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Cheap Hostels in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is one of the cheapest major cities to visit in Thailand. It’s packed with budget accommodation, in the form of hostels, hotels, and guesthouses. This northern capital calls to budget backpackers, spiritual seekers, health nuts, and spa holidayers. With a good music and arts scene, too may temples to count, as well as Chiang Mai University, the city has a young and healthy vibe.

Like most of Thailand, budget accommodation in Chiang Mai varies. Some hostels might cram a dozen bunks in to a room but only charge 80 baht (less t than $3 USD), while others can charge more than 300 baht ($10 USD). In general, you get what you pay for. If you’re watching your budget but would prefer the privacy of your own room, many cheap hostels in Chiang Mai offer private rooms with shared bath; this can be a great deal as you can still enjoy the social atmosphere of a hostel.

Most of Chiang Mai’s cheap hostels are located within the walls of the Old City; this is where you’ll find the highest concentration of budget accommodation. There are still many options around greater Chiang Mai, so don’t feel confined by the city walls! Using a booking widget, such as the one below, will allow you to compare many different hostels at once. We recommend booking ahead for the first couple of nights (and if you’re visiting over a holiday, such as Christmas or Chinese New Year, booking ahead is a must).

Following are a few of our recommendations for cheap hostels in Chiang Mai. We included one rock-bottom place as well as one that caters more to “flashpackers,” but do your own search below to find what you need.

Imm Eco Resort Hostel
A new hostel located across the Ping River from the Old City, this upper-scale hostel offers swish digs at an affordable price. You’ll get the vibe of a boutique hotel, but without paying for it; stylish dorm rooms cost as little as 300 baht ($10 USD). A swimming pool, tropical garden, and great little café add to the resort feel. There’s also a social atmosphere; with 67 rooms (that can sleep 174), this is no tiny place. There’s also a 24-hour convenience store, a tour desk, bike rentals, lockers, wifi, a library, and a movie room.

A Little Bird Guesthouse

Cute name, cute hostel. The colorful Little Bird is located in the northeastern corner of the Old City, where budget accommodation is tightly packed.  Still, A Little Bird is down a quiet soi and doesn’t get much road noise. Prices are incredibly cheap, with a 4-bed female dorm going for $3.50 USD, and a 10-bed mixed dorm room for $4. Wireless internet and and hot showers are all included in the price.

Chiang Mai 5 Stars International Youth Hostel

This YHA-accredited hostel is also a good deal, with 4-bed dorms under $6 USD and single rooms with private bathrooms less than $14. If you stay more than two nights – easy to do in Chiang Mai – you’ll receive a discount at other YHA hostels in Phuket, Bangkok, and on Ban Kruit,  a private beach.  A simple breakfast is included, and there’s a travel and booking desk as well as bicycles for hire. It’s close to both the Night Bazaar and the Saturday Walking Street (which means it’s pretty much close to anything in the center of town).

[Photo credit: wat suandok, Flickr]