When travelling, we try to stick to homestays, guest houses, and whatever is cheapest. We have had some pretty awful experiences in hostels before (hyperlink), but after over 4 months of travelling through South East Asia, we were lucky to stay in some pretty awesome hostels.
Here's our list of the top 4 hostels in SE Asia
1. Let It Bee Hostel
Koh Lanta, Thailand
300 baht ($10) per night per person
We loved Koh Lanta. In fact, we loved it so much we decided to extend our stay and spend 8 amazing nights here. Let It Bee is located on the main road opposite Long Beach. It has many rooms, ranging from 6-bed dorms to private rooms. We were set up in a 2-bed dorm, which was essentially four walls and a bunk bed. That being said, we loved it! The A/C worked well, the WiFi was super fast, there were individual plugs for each bunk, and the beds even had curtains for privacy (deja vu A/C Two Tier in India!). What sets Let It Bee apart is how clean the place was...it was spotless! They even provided shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and toothpaste. But best of all, and the main reason why this one takes the cake, is it has a full kitchen. Any traveller will tell you, after many months on the road, nothing tastes better than a home cooked meal.
2. Hanoi Culture Hostel
$15 per night per room
I think it's more appropriate to call Hanoi Culture Hostel a hotel, rather than a hostel. We had just endured some pretty rough places over two months in India and the Philippines, so being at Hanoi Culture Hostel felt like sleeping in the penthouse of the Four Seasons. We booked a private room, and were shocked how nice and clean it was. And the beds...man...that mattress felt heavenly. The staff were really professional; it felt like you were staying at a $120 per night hotel back home. The wifi was the fastest we had all trip, breakfast was included, and it is strategically located Hanoi's best sights and night markets. If you're looking for a comfy bed and tired of dorm rooms, this is your place!
3. Pak-Up Hostel
Krabi Town, Thailand
330 baht ($11) per night per person
We stayed in many hostels like Pak-Up Hostel during our four months in Europe: funky design, modern furniture, graffiti on the walls, a popular attached bar, and "the" place to stay if you are looking to meet people. Pak-Up made our list, though, because it was a slice of Europe in SE Asia! We were in the ten bed dorm, which was equipped with huge under-bed lockers, cold A/C, fast wifi, individual plugs, and even your own floating shelf above your bed. The only negative for us was how party-focused the place was, but we still managed to get a good night's sleep thanks to the comfy beds. Oh - and the bathrooms...
4. Born Free Hostel
250 baht ($7.50) per night per person
Finally, Born Free ranks in at number four. Born Free Hostel is located about 5 minutes from Khao San Road, easily the worst place in all of Thailand. That being said, it is a central location close to everything fun in Bangkok. Born Free Hostel is owned by Kevin, a young expat who was super helpful during our stay. We stayed in an 16 bed dorm (not as bad as it sounds! Keep reading...) with A/C, fast wifi, individual plugs and reading lights, and one hell of a comfy bed. What was great for us was each bunk level was made up of two mattresses beside each other, which is a unique set-up ideal for couples. Definitely a more relaxed vibe than what you can find on Khao San Road,but Born Free Hostel is still a great place to meet like-minded people. They even have free bike rental!