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Thread: Thai Song Greet

  1. #1

    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. #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. #3
    Thailand Lifer Delayed's Avatar
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    Aug 2014
    Ocean Cruising
    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. #4
    Quote 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. #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. #6
    ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ filmed at Bangkok’s Malaysia Hotel
    Sunday December 3, 2017

    ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ starring the late Robin Williams was shot on location in Malaysia Hotel in Bangkok.
    Reuters pic

    BANGKOK, Dec 3 — In the heart of this modern metropolis sits Malaysia Hotel, a modest hotel which has no relations whatsoever with Malaysia although it shares the same name with Thailand’s southern neighbour.

    But unknown to many outside of this family-run business, the hotel which just celebrated its golden anniversary holds a very special place to Hollywood’s film enthusiasts and fans of one of its most well-known actors who shockingly took his own life several years ago at the prime of his career.

    It was this hotel, founded by entrepreneurial Chinese immigrant Peng Hui Saebae in 1967, which hosted late Hollywood funnyman Robin Williams for the shooting of his 1987 award-winning film, Good Morning Vietnam.

    “They (the film crew) spend about a month here. Robin Williams came and shot the film here,” Saebae’s 73-year-old daughter Mayuree Rungsaeng told Bernama in an interview here, recently.

    According to Mayuree, who helped run the hotel when the shooting of the Hollywood film took place in the 1980s, one of the rooms on the second floor of the hotel had undergone extensive renovation to resemble a radio studio.

    The comedy-war film which won William a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in the Motion Picture Musical or Musical Category and an Academy Award nomination and other accolades, also starred another of Hollywood’s greats, Forest Whitaker.

    In the Barry Levinson directed film, Williams who tragically committed suicide in 2014, played the role of radio DJ, Adrian Cronauer, a performance which won him not only awards but also fans across the globe.

    The hotel, Mayuree said, also received a lot of patronage from American military officers during the Vietnam war, either for rest and relaxation or for official duties at nearby Joint United States Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG).

    According to Mayuree’s daughter Chanthiman Rungsaeng, who is currently the managing director of the hotel, William’s did not stay at the Malaysia Hotel throughout the filming but only came to shoot the film.

    On how her family came up with an idea to name the premises “Malaysia Hotel”, she said, it was the desire to maintain the family’s ancestral name “Ma” which drove them to name the hotel with a name of a South East Asian country.

    “Our family name is “Ma”, so the family decided to name it Malaysia Hotel, so the name carries our family name and Malaysia, as it is easy for the customers to know,” she said of the 130-room hotel located in Sathorn area in Bangkok.

    “Ma” in Chinese means “horse” she said, adding that an iron statue of a horse was placed at the entrance of the hotel to greet customers.

    The hotel just underwent an extensive renovation to commemorate its 50th anniversary as well as an effort to draw new customers in view of the increasing competition from other hoteliers in the area, said Chanthiman.

    In the renovation works completed in September, many parts of the hotels was painted in golden yellow colour to mark its golden anniversary which coincidentally was similar to Malaysia’s national colour, she said.

    The hotel receives a small number of customers from Malaysia but aims to attract more with efforts like providing more Malaysian food and delicacies at its restaurant as well as halal food for them.

    “We also hope our unique name, Malaysia Hotel will attract more Malaysians to stay with us,” said Chanthiman of the hotel where the standard rooms start at about 900 baht (RM113) per-night.

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  7. #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. #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. #9
    Certain charm my arse. Not while l'm showering with a bum gun while squatting in the bath.

  10. #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.

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