Never thought I would be a hostel dweller in my late twenties but in my early twenties, I also never thought I would travel anywhere. It happened so did the first.
It all started with a staycation at Bunc Hostel in Singapore.
I stayed away from hostel because I don’t like people in my personal space, why blog eh? But no, I really don’t. I don’t want strangers judging my pink monkey PJs or my giggles while Viber-ing with Hulk. That right reserved for my best friends. Staying at Bunc Hostel turned out to be really fun. The hostel was clean, interactive and has all the things to make a good memorable stay in Singapore. It changed my perception about hostels.
Also, by staying in a hostel I won’t need to eat instant noodle for weeks after my trip. So I took the road less traveled (by me),
risked life sharing space with the crazies, and convinced my friends to do it. I prepared a long speech on hostel staying, like meeting interesting people, having different experiences and saving money, but they didn’t need any convincing, they were okay from the beginning (reason #39 why we are besties).
And continued all the way to Korea.
ARI GUESTHOUSE – A pink guesthouse right smack in the middle of the shopping district.
My first impression of ARI guesthouse was that they were friendly because I received a welcome email within a day of booking it. Also, Welcome My Friend stickers were everywhere. Located right opposite of the Myengdong shopping entrance, this place is perfect for the shopaholic with you and believe me, Myengdong will turn anyone to a shopaholic. The manager, a pretty lady, helped us carry our luggage upstairs and gave us great suggestions for dinner and hang out places.
The room reminded me of the Ryokan we stayed in Japan, with three tatamis, a dressing table and a small space enough to open one luggage at a time. I guess that’s how hostel are. The best part of the room is the heated floor and with only tatami in between, it was warm enough at night to forget that it was snowing outside.
My favorite part of this hostel was the pantry. One side of the wall was covered with post-its written by the guests. I spent mornings helping myself with cheesecake, drinking rice tea and reading the ones written in English.
POPCORN HOSTEL – A seaview hostel in Busan
Dragging my luggage for twenty minutes (we got lost) along Haeundae beach I was already skeptical; usually the hotels we could afford at the popular area wouldn’t be nice, what more a hostel, I thought. On top of that it was a cold day and we were generally gaaaah.. So when we saw a blue colored house with the hostel name only to be informed it wasn’t ours, I let out a long sigh and the sick Yin went paler. Thankfully, our hostel was minutes away from it. Phew!
We got out on the eleventh floor and opened the door to the mecca of hostel dwellers. This place is RAD. It’s huge with minimalist decor. The room is pink and purple and artsy and cozy and has a TV and a big bathroom, and it came with a fantastic view of Haeundae beach. This place is better than a hotel!
We met a bunch people here. A lady from Malaysia who offered me yummy fried rice for breakfast; University students on vacation who couldn’t stop looking at Vi; a girl who part timed there so she could stay for free; a couple who were frantically searching for a flight ticket, the father of the woman asked her to come back immediately, draaaama.. (I eavesdropped); a neighbour girl who came at 3PM every day to study English; the super friendly manager, Jay, would draw on the map and showed us where and how to go to places; a guy with a French beret who had a strong creepy vibe.
This is the hostel I would want to stay if I ever go back to school again or like now.
YEHA – the interactive Guesthouse
Why I love YEHA? Let me count the ways. YEHA Guesthouse looked modest at first. Boasting orange and lime green color, I thought it was more catered for youngsters, but after a closer look, like five minutes since we arrived. I saw how interactive it was. They have How Do You Like It board with Jeju island’s point of interest pictures, if you like it a lot, you can stick a heart shaped sticker on it and the Seongsan Ilchulbong / Sunrise Peak got the most glittered love.
Another thing I LOVED and participated at YEHA was the Dream Letter Box dated years from now. You can buy the postcard from them for less than a buck; write to your future self and they will mail it out to you years from now.
They have a busy common area; a TV room cum internet zone cum kitchen cum dining hall. At any time of the day it has with a strange mix of people. I met a family of fifteen from old uncles to a three year old; a couple of gents, we shared food with; teenage girls who couldn’t stop talking and scratching themselves simultaneously at wee hours, I had to pack my things and leave the common room as I was starting to feel itchy. They also have an unlimited supply of kimchi, a drawing book for our Jeju experiences, hundreds of guests’ pictures, a guitar and a free drink on happy hours
The staffs were very helpful. They booked a tour for us and helped us to order in food (it was a cold night, and we were lazy). YEHA provided maps for the guests and weather forecast. They sell daily necessities, souvenir (I got Hulk cactus chocolate from here) and random items for charity. There is a very smart person behind YEHA operation, and I would like to take my hat off to them.
We stayed in four hostels last month. For someone whom a year ago questioned why to staying in a hostel, “We are not young nor hobos!” I remember saying. Well, young me, your older self need to save money, she doesn’t feel that old anyway, and hostels stay are fun. So yeah, it’s a YES to hostels.
Have you ever stayed in a hostel in your late twenties or later? I felt a little out of place until I saw that family of fifteen sitting in the lounge room one evening, if it’s cool for them, it’s super cool for us too.
I am also linking up with Nicole from Treasure Tromp on Treat Yo’ Self Thursday. Even though it’s a Friday and this post is a part of my Four Things Friday. My logic? A Friday here is a Thursday somewhere else.