After my 5 days in Hong Kong I got a flight to Bangkok and hadn’t planned my next step. I wasn’t meeting my boyfriend in KL for another 2 weeks but there were floods everywhere in Thailand and the trains weren’t running. I had quite a tight budget at this point as I wanted to be comfortable for my final two weeks and able to have more of a holiday budget than a backpacker one.
I decided to risk the budget and book a flight up to Chiang Mai. This was a very good decision as prices up north were very cheap and no sign of any flooding. My hostel was £6 a night for a private room with a very good fan and wifi – cheaper prices could be had but I was more than happy with this especially as I was lugging 1 large and 1 small suitcase around with me.
As it was difficult to meet other travellers in Hong Kong, I really appreciated being here where most people are travelling solo and it is so easy to strike up a conversation with people. Before long I had a friend who arranged to share my room with me taking the hostel down to £3 each per night! We also made friends with a couple staying in a hotel nearby and went around there for a cheeky swim one evening.
While I was in Chiang Mai I had a great cooking lesson with Smart Cook – we got to cook 5 dishes of our choice and got the train out to the school which was in a rural village. It was also the lantern festival which had such a happy atmosphere and coloured lanterns everywhere. I left my hostel a few days running thinking little kids were buying from a sweet stall before I eventually realised they were actually fireworks!
This is definitely the best place to head to on a limited budget, and it is also super safe for a solo female – I had no problems walking from the hostel in the Old City to the night market area on the nights I was by myself. There is also great Thai food everywhere and the prices are much cheaper than in Bangkok and Phuket.