Jan 26 2012
When backpackers come to Singapore they typically make their home at one of the hostels in Bugis or Little India. While it’s true that these neighbourhoods have a lot to offer budget travellers, don’t forget about Chinatown. Singapore’s Chinatown offers a central location, amazing food, tons of culture, vibrant street markets, and top-notch hostels.
Comfortable, cute and convenient to the MRT, A Beary Good Hostel is pretty close to hostel perfection. A traditional Chinese shophouse has been converted into air-con dorm rooms (mixed or women-only), squeaky clean bathrooms, kitchenette, and a lounge fully outfitted with a TV, video games and guest computers. Plus the staff might just be the nicest people you’ll meet in Singapore. A hostel this fabulous is no secret, so if they’re full try the second branch – A Beary Nice Hostel. Rates start from S$26/night including breakfast, hot drinks, WiFi, and a big locker.
Pillows & Toast is another traditional Chinatown building converted to a super-stylish, super-clean hostel. You’ll sleep well in their dorms (mixed or women-only) with thick mattresses and duvets, plus they’ve got one of the most modern common areas I’ve seen: an attic lounge with TV, netbooks and even a massage chair. If you’re worried about melting in Singapore’s stifling heat, you’ll be relieved to hear Pillows & Toast is one of the only Singapore hostels without an “air-con curfew” – set the temperature as low as you like any time of the day. Rates start from S$26/night including breakfast.
Lower on amenities but also on price is Service World Hostel. This small hostel is located in a public housing block that practically overlooks the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and is as close as it gets to experiencing Singapore as a local. For S$22 per night you get a bunk in the cramped but clean dorm room, wireless internet, and continental breakfast. The warm welcome and great advice from the hostel staff about where to eat are free. The second location – Service World Chin Swee – lacks the charm of the original.
For flashpackers, the brand new Wink Hostel has turned the usual bunkbeds into ‘pods’ with greater privacy. More than just a place to sleep, each pod has a lamp, electrical outlet, and enough space so you can stretch out and update your Facebook status. Wink’s facilities include an entertainment lounge with a huge TV, guest library, kitchenette, squeaky clean bathrooms with rain showers, and self-serve laundry. Prices are S$50 for a single pod or S$90 for a double pod that’s perfect for travelling couples.
A Beary Good Hostel: 66A/66B Pagoda Street, 6222 4955, www.abearygoodhostel.com
Pillows & Toast: 40 Mosque Street, 6220 4653, www.pillowsntoast.com
Service World: Block 5 Banda Street #02-70/82, 6226 3886, www.serviceworld.com.sg
Wink Hostel: 8A Mosque Street, 6222 2940, www.winkhostel.com
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.