I have had the privilege of staying in a couple of different “Hostels” during my trip to Malaysia/Singapore. I might be writing this a little prematurely as I still have another hostel to stay at before the trip ends, but I have some points that I’d like to offer.
First off, I want to talk about the Asian culture around personal space. The hostelling community is still fairly new to this part of the world, whereas there is a great history of hostelling throughout North America and Europe.
This is because the majority of Asian travellers prefer to have their own room and space. I personally believe it has to do with population density, but that is simply speculation. It is for this reason that most hostels in Asia are more of a Hotel style.
The hostelling culture is primarily supported by backpacking travelers looking for the local experience on a small budget. Hostels are designed to support these backpackers by providing what they need, rather than catering to luxury.
A backpacker needs only the minimum during their travels; a place to sleep, a dry place to relax, and most modern backpackers require access to some form of communication, be it a telephone or an internet connection. All of these needs must be met at a reasonable price. A hotel is very capable of fulfilling these needs; however, it is more common to see a hotel provide comforts of privacy,
entertainment and luxury.
Just to be clear, I am not stating that one is better than the other. I simply want to bring to light the matter and compare the pros and cons.
The first hostel I stayed at was the Hotel Wira in Kuala Lumpur. This hostel provided me with a private room with two single beds, a private washroom, a television, work area, closet, mini bar fridge, snacks for purchase, two glasses of water daily, breakfast in the morning and “wi-fi”. You may wonder why wi-fi is in quotation marks; I want to remind all of my struggles with the internet connection.
The second hostel I visited was the Costa Sands Resort on the Downtown East side of Singapore. The hostel provided me a shared room with three single beds (neither of the other two were occupied), shared washroom (among those within the room), a work area, closet, hot beverages throughout the day, a water fountain, full fridge in the room, a personal locked storage area, a guest lounge, free wi-fi as well as computers with webcam and voice calling features.<
Let’s take a look at the photos.
I am going to leave it up to your personal preference without including my own personal views. Like I said, they both have pros and cons. Also, one thing you may want to consider is the price. In my experience a hotel is much more expensive than a hostel, but with internet deals and credit card points, perhaps a hotel does have competitive rates, or the extra price is worth the perks that come with a hotel.
And of course, to Josephine Woo, my guide and new friend here is Singapore who helped me better understand the culture of Hostels.
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