Chiang Mai is a city bursting with tourists (but not in an overrated way). The city does its tourism management so well that, despite knowing there are many tourists, it did not feel crowded at all. Because Chiang Mai attracts millions of tourists in any given year, finding accommodation is not difficult. But choosing the right for us proved more difficult than anticipated because there were so many to choose from!
For the rest of our stay in Thailand, we booked via Agoda.com to take advantage of its “Book Now, Pay Later” feature. But for our Chiang Mai trip, we used AirBnB because I found the perfect place to stay — it was homey, had a kitchen and dining table, a living room, a private toilet and bath, and was within (even less than) our budget. Also, I had some AirBnB credits and I used them to further reduce the actual amount we needed to pay for the AirBnB booking.
Among the many good AirBnB listings that are within our budget of 1,000pesos per night, I choose Baan Ploy-in because of the following:
- location is inside the old city, at the North Gate
- walking distance to many of the old city sights, such as museums and temples
- inside the old city but the area is relatively quite because it is far from backpackers’ area
- near wet market, night food market, Tesco Lotus, restaurants and cafe
- has kitchen and living area
- each room has private toilet and bath.
Staying at Baan Ploy-in made us love the place even more. There is free coffee, tea, cocoa and hot water. Aside from the kitchen, there is a microwave, and we are free to use the refrigerator (good for making ice). There was also laundry for 40baht in the guesthouse. Most of all, what we loved about the place are the people running it. Som and Aey, the housekeepers, were always busy cleaning the room and changing our towels. Salinla (aka Joy) and Keng were enthusiastic owners who do their best to welcome each guest and recommend good places to eat and check out.
TIP: Make sure you are connected to a wi-fi when you arrive at the guesthouse or you have Joy and Keng’s local number because they do not live in the guesthouse. The guesthouse is also locked (from the inside) after 5PM so make sure you indicate in your AirBnB booking the exact time you would be arriving.
We arrived past 8AM in the guesthouse. From the Chiang Mai train station, I showed a songthaew driver a screenshot of the address I asked from Joy, the driver understood, and drove us to Chang Puak in the North Gate. He charged us 100baht each. When we finally arrived at the guesthouse, I sent a message to Joy via AirBnB and she was there in a few minutes to welcome us. 😀 Because it was not yet our time for check-in, she agreed to keep our bags in their office and recommended we eat breakfast and do some work at Into the Woods and check out the Lanna Folklike Museum to serve as our introduction to Chiang Mai.
We arrived back in the guesthouse at around 1PM, still early for check-in, but Aey gladly accommodated us and let us get into our rooms already. Writing this, I miss Aey and Som. They were so generous that they gave us a pot of red rice after seeing how mushy the rice Joel cooked turned out. Aey even gave us makrut leaves to take home to the Philippines and offered to give me red rice to bring with me here. The guesthouse don’t have a ricecooker. It was also easy to cook because there were two sari-sari stores near the guesthouse. If they don’t understand what you’re trying to buy, just politely ask them to let you pick the item(s) you want.
Credits to Joel for the featured image, and images 1, 6 and 7.
You can book the same room here or other rooms in Joy’s listing. If you haven’t signed up yet in AirBnB, you can sign up by clicking this and you will get P1,100 on your first booking (in turn I get P600).