We had the good fortune to be traveling to Singapore and Malaysia during the time leading up to Deepavali (or Diwali), one of the Hindu holy festivals. Since both Singapore and Malaysia have large populations of Hindu’s, we were able to witness a lot of the prep for the holiday. This was made even more interesting by the fact that while in Singapore we stayed in Little India.
Singapore’s Little India is one of its most colorful neighborhoods—the buildings themselves are painted a multitude of hues, there were colorful signs with the cheerful “Happy Deepavali!” everywhere, colorful strings of lights lined the streets, and vendors sold brightly colored bouquets of flowers. In preparations for the holiday, families were buying vibrant silks (for new saris), flowers, and lots of food. It reminded me a lot of the preparations we make for Christmas back home!
We were staying at one of Singapore’s shiny new “flash-packer” hostels, BUNC@Radius Backpacker Hostel. Bunc is probably the nicest hostel I’ve ever been to, if it weren’t for the shared dorm rooms, I would just call it a boutique hotel. Everything was squeaky clean and gleaming white, the whole place is decorated in a very modern style, and the amenities are better than most hotels.
There’s free breakfast (toast, cereal, coffee, tea, fruit) that’s served every morning in the massive downstairs common area, and free wifi throughout the building, even in the rooms—you’d be surprised how many places DON’T do this. The breakfast was only supposed to be available until 11, but I saw the staff leave it out a tad longer on most days, which I know the late sleepers (ahem MATT ahem!) appreciated.
There’s a massive rooftop patio, complete with plenty of seating and an outdoor sink and food prep area. Also on the rooftop are an enclosed kitchen and laundry area, and a hangout room with a TV and comfy couches. We spent a lot of time on the roof!
We stayed in one of the mixed dorm rooms. What made this dorm room unique was that our bed was a double bed, with a single bunk above it, and there is a wall on either side so you can’t see the people bunking next to you. Under each bed is a locker that can (tightly) fit two backpacking packs. This was such an awesome touch—we usually don’t stay in the dorm rooms because we’re too worried about our stuff. Locking it under our bed each day before we left was a huge relief. The only thing we didn’t love was that there was no curtain to pull around our bed. I don’t enjoy waking up and seeing a stranger sleeping across a small aisle from me, and apparently neither did most of the people in our dorm—nearly everyone had built some form of makeshift curtain with a towel or sarong. But other than that, the dorm was great.
The hostel is just on the edge of Little India—making it just a short walk away from so many delicious restaurants! It’s also pretty near the MRT (about a ten minute walk), although it looked as though a new MRT stop was under construction nearly right in front of the building. Overall, it’s a good location and a great place to stay!
Bunc graciously sponsored our stay, but as always, all opinions are my own.