Where I caught my zzzs in Thailand (Part 2)Reading Time: 5 minutes
Pak-Up Hostel (Trip Advisor Rated 4.5/5 Booking.com rating of 8.7/10 at £9/night bed in dorm room)
After staying comfortably at Deejai Hostel in Chiang Mai, I felt I could do it again and this time even possibly try out a……dorm room. I asked my good friend, Google for recommendations of hostels in Krabi and in the top 5 responses was Pak-Up hostel. I decided to let myself in easy and go for a female dorm room. I was still a bit anxious and had to remind myself every so often that it was just a place to sleep. I arrived after dark, without having booked the accommodation (at this point I was now in the chilled traveller’s ‘see what happens zone’). The staff were very friendly and thankfully they had a bed for me in one of the female dorms.
It turns out that the hostel building is a former school and this was the theme. The rooms were named after school subjects and after I had signed all the relevant paperwork I was told to go off to PE. The beds were bunks, but not standard bunks-these were huge, with very comfortable mattresses! The space was great, and it actually brought back memories of being in high school and going between classes. I was in the basic dorm and therefore used the shared bathrooms which I did not like too much, the finish was so rough, I did not want to spend even a second longer than I had to in there.
They had a questionable WiFi password that made me wonder whether they knew what it meant or if they were deliberately being provocative-even moreso considering the school theme. The hostel had an outdoor bar called The Playground, which was littered with different outdoor games which were brilliant for breaking the ice with other travellers. The crowd was mellow. They drank and smoked trying to solve the world’s problems as the conversations turned quite philosophical. It took ages to starting plotting the resolution but this had to end prematurely after the final bell went off and the bar was closed.
The following morning, the staff were very helpful in advising on activities to do around Krabi. They helped us organise a trip, with a couple of girls, to go to Tiger Temple and then sorted out transport for quite a few travellers who were going to catch the ferries to the islands. Tiger Temple is a religious site where monks live and worship. There are a bunch of caves with overgrown jungle with 1,260 steps of varying depths and obstacles (some of the monkey kind) that lead you to the top of the temple. Once you get to the top there are absolutely stunning views and an interesting temple (if you are to do this be sure to dress right or else you will walk all the way to the top and not be allowed in the temple).
My first experience of a dorm room was absolutely seamless. I wondered why I had been so nervous about it, it really was just a place to put my head down at night.
Centerpoint/Apache hostel??? Cannot Remember for the life of me
On the ferry to Koh PhiPhi I met a lovely German girl whose philosophy at this stage was just as relaxed as mine and therefore on arrival we walked together around the island looking for a place to put our heads down at night. Koh PhiPhi is not a massive island and it seemed there was a limited amount of backpacker accommodation. We ended up staying in a dorm room which was literally just off the busy path (literally, many people walked outside the French door to the hostel). I’d say the best way to describe this hostel is a ‘studio hostel’, because it was one big open room with about 6 bunks and two small bathrooms at the back.
The hostel was basic but kept very clean by the staff member who spent most of her time in the hostel. Although I was very grateful to have found the place and that the mattresses were thick and comfortable, the hostel totally lacked character. Only two or three other travellers stayed there during our stay on the island. The staff spoke very limited English and therefore we communicated with our limited Thai, sign language and the use of Google translate.
Park Plaza Sukumvhit (Trip Advisor Rated 4.5/5 Booking.com rating of 8.5/10 at £56/night)
From the island I had one night in Bangkok before catching my flight back to the UK and my friend booked me into the Park Plaza in Sukhumvit. When my friend sent me the booking confirmation my heart initially skipped a beat. I took the train from the airport and as I was walking to the hotel I noticed a couple of signs that had hourly room rates, which reaffirmed what I had heard about the area.
It turns out that I was so close to some of the city’s most sinful spots including a couple of the red-light districts Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy. I am glad I did know how central it was before I went because I may have been afraid to explore the area as much as I did (ignorance is bliss!)
I checked into the lovely room with all the amenities a girl could wish for. There was a rain shower and a bath, which was very welcome for a long soak(after spending time in the studio hostel). I requested my final cheap and cheerful massage in Thailand, but really had mixed feelings about the fact that this massage was in my room. It turned out ok in the end because by the time she finished I was knocked out.
Within walking distance to the hotel is Siam Paragon shopping mall as well as the Asoke BTS Skytrain Station and Sukhumvit MRT. I walked to the shopping mall and was very impressed with the various options I had for food. On my way back in the evening I also came across multiple street food vendors and I had to take advantage of those.
Overall the hotel was great with a good buffet breakfast. I loved that it had good transport links and was close to shopping amenities. The only hint of the red-light district I came across were the rooms charged by the hour and so my experience was not as sinister as I’d thought it would be.
Have you ever booked into a accommodation when travelling only to discover the area was not quite what you were expecting?