Oldtown Hostel

Oldtown Hostel

Everything we look for in a hostel

More on Chinatown

Since opening in 2014, the Oldtown Hostel has gained a solid reputation thanks to good-value dorms and private rooms in a heritage building with lots of common space. A standout restaurant also joins the helpful staff in a location between two historic neighbourhoods to make it one of the better budget options to hit Bangkok in recent years.

Travelfish says:

Designers did a fine job of revamping the 1920s-built building while preserving classy patterned tile floors and swing-open windows topped with royal-blue stained glass. A street-art depiction of a unicycling duck covers much of the northern exterior wall. Claiming to use 80 percent local ingredients in its fusion menu, the acclaimed 80/20 Restaurant is attached to the hostel.

Makes a good home base. : David Luekens.
Makes a good home base. Photo: David Luekens

A massive ground-floor common room boasts high ceilings leading to sloped archways, old-fashioned clocks and a map of the world. Billiards and a long wood table make it easy to meet other travellers, but you can also keep to yourself while using the free WiFi, shared computers, book exchange and shared kitchen. On the upper floors, more common spaces feature sofas, beanbag chairs, a widescreen TV, guitars and tables.

Accessed by stairs and key cards, several dorms and private rooms are spread over the upper two floors between wide hallways with wood benches and old town-inspired decor. All rooms come with high ceilings, cream-yellow walls, air-con, several windows, wood floors and thick mattresses placed on sturdy frames. Decor is limited to a few clocks and perhaps a colourful print or two. Some morning traffic noise should be expected.

Dorms are available in mixed or female-only, with different rooms equipped with six, eight or 10 beds. Each bunk bags you quality linens and pillow along with personal reading lamp, outlet and locker. The bunks are placed about a metre apart but do not come with privacy curtains. Divided by gender, immaculate shared bathrooms are situated off the hallways, with plenty of hot-water shower stalls and basin sinks to go around.

Though lacking extras like TV and fridge, the spacious private rooms come with ensuite bathrooms. These are available with double bed for couples, one double bed and two bunks for families, and four bunks for groups. Private rooms are limited, so reserve ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

A spacious heritage setting. : David Luekens.
A spacious heritage setting. Photo: David Luekens

Normal rates listed on the hostel’s website and brochure represent competitive value compared to other options in this general area, like Loftel 22, a smaller modern-style hostel located a two-minute walk up the road. However in April ’16 we were offered “promotion” rates that made Oldtown one of the best-value hostels in Bangkok. We’ve listed the lower rates under “low season” below, but it wasn’t clear if/when the rates would jump back to normal.

At reception, a middle-aged man and younger woman both spoke good English and had positive attitudes. They offer complimentary coffee and tea, arrange tours, store luggage for up to 30 days for free and provide assistance on exploring the area. The hostel also has a notably well-done website, complete with a map pinpointing key attractions in Bang Rak, Chinatown and Ko Rattanakosin.

The hostel’s name is a bit misleading. Though it’s located in a historic part of the city, it’s not in the Ko Rattanakosin historic district that Bangkokians generally refer to as the “Old Town.” Set along Bangkok’s oldest road, Charoen Krung, the location borders the picturesque Talad Noi neighbourhood of southern Chinatown and the old European quarter of Bang Rak, with Hualamphong Rail Station located a 15-minute walk to the northeast.

The nearby Soy Sauce Factory and Soulbar will take care of your live music and art-peeping needs, but there aren’t many notable street food options in the immediate vicinity. A 20-minute walk north will take you to the eating frenzy of Yaowarat Road, while Silom’s eclectic food scene can be reached after a 15-minute stroll to the south. Just beyond that is Saphan Taksin BTS Station. You can also access the Chao Phraya express boats at Si Phraya Pier, a five-minute walk from Oldtown Hostel.

Contact details for Oldtown Hostel

Address: 1048-1054 Charoen Krung Rd (corner of Soi 28), Bangkok
T: (02) 639 4879;  F: (02) 639 4909  
Email: info@oldtownhostelbkk.com
Web: http://www.oldtownhostelbkk.com
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º30'55.5" E, 13º43'51.36" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B

Room rates

What we were quoted as a walk-in.

Dorm air-con
Plus 20-40 baht for rooms with fewer beds.
250 baht 350 baht
Dbl air-con private bathroom 800 baht 800 baht
Quad air-con private bathroom 1,350 baht 1,800 baht

Reviewed by

David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.

From US$18

Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.

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