On my last visit to Chiang Mai, Thailand, my laptop stopped working soon after I arrived. Lucky for me, I only needed a new computer battery and I knew where to go to get it. But for many others vacationing or staying in Chiang Mai, a broken computer can be a serious situation. That’s why if you need computer hardware, peripherals or computer software, or even computer repair, while staying in Chiang Mai, start off at these stores or malls. They’re three of the best.
Pantip Plaza – Of course, the most famous place to go for anything computer-related is Pantip Plaza in Chiang Mai. An IT mall, with a mega sister site in Bangkok, Chiang Mai’s Pantip Plaza is smaller but no less packed with computers, computer hardware, peripherals and software.
At Pantip Plaza, you’ll find Sony, Packard and Acer shops selling everything related to these top brands. There are also other shops selling hardware, software and accessories for just about any computer, as well as software for PC and Apple computers. If you’re wanting to buy a computer, check out the numerous new options at Pantip Plaza, all at prices cheaper than most other places in Chiang Mai, and don’t miss checking out the used computers either. You can get a great deal if you know what you’re doing.
Of course, Pantip Plaza in Chiang Mai is nowhere near on the same scale as the one in Bangkok, which is about 20 times the size, but for basic computer hardware, software and peripherals, it’s a great place to start shopping. Just be aware, much of what’s sold at Pantip in the software and computer game lines is bootleg or counterfeit and not the genuine programs, which is why their prices are so cheap.
Pantip Plaza is located on the corner of Chang Klan and Sri Donchai Road near Chiang Mai’s famous night market. Best time to go is between around 11am and 6pm, the times when most of the shops at this IT mall are open.
IT City, Airport Plaza – Another great place to buy emergency computer hardware, software or peripherals is IT City at Airport Plaza Mall, one of the two largest malls in Chiang Mai.
IT City is a large chain of computer stores selling hardware, software, peripherals, accessories – everything from desktops and notebooks to printers, scanners, and carry cases. IT City is a good choice for someone wary about smaller computer shops as their technicians are well-trained and much of what you need can be taken care of while you wait. Prices too are low and, with a large selection of items, you’ll likely have no problems getting your computer up and running again, or the software you need bought and loaded onto your computer.
The good thing about checking out IT City too is, if they don’t have what you need, they’re on the third floor of Airport Plaza mall and surrounded by other computer stores that might.
Airport Plaza mall is on the corner of Mahidol and Hang Dong Road. Any songtaew (red pick up truck taxi) can take you there.
Computer Plaza – The name alone tells you exactly what you’ll find at Computer Plaza, one of Chiang Mai’s biggest computer shopping centers.
Computer Plaza is a three-storey shopping center dedicated to everything computer. It looks a little like a smaller version of Pantip Plaza in Bangkok, with small shops and booths on every floor selling new and used desktops and notebooks, printers, scanners, printer and computer cables, computer batteries, software, computer games, and everything else you might need.
Prices at Computer Plaza are comparable with Pantip, and some people say cheaper. I bought a new battery for my notebook at Computer Plaza and was happy with both the price and service I received. I also picked up a couple of computer games I’d been looking for and a new printer cable as my rabbits had chewed through the one I had.
Be aware of course, like Pantip, much of the software at Computer Plaza is bootleg, so if that’s not what you’re looking for, make sure you buy at a larger store instead. You’ll also find several excellent computer repair shops here where you’ll be able to drop off a laptop (or desktop if you have one with you) and pick it up already fixed either later that day or early on the following. Don’t forget too, if they don’t have what you want, most shops at Computer Plaza can special order for you, and can usually have it in stock within 24-48 hours.
Computer Plaza is located at Manee Nopparat Road, Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai – again, easily reachable by songtaew or taxi.
Photo – Pantip Plaza in Chiang Mai – copyright Manop, Wikimedia Commons