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Santitham Re-awakens

Nightlife hots up as the students return

Santitham has become a popular area for student accommodation being located close to several major universities and colleges. Not only is it full of low cost dormitory style condo accommodation, but it has an abundance of low cost Thai style bars and restaurants too. The area is also home to Chiang Mai’s traditional Thai style red light district with its brothels and short time hotels, though this has declined significantly.

Chiang Mai Map V2 April 2014 (480px)

Map showing location of Santitham area in the North West of Chiang Mai (Courtesy

Over recent months the Santitham bar scene has been very quiet as the universities had an extended break this year to re-adjust term times to be in-line with ASEAN, which comes into effect next year. However, the students are now back, new bars have been opening everywhere and the area has become very lively again.

Many of Chiang Mai’s gay businesses are located in or close to the Santitham area, part of Chang Phuek district, in the area bounded by the Huay Kaew Road, the Superhighway, Chang Phueak Road and the moat (see Map above). This includes all four gay go-go bars, most of the gay accommodation in Chiang Mai, two massage shops, two gay karaoke bars and several other gay bars and restaurants.

New Gay Owned Bar R&A

There is a new gay owned addition to the bar scene in Santitham Plaza. R&A Bar has just been opened by Khun Run and his partner, some readers may remember Run as the manager of Soho bar under Khun Scott’s tenure. The bar is open from 5 p.m and has a mixed clientèle. The bar is Thai style selling beers and whiskey along with some snack food. It is located in the first strip of bars if you enter Santitham plaza from Santitham Road, Second bar from the northern end, next to Fin Bar. [This is the same strip as gay Bars Yum Boi Boi and Fit bar used to be in]. As well as R&A Santitham plaza is home to several more beer bars, some with live music.

Santitham Plaza on StreetView

Santitham Plaza Bar area on Google Street View

Metro Bar Re-opens

MetroBar - Smart Gay bar in Chiang MaiAs mentioned in a previous article, Metro bar has now re-opened and has some very friendly guys working there. They are now selling food too and open from 10.00 a.m. Their Grand Opening Party will be this Friday, 29 August so pop along and say hello.

Santitham Nightlife

For those interested in exploring more of Santitham and Chang Phuek’s local bar scene (Not gay bars) the following are a few pointers. There are small bars and restaurants scattered around everywhere but several are concentrated in Santitham Plaza. These are mainly beer bars but some have food and there are vendors selling snacks. Off Viangbua Road, K-Entertain plaza has quite a number of small local style Karaoke bars, as well as a few restaurants. In nearby Soduseka Road there are several live music bars, Oxide Pub being the largest. On the Superhighway sliproad, a few hundred meters west of the Khuang Singh intersection is a large cluster of popular outdoor beer bars.

Oxide Pub Chiang Mai

A Packed Oxide Pub in Santitham

A couple of our Santitham favourites are Nae Nae, a large restaurant with live music on the superhighway at Tewan Road, which gets plenty of gay Thai customers, and Buddy Chiang Mai, a bar with snacks in the same soi as Radchada Garden Cafe.

Whilst the guys at R&A and Metro bar speak great English, in many of the places mentioned, little English will be spoken and most places won’t have English menus. That said, everywhere is very friendly and if you speak a little Thai or go with Thai friends you can have a great time. Although the bars in these areas are not specifically gay, its not uncommon to find groups of young gay Thais in any bar. However, these places are very much for the under thirties and it is likely anyone you meet here will not be money-boys.

Santitham Gay Venues

Aside from the non gay places, Santitham/Chang Phueak is the location for many of Chiang Mai’s gay venues. Full details can be found in our gay guide to Chiang Mai but here is a quick summary:

Bars, Cafés and Restaurants (Chang Pueak)

  • Radchada Garden Café
  • Soho
  • Garden Bar (At Lotus Hotel)
  • Metro Bar
  • R&A Bar
  • Sabaidee Santitham

Full guide to Bars, Cafés and Restuarants

Teak wood House in Chiang Mai

Radchada Garden Café – Gay bar in a beautiful old teak wood mansion in Santitham

Gay Hotels and Guesthouses (Chang Pueak)

  • Lotus Hotel
  • Soho
  • PJ’s Place
  • Mansfield
  • QI68
  • Santitham Guest House

Guide to Gay Hotels, Gay Guest-houses and accommodation in Chiang Mai

Gay Go-go Bars

  • Adams Apple Club
  • Circle Pub
  • FreeGuy Club
  • New My Way

Chiang Mai Gay Guide – Go-Go and Host bars

Gay Club Adam's Apple Chiang Mai - handsome go-go boys

Handsome dancers at Adam’s Apple CLub Chiang Mai

Gay Massage (Chang Pueak)

  • Gemini
  • Marn Mai

Guide to Gay Massage in Chiang Mai

Gay Karoke Bars (With hosts)

  • Barocco
  • Relax

Guide to Gay Late night Venues and Karaoke Bars in Chiang Mai

  1. […] Also in Chang Pueak, the Santitham area which is very popular with students has come back to life after the universities re-opened following an extended summer break. This has also seen the opening of a new gay owned bar in Santitham plaza – R&A Read More… […]

  2. BonTong says:

    I don’t believe it is open any-more.

  3. hakan says:

    couple of yeras ago i have read about a place called fang lagoon in theese pages, is it still open? and what more important is it a safe place to stay there? i remember the pics of the place like it was isolated , i wish to visit there for a weekend , but u know i have some safety concerns.

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