The strange places we lay our heads
- Thai edition

On the whole Thailand has good value in the accommodation department so we didn't have to stay at any memorably bad places. This is not to say we didn't find any memorable places. A sampling of Thailand's Hotels, guesthouses and beach huts . . .

The D&D hotel - Khao San road, Bangkok.
We came for the air-conditioning that almost left icicles on the eyebrows but we stayed for the closed circuit cameras. We spent an eerily long time glued to our TV providing running commentary for the comings and goings of the guests in the lobby six floors below. I even went so far as to photograph a particularly exciting episode in which Julie tried to persuade the front desk clerk to let us use the phones to connect our computer.

Closed circuit television on Khao San rd.

The forest huts in Pai, Northern Thailand
Pai is a lovely little town that is so relaxing it has attracted a clientele similar to a Grateful Dead show. Not feeling particularly social that day, we decided to forgo the riverside grass hut hippie villages and sought out accommodation outside town.
These cabins in the middle of a teak plantation seemed to fit the bill - quiet and secluded. When we noticed blood spattered above the doors (you have to hit someone pretty hard with an axe to get blood that high) the place suddenly seemed a little too quiet and secluded. We were the only people staying in the entire place.

Forest huts outside Pai

Looking for a place that is a little pretentious? Then the Atlanta in Bangkok may be the place you are looking for. If you're not, you won't find it. Or at least the sign above the door says something like that.
The Atlanta prides itself on many things (the "six superlatives") such as the lobby that hasn't been changed since the 1950's, the academic paper that moonlights as a menu in it's restaurant, the writers who like to stay here. Though the rooms are not a particularly great bargain, it is a wonderful place to stay if you like your hotels to have a lot of character. One of these days I will put together all my notes and photographs and tell you more. Who knows, maybe will get me featured with all the other writers memorialized in the lobby.

Entrance to The Atlanta, Bangkok

Ahh, and then there is that whole other world of accommodation. The modest beach bungalows that are mythologized on the backpacker trails. Though the prices tend to be substantially higher that comparable lodging in less touristed Northern Thailand, how can you put a price tag on swinging in a hammock all day with the sounds of the surf in your ears?

Sea View Bungalows - Koh Lanta

~ Nigel
March 22, 2002




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