When trying to put together my trip to Bangkok I sat with friends who’d been long long ago and one suggested that as soon as I get off my flight I go straight to Khao san road, find a cafe and ask the other foreigners there where I should stay. But that was a bit much for me since I’d prefer not to get stuck without a place to stay. So I looked around online before booking my stay at the Chern Hostel. It wasn’t particularly expensive, and only took about $11 out of my account, requesting I pay the rest when I arrived. Which I did, and they took a bit more to make sure I brought back my key.
I was given a card key like at a hotel that would let me in and turn on the power. Which is in general a good idea. But lets just make a pro and con list.
Pro’s to the Chern Hostel
- No noise pollution.
- Breakfast is nice and it’s a long time frame 7am-2pm.
- 24 hour front desk that speaks English.
- It’s pretty. Big open, modern looking with a small water fountain and just nice looking.
- Washer and dryer.
- Within walking distances of the pad thai place.
Con’s to the Chern Hostel
- Not really within easy walking distance of any train lines.
- Breakfast isn’t included.
- One keycard turns on the power for the whole room and bathroom and once it’s removed, even in the dormitory style rooms, all power is gone. Aka if that person left when everyone else was asleep, they’d awake to a hot room and their phones not fully charged.
- The beauty of the open design meant that if you ever left your room you walked straight into heat. The only space that was constantly and consistently cool was the front desk.
- The pad thai place is the only close restaurant people suggest within a half a mile distance other than street food.
When I think of hostels I tend to think of them like youth hostels, but there were actually a lot of families staying at the Chern Hostel. I ended up in a mixed dorm room, randomly selected for me when I booked online. Which was fine. People who were traveling solo were the best roommates because they were quiet and considerate but any groups seemed to just turn on the lights and be loud whenever everyone else was trying to sleep. I was surprised that everyone was pretty considerate about the bathroom, which was set up a bit like a locker room, giving little privacy for those trying to shower. But I did end up making some new friends with my roommates which was a nice bonus.
I hadn’t expected to spend a lot of time at the hostel but ended up doing so anyway, since it was the only place I had at least some wifi, even if it wasn’t that great, and access to a bathroom with toilet paper and soap. I usually got up early, went exploring and then when I was done I’d come back and collapse in a bean bag chair in the common room after turning on the fan. (Because I always ended up coming back when the cleaning crew was nearing my room)
I got a lot of reading done.
Breakfast was pretty nice, but I learned after going out to breakfast with my hostelmates that too much food plus the heat is a terrible horrible idea so almost every day I had cereal.
With the heat and the almost constant 100% humidity I just wasn’t hungry very often in Bangkok. So I’d have my cereal with bananas in the morning and maybe get a late lunch later in the day or dinner. But my last full day in Bangkok a hostelmate and I had breakfast together and I decided to go ahead and get what I’d been wanting to try, banana pancakes.
Luckily by the time I left the temperature had dropped to fall-like weather of in the 70’s so while I was kinda cold it meant I could eat a lot more. The banana pancakes can be ordered on their own or as a breakfast set, with tea and juice. I had them by themselves, they were a nice mixture of salty and sweet. They did take awhile to arrive though which was stressful because I had stuff to do that morning.
Overall I liked my experience at Chern, I liked that it was within walking distance of a ferry and that there was the 24 hour front desk that I went to whenever I needed help with something. Or just needed suggestions. The vending machine had laundry detergent in it and padlocks for sale for the lockers which were really just wooden cabinets next to the beds. It was peaceful for the most part and had a quiet clean modern feel to it.