Since being in India never again will I take the simple hostel for granted. The things I learnt to expect from a budget place flew out the window the second I checked into the guesthouse in Delhi to share my bathroom with Bob the Pigeon and his pile of poo.
Comparatively, price wise to Thailand, or South East Asia in general the rooms and facilities are quite shocking. For £6 in Thailand you can have a clean double room with en-suite, including Wi-Fi and towels and hot shower. For the same price in India, which is a cheaper country you will have what looks like a prison cell, no towels. It will normally be en-suite but the bathroom facilities are quite something. The idea of a shower is quite rare and if it does exist it will almost definitely be cold only. If there is no shower then the washing facilities will be a tap on the wall and a bucket and a dirty/mouldy concrete floor. This is surprisingly something you can get quite used to, in warm weather that is. In cold weather such as the minus temperatures experienced in the north this can become so much of a disturbing ordeal that you toy with the longevity of possibility of going without shower. Wearing a hat and hiding your hair is really the commonplace over choosing to get a cold from washing it.
Wi-Fi is pretty much non-existent, though there are internet cafes. But when it comes to sorting out bank transfers etc. these are the last place I would go.
Having something to cover the pillowcase (such as a hoodie) is essential as is some form of blanket/silk sack so you don’t come into too much contact with the sheets. Whatever you do don’t make the mistake of glancing at the uncovered pillow as I witnessed many that looked strangely familiar to tea bags through staining. Another essential is your own towel, I have the standard microfiber affair which is quite depressing, especially when it’s too cold in the room for it to dry out between uses.
After checking in to our hostel in Kuala Lumpur, which was self-described as ‘scruffy’ and had a few negative reviews about cleanliness of bathrooms and bedding, one bad review for having temperamental Wi-Fi, I realised these people are really just spoilt as everything felt quite luxurious to me for the same £6 in a notoriously expensive city. People it’s time to see real dirt before you go leaving bad reviews.