Chiang Mai: Staying Among The Locals At Bann-Maew-Aoun

Chiang Mai this and Chiang Mai that … Where to stay? What to eat? Where to go? Friends and acquaintances tend to jump into conclusion that I have been to Chiang Mai. I. Have. NOT. Not, until Now. It’s timely that I finally made a trip up north with bf. A maiden trip can make, or break your holiday… and the same can be said of your (Airbnb) lodging. If you have been following my blog, you may have noticed that I am a fan of Airbnb.

Booking Airbnb stay is a trial-and-error kind of thing. After a while, you get a sense of the kind of place, the tone and manner, that strikes your fancy. After so many stays at Airbnb lodging, I gradually came to realize that a great stay = great place + great host …. You sort of strike lottery when you get both, but if I have to choose one, a great place outweighs a host every time.

Hello bann-maew-aoun
Hello bann-maew-aoun and the cats

When I first arrived at bann-maew-aoun, our Airbnb in Chiang Mai, I knew there and then that it was a spot-on decision. I must give credit where credit is due; bf was the one behind the decision. This is a rare Airbnb booking: the listing was selected by bf (who knows my liking far too well). I merely booked it, without checking much.



The neighbourhood

“Where to stay in Chiang Mai” has gotta be one of the most asked travel-related questions. Read here for you to get a sense of the typical area where tourists stay. But, if you want to live where the locals live ..

Map of Bann-maew-aoun

Bann-maew-aoun is located at Soi Sanambin Kao 6, Suthep. The location is at a quiet street off the main tourist stretch, yet not too far away from the old city (Suan Duak gate) and Nimman. It took us around 10-15 minutes walk from the house to Nimman.

Ton Payom Porridgeโจ๊กต้นพยอม

It is also within walking distance to food street of Chiangmai University and the famous Ton Payom Porridgeโจ๊กต้นพยอม. 5-10 minutes walk from the house.

We were surrounded by only locals at the house. Kids were running around in the late afternoon, and our neighbour was walking his dog. The same neighbour even offered me a snack once. Nice.

Wait .. bring me along …

The airport is close to the city, and Nimman and Suthep area is on the flight path. I didn’t realize that there were comments about aircraft noise by previous guests. That makes me particularly attuned to the sound. But we slept well during our 6 nights stay: 10pm+ up to 7-8am; no waking up by the noise at all. I thought that the plane passing overhead adds on to the charm of this place, and some days I would just keep a lookout for plane passing through.


The house


Bann-maew-aoun oozes cozy, warm and a homey feel, which is absolutely perfect for our 6 nights stay. This house reminds me of some of my favorite Airbnb stays in Europe, such as Mayke’s place at Haarlem and Elly’s boathouse in Utrecht.

Now, I need to explain a bit about “townhouse” concept in Thailand, which differs than Malaysia. In Malaysia, townhouse essentially means a two or three story house, with different access. In Thailand, townhouse is like a three storey house, with one access.

Bann-maew-aoun has 4 rooms altogether, and the guest rooms occupy each floor.

Ground floor: the host/caretaker’s room

Thor-maew room (Photo from Airbnb)
Thor-maew room (Photo from Airbnb)

First floor: Room #3 – Thor-maew room

Room #2 – Captain-maew room
Room #2 – Captain-maew room

Second floor: Room #2 – Captain-maew room

Room #1 – Spider-maew room
Spider-maew room
Spider-maew room (Photo from Airbnb)

Third floor: Room #1 – Spider-maew room

Resident cat #1
Resident cat #2

I was enlightened that bann-maew-aoun means Fat Cat Home … meowwwww. There are 2 resident cats  who mostly stay in the host/caretaker’s room. But if you are a cat lover, the host will let them out more, I guess. And no, NONE of them were fat at all. I am not a pet-person, but have came to accept that Thai love their pets.

Non-resident cat #3
.. and cat #3 managed to sneak into the house!

I must tell you about the third cat, who sort of made its way to the home, but strictly stays at outdoor. I salute the cat’s relentless persistence in getting his/her? way in to the house.


Nice deco
Cats everywhere
More cats

Not only that there are real cats, there are even more cats deco everywhere.

Different sponge for different cleaning purpose!

Little touches in the house mean so much, from the “Talk To Me” notice board for host and guests to leave messages to each other, separate sponge provided for dishes and glasses, etc.

Comfy living room and pantry
Pantry for that morning cuppa

Unlike hotel, we spent our time in the living room and front porch, feeling at home.


The Captain-Maew Room

Our twin bed room
Our small living area

Our room, Captain-maew room is a twin bed room, which can be combined into a queen bed.

Love the view from our bedroom
Morning cold fog

The best thing about our room is that it faces the front part of the house, and I just enjoyed the view. The other two guest rooms face the backyard.

Early soothing morning light

When I saw the white curtain, I was like oh no … I thought that I might be bothered by light seeping through the curtain in the morning. But surprise, surprise … I didn’t, and I actually love the morning light, which gives the room a serene kind of feel. Perhaps it’s the white curtain that does the thing …



The amenities

Free bicycles yipeee …

Pretty standard fare, but anyone who gives me free bicycle access is a win in my book …

There were some days that I walked or cycled around alone, when bf was on his laptop working … ahhh … like back to my solo travel days.


The host

We were greeted by P’Sor, the host/caretaker of the house, who radiates bohemian, friendly-casual chill-chill kind of manner. And true enough, she is available, yet give us the needed space, as any gracious host should be.

She provided us with practical informations, and suggestions on where to eat. She also gave us suggestions on cheap shopping place.

We also got a chance to meet the owner of the house, P’Tui. He is also a local Chiang Mai native, but based in Bangkok. He happens to be in town during our stay, and just like P’Sor, the man himself also radiates friendliness and easy going. Now that I have seen the man himself, I can match the face behind the painting in the room.

He also gave us a small gift when we check out. After staying in 6 Airbnbs, this is the first time that I received a gift from a host. What a nice gesture … I’ll be back and highly recommended!


AirBnB Referral Program

If you’re new to AirBnB, feel free to use this link 

The referred friends have to click on their referral link to create a valid Airbnb account and completes a Qualifying Reservation.

The AirBnB Referral Program works as such that when a referred friend travels on Airbnb, we both get ฿950 in travel credit. The reservation must have a total value (excluding guest fees or taxes) of at least ฿2,600 (or its local currency equivalent).





Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.

2 thoughts on “Chiang Mai: Staying Among The Locals At Bann-Maew-Aoun

  • December 17, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Lovely place

    • December 17, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      Yes, indeed … made it into the list of my fav Airbnb stay 🙂

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