The Best Backpacker Hostels in Southeast Asia
(As Recommended by Travel Bloggers!)
Southeast Asia is one of the most popular, fun and cheap places in the world to go backpacking. All over the region are many great backpacker hostels which are cheap, sociable and fun places to sleep, hang out and most importantly meet other travellers. Not all backpacker hostels are great though so I asked some fellow travel bloggers to share with me their recommendations for the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia.
The Best Backpacker Hostels in Southeast Asia
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Having traveled in and out of Bangkok over the past few years, I have stayed in several different hostels and have experienced the best (and worst!) of what Bangkok has to offer. When it comes to location, staff, cleanliness, and overall awesome atmosphere, Adventure Hostel is by far my favorite spot and one of the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia
On the inside, Adventure Hostel is uniquely decorated and spotlessly clean. Each bed has its own power outlet and reading light, and every dorm room is equipped with ice cold air conditioning. The staff are all welcoming, friendly, and genuinely helpful in assisting to plan your stay. Adventure Hostel is conveniently situated just north of the city center, directly next to the Saphan Kwai BTS stop, making it easy to connect to the rest of Bangkok.
It’s also easily accessible to several of Bangkok’s highways and major roads, making it simple for taxis to bypass heavy traffic and get you to the hotspots around the city much quicker. If you are staying during the weekend, Adventure Hostel is also within short walking distance to Bangkok’s famously known outdoor shopping mecca called Chatuchak Market, home to hundreds of shops and stalls carrying everything under the sun. If you are planning to pass through Bangkok, there simply isn’t a better spot than Adventure Hostel! Click here to book!
Recommended by Craig O’Brien from www.VagabondDisposition.com.
I don’t think I’ve stopped raving about Stamps Backpackers in Chiang Mai, Thailand since I stayed last year. I think it must be one the best backpacker hostel in Southeast Asia Anytime someone asks me for advice regarding where to stay in that city, I’ll always recommend Stamps without hesitation. The hostel staff is seriously lovely and helpful; the guests fun and eager to socialize. While I was traveling with my partner, we were able to connect with others just as easily as solo travelers would be. It’s one of the most social hostels I’ve been too without an extreme party vibe.
There are two options for accommodation at Stamps. The cheaper option is the bunk bed and fan room. Given that it was so hot during our visit, we opted for the air conditioned room which included personal pods which I LOVED. The location is more than ideal as there are markets, fresh juice shops and plenty of bars within walking distance. The hostel organizes activities each day and in the evenings. I can’t recommend it enough! Click here to book!
Recommended by Laura Nalin from willfulandwildhearted.com
I loved my stay in Tamada Hostel, Chiang Mai so much that I ended up extending from two nights to ten nights! For me, it’s the best backpacker hostel in Southeast Asia because the rooms were basic with shared bathrooms but the hostel is just a minute walk from the night market. What was really special was how much thought the owners put into providing little added extras. When you’re travelling in South East Asia, having things like robes and slippers makes all the difference! They also provide a delicious breakfast and a free snack bar including noodles, toast, tea and coffee. The owners are super friendly, always up for a chat, and they even kindly offered to make a fruit plate for me at times when I was around during the day. I’d highly recommend going there for a cheap yet homely stay in Chiang Mai. Click here to book!
Recommended by Laura Gois from wanderwithlaura.com
Read More: The Best Backpacker Hostels in Thailand
I think Eighty8 Backpackers is one of the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia. After arriving in Phnom Penh after a grueling boat ride down the Mekong, pushy touts were the last thing we wanted. Escaping the hoards at the dock, one enthusiastic tuk-tuk driver chased us down and convinced us of the wonders of Eighty8 Backpackers. 8 is a lucky number in Asia and before long we certainly felt lucky that he was the one that chased us.
Reaching the resort on 88 street, we found huge double-beds in an immaculate, spacious air-conditioned dorm, plus friendly, informative staff and an excellent swimming pool, bar and chill-out area which combined to make this place an absolute steal at just $8 per night. (There’s that number again!). It was the perfect remedy to a hard day on the road….or river!
The breakfast the next morning was fantastic and our friendly tuk-tuk driver returned to give us an action-packed full-day tour of the city for an unbelievable rate. If you’re in Phnom Penh, Eighty8 Backpackers will not disappoint, so long as you pay attention to the warning about the monkeys! Click here to book!
Recommended by Chris Haughley from www.thedigitalcrusader.com
Oasis Capsules Hostel is a great place for city travelers and busting backpackers quickly making their way through beautiful Cambodia.
Oasis Capsules gets its name from the private ‘capsule’ sleep style that is becoming popular all over Asia. There are many things to like about Oasis Capsules including the friendly staff who are willing to help you book tours and find your way around the city; a good view from above at the Skylounge work & social space (with a bar!); and the comfortable beds that will allow you to have a good nights’ sleep.
But the number one thing people will love most about Oasis is: location, location, location. Oasis Capsules is literally a hop, skip and a jump away from the hustle and bustle of Pub Street – the popular area known for its array of restaurants, bars, and shops.
Oh, I should mention that this ain’t your average party hostel! You’d think that being so close to Pub Street, Oasis Capsules would attract more of a party crowd. Surprisingly, that’s not the case! Even if you stay in the room closest to the front lobby, you’ll barely hear much because you’re nestled in a capsule-style bunk. I think this is one of the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia! Click here to book!
Recommended by Samantha from www.expatandthecityblog.com
The Mad Monkey in Siem Reap is the perfect place for a backpacker to party their way through Siem Reap. Most visitors only stay in Siem Reap a few days which means you’re sure to find a fellow traveler who will join you on a trip to world famous Angkor Wat. Head there at sunrise to beat the crowds and get the best views!
The hostel itself has a gorgeous pool to cool off in the afternoon sun and a rooftop with a sandy beach bar. Yes, you read that correctly. The Mad Monkey rooftop bar has a sand floor so you get a great beach vibe while enjoying a few drinks. Thats why I think this is one of the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia.Head to pub street with the rest of the hostel late at night or head to bed to get up early for the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Either way you’re sure to love the Mad Monkey in Siem Reap! Click here to book!
Recommended by Mike Still from www.LiveTravelTeach.com
With a young hip vibe Chien Hostel makes for the perfect stay in the busy city of Hanoi. Located in the heart of the chaos it makes for the perfect retreat. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a delicious welcome drink whether that’s a beer, Vietnamese coffee or something a little stronger.
You can choose to sleep in an eight, twelve or twenty bed dorm room, all which have amazing views of the beautiful church next door. Each bed has its own light, power socket and small locker for personal valuables. Down the corridors and throughout the building are large lockers which can fit a whole suitcase, perfect for out of town trips to Ha Long Bay or Sapa. Also, ideal for traveling couples is the double dorm beds on offer, just email in advance to request one.
One of the best things about Chien Hostel is the social atmosphere. Each night they have free drinks down in the common area, providing a great opportunity to meet people and make drunken friendships, this must be one of the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia, especially for those travelling solo. They also put on free walking tours with the staff who will show you around the city and all their favourite spots. Click here to book!
Recommended by Tasha Amy from backpackerswanderlust.com
The Quynh Trang Hotel on the main strip on Cat Ba island in Vietnam is our top pick. The hotel location is next to all of the shops and restaurants and unlike other places on Cat Ba, they don’t charge extra for AC. The biggest factor that makes this place our top pick is they have their own junk boat you can charter to sail around Ha Long Bay for the super low price of $75 and that is for 2 people for 3 days! Click here to book!
Recommended by Dan Conerd from www.globalgiraffe.com
Among the incredibly welcoming hostels of South East Asia, this was one of the best I stayed in throughout my four-month travels there. Golden Bee Homestay is located a ten-minute walk from Hoi An Old Town but the brilliant, very clean facilities there make it worth the journey. Don’t want to walk? Grab one of the free bicycle rentals available. The family owning the hostel also run an English-teaching school in the evenings where they encourage guests to mingle with the students – an incredible experience for any traveller! Click here to book!
Recommended by Laura Gois from wanderwithlaura.com
In the heart of the busy Downtown Yangon, prime location to all the action, is Backpackers Bed & Breakfast. On arrival, you will be greeted with a Burmese smile and a cold welcome drink, a great relief from the heat outside. The clean modern design is stark contrast to the aged colonial buildings which line the streets outside.
The rooms there is the option of two beds or four beds, so there is plenty of space to walk around and socialise. Curtains around the bed provide necessary privacy and a staircase to the top bunk provides great relief from those regular hostel metal ladders. Each bed also has its own light and two international plug sockets, perfect if you have forgotten your adapter!
Breakfast is included in the room rate which is held in the communal area with floor to ceiling windows, the perfect place to people watch. A balcony wraps around the building and a rooftop terrace is the providing a good spot to relax. For your breakfast, you can choose from three separate meals which are cooked to perfection. Lastly, there is also a constant free supply of juice and water throughout the day. Click here to book!
Recommended by Tasha Amy from backpackerswanderlust.com
Kuala Lumpur is the perfect pit stop on your travels through South East Asia for so many reasons. The Malaysian food is mindblowing, there’s so many cultures wonderfully mixed together and their hostel game is increasingly become more and more hip and happening.
My favourite hostel by far is Paper Plane Hostel. They are taking design and architecture to a whole new level. Outside it’s beautifully green and eco-friendly. Nestled in a local neighbourhood away from the hustle and bustle, it’s a generous retreat from the main road. Once you enter inside, the layout is spacious, funky and earthy. The art on the walls is bold and crisp. The showers are certainly unique (!). The beds are wonderfully comfortable and the warm welcome and help from the staff is unforgettable. I think this is one of the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia. Make sure to hang out on the groovy rooftop when the sun is setting!
Highly recommended for a very modern, unique and high-end hostel experience! Click here to book!
Recommended by Alice from www.teacakestravels.com
Nowhere Hostel is a great hostel for the breakfast alone. They provide cereal and peanut butter in addition to the typical Malaysian breakfast of jam on toast. The facilities are well kept, with comfy beds and the rain shower is always a nice surprise in a hostel. The hostel isn’t in the heart of the tourist area but if you want to experience some of the cities best bars and restaurants, Bangsar, the popular expat area is a 15-minute walk away as is Little India. Click here to book!
Recommended by Jub from www.tikitouringkiwi.com
Read More: 5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Kuala Lumpur
In Georgetown’s Unesco Heritage area, in Penang, the hostels on Muntri Street remain quiet and charming, with local Chinese temples, and of course wall art. Which is where I always stay, often in the Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel, which is inspired by the Japanese Ryokan, and shares a wider demographic and mix of travellers, including Asian tourists and even families. Yet it still connects to Love Lane and runs parallel to the slightly chaotic and loud backpacker areas along Chulia Street. But overall it just offers a quieter and more relaxed stay in probably one of the most charming and culturally diverse destinations in Asia. Click here to book!
Recommended by Allan Wilson from Live Less Ordinary
My favourite backpacker hostel in Southeast Asia is Soluna guesthouse, located at the island Langkawi in northwestern Malaysia. The hostel is in less than 10 minutes walking from Cenang Beach. Soluna has a spacious dormotory (10 beds) that is perfect for solo travelers but also provides bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. The vibe is super friendly and I met lots of great people at this place. There’s a very nice outdoor lounge with hammocks and and a tv that is perfect to socialize with others. The hostels is located in a quiet area and has great views. If you want you can rent a motorbike and explore the rest of Langkawi. The beatiful beach of Tanjung Rhu and mountain Gunung Raya are definitely worth a visit. Every thursday there’s a night market nearby with amazing food. Definitely visit Soluna when you’re in Malaysia! Click here to book!
Recommended by Chantal Alleen Op Reis from alleenopreis.net
Nomaps is the perfect hostel for when you don’t usually stay in hostels, least of all in South-East Asia where your accommodation dollar stretches further. But this flashpacking hostel offers so many perks, from a wonderful kitchen to washing machine to it’s own street art inside, not to mention private and family rooms. It’s also perfectly located just a block away from the heart of Malacca’s Jonker Street, with all its street food, and the laidback bars along the riverfront. I think Nomaps is the best backpacker hostel in Southeast Asia! Click here to book!
Recommended by Shandos Cleaver from travelnuity
I spent several days at this hostel in the Cameron Highlands. It’s one of the most unique places I’ve stayed, the main building is a 100 year old colonial bungalow. It’s located in the forest completely cut off from the surrounding city, with cozy beds and a very homey, mountain cottage vibe. We would all sit around the fire at night and have long chats with a tea in hand to warm us up from the crisp mountain air. Click here to book!
Recommended by Monica from http://globe-trottica.com
Pink Manila is like an oasis in the middle of the rush and chaos of this huge metropolis. Located in the penthouse of a big building in the city center, this place offers a nice pool, a gym, a bar, and a great panoramic terrace. I think this is one of the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia!
You could easily spend weeks here, having drinks, talking to fellow travelers, and relaxing on the hammocks at the top of the building. And, of course, there’s no better way to escape the burning heat of Manila than taking a dip in the pool! The rooms are pretty basic but clean and comfortable, and the hostel offers amenities like free breakfast, a book exchange, AC, and free Wi-Fi. If you walk around the neighbourhood, you’ll find lots of good local restaurants, plus the LRT station is only a 10-minute walk away. Click here to book!
Recommended by Miguel from www.travelsauro.com
I stayed at Spin Hostel as part of a wider tour of Palawan, in the Philippines. Spin is located in El Nido, a perfect base for exploring the town and island hopping. The Hostel itself is totally 5 star! Absolutely immaculate, breakfast included, big comfy bunks, air conditioned, relaxing communal areas, entertainment, no massive 8-bed dorms and most importantly good showers!
The staff were so friendly and attentive; they even ensured my breakfast omelette was cooked with no cross-contamination (I’m Coeliac and intolerant to onions) and they remembered each morning! If you visited the Philippines you’ll know that allergies are a little tricky to convey!
4-bed dorms start from about 1000 Peso including breakfast, which considering the quality of the accommodation is very reasonable. There’s nowhere else I would stay if I was visiting El Nido and Palawan again! I think this is one of the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia. Click here to book!
Recommended by Sarah Ambler from glutenfreetravellers.com
Boracay Island in the Philippines used to only have luxury to mid-range accommodations that cater to tourists. In the past years though, there is a big growth on the number of hostels that welcome foreign and local travelers.
I have to say that my favorite so far is Frendz Hostel. I think this is one of the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia. What I love about this place is that their shared rooms have real beds (not the usual dorm-style bunk beds) and staying in the room gives you that provincial ‘Pinoy style’ of accommodation. Maybe I am also biased because most of the staff members can speak Ilocano and they also serve good food! They usually host special parties every night, where they serve pica-picas (when we were there it was Mexican night so they served nachos). Some even rendered a special song number! Truly, this is the place place in Boracay to make and meet new Frendz! Click here to book!
Recommended by Mica Rodriguez from www.senyorita.net
An experience in itself, Eco hostel in Gili Meno (Indonesia) was a true discovery for me. I still remember how happy it made me feel to wake up to the smell of Ocean, glimmering in the sunshine.
The Gili Meno Eco hostel is an eco hostel in a true sense. Mostly build out of bamboo and wood, majority hostel dwellers sleep in a hammock. With only a couple of private rooms, almost the entire hostel was dotted with bright and colorful hammocks.
When I reached here, I walked towards the reception. They handed me a green hammock at the reception after check in and I was asked to pick any spot! I glanced around to notice a three level bamboo structure made of wood. I walked up to the roof, hoping to catch a lovely sunrise the next day and tied my hammock. My spot offered me an enchanting ocean view and appeared to be really pleasant. I just had to turn sideways and a shimmering ocean would be smiling at me.
Having setup my hammock, I went and talked to fellow hostel dwellers. In evening, exhausted from all the travel, I returned to my hammock. I stared at the twinkling stars and gave myself a pat on back.
The Gili Meno Eco hostel was all a curious traveler can wish for. During my Indonesia trip, staying here was my best decision! I think this is one of the best backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia. Click here to book!
Recommended by Umang Trivedi from www.travelmax.in
Have you stayed in any awesome backpacker hostels in Southeast Asia? Leave and comment below and your recommendations can help out other backpackers! 🙂