With beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and a nightlife scene that cannot be compared to any other, Thailand is an ideal tropical destination for adventure, romance, and excitement.
Whenever backpackers make a beeline towards a destination, you can be certain that a lot of hostels will be popping up to accommodate the basic needs of a traveler. And when I say basic, I mean it—we’re talking about a bed with a bring-your-own-sheets policy, a locker for your stuff, and a shared bathroom. But during the past years, several hostels have stepped up their game as some backpackers want more than a lumpy old pillow and a dingy bathroom. So what are the new standards that backpackers want or hope to find in a hostel?
- Lower bed to dorm room ratio. The norm for most hostels is eight to ten bunk beds to a dorm room, so that makes a total of 18 to 20 people at a room at any given day. Nowadays, some hostel chains are offering dorms where backpackers can sleep four to a room, and there are even some rooms available for single or double occupancy for those who want a bit more privacy.
- More choices for recreation. Because a nook full of travel books won’t cut it anymore. So now, newer hostels are putting up recreation lounges all decked out with TVs, DVD players, free Wifi access, and even gaming consoles so guests can chill out and have fun at the same time.
- A freebie. Whether that’s free Wifi, coffee, tea, or breakfast, there’s something so gracious about a hostel that offers something for free, no matter how little it is.
- Clean. Backpackers know that they’re roughing it, and that they can’t expect hostels to be neat and sparkling clean all the time. But some semblance of cleanliness would definitely be a nice change from clogged shower drains, stained sheets, and dusty dorm rooms, and that’s why many hostels have made it a point to do daily cleaning, not just in the common areas but in the dorm rooms as well.
The accommodation options listed below are great places, not just to stay in, but to have fun and meet people. Check out these places the next time you go backpacking in Thailand:
1. ETZzz Hostel
Address: Ngam Dupli Alley, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok, Thailand
Cost: from $8.16 for a dorm bed to $14.69 for a private room
The ETZzz Hostel is a great location for those who are looking to do some partying along Khaosan Road, which is known as one of the best backpacker hubs in the country. The hostel is made up of four floors, and each level is set up with a different color theme, ranging from red, green, yellow, and blue. Each level has a little wall filled with decorative items, all in the floor’s theme color. The hostel is clean and cozy, and air-conditioning is available 24 hours a day. The dorms come with personal lockers that you can put your own padlock on to keep your valuables safe
On the blue level (4th floor) is the kitchen/bar and common room. Here, you’ll find an L-shaped couch where you can lounge around and watch TV. There’s free Wifi that’s relatively fast on every level, and also three computers with net access available for use, all hours of the day and night. The rooftop is where everyone goes to hang out, drink, and admire the beauty of Bangkok.
2. RNR Hostel
Address: Kata Road, Karon, Phuket, Thailand
Cost: $13.00 a night for a dorm bed
The rooms are clean and air-conditioned, and bunk beds are laid out 10 to 12 per dorm room. There are hammocks hung all around the hostel where you can relax. There’s also a common room where you can watch movies. This hostel has an onsite bar and restaurant that has excellent cocktails and food at cheap prices.
3. Cheap Charlie’s Backpacker Lodge
Address: 54 Nannai Road, Patong Beach, Thailand
Cost: from $5.00 for a bed to $8.16 for a private room
Cheap Charlie’s lives up to its name as it has one of the cheapest accommodations in the country. It’s easy to spot this hostel as it’s entirely painted in a brilliant shade of blue. Some rooms are not air-conditioned, but every dorm room has several electric fans. Though it is more bare-bones compared to other hostels, it’s near the busy party strips.
There are eight to twelve bunks per dorm room, and the beds are on the firm side. You might also find it better to bring your own sheets and towels. Guests have free access to Wifi as well as free movies and a book exchange. There are also motor bikes and car rentals available if you’re hoping to get out and explore the surrounding area.
4. NapPark Hostel
Address: 5 Tani Road, Taladyod Phranakorn, Bangkok, Thailand
Cost: $11.00 per night for a bunk bed
The comfortable bunk beds are clean, and dorm rooms are equipped with air conditioners and ceiling fans. For recreation, there is a common room where you can watch cable TV or DVDs, or play board games with another guest. There’s also free Wifi, and free use of linens and towels.
Before booking a bunk bed, always check if the hostel provides bed linens so that you can bring your own just in case they don’t. If you’re traveling with kids, it’s also a good idea to inform the hostel manager or owner as some hostels don’t allow kids below 12 years old to stay there.
What are you waiting for? Check out Thailand for your next backpacking adventure!