Yupp, you read that right. I once paid to sleep on the floor. When I travel I almost always stay in hostels, unless I go somewhere with my parents who pay for a hotel room (yay!), but that happens rarely.

I stay in hostels because of budgets, and because they’re a great place to meet people. It doesn’t matter if I’m traveling solo or with a friend, I always suggest a hostel because hostels are where I meet some of the coolest people.

So now on to my story…

At the time I was living in Phitsanulok, Thailand teaching English and had 5 days off for New Years. Obviously I wanted to go somewhere. So after crossing Koh Phangan off the list because of its crazy prices for flights and hostels (seriously like hostels in Canada are cheaper), I decided on Phuket, the largest island in Thailand and a popular tourist destination.

I was booking late (about a month in advance, but you know New Years) and so I was left with few options. I knew I wanted to be close to a beach and in an area that was as close to the hustle and bustle.

Capsule Hostel
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I quickly decided against staying in Phuket Town (not close to the beach) and ended up right in the middle of the action. I seriously could not have gotten any closer. A 3 minute walk to the beach down one street, and that street was Bangla Road.

The most famous road in Phuket known for its party scene at night. I would walk up from underground and find myself in the middle of the street, the music blaring from the many bars packed with people. This hostel was under a mall and you couldn’t hear any of the music once inside.

Not only were there bars, but restaurants, shopping, a 7-11 (yay for even cheaper beer!), a Starbucks, and McDonalds. It’s also a walking street so people were everywhere stumbling around or just browsing, lady boys were posing for pictures, people trying to sell you random light up toys, or tickets to shows.

Bangla Road
You bet I bought one of those light up toys, aka my head band.

But back to when I was originally looking for hostels. Most looked really small or sketchy so I ended up booking a capsule hostel, “how cool,” I thought. Only all the capsule beds were booked. The only beds that were still being shown as available were in a “100 bed dorm room.”

Interesting. I booked it and hoped for the best since the location was exactly what I wanted and the price was decent.

I figured it would be an experience…and that I’d catch up on sleep when I was back in Phitsanulok.

This 100 bed dorm room turned out to be very thin mattresses on the floor in the middle of the common room. The rooms with the capsule beds were all off of the common room and had only fabric drapes as doors. The bathrooms were also just past the area where the beds (I mean mattresses) were, so I had a lot of people walking bedside me all throughout the night.

Hostel Bed

Little sleep happened, but alcohol helped to knock me out for most of the night.

Luckily it was a very quiet hostel so there wasn’t much noise other than on NYE when people sat and chatted in the common room, and people from the rooms would yell and tell them to shut up…only once did a yelling match start.

Ear plugs helped, but I still felt super awkward laying on the floor and having people look at me sleep while they walked by. It was also pretty cold and they only gave 2 thin blankets to cover up.

The hostel was also very clean, had lockers to store all my stuff, and good wifi. I felt safe, and I felt that my stuff was safe.

Would I ever book a 100 bed dorm room again? Absolutely not. I was completely exhausted from little sleep and could barely carry my light backpack by the time I got home after sleeping in the Bangkok airport overnight because of exhaustion.

It was definitely not my best decision as a traveler, but now it’s a funny story. The funniest part? I found out that people who booked only a couple of days before got capsule beds. Though I didn’t think it was very funny at the time.

It was slightly cheaper to sleep in the common room, but it still cost me about 300 baht ($11.25 CAD) a night (including breakfast…which was also in the common room every morning).

When it came to this situation I asked myself what my priority was, and it was location and a big enough hostel to meet people. I didn’t die from lack of sleep, and I did meet some cool people.

Regrets? None. Fun? Yupp. Experience? Lived and learned a little.

What’s the worst decision you’ve made as a traveler?

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Travel Mistakes

12 Comments

  1. some places will do anything to make a dollar and put people anywhere as long as people are willing to stay. good on you for taking it on

  2. 2TravelDads Reply

    Commence creepy comment: I love you.

    Seriously, you have the best stories and the funniest point of view. The closest I’ve come to staying in a place like this was accidentally camping in the middle of a big Italian family reunion in northern Italy… but even then, still not a mat on the floor by the beach. 🙂

  3. Reminded me of the time when I arrived to a village and everything was fully booked and they wanted to charge me the same price as for a night just for taking a shower…so I got pissed off (it was after hiking all day), washed myself in a restaurant bathroom and slept at a cemetery, near the church to break the wind. It was not the worst night I had! 🙂

  4. That is one funny story 🙂 the wierdest (quite gross actually) bed I slept at was in Malaysia, at what looked like a decent room and bed in a small hotel. I had red spot all over my body next day, bed bugs, gross!!

  5. In New Caledonia, we many times paid to sleep on a thin mattress on the floor. It wasn’t cheap, but still cheaper than actual hotels, and it also gave us a chance to talk with locals. We all slept well, and it was only our family in the house, not 100 people! I guess because we knew in advance what to expect, we had a good experience!

  6. One of the mistakes, is missing our train to Florence in Rome because we were stuck on the wrong platform 🙂

    • Oh no! I almost missed a train transfer in Germany because they changed platforms at the last minute, and they accounted it in German only, but luckily someone spoke English and translated for me so I could run for it!

  7. Sabine Krestel Reply

    Loving the Story =) I always treasure nights like this, because they make up the best stories and the weirdest memories 😀 My worst night was at several Airports…one just can’t relax so good on a bench and with the luggage in the arms 😉

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