San Kamphaeng Chiang mai Out-of-town Places to Live

Looking for a house in San Kamphaeng? Here is some great info to the area.

For sheer convenience if nothing else, it’s tough to beat livin’ in the midst of Thailand’s Northern city. But at 40 square kilometres, the area covers just the minutest part of greater Chiang Mai.

With a set of wheels really the only must, putting down roots beyond Chiang Mai’s burbs brings its own rewards; for starters, being a lot closer to nature, a sleepier and less frazzled pace, a more authentic taste of Thai life and, when it comes to real estate in particular, bigger bang for the baht!

So of the eight amphoe [districts] that make up Metropolitan Chiang Mai, a handful neighbour the innermost capital district [Mueang Chiang Mai] and among these out-of-town necks of the woods, San Kamphaeng.

Up for learnin’ a bit about the GEOGRAPHY of San Kamphaeng?

On the east/southeast of Chiang Mai’s ‘Old City’, the district actually dates back to 1902 but wasn’t called San Kamphaeng ‘til 21 years after. Now San Kamphaeng’s pretty sizeable – 197.83 square kilometres, being precise; making it roughly 25% bigger than Mueang Chiang Mai and nearly fivefold that of the city proper. The district’s cut up into 10 tambon [subdistricts] with a coupla townships, San Kamphaeng and Ton Pao. But beyond, literally a ton of villages lying in what’s best described as Chiang Mai countryside!

Crossed by the Mae Kong, Mae Kuang, Mae On and Mae Pu Kha rivers, some three-quarters of San Kamphaeng’s as flat as it gets with a bit more than a third small-holdings growing the likes of rice, tobacco, peanuts, garlic, fruits as well as more than a few micro dairy farms. While the rest of the landscape’s nestled in the forested foothills of the Khun Tan mountains and, seein’ as the southeast corner’s home to the seriously picturesque reservoirs [Ang Kep Nam] of Doi Ton, Huai Lan, Huai Pa Rai and Mae Pha Haen, stars San Kamphaeng’s ‘Lake District’!

What’s the POPULATION like in San Kamphaeng?

Quotin’ official numbers from December 2017, San Kamphaeng’s people count stood at 85,563 having jumped from a smidge over 79,000 five years earlier. Workin’ the figures, that’s an average of just 432 folks for every square kilometre. Meaning San Kamphaeng’s three and a half times more scantly inhabited than Chiang Mai’s capital district and almost eight times less crowded than the city!

Absolutely, the district’s got its demographic of foreigner kind but San Kamphaeng’s largely the territory of Thai families; and, as it just so happens, the birthplace of Thailand’s first ever, though since exiled, woman Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra!

How’s GETTING INTO THE CITY from San Kamphaeng?

The easiest way to make town is driving’ along the ‘new’ San Kamphaeng Road [Highway 1317] which, en route, conveniently connects with the Outer and Inner Ring Roads, Mahidol Road plus the Super Highway.

Then again, there’s the ‘old’ San Kamphaeng Road [Highway 1006] which goes straight to Tha Phae Gate from, say, the District Office in under half an hour’s motor. And running frequently during the day time at least, white songthaew start off from Mae On market ferrying souls through San Kamphaeng town and Bo Sang village before finishing up at either Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 1 [Chang Phueak Transport Station] or Praisanee Road opposite Kad Luang’s flower market. Just note that tackling the 1006 at rush hour can be painfully slow goin’ and, for reasons coming up, same same during Chiang Mai’s peak season!

What HOUSING options are there in San Kamphaeng?

With little more than a score of apartments and no condominiums whatsoever in San Kamphaeng, expect to be accommodated in one of the district’s landed residences! In particular, the plenty gated housing estates which, with Chiang Mai’s second international airport set to straddle San Kamphaeng and Lamphun province next door, have been popping up like crazy along the 1317. Often offering on-site amenities commonly round-the-clock security, communal lounge, fitness facility, swimming pool and such like, several of the more farang faved moo baan in San Kamphaeng include Ban Nai Fan 4, the handful of Karnkanok Ville developments, Koolpuntville 16 ‘The Bliss’, Inizio and Siwalee by Land & Houses in addition to Vararom Charoenmuang by Q House. Or why not simply check out all of our properties in San Kamphaeng for rent and for sale!


Not altogether startlin’, San Kamphaeng ain’t graced with any western style retail plazas. Comin’ a distant second is the district’s OTOP Centre with 5000+ ‘One Tambon One Product’ merch from right across the Northern region. Still, Promenada Mall’s none too far at all and which anyhoo anchors Chiang Mai’s heftiest Rimping Supermarket for bagging premium groceries and imported goodies. Else for a more everyday pick of weekly provisions, there’s Tesco Lotus Talad in Bo Sang let alone San Kamphaeng’s generous helping of fresh markets especially those of Aui Tha, San Klang, Sri Yon and, complete with the deliciously quirky Bus pizzeria, Chamcha. Why, the district even boasts Thepprasit’s Big Bee Farm for 100% organic pure honey, royal jelly, bee pollen and other hive produce.

In all honesty, San Kamphaeng ain’t exactly Chiang Mai’s go-to destination for quality eats! But figuring on the list of worthy exceptions when it comes to Thai fare are Huen Jai Yong’s hidden-away resto-cum-art gallery and grabbing number one spot on TripAdvisor; Meena Rice Based Cuisine for their beloved roasted spare ribs partnered with riceberry and multicolour steamed grains; and Nasi Jumpru for its exquisitely presented bang-up domestic staples with a twist. Not forgetting the district’s more cosmopolitan tastes at Tartar Bistro, Gusto Site, Samsen Villa Life (yep, them of ‘Jelly Beer’ fame!), American and Mexican at Yui’s Restaurant, European at Thai@Swiss, German at Aroy Garden and, in the midst of eye-wateringly sunset-tastic natural surroundings, Japanese at the San Kamphaeng branch of local fine dining superstar, Tengoku De Cuisine. Special mention going to Le Cordon Bleu-learnt Chez Nous Baking Atelier for oven-perfect classical French delicacies from croissants and baguettes to palmier pastries and, found nowhere else in the city, their kouign-amann Breton cake!

Is there any NIGHTLIFE in San Kamphaeng?

Apart from the usual roadside bar shacks peppered around San Kamphaeng, the more well-known drinking establishments in the district are Open Up, The Hangout SKP (with added cocktails and buckets!), The Terrace beer garden and, the most expat-geared of the lot with mostly regulars from The States, Yui’s. And no need to be at a loss come Saturday evening thanks to the full-of-life San Kamphaeng ‘Walking Street’ for no shortage of stall- and truck-supplied finger-lickin’ foraging, trendy togs and local handicrafts.

What’s the HIGHLIGHT ATTRACTIONS in San Kamphaeng?

No shadow of a doubt, San Kamphaeng is Chiang Mai’s flagship creative hub! Nicknamed the ‘Handicraft Highway’ and the district’s biggest tourist draw pullin’ in coachloads throughout the high season, lining both sides of the 1006 for 13km from Nhongphateep Intersection to San Kamphaeng town are dozens of artisanal showrooms, workshops and factories each specialising in lacquerware, textiles (particularly highest grade Thai silk), pottery (including the finest Celadon ceramics), silverware, saa [mulberry] paper, semi-precious gems…you name it! And at the nine kilometre mark, Bo Sang Umbrella Village famed for its iconic and jauntily painted traditional style umbrellas, parasols and hand fans. What can’t be missed is the annual Bor Sang Umbrella and Sankamphang Handicrafts Festival in January with its highlight Beauty Pageant Bike Parade!

Stayin’ on the subject of crafts, ideal for a rainy day in the district is Baan Jang Nak or ‘a house full of elephants’; but not living, breathing jumbos, unreally intricate wood carvings of ‘em! Or how’s about the MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum’s private collection of 600-odd paintings, sculptures and multimedia, monthly exhibitions and a dazzlin’ mirror-mosaiced exterior that just begs to be eyeballed!

Though technically they’re in neighbouring Mae On district, stop by San Kamphaeng Hot Springs and do the done thing of boiling an egg in a basket before rejuvenating in the indoor mineral baths. Lookin’ like Chiang Mai’s very own Netherlands with giant clogs, tulip fields and of course a windmill, visit Dutch Farm to take a shot at sheep shearing, pet Shetland ponies or kick back and soak up the scenic green, golf course views.

And for the real deal, swing for a birdie at Sand Creek caddyless driving range or put away at the Golden Elephant Resort’s Inter Mini Golf. Angling junkies can get their fix at BoSang (AKA Paradise Lake) and Llamados fishing parks. Or splash out for endless fun and frolics at San Kamphaeng’s space galaxy-themed Tube Trek Water Park and for the even more thrilling aquatics of jetskiing, flyboarding, windsurfing and parasailing at the not long opened Chiang Mai Water Sports Club.

[info]Whether you’re residing in San Kamphaeng at the present or stayed there in the past, what did you like (or not!) about San Kamphaeng? By all means hit us up with your comments and stay tuned for more out-of- town places to live in Chiang Mai![/info]

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