We have made many friends during our stay in Chiang Mai and what we have discovered is that a lot of the Chiang Mai Expat population are on the move.
With Thailand’s proximity to other South East Asian countries it’s not unusual to hear that Marsha is jetting off to Vietnam, Jan taking the slow boat to Laos and Cindy is checking out Ankor Wat in Cambodia. Every now and then Expats will visit home, Greg to the United States, Peter to the United Kingdom and good old Bobby will head home to Australia.
Because much of Chiang Mai’s Expat population is somewhat transient you will find that many have lived in different parts of the city. We have talked to Expats who have lived in Chiang Mai for years and we can’t help but admire them for the knowledge they willingly impart, to make our lives so much easier.
Many of these long-term Expats live in or close to Nimmanhaemin, a trendy area full of coffee shops and restaurants, a popular place with young Thai’s, Expats and tourists. Now it was our turn to discover why people fall in love with “Nimman”.
Siri Condo Chiang Mai
We started looking for Chiang Mai property in different areas. This time instead of going through a Chiang Mai real estate agent, we made enquiries at each condominiums reception desk. We had been to the Siri Condo Chiang Mai and liked what we saw, so when we found they had a vacancy, we jumped at the chance to live there.
We chose an air-conditioned one bedroom apartment with a balcony overlooking views of Doi Suthep mountain. We love our apartment, the lounge and bed are comfortable, the bathroom is huge with separate bath and shower cubicle. There is a rooftop garden which has an almost 360-degree view of Chiang Mai.
The kitchen area has two electric hotplates, microwave oven, fridge, washing machine and cooking utensils. We were supplied with bed linen and tea towels but had to supply our own bath towels.
At night Nimman can get loud, there is a thriving music and bars scene and it is on a flight path so you need to get used to the roar of the jets flying overhead while out and about. Fortunately, Siri Condominium is on a quiet street and closing the windows and doors cuts out most aircraft noise. In the evening we like to go up to the rooftop garden to enjoy the sunset over the mountains and watch the planes take off over Chiang Mai.
Nimmanhaemin (Nimman) Area
Siri Condominium is on lane 1 off Sirimangkalajarn Road and is within walking distance to Kad Suan Kaew and Maya shopping malls.
Maya is a modern upmarket shopping mall with a Rimping Supermarket, food court and cinema as well as a wide variety shops and banking options.
Kad Suan Kaew is an older shopping mall with a more Thai flavour. I love browsing the small boutiques and traditional Lanna gift wares, while Alan loves the IT shops. Kad Suan Kaew boasts a Tops supermarket, bowling alley, cinema and a massive food court that sells a wide range of delicious dishes.
Boutiques in Nimman
At Nimman you will be spoilt by the variety of small boutiques that sell unique clothing to suit any style, here is one of my favourites.
Fairy Garden on Nimmanhaemin Lane 1, has a selection of vintage and modern pieces that I would describe as ethnic funk. Selling traditional embroidered and hand woven clothing and jewellery it is a popular place for anyone who loves a more bohemian style.
Nimman Art & Craft Galleries
Elephant Parade began in 2006 after a baby elephant called Mosha lost part of its front leg in a landmine explosion. Fortunately, Mosha was fitted with a prosthetic leg and is now a happy healthy elephant.
To raise awareness to the plight of Asian elephants, artists and celebrities were asked to decorate life size baby elephants, these beautifully embellished elephants have been touring the world since 2007.
The Elephant Parade store on Nimmanhaemin Road sells miniature replicas of these elephants, with 30% of the sales price going to Elephant charities. For those with an artistic side you can create your own elephant in an Elephant Parade paint workshop.
Silver Birch has an interesting mix of traditional and modern paintings, carvings, trinkets and jewellery on display in this somewhat quirky gallery. Silver Birch can be found on Nimmanhaemin Lane 1.
Fai Ngam is the place to come for traditional Thai carving, ceramics, hand woven cottons and silks. Fai Ngam is an Aladdin’s cave of curios. Fai Ngam can also be found on Nimmanhaemin Lane 1.
Nimman Massage & Spa’s
Lanna Massage on Nimmanhaemin Road offer 200 Baht, 1 hour foot massages between 12:00 and 4:00 pm. Not only do they massage the foot but also the leg below the knee. The experience is shear bliss and leaves you feeling dreamy.
Nimman Coffee Shops
Coffee shops are everywhere but our favourite is the Jung Kub Coffee on Sirimangkalajarn Road. The coffee is delicious, it has friendly atmosphere and the staff are welcoming.
If you are missing cat company, the Cat Café is the place to come for coffee or ice cream to enjoy the antics of these playful cats.
Cooking Schools in Nimman
Nimman Thai Cooking School. No trip to Thailand would be complete without a cooking class. Classes start with a visit to a local market where you will not only learn about the exotic fruit and vegetables but also get a glimpse into the everyday life of the Thai people. You will discover the intricacies of Thai cooking and be rewarded with a delicious feast.
It is impossible to come to Thailand and stay on a diet, Thai food has reputation as one of the most delicious cuisines in the World. We have only been in Nimman for a short while but here are some of the restaurants we have sampled.
LABKAI Nimman, is a charming restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere, that showcases Northern Thai food. We enjoyed the Khao Soi, a chicken curry soup dish, Lab Kai, a dish of spicy minced chicken and a dessert favourite Mango and Sticky rice. The portions are small but they do pack a flavour burst. Staff are welcoming and friendly.
Why Not? Is an Italian restaurant and wine bar. We chose to share the bruschetta and vegetarian pizza, the first time we went there we ordered two pizzas which were huge, luckily, we were given doggie bags to take home. The Staff are lovely, they can’t do enough for you and the atmosphere is romantic and relaxed.
Salsa Kitchen is always packed. This popular restaurant serves delicious Mexican food in a family atmosphere. We saw many young families dinning here. We ordered Nachos and found the portions to be huge, perfect for sharing. The Staff are friendly and welcoming.
Small Thai Restaurants in Nimman
I love the small family run Thai restaurants that are dotted all around Nimman. We have a favourite Barbeque Chicken and Papaya Salad place located next to Grace Dental Clinic. This restaurant is only open for lunch, get there early because the chicken sells out fast.
Each morning I walk up to the lovely lady on Sirimangkalajarn Road and buy Gao Lao for breakfast. I have become addicted to this spicy pork soup and hardly miss a morning without it.
There many bars to choose from in Nimman, here are some favourites.
Mirror on Nimmanhaemin Lane 7 is a comfortable place to sit and relax after a long day of shopping. Mirror has a large range of dining options and live music.
Baa(n) Din on Nimmanhaemin Lane 13 looks like a Mexican beach house. The owner is fun and friendly, a great place to sit back and relax or to party on until late.
LVMC Living Machine Bar & Break is on Nimmanhaemin Lane 7. I love the edgy black and white art on the walls, a place for a quick drink before dinner or to party until late. The Staff are friendly and welcoming.
We love living in the Nimmanhaemin area. We have found it convenient with everything we need on our door step. We enjoy exploring the shops, sampling the restaurants, coffee shops and entertainment of Nimman and now understand why this area of Chiang Mai is so popular.
You may also be interested in our year of Chiang Mai Condo Living – Night Market area.
What is your favourite area of Chiang Mai? Feel free to leave a comment.