Dorms are not exactly known to give you much privacy – you sleep together with a bunch of strangers in squeaky bunk beds while someone else’s sweaty feet climb the little ladder on the side of the bed next to your face, and wherever you look you’re facing someone else in a bed in front of you. Well, there is a different sort of bunk bed system which is becoming more and more popular around the world, that claims to tackle some of these annoyances: pod beds. We had never tried this concept before, and were curious to see how different a dorm experience would be with pod beds – so we decided to check out Matchbox The Concept Hostel, which is one of the most popular hostels in Singapore.
Matchbox is one of the new “upmarket hostels” that are emerging in Singapore, catering to so-called “flashpackers”, although I have to say they’re keeping their prices quite reasonable when it comes to Singapore accommodation.
While the hostel is in a historical shophouse, the interior is refurbished into a very modern and immaculately clean place. With foot and back massager, cardio exerciser, washing and drying machines, all-day breakfast and a large pantry with designer bean bags, board games and a big plasma TV with DVD’s – you feel right at home. Super fast wifi spans throughout the hostel (or you can use their laptops for free if you don’t have one), there is an iPod docking station in every room, and a nice and quiet A/C. The greatest thing about the hostel is that all of the above, plus towels and other extras, are included in the price – there are no annoying hidden extras and add-ons.
So you sleep in a type of capsule/pod bed cabin, giving you that well needed private space, your own little “crib”, where you can hang out and sleep undisturbed. There are three room types to choose from; a 2 bed dorm, 10 bed female dorm and 16 bed mixed dorm – there are two types of pod cabins, the single pod and the double pod which is the size of a queen size bed. We slept in a queen size bed on the upper bunk, and there was plenty of room for both of us. It was actually very cozy, and it reminded me slightly of one of those tree houses you always dreamed to have as a kid. With each cabin having its own lights and reading lights, the light of the dorm was very isolated, so nobody would disturb you if they woke up early, or if you slept in. The bed was super comfy, with thick duvets and plush custom designed pillows to snuggle up in.
Tucked away on Ann Siang Road, a smaller street in the heritage district of Chinatown, the location couldn’t have been better. Close to both fancy bars and cheap restaurants, night markets and shopping centers, it’s a great place to embrace the Chinese culture of Singapore, and being close to bus stops and the MRT station in Chinatown, it’s easy to get around the city from there. Next time you’re in Singapore, I’d definitely recommend you to check out this place!
Matchbox The Concept Hostel
Prices: Single bed in 12 dorm room S$45 – Double Bed S$88 – Single bed in Ladies 6 dorm room S$52
Address: 39 Ann Siang Road, 069716, Singapore
Contact: +65 6423 0237
Things To Do In Singapore
During our week in Singapore, we found it to be a very exciting place to visit. The country has gone to many lengths to encourage tourists to visit, and since everything was so easy to reach you could manage to do a lot of things in a short period of time – in other words, a perfect place to visit for only 1 week. A modern metropolis, Singapore is incredibly well-structured, organised and yes, it is true that you get fined for spitting on the street, littering and chewing gum on the train! What you would think is just common sense, is a strict law in Singapore, but because of this the city is cleaner and greener than any other cosmopolitan city we’ve visited in South East Asia. You’re not even allowed to drive a car that’s older than 10 years, so everything truly is brand new.
Here are some great things to do in Singapore…
Go On A Shopping Spree
One of the main reasons people choose Singapore as a holiday destination is because of its shopping opportunities – and you can take full advantage of these on a short break or stop-over. Orchard Road is considered the most famous shopping district with haute couture labels and fantastic window displays. If you happen to be in the country during a major celebration, then store sales will definitely be in your favour. Due to the tropical heat, Singapore has plenty of mega malls which will have you shopping hours on end without breaking a sweat. Although, we all know that local markets are much more authentic and exciting. The best time to visit the markets is in the evening – walking through the market in China Town in midday is like a sweaty concrete jungle and with the smell of Peking duck and smoked pork, it can get a little overpowering at the best of times. For cheaper alternatives, Little India has some shopping malls, markets and boutiques that are worth a look.
Explore The Cultural Diversion
With a wide variety of different cultures, it is the people that really make the city what it is today as flickers of traditional designs and customs still peek through this modern day metropolis. With Little India, Chinatown and Arab Street, you feel like you’re exploring several different countries in one day – only a cleaner version of “the real thing”. All of these areas have their own charm, delicious food and local handicrafts typical for their culture – my favorite, however, was Arab Street and its surrounding alleys, absolutely amazing!
Take In The Awesome Architecture
With the city growing and updating itself at rapid speed, the trend for modern buildings, including unique holiday accommodation, is forever increasing to new levels. The newest instalment to the city’s skyline is the Marina Bay Sands Skypark. Or as I like to say, ‘The Floating Boat’. A hotel, casino and club, this is where people are starting to base themselves for a long night out. Walk along the bay, and watch the “laser light and water show” at night, which aims to capture the essence of Singapore (Sunday to Thursday at 8pm and 9:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, 9:30pm and 11pm).
Visit The Parks
Capturing the skyline of Singapore is definitely a “must-do”, but you’ll find that the city is much more than just high rise buildings. There are a huge number of green parks around the city, and the amazing Botanical Garden was one of our favorites to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. For those who are in the city for less than a day, Singapore’s tourism industry has put together a bus tour around the city’s major sights. Although the airport is ranked as one of the best in the world and more than equipped for those who are on quite a long stop-over, having a quick city tour set up is great. We did the Hop On – Hop Off tour to faster get around the city to the places we wanted to explore, and we found it to be very useful.