Solid backpacker value
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Tucked away off the Tanao Road end of Khao San, Chada Hostel remains one of the most dependable budget options around. While the featureless building scores few style points, it’s solid value for backpackers hunting a clean room on the cheap.
Spruced up a few years ago, the five-storey concrete building has a tiny reception desk on the ground floor and a dark common “lounge” upstairs. It’s not the most inviting place to hang, but free toast and coffee for breakfast and a shared TV with English channels and DVDs make it a congregating point. We found the WiFi to work reasonably well. Staff is good-natured but helpful only to a point.
Heading up another one to three flights of stairs, each of the simple rooms come with fairly large windows that can be opened to let in fresh air. Tile walls and floors might make you feel like you’ve been institutionalised, but they also make it easy for staff to keep things clean. Ceiling fans are placed over soft beds, even in the air-con rooms. A couple of flower paintings are more decor than we’d expect.
While rooms with private bathrooms are fairly spacious, most rooms are large enough only for a bed and a backpack. All rooms are private — no dorms. The cheaper rooms don’t have electrical outlets, but power strips are provided in the lounge. Shared hot-water bathrooms, also nice and clean, are located at the end of the hall on all floors. The facilities are limited, so wake up early to avoid waiting for a shower to open up.
The central location puts you close to the action, which can be a good or bad thing depending on what suits you — great if you plan to stay up partying until 03:00; not so good if you want to wake up and start sightseeing by 06:00. In addition to noise from nearby bars, the ever-present traffic noise from Tanao Road is inescapable. Bring earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.
Chada can be accessed from alleyways extending from both Tanao and Khao San itself. From the eastern end of Khao San, look for the sign right next to the Subway restaurant and across from Buddy Lodge. Chada is often full, so email ahead if you want a better chance of getting a room. Just across Tanao and down the alleys next to and behind Burger King, At Home and New Central are both adequate alternatives.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 25th January, 2015.