Exploring Langkawi and Staying at Tubotel

I recently got to explore some cool parts of Malaysia as a solo female traveler, when Zach had to hurry up to Sri Lanka for work and I had a weird gap between visas.  We think it’s good to travel by ourselves sometimes!  It opens doors for lots of self-discovery and gives us a chance to miss each other.  The highlight of my trip was definitely Langkawi Island, a huge island in the northwest corner of Malaysia.  To get there, you can fly (expensive) or take a ferry from either Koh Lipe, Thailand, or Penang, Malaysia.

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Welcome to Pulau Langkawi!
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Tubotel- the best hostel in Langkawi!

Tubotel

On Langkawi I got to stay at Tubotel near Cenang Beach which was a joy!  Super friendly, amazing facilities, and the rooms are all inside cool giant recycled construction tubes!  The tubes make for a chilled-out, cozy little nest with a sea view!  Check out my Langkawi vlog below for a tour of Tubotel, Cenang Beach, and some other cool places I checked out!

I had a lot of time to chill out and work from Tubotel’s amazing patio and it was great to take it easy and catch up on some projects!  The best day in Langkawi, though, was the day I conquered my fears of scooter driving and rode all over the island!  Vroom vroom!  I drove like a Grandma and let everyone pass me to avoid accidents but I definitely started feeling cool and confident midway through the day.  Scooters. are. great!  Just be careful!  I checked out the Upsidow House and then rode all across the island through some beautiful jungle and fun hilly roads then stopped for some nachos at Fuel Dock Langkawi.

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Dancing on the ceiling at Upsidow House

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Tasty nachos after a lot of hot scooter driving!

I had a plan to check out the Durian Waterfall on the north side of the island but thanks to being a newbie at scooter riding and navigation I got lost a few times and ran out of time and energy before I made it there.  That’s okay, because I definitely want to come back to Langkawi with Zach next time!  And time spent chilling on the beach is never time wasted!

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Dreamy rice fields with water buffalo grazing

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On Cenang Beach you can find tons of water sports to enjoy

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Enjoying a delicious coconut affogato with banana bread, from one of the little coffee stands right on the beach!
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New friends ending the night at Tubotel!

Tubotel Services Included:

WiFi

Free breakfast – the menu changes every day and always has several options!

Air-conditioning in all tubes and dorms

Pizza oven serving at night!

Movies, games, and books!

Bike rental available

Free maps

Address: Kuala Cenang, 07000 Pantai Cenang, Malaysia

Emailalexsigi@yahoo.com

Website: www.tubotel.com

Phone: +60 14-240 7022

Prices:

Garden View Tube: 188 MYR

Sea View Tube: 268 MYR

4-person dorm: 88 MYR

Female dorm: 45 MYR

Male dorm: 50 MYR

Economy 12-bed dorm: 30 MYR

 

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The Floating Market in Damnoen Saduak – Bangkok Day Trips

The Floating Market in Damnoen Saduak is one of the most famous floating markets remaining in Thailand.  Vendors on boats float down canals selling everything from coconut ice cream to elaborate noodle dishes. The town where the market happens is an easy day trip from Bangkok, but we would recommend arriving the night before and going to the market in the early morning before the hordes of tour buses arrive.  Here is a short video from our trip.

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Stay Samed Coffee & Bed in Koh Samet, Thailand

Stay Samed Coffee & Bed in Ko Samet, Thailand is a beautiful new boutique hostel on the island, located down a quiet side street less than 10 minutes walk from Sai Kaew Beach and Na Don Pier.  Stay Samed let’s you relax in peace while being moments away from the party strip and the amazing ocean! 
Stay Samed Ko Samet
All rooms in Stay Samed come with air conditioning, and the beds are some of the most comfortable we have ever come across in any hostel dorms.  The private rooms are very spacious and come with LCD televisions and their own private bathrooms.

Stay Samed Ko SametThe dorm rooms have a maximum of 8 beds.  Each bed has its own privacy curtain, electrical outlet, and reading light.  Each dorm also has it’s own bathroom and shower.  The showers have soap and shampoo dispensers and the front desk gives you a towel at check-in.

Stay Samed Ko SametThe street front Stay Samed Cafe features western favorites such as chicken and waffles and the Stay Bowl- an invigorating breakfast bowl of yogurt, granola, fruit and superfoods!  There are also a large selection of coffees, sodas, and beers to quench everyone’s thirst.  They serve breakfast all day so don’t worry about sleeping in! The staff is super friendly and they probably speak better English than you.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions or have them help you with booking tours!  Here’s our video tour and some fun moments on the beach!

 

Services:

Fast Wifi

Security Lockers

Hot Showers

Tour and Boat Booking

Cafe and Bar

English Speaking Staff

Free Maps

Prices:

8 Bed Mixed Dorm: from ฿500

6 Bed Mixed Dorm: from ฿525

Private Room: From ฿1200

Rates vary seasonally.

Contact:

Phone: 095 523 2515

Email: staysamed@gmail.com

Address: Sai Kaew Beach
Ban Koh Samet, Rayong, Thailand 21160

Facebook.com/staysamed

Instagram.com/staysamed

 

 

 

 

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7 Types of Terrible Hostel Guests

Hostels are great places that laid back traveling people can enjoy.  They are some of the best places to meet new friends and share your favorite backpacking stories.  However, we’ve all met some types of people who just shouldn’t stay in hostels.  While there are more, these are our top seven types of terrible hostel guests.

terrible hostel guests

 

Top 7 Types of Terrible Hostel Guests:

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Chiang Mai : Asia’s Home for Digital Nomads

Chiang Mai has long been on our list of must dos.  A hub for expats and digital nomads in Southeast Asia, we imagined it as a place we could settle down for awhile.  After a few weeks of Bangkok, we needed to get out of the big city so we purchased a cheap flight to Thailand’s north.  You can also take the train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, but for a minimal amount more you can trade the 12 hour ride for a 1 hour flight.  On arrival around midnight we took a cheap taxi pickup truck, called a songthaew to our hostel.

The hostel, to our dismay, had forgotten our booking, which we found out right as it started to downpour.  Fortunately we found a private room right around the corner at Nomadic Guesthouse for only 200 baht per night and got ourselves some rest, ready to explore the town in the morning.

Chiang Mai roteeWe instantly loved Chiang Mai.  The vibe was so much more relaxed than our previous weeks in Bangkok, and the friendly people made us feel very welcome.  Read more

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Yimwhan Hostel & Cafe in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Yimwhan Hostel & Cafe

Yimwhan Hostel & Cafe in Ayutthaya, Thailand is a new and chic hostel in the old capital city.  Located in a quiet neighborhood just outside the old city, Yimwhan offers everything a traveler needs to feel comfortable in a new place. Their cafe and common room are great places to enjoy a coffee, or you can rent bicycles from their friendly staff and quickly find yourself among the ancient temples.  If biking is not your thing then they will call you a tuk tuk and have you at the temples in minutes.

Yimwhan Hostel & Cafe

Their private rooms feature large comfy beds on trendy pallet supports.  We loved the antique style light bulbs and old 80s televisions used as tables.  Each room also has a safe for your valuables.

Yimwhan Hostel & CafeYimwhan Hostel & Cafe also has mixed dorm and female dorm rooms.  The dorms are simple, clean, and well lit, a great value for the price.

Yimwhan Hostel & CafeThe highlight of Yimwhan Hostel & Cafe for us was the free breakfast.  Going way above and beyond the normal free hostel breakfast, Yimwhan served eggs, sausage, toast, cereals, milk, juice, and coffee.

Yimwhan Hostel & CafeYimwhan’s common room is a great place to relax after a long day of biking around the temples of Ayutthaya.  They have comfy beanbag chairs and movies to watch to wind down.  Check out our video below for a virtual tour around the hostel!

Services Included:

Super-fast WiFi

Free continental breakfast – eggs, sausage, toast, coffee, juice, and more!

Air-conditioning in all rooms

Cafe serving snacks and delicious coffees

Common kitchen

Movies, games, and books!

Bike rental for exploring the Temples

Shared kitchen for guests

Free maps

Address: 134/23 M.3, Klongsuanplu, Ayutthaya 13000

Email: yimwhanhostel@hotmail.com

Website: www.yimwhanhostelandcafe.com

Phone: 039 252 447

Cafe Hours: 7:00 – 17:00

Prices:

6 Bed Mixed Dorm: 290 ฿

6 Bed Female Dorm: 290 ฿

Standard Private Twin : 790 ฿

Deluxe Private Twin : 890 ฿

Deluxe 4 Bed Family Room: 1290 ฿

Book your train to Ayutthaya using the convenient form below!

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Backpacking Malaysia: A Guide for Easy Asia Travel

Backpacking Malaysia is great for easy Asia travel.  Easier than South America, easier than Thailand.  We traveled the length of the Malaysian peninsula from Malacca to Penang, Kuala Lumpur (KL) to the Perhentian Islands through the Cameron Highlands.  The people are friendly, welcoming, and excited to have you in their country.  The buses are clean with organized stations and the roads are smooth with minimal traffic, especially in the countryside.  The highlight of backpacking Malaysia was the food.  From Malay to Chinese to Indian, the cuisine is an amazing fusion of different cultures, living together in relative harmony.  Low food costs are easy for every budget traveler and in Malaysia you can get a full meal starting at $1.50 for a vegetarian banana leaf lunch.  Even though the government just added a tourist tax to all hotel rooms, Malaysia still has good deals for travelers on a budget.  We stayed in some of the nicest and most fun hostels of our lives, and our 15 days in the peninsula didn’t scratch the surface of what the country has to offer.

Pick a Route:backpacking malaysia easy asia travel

Picking a backpacking route though Malaysia is easy.  For a two week trip we would recommend starting in Singapore and working your way north from Malacca to KL, Cameron Highlands, Perhentian Islands, then back across to Georgetown, Penang.  If you have three weeks we would suggest adding Taman Negara National Park and Langkawi Island.  These are both trips along the standard backpacker trail, great for your first time in Malaysia.  Since Malaysia has much fewer tourists than Thailand, you will run into the same friendly faces as you go.  There was one lady on our trip that we ran into in at three different places on our adventure.  Of course there are many other parts of Malaysia worth exploring, mainly the jungles of Borneo where things are more wild.  On a four week trip we would suggest spending a week there getting off the tourist path.

Enjoy the Food:

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The food in Malaysia is easy and good for any backpacker’s budget. The most we “cooked” for ourselves in Malaysia was to peel a banana, maybe once.  The local markets are great places to pig out economically.  Check out the laksa, poh piah, mee koring, and nasi kandar.  Western style restaurants are there, but they are the most expensive and generally not as exciting as the local flavors.  Every city has a Chinese neighborhood and an Indian neighborhood.  Little India was always our favorite spot to eat, great for vegetarians and meat eaters alike!  For one meal I had seven different curries and spent a total of less than $3. For these reasons, Malaysia was my all time favorite country to eat in!

Stay in a Hostel:

Frame Guesthouse backpacking malaysia easy asia travel
The Frame lobby — a minimalist hostel in an old framemaker’s shop. Frame is a very zen/minimalist place with cedar ceilings and antique stairways. We really liked our private room here and stayed for three nights enjoying the AC and waterfall showers.

Backpackers will love Malaysia for the hostels which are cheap and easy to book online.  Sometimes they do fill up, especially in the busy season, so we suggest booking in advance.  They range in price and quality and there is a new 10 Ringgit tourist tax for every room.  Our favorites were the Lemongrass on Long Beach in the Perhentians, and Frame Guesthouse in Georgetown, Penang.  Prices range from $10 per night for a dorm bed, $15 for a beach bungalow, or $18 for private room with A/C.

Speak With the Locals:

Backpacking Malaysia is easier than other parts of Asia because most people can speak or at least understand English.  A majority of the signs are also in English and Malay, so you will never have a hard time finding your way around.  Malay also using the English characters so it’s easy to pick up a little bit along the way which always makes the locals appreciate you more.   Knowing few words like terima kasih (thank you) can get you a lot of respect points and make you look a little better than the average traveler.

 

When looking for easier Asia travel, backpacking Malaysia should be at the top of your list.  With top notch people, food, nature and adventure, and hostels, never ending aventuras await you in this tropical paradise!

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Like this post about backpacking Malaysia for easy Asia travel?  Check out our archives for never ending travel advice, reviews, and many stories of adventure in Malaysia!

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