Favourite places to stay in Southeast Asia
I’ve collated a list of my favorite places to stay around SEA. Some places are worth a mention despite the price not being… as cheap as I expected. But it made it to this list for a reason. Enjoi~
Little bird guesthouse in Chiangmai
Really affordable 4 bed / 8 bed dorms and a great place to meet a huge variety of travelers. The main outdoor lounge area also makes a good drinking spot or for reading a book while sitting on a mon(cushion). They have a small fridge that guests can get reasonable priced drinks from (water, beer, etc). you simply write your name in the notebook and they’ll charge you when you check out. Location is great! The Laundry shop is right at the entrance, and behind it is the back of a morning market filled with delicious food.
PRICE: 100-150baht a night (approx US$4)
ADDRESS: 17 Soi 1 Rachwithi Rd. Sriphum Muang Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Hanoi Youth Hostel
Receptionist is super friendly. Serves free breakfasts in the morning so that makes your stay even more valuable. Rooftop parties are also held every week, where you can meet heaps of other travelers in this hostel. Dorms are generally clean and the location is pretty hidden but a good spot to hide away from all that noise pollution! Walking distance to Hoan Kiem Lake and the best part? They don’t close their doors despite the midnight curfew, as compared to other hostels/guesthouses out there, so don’t worry about knocking on the doors after midnight to get in.
PRICE: 100000 Vietnam Dong a night (approx US$5)
ADDRESS: 05 Luong Ngoc Quyen, Hanoi, Vietnam
Everyday Bangkok Hostel in Thailand
This hostel is pretty much perfect. Not only do they allow guests to use all facilities before and after check in timings, they even have free breakfast, tea, coffee & entertainment! It’s situated near metro station Samyan and a stone’s throw away from food markets, and weekend markets. The staff are friendly, and there are many iMacs, DVDs, televisions and video games for travelers who are only staying a day to wait for flights. The rooms are air conditioned with personal lights, sockets and private lockers at every floor. I can’t boast how amazing this hostel is, and it’s possibly the best one I’ve stayed in so far.
PRICE: 300baht a night (approx US$10)
ADDRESS:1-3 Sap Road Siphraya, Bangrak
Pai Country huts
You’ll most likely walk around and stay in the main town before you accidentally stumble upon the huts across the river. Separated by a man made bamboo bridge, the whole place on the other side is like a community of its own. Bonfires and fireflies at night are a common sight. Located in the middle of nothing but nature, you’ll have an experience close to the wilderness. It does get a little noisy at night with cicada/cricket like insects chirping but bring some ear plugs and everything will be A-OKAY! Every bamboo hut also comes with your own front porch, complete with a mon(triangular cushion). Safety might be an issue as the whole hut is made out of bamboo and the only lock on the door is a padlock provided by the owners, thus I recommend locking your bags even when it’s in the room. There aren’t any lights at night when crossing the bamboo bridge to town so bring a flashlight and watch out for holes on the bridge. Overall one of my top 3 places to stay because I love the great vibes!
PRICE: 150baht a night for a hut. (approx US$5)
ADDRESS: 240 Moo 1, Maehee, Mae Hong Son, 58130 Pai, Thailand
Read more about Pai HERE
Daddy’s guesthouse in Langkawi
Walk through a small dirt road from the main street and you’ll find a hidden gem that is Daddy’s Guesthouse. Located right next to Gecko Guesthouse, it seems very neglected because there isn’t any “fancy” common area with shitloads of cats, like Gecko. But it is the most affordable place with amazing vibes in the middle of this duty free-resort island. They have dorms, and private rooms (with or without AC), and heaps of hammocks hanging around where you can waste an afternoon swinging on, or reading a book. A really basic yet cosy room! You can even ask for a discount price if you intend to stay for a longer period of time.
PRICE: 15-50 Ringgit depending on season. (I paid 20 Ringgit a night for a double room, which is approx US$6)
ADDRESS: Lot 2324, Kampung Pantai Cenang, Langkawi 07000, Kedah, Malaysia
A trip back to langkawi one year later and naturally i headed back to Daddy’s guesthouse. Unfortunately they were full because it was a national holiday weekend, and they recommended us to Daddy’s guesthouse 2 instead. It’s a short walk from the original location, but the place wasn’t as comfy/nice so i wouldn’t recommend living in their spillover guesthouse. Instead, you should head over to The Cottage. It’s located in the midst of a residential area for the locals, and it is the most peaceful guesthouse you’ll find. The owner was incredibly helpful and friendly, and the cottages are really worth the mention, even though it’s a little out of my usual budget range! 120 Ringgit a night for a fully air-conditioned, spacious, clean and comfortable cottage, with your own front porch. NOTE: *you might find cute little chickens sleeping on the tables in the porch the next morning*
PRICE: 120 Ringgit a night (Cottage) (Approx US$40)
ADDRESS: No. 8, Kampung Haji Saad, Jalan Pantai Chenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Putri Pandan in Bintan
Most people who go to Bintan will head straight to the “Resort Area” where everything is terribly overpriced; the food, the rooms, even the beach chairs. However, if you take a 1 hour journey (by car) out of the main resort area, you’ll find yourself in a quiet part of Bintan and there’s Putri Pandan. It is still a resort, but there are only less than 10 basic bungalows that have no AC. It costs about 1/4 of the price you’ll have to fork out for a room at Nirwana Gardens or something. If you’re looking to get away from the normal beach activities and aren’t too fussy about being treated like a princess, then this is the place for you. They have their own view from a “private” beach, hammocks, and their own little outdoor cafeteria that serves local eats. Rent a motorcycle/bike and head on to one of the local beaches!
PRICE: 400,000 Rupiah (approx US$40 per bungalow)
ADDRESS: Jalan Hamidi,Desa Pengudang,Bintan 29152 Indonesia
Phillaylack Villa 1 in Luang Prabang.
I guess if you’re in Laos, there are plenty of cheap places to stay. However, if you’re looking for something less shabby, and some place comfortable with A/C, Phillaylack Villa is the place to go. It’s a well located area, right next to the famous Joma Cafe, and minutes away from the Night Market. They provide free bottled water everyday and also have laundry & bus services to Vang Vieng or Vientiane. A bicycle rental store is also conveniently located outside the guesthouse so overall I’d say this was one of the most “luxurious” cheap stay I’ve had! If you’re looking for a party hostel, you’d hate this place just because it’s too peaceful.
PRICE: 113917 Kips (approx U$14 a night)
ADDRESS: Ban Vat That, Town Center, Luang Prabang, Laos