Spacious and popular
Bunc has properties in both Little India and Clarke Quay in Singapore along with Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the Little India property (on Upper Weld Road) is popular with backpackers looking for a little more comfort and particularly with visitors from Thailand. You’ll be paying more than at a more traditional hostel, but there’s a leap rather than jump in standards here.
Set across multiple floors in a spacious shopfront style building, Bunc’s standard offerings (they call it a “medium size” dorm) have four oversized bunks per room. The bunks are either doubles on the lower level and singles on the upper of singles throughout. Somewhat strangely, the doubles/singles configuration have a cut out on the upper single bed which allows you to look straight down onto the double bed below you, which makes for some interesting privacy issues. A small work station is set up where you could conceivably use a laptop if you wanted to. It’s a very unusual setup, but once you’re used to it, it works quite well.
Dorms have chilled air-con, good mattresses, full linen and double pillows. Towels can be rented. Our dorm had no windows and once the lights were off it was absolutely pitch black and very quiet — we slept in and so will you! The only complaint was the ladders to the top bunks were difficult to climb as there is no handle at the top to grab on to and we’d imagine they are very easy to fall when climbing or descending, so be careful. Light switches for upper bunks are also poorly placed meaning you can't switch them on or off till you are already up on the bunk.
Bathrooms are clean and pretty well kept, but while the toilets have proper doors, the showers have a curtain only and an oddly placed fan keeps blowing them open! They really need to add in a door or move the fan.
There is a large ground floor common area where a simple complimentary breakfast is available and with a long common table, this is an easy place to meet others. There’s also two large flat screen TVs that we could really have done without, especially as, during the day, they seem to be mostly used by the staff to watch cheesy game shows. There’s a second hidden-away common area on the second floor that has an attached kitchenette and laundry along with some more seating.
WiFi is very patchy at Bunc Radius -- we found it barely worked in our dorm and didn't work at all in the second floor area by the kitchenette. Down in the common room lobby area it worked better, but was still very intermittent and nearly unusable once there were a half dozen people trying to use it. Whenever we needed a reliable connection we switched to tethering to our phone.
Staff are friendly and chatty and we found their information and advice mostly helpful and accurate. As with many hostels there are a range of tours and activities available on a daily basis. Some are free, some not, but the staff should be able to assist in what is the best tour for your needs. Bunc is on Upper Weld Road, on the periphery of Little India, but is a very short walk to masses of South Asian eateries and there is also a decent Thai place down the alley by the hostel.
The hostel is about a 10-minute walk from Little India MRT or 15 minutes from Bugis and is well signposted. Overall this is a good value flashpacker hostel. We found the best rates to be booked through their own website or as a walk in. The hostel is popular, so reservations are a good idea, especially on weekends.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 12th February, 2016.