Malaysia Hotel – One of the original “Recommended by Lonely Planet” hotels in Bangkok

Hotel Name: Malaysia Hotel
Address: 54 Soi Ngam Duphli, Rama 4 Road, Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand

Malaysia Hotel, Bangkok - Thailand

The Malaysia Hotel is a 3-star hotel in the Sathorn area of Bangkok. I don’t usually stay in this area of Bangkok but I saw it while I was staying at an Airbnb nearby.

Upon further investigation I found out that this was a popular hotel when Soi Ngam Duphli was the go-to backpacker district. In fact the Wheeler’s (the founders of Lonely Planet) stayed here while they were researching the first Lonely Planet guidebook – Across Asia on the Cheap – which was released in 1973.

When I found this out I checked my own copy (which you can get here), and sure enough the Malaysia Hotel is mentioned:

We spent one night in quite a different class of accommodation in Bangkok. The Malaysia, a very flash looking place, was doing some special deal whereby you could have the first night at 40 baths and thereafter at 60. Our theory was that with Viet Nam R and R business disappearing a lot of Bangkok hotels are looking hard in other directions for business.

40 baht 😭

Knowing that part of the original Lonely Planet was written in this very hotel I thought it would be cool to be able to say I’ve stayed there as well. I certainly didn’t find a room for 40 baht, but the cheapest room available was on Agoda, and I paid $24.34USD for a night (850 baht).

The hotel has a big car park out the front with a house and the main building that looks like it was built in the 60’s.

Malaysia Hotel

Inside the reception area it looks like the decor hasn’t been updated since the 80’s. I say that as a good thing as it felt like a bit of a time capsule. It reminded me of travel before the internet.


A lone Routard plaque from 1995 gives a hint that this was once in a thriving backpacker neighbourhood, before Khao San Road became the budget travellers choice.

Routard 1995

The hallway on my floor looked like it hasn’t changed much in decades either.


I got a twin room, which had a double and large single (a single and a half). The room itself was spacious with a large window.

Malaysia Hotel Room

The beds were comfortable spring mattresses which had convenient lights and power outlets.


A free bottle of water in the room. The building is no smoking so never mind this ash tray.


A compact bathroom but it didn’t feel cramped. It took a while for the hot water to start but other than that it was a nice, clean space.


The room had a good-sized work space. Style-wise the furnishings such as the desk and cupboard looked a bit dated, but everything was in well-maintained order. If a hotel keeps on top of its maintenance then there is no problem staying in these older hotels.

Work desk

The hotel has a pool which is always a welcome addition to a Bangkok hotel.

Malaysia Hotel pool

There is wifi here but you have to pay extra. I was here for a night so I opted for a 3 hour pass. even then, that wasn’t enough so I made sure to logout while I did some offline work.


There is a restaurant next to the foyer, where a typical Thai-style American breakfast is 140 baht ($4USD).

Overall I enjoyed my stay here (apart from the extra charge for wifi). With so many hotels in Bangkok you can always find a better deal at a newer hotel. If you are looking to stay in the old backpacker area and want a glimpse of the Bangkok of old then this is a good option.

Book the Malaysia Hotel online or search for more hotels in Bangkok.

Join The Newsletter

Sign up to the weekly newsletter for the latest posts, and a roundup of best travel reads, news, and lifestyle articles.

Speak Your Mind