(Sukhumvit Road Soi 55) - 'The Berverly Hills of Southeast Asia', quoting the Sunday New York Times, is a wide 2km stretch of road on the edge of the CBD, and the sois (streets) that lead off of it are for Thais, Japanese and and Western Expatriates the desired location to live, eat, shop and party.
You'll recieve a FREE BEER Coupon for first time Check-ins between now and December 30, except for the HAMMOCKS ON THE ROOF
We've just consolidated by moving into the building next door and have reduced all the room and bed rates. The rooms are all now BIGGER and all have WINDOWS and even TVs for you to plug your digital cameras and dvd players into. Internet access, both using our computers or your own and wifi is totally FREE 24 hours a day to guests. There are now also guest refidgerators on the 4th floor by the stairs to the rooftop and hammocks where you can enjoy gentle breezes, a view of the city, neighbourhood and stars. The timber deck and outdoor shower is coming soon, the area having been already partially covered with shade cloth for those who want to sit out during the day.
We've also started to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing the number and use of air-conditioners. December & January in Bangkok are relatively cool with the daytime tempreture in the mid 20's C and night time temperature in the high teens. Not a lot of locals use airconditioning, so if you really want a true Asian experience you might at least try aclimatising. You might also want to think about learning a little Thai before you get here as only 5% of the population is English literate. Thankfully you'll find a better ratio in our staff..
Now in opperation for over 6 years, although not in the same building/s.
Don't be fooled by more expensive, wannabe copycats, or those who tricked Big John into or copied Big John's in setting up their hostel. Over 90% of out guests extend their stay and over 50% choose to stay here more than once. Oh, returning guests seldom book on-line so they don't have a chance to post ratings, besides that they're far to busy enjoying themselves, appreciating what we offer and having a good time. Only those with unrealistic expectations, a chip on their shoulder and nothing better to do with their time rate us badly. It sucks, but, that's life.
With friendly, somewhat English literate, staff (at least most of them try, including the Aussie), Big John's, the original - run by Big John himself, family and staff (who will try to make your stay more of a home stay) - has developed a reputation, amongst backpackers and budget travelers - who want to get away from over trafficed, seedy, sleazy, scam infested, tourist areas (like Khaosan, Silom, Nana & Asoke) - as a 'bloody great place to stay' in Bangkok.
Work in Progress
Looking for an elevator and/or someone to carry your backpack up stairs? Looking for five star hotel services where everything is done for you? Want it all for free, because, after all, the world owes you a favor? Well, wake up, get your hand off it, this is a real, somewhat cozy, 50 bed, backpacker hostel. Where the money you save on a basic room you can spend eating, drinking, site seeing, shopping and partying, getting out and also experiencing modern day Bangkok. We were the first, western operated, hostel in Thailand to offer dorm beds on the web. The first to offer budget beds & rooms in the upmarket part of town. We are not a designer hostel in the middle of no where and you don't have to be gay to stay here either. Though, a tolerance to things not always perfect will certainly improve your chances of an enjoyable stay in Thailand.
With the recent move the hostel is now very much a not noisy, work in progress and a little rough around the edges. But, if you are a real backpacker this is probably the experience you're looking for. We offer some of Bangkok's most affordable hostel beds & hammocks in the upmarket part of town. Catering to people, on a budget, who want to experience real modern day Bangkok, not some contrived, preconceived idea of Asia from 20 years ago. Catering to people who want to mix with real locals not just tourists and those who prey upon and take advantage of them. OR, WOULD YOU PREFER US TO TREAT YOU LIKE A DUMB ASS TOURIST TO BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF?
When's the last time you stayed in a city of 20 million people?
If you want to experience the hustle and bustle of small shop houses and small family run businesses and night markets full of locals, go to Laos, it's now hard to find it in Bangkok and even Thailand, with it's numerous, enormous airconditioned mega shopping malls. That was Asia of 20 years ago, when people went to Hong Kong and Singapore to shop. Today the, now more affluent, people of Singapore and Hong Kong come to Bangkok to shop. MISSED WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR? WELL, LET ME JUST GET OUT MY TIME MACHINE AND CRANK IT UP FOR YOU.
Unlike the very few other hostels in Thailand, all nationalities including traveling Thais are welcome.
NO HIDDEN CHARGES
All of our beds have pillows, sheets and comforters (dunas/duvees), not just thin acrylic blankets. When we do get around to adding optional energy efficient air-conditioning to the private rooms, probably February, 2008, there will be an additional charge. There's is an additional charge of 50 Baht for check-in after 2am, or before 7 am, Guests who have already checked in will be able to let themseves in and out 24 hours. When booking and arriving early in the morning (1-6am) to book the night before or you might be waiting till miday for your bed.
We now have guest fridges, which can be used for a small fee to store and drink alcohol after midnight if you purchase your drinks from us before midnight. You will need to pay 7% VAT but there is no service charge, tipping is up to you and goes straight to the staff.
The Restaurant, Outdoor Terrace & Lounge
We haven't subbed the restaurant to someone else, meaning we can provide great deals on western style food and drinks and generous portions of Thai/Fusion food. It's your space to use and enjoy at your leisure. You can relax, chat with & make new friends in the restaurant/cafe outside on the terrace, in the cosy lounge area with an eclectic collection of sofas or even on the rooftop.
Our dorms with some of the biggest/widest dorm beds in Asia. Unlike other hostels our 10-12 bed dorms have windows and are airconditioned and feature a power socket/outlet next to each bed along with a dimmer switch for control of your own light.
Beer & Cider
We have a selection of Beers and Cider including; Beer Chang, Beer Lao, San Miguel, John Smiths, Newcastle Brown Ale and Bulmers and 3 Great Coopers Beers bottle fermented in South Australia. Sorry no one is currently importing Fosters, VB or Crown Lager.
No other hostel gives you a wider choice or, or serves a better value for money full breakfast. You'll find it hard to find a bigger, better, more value for money set breakfast.
Vegemite is free with breakfast. We also have cornflakes, Coco Pops, Frosties, Jam, Honey & Peanut Butter. Breakfast now also includes Yoghurt and Cornflakes or Yoghurt and Museli or Thai Rice Porridge.
Every Friday night is Ladies night with Free Gin, Vodka, Rum, Whisky, Mixers & local Draft Beer from 5pm - 7pm for ladies, 20 Baht per drink for ladies from 7-9pm and 40 Baht per drink for ladies from 9-11pm. And for the guys there's a FREE Jug of Chang Draught Beer with every purchase of 3 Burgers.
Saturday Nights - FREE 12 inch Pizza with every 3 Litre Tower of Chang Draft Beer.
Every Sunday Breakfast - all you can eat Pancakes and Maple Syrup. Every Sunday Night you can enjoy Roast/Smoked/BBQd - with hickory & mesquite wood chips - Beef and/or Ham and/or Pork with mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables and gravy from just 190 Baht - the second Sunday of each month includes Roast lamb, the last Sunday of each month includes Roast Turkey.
Every Monday Night is Pizza & Beer Night with a Free 1 litre Jug of Chang Draft with every 12 inch Pizza.
Every Tuesday Night is 2 for 1 Night with Buy 1 get 1 free meat pies and 2 for 1 Chang Draft Beer (buy one get one free**) 5 - 11pm*.
Every Wednesday Night is Hi Card Wins FREE DRINKS - cut the deck against the bar and win and your drink is FREE* 5pm - midnight. Bangers & mash & beer only 170 Baht.
Thursday Nights - All you can eat BBQ Buffet Just 150 Baht. All you can drink Chang Draft 350 Baht.
Sports & Entertainment
We have numerous satellite dishes so you can watch LIVE Cricket, NFL & American College Football, NBA & College Basket Ball, Baseball and the European football and the FA Cup, no matter what time of the day or night it's on. During live EPL matches, on Saturday & Sunday nights, there's FREE local draft Beer for 2 minutes after every goal for anyone with an empty glass (meaning you've already bought one).
Helpful Information and Travel Services
We can help with information on how to get around Bangkok, to the temples and other sites without paying through the nose and without wasting most of your time sitting in a car or van in Bangkok traffic.
We offer tours to Kanchanaburi, including the floating market, war cemetary, bridge over the River Kwai and the Tiger Temple. River and road tours to Ayutthaya are also available.
Two day tours including Erawan Falls, Hot Springs, Hell Fire Pass, Elephant rides & bamboo rafting can also be booked here along with three day tours to Kanchanaburi & Sanghlaburi, including the above and Three Pagoda Pass, Viwagaram Temple, underwater temple, orphanage and long wooden bridge.Optional extras are cycling, kayaking and trekking.
We also offer bookings on daily VIP buses to Cambodia - siam Reap, Ankor Wat & Phnom Phen - the Eastern - Koh Chang, Koh Kut, Koh Wai, Koh Mak -& Southern Islands- Koh Tao (turtle island - diving), Koh Phangan (Full moon party), Koh Samui - South - Phi Phi, Krabi, Phuket, Had Yai, Koh Lak & Northeastern Thailand - Nong Khai and Laos - Vientien.
We have a free book swapping service and a library with a large selection of travel books on Thailand and Southeast Asia.
FREE maps of Bangkok, showing BTS (Skytrain), MRT (Subway) and canal routes are usually available at the reception desk. We also have more detailed maps by Nancy Chandler, which include Sukhumvit, China Town, Banglampoo, Chatuchak (JJ- the weekend market) and greater Bangkok for sale.
We were the first hostel in Thailand to offer free high speed, ADSL, internet access and free wifi. We also have printers, cd burners an card readers to help you copy save and upload your photos. We also have headphones with microphone and webcams to help you keep intouch with friends & family.
We also offer free bag / luggage / baggage storage to returning guests, and to store your bags should you be taking a later flight, train or bus, all of which makes us the big one for others to follow.
There is also no charge for locker use while you are staying with us.
We don't have a swimming pool, but there are swimming pools nearby available for casual use. There is also an Olympic Size Swimming Pool in Sukhumvit Soi 40 that can be used for 50 Baht per day.
We don't have a self kitchen, but the bbq's are available for anyone who wants to use them.
VEGEMITE and Large blocks of Cheddar cheese (Australian preferred) are always welcome and can be bartered here, as can Liquid Smoke, hot English mustard, MAPLE SYRUP, Bundaberg Rum, good, preferably South Australian, Wine and Tea Tree Oil. If you have any other delicacies you wish to barter please email us in advance. We're also interested in Sports memorabilia and Australiana which can also be bartered for food and drinks and maybe rooms, but not your booking deposit.
We try to keep the do's and don't's to a minimum, trusting you will be considerate to others. Big John's is a fun & friendly hostel and home away from home, not a prison.
You don't need a member/discount/VIP card holder here as our prices are discounted for everyone. Our prices are not over inflated to offer a false discount
A great hostel is much more than a room or a bed. Here at Big John's we strive to bring both travellers and locals together in a safe and friendly environment conducive to the exchange of cultures and ideas. A warm and friendly, home away from home, offering opportunities and experiences you will remember for a lifetime and an environment you won't be in a hurry to leave.
C YA SOON
Original Shop which is now Praiphana Massage is at 159/12 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (between THONGLOR soi 7 & 9) the new Hostel, Reception & Restaurant is 50m down Thonglor Soi 9
PS. Tell the bus/taxi driver " pai Tonglor soi gow pai palam gow " or show him the attached map and address. Don't let them drop you off at Sukhumvit Soi 9. If you are still under the Skytrain stay in the Bus/taxi
PPS. Other options from Airports , Bus & Train Stations
Slow Public bus from Don Muang Airport : Local Air-conditioned bus 513 directly takes you to Sukhumvit Soi 55 bus stop (known as Thong Lo)
- see details above for walking or red bus up Soi 55 to Thonglor Soi 9
OR - also slow - take bus 29, 59 or air-con bus 510 to the BTS (sky train) MO Chit Station. Take BTS to Thong Lo station ( E6) - see details above for walking or red bus up Soi 55 to Thonglor Soi 9
Train : Don Muang Railway Station is about 500 meters across the highway from the airport . Take a train to Hua Lum Pong Station (see From Hua Lum Pong Station below) . Trains from Don Muang Railway Station run from 6:06 am to 8:07pm.
From Suvarnabhumi Airport take Public Bus 552 to Onut BTS Station and Skytrain to Thong Lo BTS Station (E6) - see details above for walking or red bus up Soi 55 to Thonglor Soi 9
From the Northern Bus Terminal (Sai Mochit2)
Public bus : Air-con bus 77 or 145 drives you to BTS (sky train) Mo Chit Station. Take Sky train to Thong Lo Station ( E6) - see details above for walking or red bus up Soi 55 to Thonglor Soi 9 - A Taxi will cost around 150 Baht ON THE METER
From the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai)
Public bus : Air-con bus 511 drives you to Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lo ) bus stop - A taxi will be about 200 Baht ON THE METER
From Khaosan Road
Public bus : Air-con bus 511 drives you to Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lo ) bus stop - A taxi will be about 100 - 150 Baht ON THE METER
From Eastern Bus Terminal (Sai Ekamai) : 20 mins walk to Big John's on Thonglor Soi 9 - 50 Baht in taxi ON THE METER
From Hua Lum Pong Railway Station
Public bus : Bus 25, 40 or air-con bus 501 directly takes you to Sukhumvit Soi 55- see details above for walking or red bus up Soi 55 to Thonglor Soi 9
MRT and BTS: Take the MRT (subway) to Sukhumvit Station then cross over to the BTS (sky train) toward On Nut. Get off at Thong Lo station ( E6 ) - see details above for walking or red bus up Soi 55 to Thonglor Soi 9
AVOID TUK TUKS, you will never get a cheaper fare haggling with a taxi or tuk tuk driver than you will get in a taxi ON THE METER.