When we were looking for places to stay in Chiang Rai, The Connect Hostel kept popping up high in every search. There were many hotels and hostels in Chiang Rai to choose from. We selected Connect Hostel as our Chiang Rai accommodation.
We like staying at hostels with our kids especially when we can find good quality hostels for families. The pictures and the 9.1 ratings on booking.com told us that the Connect Hostel might just be a great place to stay in Chiang Rai.
We were able to get accommodation in Chiang Mai at the Connect Hostel for 4 in a private room with shower and toilet facilities. Private rooms with ensuite are important when travelling with kids. You don’t want them leaving the room in the middle of the night looking for a toilet without you knowing.
The hostel was located 900 meters from the Chiang Rai bus station in a handy location adjacent to the city centre. If you have luggage a grab will cost you around 60 Baht to be delivered to the front door but if you want to walk it will take you about 20 minutes from the bus station.
The Connect Hostel in Chiang Rai Thailand is in a contemporary building that may have been re-purposed for the hostel. You will find 6 bed mixed dorm rooms, female only rooms and family-friendly rooms for 4.
What stands out above all other things about this hostel is the staff. The staff are amazing. From the minute you arrive Tu who is the owner is wanting to help you with anything you need from tours to taxies and suggestions for places to eat. Her service is complemented by Pete and Jasmin with their youthfully enthusiasm and friendliness.
A perfect example was when we thought we had lost our room key in the first few hours at dinner. Bec walked back along our entire route to see if she could find it but she couldn’t.
Columbia day packs built to last just ask us, 29 countries and counting<
We told Tu while she was gone and when Bec returned hot and puffed Tu was more worried about Bec than the key, providing her with some cold water and a cloth. Turns out the key was in the small plastic bag we had been carrying which made us all laugh!
We happened to be in Chiang Rai for Songkran the Thai New Year holiday. Tu organised a water container out the front of the hostel with buckets, an umbrella for shade and a hose so we could all join in the celebrations. While Pete hid inside avoiding the water Jasmin was into it!
She was all buckets blazing throwing water and engaging with us guests to take part. On the second day of Songkran, Jasmin led a posse of guests up to the main street where the Songkran activities in Chiang Rai were happening. Some of this was in her own time right up to 15 minutes before starting her second job.
You can book numerous tours around Chiang Rai through the hostel and even a bus/boat combination into Laos and onto Luang Prabang.
A fridge and snack stand in the lobby sold beer, soft drink, milk, noodle cups, crisps and more. Behind the desk was a coffee machine where you could get a hot barista type made coffee or the iced variety.
A bookcase with magazines, books, board games was available for everyone to use. An LCD TV was placed in front of the couch with a Nintendo switch for the kids and the big kids to play.
The lobby had a small communal area with 2 couches and 4 small tables and chairs. The upstairs communal area kitchen was amazing.
The kitchen had a communal fridge, 2 toasters, toaster oven and microwave for your use. Free tea and coffee were available. This area was bright and spacious made of mostly glass. The hostel offered a breakfast of eggs, banana, pineapple, with bread, jam and butter for 50 Baht. We had this on a few mornings and it was easy to do.
Out the back was laundry facilities for you to use with washing machines and clothes dryers. The washing machines and dryers were 20 Baht each to use. This adjoined the communal toilet and shower area where there were male and female bathrooms. In the little stand at the counter, you could also find little sachets of liquid washing detergent for 10 Baht if you forgot to get some.
The hostel has 4 bikes that you can use to explore the town or even ride the 12 kilometres to the White Temple if that’s your thing. If it’s not your thing a grab will cost you around 180 Baht. The local White Temple bus costs around 20 Baht.
Hostels are a great place to meet other travellers and make connections for future travel. The Connect Hostel was no exception. People from Germany, USA, Singapore, Brazil, Spain and more were present.
We spent an amazing Songkran with some of these guys and they were great with the kids which can be really hard sometimes.
Maybe the travellers at the hostel find our girls easier to connect with as they are travelling as well, I am unsure. We have since caught up with Anna and her mum since we left the Connect Hostel and plan to stay in touch with the others we met there too.
Overall our experience at the Connect hostel was 5 star. It certainly deserves its 9+ rating. For a family of 4, the price was around $50 Australian a night and well worth it. Connect is the only place to stay in Chiang Rai for affordable travel. We hope this inspires your family to stay at a hostel soon.
Things to do in Chiang Rai
There are many great Chiang Rai attractions to see while you stay at the Connect Hostel. Chiang Rai is the biggest city in the north of Thailand.
How to get to Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is located in Nothern Thailand. Chaing Rai is accessible by plane, bus and car from Thailand and surrounding countries.
Bangkok to Chiang Rai by bus and car is 10.5 hours
Chiang Mai To Chiang Rai by bus and car is 3 hours
Chiang Khong To Chiang Rai is 2 hours 15 minutes by bus and car.
Mae Fah Luang is the name of Chiang Rai International Airport. The airport is located about 8 km from the Chiang Rai city centre. The airport handles over 500,000 passengers, 3,900 flights and 2,700 tons of cargo every year.
An airport city loop bus will take you into Chiang Rai city.
The route passes King Mengrai Monument, the Night Bazaar, Chiang Rai Bus Station 1, CentralPlaza Chiang Rai, and terminates at Chiang Rai Bus Station 2. The service will run from 6:00 am to 11:20 pm and costs only 20 Baht for the entire line
What type of money do they use in Thailand?
The money in Thailand is the Baht. You will find coins of 25 and 50 satangs, 1, 2, 5 and 10 Baht. The banknotes come in denominations of 10 Baht, 20 Baht, 50 Baht, 100 Baht, 500 Baht and 1,000 Baht.
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About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, Husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support