lifestyle adaptation syndrome
i arrived on KSR in a blaze of midday heat, humidity, and noise. i immediately headed for the chart guesthouse, which i'd stayed at the last time i was in bangkok on KSR, three years ago. i realized it had gone into some decline after i checked in, but by then i'd already paid for a night in my US $5/night fan-"cooled" room. one handy tip that the hostel you've arrived at is not where you want to stay: you don't see any other backpackers once you arrive (an especially bad sign in a backpacker-rich area like KSR). i spent a sweat, sleepless night in my small, cell-like room, complete with shared shower and bucket-flush toilets (but remarkably, no power outlets at all), and woke up the next day resolved to find a better hostel.
since my lonely planet thailand book shuns listing most guesthouses on KSR, and i wanted to stay in this location for convience's sake, i used wikitravel's page on KSR to find the D&D Inn, which is next door to the chart guesthouse, and similarly priced, but worlds away in terms of experience.
full of backpackers, the D&D Inn had excellent facilities, with a restaurant showing movies, a rooftop pool and bar (!), same-day laundry service, and pleasant air-con rooms with shower/bathroom and satellite tvs in every room. best of all, this meant that the tv was plugged into the room's sole power outlet, which i promptly jammed my 40 baht 3-outlet adapter into, so i could charge up my DVD player and cellphone with while catching up on whatever hollywood feature that star movies was showing that day. my room even came with a little balcony! in short, the perfect place to acclimate to backpacker life again at only US $12/night.
i'm now taking advantage of one of the many travel agencies on KSR to arrange my onward visas for burma (aka. myanmar) and vietnam (laos is able to grant visas upon arrival, which helps to streamline things quite a bit), in addition to taking care of any last-minute "big city" errands, and doing research on my next stop, burma.