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Baan Sathorn Backpacker

Simple rooms, colourful street

What we say: 3.5 stars

Set in a stately old house near an ancient temple, Baan Sathorn Backpacker opened in mid 2013 and offers simple rooms on a colourful side street. The intimate vibe, relaxed atmosphere, no-frills accommodation and “authentic” Thai neighbourhood will appeal to budget travellers seeking something beyond the ordinary.

The house would have made a good B&B too.

The house would have also made a good B&B.

The guesthouse occupies two attractive heritage houses that received a fresh coat of cream-coloured paint during renovations. We had the sense that it was once home to a wealthy family or served as monks’ living quarters for adjacent Wat Prok — it has the look and feel of temple living quarters. The compound is surrounded by faded cement walls and reachable from the street through a steel gate that’s locked at night (guests can buzz themselves in after hours).

Shaded by trees, outdoor hangout areas dot the grounds, and behind the cosy reception area a comfy communal lounge is equipped with sofas, floor cushions, a guitar and huge flatscreen TV. Behind the main house sits a ping pong table. Next to that is a punching bag, in case you need to vent your frustration after being beaten in table tennis. Near the smaller house, guests can play darts or gather around long wooden tables over some beers.

Rainy day space.

Rainy day space.

Inside, kick off your shoes and enjoy the silky sensation of polished original teak wood on your feet while ascending the stairs. The shiny floorboards extend into guestrooms, which are mainly set up as dorms and all have loads of windows. Some on steel bunks and others on simple single frames, firm mattresses are covered with fresh sheets. Apart from a small desk and night stands in some rooms, the beds are the full extent of interior furnishings. Small single and double rooms come with a moveable fan, but all of the others are air-conditioned. Clean hot water bathrooms are shared. Small lockers are located downstairs. WiFi is free.

A bunk in the cheapest six-bed mixed room goes for 400 baht, while either a four-bed mixed or three-bed female only room fetches 430 per bunk. The double fan room goes for 420 per bed, double air-con for 450, and the single fan edition also runs 450, but for the whole room. Although dorm beds lack private reading lamps, this isn’t bad value when you consider all of the common spaces. A friendly staff member told us that small groups of travellers often rent out whole rooms in advance.

A peek into the double.

A peek into the double.

The suits and high-rises of Bangkok’s central business district are little more than a stone’s throw from Baan Sathorn, but you’d never know it while strolling down narrow Charoen Rat Soi 1. Picturesque old wood houses line the street, many of them fronted by potted trees, laundry that hangs next to Chinese bird cages and stands slinging noodles, papaya salad and fried chicken with sticky rice. Historically this is is an eclectic area; a mosque, large Hindu temple, Thai Buddhist temple and ancient Chinese cemetery are all a short walk from the guesthouse.

Wandering the streets near the guesthouse feels almost like being swept back to the Bangkok of a bygone era, but Surasak BTS station is only 15 minutes away on foot. From there, the bustle and nightlife of Silom Road, the greenery and swan boats of Lumpini Park, Siam Square’s modern shopping malls and the central express boat pier on the Chao Phraya River are all no more than a 10-minute sky cruise away.

If you’d prefer a more modern-styled hostel in this general vicinity, Saphai Pae is an excellent choice. On the way to Baan Sathorn, you’ll pass an interesting serviced apartment building called Baan in Soi; it’s mainly a longstay spot but they do have reasonable double rooms with air-con, fridge and TV for 650 baht per night. Closer to Surasak BTS, King Royal Garden Inn is an oldie but goodie with well-equipped rooms in the 800 baht neighbourhood.

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Contact details:

45 Charoen Rat Soi 3 (Soi Wat Prok), Bangkok.  T: (02) 675 5915 
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What we were quoted

Type of room Low season High season Notes
Dorm air-con 400 baht 400 baht Up to 430
Sgl fan private b'room 450 baht 450 baht
Dbl fan private b'room 420 baht 420 baht
Dbl air-con private b'room 450 baht 450 baht

Added to Travelfish on: 23rd December, 2013
Last visited or updated on: 23rd December, 2013

Last reviewed by:
Usually found exploring Bangkok's side streets or south Thailand's islands, David Luekens is an American freelance writer & photographer who finds everyday life in Asia to be extraordinary. You can follow his travails here.
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