I would like to begin this with a disclaimer: This is my opinion alone; it does not, nor should it reflect upon the hostel’s staff or facilities.
I’ve been to Singapore numerous times… but none of my trips has been as unpleasant as this one (of course, there were unpleasant trips with my family – but discuss that would require a whole bottle of wine). So typically I knew what to expect from the locals, however… being a single woman traveling it’s typically as dangerous as you put yourself in any situation.
Now, my experience for this trip…. how do I begin?
I started my journey in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. If you want a semi comfortable trip that won’t cost you an arm or a leg… take the First Coach bus. They will give you the option of buying a return trip at the KL office, it will cost you RM140 – the alternative is to buy the return ticket in Singapore for three times the price (S$25).
Now you’ll arrive in Novena Square, this would be a great location if you arrive before the MRT closes – I didn’t. My bus arrived at 11.59pm, thankfully the Oasia Hotel allowed me to book Grab from their lobby app.
From there, I took the car to Mustafha Centre where I exchanged my ringgit currency to Singapore Dollar. Please do this before you board your bus if you are taking the night bus!
From there my original plan was to stay at Mori Inn, now I say it was my original plan because like everything on this unplanned trip, the hostel’s attendee was not there to greet me though I mentioned in my email that I would be arriving after midnight. Their hostel reception only opens until 11pm. Being nearby Serangoon Rd, there was plenty of hostels around such as The Hive and the one next to it that I couldn’t bother to remember it’s name because both hostels were fully occupied.
Which led me to the creation of this post, 60s Hostel is located roughly 60feet across the road from The Hive Hostel. It had a bed free of occupancy but it did cost double what I was going to pay at Mori Inn – which to be frank would have been a better choice if I can say so myself.
Now, I was tired from the 300m walk from Mustafha Centre as well as the 6hour bus ride. So I said fine. Paid, and moved my stuff to bed no 8 across to the reason why I would say this trip is unpleasant.
Ross* was a (many years older) middle age American, at first he seemed to be one of those over talkative grandfather types of men – being around my dad’s friends a lot, I was used to the type. But then he started to overshare about his 6 failed marriages, 7 grown ass children, and 15 grandchildren. I wouldn’t be ranting if he stopped there, but he did not… Ross continued to describe his ex wives and other lovers’ mating style and how they performed in bed. mind you this was close to 2 in the morning… I was not only uncomfortable and disgusted, but also tired as fuck.
After I dismissed Ross with the curtain of my bunk bed, I headed outside for some air. The Indian club next door was still pumping Bollywood music at 3am – not my style of ambience but hey, it gave my night *more* personality.
It was then when a middle aged Indonesian woman came home with a bag of what I assume to be snacks, that she suggested I request a bunk move; her maid was allegedly harassed by Ross asking for oral compensation. Apparently, he had been staying there since November. So of course, naturally I followed a legit and logical advise and was moved to the second room that was occupied with her travel mates. It didn’t take me long to know that I had to move because with this trip being short and hectic, I did not have any patience for surprises.
I slept around 4am after playing this addictive game and woke around 9.45am just in time to get ready before checkout at 11am. The bunk beds were wood based, pillows were very thin, and blanket was the basic $5 blanket from IKEA. I did not enjoy my sleep – and I’m the type who can sleep on a MRT seat.
60’s Hostel has 2 toilet/shower rooms; basic utilities like a bidet was a godsend because people who know Singapore toilets, know that they don’t usually come with an ass blaster ( a term the American IT guy from Vietnam came up with when I was there last November). The hostel I had stayed at in Saigon, was so much cleaner than 60’s Hostel – with a third of the price for 3 nights. I am sad to say that the bathroom at 60’s Hostel was just average. Because of the size of the shower/toilet room, it was hard to get dressed and the tiles were the type that was constantly wet.
Now people whom know me personally, know that I’m a klutz. So I slipped and injured my tush and wrist. I would suggest the management put the effort of getting a non slip mat for the bathrooms.
Overall my stay at 60’s Hostel was a below average experience at most. Would I stay there again? Unlikely. Is the management mostly to blame? You decide that for yourself.
After checkout, I went off on my way to the MRT station towards Woodlands; I wanted to meet my mentor in Johor and took advantage of my curiosity to pass through the border that way. I was impressed at the efficiency of all of it, though if I may suggest something, it would be for the immigration to open more gates instead of just having 4 when there was a high lunch traffic. After passing through the Singapore checkpoint, you’ll be able to find yourself going down an escalator to where the buses that will bring you to the Johor checkpoint. If you take the non-MRT bus it should just be RM3. The guy manning the bus pretty much didn’t care because he was already paid by many others.
A short 5 minute ride will lead you to the JB Central checkpoint, fairly simple. After they stamp your passport you’ll easily find yourself in the city centre. Earlier I mentioned that the First Coach bus offers return tickets, after this experience it really depends if you want to adventure your way back to KL the way I did. I found that it goes down to roughly the same pricing.
From Johor your bus to KL will be from the Larkin terminal to the TBS Station in Sungai Besi. I’m sure there were other options but I was too tired (and lazy) to search. The price from Larkin to TBS is RM35. That’s RM50 cheaper than to go from Novena to Bangsar.
The choice is up to you and this post is getting way too long.
Overall, I would just like to say to girls if you’re traveling alone, stay safe.
If you’re gut tells you to move your bunk, move. If you have a streak of adventure, go for it. If you’re going on a night bus, change your money beforehand… and lastly, have snacks ready at all times!
Reporting back from the comfort of my sweatpants and blanket. Goodnight!