Living at the Maya Lifestyle Mall (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
I ended up spending a week in Chiang Mai and 5 of those days were spent at the mall. I don’t like shopping and when I do it’s always online. So most of my time at the mall was spent doing all the non-shopping options.
Thailand is known for their street food. Although, the cleanliness is very questionable when compared to Western standards. BUT, if you eat the street food at Maya Lifestyle Mall you get both the clean standards and the quality food at the similar prices. There were many different food vendors in the “street food” selection inside the mall. Several of my days there, I ate only in the street food section and averaged about $6USD for the entire day! I was eating a lot of good food for that price.
The mall also had a large selection of restaurant. They had a Coco Ichibanya (I love Japanese Curry) so I had a few meals there.
In addition to food, they had two movie theatres at the mall. One of the theatres was a “First Class” theatre that cost about 3x as much as the standard theatre. The bonus was a recliner seat and extra space. I didn’t opt for this since they only featured one movie and I wasn’t interested in what they currently had.
The standard theatre was pretty good. The seats were big, comfortable and clean. You also got to select your seat. Unfortunately the English of the attendant I had that day wasn’t that great (but I don’t speak any Thai so that’s really on me) so I didn’t understand if I was selecting an empty seat or not. I ended up sitting next to people in a very empty theatre due to this misunderstanding.
This was my first time going to a movie theatre in Thailand. I like experiencing the “everyday lifestyle” that locals experience when visiting a country. In Iceland, they have a 10 minute intermission through movies so people can get snacks or use the restroom. Back to Thailand, after the movie previews played a picture of the King of Thailand came on screen and everyone stood as the Thai anthem played. I wasn’t sure how I should stand so I just mimicked the actions of people around me…which was just standing. I wasn’t expecting that but I can appreciate the cultural significance of this act.
I wanted to watch a “Thai” comedy and ended up watching a romantic comedy about two guys who marry the same girl. There was some pretty good visual effects in it during the fight scenes. I can’t remember the name of it.
Other than movies, they have CAMP! That stands for Creative And Meeting Place. Not the most creative name. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g293917-d6436686-Reviews-C_A_M_P_Library_Cafe-Chiang_Mai.html
This place was great and got me into the habit about what’s happened on my trip so far. Imagine a Starbucks with a library vibe. Very quiet and caffeinated. It’s free to work here, but if you want to use their wifi you just have to buy something. They are a full on coffee shop with hot food items such as fried rice and noodles. You’re probably assuming the catch is that the place is overpriced. It is not. I spent 100THB on a coffee frappe which gave me (2) 2 hour internet vouchers. This was the most expensive beverage they had as prices ranged from 65THB – 100THB for their drinks. Bottled water sold at 20THB. Since I injured myself on my 2nd day in Chiang Mai, I was able to spend the rest of my time hanging out, writing and eating at the mall.
Other things (besides shopping) at the mall included two video game arcades, a gym, grocery store, stage (they had live music on the weekends all day), massage chairs, art galleries, money exchangers, pharmacies and probably more stuff I’m forgetting. As you can see from all these options, it was hard to find any place better. I even moved from my hotel to an airBnB that was located one block from the Maya mall.