at the airport so just ask around.
Alternatively, there’s now a bus that can take you to the center for 30 baht. It’s by the exit 1 all the way to one end of the airport and do a loop around Ninman and then old town. You can find the timetable here.
Tuk Tuk Chiang Mai Price
There are several different ones:
a red one that can hold up to 10 people called Songthaew
Going around the city should just be 20-25 baht per person
A smaller one that can hold 3 seats
Need to negotiate the price: if your accommodation is not that far from the city wall then it’s probably cheaper to go with the Red ones.
We have only taken the small ones once and we haggle down to 90 baht from the night bazzar back to our accommodation (which is 2 blocks from the city wall)
- Hiring a taxi/tuk tuk for a trip out of the city
- The price is the same for a modern taxi and a tuk tuk
- 1000 Baht for a round trip
- 3500 Baht for a trip to the mountains
Grab is now widely used and available, and definitely one of the best way to get around the city. A trip around the city should cost about 60 Baht, so it’s affordable if there’s more than one of you. The app is straightforward and easy to use, the key point is to pick somewhere the driver can easily stop and pick you up.
More on using Grab in Southeast Asia here.
With sharebikes such as MoBike, it’s easy to rent a bicycle and go around the city. It’s best to do it within the old city unless you are a seasoned cyclist, though most drivers are accustomed to cyclists being on the road. The one place I would advice to avoid is the ring roads around the old city are it’s difficult to switch lanes and turn.
There’s A LOT to do in Chiang Mai, due to time constrained we only went on two: to see the elephants and zip lining on my first trip. To see 5 other amazing day trips, click here.
We researched via TripAdvisor, and the price ranges from 2400 to 4000 Baht
*Note these are the ethical ones, without elephants playing tricks
At the end, we choose the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary (2400 Baht)
The most advertised is Flight of the Gibbon, which is 3999 Baht. The cheapest one we found was 2000 Baht
Full review on ziplining with Skyline Adventure
For those who are looking for more off the beaten paths things to do, there are some amazing tours lead by locals in Chiang Mai – from Lanna cooking class, ethical elephant encounters, to trekking in the mountains, you are spoiled for choice and be sure to make a local connection.
Food and Drinks prices in Chiang Mai
Mango Sticky Rice
Sold everywhere at the night market, and the price is generally 40-50 Baht (portion tends to be smaller than if you just buy them somewhere in the city)
20-50 Baht depending on the size, how many fruits are mixed in etc.
Restaurants prices in Chiang Mai
Dishes price typically fluctuate around 100 Baht
And that’s it, folks. Hope this price guide will be useful to you, and definitely apply the knowledge you have at the night market for higher bargaining power!
Where to stay in Chiang Mai
There are so many amazing options as to where to stay in Chiang Mai. If it’s your first time, I thoroughly recommend staying in the Old Town so you can be close to everything. However, if you aren’t fussed about being a little further, there are some beautiful places in the hip Nimman area as well as near the night bazzar. Beyond that, there are so many gorgeous resorts dotted around the area, so here’s a quick oveview:
Chiang Mai Old City
Budget: just outside the north gate, @Box Hostel does not only offer modern dorms at great prices but also free bicycle rental. Me U2 Hostel is a great alternative around the same area and also offer double rooms. If you prefer to be inside the walls and looking for female only dorms as well, Green Sleep Hostel is the one to look at.
Mid-range: For a mix of traditional Thai and modern design, Floral Hotel Thapae Gate Chiangmai near ThaPae gate is a good pick (but no lift). Phra Singh Village is also a great mix, plus it’s pretty new! Prefer somewhere modern? Then check out The Rodman Hotel.
Splurge: right in the heart of Old City with traditional design and architecture, Baan Boo Loo Village offers gorgeous villas that make you feel relaxed and immersed in Thai culture. However, it doesn’t have a pool – but Chala Number6 does! With equally charming decor and central pool, it’s a perfect escape in the heart of the city.
Budget: located between Nimman and old city, Stranger House is another great modern choice for hostel lovers. For artsy people and hipsters, stay right on the main road in Nimman across from Maya mall at Bed Addict Hostel X Cafe.
Mid-range: Want to feel a homey, rustic vibe? Sanae’ Townhouse Chiang Mai takes you right back into the country with wood and brick decor. If you are more of a sleek marble kind of person, then Zivi Nimman 15 is for you.
Splurge: Ultra modern, sleek and with a rooftop pool, Akyra Manor Chiang Mai is the epitome of urban stays!
Around Chiang Mai
There are some gorgeous stays around Chiang Mai such as the Panviman Resort and Spa. It’s a perfect getaway for those who are looking to relax at a lovely resort (or those with kids).
23 thoughts on “The Ultimate Price Guide to Chiang Mai”
Mmmm, sticky mango rice! Heavenly! I love the notebooks too, the covers are beautiful. Such a great, helpful post! I feel like I didn’t get the chance to explore Chang Mai properly before going up to Pai. I’ll be bookmarking this for my next trip there!
I would have brought a few more notebooks if my sister and my luggage allowance haven’t stopped me 😛 I will need to go to Pai next time I visit 🙂 Chiang Mai is too lovely and affordable to not go back!
I wish I had read this before figuring it all out on my own during a month in Chiang Mai! And a big YES to Green Bamboo– Phet and his Thai yoga massage is still the highlight of my trip!
I didn’t get the chance to try the thai yoga massage – that sounds like the perfect reason to go back 😀
I have never been to Chiang Mai but if I will go I will have an idea now about the prices. How much is the bhat – dollar/euro exchange? From what it looks, the night market is a great place to buy souvenirs, the notebooks are very pretty.
Roughly about 2.6 euros to 100 baht – so pretty good! It’s definitely a great place to buy things and just enjoy the atmosphere!
Really helpful guide. I totally understand the need for it too. In so many countries you get seriously ripped off just by virtue of being a tourist. Knowing the ‘correct’ prices gives you a great starting point for arguing/haggling. That said, tourists often end up paying more than the locals however hard you try.
I’m moving to Chiang Mai in October so this was actually incredibly helpful lol! Now I know how to haggle for mangos and not to take any shit from people trying to sell me overpriced pom pom shorts 😉 Thanks!!
Definitely! I am still quite mad over the guy who tried to sell them to me in triple the price – got to be weary of these store owners!
So much useful information. The notebooks are beautiful and the Mango Sticky Rice sounds delicious.
Some really great tips here! I spent a few weeks in Chiang Mai and after a few days I was able to find out where the cheapest food, drink and shops where!
I absolutely loved the massages and has one nearly everyday, beware though as some of the cheaper places have staff who aren’t trained (I think they are prostitutes…).
hahaha I have to say that wouldn’t surprise me… It’s not uncommon in some places in China for that to happen as well!
If I can, I would go and have a massage everyday, but the Green Bamboo is always fully booked!
Thanks for this practical guide, I’ve been to Phuket and Bangkok but not Chiang Mai so interesting to read. I love how cheap the massages are hey.
I hope you get to visit some time in the future, it’s so different to Bangkok, and way more lay back! Just for the cheap massage you should go 🙂
Cant believe Thailand is still so cheap after all those years. If i compare the prices in Eastern Africa, all things you listed are like at least twice to three times more expensive.
Oh wow I would have never guessed that it’s cheaper than Africa! But the living cost at Chiang Mai is unbelievably low with the quality they offer
I’m not one for shopping when I travel, but I thought the tops and shorts looked so great. I would definitely be open to buying. In the States we don’t usually haggle so this would be something new for me to try for sure! I loved your post and how you felt “inspired” to write it.
I hate haggling myself to be honest but I hate getting rip off more! You should definitely try it and don’t feel bad for the vendor: they won’t sell if they are not making a profit 😉
Thanks for the inhtisg. It brings light into the dark!
I love the idea of doing a price guide! Every city should have one. (Although I’m sure if I wrote one for my hometown NYC, I’d just be depressed at how expensive it is.) And I want those notebooks and mango sticky rice!
Thank you! I am glad you like the article 🙂 I feel you girl if I have to write one for London I might cry internally and give up!
Wow! This was pretty comprehensive. Bookmarked this for my upcoming trip to Chiang Mai!
I’m glad you find it useful! We hated being taken advantage of at markets so we wanted to make a guide!