Feb 05 2013
Part of a recent surge of hostels to emerge in Bangkok, Mile Map opened at the tail end of 2012 and offers simple, spacious dorms and privates in one of Bangkok’s most sought-after areas. With lower rates than most nearby hostels, Mile Map also represents some of the best value in the city.
Situated a stone’s throw from Silom Road on a side alley off Pan Road (see map), Mile Map enjoys a slice of what’s arguably the most vibrant and interesting part of Bangkok. It’s behind Sri Maha Mariaman Hindu temple and across the street from Kathmandu Gallery. Neilson Hays Library and the antique art galleries of Charoen Krung Road are a five to 10-minute walk away. With the Chao Phraya River and two BTS sky train stations also within walking distance, Mile Map’s location is as convenient as it is eclectic.
When it comes to food, Bangkok’s multicultural character is captured in the blocks surrounding Mile Map. Indian, Lebanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, sushi, burgers, steaks, Irish pubs, wine bars, northeastern Thai, formal sit-down Thai and the cheap, accessible street food of Silom Soi 20 are all just around the corner.
A large southern Indian community have traditionally called this neighbourhood home, and while they’re still very much visible, Silom has truly become a melting pot. It’s common to hear a dozen languages spoken while strolling up this colourful thoroughfare that begins at Charoen Krung and ends at Lumpini Park.
Though the location is its number one selling point, Mile Map also delivers great value inside a generously sized four-storey building. More functional than stylish, 10-bed air-con dorm rooms are spacious, spotless and bright, and shared bathrooms are beyond adequate. Mattresses are on the thin side, but at 290 baht for mixed or 330 for women-only, rates are considerably less expensive than virtually all other Bangrak competitors. The only cheaper bed you’ll find in this area is at cramped YHA Downtown, and Mile Map’s far greater overall spaciousness make it well worth the extra 40 baht.
Along with the dorms, Mile Map offers a handful of private rooms that also beat many competitors when it comes to value. The cheaper privates with shared bathrooms are seriously basic — nothing but soft mattresses on simple wooden frames — and they’re quite dark and gloomy compared to the dorm rooms. They do have air-con, however, and at 690 baht for a double or 1,300 baht for a large room that comfortably sleeps four, they could be a lot worse.
On the upper floor, a more upscale private with double or twin beds, air-con, TV and ensuite bathroom is rather more inviting. At 990 baht, it’s a solid choice for flashpackers who want the option of lounging while watching a movie in private.
For the rest of the gang, a downstairs lobby and common space has an ample set-up of shiny new couches and chairs to go with a long wooden table and a big flatscreen TV. It’s a good place to play cards while chatting with other travellers. A few communal computers are available as is free WiFi. An evolving rooftop lounge area shows promise as a potential late-night gathering spot/smoker’s den. The staff-member who showed us around was friendly and relaxed, and he lived in a few different Western countries for several years so speaks excellent English.
Overall, we appreciated the space and understated style of Mile Map Hostel; it’s perfect for low budget travellers who like a bit more sophistication than what you’ll find up at Khao San. As long as the prices remain dirt cheap, Mile Map is very much in the running to compete as one of the best hostels in Bangkok.
Mile Map Hostel
Pan Road, behind Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Silom, Bangkok
T: (026) 351 212
Their website at time of writing is under construction: www.milemaphostel.com.
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