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!
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?!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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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 always carry in your backpack.