The Overstay Hotel was the most disgusting, slummy and awful hotel I’ve ever seen.
So why did I stay for 5 days?!
Problem 1. We Arrived During Songkran: Thailand’s New Years Celebration
Arriving in the capital of Thailand during Thai New Year’s, we figured that Couchsurfing would be the best way to get a local feel for the celebration.
Carrie must have sent out more than a dozen requests, but the only one to say yes came from the owner of The Overstay: a bar, who had lots of extra space for couchsurfers to crash.
If we wanted to sleep on the floor without any privacy, we could do so for free, but he also had a few rooms available for $3 per night.
Charging anything really goes against the whole idea of couchsurfing…
…but it was still cheaper than doing it on our own and we thought we might meet some fun people.
Little did we know upon arriving that the nap we took by the baggage claim carousel in the airport would be the best sleep we would get until we left Bangkok.
We showed up at the Overstay at around 10am the day before Songkran started, only to find the party had already started.
Many guests were still drinking from the night before and soaking everyone and everything in sight.
The owner was nowhere to be found, but another guest showed us the one remaining room: a little box no more than 8×8 feet small with no light, window or door lock.
Oh, and it was about a thousand degrees.
You’ve gotta watch this video walkthrough of the Overstay…
We’ve got a “room,” so now what…?
With no other choice, we dropped off our bags and began asking the other guests what there was to do in the neighborhood and where the weekend market was.
No one had any idea of anything except drinking at the Overstay or walking down the street to get some food.
The general idea behind the place is that the owner offers cheap or free accommodation, a fun bar atmosphere and then charges bar prices for beer, that he brings in by the caseload every day.
Guests don’t even need money; everyone gets a passport book upon arrival that they just stamp every time they take a brew.
Tour the Haunted Former Whorehouse
The building itself is a six story fixer-upper in the most dire way one can use that term. A former whorehouse and home of at least two murders and one ghost, the Overstay would be condemned in the USA.
The floors were beyond dirty and the dark hallway on our floor had a pane of broken glass pointing out so any drunken fool could just stumble into it.
Our shared bathroom’s toilet did not flush and someone made a huge mess the first day that was still not cleaned up when we left four days later. Oh, and that was also where we had to shower.
An Open Floor For Sleeping
Moving up, the next floor was a wide open room with a sink and bar area, none of which worked, and piles of CDs, art supplies, clothes and people sleeping out in the open.
Oh, Dear God! Are Those the Bathrooms?!
The bathroom had a better toilet, but the urinals drained right onto the floor and my feet. Gross!
Moving up some more, the next two floors each had a few rooms, more people sleeping on the floor and more disgusting bathrooms.
One of them actually had a usable shower, though the water came out in a trickle from a hose protruding from the wall.
All of the rooms in the place were teeny and hot.
There were no beds: only foldable mattresses that offered no real difference from sleeping on the floor. Some rooms had mosquito nets: ours did not.
Some of the higher up rooms offered a break from the pumping bass of the bar’s music that pumped until after 5am. Ours did not.
One night we even tried moving rooms to one with a window. We literally got no sleep that night as our chests vibrated from the music that just never ended.
And the dirt. Dirt everywhere. Every day the bar was cleaned by a local woman who never made it past the fist floor. My feet were completely black when I didn’t wear shoes and it had to be the most unsanitary place I’ve ever stayed.
Perhaps the most amazing part about the Overstay was just how happy other people were there. We checked the owner’s Couchsurfing profile and guests just raved about how much fun they had.
Sure, we met a few other disgruntled surfers, but for the most part people loved it. Every morning the floors, couches and entire bar area was filled with passed out people.
Even the owner rarely made it to his own room. To each their own, I guess. You better believe we were very happy to get out of there!