ADVENTURES AT THE
MALAYSIA HOTEL Part 3: Room Parties & Fashion Parades
Bruce Marshall was born in England but quickly escaped to Australia. After first visiting Thailand in 1991, he was a regular visitor for 15 years, and finally moved here in 2006. Bruce writes candidly for Naked Farang about his travels, observations and experiences in Thailand. Here he shares his insights into one of Bangkok's most iconic landmarks: the Malaysia Hotel.
As you have probably noticed if you have read Malaysia Hotel parts 1 and 2, this hotel really was like a second home for us for many years - so many memories, so many good times, and so many “colourful characters”.
Security at the Malaysia Hotel was never a problem for us. I have heard many horror stories about situations where farangs have been robbed in hotels in Thailand, but we never had any reason to fear this happening to us. Why? Because the hotel had strict guidelines about visitors to your room.
Firstly all Thai “guests” had to leave their ID card at the reception desk. Upon the Thai person leaving the hotel, reception would call your room to make sure everything was ok. If by chance your Thai visitor slipped past the reception desk there was always a security guard at the lift on each floor to check that they had handed in their ID card (in later years replaced by security cameras!). In 12 years of staying at this hotel we had no security “incidents”.
Because of the great security, we had no hesitation in letting Thais into our room. In fact when we would get bored frequenting gay clubs and bars we would hold parties mainly in the late afternoon in our room (not sex parties, thanks!). On a couple of occasions we had 15 people or more squeezed into our room. The great thing about Thai people is the fact that because of our generosity in allowing them to party in our room, they would bring food and Thai whiskey and beer. Luckily we never had complaints from fellow occupants. Anyway, if they were walking past and looked in, they were welcome to join us. Oh happy days!
We had theme parties, underwear parties, and fashion parades, which were held in the corridors! The fashion parades were usually boys making glamorous “girly” outfits out of towels, or accessories borrowed from the girls in the coffee shop, or sometimes they would bring things from home! Looking back, I have to think to myself, “how the hell did we get away with this?”. I still occasionally bump into some of the guys who came to these parties in Bangkok. Some sadly have passed away.
The staff at the hotel were aware of our parties, but as there were no complaints and never any problems, they allowed us to have them. I daresay things changed years later when the Malaysia “cleaned up its act” and things like room parties stopped, but for me they were just such wonderful times.
At one stage around the year 2000, they had a Karaoke club in an adjoining house in the car park next to the swimming pool and for a few months it was very popular with drinkers after the bars had closed in Patpong. Why it closed is a bit of a mystery, possibly because it was taking customers away from the Malay Coffee Shop in the hotel. It was a fun place to be at night, even though some of the drinkers had singing voices that sounded like chalk on a blackboard!
As I have mentioned, the Malaysia Hotel is a budget hotel, and so of course it doesn’t have the “luxuries” that other hotels possess. One example is the pillows. Geez, they were like house bricks! Every time Brian and I would check in to the hotel, we would take a very quick taxi ride to Robinson’s department store in Silom Road and get ourselves some pillows. The pillows were cheap and a minor inconvenience.
I also remember afternoon tea at the Malaysia. Chicken sandwiches and tea brought to our room, followed by bubble baths (supplied by Boots chemists in Silom), simple pleasures. I also remember relaxing near the pool. You could have a swim and sunbathe then lunch in the coffee shop. The swimming pool experience was not for the fainthearted. Half of the hotel rooms face the pool, and you would see the curtains move every time a new bather came down for a swim. Then a scurry of activity as the guys and girls (mostly guys) would come out to the pool to introduce themselves.
The Malaysia Hotel with all its craziness was always a second home for us, and a place where Brian and I would unwind. You wouldn’t think so with the stories I have told, but there were also a lot of quiet times we enjoyed, too. It was generally a quiet place in the evenings, as most guests were out and around Patpong drinking. It usually became a bit more rowdy in the coffee shop later at night. Many times Brian and I would stay in and happily watch DVD’s (we brought our own player) “at home”.
The last time we stayed at the Malaysia Hotel was in March 2006. It was when we had decided to make Bangkok our permanent place to reside. We needed somewhere to stay during our “transition” period of looking for work and finding a permanent place to live. We were there for two months and I have to admit after two months living in a hotel room we were a bit “stir crazy”. But in saying that we were still a little sad when the staff said goodbye to us as we knew that it was probably our last stay at this wonderful hotel that had been our “home away from home” for so long.
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Have your say...
04 Jan 2013, 04:48
. If your name is printed on it and it has a visa or mcarerastd logo you
are fine .. But one thing you need to know is you need to have at least one
night stay and tax and resort fees in the account . This will cover your
deposit and if you choose to pay cash at check out you will have that
option You should check with the hotel because deposits vary . Best thing
is to just have the entire amount in th account Also . Whoever books the
room has to be there for check-in . So dont use a credit card of someone
who will not be there to check in . you will loose your reservation .Hope