Posted by: James Shannon | January 30, 2012

Hostel Review: NapPark, Bangkok, Thailand

Rolling into Bangkok from Suravanabhumi Airport at 1 AM … after 17+ hours in the air, I needed a comfy bed, a nightcap drink, and above all, to max out at relaxin’!

World travel isn’t always glamorous or a never-ending buzz … one such example of the back-breaking sacrifices necessary to arrive at the doorstep of mind-blowing, life-changing experiences?  How about 17+ hours in an economy airline seat?

Ouch.

It’s fun for the first four or five hours, but once the entertainment options wear themselves out, you’re left with nothing but you, the twelve inches between you and the next seat, and 35,000 feet of pure air and a thin layer of aluminum and steel beneath your buttocks.  Your legs begin to cramp up.  You need to pee, but you have two sleeping bodies to disturb before you can cram yourself into a closet posing as a WC.  Yay!

Eventually though, you arrive at your destination.  Bleary-eyed and conscious enough to keep shuffling forward, you stand in front of the immigration officer and you get stamped into Thailand.  More relieved than stoked, you press on and grab a cab bound for Khao San Road, with no thoughts of partying until dawn, just thoughts of trying to stay awake during the ride so your driver can’t run up the meter on you.

You arrive at the doorstep of a unfamiliar hostel, despite having booked it weeks before.  Travellers had raved about it in the online reviews, but in today’s digital world, it’s easy to fake ratings, testimonials, etc.  The moment of truth has arrived.

You walk past a crowd of fellow back/flashpackers, partaking in some post (pre?) bar drinks, enjoying each others company, swapping stories from the dusty SE Asian trail, the newly arrived newbs listening raptly (as I was shortly after).  Despite your late arrival, the night staff are patient with your fumbling of papers, money, words spoken.  You get your card key for your dorm and lug your 30+ lbs of stuff up a couple flights of stairs.  After stowing your valuables, you check out your bunk.  Luxuriously soft comforter and mattress, considering that is 390 baht a night ($13 CDN/USD).  You grab a quick shower in the well-designed bathroom, hot and great water pressure.  After facbooking your Mom to let her know that Al Qaeda hasn’t taken you prisoner upon arrival in Here Be Dragons Land, you slip into a silky smooth bed, lulled to sleep by the crisp air-conditioning and the silence (surprising, considering your proximity to Khao San Road) of your dormitory.

Welcome to NapPark, quite possibly the best hostel I have ever stayed in, and certainly the best hostel in Bangkok, per dollar spent.

It is fitting I kick off this series with such an amazing place to stay.  Below, a review will follow outlining the pros and cons of staying here, along with a few pics I managed to take during my time there.  If anybody reading has anything else to add, feel free to comment (it’s free!)

Conscious enough to take a picture of the bathroom … and what a baller bathroom it is!

Did I just take a picture of the shower?  Why yes.  Yes, I did.  It was an awesome shower, does that make me weird?  It does??  Oh… ok. :S

The hallway between dorm rooms at NapPark … stylish design and decor is a trait many Thai guesthouse owners take to heart…

Uber cool water feature outside in the alleyway that connects NapPark to the street outside, Thanon Tani.  Many days and nights were spent there connecting with travellers, and concocting plans to take Khao San Road by storm!

Pros:

  • Great bedspreads and mattresses … felt like sleeping on a cloud!
  • Amazing social scene … tonnes of people look to go out with on any given night.
  • Caring, attentive staff … from zapping mosquitoes with their crazy tennis racket zappers, to booking vans to the airport, they had my back and everyone else’s the whole stay!
  • Beautiful design, from the hallways to the bathroom, to the outside alleyway … heightened the whole experience!

Cons:

  • The bathroom is a bit on the small side … be prepared for a little awkwardness 😛
  • No private rooms, only dorms … and yes, from time to time, some inconsiderate f*ck will barge in at 4 AM, making an unholy racket.  But that’s hostel life for you.  Bring earplugs!
  • The internet terminals and wireless use a password system that requires Internet Explorer … ew.

Overall, NapPark is the ideal place to begin or end a journey to SE Asia.  You could stay in a $5 fleapit right on Khao San Road, but bringing home bedbugs to Mom and Dad likely isn’t the souvenir they had in mind! 😛

NapPark = A+

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Responses

  1. Great post! Five bananas.

    • Yummy, I LOVE Bananas! Thanks man! 🙂

  2. I see you posted on the 30th. I’m commenting on your post at 9:49 pm on the 30th, lol. It’s a funny wierd and wonderful world, James. You have really out done yourself, James! Excellent narrative!! Keep up the blog. I still think you should take up writing as a career. You are ignoring an obvious gift. I look forward to more posts. Nap Park looks like a wonderful place to stay and yes, please don’t bring any bed bugs home.

    • Thanks Mom, I won’t bring any of our insect “friends” home!


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