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One of Chiang Mai’s coolest neighbourhoods, Nimman (based along Nimmanhaemin Road,) is a hipster district full of chic coffee shops, malls, bars and retail stalls. Lush, green streets give way to brand new shopping districts and co-working spaces plus you can find classic Chiang Mai attractions like night markets in Nimman.
Here is our guide to Nimman (there are many things to do in Nimman) from cool as beans coffee shops to sleek shopping centres and night markets:
Table of Contents
Things to do in Nimman, Chiang Mai
Coffee shops in Nimman, Chiang Mai
Nimmanhaemin Road is often referred to as Chiang Mai’s ‘coffee street’ and is refreshingly free of chain coffee shops. Here, artisan and independent coffee shops are strewn around the green leafy streets meaning you can enjoy your coffee in style. Some of the best Nimman coffee shops include:
Ristr8to Coffee Lab and Ristr8to Original
Our first port of coffee call in Nimman was Ristr8to, an award winning coffee shop that has come up with some incredible coffee and cold-brew creations.
Ristr8to really do make cups of coffee that are works of art and taste damn fine. Whilst you can go for ordinary coffee served in normal cups, you can also go for more unusual servings like coffee test tubes (139 Baht for four test tubes of cold brew) or a 5.5oz coffee served in a skull (a Ficardie for 89 Baht).
We prefer the Ristr8to Lab branch setting on Soi 3 as it has a shaded deck and is good for people watching but their Ristr8to Original branch is equally popular.
Many say Ristr8to serves the best coffee in Chiang Mai so head over to check it out for yourself.
We found FOHHIDE coffee shop in Nimman quite by chance (and to be honest, this is the best way to explore Nimman, wandering around the neighbourhood seeing what you can find).
Located on the fifth floor of a rickety building (don’t get the lift – use the stairs!), FOHHIDE does indeed have incredible coffee but it also has stunning aerial views of Nimman’s streets and the Chiang Mai hills.
Graph at One Nimman
We’d read this was Nimman’s most Instagrammed cafe and as soon as we rocked up, we genuinely found two separate Instagram wannabes (not us by the way) prancing up and down outside Graph, posing for numerous shots.
That said, the coffee at Graph is superb – their most well known coffee is a ‘Lost Garden’, a nitrogen-brewed coffee infused with rose water.
The Baristro at Barisotel
Like Graph, this is another Nimman coffee shop that is incredibly popular both in terms of the coffee but also the seriously instagrammable interiors (the number of people posing inside can get seriously annoying).
Thankfully the coffee is spot on (loads of choice) plus the coconut cheesecake comes highly recommended.
Italics restaurant at ‘akyra Manor Hotel’
There are many restaurants and cafes to try in Nimman but one we quite enjoyed was the Italics restaurant at akyra Manor Hotel.
We mainly loved it because the Italics interior is quirky as (think a forest of trees made out of lights, with black marble and mirror EVERYWHERE) and it was fine dining at a fraction of the price if you book the 50% off discount deal with Thai food app Eatigo (selected times only though).
Italics restaurant is run by famous TV chefs and specialises in Italian food.
On our first visit, we tried their signature akyra pizza which was really good although the amount of truffle used lingered a long time after we finished eating. More recently, we revisited Italics and tried the salmon tagliatelle and a classic carbonara dish. As at June 2023, you can still get 50% off Italics in the afternoon on the eatigo app.
Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre, Nimman Chiang Mai
A sometimes welcome respite from the humid and hot temperatures in Chiang Mai, Maya Lifestyle Shopping centre has INCREDIBLE air-conditioning – oh and lots of nice, lovely shops (but for us, it was all about the air con!).
Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre has many local and international brands, plus several Japanese stores like Daiso and Moshi Moshi. We are also partial to the Swensen’s ice cream chain store here.
Current stores and brands in Nimman’s Maya Mall as at 2023 include H&M, American Eagle Outfitters, a Mango outlet, Seiko, Casio, Watson’s pharmacy, Fila, Crocs and naRaYa.
As well as lots of shops, Maya Shopping Centre has a cheap food court on level 4 – you will need to buy a top-up card at the cashier to buy food here (a bit like the Terminal 21 food court in Bangkok). Plus Maya also has a cinema on level 5 and a free viewing deck on the top floor (level 6).
One Nimman, Chiang Mai
One Nimman is a shopping centre and retail space handily located just across the road from Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre and Think Park – it is easy to find, just look for the Italian bell tower!
That’s right, One Nimman is a little different from other Chiang Mai shopping centres – it has cobbled streets, town squares plus a beautiful Italian style street (known as One Street) of chic shops and coffee bars / cafes – it actually feels kinda like the Bellagio in Las Vegas (faux Italy).
New for 2023, One Nimman has opened a new shopping area on the upper levels called One Nimman Select. Upstairs, there are a lot of nice looking independent shops and stalls selling everything from discount sneakers to nice smelling incense.
One Nimman Select also has food stalls selling snacks like dried fruit, stroopwafels and Thai rice cakes – pop up events take place here too.
One Nimman has an eclectic weekly events schedule including night markets every Friday to Sunday (more on this in our Nimman night market section below) plus even yoga, body balance and salsa sessions.
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Nimman Night markets, Chiang Mai
There are several night markets in Nimman, Chiang Mai.
The most well known Nimman night markets (in terms of tourists) are the Chiang Mai University Night Market and Rincome night market – the latter located next right next door to the Maya shopping centre mall (you can even peer over from the roof terrace on Maya’s 6th floor to get a bird’s eye view of Rincome night market).
Chiang Mai University Night Market
This night market isn’t just for students but being so close to one of Thailand’s biggest universities, this might explain why it is certainly one of the cheapest night markets.
On our most recent visit to Chiang Mai University Night Market (June 2023), we only saw a handful of tourists there and it is very much a local night market. It is certainly worth heading to for the many clothing, fashion and furnishings stalls (so many Hawaiian shirts!!!). When you first enter as you head towards the centre, you’ll also find several busy food courts.
We would guess that there was around 200 non food stalls and around 100 food kiosks at Chiang Mai University Night Market so kind of mid range in size when to compared to all the other night markets.
Note you cannot buy or bring any alcohol / beer at the Chiang Mai University Night Market.
Chiang Mai University Night Market is open daily from 5pm until around 10pm to 11pm.
Rimcome Night Market
We visited Rimcome night market early one Tuesday evening (perhaps too early) and stayed until approx 6.30pm. Many of the stalls hadn’t opened and the food court was quite spartan, although we think it is the cheapest place in Chiang Mai for beers – 60 Baht for a large Chang Leo.
There were around 10 food stalls open at Rincome market when we visited (November 2022) with dishes like Northern Thai sausage for 15 Baht. It was a mix of both locals and tourists attending Rincome Night Market (plus a lot of cats).
Rincome night market is open daily (except Sunday) from 5pm till midnight.
Street Food Market / Japanese White Market at One Nimman
The European style One Nimman has a couple of cute night markets that both take place every Friday to Sunday, from 3pm to 10pm.
The street food night market at One Nimman takes place in the One Square area, in the shadow of a big and beautiful clock tower.
Live music and busking takes place in the cobbled square, and you’ll find around 20 food and drink stalls selling snacks like lobster rolls, German sausages plus a few Thai style dishes.
Next door on a tree lined side street road immediately outside One Nimman, the White Market sells handcrafted and artisan goods.
Described as a Japanese Lanna Hand Craft night market, it has around 30 stalls selling fine fashion items and high quality / quirky goods, as opposed to souvenir and tourist tat. Kind of like a really fantastic flea market!
Langmor night market
Open daily from 5pm to 9pm, Nimman’s nightly Langmor market has shorter opening hours than most Chiang Mai night markets but that is because it is squarely aimed at Chiang Mai’s huge student and university population (the second biggest student population in Thailand after Bangkok).
This means Langmor night market is cheaper than most and well attended by young people and isn’t so tourist orientated. Langmor night market has some of the cheapest food in Chiang Mai with plenty of seating areas but can get quite busy during the peak hours of 6 to 8pm.
Nimman side streets and alleyways
One of the joys in visiting Nimman is to actually rock up, potentially without a plan or map and just wander round all the various Nimman sois / streets / sois discovering little coffee shops or cafes and pastry shops for yourself.
After the moped mania of Chiang Mai’s busy old town roads (especially around the city walls), Nimman’s lush green streets and peaceful back alleys are wonderful to just stroll around.
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Co-working in Nimman – Yellow Nimman and Camp (Creative and Meeting Place)
Chiang Mai is famous for being popular with digital nomads and Nimman is no exception. Whilst there are many older building co-working spaces in Chiang Mai old town, Nimman has several newer and modern co-working spaces.
Yellow Nimman is one of the biggest Chiang Mai co-working spaces with 24/7 access, an onsite cafe (titled Yellow Cafe, obviously) plus a huge slide that goes from the office space to the lush outdoor deck. Packages vary and if you take out a monthly Yellow co-working booking, drinks are also included in the package.
Another Chiang Mai / Nimman co-working space is CAMP, which stands for ‘Creative and Meeting Place) located on the 5th floor of the Maya shopping mall, accessible 24/7 (and also very popular with Chiang Mai university and school students). There are 5 meeting rooms, food and drink outlets and a reading zone.
Think Park Nimman, Chiang Mai
A little piece of Japan in Nimman, Think Park is a relatively new themed shopping area with loads of cute and charming features like a Japanese road crossing (even the nearest entrance from Maya shopping centre is themed like a Tokyo Metro / Underground station).
There are cutesy characters on benches to pose with plus other subtle stylings like a Japanese postbox.
There are several bars and restaurants at Nimman’s Think Park plus around 10 to 15 shops (think fashion, Japanese groceries, jewellery, beauticians etc).
Popular bars at Nimman’s Think Park! include The Camellia (the outdoor terrace here is popular for people-watching and live music) plus new for 2023, Matsuri, a fun and friendly Japanese restaurant. There is also a weekly night market at Think Park every Thursday evening.
A great place for alfresco drinks and an izakaya style night out, Think Park Nimman is open daily from 11am to 10pm.
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Door Bell Ice Cream
A ‘n-ice’ thing to do in Nimman, Door Bell Ice Cream is a cute and charming homemade ice-cream stop hidden in the side-streets with lots of flavours to choose.
Unlike like most ice-cream stores, this is actually located in the drive-way of someone’s house and you put your money into an honesty box. How refreshing in every sense!
There are two big freezers of ice-creams and sorbets to choose from with incredible flavours like jackfruit, Horlicks, Ovaltine and Thai Tea.
As well as normal milk ice-cream, you can get tubs of sorbet and coconut milk ice-cream as well. All ice-creams are priced at 33 Baht per small tub (prices as at June 2023).
Given how inexpensive they were (and we visited on a hot 36c day), we tried three flavours, Banana and Oreo, Passionfruit and Black Sesame. Our fave was banana and oreo which tasted like banana bread ice-cream! The black sesame was also a fave and is a coconut milk concoction so it didn’t melt as quick as the others.
Choose your dessert from the freezer and then put your money into the honesty box or use the QR code to e-pay. There are also a couple of small seats and benches in the drive way if you want to enjoy your Door Bell ice creams there.
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Nimman Rooftop Bars and Nightlife
Nimman has a number of nightlife spots and venues, for some Chiang Mai clubbing.
Nimman Warm Up Cafe has been around for over 20 years and one of the mainstays of Nimman’s nightlife. Open daily from 6pm to 2am, Warm Up Cafe has 3 ‘zones’ and is renowned for its EDM and live DJs. Along with a stage for live bands and its very own souvenir shop, Warm Up Cafe is popular with all the cool kids in Chiang Mai.
Rise rooftop bar is located on the top floor of the akyra hotel (the same hotel we mentioned earlier when we dined in its Italics restaurant). The focal point of Rise bar is the hotel’s rooftop pool, with cocktails and cold beers all part of the mix – tapas and shared BBQ platters are also available to combine with your rooftop views of Nimman and Chiang Mai.
Nimman Hill is actually the area atop Maya shopping mall, located on the 6th floor – just take the escalators to the top floor, walk past the cinema and you’ll be treated to incredible views of the Chiang Mai hills plus an aerial view of next-door Rincome Market (plus you might see some planes taking off from nearby Chiang Mai airport as the flight-path goes past Maya shopping centre). Nimman Hill is free to visit.
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Nimman Rooftop Bar – Myst
Whilst at Nimman Hill, you can also visit one of Nimman’s best rooftop bars and restaurants, Myst. This chic cocktail bar comes alive at night with a mezzanine seating area and often has DJs and live music playing till the small hours.
Whilst prices are not cheap compared to most other bars (some of the cocktails are 800 baht), the views are spectacular and the restaurant boasts a Thai and international fusion menu.
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Wat Umong Suan Puthanam
Most of the Nimman things to do we mention are relatively modern but on the outskirts of the neighbourhood, Wat Umong is one of the most historical and beautiful temples in Chiang Mai.
Unlike most of the Chiang Mai temples you can visit, Wat Umong has an incredible array of ancient tunnels you can explore thought to date back to the 13th century (keep an eye out for the cave paintings) and a large Chedi monument that is around 700 years old (walk around it three times for good luck).
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Get High in Nimman
Since 2022, it has been legal to smoke grass in Thailand – that said, please note it is illegal to smoke (and vape) in public places. As such, several ‘dope’ cafes have set up in Nimman (although there are nowhere near as many in Nimman as there are compared to Chiang Mai old town).
One of the most biggest dope cafes in Nimman is All Good, located just across the road from the One Nimman shopping centre and night market.
Getting to Nimman, Chiang Mai
Nimmen is located just outside of Chiang Mai old town (about a 30 minute walk from the north gate). We frequently used Grab taxi’s (Asian equivalent of Uber) to get there and back from our hotel. Download the Grab app here >
Where to stay in Nimman, Chiang Mai
Budget friendly hotel with outdoor pool and a fitness centre. Located within walking distance of the night markets and Maya shopping mall. Check out prices and availability for Sakulchai Place.
ibis Chiang Mai Nimman Journeyhub
Brand new – this budget chain hotel is a short walk from MAYA mall and offers facilities such as an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and restaurant/bar. Check out prices and availability for Ibis Nimman.
De Chai Oriental Nimman
Boutique hotel with stylish oriental-designed rooms. Facilities include a fitness centre with views of Doi Suthep, outdoor pool and an on-site restaurant. Check out prices and availability for De Chai Oriental Nimman
U Nimman Chiang Mai
Stylish 5 star hotel with outdoor pool and views of the mountain, located opposite Think Park and Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre. Rooms have a terrace and hotel facilities include a pool bar, restaurant and sauna. Check out prices and availability for U Nimman Chiang Mai.
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