Cambodia Southeast Asia Thailand Vietnam

My Favourite Accommodations in Southeast Asia

Oct 23

During my two months in Southeast Asia I stayed at 15 different hostels, hotels, and guesthouses. Some were outstanding- with modern designs and impressive levels of service- and others were average or forgettable.

I was especially impressed with every hotel I stayed at in Vietnam. With clean rooms, consistently delicious breakfasts, professional and courteous staff, and ridiculously cheap rates, I think Vietnamese hotels were some of the most high-value properties I’ve ever stayed at.

I only traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam on this trip, so I hope to add to this list when I have traveled more extensively in the region.

These are my favourite accommodations in no particular order:

1) Smiley’s Lake House – Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

Smiley’s Lake House is basically a floating hostel located on Chieo Lan Lake surrounded by lush jungle and limestone karsts. The bungalows are very basic with thin walls, a mattress on the floor, a small attached bathroom, and limited electricity. Even though the actual accommodations aren’t particularly spectacular, staying at this lake house was such a unique experience. I loved the beautiful and peaceful surroundings and, because there was no light pollution, the sky was illuminated with bright and vivid stars each night.

lakehouse lakehouse2

2) B&B Hanoi Hostel – Hanoi, Vietnam

This hotel is small, clean, and located right in the heart of the Old Town. The level of service was outstanding and the staff is really what makes this hotel special. From the moment I arrived to the time I checked out, every staff member was attentive, helpful, and went above and beyond to make my stay enjoyable.

The front desk agent practically ran outside to help my friend and I carry our luggage into the hotel when we arrived late in the evening. When he found out we were feeling ill, the concierge walked my friend and I down the street to a pharmacy and helped us purchase medication, he made us ginger tea, and assisted us in searching for flights when we decided to go to Hoi An on a whim. I couldn’t believe the level of service I received at a hotel that costs $22 per night.

Also, the breakfast was delicious- a fresh and crispy baguette with eggs, fresh fruit, and fruit juice.

Rate: Rooms start at $22 per night

3) The Town House 50 – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

This hostel is spotless with a contemporary design, bright tones, and an inviting ambiance. The bed was comfortable and I loved the large marble shower.

The front desk agent was very friendly and greeted me with a cold glass of water and freshly sliced watermelon when I arrived- which was a nice touch.

The breakfast was amazing and consisted of a fresh baguette, made to order eggs, fresh tropical fruits, and delicious iced coffee.

The hostel is located in a nice area of District 1 and is within walking distance of Pham Ngu Lao (the backpacker district).

townhouse2 townhouseRate: Private rooms start at $35 per night and dorms are $11 per night

4) Sunshine Hotel – Hoi An, Vietnam

This hotel is aptly named with large windows and bright and cheery rooms and common areas. There is ample space in the lobby, breakfast area, and the rooms are also very spacious. The beds were large and comfortable- which is a rarity in Southeast Asia.

The breakfast buffet almost deserves a post on its own; it was the best breakfast I’ve ever had- anywhere. There was a long table of hot and cold dishes including Asian dishes of rice, noodles, steamed vegetables, and spring rolls. There were also western fare options, an omelet station, cakes and pastries, fresh fruit and fruit juice- plus more.

Sunshine Hotel is perfectly located between the Old Town and the beach in a quiet area. The Old Town is a 15 minute walk or so and Cua Dai beach is roughly a 15 minute bike ride away. (Free bike rentals are available.)

sunshine sunshine2Rate: Rooms start at $26 per night

5) Tropical Breeze Guesthouse – Siem Reap, Cambodia

I had booked this hotel in advance and was slightly nervous to see the condition of accommodations considering it was only $10 per night.

Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived. The husband and wife owners were friendly and the guesthouse was located within walking distance of the main town centre.

The rooms were a little worn and dated, but they were also clean and spacious. The air conditioner in my room wasn’t working, but there was a fan, and it was surprisingly sufficient- especially considering how hot it was when I visited.

Breakfast and free WiFi were included and I felt safe with an overnight security guard manning the premises.

Rate: Private rooms start at $12 per night and dorms are $5 per night


  • Reply Packing my Suitcase Oct 24 at 4:20 am

    Very nice suggestions 😀 thank you for sharing 😉

  • Reply The Together Traveler Nov 13 at 7:45 pm

    The lake house looks amazing! I didn’t stay at the tropical breeze but really enjoyed the Siem Reap hostel.

    • Reply ashleywanders Nov 14 at 10:33 am

      The lake house was awesome! I think the Siem Reap Hostel was one property I considered booking when I was looking for accommodations in Cambodia! The price of Tropical Breeze won me over, though haha.

  • Reply R T Jun 04 at 2:07 am

    This is a great list, thank you! That lake house in Thailand is somewhere I’m definitely going to need to check out!

    Are there any hostels/hotels you’d recommend staying away from?

    • Reply ashleywanders Jun 04 at 5:40 am

      I’d definitely recommend the lake house – it’s very basic, but you can’t beat the location! The White Rabbit in Phnom Penh was my least favourite hostel in SEA, and it’s the only one I’d say you should probably avoid!

      • Reply R T Jun 04 at 9:01 pm

        Awesome, thanks, I’ll keep it in mind when I’m down that way!

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