Welcome to Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is a great little city and a welcome change from Bangkok. As Thailand's "Northern Capital," it is a convenient jumping off location for other trips. Visit in November to see the Lantern Festival.
Yi Peng - The Festival of Lights takes place every year in Thailand (with the lanterns specifically in Chiang Mai). It was difficult for me to find much exact information online about the when and where of the event. In the end, I found the weekend it was said to be happening and was in the area for the last day. Even the few lanterns I saw (few compared to the pictures online) were magical to see rising up into the sky.
Khao Soi. Aka best food discovery in northern Thailand. If you're a lover of noodles and curries, make sure to try this dish during your stay in Chiang Mai.
Banilah - Out of the old city walls, nice, posh, more of a guesthouse than a hostel. There is a cat cafe downstairs.
Thailandwow 2 - Hostel within very convenient walking distance of the Night Market, low price, clean rooms, two pool tables and lots of cozy seating space to socialize with the other backpackers