A must stay in Bangkok!! A true backpackers paradise! As a solo traveller I was quite worried about getting around on my own and my ability to make friends as I can be a little socially awkward at times. But fear not, everyone at Playground is super friendly, and you’ll find yourself a part of an ever changing friend group with members leaving and new ones joining within a matter of hours. Whether you’re getting up at 6am or 2pm you’ll find people downstairs in the common rooms laughing, drinking and playing games. A lot of the staff who work here are also travellers, who liked it so much they decided to stay and work. Get ready for cheap drinks, a heap of drinking games, and making friends for a lifetime.
Drinks, drinking games and new friends
The whole design of the hostel gives off an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment, with quotes from travellers who have stayed there, scrawled on the walls in pastel chalk. Be sure to add your piece of Bangkok wisdom before leaving. The bar offers happy hour every day from 5pm-8pm with a different special each day, but even outside of these hours the bar is really cheap, especially compared to UK and US prices. Beware the Long Island Ice Tea! and by beware, I mean you should definitely try it! possibly one of the strongest cocktails I’ve tried anywhere, and these guys make a mean one. One one of the days there’s a 3 for 300baht offer on them (that’s 3 for £7), don’t do what I did and order all 3 at once. You’ll be in for an interesting evening. If you like drinking games then you’ll love hanging out in the common area where they have dirty jenga and dirty jenga 2, card games, spin the egg, and my personal favourite, a memory game called “this is a lighter”.
Comfort and cleanliness
I was really surprised upon walking into the rooms at how thick and big the mattresses were, as anyone who has stayed in a number of hostels before will know that this is not always the case. The beds were super comfy and my room had both a fan and air conditioning. Although there were 6 of us to a room, everyone was very respectful of when other people were asleep and I felt very at home there. The rooms have large locker cages where you can put your bags, as well as smaller lockable cabinets for easy access to your toiletries which I found very helpful as I avoided waking up everyone in the mornings trying to drag my bags out of the cages to get to them. The showers and toilets were really clean, and no matter how full the hostel got, I never once had to queue up or wait for a toilet or shower to become free. No shoes are allowed upstairs, but instead kept in a safe shoe room on rack before you enter the dorm levels, so the floors were very clean.
7-eleven saved our lives daily! There’s loads of them in the area, and one just at the end of the road from the hostel where you can buy everything you need. From cheese toasties, to shower gels and face masks, and sim cards. I have never eaten so many cheese and ham toasties as when I was in Bangkok. There is also a wide variety of street food stalls in the area which you discover once you explore a little. Around the corner from the hostel is a food market, set up along the sides of railway tracks that sell corn, pork dishes, Pad Thai’s and many more. Closer, at the bottom of the street is a place which is known by the hostel as “the ladies”. It’s a small restaurant run by these two old Thai women who are super friendly and accommodating. They don’t speak much English, but they love having foreigners visit their restaurant. The menus all have pictures of the food and English translations, and you have a star rating scale of 1 star to 5 stars to decide how spicy you would like your food. P.s. they love people who order spicy foods. There is also a big supermarket nearby where you can buy cheap make your own salads for those who want to eat a bit more healthily.
The hostel is located around 10 minutes away from Wongwian Yai BTS Station (sky train) which links you to most of Bangkok pretty easily. You can either walk there, or jump on one of the mini tuk tuk looking vehicles which you’ll find near the roundabout for 7baht which stops at the BTS station. If not you can catch a taxi (use a metered taxi, or if this is not available then negotiate a price for the journey before you go), for Khao San Road, from the hostel, depending on the traffic, the ride should be no more than 80Baht. For longer Journeys use the Grab App. It gives a set price for journeys, and you get to ride in a nice, air conditioned car. I’d recommend trying a tuk tuk at least once, but generally avoid them as they tend to be more expensive than others. There are also a lot of motorbike taxis, however I didn’t try these out as I was a little scared to.
Overall, I completely fell in love with this hostel and have been recommending it to every traveller who is passing through Bangkok that I’ve met since leaving. Book through http://www.hostelworld.com and start your adventure at Playground. Signing off for now, CHB xx