Travelling can be exhausting if you’re constantly on the move. I didn’t fall in love with Chiang Mai, but I found myself tired and wanted to find a place that was cheap and a relatively fun place to be if you need to rest and most of all save your funds.
There are so many affordable hostels around Chiang Mai, it actually has a big population of expats. So it is very touristy friendly. When I was in Chiang Mai I budgeted myself to spend 200 baht a day including my accommodation, so 100 baht on food and it was completely doable.
Food is very good and very cheap. Street food especially, as well as the markets. You can eat for 35 to 40 baht for a soup or a pad thai.
Dorms are only 100 baht a night, my favourite place was 18 Terrace Guest House which is in the old town. They are located by the markets so eating out there was very cheap. You could also get single rooms for 200 baht a night.
Walking around and exploring the city can be really nice as well. If you can ride a scooter, you can scoot up to the mountains, the waterfalls or the canyon. It’s a very active city, so people are running, jogging, doing yoga and hanging out at the parks. There is always something on. You can even cycle around the city. It’s also a great place if you miss western culture as there are many western restaurants.