Hostel Interviews

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Mary Anne Tan

  1. Current Age?

  2. Nationality

  3. Where do you live now?
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  4. Occupation

  5. When it comes to travel accommodation (but leaving out crashing with friends, family or people you meet on the road), how often do you stay in hostels?
    pretty much all the time

  6. Where have you hosteled?
    Europe, USA

  7. Would you stay in a hostel again on future trips?

  8. Why or why not?
    Many hostels are lovely places to visit because firstly they're cheaper, they offer value for money (despite cheap prices you still get free breakfast of toast, muffins, lots of coffee, tea), free pickups from bus stations, train stations and airports. Hostels are usually located in the centre of town (downtown) or within bus routes that enables one to shop, tour and visit. They almost always have a kitchen where you can cook whatever dishes you choose and there are usually too lots of books, a TV room and in some cases free movies to watch!

  9. Out of all your experiences hosteling, what was your:
    • Best Moment
      Taxi fare to hostel in Las Vegas hostel is paid for by the hostel!

    • Worst Moment
      Finding the toilet in my 6-bunk domitory ready to overflow and threatening to flood the room.

    • Biggest Hurdle, Obstacle or Difficulty?
      Getting the telephone number of the hostels because they have only addresses and sometimes the bus drivers don't know where it is.

    • Biggest surprise?
      A heated swimming pool in Backpackers Paradise in Los Angeles.

  10. Do you ever book any of your hostel accommodation in advance?

  11. Why or why not?
    Booking in advance ensures peace of mind where accomodation is concerned, but the problem arises when it is difficult to locate the place and you find other lodgings that may be cheaper enroute but you can't opt out of the one that was booked because you've already paid for it with your credit card and there is a no-refund policy, so you're stuck. Now I prefer to book only upon arrival.

  12. Who is the most memorable person you met in a hostel and why?
    Met an American recently who had been going around for months trying to raise funds for the orphans in Malaysia, and he never expected to meet a Malaysian in person. When I queried him about the details of the orphanage he was supposed to raise funds for, he couldn't answer a lot of my questions. I smelled a rat and told some hostel staff of my misgivings... he checked out of the hostel soon after!

  13. Why do you stay in hostels, as opposed to other types of accommodation?
    I like the possibility of meeting like-minded adventurous, less snooty people, those more laidback and chatty to share and chat about themselves and their home country.

  14. Is there a hostel you'd recommend to other travelers? If so, what is it and where?
    Ocean Beach Hostel, San Diego, USA

  15. What is the biggest myth people have about hostels and hosteling?
    That is isn't safe! That's rubbish, I've stayed in countless hostels and never lost a single item and never heard any grusome stories of murders etc! Backpackers have an unspoken code of honour, we don't touch other people's things and we don't bother anyone who doesn't want to be bothered. We share information readily and that's really helpful to all newcomers.

  16. Why do you like to travel?
    I love discovering new things, new places, new customs... I need to travel to rejuvenate the tired brains!

  17. What is your advice for other travelers wanting to stay in hostels?
    Don't have too high an expectation about the condition or surroundings and you'll be more pleasantly surprised then.