Doing laundry in Bangkok…
…is best avoided. There are no coin laundries like we know, so the coin washing machines you will be able to use, if you find one, will stand anywhere next, in or outside a shop and has no dryer. You will have to come back in time as those filthy machine monsters are accessible by anyone anytime. Chances are rather slim that someone might sneak too big dirty ‘farang’-foreigner clothes, but it is best to be on time with those public washing machines. If you still want to do it that way, keep in mind that the humidity in Bangkok will take clothes to dry a lot longer.
The other option is find a laundry salon, which will usually be incorporated into a barbers or hairdressers shop, or any other shop as a matter of fact with a sign on it (could be in form of a sheet of paper on the window or door). This usually means that it is going to be hand washed and air dried. Prices, when not quoted on the signs will be displayed by the shop owner on a calculator. This is when you know that you should leave – service is going to be overpriced, haggling a must, if you have the time.
The best deals are more professional laundry places with a washing machine and a dryer, that have fixed prices per kilo of dirty clothes. Fair would be a 60 baht per kilo wash & dry job. Ironing is always an extra luxury you will have to pay about 80 baht per kilo. We have visited numerous laundry places in Bangkok in the Sukhumvit area and prices usually varied from 80 to 120 baht per kilo for just wash & dry. Some places looked so bad, I’d rather take my clothes back to the hotel and hand wash myself.
In the end I can recommend the so called ‘high speed laundry’ which uses washing machines, where we left 9 kilos and got everything back spotless clean, neatly folded, smelling fresh and still a bit warm from the dryer. The laundry salon is located on Sukhumvit soi 13. Look at the pictures to see where you have to walk into a building and down the stairs as it is easy to miss with absolutely no sings outside indicating a laundry shop.
You should always make sure you get a receipt, as the previously mentioned price might turn out to be for the piece rather than per kilo the next day. Yes, it happens! Also, don’t fall for extra service charges that might mysteriously make it onto your bill. The service is the laundry price – no extra costs apply – only the most naive ‘farang’ will fall for that :) And don’t pay in advance. I’ve heard stories about people not getting their clothes back at all at some dubious laundry places in Bangkok.
Also, the hotel’s laundry service is best avoided because it is the most pricey solution for dirty clothes, which charges per piece. Our hotel had prices ranging from 50 Baht for one shirt only.
All in all, laundry service is still uncommon in Bangkok and we have not seen a professional laundry salon/chain up to European standards, because Thai people (hand)wash their clothes at home and do not use that service, so be prepared to hunt for suitable places around your neighbourhood. It is best to have a look before carrying your laundry with you.
Good luck! :)
That’s the place. That’s the dirty load. There are many signs -none says laundry. You just have to know.
31° C in the evening, 9 kg of clean clothes, took a taxi back. Laundry info sheet – no extra service charge mentioned, for sure!
Receipt with the crossed out extra-cost-rip-attempt :)
Nicely folded, fresh and clean, laundry made it back to the hotel!