Staying in Singapore isn’t cheap. Accommodation, from top to bottom, is expensive. In many cases, dorm beds at hostels cost nearly as much as a hotel room. For example, downtown Singapore you might pay as much as $40-50 for a simple dorm bed. Thus, for travellers on a budget, it can be tough. However, there are options. Beyond something like couch surfing, a really great new option is PandaBed which is an apartment booking site that connects travellers with locals offering rooms, or entire apartments all over Asia. And though the site is fairly young, it already features a wide variety of different bits of accommodation all over the region.
Over a massive plate of Hainanese Rice, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Lester Kang, the owner of PandaBed. What struck me right away was his eagerness to talk travel. You can tell that he is a traveller at heart, and that his business model has been built around the concept of opening up ways for travellers to get a real sense of the places they go, especially when it comes to the places they stay. The PandaBed platform makes it possible for tourists to get away from the over-priced, impersonal hotel chains and into the living rooms of local houses. Even if for a short-term, it allows people to feel apart of their destination, rather than an intruder in it.
The truth about travel is that sometimes you just want the ability to live without having housekeeping, front desk people, bellman, etc. to smile at each and every moment. I’ve always loved the idea of staying at apartments instead. And this really does give a proper alternative. Moreover, it usually means that the money is going directly into the local economy.
Our Crib in Singapore
Our apartment in Singapore was pretty typical for what you might expect in the city: it was small, but completely functional. In a city like Singapore, when the cost of space comes at a premium, it’s so important to use every inch of a room. And although the place was small, it was comfortable and we never felt cramped. But most of all, it allowed us to feel like we had the freedom to explore the city on our own.
We were located out in Little India, near Mustafa Market, which was nice. Also, the street hawkers food stalls in the region are absolutely glorious. Believe me, what you lose in the cost of accommodation in Singapore you can almost make up for eating the incredible street food in the city.
Long Story Short…
Anyways, long story short, if you’re looking for an apartment to rent for a day, week, or month in Asia, have a look at PandaBed they are quickly growing into THE option in the region.