Chiang Rai Pubs and Bars
Bars and pubs are not exactly scarce in Chiang Ra. Some are merely easier to locate than others. Some are pure watering holes while others offer 'ancillary' services.
The largest concentration of bars seems to be on Jet Yod Road, and the infamous sub-soi to the east that is on very few maps. These combined were once called the "Trail of Tears".
The road is much tamer now than in the late '80's, but you can still see vestiges of the old haunts and occasionally hear the ghostly moans of broken hearts.
The Night Bazaar has another concentration of small bars.
Chiang Rai come and go much as the seasons -- and with the fortunes of the owners or relationships with their Thai wives, girlfriends and mia nois. So this information is valid for .. however long it is valid.
Pleasant Watering Holes
CR 49 has a classy feel. First, it's spacious and clean. The bar is a real bar and the westerner who owns the place is a very personable European. If the bottles of liquor behind the bar are any indication, he can mix quite a variety of cocktails.
Beer on tap is reasonably priced and soft drinks are downright cheap.
CR 49 is located on Jet Yod Road a short walk from the clock tower. It's easy to get into a conversation at CR 49. Just drop in and say hello.
Bo's Place may make a small footprint but it has a big reputation. Western food is tasty and the beer is cold. Because of the limited size, it makes getting acquainted a bit easier -- actually, almost a necessity.
The youngish Dutch bartender / partner is a very personable chap.
Bo's place tends to be a hangout for some of the local expats. That makes scouting information on accommodations, treks, tours and restaurants easy, current and reliable.
Pretty good crack!