I arrived at the (in)famous Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand very late last night and checked some cheap guesthouses between 1am and 2am.

One trend I noticed was that it was common at night to only have Wi-Fi for the guests in the reception area but during the day also in the guest rooms. At least at the low end of the budget range.

I've never come across this anywhere else in my travels. Does anybody know why this is done? As a hitchhiker one of the first things I want to do after a long hitch is get online and update my whereabouts for people interested in my adventures or worried about my mode of travel.

The only reasons I can think up are people talking on Skype at night, but they could still watch movies off their hard drives; or people greedily soaking up too much Internet by downloading movies all night ...

  • Do they have a bar? Maybe it's to get people into the bar and spend money during the evenings?
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Aug 27, 2013 at 6:21
  • No this place doesn't have a bar but it's very close to bars so very loud at night - which I often don't care about in places where I know I'll only sleep once I'm exhausted. Commented Aug 27, 2013 at 6:23
  • Any close voters care to comment? Obviously I've only offered guesses and assumptions and so has the only submitted answer, but this doesn't mean there's isn't "one correct answer" that we just haven't found yet. Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 3:58
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    'To stop people from using VOIP/Skype/etc. at night in shared rooms' seems like an excellent guess and a valid reason. No confirmation, just IMO. (Same thing with phones on planes, really. Most folks can watch a movie with headphones - and without braying at the screen.) Internet is reasonably good (and uncapped) in Thailand; I don't think Ankur's idea or your 'downloading movies' makes sense (which of course, is no guarantee of anything - just doesn't add up to me). // FWIW, I haven't seen this. I have seen inadequate connections (just too slow overall unless it's off-peak time).
    – hunter2
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 7:06
  • Yes my first place said it didn't have Wi-Fi except in the lobby at night, and I think that was true the first but I used it in my room the other nights. My second place didn't make any claims but other guests said there was no Wi-Fi up on the 4th floor at least, but it was a cheaper place in both senses. Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


I noticed this too when I was in Thailand. My guess would be that since fast Internet access, the kind that a commercial establishment would need to serve multiple guests, is relatively expensive in South / South-East Asia, they try to regulate access points for maintaining speeds. So for instance in the morning, guests would typically be out, and return in the evening, thus putting greater demand on the network. By limiting the access point to the lobby, it adds extra effort on part of guests to go and use WiFi, rather than everyone joining in from their rooms which could result in a trickle of bandwidth available for everyone.

The other reason could be that bandwidth-limited internet plans are common in South / South-East Asia with limits in 10s of GBs, so it's a way of regulating how many people are using the Internet to ensure they remain below the limit and don't get hit with extra charges.

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