My friend and I arrived at the North Star hot and exhausted one afternoon. We had been searching high and low for a hostel, but had one stipulation: we wanted to meet fellow travelers, and didn't want a place with no other guests. After checking out the rooms (which were basic but fairly clean) we specifically asked if the hostel was busy and if others were staying there. The owner promised that it was very busy. We then paid for 3 nights in advance (the rates were the cheapest we found in Chiang Mai for air conditioned rooms). We settled in, but soon realized there were, in fact, hardly any other guests at all. When we raised this concern with the owner, she immediately became very defensive and even aggressive. We told her we wanted to switch to a different hostel, but she refused to refund any of our money. After a prolonged argument, we finally agreed on a compromise of staying one night in a more expensive room - she refunded us the rest.
We would not stay at Top North again, and definitely would not recommend it. The atmosphere is dead and depressing, and the owner impossible to deal with (there were other issues such as a malfunctioning shower that she took no interest in rectifying). However, if you are looking for a dirt cheap and clean enough room for just a night or two, and don't care about ambiance at all...go for it!
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