Classy hostel in a vibrant area
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A fine choice for mature budget travellers and flashpackers, HI Mid Bangkok skips the wall murals and over-the-top decor in favour of a classy Thai theme. As of mid 2016 this was the only hostel within easy walking distance of the Victory Monument traffic circle -- and it’s a good one.
Mid Bangkok offers eight- or six-bed dorms in women-only or mixed varieties. Set up on either side of narrow rooms with windows at the end, each bed comes with privacy curtain, locker, electrical outlet, reading lamp and small storage space for valuables. Shared hot-water bathrooms are divided by sex and outfitted with modern appliances. Members of Hostelling International receive a 10 percent discount, though even the regular walk-in rates are reasonable. Just keep in mind that the air-con is shut off in the dorms from 08:00 to 18:00.
Accessed via a small lift, several private rooms come with hardwood or patterned tile floors that could be out of a 1930s mansion along with comfortable beds on raised wood platforms, soft lighting, tasteful art and plenty of windows. Though fridges are lacking, safes are included and the most expensive rooms have small LCD TVs to boot.
A ground floor lounge is decked out with tables, a TV, shared computers, a loft with a library and black-and-white photos of Bangkok in the early 20th century. Posted signs relay a bunch of info on travel, history and culture in Thailand. Punctuated by paintings of orchids and zebras, the whole building is air-conditioned. An outdoor garden area tops the fifth floor and you’ll also find a kitchen, laundry room and free WiFi. The soft-spoken staffer who has showed us around on two occasions seems to do a good job of helping guests.
Location is what we like most about the Mid Bangkok. It’s tucked down a short alley off Ratchawithi Road, a stone’s throw from the actual Victory Monument traffic circle and the same-named BTS station, making it an excellent base. After exploring the city, you can return to go for a jog at nearby Santi Park before grabbing some of the street food that abounds in this area. Top that off with a few drinks at Sky Train Jazz Bar and some live music at Saxophone and we reckon you’ll be darn happy to be staying in the Victory Monument area.
If you prefer the Sukhumvit area, the Mid Bangkok’s sister property -- Hi Sukhumvit -- has a more stripped down feel near Thong Lor BTS station. Other good hostels in non-touristy Northern Bangkok include The Yard up near Ari BTS station, Udee in Saphan Khwai and Yim over in Huai Khwang.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 22nd July, 2016.