Asia's Top Budget Accommodation

Wherever you travel in Asia, cool rooms don’t have to cost the earth.

By Top Koaysomboon | Jul 21, 2011

Share this article
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    BackHome, Kuala Lumpur
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    BackHome, Kuala Lumpur
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Ryokan Hostel, Penang
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Ryokan Hostel, Penang
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Ryokan Hostel, Penang
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Hop Inn, Hong Kong
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Hop Inn, Hong Kong
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Bang Rang, Seoul
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Bang Rang, Seoul
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Hangout@Jonger, Melacca
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Hangout@Jonger, Melacca
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Toco Tokyo, Tokyo
  • Asia's Top Budget Accommodation
    Toco Tokyo, Tokyo

Accommodation choices for backpackers and budget travellers have long been limited to dorm-style hostels and low-quality rooms down dodgy alleys. No longer. It’s 2011, and we have to thank all the young entrepreneurs who have pioneered much nicer options for flashpackers (aka upscale backpackers). Here are our favorites around the region.

HONG KONG

Hop Inn

The tiny entrance is slightly hidden among the traditional Chinese medicine stores, but nine cute rooms await on the second floor, each designed by a different artist.
Rooms & rates: HK$380-490 (B1,480-1,910) for a single room, HK$480-640 (1,870-2,495) for a double room and HK$580-790 (B2,260-3,080) for a triple room.
Neighborhood: You’ll be in the middle of the shopping district, a five-minute walk from Harbour City shopping mall, the pier to Hong Kong, Victoria Harbour viewpoint and the Avenue of Stars.
Flat A, 2/F, Hanyee Building, 19-21 Hankow Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Hong Kong, +852-2881-7331. www.hopinn.hk

KUALA LUMPUR

BackHome

Rated KL’s best hostel by travel website HostelWorld, BackHome consists of four Sino-Portuguese shophouses that have been converted into a contemporary lodge with touches of raw cement, black metal, natural wood and red bricks. On the ground floor, its in-house eatery, Land Cafe, serves local dishes, snacks and basic drinks.
Rooms & rates: RM50 (B500) for a double room, RM44-46 (B440-460) per bed for a dorm room (4-6 beds per room).
Neighborhood: Its location in the old town means it’s only a few minutes walk to Central Market, and the Petronas Towers are two subway stops away.
30 Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur, +603-2078-7188, www.backhome.com.my

KYOTO

Khaosan Kyoto Guesthouse

Our Khao San Road is so big in Japan, they even named a series of guesthouses after it. The newest one in Kyoto feels like you’re going to sleep in the small house of a ramen shop owner—wooden sliding doors and tatami mats included.
Rooms & rates: ¥3,000-3,800 (B1,144-1,450) per person for a private room, ¥2,000-2,500 (B763-954) per bed for a dorm room (3-10 beds per room).
Neighborhood: You’ll be surrounded by shrines, shopping malls (Fuji-Daimaru and Takashimaya are within walking distance) and government offices.
568 Nakanocho, Bukkoji-agaru, Teramachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan, +81-75-201-4063, http://tinyurl.com/yjhmp6c

MELACCA

Hangout@Jonger

After the success of its sister in Singapore, Hangout crossed the border and opened a cool hostel in Malacca last July. White walled rooms are filled with wooden details and colorful furniture. Staying here also means good karma as Hangout@Jonger donates RM1 from every room charge to charity organizations in the province.
Rooms & rates: Internet rates are RM140 (B1,140) for a double room and RM180 (B1,800) for a triple room.
Neighborhood: Not far from the hostel are
historic attractions like Saint Francis Xavier
Church, Porta de Santiago and the Museum of
Democracy.
19 & 21 Lorong Hang Jebat, Melacca, Malaysia, +606-292-2318, http://tinyurl.com/699apom

PENANG

Ryokan Chic Hostel Penag

Owner Darren Ng has transformed an old shophouse into Penang’s first stylish hostel. Inside the original charming Sino-Portuguese façade, the interior was entirely revamped with natural wood floors, raw cement, vivid-hued walls and metal. On its first floor, Titbits serves snacks, soft drinks and beers.
Rooms & rates: RM136 (B1,365) for a two-bed suite and RM35-40 (B350-400) per bed for a dorm room (4-6 beds per room).
Neighborhood: Its location on Muntri Road is within walking distance of historic landmarks like St. George’s Church, and the Cathedral of the Assumption.
62 Muntri Rd., Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, +604-250-0287, www.myryokan.com

SEOUL

Bang Rang Hostel

Bang Rang (“wandering around the world” in Korean) feels like crashing at your friend’s mom’s house. All red brick and old wood outside and white walls, bleached wood and pastel colors inside.
Rooms & rates: KRW28,000 (B800) for a single room with shared bathroom, KRW55,000 for a double room with ensuite bathroom, KRW18,000-23,000 (B512-655) per bed for a dorm room (2-6 beds). Rates are for low-season; high-season rates (Jul 1-Aug 31, Dec 15-Jan 15) are 8-15% higher.
Neighborhood: Chungjeongno subway station is within walking distance, and teen hangout Myeongdong and wholesale heaven Dongdaemun are only a few stations away.
397-14 Jungnim-Dong, Jung-G, Seoul, South Korea, www.bangranghostel.com

Hangul House

Traditional rooms spread out across three houses in a compound. Despite focusing on white, bleached wood and pastel colors, Hangul House looks more like a modern-day Korean house than Bang Rang. It’s also a bit classier as there are only double rooms with ensuite bathrooms. There’s a cute outdoor terrace in the middle of the compound.
Rooms & rates: There are 18 double rooms
and one triple room. Rates are KRW55,000
-110,000 (B1,565-3,132).
Neighborhood: You can walk to historic landmarks such as Gyeongbokgung Palace, National Traditional Museum and Young-Chu Gate.
8 Tongui-dong, Jongno-ju, Seoul, South Korea, www.hangulhouse.com

Hi Seoul Youth Hostel

Hi Seoul Youth Hostel is a flashy building with
a lot of glass. Not only a home to 95 guest
rooms equipped with standard hotel facilities,
this seven-floor building also houses convention rooms and two cafes.
Rooms & rates: KRW55,000 (B1,566) for a single room, KRW66,000 (B1,880) for a double and triple room, KRW88,000 (B2,505) for a quad-bed room, KRW88,000-132,000 (B2,505-3,760) for a family room (4 people) and KRW15,000-20,900 (B427-595) per bed for a dorm room (6-10 beds).
Neighborhood: A 15-minute walk to Yeongdeungpo, a local market, and Time Square, the largest shopping mall in Seoul. The teen hangout and shopping spot near Hong Ik University is just few subway stations away.
57 Yeongdeungpo-dong, 7-ga, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea, www.hiseoulyh.com

SINGAPORE

Beary Nice!

A sister hostel of A Beary Good Hostel, famed for its abundance of teddy bears, Beary Nice! maintains the legacy in this renovated shophouse in the center of Chinatown. Alas, you will only have each other (and no bears) in the actual dorms.
Rooms & rates: S$26 (B643) per bed for a 10-bed dorm room.
Neighborhood: It’s in Chinatown so expect food 24/7. It’s also just a three-min walk to Chinatown MRT station.
46B Smith Street, Singapore, http://tinyurl.com/5vp7oqj

Drop Inn

This Sino-Portuguese shophouse has been turned into a simple space with raw cement, walls you can draw on and colorful cushions. Close to lots of cheap food as well.
Rooms & rates: S$55 (B1,360) for a twin room, S$65 (B1,610) for a double room and S$22 (B545) per bed for a dorm.
Neighborhood: From Lavender Rd., it’s a short walk to the cheesy-yet-cheap Mustafa Mall as well as Chinatown. The Marina Bay Sands is only five minutes away by taxi.
253 Lavender Rd., Singapore, +65-6299-3817, www.dropinnhostel.com

TOKYO

Toco Tokyo Heritage Hostel

Head back to pre-war Japan with Toco Tokyo. Hidden in a residential area in northeast Tokyo, this 1920s Japanese home contains contemporary lights, colorful stairs and of course, modern plumbing.
Rooms & rates: ¥6,000 (B2,285) for a double room, ¥6,500 (B2,475) for a twin room, ¥8,400 (B3,200) for a triple room, ¥2,600-3,000 (B990-1,145) per bed for a dorm room (6-8 beds).
Neighborhood: From the hostel, it’s a mere five minutes to Ueno Park and Zoo and Uneo Station. If you get the train, you can be at the shrine of Asakusa and geek-central Akihabara in five minutes, and teen town Shinjugu in 20.
2-13-22 Shitaya Taitouku Tokyo, +81-03-6458-1686,
www.backpackersjapan.co.jp

Related Articles

Top 5 Day Trips From KL
i-City i-City is a large property development project in Selangor which aims to be Malaysia’s version of Silicon Valley. But the real appeal of i-City is at night, when its large grounds are lit up with millions of different colored LED…
You don’t have to go all the way out to Melaka or Penang for great Nyonya food. This delightful little restaurant serves rich and piquant delicacies like Assam Prawns, Curry Kapitan, Jungle Fern Salad and more, all at very reasonable…
Kuala Lumpur’s Best Beauty Hot Spots!
Spa Village, Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur [The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur, 168, Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur , 2782-9090 www.spavillage.com/kualalumpur/] East meets West at Spa Village, at the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur. While it might be located in the city, you still get…
With sister galleries in Singapore and Manilla Valentine Willie Fine Art is all about showcasing regional artwork from modern and contemporary artists and features a regularly changing yearly programme of exhibitions. Also check out its Resource Room, where it houses…
View Rooftop Bar
The latest addition to the GTower F&B options the View Rooftop bar only opened this June, but looks set to become a firm favorite on the scene. Boasting spectacular vistas of the KLCC Twin Towers and beyond, the bar offers…
Today's Events