Spic and span, top location
With tasteful murals adorning its walls but an otherwise rather minimalist style, Asa Hostel is an appealing and pristine small hostel, extremely well located for Chinatown's colourful action.
We were among the only guests staying here in June 2017, which was a shame as we think Asa is a real find—it opened in October 2016, so it's one to watch. The potential for a good traveller vibe here is strong, with a communal table set up in the small entrance/lobby/breakfast area, where the friendly receptionist will check you in and give you information about the surrounding area.
On offer are 12- and 8-bed mixed dorms, a six-bed female dorm and a private double room with share bathroom. The eight-bed room can be reserved as a four-bed private room. We stayed in the private double, and paid 775 baht via Agoda, significantly less than the 1,032 baht rack rate. A little more elsewhere buys you a private bathroom as well, but hostels are rarely good value for private rooms. Dorm beds start from 312 baht.
We had to pay a 100 baht security deposit on our room key, which would have been fine except when we left at 7:30 the next morning, there was no one staffing the reception so we needed to forfeit it (or be late to our appointment).
The star feature of the private double is a cute attached astro-turfed veranda with a small table and chairs, giving you a spot to people-watch and savour the scene going past. It may be a little noisy for those who are sensitive to street noise, but we had no problem sleeping as it quietens down significantly early evening (it starts up again very early morning). Otherwise the room is simply equipped with a double bed with white linen, single bedside table with lamp (no good for reading) and mirror—that's about it.
The share showers are super clean, though it took us a while to figure out how to use the hot water; we ended up changing booths to get it to operate. A large sink is framed by a few painted ducks, with a hair dryer among the few facilities on offer.
We had hoped to see dorm rooms before we checked out, but there was nobody to show us around (their website does make clear that checkout is only available from 9:00, so do bear this in mind if you have an early flight). From photos they are positioned train-style and appear light, with the quad leading onto their small rooftop area, another astro-turf bonanza. This is a good spot to knock back a beer or two, though you'll have to shop elsewhere for the drinks. Spacious lockers are kept outside the dorms in the bathroom area, which actually makes sense as you're most likely to use your bag near to the bathroom, and means you won't be tripping over bags in the limited dorm space.
The included breakfast is standard hostel fare: white-bread toast, cereal and tea and coffee. We'd skip this for sure and head to one of the many street food stalls in the nearby surrounds. Otherwise there's a communal kitchen with microwave, but you'll have to bring all your ingredients, right down to drinking water—when we returned in the afternoon desperate for a drink we were directed to a nearby 7-eleven.
Asa Hostel is a great option for couples or solo travellers looking to delve into exploring Chinatown. It's just a short walk to the seafood restaurants of Yaowarat and the fledgling Chinatown bar scene and about a kilometre's walk to Rachawong Pier for the Chaophraya Express—it's an interesting 15-minute walk though. Directions are on their website in Thai for a taxi driver to find.
If Chinatown appeals but you're after a more well established hostel, try Oldtown Hostel. If you'd prefer something more upmarket than a hostel, Pho Place is a good option a step up in price, with rooms from 1,500 baht, while if you've got the money, we reckon Loy La Long's black room is one of the loveliest rooms in Southeast Asia—at around 4,000 baht a night though it's a real spurge.
Address: 36/12 Yisipsong Karakadakhom 1 Rd, Pom Prap, Bangkok
T: (099) 206 5954;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º30'35.9" E, 13º44'35.97" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
12-bed mixed dorm. 8-bed mixed: 360 baht. Female six-bed: 382 baht.
|312 baht||312 baht|
|Standard double room|
|1,032 baht||1,032 baht|
Samantha Brown is a reformed news reporter. She now edits most of the stuff you read on Travelfish.org, except for when you find a typo, and then that's something she wasn't allowed to look at.
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