After spending the first half of November exploring northern Thailand, we decided to spend the last two weeks of the month in Chiang Mai. We love Chiang Mai and we also wanted to be there for the Yi Peng Lantern festival.
We looked around at lodging options and figured out that our most economical option would be to use Airbnb. We had never used Airbnb before so this was a new experience for us.
We found a whole house available near the Pong Noi neighborhood. This area is about a 15 – 20 minutes southwest from the old city. We love the old city of Chiang Mai, but thought it might be fun to stay in a local neighborhood.
It was exciting to be staying in an actual house after living in guesthouses and an apartment (in Bangkok) for the past 5 months.
Upon arriving we found a one story three bedroom house with wicker furniture in the living room, a hot plate and microwave in the kitchen, and a washing machine.
Our oldest daughter was thrilled to have her own room, her reward for finishing her college applications. I was psyched to be able to do as much laundry as I wanted for free. We could wear our shirts just once and then wash them!
We figured a house would have decent wifi, but no. The portable router could only handle 1 – 2 people using it at a time.
We assumed a local neighborhood would have lots of street food, but we had trouble finding it at first. We crossed the four lane Canal Rd to get to the Tesco Lotus and 7-11. We wondered if we would have to eat convenience store food for two weeks. But then I wandered behind Tesco Lotus and found a whole set of food stalls.
These stalls kept us full and happy during our stay. There was pad thai, fantastic chicken rice, and even good Japanese food.
We went into the old city several times. Sometimes we would call our host’s driver, but often we would just walk to Canal Rd and flag down a red songtheow (truck taxi). The ride cost between 150 – 200 baht (5-6 USD) for all 5 of us.
We had a good experience our first time using Airbnb. Our host was pleasant and helpful. The house fit the description on the website.
We would definitely use Airbnb again. Although next time we might choose a place in a more central location so we could walk instead of having to get a ride everywhere.