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Thai Song Greet

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  • Thai Song Greet

    A little nostalgia , this was the first hotel I stayed in in Thailand , after arriving on the overnight train from East Malaysia .

    Complete with the infamous S H I T stamp ( suspect hippy in transit ) , courtesy of Malay immigration .

    Was given 7 days to get from Singapore to Thailand .

    I remember moving the bed into the center of the room to position it directly under the ceiling fan and discovering several discarded picks underneath ......................

    Thai Song Greet Hotel

    Source: Bruce Comstock

    Long before Khao San Road, before the Malaysia Hotel, the Thai Song Greet was the original backpacker's hotel. It's reputation spread by word of mouth among travellers when there was still no Lonely Planet Guide to Thailand, and by the time the first edition of that guide was published in 1982, the TSG was already gone.

    A 1966 New York Times article referred to its worldwide reputation among young "beatnik" travellers. One of the first guidebooks catering to "backpackers", 1974's Asia on the Cheap called it "one of the most popular hotels for shoestring sojourners", but also "pretty rowdy and grubby". From these early days of the hippie trail in the 1960s up until it's demise in late 1980, backpackers made this Chinese hotel near the train station their home. Back then a room with a double bed cost 30 baht. The shared toilet and shower were down the hall, one at each end.

    The restaurant downstairs was a meeting point for travellers. The beers were in a refrigerator and you had to help yourself. The bottles were not taken away until it was time to pay and the bill was calculated by the number of empty bottles on the table. The cook sat to one side of the entrance. In the sixties he was a fat man with a huge scar across his torso, known as "Charlie", or more unkindly as "Gruesome". After a heart attack in 1970 he was replaced by another cook with a large goiter on his neck, possibly also know as "Charlie" or "Gruesome". By all accounts, both were excellent cooks.

    Though the Thai Song Greet Hotel is long gone, there are still a few Chinese hotels of the same style in the train station area, such as the Sri Hualampong. However, the backpackers have moved on to cleaner and more comfortable digs and the Thai Song Greet will forever remain one of a kind.


  • #2
    Showing your age Mid .

    First place I stayed was The Malaysia, but only for a night. The blood stained sheets were made of nylon ! Very uncomfortable night. Crossed the road to stay in the Thungmahamek hotel , a curtain hotel but the rooms were clean and cheap and the little coffee shop in the corner was pretty good.

    You've seen my picture of the ' Pepsi ' , the other side of the station. Still there but also something else now. I believe the Station Hotel is still open for business though. I'm down that way twice a week now picking up stuff for customers. Never get bored in that area...always something to see.

    Thanks for the nostalgia.


    • #3
      I would sleep in a ditch on the road side in them days, or in the middle of parks in the bushes, mind you snakes did not come into the mix.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mid View Post
        Complete with the infamous S H I T stamp ( suspect hippy in transit ) , courtesy of Malay immigration .
        I thought only India did that . . . I was the proud owner of one in my diplomatic passport as a teenager . . . my father was quite proud of that . . . umm . . .not


        • #5
          True story , folk lore will tell you it was Singapore but I'm here to tell you Malaysia .

          Arrived from Medan to Penang on the Ferry and kipped in non approved accommadation at Batu Ferringhi

          Malay immigration raided , rounded us up and entered a notation into the passport .

          Went on my merry way down the west coast to Singapore and when I reentered with the object of traveling up the east coast to Thailand I was greated with the stamp


          • #6

            Sunday December 3, 2017

            Reuters pic

            BANGKOK,Good Morning Vietnam


            • #7
              20yrs ago l tried the budget thing as it seemed the "in" thing to do at the time.

              Tried the Siphraya hotel for 450. Run by a sikh guy.

              Floor had cockroaches after dark. Could hear them crawling about so my refuge was the bed.

              I left (didn't run as l'd already paid) at 5am unable to sleep and freaked out, my next port of call was Sarasinee mansion off soi Intamara which was ok...which later achieved fleapit status.


              • #8
                I did the Miami once in '99, suk soi 13, rooms like a Russian mental hospital, and the Atlanta of course back in the day when you could take whores in for a 104 baht joiner fee. The promenade was grim, is it soi 20? feet stuck to the floor as you walked on the 'carpet'. Shit holes but they had a certain charm


                • #9
                  Certain charm my arse. Not while l'm showering with a bum gun while squatting in the bath.


                  • #10
                    Used to stay at the Rich hotel on Sukhumvit but then changed to the Crown on 29 when the Rich was demolished.

                    Then , I got a slum room on the duck boards of soi 22 for the princely sum of 500 baht a month. No private bathroom and made of wood with a tin roof. There was a communal water trough in the yard which was for washing. When using the squat toilet at night you had to wave your hands behind your arse all the time to stop the mossies settling on your balls for a feed. As for roaches, too many to talk about.


                    • #11
                      I've stayed at both hotels Malaysia and Crown, the swimming pool is nicer at the Malaysia.


                      • #12
                        I stayed at the Thai Song Greet Hotel in 1965/1966, and again six years later in 1972. And to my great surprise when I returned in 1972 the cooks and staff there not only remembered me, they all seemed very happy to see me.

                        In 1964 when I first arrived in Thailand I had flown in from Calcutta like all the other young backpackers who had made their way overland from Europe to India, because in those days you could only enter Burma by sea or air and therefore no one was allowed to hitchhike through it. However, I did not know about the Thai Song Greet when I first arrived in Thailand in 1964 so I stayed in a Buddhist Temple my first night there and then after that I spent several nights at a youth hostel before hitchhiking from Bangkok down the Thai-Malay Peninsula to Singapore-----where I stayed at the local Sikh Temple until catching a ship to Australia. The Sikh Temples in those days had free accommodations for us young travelers.


                        • #13
                          Welcome to the forum


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