It’s been estimated that Thailand’s hostel sector will grow by a whopping 10 percent during 2016, reports E Thailand, and Bangkok will naturally be at the epicentre of the growth.
The rise in hostels is thanks in large part to the corresponding rise in young, solo travellers and backpackers from around the world.
Hostels are generally much cheaper to stay in than traditional hotels and often considered to be more sociable and a good place to meet fellow travellers.
Visa recently published the findings from a global study where 64 percent of tourists aged between 18 and 30 preferred hostels to standard hotel chains.
The same study found that 24 percent of all tourists were travelling solo during 2015 – up 14 percent on the year previous.
Bangkok is currently home to around 400 hostels, says E Thailand. While many of these are found in the backpacker friendly haunts of the old city and near the notorious Khao San Road, the Sukhumvit area also has a few up its sleeve.
Traditional hostels with mixed dorms and bunk beds, shady characters and shared drinking sessions are still very much in vogue in Thailand but there’s a new breed of budget travelling emerging in the Sukhumvit area.
These new hostels are clean, organised and futuristic in their aesthetics. Occasionally, they’re modelled after the Japanese capsule hotels, and designed for the ‘urban nomad’ style of traveller who wants more than just a space to lay his head. There may be a co-working space or networking opportunities appended to the hostel in one way or the other.
Matchbox is one such hostel on Soi 33, offering private box beds each with its own TV and safe box. Privacy and comfort are their major selling point.
ONEDAY/Pause is another stylish enclave on Soi 26, where accommodation is just as cheap as your usual hostels but with a focus on working and creating. There’s access included to the ONEDAY/Forward co-working space, kitsch coffee shop Casa Lapin, and free WiFi throughout the building.
New wave hostels like these are reflecting the changing demands and increased sophistication of solo travellers.
It’s not just drunk teenagers on the well-worn backpacking trail of Southeast Asia looking for hostel accommodation anymore; it’s professionals, entrepreneurs and creators.
While these traditional hostels have their values and are bound to stick around in Thailand for many more years to come, it’s good to see the hostel industry responding to the demands of solo travellers and revolutionising the market.
Hostels in Bangkok: love them or hate them?
Featured image is by Barnacles Budget Accommodation and is used under a Creative Commons licence