Hi I hope someone can help. I am 40 and would like to go travelling to Thailand. I dont really want to stay in noisy dorms - have done that when I was younger. Are there any places to stay that are not hostels but not hotels? Ie populated with people mainly in their 30's? I would like to meet people of a similar age to me... Thanks.
Guesthouses. They're a major feature in Thailand. Private rooms ranging from hostel to hotel quality, but more social than a hotel. Ages will vary; you'll probably still see more people in their 20s than in their 30s, simply because that's when people travel around most extensively - or if you go for too upscale, you might rather see mostly people in their 50s/60s, I suspect - but they won't be the noisy party-oriented crowd anymore.
Here's a guesthouse I stayed at in Chiang Mai, which is at the upper edge of what's offered in guesthouses, while still having a lot of people in the age group you're looking for. (Situated in a lovely and quiet soi. I can recommend this particular one.) They go much dodgier than this, but I always tried to look for places costing around 600-700 baht per night, as that seemed to offer a good balance.
[ Edit: Edited on 25-Jul-2013, at 02:35 by Sander ]
Awesome thanks I appreciate the feedback. Can you recommend a place in Bangkok? I'll be needing a single room just to sleep and get over the jetlag for a few days - flying from Cape Town.
I don't really like big cities so will be exiting as soon as I can. Any other places to go wd be much appreciated. Thanks again - much obliged.
I'd recommend heading to the Soi Rambuttri area of Bangkok where you should easily be able to find yourself a decent single room as there are loads of guesthouses around there. I stayed in 2 places along that street- Bella Bella and My House, and both were decent.
If you want to splurge a bit, there is a hotel in Soi Rambuttri called Viengtai which is supposed to be very good.
Sorry, no recommendations for Bangkok itself; I stayed in the YHA hostel on Sukhumvit there (in a private room though; was pretty decent, actually). And don't discount Bangkok too much; there's surprisingly many places away from the big city bustle - from the obvious Lumphini Park to several of the Wats; I fondly remember sitting for several hours in the courtyard of Wat Suthat, just watching life pass me by, and Wat Saket was quite nice, too, for getting away from it all.
A big recommendation for something a bit off the beaten track in Thailand would be Phanom Rung and nearby; ruins from the same civilization as Angkor Wat. Very impressive. When I was there, there were fewer than a dozen other people wandering the site. (If you're new to Thailand: Forget about the train to Buriram, and just take the bus straight to Nang Rong. Much more convenient, as the bus station in Bangkok is actually easy to get to.) In Nang Rong, I stayed at Honey Inn. The owner was sick while I was there, so service was (understandably) lousy, and for a "retired English teacher" (as the lonely planet puts it), I had a whole lot of trouble communicating with her - but all the same it's probably a good guesthouse to stay at.
Thanks Sander and Bex, invaluable info as it will be my first time to Thailand.
I am 40 and would like to go traveling to Thailand. I don't really want to stay in noisy dorms - have done that when I was younger. Are there any places to stay that are not hostels but not hotels? Ie populated with people mainly in their 30's? I would like to meet people of a similar age to me...
Can you recommend a place in Bangkok? I'll be needing a single room just to sleep and get over the jetlag for a few days - flying from Cape Town.
When you need hotel help include a price range. For Bangkok you can get a small hotel or guest house starting around 600 baht. This is small hotel that doesn't have any fancy pools, lobbies, probably no restaurant too. Maybe has wifi or maybe not. For cheap places in this price range it is better to look first. This price includes A/C, private toilet, TV and linen. Of course the more you pay the more you get or the place looks fancier!
Good you are not into hostels at your age. (Traveling with wife and kids that's different.) For Asia, in my opinion, when I see older single guys staying in hostels in their 40's, 50's or 60's - I don't think they are there to save money and maybe they just like being around urinals and showers with teenage boys. Because small guest houses and hotels are about the same price as some hostels in Bangkok. Once you leave Bangkok you won't find too many hostels available but many guest houses and cheap small hotels.
At your age you will also meet many expats and tourists in beer bars and other venues of nightlife. Some tourists meet the love of their lives in beer bars. (Beer bars are small cheaper bars with open sides. Usually hostesses serve the drinks and wait tables.)
My recommendation is a hotel in the Nana area of Bangkok. In this area you have use of the city rail service called the Skytrain. The Skytrain connects with the Airport Rail Link from Suvarnabhumi and with the subway. No rail service in the Khao San Road area. There are some hostels and cheaper small hotels in the Sukhumvit Nana area. Along with good restaurants, malls, street vendors, malls and nightlife. This is a lively area of Bangkok with streets full of people even past 2 a.m. Streets in this area popular with tourists are well lighted at night.
City Rail Service
When you show up affects prices. Highest hotel room prices are late November through late January. Highest is Christmas and New Years Holidays. Cheapest is right now up to October. Without any price range to go with here is a couple places to think about.
Nana Ibis. Located on Sukhumvit Soi 4. Same soi (lane/street) has nightlife but not close to this hotel. Walk to Skytrain, nightlife, restaurants, malls, etc.
Same area but other side of Sukhumvit Road. Maxim's Inn. Down a side soi. Same things to walk to as above. Sells out quickly.
Same Nana area is the Ambassador Hotel. An old place. Some rooms remodeled. Good location on Sukhumvit. Access through Sukhumvit Soi 11.
Map of Nana area. (Sukhumvit is a main road. Even goes through Pattaya and on to Cambodia.) Side sois are numbered Sukhumvit with even numbers on one side and odd numbers on the other side of the road. Skytrain goes down the center of Sukhumvit at this point.
Cheap place to eat at in this area is the Foodland Supermarket, Took Lae Dee Restaurant on Soi 5.
Other hotels at higher and similar prices also available in this area. A few lower priced hotels also available but see them in person.
You will meet people on tours, walking around, on transportation and just sitting at a sidewalk cafe. When I wear one of my hometown sports caps and t-shirts I always meet someone from back home. You can sign on to tours through local travel agencies and some hotels have tour desks.
Popular cheap beach to visit for nightlife, malls, good restaurants, cheap transportation and hotels cheaper than Bangkok is Pattaya. About 2 hours from Bangkok by cheap bus. But beach is not too good for beach swimming! Hotels have pools, easy city to get around in. Chiang Mai is worthy of a visit if you can fit it in. Same thing with obtaining tours through travel agencies in Hua Hin, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai.
Up to you.
I am Lou
I am very glad that you come to visit my country. If you need some help, you can tell me. I am willing to help you as I could. Umm.. Your trip seems far a away from my province I living now. If you come to visit Ubon Ratchathani and need some help, you can tell me. Have great trip.
[ Edit: Edited on 26-Jul-2013, at 22:06 by Nori Wisan ]