Modern hostel near the train station
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Located across the road from Hualamphong rail station and on the doorstep of the same-named subway stop, @Hua Lamphong Hostel offers decent dorms and private rooms with a fair amount of extras. It doesn’t win big style points, but for those seeking a modern and efficient place to stay before or after catching a train, this is a solid choice.
The six-bed mixed dorm has a utilitarian feel but delivers when it comes to functionality. Each bed is outfitted with a private lamp and electrical outlet. Individual lockers are big enough to fit an average size adult — and their backpack. And an ensuite bathroom that ensures you won’t need to wander down a hallway in the wee hours is equipped with four hot showers shared among the six beds.
Also with an ensuite bathroom, the four-bed mixed dorm on a higher floor fetches 400 baht per bed. It has all of the same features as the six-bed edition but gets you more space and a balcony overlooking the train station and Rama IV Road. The entire room is frequently booked in advance — not a bad plan for a small group of backpackers.
The one potential disadvantage with @Hua Lamphong’s dorms is that both are mixed, which means guests will typically need to share sleeping and bathroom space with members of the opposite sex. With that said, the bathrooms are partitioned into individual shower rooms with adequate space to wash up and change clothes in private.
@Hualamphong also offers three private rooms with ensuite bathrooms and a similarly functional set-up. The smallest comes with nothing more than two single beds and a window. A standard double and pricier deluxe corner room are both spacious, the only difference being a tad more room in the deluxe. Each comes with soft double bed, desk, fridge, safe that's big enough to fit a laptop and wide windows with views of the train station.
A bright second-floor common space has couches and bean bag chairs to go with a large LCD TV and a foosball table. More couches, tables, a cafe serving coffee, Thai and Western food and four communal computers are found in the airy ground floor lobby. We found the English-speaking staff to be patient and helpful. WiFi is free and seemed to work well throughout the fully air-conditioned building.
While @Hua Lamphong is an obvious winner for travellers who have a late-night arrival or early morning train to catch, it also makes a fine home base for exploring the city. The fun part of Yaowarat Road is a 10-minute walk away and both Ratchawong and Marine Department Express Boat piers are 15 to 20 minutes away on foot. Silom Road, Lumpini Park and an interchange with the BTS skytrain are two stops up the subway line.
If you don't mind walking a bit further from the train station, you'll find more intriguing atmospheres and better value, on both dorms and privates, at Cozy Bangkok Place and Oldtown Hostel. If you're after a dirt-cheap private room, you could do worse than the nearby The Train Guesthouse.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 14th April, 2016.