Photo: Yes there is a hostel in there.

Born Free Hostel

Nails the chill-out vibe

Samsen Soi 6, Bangkok T: (02) 628 5718

Bangkok is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Bangkok as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Bangkok’s different areas.

Go back to Bangkok main page »

Born Free Hostel

Our rating:

Quick links
Our review | Walk-in rates | Address | Map | |

Born Free Hostel’s black-and-white paw print sign pokes out from some greenery to mark the spot of a relaxing and artistic scene with great-value dorms on a side lane near Khao San Road.

Skip the queues!
Skip the queues!
Ad Book plane, train, bus & ferry tickets
with 12Go Asia.

Read more

The ground floor common room feels bigger than it is thanks to natural light from wide windows near the old shophouse’s high ceilings. Raised off the floor, tables and floor cushions make it easy to chat up other travellers or disappear into a book or laptop. With dark wood trim, an artsy spiral chandelier and a great selection of music often playing on the soundsystem, it struck us as the sort of chill space that you might find in Amsterdam or Geneva.

Relax here.

Relax here. Photo: David Luekens

Those looking for an extra measure of privacy can settle into Thai-style floor cushions on a second-floor loft. You’ll also find a book exchange here, and the free WiFi worked well for us. Decoration ranges from abstract paintings to a world map and a Pearl Jam tour poster. Don’t be surprised if the resident Persian cat lazily settles in on your lap.

Hailing from Switzerland, India and Thailand, staffers have created a laid-back and unpretentious ambiance attracting some folks with a hipster bent. Expect to meet mostly mature travellers including quite a few Europeans in their mid twenties and thirties. The atmosphere is conducive to kicking back over some beers or writing in a journal, but not pounding buckets until 3:00 in the morning (head down to Mad Monkey Hostel if that’s your thing).

On the third floor and reached via a staircase, the 12-bed mixed air-con dorm is spacious and well kept. Extra-wide wooden frames come with two side-by-side bunks placed up top and down below. Rattan partitions separate each bunk, meaning solo travellers may need to sleep next to a stranger with the partition serving as divider. Couples can remove these to create a double bed.

Hello kitty!

Hello kitty! Photo: David Luekens

One floor further up, the similarly airy 10-bed fan dorm, also mixed, has a more traditional setup that relies on steel bunks placed side by side with gaps in between. The bunks that don’t receive constant airflow from rotating ceiling fans are equipped with private mini-fans. While personal reading lamps and electrical outlets are provided in the air-con room, most of the fan bunks only have the outlets. Dim light from street lamps filters through a curtain after dark so that you don’t have to turn on the main lights. Having a torch would be helpful.

Firm foam mattresses come with soft comforters in the air-con room, thin silk blankets in the fan edition. Both rooms have attached balconies overlooking the street that tend to fill up with hanging clothes. Lockers are located outside of the rooms and are large enough for valuables, including the chunkiest of laptops, but not whole backpacks. Each floor has two stalls, each with toilet, sink and cold-water shower.

With no private rooms to speak of, Born Free offers some of the cheapest dorms in Bangkok and the standard is higher than we’d expect for the prices. Since our last visit, the crew had opened a cafe across the street serving fresh coffee, beer, breakfast and Thai food. You’ll also find a clutch of cheap street kitchens run by locals on nearby Samsen Soi 4 and Soi 2. It’s an easy half-kilometre walk south from Born Free to Khao San Road and Rambuttri.

Bunkbeds all in a row.

Bunkbeds all in a row. Photo: David Luekens

The owners also run a second hostel, Born Free Vista, located a bit closer to Khao San on Chakrabongse Road. While we prefer the original, the sister property has very similar dorms and a small rooftop terrace.

If you like the sound of Born Free but could go a bit further in the hippie direction, he nearby Back Home Hostel has similarly cheap dorms to go with a common area that was filled with dreadlocks and tattooed bodies when we passed through. The British-run Oasis Hostel is another fine alternative set in an old house with seats in a common garden area out front. You could also go for the Oh Bangkok Hostel if seeking a younger scene, or pop across Samsen Road to the family-run Khaosan Immjai Hostel for more of a homely vibe. If looking for a cushier option, check out nearby 3Howw or head a bit further south to Canale Hostel or Suneta Hostel.

These are just a few of the options in an area that we’ve dubbed “hostel city.” Stroll around Samsen Soi 6, Soi 4 and Soi 2, and you’ll see roughly 20 hostels clustered into a relatively small neighbourhood.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to support independent travel writing on Southeast Asia, please subscribe to Travelfish—it’s just A$35 per year (less than A$1 per week)!


Check rates with
Search hotels in Khao San Road

Arriving on:
Leaving on:

Walk-in rates at Born Free Hostel

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Dorm fan cooled
190 baht
190 baht
Dorm air-con
260 baht
260 baht
Room: Dorm fan cooled, low season: 190 baht, high season 190 baht. Notes:
Room: Dorm air-con, low season: 260 baht, high season 260 baht. Notes:

Where is Born Free Hostel

Born Free Hostel
Samsen Soi 6, Bangkok
T: (02) 628 5718
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º30'0.73" E, 13º45'51.29" N
Room rates: Under 600B

Map for Born Free Hostel

Map for Born Free Hostel

Open in Apple Maps | Open in Google Maps

Travel better, travel smarter

Save money, receive our latest updates and get the most out of your travels.


See below for more places to stay in Khao San Road that are listed on

Top of page

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Khao San Road? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

Top of page