Hotel Name: Malaysia Hotel
Address: 54 Soi Ngam Duphli, Rama 4 Road, Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand
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.
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.
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.
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.
The hotel has a pool which is always a welcome addition to a Bangkok hotel.
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.