The Western tourist can come unstuck when looking for cheap hotels in Bangkok. Ideas of basic standards of accommodation vary according to where you come from. Hiram and Hettie from Houston may be expecting better facilities than Han from Hanoi – or even Henry and Hannah from Harrogate (UK). Let me guide you. To be sure of western-style luxury stay at one of the many familiar western chains. The only problem is that they can be very expensive. And, let’s face it, stay in a Hilton or Marriott in Bangkok and you might as well be in New York, London or Cairo.
You want to stay in Bangkok, right? The good news is that there are plenty of independent hotels in Bangkok that offer reasonable standards of accommodation at bargain rates, Who needs a wardrobe, after all? Hangers are the important part – right?
You’ll probably know that Bangkok is the capital, and primary city of Thailand. In Thai it’s called Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (or Krung Thep for short, which means “city of angels”). Bangkok has a population of over six million. The dominant religion is Buddhism, practised by all but 5% of the city’s population. The majority of what remains are Muslim with a scattering of Christians. Bangkok is choc-a-bloc with temples and gardens, plus (lest we forget) a thriving sex industry. One of Bangkok’s strengths is its fascinating mix of old Thai culture with western-style capitalism.
This is my personal choice of the best Cheap Hotel (Bangkok):
New Siam River Side
21 Soi Chanasongkram Phra-A-Thit Road, Chanasongkram, Phranakorn, Bangkok 10200.
Here is an upmarket guest-house with great views, located beside the Chaophaya River, very near to the Grand Palace. Fully air conditioned, it boasts a coffee bar, decent restaurant, and large swimming pool. As in most good Thai hotels, the beds are foam rubber. Every room is equipped with bedside control, cable TV, and refrigerator. High-Speed Wi-Fi is available in all rooms. All rooms no smoking..
Take care when booking because the New Siam River Side has two other “branches. Prices for rooms start at 1390 bahts (single). A non-air conditioned room with a fan in one of the other guest houses starts at only 590 bahts ($20).
Silom City Hotel
2 Soi Prachum (Silom 22), Silom Road, Bangkok 10500
Formerly called the Silom City Inn, this hotel can be found in the middle of Bangkok’s business centre, close to every key shopping centre. The Silom City within a short walk of the major nightlife and shopping areas as well as Suan Lumpini Park, the Bangkok Railway Terminal, and the river. It has 70 guest rooms, all of which come with air-conditioning, a personal safe, connections for PC and fax, the in-house music system, colour TV with satellite, and en suite bathrooms. The advertised weekly rate starts at 1,150 baht a night (around $40) for a single room, but we are told it is possible to barter.
920-926 Rama4 Rd. (At Surawongse Junction, Opposite Red Cross Society), Silom District, Bangrak 10500,
The cutely named TakeANap is a family-run hotel that has its fanatical supporters. There is a mix of single, doubles and dorm-bedded rooms, starting at 350 baht a night ($12). Singles come in at approximately 1,000 baht ($34). Great for backpackers, not so good for business travellers or tourist families. The 30 single and double rooms are all decked out in different themes, most of them designed to give you a headache after too much beer! TakeANap is very central, just a few metres from the sky train (BTS) and subway (MRT). TakeaNap is also near to the nightclubs, city centre, and market area. Wardrobe freaks should note that rooms come sans their favourite furniture item, but with hangers and a rail. You’ll also be very lucky to get a fridge,
168 Isaraphab Soi 33 Isaraphab rd Thra Pra Bangkok-Yai Bangkok 10600 Thailand
This apartment house offers tremendous value for anyone on a budget. Their smart studio apartments range in price from 1,450 baht a night (under $50) and double apartments come in at a mere 100 baht more. Expect queen-size beds and en suite bathrooms with shower panels equipped with six (count them) massage jets. The facilities are better than Bangkok’s average, ranging from a fully-equipped karaoke room to tennis, restaurants, cafés and a gigantic swimming pool without chlorine, filtered instead by an eco-friendly ‘O-zone’ non-chemical filtering system. Then there’s the sauna, the “good karma” library and a well-equipped games room. The Sivalai Palace comes highly recommended.
Those are my recommended cheap hotels Bangkok style. Have a brilliant time and let me know if you find any other gems.