Chiang Rai is adored for its natural beauty. Mountainous landscapes, lush hiking trails, and unbelievable temples are what you can come to expect on a trip to Chiang Rai.

Thailand in itself is extremely popular amongst solo travelers. It’s very affordable and has so much to offer. Because of this, there are a lot of hostels in each location (almost too many). Which can make it challenging to decide which ones are worth your time and which you need to steer far, far away from.

However, consider today your lucky day because I have created this expert guide on the best hostels in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

When traveling on a strict budget, every dollar counts. You want to make sure every time you spend money, you are getting the best bang for your buck. These hostels deliver on that.

You just have to find your favorite, secure your room, and have the time of your life.

a girl in front of a temple in thailand
Welcome to Chiang Rai
Photo: @amandaadraper

Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Chiang Rai

Do You Want to Travel FOREVER??

Pop your email in below to get a FREE copy of ‘How to Travel the World on $10 a Day!’.

    What to Expect from Hostels in Chiang Rai

    Hostels in Thailand are arguably more popular than hotels. One reason for this is that solo travelers often pick Thailand as their first solo traveling location due to its low prices. 

    One thing for certain is that with hostels you never quite know the experience that you will have there. I’ve had some incredible hostel experiences while backpacking in Thailand and I have met people who have stayed with me throughout the rest of my traveling journey.

    Hostels are an affordable way to travel and when you pick the right one, they feel just like a hotel just with more of a communal atmosphere.

    a girl smiling with an iced green tea in her hand, looking at the sunset
    Views for days
    Photo: @amandaadraper

    When it comes to rooms, you’ll find a huge selection. If you’re a female solo traveler on a budget, I highly recommend selecting a female-only group dorm just because you feel far safer. 

    For those who can stretch their budget a little more, private rooms are a great option. You’ll have your own space and can avoid distractions throughout the night.

    Here is what you can expect to pay per night:

    • Private rooms – $24 – $50
    • Group rooms – $6 – $15 has always been my go-to for selecting hostels. I also really like It’s just like any other booking website. They feature photos of the hostel, the amenities, the location, and a short description of the atmosphere there. 

    Finally, you need to consider what type of trip you would like to have. Are you looking for a hostel more tucked away into the suburbs or do you want to be in the heart of the city embracing the nightlife? 

    The 5 Best Hostels in Chiang Rai

    Now you know what a hostel is, and what to expect from a hostel in Chiang Rai, you just have to select the hostel for you. 

    You’ll find that each of the hostels has a handy identifier to make this process even more simple for you (I told you that today was your lucky day). 

    Best Overall Hostel in Chiang Rai – Mercy Hostel

    Mercy Hostel
    • $$
    • Private and group rooms available
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Pool

    So, you’re looking for the best hostel in Chiang Rai? Well, it really doesn’t get better than the Mercy Hostel located in the heart of the city. 

    Garnering over 2000 reviews and an excellent five-star rating, this hostel has built a positive reputation in Chiang Rai. 

    Travelers flock to this hostel because of the strong sense of community and just genuine feel-good vibes. Nearby to the airport, all you have to do is hop off the plane and settle into your new home.

    The entire hostel is on one level, so you can easily mingle with fellow travelers. Inside, there is a lounge room with a pool table and various games (just try not to get too competitive with your new roommates).

    However, the outside is where this hostel really excels. Cool off in the pool or soak up some rays on the sunbathing mattresses. 

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Friendly atmosphere
    • Close to popular attractions
    • Restaurants and bars nearby

    The rooms are another aspect of this hostel that you will love. Choose from private or shared rooms which each feature modern amenities such as air-conditioning and individual lockers.

    Digital nomads or just general social media addicts will also be glad to know that Wi-Fi is accessible from any part of the building.  

    Most importantly, you will be in the middle of everything worth seeing in Chiang Rai. The fresh market is just a ten-minute walk away and the bus station is nearby ready to take you anywhere you like. 

    The nightlife scene is also the perfect distance away. It’s close enough that you will be able to walk back to the hostel but also far enough away that you’ll still get a good night’s sleep.

    Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Chiang Rai – Backpack Hostel

    Backpack Hostel
    • $$
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Hot showers
    • Travel desk

    It seems fitting that the Backpack Hostel is designed for backpackers and solo travelers alike. Situated right by the bus station, various temples, and near to the night market, you’ll never have a dull moment here. 

    The glowing reviews praise the hosts that welcome travelers from all over the globe. Which means, you’ll get to meet people with all kinds of travel stories. Plus, the hosts are more than happy to arrange excursions around Chiang Rai to make sure your trip is filled with excitement. 

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Nearby to the bus station
    • Welcoming hosts
    • Private and shared rooms

    Whether you’re the type of solo traveler who is happy to share a 12-bed group dorm or if you crave your own space, this hostel accommodates for either situation.  Also, if you’re visiting during the heat of the summer, you’ll be happy to know that air conditioning is available in all of the rooms. 

    Overall, this whole hostel just has a safe, inclusive atmosphere – which you will come to really appreciate. To be honest, most of Thailand feels safe but this hostel made me feel ultra comfortable.

    The hosts go out of their way to make this hostel feel homely with little comforts that make a huge difference. Indulge in free coffee, tea, and fruit for breakfast, and get to know your roommates before heading out on the town.

    Small Pack Problems? 😉

    Wanna know how to pack like a pro? Well for a start you need the right gear….

    These are packing cubes for the globetrotters and compression sacks for the real adventurers – these babies are a traveller’s best kept secret. They organise yo’ packing and minimise volume too so you can pack MORE.

    Or, y’know… you can stick to just chucking it all in your backpack…

    Get Yours Here Read Our Review

    Best Hostel for Large Groups in Bangalore – BED Friends Poshtel

    BED Friends Poshtel
    • $$
    • Café and bar
    • Hot showers
    • Travel desk

    I have never heard of the term ‘poshtel’ before but I am here for it!

    This is one of the best hostels in Chiang Rai for large groups that you and your friends will adore. Located in the heart of Chiang Rai and just a short distance from the airport, this hostel is convenient and comfortable.

    This ‘poshtel’ itself has a contemporary design that is miles above your average hostel. This hostel is quite literally designed for friends traveling together. The rooms are set up in a way that means even the fussiest of friends will be satisfied.

    The hosts are also seriously praised. They are young, enthusiastic, and speak fluent English, so you don’t need to worry about a tricky language barrier either.

    Why you’ll love this hotel:

    • Nearby to the airport
    • Queen size beds
    • Large family rooms

    For those on the trip who like to separate from the group, there are private rooms available for an affordable price. For those who prefer the slumber party vibes, spacious family rooms are available. 

    This hostel even has an accessible rooftop with incredible views of Chiang Rai. This space can be used to plan your days during the morning or watch the sunsets in the evening. 

    Don’t know where to begin when it comes to locations in Chiang Rai? Just ask the wonderful host for the best hidden gems, rent a scooter, and head off on your day. 

    Best Cheap Hostel in Chiang Rai – Grace Hostel

    Grace Hostel
    • $
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Café
    • Tours travel desk

    If you’re traveling to Thailand for its affordability, the Grace Hostel is the accommodation option for you.  In the name of transparency, this hostel is a little further out than the main city but for the price you really cannot complain. 

    Overall, there seems to be such a wonderful atmosphere here and you’ll just be ten minutes away from the bus station. You can also easily visit the Denha market, Oub Kham Museum and truly embed yourself into the local way of life. 

    Why you’ll love this hotel:

    • Family run atmosphere
    • Affordable rooms
    • Free breakfast

    You will be impressed by the quality of these rooms for the price. Group rooms are available and if you book in advance, you could bag yourself a private room. Each of the rooms are equipped with air-conditioning and a shared bathroom. 

    Despite being a kind of basic hostel, you can treat yourself to a delicious breakfast in the café each morning. Toast, fresh fruit, and hot breakfast items are served. 

    The best part of this hostel though is the lovely mum and son duo who run it. They just want travelers to get to experience Thailand even if they are on a strict budget. Just one look at the reviews proves that they go out of their way to make that happen.

    Best Hostel for Couples in Chiang Rai – Baan Mai Kradan Hostel

    Baan Mai Kradan Hostel
    • $$
    • Unlimited Wi-Fi access
    • Hot showers
    • Free breakfast

    Close enough to walk into the main city yet secluded in the suburbs, this hostel in Chiang Rai is great for couples. 

    Originally an old Thai house built in 1964, this house was renovated into one of the best-looking hostels I have seen. Nature runs throughout this hostel with a porch and lounge areas surrounded by greenery. The contemporary design of this hostel also makes it feel more akin to an Airbnb than a hostel. It just has a home away from home atmosphere.

    Located in the downtown area, you’ll be minutes away from Saturday Walking Street where an abundance of authentic cuisine is served. You can even easily access a free city tour by tram where you can stop by the most popular temples.

    Why you’ll love this hotel:

    • Comfortable mattresses
    • Surrounded by nature
    • Secluded area

    The rooms are where this hostel exceeds expectations. You’ll find huge soft mattresses, spotless bathrooms, and great views.

    They also have a variety of different room choices available. Book in advance and secure a deluxe double bedroom with a king-size bed (I told you this was more like an Airbnb than a hostel).

    As for the rest of the hostel, you can chat with other travelers and spend time in the communal area. However, there is no pressure to socialize. If you just want to use this hostel as a secure, homely place to sleep, you can. 

    All you have to do is have a slow morning and tuck into a delicious breakfast. Then, arrange a motorcycle hire to explore the city.

    Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
    Aether Backpack

    We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

    Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

    View on Osprey View on REI

    Other Hostels in Chiang Rai

    Some of the best things to do in Chiang Rai is simply slow it down and enjoy hostel life. So I couldn’t go on without naming a few more of these great hostels.

    Connect Hostel

    Connect Hostel
    • $$
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Tours travel desk
    • Relaxed atmosphere

    If you’re just looking for all the chill vibes of a hostel then they couldn’t be a better location than the Connect Hostel. Just a few minutes away from the main bus station and Night Bazaar, this hostel is convenient and calm. 

    This hostel is a great escape from the fast-paced lifestyle that can come with traveling. The hostel is safe, secure, and has a variety of rooms. 

    After returning from your day out in Chiang Rai, head to the games rooms for interesting conversations, or simply return to your room to unwind. 

    Busket Hostel

    Busket Hostel
    • $$
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Air-conditioning
    • Outdoor terrace

    Embody the life of a local at Busket Hostel. Foodies will love this hostel… By staying here, you’ll be surrounded by all the best cuisine including vegan and halal foods to try. 

    They do have a famous Cat Café. But, believe me, it’s not the only place in town to get a cup of coffee and a slice of cake surrounded by adorable kitty cats. There are so many Cat Café’s here!

    This hostel has everything you would need to embrace life in Chiang Rai. You’ll be near both the night markets and the bus station. Convenience stores are also right across the street so you can taste-test all of Thailand’s best snacks.

    Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
    Active Roots Security Belt

    Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

    It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

    Hide Yo’ Money!

    Together Backpackers Hostel

    Together Backpackers Hostel
    • $
    • Free breakfast
    • Wi-Fi
    • Board games

    Created to be your new home while you stay in Chiang Rai, this hostel has ‘community’ at its center. Located in the area of the Saturday Walking Street (a huge local market) and nearby to restaurants and bars, this hostel is perfectly placed. 

    When staying here, you’ll never be short of something to do because the host and staff have incredible knowledge of the must-visit locations around town. All you have to do is ask and your itinerary for the day will be filled!

    Have a few drinks at the Saturday Night Market and return to the hostel to lounge in the communal area where you can binge your favorite Netflix show. 

    Chiang Rai Hostels FAQs

    Here are some answers to your questions! If you have more, ask away in the comments, feel free.

    Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

    I never travel without insurance, and you shouldn’t either, especially in a place like Thailand!

    ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

    They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

    SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

    Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

    Final Thoughts on Chiang Rai’s Hostels

    The hostels in Chiang Rai were just as I expected; affordable, conveniently located, and surrounded by nature. What more could you ask for?

    Seriously Chiang Rai is a wonderful place that I would recommend anyone to visit if they get a chance. I personally think staying in a hostel is ALWAYS the best way to go when traveling, especially if you’re solo.

    I’m not the richest traveler, but even if I was, I would still stay in hostels just because of the potential for meeting new friends and sense of community you get when staying in them.

    So, hopefully, I’ve convinced you to stay in a hostel in Chiang Rai. While all the hostels have their own unique features that make them great, I am still gravitating towards the Mercy Hostel.

    I just can’t get over the amount of glowing reviews they have received online and the facilities offered here. I mean, hundreds of people can’t be wrong, right? You’re basically guaranteed a good time by staying there.

    Enjoy Chiang Rai, y’all. And let me know what your favorite hostel in the city is in the comments below!

    a blue and white statue in a temple in northern Thailand
    See ya!
    Photo: @amandaadraper

    And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!