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.
Discover More: Are you visiting Thailand during Songkran? Prep like a local with our awesome guide to celebrating Songkran in Thailand
Where is the Connect Hostel?
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 Chiang Rai is 935/20 Phaholyothin Rd, ตำบล เวียง Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
What rooms does the Connect Hostel have?
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 facilities does the Connect Hostel have?
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 area
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.
The laundry area
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.
What essential services are near the Connect Hostel
The best thing about a hostel is that they always seem to have the basics that you really need on hand.
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-style made coffee or the iced variety.
On the same street
On the same street as the Connect Hostel you will find a few little shops that sell fresh cooked Thai food. There are alkso plenty of little convenience stores that are locally run and you will find plenty in there for your supplies.
A bit of walking (under a kilometre)
In under a kilometre you will find so many convenience stores like 7-11, plenty of Western-style restaurants, the Night Market, a chemist and some of the Chiang Rai tourist attractions.
Our favourite things at the Connect Hostel
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.
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!
The communal Area
A bookcase with magazines, books, board games were 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.
Celebrating Songkran at the Connect Hostel Chiang Rai
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.
Do I need travel insurance in Thailand?
We always say if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. Get your travel insurance now to protect your epic Thailand holiday from any small hiccup.
For Australian travellers, we recommend Fast Cover Travel Insurance
For worldwide travellers, we recommend AXA Travel Insurance
Can you book other activities at this Chiang Rai hostel?
You can book numerous tours around Chiang Rai through the hostel, and even a bus/boat combination into Laos and onto Luang Prabang.
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 families in Thailand and travellers, you can easily 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.
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Would we recommend the Connect Hostel Chiang Rai?
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. Make sure you grab a visa before arriving in Thailand. Thailand implemented an eVisa system in 2021. The Thailand eVisa comes in nine different types and is easily obtainable online.
We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Chiang Rai and stay at this amazing hostel. For more incredible ideas on where to holiday in Thailand, click through to our Thailand Destination Page for more brilliant inspiration.
Some more travel inspiration for your trip to Thailand
How to get to Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is located in Northern Thailand. Chiang 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
Money in Thailand
The official National Currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht. The abbreviation used for the Thai Baht is the TBH and the symbol for the Baht is ฿. The Thai Baht comes in ฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500, ฿1000 banknotes as well as ฿1, ฿2, ฿5, ฿10 coins There is also a ฿60, ฿70, ฿80, ฿500,000 and 25, 50 satang coins but they are rarely used. You will find it easy to withdraw Thai Baht from ATM’s and there are plenty of options within stores to pay with your card.
Do I need a visa to enter Thailand?
Yes, you do. If you are only staying in Thailand for under 30 days you will get a visa on arrival at the airport. If you want to stay 30-60 days you will need to apply for a visa in your home country at the Thai embassy or you will need to do a visa run. A Visa run is where you leave Thailand by land or plane and then re-enter thus renewing your visa for an extra 30 days.