Getting a Room
Looking for a place to lay your backpack? Bangkok has numerous options for the budget traveler. You can use BnA’s hostel finder to help before you go, but always ask to see the room before committing to buy if you’re just walking into a new place. Don’t overlook Web deals. Our last night in the city, we stayed at the Grand Hotel Bangkok, a four-star hotel near the airport, for $48 U.S. with free breakfast, thanks to a web deal.
Khao San Road is a popular accommodation destination for tourists from all countries. (Khao San is located in the Banglamphu district, also known as “the backpacker’s ghetto.”) You can usually spot your fellow travelers by their big backpacks and copies of Lonely Planet guides (everyone seems to own one). Sometimes tourists are reluctant to talk, even when you’re all in the same boat, but try to strike up conversation – you can compare notes about guesthouses and ask their favorites. When looking for accommodations in this area, you can find both fan- and A/C-cooled rooms for very cheap. Look for a guesthouse with a phone and a good restaurant. It’s also nice to find one with an Internet cafe in the same building or nearby, so everything you need is at your fingertips.
Sawasdee Khao San Inn: You can book a room here over the Internet if knowing where you’ll stay is a priority when arriving in town. However, it’s a bit pricy: 500 baht for a single and 680 for a double. A friend who stayed there said she didn’t like it much, although the rooms had private bathrooms ensuite and were “clean but quite basic.” She later found a room along Khao San Road for 450 baht for a double with A/C. The lesson? Look for competitive rates.
Prasuri Guest House: We liked this guesthouse so much that every time we were in Bangkok, even if just for a night, we stayed here. This isn’t exactly on Khao San Road, but it’s close enough. Come down Dinsor Road to Soi Prasuri – there’s a sign at the entrance to the alleyway. They let you store bags there for 10 baht a day. There is also Internet access on 13 computers in the lobby, a restaurant, tour guide service and tickets to destinations. Because it’s near a school, students come to play computer games before and after class – don’t expect to check your e-mail between 3 and 5 p.m.! Rooms come with fan or A/C, single up to quad. All have private bathrooms with amusing bucket-flush toilets. A single with fan is 220 baht, and a double with A/C runs 380.