This city is near to the borders of Laos and Myanmar so it’s a great destination for backpackers that wish to discover more of SE Asia.
It’s around a 2 hour bus ride from Chiang Mai, and so worth it even just to see the famous White Temple. We recommend staying here for at least 2 nights.
- Connect Hostel – top pick for older travellers
- Busket Hostel – perfect for couples
- Happynest Hostel – ideal for solo travellers
Read: a complete guide to the 57 best hostels in Thailand.
Like the rest of Thailand, you can expect nothing but impressive Chiang Rai accommodation. We’re talking big spaces, pod-style beds and social atmosphere.
Stay in one of these hostels and you’ll never be too far away from idyllic temples and yummy cuisine. The temple architecture is truly impressive!
In this collection, we’ve also included fun hostels, yet not crazy party hostels.
This guide is perfect for YOU, when …
- tired of bad and crappy hostels
- want to avoid the “young party kids”
- happy to spend 1-2€ for a better experience
Is Chiang Rai backpacking not enough for you? Also in northern Thailand you can discover the best hostels in Pai.
What we cover in this article?
- Introduction to Chiang Rai in Thailand
- 3 best hostels in detail
- cheapest hostels in Chiang Rai
- best hostels in Chiang Rai for solo travellers
- fun party hostels in Chiang Rai
- more hostels worth a mention
- discounts and promo codes
- How to book?
- Things to do – our hidden gems
- all hostel and sights on a map
Quick Introduction to Chiang Rai
Average price for a bed: Hostels in Chiang Rai cost 4€ – 8€ per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room starts from 14€ up to 35€ per night. This is a rough average just to give you an idea.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
My Personal Tip: If you feel safe with a scooter, I recommend renting a scooter in Chiang Rai and drive to Phu Chi Fa, a mountain peak on the border of Thailand and Laos. By scooter is around 2 hours away. Here you can stay in a tiny “resort”, guesthouse and then watch the sunrise over Laos. BREATH TAKING!
New to Hostels? Read our full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend to read:
- how to book hostels (and websites to use)
- 23 items for the hostel packing list
- Are hostels safe? 13 safety tips for hostels
The 3 Best Hostels in Chiang Rai
Let’s jump right into the boutique hostels in Chiang Rai.
We put all three accommodation on the map, you will find the map at the end of the article.
1. Connect Hostel
Connect Hostel is the one for you if you want a central location and to be met by staff that smile from ear to ear.
It’s a modern hostel, with a boutique flair and clever design that will surely end up on Instagram.
This is easily the best place to stay in Chiang Rai.
There are no organised hostel events here. This is an ideal hostel for travellers that like to please themselves and have a relaxed, quiet time.
Despite this being a hostel, you’ll be pleased to know that every room comes with an ensuite. Yes, that includes dorm rooms!
And we have to say, the rooms certainly steal the attention here.
Firstly, the dorms come in a lovely size, with either 4 or 6-beds. There’s even a female-only dorm option.
To top it off, the bunks have been designed with privacy in mind. Each one is a cosy little cubicle.
Draw your curtain and enjoy a personal light, shelf and charging socket.
Under each bunk there are two separate storage lockers so forget tripping over bags in the middle of the night.
Also: the ladders are super sturdy & there is air conditioning in each room.
Prefer not to share? Opt for either a twin or quadruple private, in that case.
Other things to enjoy:
- Large, bright common area
- Basic kitchen
- Free Wifi
- 24/7 reception & security
Though there is no free breakfast, you do have access to tea and coffee throughout the day.
Make sure you have a chat with staff if you’ve looking to join a tour.
Location: Very close to the Chiang Rai night market and 10-minutes from great restaurants. A bus to the White Temple runs along the hostel road.
This is one of the best hostels in Chiang Rai for
- Older travellers
- Female solo travellers
2. Busket Hostel
We love Busket Hostel because it is simple in design, yet doesn’t miss a trick when it comes to creating a wonderful traveller retreat.
I mean, check out the unique design of the rooms.
We think it’s such a clever use of space to create bunkbed ladders separate from the bed itself. That means less disturbance and better beauty sleep!
And did you see the size of the lockers? You could fit a cow in there.
Well alright, I suppose your backpack will do.
There still isn’t much in the way of a social vibe here, yet you can still enjoy:
- An open rooftop terrace
- Free tea & coffee
- Free Wifi
- Plenty of space to work & relax
Otherwise, just enjoy the peace and quiet and get through your favourite book or catch up with your journal.
If you really do want to enjoy some atmosphere, head to the nearby night market.
This is your best bet for trying delicious food and a cool beer garden with lots of food options and live music.
No need to worry about breakfast – there is a free one every morning for you here!
The rooms choices suit travellers that want privacy-led dorms and private rooms.
Dorms come with 4 and 6-beds, with a female-only dorm on offer. Otherwise, couples can opt for a double or twin option.
Looking for free parking? You’ll find it here.
Location: Situated within 300 metres of the Old Bus Station. It’s a short walking distance to some of the top sights in the city.
This is one of the best hostels in Chiang Rai for
- Solo travellers
3. Happynest Hostel
Backpackers and solo travellers that prefer a smaller hostel with a homely vibe will really like Happynest Inspiring Hostel, no doubt.
It’s such a stylish hostel and you’ll notice this as soon as you walk through the door.
Let’s jump right in and show you the perks of staying here:
- Four breakfast choices (eggs, rice soup)
- Kitchenette w/ microwave, kettle
- Free bicycle rental (up to 3hrs a day)
- Big, beautiful common spaces
The common spaces are pretty much all joined into one. That’s because of the high ceiling and maisonette-style design.
It’s such a bright and welcoming space that supports social interaction and a relaxing vibe.
Grab a book from the shelf, chat with friendly staff or choose a corner to catch up with work. Sorted.
What about the rooms?
Well, there is only two mixed dorms here, with a total of 6 or 8-beds. That makes the decision easier, right?
Otherwise, choose between a standard double, twin and family room which sleeps four adults.
Note: We’re not sure if children are welcome here, so please check this before booking the ‘family room’.
For more reasons to stay here, have a look at our full review of Happynest Hostel.
Location: Situated in Chiang Rai city centre, a 5 minute walk from the bus station and 15-minutes from top sights such as the clock tower and weekend walking street.
This is one of the best hostels in Chiang Rai for
- Solo travellers
What about cheapest hostels in Chiang Rai?
Of course, there are always cheap hostels. Forget Chiang Rai hotels!
We think, it’s not worth it to go with the cheapest hostel out there.
The difference is usually 1-2€ ($1-2) per night, and a lot of amenities are not included. This can be breakfast or linen.
However, if you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you wanna save every penny, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Chiang Rai.
- Open Hostelworld with full list of budget places to stay in Chiang Rai
- Order the listing by price
Simple as that.
Make sure you use then the other filters and rank per price.
Also keep a close eye on the ratings, especially the “extreme ratings”. Meaning, the best and worst. These ratings can give great insight on what to expect.
Best Hostels in Chiang Rai for Solo Travellers?
What is seriously the best hostel in Chiang Rai for solo-travellers?
We’d like to throw Bed & Bike Poshtel into the mix.
It’s a lovely little hostel that boasts a ground floor cafe – the perfect place for meeting new people and relaxing.
There’s also a pool table, board games and ample seating in the cafe.
If you prefer, you can make use of the fully equipped kitchen purely for guest use.
With both shared and private rooms available, a range of traveller types are welcome. Yet like we said, we recommend this for solo travellers as it’s a more sociable hostel than many in the city.
Party Hostels in Chiang Rai
Let’s break this to you gently: Chiang Rai isn’t your typical party scene destination. You won’t find crazy drinking games and organised pub crawls here.
However! It’s still possible to have a great time and we’ve found you the perfect hostel to do so.
Get Hi Hostel is a social hostel in Chiang Rai “for young adult travelers who want to meet people and have fun.”
Well said. And exactly what you’re looking for, right?
These guys class themselves as somewhere between a chill hostel and a party hostel.
It’s a small place, with a fantastic team. These guys organise fun activities with no pressure to join in, and the free breakfast is available 24 hours a day. Whaaaaat!
We’d be very surprised if you didn’t enjoy dinner and beers with everyone during your stay. It seems to naturally happen… a lot.
It also happens to be located on Saturday Market Street, the biggest night market in Chiang Rai.
Compare prices and read reviews at: Hostelworld
More Hostels worth a Mention
Did you think we would stop there? No way, not when there are so many cool hostels in Chiang Rai to explore!
We’ve given you our top 3 hostels, yet there are more worth including here. This way, all traveller types and personalities are covered.
Here are some more hostels:
- Mercy Hostel
- Stay in Chiangrai
- Baan Mai Kradan Hostel
- Spinomad Hostel
- Norn Nung Len Cafe & Hostel
Mercy Hostel Chiang Rai
Mercy Hostel is the best place to relax after a long journey or big day out exploring the surrounding sights.
Out on the big terrace, you’ll find a shallow pool where you’re welcome to take a refreshing dip!
Once you’re refreshed, lounge out on one of the sunbathing mattresses. Yes please and thank you.
- Common kitchen w/ free tea, coffee & drinking water
- Big screen TV
- Billard table, board games & guitar
- Female dorms
- Small library
Stay here and you’ll be located in the heart of Chiang Rai. Chiang Rai International Airport it just 10km away.
Stay In Chiangrai
Can be just take a moment to acknowledge the clever name of Stay In Chiangrai?
It’s run by a caring pair named Matt and Som – they go out of their way to make each guest feel welcome. They know everything about the city.
There’s a free breakfast here, no curfew to worry about and really wonderful privacy-led bunks.
On Sundays, the market comes to you and can be enjoyed right outside the hostel!
Baan Mai Kradan Hostel Chiang Rai
Baan Mai Kradan Hostel is a ‘lifestyle’ hostel and is within a beautiful renovated old wooden house from 1964.
These days it’s a co-living accommodation right in the heart of the city.
Relax in the lounge area when you’re not out and about. There’s Netflix and good wifi to keep you happy.
It’s also possible to rent bicycles if you fancy. A great way to explore after you’ve filled up on your free breakfast!
If you’re keen for
- Boutique design
2. Amazing free breakfast and
3. Incredible room design
Consider booking your stay at Spinomad Hostel.
And it’s not only a hostel, but a cafe too. It’s beautiful space that offers great food, bright places to work and top notch coffee to keep you going.
There’s even a hostel kitchen in case you’re a conscious budget traveller.
With seriously swanky dorm rooms and super spacious privates, it’s hard to recommend this hostel for just one traveller type. We’ve no doubt everyone will love it here.
Norn Nung Len Cafe & Hostel
Norn Hung Len means “Sleep Sit Play” so you’re obviously in for a good time here.
In fact, this hostel has its very own bar and there is live music 3 times a week! That’s brilliant if you’re only sticking around for a few days.
Enjoy great food, drink tea, coffee, beer or treat yourself to a cocktail.
There are some really wonderful chill out spaces with books, beanbags and ideal tables to use your laptop.
How to book?
We recommend using Booking.com or Hostelworld for your reservations.
Hostelworld is the most popular website when it comes to hostel bookings.
Read: step-by-step guide on how to book with Hostelworld
On both platforms your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.
We included the handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.
Here is the overview:
- Connect Hostel Chiang Rai: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- Busket Hostel: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- Happynest Hostel: Booking.com | Hostelworld
We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible!
All of Chiang Rai best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish hostels, secure your room or bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.
Currently, we have no special hostel discounts in Chiang Rai. I know, it’s a pity. You can subscribe to our newsletter to receive our newest hostel discounts always to your inbox.
You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here.
Things to do – our hidden gems in Chiang Rai
Many travelers hope over to Chiang Rai only as a day trip! But here is the thing: Chiang Rai is still a lovely hidden gem who managed to keep many corners non-touristic. This means here you have the chance to stay at a fantastic 5 Star Hostel and not so well-known destination! Quite rare in Thailand, right?!
So, without any further speech how cool Chiang Rai is, here are the 5 Secret Tips to Chaing Rai:
1. Bar: Le Petit Wine Bar
This bar is a small and cozy cafe which turns into wine bar only on Friday and Saturday night. The owner themselves play some instrument and sing along with their band! Pure fun you should not miss when you are here over the weekend!
2. Local restaurant: Salungkham
Some travelers do not dare to try Northern Thai food, but if they insist, we recommend to try „Salungkham“. Tee, the owner of Happynest Hostel, says he has been dining here since he was young and they never failed!
They taste is slightly adapted to Central Thai, so-called Bangkoking, so it’s easier to try Northern Thai food here than risking at super local restaurant overdoing the style!
3. Get a coffee with a Coffee Geek: The Roast
There are plenty of nice cafes in Chiang Rai. The one cafe we recommend is called “The Roast” (Actually you can try their coffee right at Happynest Hostel as this is where they are buying their coffee beans!).
The owner is one of the coffee geeks in Chiang Rai! The café offers various kinds of coffee beans to make your own choice of coffee, ranging from espresso, americano, caffe latte, to drip coffee. Sit at the bar and talk with the owner about coffee and coffee-making. You can learn a lot here!
Address: Sankhongluang Road, Muang Chiangrai
4. Coffee house and Spa: Chivit Thamma Da
This classy place is always packed with both the locals and visitors. Good food, great atmosphere but a bit steep price compared to the local standards.
However, it is worth it to stop by for a coffee to get an idea of the vibes. And if you feel in the mood for a spa experience, here you go! Here is the official website: Chivitthammada.com
5. Pong Phra Bat Hot Spring
If you are more into nature and still feeling for some relaxing activities, follow the smell of sulphur until you the reach the Pong Phra Bat Hot Springs. They are located around 8km outside the city of Chiang Rai.
The hot spring gets up to 60 degrees and you can choose between a public pool to relax or private tubs. There are also massages available.
All 3 Hostels put on a Chiang Rai map + sights
Let us have a look on the map. Below we list all three best Chiang Rai hostels on a map. Which Chiang Rai hostel is your favourite?
Personally, we love to plan our trips with a map having all sights and potential hostels on it. We thought this map will help you with planning your trip too.
Looking for cool things to do in Chiang Rai?
We also included the main tourist attractions you’ve to know in this list:
- Wat Rong Khun – White Temple
- Wat Rong Suea Ten (Blue Temple)
- Huay Pla Kang Temple
- Singha Park Chiang Rai
- Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
- Baandam Museum
- Wat Phra Kaew
Flights to Chiang Rai?
However, Chiang Rai is also well connected with the rest of the country, especially Bangkok.
This new website has super cool features like a so-called radius search. Just draw a circle over Asia and find the cheapest rates for the area.
Here is our review of Kiwi.
Alright, this is your answer to where to stay in Chiang Rai. Remember, we wrote a big guide to top hostels in Thailand with itinerary.
We did the leg work for you and bring you more hostel guides to destinations in Thailand:
- best hostels in Bangkok with Yim Huai Khwang
- best hostels in Koh Phangan
- best hostels in Koh Samui
- best hostels in Koh Tao with Savage Hostel
- best hostels in Krabi
- Mini Boxtel in AoNang
You can find all our new and updates articles for Best Hostels in here.
Over to you
So there you have it. Which hostel Chiang Rai will you choose?
Was this useful? Do you have any questions, doubts?
Then please please leave us a comment. This list of awesome Chiang Rai hostels should be as informative and useful as possible.
merYour question will help me to understand what I have missed to mention.
Therefore, drop us a comment, we are keen to help you!
Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter and find the best place on a budget! We ONLY recommend places we know you will enjoy, no matter what.
At Hostelgeeks we will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. Our promise is to only share with you places we also recommend to our best friends and family!
Enjoy this fine hostel selection and all 5 Star Hostels.
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Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries