Staying in a hostel can be a great experience. There’s the potential to make friends for life and meet people from all over the world, but there’s always the fear that you could end up staying in a hellhole.
If you’re a student traveller, your trip probably won’t be very glamorous. You’re more than likely on a budget and going for the ‘cheap and cheerful’ option. Although some budget hostels are amazing, some definitely are not.
This summer, while I was travelling Thailand on a tight budget, I stayed in a hostel that can only be described as repulsive. It wouldn’t look out of place in a horror movie. It made every other hostel I had stayed in on that trip look like a five star hotel, even though it wasn’t the cheapest place I stayed.
So, my ridiculously heavy backpack and I arrived in Koh Samui in the pouring rain after a very seasick boat journey. I didn’t have any accommodation booked but had looked at a few places online, and the one I choose was extremely pocket friendly. At just €2 per night it was the perfect option to get my budget back on track.
The appearance of the hostel bedroom definitely left a lot to be desired but you get what you pay for. There were eight bunk beds squeezed into a narrow rectangular room. The beds were dirty, rusty and creaked so loud, I was expecting the top bunk to come crashing down on me in the middle of the night.
The air conditioning came in the form of one small window which seemingly let in every mosquito, spider and fly on the island. It had only been a few hours but I already couldn’t wait to leave.
However, it’s in the bathroom where this nightmare truly begins. With 48 people sharing just two toilets you can imagine what I found when I opened the door. The smell was unbearable, and to describe it as filthy is an understatement.
The final nail in this cheap coffin was when actual lumps of human faeces began emerging from the bottom of the toilet and drains. Trust me, this is the last thing you want to see when you’re brushing your teeth, on a hung-over stomach, in your bare feet.
Thankfully, this was the only travel nightmare on my trip and after what soon became known as ‘poo-gate’, the next hostel was paradise.
Image Credit: Tess O’Connor