Ready to backpack Southeast Asia? With a few months on the road here and a few more to go, we keep wanting to share all of the places to stay that we’ve found on our (rather tight) backpacker budget here in Southeast Asia, because by now we’ve gotten pretty good at uncovering the gems- and avoiding the land mines. Some of these hostels or guesthouses have their own posts, but with a new bed every few days, a one-liner is often enough to cover most of them. Here’s the ever-growing list of all of the places we’ve stayed in Southeast Asia, or in other words, a list of the cheapest hostels we found in all of Southeast Asia so you don’t have to go door-to-door with your backpacks comparing prices and rooms like we did.

 

Best Budget Hostels Southeast Asia

 

 

(To be clear, we consider these this best hostels and guesthouses given our backpacker budget. The ones with an asterisk* are amazing regardless of price, and you’ll notice there are a few that we acknowledge are only great because of their price. But since most other backpackers are simply searching for the cheapest spot in town (and few online resources show the true lowest price you can find in any given destination), these are the backpacker-to-backpacker tips on the best places to sleep in Southeast Asia for very cheap. This is not a round-up of the first results on Hostelworld or Booking.com, but the result of us knowing there were better deals to be had than we read about online and seeking them out over 6 months. Thank you to the few travel bloggers who did write about truly cheap backpacker haunts, and to the many people on the road who passed us their best tips!)

So, here you go! Our list of the best and/or cheapest places to lay your head in Southeast Asia.

 

Thailand

 

Best Budget Hostels in Thailand

 

Bangkok

Sitdhi Guesthouse

$8/double room with fan, the absolute cheapest hostel we found near Khao San Road (just a block away). Wifi is horrible and there aren’t many showers, but it’s clean, fine for sleeping, and the cheapest you’ll find so we recommend it on that basis alone. Don’t expect any free services though- they’ll charge you for toilet paper, faster internet upgrades, breathing…It’s the cheapest for a reason!

You can’t book Sitdhi online, so just show up with your backpack or call ahead!

Thrive the Hostel

$8/person for a room in a really cool industrial-style dorm (usually with only 4 people), this hostel is a great place to be social and experience Bangkok off of skid row. Rooms are new and clean with A/C, and it’s right next to the Silom Station so you can easily get to Hua Lamphong Train Station or either airport.

You can book Thrive the Hostel on Agoda.

The Cube*

Boutique hostel, about $15USD/night for a “Japanese capsule bed” where you will sleep amazingly well, this was a splurge that we needed on a layover. Downtown, close to Hua Lamphong Train station. Breakfast included. (This was a pretty cool one so it has its own post with photos here).

You can book The Cube on Agoda and Booking.

Chiang Mai

Indie House @ Ku Muang*

Our favorite place to stay in Asia, you can read all about it here. An amazing deal for those staying in Chiang Mai long-term… Heads up: They have several locations, we only stayed at Ku Muang in the Old City.

You can’t book Indie House @ Ku Muang online (only the Nimman location), but message us and we’ll put you in touch with the landlord!

Bunchun Arts Hostel

Love/hate, but a little more of the latter (it’s the only place Megan has ever written a bad review on TripAdvisor for, Henry still thinks it’s an unbeatable deal). $3 for a bed in a huge dorm without doors, very social, fun, quirky, loud, only 3 bathrooms, there are about 6 cats and dogs living there, owner is eccentric (fun if things go well, a nightmare if you have a problem). We loved it until Megan and several other people got bed bugs, and then no refunds, no help from staff. Could definitely say more on it but we’ll choose not to. This was one of the worst hostel experiences in Southeast Asia, so this is not a recommendation (but we said we’d mention everywhere we stayed!).

Dozy House

About $15 for a private double with bathroom inside, it’s not the cheapest but has incredibly kind and helpful family running it. Stayed here a couple of years ago, but checked it out this trip and it’s still great. Relaxed vibe, good for meeting people but not a party spot.

You can book Dozy House on Agoda and Booking.

Pai

Giant Pai*

300 baht for a two-person bungalow ($9.50), 200 baht for a one-person ($5.60). Highly recommend!! Great deal for Pai. They have a huge grassy area on the riverside with private bamboo bungalows, kitchen to use, unlimited free water, tea and coffee, bar. Bathrooms are outhouses, showers cold, wifi not great, perfect very-hippie escape.

You can’t book the Giant Pai Bungalows online, but just show up with your backpack and see what they’ve got!

 

Mae Sariang

Mae Sariang Guesthouse

For those doing the Mae Hong Son loop on motorbike, this is a great place to rest your head (the cheapest we found in Mae Sariang). 200 baht for a double private, 150 baht for a single private room (bathrooms inside). Very basic, old building creaks at night, no hot water, but great deal and plenty of motorbike parking in their lot. Staff don’t speak much English, but were helpful as they could be. Easy.

You can’t book Mae Sariang Guesthouse online, but they pretty much always have availability.

 

Mae Hong Son

The Likeview

Bamboo house with private rooms, best deal around that we found (with a rooftop that has a lake view). 200 baht for a double private, 150 for a single private, bathrooms outside, no hot water. Also a good cheap place for those who just need somewhere to sleep mid-motorbike loop.

You can book The Like View on Booking.

 

Vietnam

 

Best Budget Hostels VIetnam

 

Cat Ba

Cat Ba Dream Hotel

$3 per person for a 4-person private room, basic, clean, hot water, on waterfront, good Wifi. Great deal for budget travelers!

You can book Cat Ba Dream Hotel on Agoda and Booking.

The Noble House*

$5 for a private double (she’ll say $10, say your friend told you $5, she’ll agree), on top of a fun restaurant and bar, room decor is pimp-my-guesthouse fab. On waterfront, very clean, hot water, okay Wifi, balcony with ocean view.

You can’t book The Noble House online, but all the better for bargaining!

Cat Ba Central Hostel

$5 for a bed in a dorm, the others were better deals but this comes with breakfast and is the best for meeting people. (Friend’s recommendation).

You can book Cat Ba Central Hostel on Agoda, and Booking.

Cat Ba Central Hotel

Allegedly even more fun than the “hostel” of same name. Same price, can book online. (Friend’s recommendation).

You can book Cat Ba Central Hotel on Agoda, and Booking.

 

Hanoi

Hanoi Youth Hostel*

$5 for a bed in a dorm, very clean, good beds, shared bathroom, hot water, in classic building in Old Quarter. Very, very, very kind and helpful staff, breakfast included. Has a bar and rooftop.

You can book Hanoi Youth Hostel on Agoda and Booking.

Olive Hanoi Hotel

Owned by Hanoi Youth, we stayed when the other had no space. $5 for bed in dorm, not as clean as other, lockers are useless because not all sides are enclosed. Kind staff, hot water, great location in Old Quarter, breakfast included.

You can book Olive Hanoi Hotel on Agoda and Booking.

Hanoi Backpackers (New)*

The party hostel in Hanoi, stayed here a few years ago… From $7-10 for a dorm bed, you pay for the party. Clean, good facilities, very social, they run the infamous Halong Bay booze cruise. You probably won’t sleep, but you’ll make a million friends and have an incredible time.

You can book Hanoi Backpackers on Hostelworld.

 

Tam Coc (8km from Ninh Binh)

Tam Coc Backpacker Hostel

$5 per person for a dorm bed, comes with amazing free breakfast (make sure to confirm when you check in), staff are a bit rough around the edges. Very clean and quite nice facilities, Wifi isn’t great.

You can book Tam Coc Backpacker Hostel on Agoda and Booking.

The Long Hotel

$10 for a private double, connected to Tam Coc, amazing breakfast (make sure to confirm when you check in), staff are nicer on this side of the street.

You can book The Long Hotel on Agoda and Booking.

 

Dong Hoi

Nam Long Hotel

$5 per person for a dorm, really clean, free hot water for tea or ramen, bikes for rent & in-house travel agency. Perfect for getting to Vinh Moc tunnels. Best deal in Dong Hoi.

You can book Nam Long Hotel on Agoda and Booking.

 

Phong Nha-Ke Bang

Phong Nha Backpacker Hostel

If you book a bus ticket from Cat Be Central Hostel (Cat Ba to Phong Nha), you get a free night’s stay here. If it’s free, stay. They’ll let you check in when you get in at 5am, so it’s almost like 2 free nights. If it’s not free…Look around a bit more. The staff were very kind but people come in every day at 5am from the buses and wake you up, there are only 2 bathrooms for everyone, and there are no lockers…Anywhere.

 

Hue

Thai Binh 2

$13/night for a four person room (~$3/person) Cheap hotel, basic, clean, good if you want some peace and quiet. High point is the incredible owner, perfect for those wanting to spend time with a local rather than other backpackers. Hang out in the lobby, have afternoon tea with him, or go out for pho and beer. Barely speaks English but it doesn’t even matter. Three and four-person rooms barely cost more than single and doubles (paid 300,000 dong for 4 people; 150,000 for single). Right across from the train station.

You can book Thai Binh 2 on Agoda and Booking.

Thanh Nga Guesthouse

$4/night, this is right in the midst of all the cheap hostels in Hue. Very basic but great price and location, few blocks from the bus station.

You can book Thanh Nga Guesthouse on Agoda and Booking.

 

Hoi An

Vinh Huy Hotel

$5/person for a double, cheapest spot we found in Hoi An and still a great place to stay. Swimming pool, A/C, right in front of the bus station, helpful staff, awesome deal in an expensive town.

You can book Vinh Huy Hotel on Agoda and Booking.

Iris Villa

Brand new and very clean, it was pretty freakin’ chic for $9/night (only $2 more than dorm beds we found, Hoi An isn’t cheap). Has a pool, breakfast included, staff are amazing (spent an afternoon with the receptionist and she did my nails while telling us about Vietnamese culture).

You can book Iris Villa on Agoda and Booking.

Cloudy Homestay and Hostel

$8/night, was full so we were sent to Iris Villa, but we heard amazing things! Book online before, they have activities like going to the market with the families and evening cooking together. Go with a friend, cost for a dorm bed and private double are basically the same.(Friend’s Recommendation).

You can book Cloudy Homestay on Agoda and Booking (and you should- It always fills up!).

 

Nha Trang

Thuy Duong Hotel

$10 for a double room, owner is really kind (helped mend clothes, gave us food, the works), location is just 2 blocks from the beach, clean room with a mini fridge, great place to stay.

You can book Thuy Duong on Agoda and Booking.

 

Ho Chi Minh

(Go to Pham Ngu Lao Alley where all of the cheap guesthouses are. All of these are on or branching off of it.)

Mimi Backpacker’s

$13/double room, it’s not cheap but it’s about the same as other hostels in this city (most are $5-7 per person, for reference). Rooms have fans and A/C, clean, perfect location, and the staff are really nice. Just off of Pham Ngu Lao, go there and ask for Mimi Backpacker’s. Also, Mimi says smoking is allowed, and she’s happy to give you the stuff to smoke with.

You can book Mimi Backpacker’s on Agoda.

Wanderlust Hostel

$3.50/person in a dorm, really basic but the very cheapest in all of Saigon. Stay here if budget is your main priority. The bunks are triple-decker, and the top is the cheapest (this is the price for the top). They’ll try to make money in other ways (have to pay to check-in before 3pm, etc.). No A/C, good location on the main backpacker’s alley.

You can book Wanderlust Hostel on Agoda and Booking.

 

Cambodia

 

Best Budget Hostels Cambodia

 

Siem Reap

Green Cycle Inn Hostel

$4/person in a 6-person dorm, brand new, very clean, good internet, they rent bikes for $1 or $3 (old vs. new), central location to everything in Siem Reap. You can also book all your tours here.

You can book Green Cycle on Agoda and Booking.

 

Koh Rong

Neng’s Guesthouse

$10 for a double room (that could easily be a triple, the bed is massive), this was the absolute cheapest we found on Koh Rong (besides camping) and we totally recommend it for backpackers.

The rooms are beachy and basic, but a great deal in a spot where you can pay the same price (or much more) for one dorm bed. Upstairs has a great little hangout spot on the patio with hammocks and egg chairs, and the beds have mosquito nets. You’re only a few steps off the main beach with the bars, but can’t hear any of the music at night (which is very rare on Koh Rong). They have no internet, but Dreamcatcher’s reaches. Keep in mind that check-out is 9am.

You can’t book Neng’s Guesthouse online, so go to Three Brother’s Guesthouse (go left off the ferry dock and it’s right there) and ask them for Neng’s. Or keep going and turn right at Dreamcatcher Cafe and it’s the first place on the right, but the sign is sometimes covered.

Camping on 4km Beach

$10 for an already pitched tent right on the water, you can fit anywhere between 2-4 people depending on how well you know each other and how much stuff you have. The tents are pitched, and they have separate bathrooms. It’s amazing, but it’s a bit too far if you want to go out at the bars at night. There’s one local restaurant nearby and that’s it. Perfect for those who just want to camp on a beach away from everyone. (Friend’s recommendation: We checked it out but didn’t stay).

You can’t book these tents online, so just show up! Walk (about 30 minutes) or take a taxi boat directly to 4km beach (tell them “camping”).

Camping on Long Beach (DIY)

Bring your own tent from Sihanoukville and camp on this pristine white sand, blue water beach. When you arrive, take a taxi boat to the beach (or hike, 1 hour from main beach), you can camp anywhere and there’s nobody around. Swim with the bioluminescent plankton at night!

 

Laos

 

Best Budget Hostels Laos

 

Luang Prabang

Phousi 2 Guesthouse

Just opened, quite basic but such a good deal and staff are so kind. 30,000 kip ($3.60 USD) per night, everywhere around is double or more, feels like you’re in the family’s home. On riverfront, hot water, Wifi isn’t amazing, if you get a dorm you’ll probably have it to yourself, if not it’s very close quarters.

You can book Phousi 2 Guesthouse on Agoda and Booking.

 

Vang Vieng

EasyGo Backpacker Hostel

28,000 kip per person for a 3-person private, 26,000 for a dorm bed (less than $3.50 USD). Two buildings, newer is colder (literally and in vibe), older is like a bungalow but loud. Overall, great deal, awesome communal areas, owner is nice, didn’t worry about staff stealing our things like we’d heard of in other hostels in Vang Vieng.

You can book EasyGo Backpacker on Hostelworld.

 

Vientiane

Lucky Backpackers

$5 for a dorm bed. Most guesthouses here are the same, this has much better facilities for same price as “party hostels” (still very social). Good location like all hostels here, breakfast included. Hot water, okay wifi.

You can book Lucky Backpackers on Agoda and Booking.

 

Myanmar

Best Budget Hostels Myanmar Burma

Yangon

Mahabandoola Guesthouse

$6 per person for private rooms (same price/person for single, double, triple), has to be the cheapest in all of Yangon. Old, run-down, bad Wifi, local staff, great location. You really get what you pay for, but it’s all part of the experience (and Myanmar hostels can break your budget otherwise).

You can’t book Mahabandoola Guesthouse online, so just show up or call ahead! (Take a taxi to Sule Pagoda and you’ll find it.)

 

Mandalay

Garden Hotel

On the street with all of the cheap hotels, this was the absolute cheapest (and quality not very different). Old but not bad, breakfast included, hot water, great value for budget travelers. $12 for a double, $8 for a bed in dorm.

You can book the Garden Hotel on Agoda and Booking.

 

Bagan

Winner Guesthouse

$10/person for a private room with bathroom inside ($20 for double, $30 for triple). We heard Pann Cherry is the cheapest at only $6 but it was full and they don’t do reservations. Great location in Nyuang U, can walk to sunrise/sunset temple, amazing breakfast included, hot water, weak wifi like most of Myanmar.

You can’t book Winner Guesthouse online, so just show up or call ahead!

 

Indonesia

Best Budget Hostels Indonesia

Jakarta (Java)

Teduh Hostel @ Kota Tua*

$7.50/person in a dorm if you book online, $10/person if you book in person (def book ahead, but if you forget just sit in the lobby, use wifi and book it there like we did!). It was the cheapest we could find online, never walked around to see if we could find cheaper in person. So cool, it was actually a lot like The Cube in Bangkok with it’s cool capsule bed design. Amazing staff, free breakfast, free water, coffee and tea at all times, clean bathrooms, new facilities, we loved the capsule rooms. Great downtown location, highly recommend.

You can book Teduh Hostel @ Kota Tua on Agoda and Booking.

 

Bogor (Java)

Wisma Firman Pensione

$6 for a double room downstairs, $7.50 for a double upstairs. Every room has a slightly different price, some go up to $9. It’s very basic, but the absolute cheapest in Bogor. Kind, helpful family staff, walking distance from Botanical Gardens, everyone knows it in town so you’ll never get lost. Near cheap local food, 15 minute walk from train and bus station. Stay upstairs, the downstairs rooms are a drastic downgrade for small savings.

You can’t book Wisma Firman Pensione online, but just show up- they always have availability!

 

Bandung (Java)

Gado Gadu*

$5/person usually, they have all different rooms (2, 3, 4 people, different bed sizes) at slightly different prices but that’s what we paid. AMAZING staff with so many local secrets to share, central location, walking distance to train station, clean rooms and bathrooms, breakfast included, nice communal area.

You can book Gado Gadu on Agoda and Booking.

 

Yogyakarta (Java)

There are a ton of guesthouses on Jl. Prawirotaman, but we Couchsurfed with a fun guy named Sutardi Purwono.

EDU Hostel Jogja

$6/person in a dorm, this one was repeatedly recommended to us. Breakfast is included, and it’s supposed to be a great value for the money. If we hadn’t stayed with Sutardi, we would have booked here.

You can book EDU Hostel Jogja on Agoda and Booking.

 

Jepara (Java)

Hotel Asia

$3.75/person for both a double or quadruple room, this was the very cheapest we found in Jepara (the connecting point for ferries to the beautiful and underrated Karimunjawa island). The shower is a bucket shower (common in these parts), and they don’t have Wifi, but it’s the cheapest in town. Really kind staff but don’t speak much English.

You can’t book Hotel Asia online, but you can just show up or call ahead!

 

Amed (Bali)

Pacha Homestay*

Our absolute favorite, Pacha is the place to stay in Amed. $22 for a cottage that has 3 queen-sized beds (so you can fit 6 people if you’re sharing). It’s a family-run reggae bar with live music most nights, and amazing cottages in the back that are such a great deal you’ll feel like you’ve robbed someone. They have in-room bathrooms, patios with bean bags, and a loft inside the room. Breakfast is included, and you can use the kitchen whenever you want. The family is so wonderful, sit and chat with them to have an amazing afternoon or night. Highlight of Bali for us. (They are currently building a dorm, so check for that soon!).

You can’t book Pacha Homestay online (yet!), so just show up or call ahead.

Fab Dive

Want to scuba dive in Bali? Accommodation is free for divers if you dive at Fab Dive, wooo! Just a bit outside of the middle of Amed, this is the most peaceful place to unwind after an amazing day diving. Owner Fabian was a wonderful accent to our trip, giving up the best Bali tips and constantly entertaining us, and the facilities were great. Tell him we sent you!

You can book Fab Dive on Booking or AirBnb.

 

Ubud (Bali)

Balibbu Hostel*

$5.50 per night for a bed in a dorm or bamboo beehive thing (you have to see it to understand how cool it is), Balibbu is the best value we found in Ubud and one of our favorite hostels in all of Southeast Asia (and everyone else seems to agree). It’s one of the cheapest you’ll find, but as good as much more expensive ones. Nice swimming pool, big patio, breakfast included, free tea and coffee all day, and really kind staff. Not right in the center, but walking distance from everything (including the Monkey Forest and Pizza Bagus, our favorite things in Ubud!). Definitely book online in advance, even just a day, it often fills up.

You can book Balibbu Hostel Ubud on Agoda and Booking.


And there you have it…All of the best deals for guesthouses / hostels / hotels and homestays that we’ve found and stayed in in all of Southeast Asia! As we travel, we will continue to add to the list, so expect to see a few new countries coming in the next month or so.

Have suggestions for your best places to stay in Southeast Asia on a budget? Share them in the comments below and help some fellow travelers (especially if you found better deals than we did ;)).

 

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