Location: On the Ping River, behind the Night Bazaar
Category: Mid-range guesthouse
Price range: 600-1000Bt per night
Riverside House Chiang Mai has become one of our favourite bed and breakfast places to stay in Chiang Mai because of its convenience to the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar (which we love) and because it offers really great value. There are not many places in Chiang Mai where you can get a comfortable queen size room with breakfast and a swimming pool for less than 1000Bt per night!!!
We only really discovered Riverside House Chiang Mai because our usual haunts were booked out for Songkran. This place had one room left, so we snapped it up without looking much further. They also offered parking for our hire car, which was a bonus. Riverside House turned out to be full of surprises!
The owner, Poom, really goes out of her way to make your stay enjoyable. If you stay here and find anything not to your liking, just pop into the office and ask for Poom! She will sort it out.
The first surprise was the night guard, who keeps unwanted people from wandering into the guest house after dark. He must have heard us pull up outside and came out to guide us into a safe parking space and carry our bags in. He had our room key ready (everyone else had gone home) and took our bags to our room, wished us a good stay and went back to his post.
The second surprise was the breakfast. We’re used to getting a couple of slices of toast and a coffee in cheaper guest houses and calling that breakfast, but Riverside House Chiang Mai puts on a nice spread with cereals, fruit, juice, toast, jams and coffee so you can fill up before you head out for the day. You can also order eggs as you like them, cooked fresh, or pancakes.
The third surprise was the pool. It’s like being in a mini-resort with manicured lawns, a sparkling salt water pool, sun lounges to relax on and a waterfall. Incredible facilities for a low-range bed and breakfast hotel! The pool is not very big, but neither is the hotel so it doesn’t really get crowded.
The fourth surprise was the location. Although we had a hire car we hardly used it while at Riverside House. It was so easy to wander across the narrow steel bridge and find yourself at the top of the night market area with a fantastic choice of restaurants, bars and markets.
The final surprise was the tour desk. We dropped into the office next morning to pay for our room and started chatting to the manager who offered us a free half-day shopping tour on the morning of our last day, before we headed off to the airport. We wouldn’t normally do this kind of thing, but we agreed and were very pleasantly surprised to find we were being chauffeured around in a nice new Toyota by a lovely young man with good English who made sure we were not preyed on by the tourist trap shops we visited. It was actually good fun! You can book all kinds of tours here and they’ll look after you.
The rooms at the back of Riverside House on the ground floor are the best, but most of the rooms are good. The rooms at the front near the pool are backpacker accommodation with shared bathroom, but even those are nice. All the rooms we’ve stayed in at Riverside House have been comfortable and we really appreciate the nice little balcony area to sit and chat in the evenings.
If you’re sitting around outside late in the evening or early in the morning, listen out for the geckos! These small Asian lizards have the loudest voices you could ever imagine and they actually call “gecko! gecko!”. We have these back home in Australia but they just say “nack, nack”.