Travelling on a Budget

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_image18.pngSourceUnlike their depictions in pop culture, hostels aren’t always creepy and dingy. In fact, many of our best memories were created during our stays in hostels. For us, a hostel was more than a place for sleeping or mugging – it’s where we formed new friendships and took part in thrilling hall activities.

Backpacker hostels work the same way. Many of the best hostels in Asia are not just pretty, but they come with a huge range of facilities and activities designed for you to meet travellers from around the world! 

Dispel all misconceptions of hostels being dirty or bug-infested, as the 22 best hostels in Asia prove that hostels are really just hotels, but cheaper.

 

THAILAND

 

1. Baan Dinso Hostel: Bangkok

 

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A place of serenity and peace, this hostel is in fact an old, restored wooden house, complete with wooden floors and a soothing historic feel. The popular Khao San Road is just 10 minutes away, while Democracy Monument is also round the corner. With free bicycle rentals, a mini bar and an on-site restaurant, this place is excellent for backpackers on a budget.b2ap3_thumbnail_image18.pngSource

Address: 113, Trok Sin, Dinso Rd., Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand 
Price Range: From $30/night

 

2. FAB Hostel: Bangkok

 

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From the outside, FAB Hostel looks the part: a huge compound to run around in, and lush greenery to make you feel at home with nature. The hostel has a BBQ and picnic area, a badminton court, and even a bicycle rental to explore the streets of Bangkok.

It has a great location too – it is less than 30 minutes by car from Suvarnabhumi Airport, a short walk from Chao Phraya River, and a 20 minute walk away from Surasak BTS Station.b2ap3_thumbnail_image19_20150618-020909_1.pngSource

Address: 45 soi 3 (wat prok) Charoen-rat Road, Kwang Tungwatdon, Khet Sathorn, Sathon, Bangkok, Thailand 
Price Range: From $30/night

 

3. Saphaipae Hostel: Bangkok

 

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Situated in the mega tourist hub of Silom, Saphaipae Hostel is a great place to relax and recharge your batteries for the next round of shopping. It is next to Surasak BTS Station, near Asiatique Riverfront, and there are restaurants just round the corner. Most hostels skimp on breakfast, but here there is a different breakfast menu everyday!a1sx2_Thumbnail1_image13_20150618-020825_1.pngSource

Furthermore, everything you need can be found here – currency exchange, wifi, computers, cable TV, private bathrooms and even movie-on-demand! Definitely hotel-worthy but at hostel prices. 

Address: 35 Surasak Road Silom, Bangrak, Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand 
Price Range: From $23/night

 

4. Lub d Siam: Bangkok

 

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Recognised as one of the best hostels in Asia by numerous publications, Lub d boasts a 2nd floor theatre, with a 55 inch LED TV and cushy beanbags for you to catch up with the latest movies and football matches. The rooms are clean and equipped with hot showers and hair dryers, while there’s a laundry area for your dirty clothes.

Best of all, Lub d is a happening place – there are always activities being organised, such as free Muay Thai practises every afternoon, Monday game nights and Wednesday Yadong (an alcohol) parties!b2ap3_thumbnail_11084930_1564208167166785_436940354_n.jpgSource

Address: 64/2 Loi Kroh Rd. T. Changklan A.Muang, Night Bazaar, Chiang Mai, Thailand 
Price Range: From $17/night

 

5. WH Hostel: Bangkok

 

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Living in a container hostel may sound really weird, but rest assured that you won’t be shipped off to an unknown land. Sitting in the heart of Bangkok, Sukhumvit, the BTS Skytrain is easily accessible for you to explore all that the city has to offer.b2ap3_thumbnail_image21_20150618-020918_1.pngSource

The rooms are clean and complete with colourful beds, pretty wallpaper and decorations to make you feel just right at home. There is a movie area, an open air area for your daily dose of sunlight, a living room, and the indispensable internet area for you to plan the next part of your route. 

Address: 48 Sukhumvit soi 4 (Nana), Khlong Toei, Bangkok, Thailand 
Price Range: From $28/night

 

6. ETZzz Hostel: Bangkok

 

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This hostel is not afraid to go all out flamboyant, from bright shocking yellow to neon green and orange.  Located close to Lumphini MRT station and Bangkok’s shopping paradises of Siam Square and Chatuchak Weekend Market, it’s convenient to plonk your bag down here while doing a spot of shopping.b2ap3_thumbnail_image11_20150618-020807_1.pngSource

Cheap, clean and colourful, the hostel has its own facilities, such as board games and city maps, hot showers, an outdoor terrace, and a bar. Even without its cheery colours, the hostel does its best to make your stay a pleasant one.

Address: 5/3 Soi Ngam Duphli, Rama IV Road, Thung Maha Mek, Sathorn, Sathorn, Sathon, Bangkok, Thailand 
Price Range: From $20/night

 

7. Bed Station Hostel: Bangkok

 

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Bed Station Hostel is in a central location – it is just 2 minutes away from Ratchatewi BTS Sky Train Station and 10 minutes from Siam Square. This hostel looks and feels like home, where you can watch TV, grab free food from the cafe and chill with your international friends. b2ap3_thumbnail_image22.pngSource

Their bathroom is super luxurious with hot showers. Upon waking up in the morning, be greeted by a large spread of breads, tea, coffee, orange juice, and cereal, free for guests! To think that some hotels don’t even offer free breakfast. Other facilities, like free wifi access, laundry, and personal lockers are also available. 

Address: 486/149-150 Soi Petchaburi 16, Petchaburi Rd., Ratchathewi, Bangkok, Thailand 10400
Price Range: From $22/night

 

8. Pak-Up Hostel: Krabi Town

 

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The hostel’s slogan aptly sums it all up – once you come to Pak-Up, you will never want to Pak-Up! It prides itself for being one of the top-notch party hostels in Asia, with Krabi’s coolest rooftop bar and the most happening nightlife found here.  There are endless things to do here: book a day trip to Phi Phi Island or Hong Island, or otherwise simply explore temples, hot springs, and beaches.

Address: 87 Utarakit Road, Paknam, Pak Nam, Krabi, Thailand 
Price Range: From $11/night

 

MALAYSIA

 

9. Ryokan: Penang, Malaysia

 

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A super chic hostel that looks like it came right from Japan, this hotel is conveniently situated in the middle of a UNESCO heritage zone, and surrounded by traditional architecture and places of interest. a1sx2_Thumbnail1_image27.pngSource

Even though there is so much to explore in Georgetown, spending time in the hostel is not boring too. Ryokan organises many in-house activities, such as movie nights, game nights and bingo nights. If you’re feeling the urge to unleash your inner diva, Ryokan opens up the stage for you thrice a week, where you can sing, dance, throw a skit or perform magic tricks!

Address: 62, Jalan Muntri, George Town, Malaysia
Price Range: From $26/night

 

10. House of Journey: Penang, Malaysia

 

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House of Journey is not only a physical hostel – it is a treasure chest of memories left behind by past visitors. Guests are encouraged to leave their mark on the walls – messages of thanks, or from the perspective of a guest, ‘best showers in South East Asia’.

Funnily enough, even though you’re in Malaysia, every night is Tapas night, with options such as paella available. If you’re sick of tapas and in need of other food options, ask the owners Rayson and Cheryl. The hostel doesn’t gloss over the little details too – they provide hairdryers and not one, but four powerpoints for your iPhone, iPod, iPad and Macbook. 

Address:  45- 47, Lorong Seck Chuan (off Lebuh Chulia), Georgetown, Penang.
Price Range: From $23/night

 

11. Paganakan DII: Sarawak

 

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In the language of Sabah’s indigenous group, Paganakan Dii is litrally translated as ‘The Family’, and it is this concept upon which the hostel is built upon. Everything, from the layout of the facility to the spaces and rooms, is designed to foster intimacy and friendship among visitors. b2ap3_thumbnail_image23.pngSource

The hostel also stays true to the country’s indigenous roots by being environmentally-friendly – it has salvaged wood from demolished buildings, its walls are weaved from bamboo, and dead trees are used for timber. Also, since you’re in the vicinity of Malaysia’s second longest river, embark on a day trip or 2D1N experience to the Kinabatangan River! 

Address: Mile 14, Jalan Labuk, Sepilok, Sandakan, Malaysia 
Price Range: From $26/night

 

12. Singgahsana Lodge: Sarawak

 

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Not just any ordinary hostel, Singgahsana Lodge is authentically Sarawakian. From the rattan floor, mats and wooden lamp shades, the cozy guesthouse gives off a distinct Borneo charm. Fitted with a common room, bar, library, pool and foosball table, bond with fellow travellers over an intense game! b2ap3_thumbnail_image00_20150618-020710_1.pngSource

When researching hostels, many of us look at the facilities they offer, their locations, and the prices. But as someone who frequents hostels know, the quaint and homely vibes a hostel produces are often extensions of  its owners. 

Singhhasana Lodge in Sarawak is the pride and joy of couple Donald and Marina, who started it way back in 1988. Encouraged by their love for Borneo and travelling, they turned a row of rundown shophouses into the beautiful hostel it is today.

This hostel is an award-winning one – it was awarded the Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Awards by the Ministry of Tourism and Sarawak Tourism Federation.

Address: No. 1 Temple Street, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo
Price Range: From $23/night

 

CAMBODIA

 

13. The Mad Monkey Hostel: Siem Reap

 

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Banish all thoughts of hostels being boring student dormitories. The Mad Monkey Hostel is, for lack of a better word, mad. The atmosphere is electrifying – everyone goes around making friends and sharing their latest travel adventures, and there’s even a rooftop beach bar to get things going. Escape the scathing Cambodian heat by diving straight into the pool!b2ap3_thumbnail_image28.pngSource

More than just a fun-loving hostel, The Mad Monkey Hostel has a sense of social responsibility: their Cambodian staff are offered perks which are otherwise unheard of in the country, such as above minimum-wage pay, healthcare benefits, a day off every week, and free education for their families. 

Address: No19, Mondul 2,, Khoum Svay Dangkom, Siem Reap City Centre, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Price Range: From $12/night

 

VIETNAM

 

14. Mui Ne Backpacker Village: Mui Ne

 

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An infinity pool, deck chairs, bar and restaurant. It may sound like MBS, but it’s actually a cheaper, though no less attractive, version – Mui Ne Backpacker Village. Complete with speakers playing chill music, trade stories with other travellers, and enjoy local and Western fare at their restaurant. 

But of course, the highlight of your trip isn’t the hostel but Mui Ne’s famous beach. Just across the road, sink your feet into the sand and go wind surfing, jet skiing, or strap on a jetpack and propel yourself across the water. 

Address: 137 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ham Tien, Mui Ne, Vietnam
Price Range: From $24/night

 

15. Mojzo Inn: Nha Trang

 

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It is not everyday that a complete stranger knows, and remembers your name, but the staff at Mojzo Inn do! Their service is impeccable, from helping you plan your itinerary, troubleshoot problems, and even reminding you that your laundry is done and that the taxi is coming.

The hostel is an ideal base for sightseeing, a day trip to the beach, or even a pleasant meal at a nearby restaurant – all accessible by foot. Breakfast is provided, as per most hostels, but here, you’re also treated to a beautiful view of the mountains and the city! The hostel even has a drinking water filtration system installed, so that instead of buying endless bottles of water, you can simply refill it!

Address: 120/36 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street Nguyen Thien Thuat, Tan Lap, Nha Trang, Vietnam Price
Range:
 From $18/night

 

16. Funtastic Hostel: Da Nang

 

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Funtastic Hostel has a fantastic location – a mere 500m from the train station and 2.6km from the airport, you’ll have no excuse to be late for your flight. Well equipped with everything you need to live a modern life, such as TV, computers, fast wifi and cushy bean bags, you’ll always be connected to your family a few hundred km away. 

Furthermore, make friends with the friendly and passionate staff who speak near-perfect English, and embark on the hostel’s famous food tour.

Address: 115 Hai Phong, Hai Chau, Da Nang, Vietnam
Price Range: From $21/night

PHILIPPINES

 

17. MNL Boracay Beach Hostel: Boracay, Philippines

 

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If a hostel is surrounded by beaches, it can’t get any better than that – especially if you’re in Boracay! MNL Hostel is surrounded by Bulabog Beach, Diniwid Beach and White Beach, giving you ample beach space for suntanning and water sports. b2ap3_thumbnail_image30.pngSource

If you’re uncomfortable with strangers peering at you as you sleep, rest assured. The beds are shaped like ‘pods’ and provide ample privacy; if you’re lying down, strangers can only see your feet. Every door also has its own unique quote – a little extra to get you hyped up!

Address: Road 1A Bulabog, Balabag, Malay, Philippines
Price Range: From $36/night

 

Bonus: Rest of Asia

 

Studio 41st Hostel: Seoul, Korea

 

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With its colourful bedsheets, comfortable blankets and even wooden bunk beds, Studio 41st Hostel looks more like someone’s house than a hostel. There are a range of facilities for visitors, such as a concierge and 24 hour reception, and the multilingual staff will always be there to give you the best local tips and advice.

Wake up to a buffet breakfast every morning, before exploring the surrounding Hongik University and Hongdae area. Better still, book tours and sightseeing trips at the front desk!

Address: 32, Seongmisan-ro 22-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea 
Price Range: From $90/night

 

Ming Palace International Youth Hostel: Guilin, China

 

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Regardless of whatever perceptions you may have of mainland Chinese, there is one thing that all visitors unanimously agree on: the staff here are incredibly friendly! From organising tours to bringing you to the local hospital and translating for you, the staff will go out of their way to provide impeccable service.

The hostel is in close proximity to everything – supermarkets, pharmacies, tourist attractions etc. Every Sunday night is dumpling party, where you can have a go at making the best dumplings, or simply chill out by watching a movie. Located between Li River and Ming Palace, you won’t be short of places to go!

Address: 10 Dong Hua Road, Xiu Feng District, Qixing, Guilin, China 
Price Range: From $20/night

 

Banana Hostel: Taipei, Taiwan

 

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With chic, industrial designs and bright yellow walls, go bananas over the Banana Hostel – fresh bananas are provided every morning, and banana bread is even baked on weekends! The hostel is also a short walk from Dongmen MRT station, and if you want to visit Taiwan’s legendary night markets, Ningxia night market is just nearby. Plus, with curtains around each bunk bed, rest assured that you’ll have sufficient privacy!a1sx2_Thumbnail1_image09_20150618-020755_1.pngSource

Address: No.7 Section 2, Jinshan South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 
Price Range: From $23/night

 

Flip Flop Hostel II Taipei Station: Taipei, Taiwan

 

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The best thing about Flip Flop Hostel is its location – it is just 250m from Taipei Main Station, and is easily accessible from the airport via a direct bus, making it convenient to travel around. Besides that, it has everything a backpacker would want in a hostel. It’s clean, the staff are friendly and hospitable, and there’s free wifi.a1sx2_Thumbnail1_image01_20150618-020713_1.pngSource

Address: 2F, No.25 Nanyang Street, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 
Price Range: From $28/night

 

Every Backpacker’s Dream

 

Many of these hostels are affordable, but it’s important to make sure that you’re comfortable living in a dormitory with bunk beds. There are female-only dorms, but fact is you’re living with strangers who may be snorers or sleepwalkers. However, if you’re an avid backpacker already, it’s all part of the fun; if you’re not, well, life’s short!

If you know of any other good backpacker hostels, be sure to let us know in the comments below!