The Best Hostels in Thailand (Friendly, Fun & Cheap)

July 3, 2017

Not all hostels are created equal, especially in Thailand. I once stayed in a horrible dump in Chiang Rai with no windows, rude staff, and enormous mushrooms growing in the shower. Not an inspiring place.

But I also once stayed in the most amazing hostel on Koh Lanta with great breakfast, Thai massages, and the beach just a one-minute walk away. I made so many friends there it was impossible to leave!

Where you decide to stay can will massively affect your Thailand trip. To help you out, I’ve selected what I think are some of the best hostels in Thailand.

How I picked these hostels

Most of them I’ve stayed in at one point or another. But like Varys in Game of Thrones, I also have a network of little travel birds telling me where it’s good!

I like funky and charming hostels that offer good value-for-money, have a homely atmosphere, and are in a good location. I’m not listing hostels that are exclusively party hostels, as these are already easy enough to find.


Suneta Hostel Khaosan

HostelWorld Rating: 9.1

It’s just a 5 minute walk from Khao San road, but it’s far enough not to get bothered by any traffic or party noise. This nice medium-size boutique hostel has wide capsule-style beds with curtains. The washing rooms and ameninities are of hotel quality, while offering the charm of a hostel.

With its large beds and private capsules I think this is an ideal hostel to get through your jetlag while still being close to the action of legendary Khao San. The common room serves free breakfast and is very homely, with two resident guinea pigs oinking around while I stayed there.

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Lub D Silom

HostelWorld Rating: 9.1

Khao San arguably isn’t the best base for exploring Bangkok at large. It’s a bit crowded and not near the metro system nor major sights, wheras Silom is more strategically located. This hostel in Silom isn’t quite as atmospheric (the upper levels are a bit concrete-y) but it’s big, has modern facilities, and offers lots of organized activities.

This is a bigger size hostel where it can be easier to meet people. I think the chain of Lub D hostels (there are several other locations) are bit more commercial and less cozy than some others, but they are a popular choice and offer you good bang for your buck.

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The Yard Hostel

HostelWorld Rating: 9.5

A funky medium-size hostel in an alternative hipster/expat part of town. It has a wonderful courtyard garden that will make you almost forget about the chaos of Bangkok! Very chilled out, and in the Ari neighborhood that’s much more local.

The only downside is that it’s a couple of metro stations away from the main sights, but if you can live with this, then the Yard Hostel might just be your best pick. Read about my stay there.

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Chiang Mai

Big&O’s House 2

HostelWorld Rating: 9.0

What truly makes this hostel is the outdoor seating area. With such balmy evenings in tropical Thailand, why would you be inside? The garden area is just the perfect setting for a cold beer and sharing some travel tales and tips with other travellers. Big&O’s House has dorm rooms as well as traditional Lanna style rooms.

This hostel is not as slick or hipster-y as some of the newer hostels in Chiang Mai, but I think it has a true Thai vibe.

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Bodega Chiang Mai

HostelWorld Rating: 9.6

Located within the moated central area of Chiang Mai and just a short walk from the buzzing night market area, the Bodega Chiang Mai is the perfect hostel to go if you’re looking for a social (but not rambunctious) atmosphere.

The rooms and dorms on the second level have sunset mountain views, and the reception area extends into an outside seating area where you can rub shoulders with other travellers.

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Suaidoi Backpacker Resort

HostelWorld Rating: 8.7

This hostel is constantly at pains to explain that they’re not a luxury resort. Sure, the WiFi maybe isn’t the fastest in Thailand, and the rooms are in traditional Thai style (with mattresses on the floor). But it’s the leafy garden, hammocks, tree-house-like teak wooden structure, and bonfire nights that give this place its character. The inside rooms have AC, while the outside wooden rooms are fan-only.

It’s a 10 minute walk out of town giving this hostel a huts-in-the-jungle feel. You may wish to rent a cheap scooter to get into town more easily.

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Spicypai Backpackers

HostelWorld Rating: 8.4

Located among the rice fields outside of town, staying in Spicypai feels like you’re in a little treehouse in nature. It’s a little ways out of town but don’t let that stop you. Either take the 15 – 20 minutes walk into Pai, or rent a scooter motorbike, as the location is totally worth it.

You’ll sleep in basic bamboo beds with mosquito nets, which may not be for everyone. Since the space is all open it has a kind of slumber party feel, though there’s a 12pm no noise policy. Popular with the 20’s backpacker crowd.

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Chiang Rai

Koon Cha Learn Backpacker Hostel

HostelWorld Rating: 9.3

It’s located a short walk from the center, but this is actually a plus this as the downtown and market area of Chiang Rai can get noisy. This is a small (10 beds only) family-run boutique hostel with some incredible vintage decoration. There is also a wonderful garden area where you can drink a cold beer with your fellow travellers.

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Koh Phangan

Love Station Hostel

HostelWorld Rating: 8.7

Funky hostel in a semi-secluded location. You can use this as your base to go to the Full Moon Party, but Koh Phangan is much more than that, and this hostel will let you easily discover the island at large. Consider renting scooters to get around the island.

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Krabi Town

Sleep Club Hostel

HostelWorld Rating: 9.7

Artfully decorated hostel with dorms and privates. Friendly and chill, it’s your best bet for an inviting boutique-style hostel in the Krabi area. Located just a short walk from the river, night market and countless bars.

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Krabi Ao Nang

Glur Hostel

HostelWorld Rating: 9.1

Medium-size boutique backpacker resort just a 15 minute walk from Ao Nang beach. It’s located in a quiet side-street of Ao Nang with the spectacular karst cliffs visible in the background. It has double rooms with private and shared bathroom and several dorm rooms. There’s a swimming pool and a relaxing loungey atmosphere.

For what it’s worth, younger solo female travellers have said the poorly lit street to the hostel feels a bit scary at night. However, Ao Nang is very safe and it’s just 50 meters to the main road, so it shouldn’t be a huge issue for most.

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Koh Phi Phi

Kitty Guest House

HostelWorld Rating: 8.7

Koh Phi Phi is full of party hostels with names like The Hangover Hostel and The Coma Hostel. If you’re here to party, just pick any of these.

But if you’re looking for a more laidback place, I suggest Kitty Guest House. It’s on a leafy road, has friendly owners, two cats and a dog, and a nice atmosphere.

A lot of hostels on popular Koh Phi Phi are rated in the 6’s and 7’s, probably as the management knows people will be coming to the island anyway, so it’s nice when a hostel here still focuses on quality!

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  1. Colleen Reply August 3, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    We stayed in 3Howw Hostel @ Sukhumvit 21 in Bangkok last year and this hostel was fabulous. The most comfortable bed and pillows of all the places we stayed at. I would definitely stay there again.

    • Marek Reply August 3, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      Great tip!

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