Those in the know stay at Soi 1.
Soi 1 is not for everyone. This is why I love it. Every single detail about Dave's place is geared towards experience-seeking travelers. It's well-worn enough to keep out the tourists, and priced just high enough to keep out the hippies. Plenty of great restaurants/shopping/actitivies/bars around, and the location is absolutely perfect. Fifty steps will get you to the canal, and a hundred steps will get you to the BTS Sky Train.
If you're a tourist, look elsewhere. If however you're interested in really getting to know (and love) Bangkok, and want to meet some truly amazing folks, then this is the hostel for you. I've stayed here eleven times now since 2006.
As a very well traveled backpacker, I will happily vouch for Soi 1 as the premiere hostel in SE Asia. Bathroom areas, rooms, and common area are all spotless. Every square inch of the walls are plastered with vital information that will help you really enjoy Thailand. Most folks make the rookie mistake of staying at Khao San Rd. Yes, the rooms there are more modern and closer to the temples. Still, you'd be making a huge mistake by doing so. KSR is full of touts and is so far from the skytrain that you have to get everywhere by taxi. Go ahead and ask folks if they enjoyed Bangkok. If not, then I'll bet you they stayed at Khao San Road. By doing so, they never even got to see the real Bangkok.
In contrast, Soi 1 is located in the heart of the city. The guesthosue is just down the road from Phloen Chit on the Skytrain BTS. That's two stops from Siam. I've stayed here both for short trips to recharge between other countries, and also for two months at a go when taking a massage course in Phrom Pong. Dave is an absolute legend, and the folks that you meet here will certainly help you on your travels. They told me about Koh Rung in Cambodia long before it became popular, gave me the low-down on the Thai Islands, and the best insider tips to Vietnam.
After all of my travels, I have never, ever, ever, found a more "traveler" oriented place than Dave's Soi 1 Guesthouse. The truth is, we love it like this. We don't want it to modernize - there's real history here. The higher price keeps out the low-budget & low-experience escapees, and the well-worn feeling keeps out the flashpackers.
Soi 1 has everything you need and nothing that you don't. The rooms have AC full blast, I've never had to wait for a shower or toilet, the beds are super comfortable, blinds block all the sun (important when you land at midnight or stumble home at 6am), and there are netbooks to rent for wifi (free if you have your own device). If you really, truly want to have a SE Asia experience that will make other travelers jealous, then be sure to stay here. You will not regret it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 'Soi 1 guesthouse' is an Australian/American influenced, Thai owned 24 hour, guesthouse, and youth hostel, now being over-seen by our diligent, on-site English speaking owner, Nai. The Friendships made and the Adventures shared are what we are about. It's partly but, more than just the Parties, Game-room, Bar, Live Sports from Satellites, Free Wi-Fi, Free maps, Hi speed internet, Clean rooms, New linen and Mattresses Plush towels and Hot showers (did we mention that 'Nai' keeps the place clean enough to walk bare-foot in?) ... more less