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Where's the Best Budget Guest House in Chiang Mai?

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by Rota (subscribe)
Still out and about
Published May 16th 2016
One of the charms of visiting Chang Mai is the competitive prices of the accommodation. You can get the most basic bed in a shared dorm at dirt-cheap prices - or a luxurious villa at top dollar. At the same time, there are some great options for middle of the range budgets. It really depends on what you are looking for.

The following hotels and guest houses all offer rooms with private rooms with their own toilets and bathrooms - as well as free Wi-Fi. Most of them have a refrigerator in the room, and all of them provide either fans or air-conditioning.

Chiang Mai Lodge

This is a good option if you want to stay near the popular Nimmanhaemin Road - but not on it. You are in the best place to have easy access to the Huay Kaew Mall with its eateries, bowling alley, cinema and impressive supermarket.

The Chiang Mai Lodge is also a good choice if you think you might be going to stay in Chiang Mai longer, as this place is a short term hotel on its lower floors - but has facilities for longer term stays on the upper floors - at lower rates.

Royal Panerai Hotel

This is definitely one of my favourite options for quiet accommodation away from the centre of it all - but still close to the old city. This place is unique in that some of the cheaper rooms have a bath tub.

Air con is reliable, but WiFi can be a little sketchy. The Royal Panerai Hotel is located within walking distance of a number of popular vegan and vegetarian restaurants and is not too far from Muang Mai Market - the best fruit and vegetable market in this part of the city.

Zzz House

I have only the fondest of memories of my stay at Zzz House, as this is a real diamond in the rough. This is the sort of place you want to stay if you are travelling alone and want a friendly host, want to meet other people, yet would rather not stay in a hostel.

This simple accommodation sits unremarkable, in the heart of a normal Thai neighbourhood with its scraggly dogs and dinky corner store. But that's the charm.

They have both air-conditioned rooms and fan rooms, and Zzz House is located really close to one of Chiang Mai's best supermarkets, various bars and is one street off the Ping River.

Top North Hotel

Now, in general, I wouldn't recommend this hotel overall - but I would be remiss if I didn't mention it as it definitely has certain forms of appeal.

The rooms here are some of the oldest and dingiest I stayed in around Chiang Mai - they could do with a real renovation.That being said, I would stay there again in a heartbeat. The bed was comfortable - rare for Thailand - and although the shower took awhile to get warm, my patience was rewarded.

The real star of Top North Hotel has nothing to do with the rooms, though - it is the central pool and dining area that provides the sort of location you can feel comfortable hanging out at all day. I spent hours just chilling at the open area by the pool, ordering icy drinks and listening to the music. This is also a semi-social sort of place to stay and is also one of the best located.

Gaps House

You can't beat Gaps House for location. It's just off one of the major streets in Chiang Mai, but back off the road enough to mean that you won't be disturbed by street noise.

This hotel features a cosy traditional style buffet dinner in a dining area on stilts and has a vegetarian Thai food cooking school connected to it. It is also a stones throw from one of Chiang Mai's other celebrated plant-based restaurants - Bodhi Tree Cafe and a little further - Taste From Heaven - another celebrated Vegetarian restaurant in Chiang Mai.

Have you been to Chang Mai and stayed in a good budget hotel? What did you like about the place you stayed? Let us know about it in the comments.

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