This post was last updated on February 17th, 2020 at 01:06 pm
What is the difference between a hostel and a guesthouse? Often they both mean the same thing, yet there is a difference between a hostel and a guesthouse. A hostel in Thailand is really no more than a low-budget version of a hotel. A guesthouse is like a house where you can rent a room and sleep.
Locals who have rooms left in their home rent them out. The prices of guesthouses in Thailand are therefore very low, making it a popular accommodation for backpackers. The biggest advantage of sleeping in guesthouses is the contact you will have with the locals. They can often tell you more about a country or region than the best travel guide!
Costs of Guesthouses in Thailand
The costs of guesthouses in Thailand can vary a lot. Where costs quickly rise to US$10 – US$15 in Bangkok, you will pay less than $5 at lesser-known locations. In addition, it also depends on the season in which you travel. On average the price of a room will be around $6.
A hostel is often just a bit more expensive, but they will also provide more facilities (think of Wi-Fi, for example). For $6 at a guesthouse, you shouldn’t expect any miracles. If you can negotiate well you can always get a small discount and staying several nights in a row will do wonders for your haggling adventures.
Finding Thai Guesthouses
Finding guesthouses in Thailand is not that difficult. Especially at popular destinations, there are a huge number of guesthouses on every corner of the street. This saves, first and foremost, in searching but also in endless walking around with a heavy bag on your back.
Do not be afraid that you cannot find anything or that everything is full. Even though it sometimes seems to be a problem after a long day of traveling, there is always a guesthouse owner who opens his or her doors for you.
Before you agree with the owner of the room you want, we recommend that you first take a look at the room. For example, check if you have hot water (if this is something they promised,) if the sockets (electricity) are working and if the beds are clean. In addition, it may matter in price whether or not you need air conditioning, so remember this well in advance.
Booking Guesthouses Online
On the internet, there are countless providers where you can book a guesthouse or hostel in Thailand. We had great experiences with Booking.com. The big advantage of Booking.com is that you can make a reservation without having to pay in advance. In addition, you can cancel free of charge up to 24 hours in advance.
You can also search for guesthouses by city. For example, here you can find a list of guesthouses available in Bangkok. We usually only book our first night after arriving in advance because there is always something available. Would you rather be sure of a room or do you want to sleep in that nice guesthouse/hostel? Then we advise you to book in advance.