Exploring Chiang Mai in November looking for advise from expat members

I am making my second visit to Thailand in November for two weeks this time to check out Chaing Mai as a place to retire to next year. I am looking for advise on the following.

I am planning my visit during Loy Krathong. Is that a good idea to get a real feel for the city or does it get so crazy then that I should I come before or after the festival?

I would like to stay East of the Old City near the night Bazzar looking for a good hotel in the $50 to $80 range near the night life. Any recommendations?

I am planning or renting a local Thai with a car to show me the area for several days as the best way to get the lay of the land. Any thoughts on what to check out and where local expats gathering places are would be helpful.

Thanks for your help.


I hope that you will have a lot of replies Allen11.;)


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