Tucked into one of Singapore’s most charming and historic neighborhoods, this cheap and cheerful hostel is legendary in the backpacker world. And for good reason, it’s almost too good to be true. Set inside two restored century-old shophouses, walls are decorated with local art and the onsite restaurant specializes in Peranakan food (the traditional hybrid cuisine of Chinese immigrants to the region who intermarried with local women). The Betel Box ethos is all about promoting the historic side of Singapore that is fast disappearing.
The staff is friendly, rooms are clean, showers have hot water (not always a hostel given), and you even get a locker to store your valuables. Lots of extras included in the affordable rates include free broadband Internet access for 30 minutes a day at the hostel’s computers and free unlimited Wi-Fi for your own devices. Join free tours, from pub crawls (you buy your own booze) to nature walks and guided walks focused on local food and history. Besides one family room, there are three co-ed dorm rooms with six, eight, and 20 bunk-style beds, plus one females-only dorm with eight beds.
The nearest MRT station (Paya Lebar) is a long 20-minute walk, though the Joo Chiat Place and Joo Chiat Road bus stops are very close.