Be left in no doubt that the way of life here lives up to its reputation – work hard (ish), play hard! For large crowds, dance anthems and free flowing alcohol, you belong in Cancun rather than here. However, that doesn’t mean that Isla Mujeres doesn’t have enough of a nightlife of its own. It’s easy to find Mariachi bands, salsa nights and street performers along the main beach and high street, but if you’re looking to really party, the general consensus is that Pocna hostel is the place to go.
There are nearly 100 hostels spread all over Australia, and if they’re all like the two we sampled, YHA is doing something very right indeed! Both YHA hostels we stayed in were fun and welcoming, with clean rooms, excellent facilities and a laid back atmosphere. Continue reading
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay near the centre of Siem Reap for less than three dollars a night, we found a hostel that’s a little bit different. With only a couple of very large rooms in a wooden hut with mattresses on the floor, staying at Mangolo felt more like a huge sleepover in a tree house than a budget hostel.
The reception, bar and social area are all outside (bring insect repellant) and are friendly and welcoming. The manager organised a great tuk tuk driver to take us to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat, even though we only asked the evening before. The bar was an easy place to meet other travellers too. There are comfy hammocks and mats on the floor, creating loads of space to hang out, and the WiFi is strong throughout.
A friend back in Phi Phi had recommended a stay at Pak Up Hostel, raving about how good it was for just 270 baht a night (about £6). This meant that Pak Up was our first port of call when we reached Krabi. The building used to be a school and has now been cleverly converted – they’ve still kept up the educational theme though, by naming the bedrooms after school subjects, writing adverts and offers on blackboard signs, and by the numerous statues of children around the building.
Pak Up’s a homely, modern and fun place to stay in central Krabi town. The reception is an open social space, with pay-by-the-minute computers and information about the local areas. Adventure tours and trips to neighbouring islands can be organised, but we chose to explore Krabi itself by renting two of the hostel’s bicycles, for 120 baht each for the day. The staff here are always available and so friendly, even lighting the candles on our friend’s birthday cake and organising all the hostellers in reception to sing to him! Continue reading
Between waving a snowy England goodbye, to stepping out into the wall of Bangkok heat, a not too blissful 21 hours had passed. Thankfully, we had pre-booked a hostel, could jump in a taxi, and head straight there. The only street we’d ever heard of was of course Khao San Road, so we’d opted for a hostel on the street parallel.
As we drew closer and closer to the centre on Bangkok on day one of our epic trip, we started to grow slightly nervous of what to expect… and even more so when we were told by our driver that we’d reached our street. There were market stalls everywhere, cars, scooters and nifty tuk tuks zooming about, and an array of distinct smells in the air – exciting yet daunting. And then… *cue angelic ray of light* beamed Nap Park Hostel. From the botanical pathway to the front door, to the enormous air-conditioned social area, it was cool, calm and, mostly crucially, clean.
Our dorm was divided up so that there two bunk beds per section. At night thick mosquito blinds were pulled down around the bed, creating your own private compartment, complete with a personal light, mirror and plug socket.
Security wise, we felt that we and our belongings were completely safe. Continue reading