When I first discovered that we were staying in a hostel, I was concerned. I had this image in my head of a very minimalistic place: bunk-beds, a shared dorm-like bathroom and no service. I was prepared for anything. I was pleasantly surprised when I visited the website for Uniserv after orientation.
At our “ice-breaker” dinner, I was asked how it was to live here at the Uniserv. I said it had all of the necessities we needed and I really meant it: a roof over my head, a twin-sized bed to sleep on at night, and a bathroom fully equipped with a sink, toilet and a shower. It even comes with internet access and a weekly room-service. The room is cleaned and restocked with bottles of water, little packets of shampoo and soap, and toilet paper every Thursday.
Each room is designed for double-occupancy with 2 twin-size beds. They provide a night stand, some shelf space, a desk with a mirror, an adequate number of wall plugs, a small refrigerator and a box TV with very basic connection. Each person is given their own wifi code and a room key is shared between the roommates. To avoid one person being locked out, they ask for the room key to the dropped off at the front desk upon departure.
Living at Uniserv made me realize the funniest things. You never know what you will miss until you have so little of it! I’m talking about toilet paper. Oh the toilet paper. In Thailand, most bathrooms don’t have toilet paper readily available for you. It’s quite common to bring individual packs of toilet paper with you for the trips to the bathroom. Here at the Uniserv, we are allotted one roll a week and it does not last! We have to go out and buy rolls ourselves to compensate.
One of the things I am really thankful for is the distance between food and Uniserv! The Uniserv hostel has their own in-house restaurant called the “Lemontree”. It’s on the first floor of the hostel and I’m always just a flight of stairs away from it. It has been my go-to place for breakfast and the occasional late-night dinner. Though the staff doesn’t speak much English, they really try to get your order and provide you with everything you need. My regular dish at the Lemontree is “khao pad kai” or chicken fried rice. It’s quickly made and it comes with a slice of lime for flavor and a couple of slices of cucumber and tomato for freshness. There is also a place called “Milk” right outside of Uniserv. This place has fresh milk delivered every morning and I’ve caught myself craving for a cup of soft serve or a milkshake more than I really should. This place is definitely going to be missed when I get back to the states. The caramel milkshake is definitely something to try. It’s quite addicting.
Over all, Uniserv has been a great place to stay. The location is prime. It’s close enough to Chiang Mai University to take a walk in the morning. It’s also located between two very popular streets, Sutep and Nimman. These two streets have stores upon stores to explore. Everything you would need from pharmaceuticals to food to a nice massage, you are sure to find it within walking distance. These are also great streets to hitch a ride of a song taew to your next adventure. Song taews are constantly patrolling the streets for wandering tourists.
One of things I enjoy the most is the huge park located directly across the street from Uniserv. This recreational park serves as a great place to relax and just take a stroll. During the evening, the park is teeming with people exercising. You can find them jogging, running, playing badminton, lifting weights and even scaling the balancing poles scattered around the park.
Uniserv has been my “home away from home” from the last month or so and I couldn’t be more thankful. Though it will only be my “home” for another week and a half, I will always remember how Uniserv treated us: always with care and consideration.