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Betel Box Hostel & Tours in Singapore

We are Singapore's Best Travel Experience!



  Singapore Best Experience

9 Nov 2009, Betel Box was named the winner of 2009 Singapore Experience Award, in the Best Travel Experience category.

The Singapore Experience Awards is organised by the Singapore Tourism Board and is the most prestigious award in the Singapore Tourism landscape.

Of the 24,000 nominations, Betel Box is the only backpackers specific travel organisation to make it to the finals and subsequently also to win! (Click to read more of the Singapore Experience Awards)



What to expect during your stay at the Betel Box Hostel Singapore?

Many hostels claim to be a 'home away from home', but what does a hostel need to have to make it a true home away from home? (Click to read summary of Accommodations Rates/ Prices and Services)


Looking for our "Real Singapore" Tours?

Tours for the Thinking Traveller.

Our original Real Singapore tours are created to show a side of Singapore that is beyond what is written in the guidebooks. These guided experiences are activities-based so that you get a more complete picture of Singapore. (Click to read summary of Tours Rates/ Prices and Services)


Betel Box Backpackers Hostel & Tours


Large living room


 Happy Backpackers Social Fun Hostel Singapore Betel Box Hostel Singapore 1920s shophouse, ethnic furnishings, artwork and antiques Betel Box Hostel Singapore 1920s shophouse, ethnic furnishings, artwork and antiques Betel Box Hostel Singapore 1920s shophouse, ethnic furnishings, artwork and antiques

We have large, but very comfortable and cosy communal areas with a kitchen, dining area, lounge area with comfortable day beds and pillows, games (Nintendo WII, popular board games as well as ethnic games), sound system, a library with 1000s of books/ magazines/ newspapers (for reference as well as for exchange), decorated with art, ethnic crafts and original photographs from all over Asia and our Internet terminals with free broadband Internet access (30mins daily)! Oh, did I mention that WiFi is absolutely FREE!


More pictures of our communal areas in the About Betel Box Hostel webpage

 Pool and Carrom Tables Games Room in Betel Box Hostel Large Communal Area Foosball Table and other Games Quiet Social Area Chill Out zone 


Our Latest Social Event


We may not be a party hostel but we certainly are the envy of most hostels in Singapore because we know how to have fun. The following videos are of the latest party we have organised.


[Watch more Party Videos]


Free broadband & WiFi Internet access


 Betel Box Hostel Singapore Surfing the Internet at broadband speed for free! 

Its just wonderful to see the smiles appear on our guests' faces when we tell them that they can really access the Internet for free (30 mins daily) at our Hostel computers and FREE UNLIMITED WiFi! However moving your mattress in front of the computers is not allowed...


Comfortable accommodations & amenities


We have spared no costs and effort to make sure you have the best night's sleep since you left home. Our beds have thick and firm mattresses (meeting chiropractic standards set by Australian Spinal Research Foundation and regularly sanitised by Mitex now known as DH Asia), firm hypoallergenic pillows, fresh fitted bed linen, solid bunk beds and the rooms are fully air-conditioned! Our bathroom facilities have hot and cold showers, something you will not find often when travelling through Southeast Asia on a tight budget! You also get a locker where you can store your valuables.

  Betel Box Hostel Singapore Bunk Beds. Hotel Graded Mattresses. Sanitised Regularly by Professionals Betel Box Hostel Singapore Bunk Beds in Standard Dorms. Betel Box Hostel Singapore Small Dorm Girls Only Room Betel Box Hostel Singapore Doubles Private Room

Mitex sanitises all mattresses and upholstery at Betel Box Hostel Singapore using High Powered Vacuum Cleaner, Ultra Violet Radiation and Organic Chemicals.


Healthy & hearty breakfast


 Lots of fruits, spreads, jams 

Included in the price at our Singapore Hostel is a continental breakfast. You have a selection of 5 kinds of fruits, over 5 kinds of jams and spreads with tea or coffee



Free tours & activities


 Explore Singapore through food and learn about how Singaporeans live, work and play 

We organise a series of free tours & activities every week (meaning you pay only for what you consume). Once a week, Tony organises his Famous Foodwalk in the Geylang Serai and Katong vicinity (its the food in Katong that's famous.. Tony's just a glutton), so you can try out various kinds of dishes and get to know their fellow bunkies at the same time. On separate nights we also organise a night out on the town (pub crawls and ladies nites), walks in an ethnic district or a BBQ on the beach near the hostel. For those more into outdoor activities, our Cycle Trip and Nature Walks are also available but depends on group size and weather. (Please note, if you are not staying with us, please enquire here of our Real Singapore Tours)



Great Staff who are professional Tourist Guides!


 Explore Singapore through licensed tourists guides 

We have pretty high standards on who gets to work here... Yes, our guys are young, friendly and fun but beyond that, we are passionate about Singapore! Our interests areas cover, culture & heritage, food/ drink/ nightlife, arts & design, architecture/ social studies, sports & adventure, and, nature & conservation. Don't just take our word for it, we are licensed Singapore Tourism Board Tourist Guides!



Getting Fit and Free use of Fitness Centre


 Getting fit and a tan at the beach 

With so much good food in Singapore and around our district, we all have to do abit more to get fit to continue in our travels (and squeeze back into those well-seasoned travelling clothes). How about taking a jog or cycle along the longest public beach which is also the most popular park in Singapore? East Coast Beach is 20 minutes walk from us and you get a tan while you are sweating it out. OR, you can even use the state-of-the-art fitness centre facilities at Bodycraft Fitness Gym for free.



Entertainment and facilities


 Betel Box Hostel Singapore Cheap beer, snacks, tv, movies, dvd, digital surround sound 

Chilling out and having an easy day/ night in? Relax at the Betel Box hostel Singapore and enjoy our entertainment centre with DVD player and digital surround sound. Thirsty and peckish? Grab a couple of drinks/ beers and snacks at our well stocked in-house store at supermarket prices.



But don't take our word for it...


Some recent guest comments


From the moment we arrived at 4am four days ago to the time we're leaving tonight, I've enjoyed every minute of this place! Great price, lovely fresh & healthy breakfast, air-con!!! hurah! and all the wondeful advice & food tours. You guys are probably the best in the business. Expand to New Zealand and everywhere else so everyone can enjoy travelling as much as I have! Keep on trucking Tony + Mark!
Hannah & Kirstine, United Kingdom

I really fell in love with this place, so nice!! Keep going, good luck!
Doro Poechmann, Germany

Great find! This place is fantastic, cool, clean and have made some good friends. Tony and Mark, this is definitely a credit to you. 5 stars! *****
Emma Culverhouse, England

Clean, safe, friendly, thanks for such a fantastic time!
Ardani, Indonesia

Not just a great hostel, but lovely people too! Thanks for such a fantastic time xxx
Kelly Holden, England

Thanx very much 4 a wicked stay! Enjoyed trying all the different fruits 4 breakfast.
Martin Liddle, New Zealand

I love this place! It's a clean hostel with friendly staff. Every day another party! I'll come back!!
Sharon Bronsdijk, The Netherlands

Read More in Our Betel Box Hostel Singapore Guestbook

See Pictures of what our Singapore Hostel Guests have been up to


Betel Box in the News

Awards, Guidebooks, Websites, Newspapers, TV Shows & Radio Shows

     Singapore Best Travel Experience

Singapore Experience Awards 2009 - Best Travel Experience

    Lonely Planet Genuine Singapore Hostel Experience The Right Place

Lonely Planet Singapore City Guide - Matt Oakley & Joshua Samuel Brown. 8th Edition.
Page 173- .."if it's a genuine Singapore experience you're looking for, you have come to the right place... look no further."..

    Lonely Planet Top Picks. Must Try Singapore Tour

Lonely Planet Singapore City Guide - Matt Oakley & Joshua Samuel Brown. 8th Edition.
Page 84- .."Top Picks. Must Try Tour.."..

    Lonely Planet Top Notch Hostel

Lonely Planet Southeast Aisa on a shoestring - China Williams. 8th Edition.
Page 665- .."top-notch hostel.."..

    Footprint Highly Recommended Hostel

Footprint Malaysia & Singapore - Dinah Gardner. 5th Edition.
Page 601- .."Comes highly recommended."..

    Fodors Singapore Clean Facilities, Internet Access and Lockers

Fodor's Singapore. 12th Edition 2005.
Page 89 - .."facilities are clean with internet access and lockers"..

    Insight City Guide Best Backpackers

Insight City Guide Singapore. Eleventh Edition 2004.
Page 217 - .."One of the best backpackers"..

    Insight City Guide Best Backpackers

URA's Rediscover the EAST - Katong Joo Chiat.
Page 19 - .."BetelBox backpackers hostel even provides guided walks and food tours"..


Singapore Straits Times Newspaper - 28 March 2004.


Singapore ZaoBao Newspaper - 13 Jan 2005.


Singapore Straits Times Newspaper - The East is Great - 2 March 2006.


Singapore Straits Times Newspaper- 2 July 2006.


Singapore The Sunday Times Newspaper- 4 May 2008.


Singapore Straits Times Newspaper- 30 May 2010.

China Kunming dushi shipao Newspaper- 23 Mar 2011.

    Best Hostel in Singapore

As voted by Hostelworld customers - Jul 2009. "No. 1 Hostel in Singapore 2008 "

    Hong Kong Economic Times Budget Travel in Lion City - Best Backpacker Hostel

Hong Kong Economic Times Newspaper - 30 Nov 2005. "Budget Travel in Lion City - Best Backpacker Hostels"

    South East CDC Magazine Oct 2005- Out of Betel Box

Singapore South East CDC Contact Magazine - October 2005. "Out of the Betel Box"

    Hong Kong Economic Times- Singapore Budget Travel

Hong Kong Economic Times Newspaper - 3 Nov 2008. "Budget Travel in Singapore "

    Hong Kong mingpao Betel Box Hostel Singapore Review

Hong Kong MingPao - 10 Jan 2009. "Singapore New Experience "


Channel News Asia - SG+. First aired on 17 Dec 2013

Channel News Asia is a regional news station. SG Plus is is a tv documentary covering Singapore identity and contemporary issues faced by locals. This episode reviewed Singapore tourism, we are glad to be part of the program and voicing our thoughts.


BBC - Fast Track. First aired in Oct 2013

BBC Fast Track is a travel documentary series with the latest news about travel from the industry itself and advice on the latest deals and destinations, flights and holidays, for people travelling on business or for leisure.


Discovery/ TLC Channel- Waterfront Cities of The World - Singapore. 2011 & 2013

Canada Discovery Channel's Port d'Attache and later redubbed into English as Discovery/ TLC's Waterfront Cities of the World. A alternative travel documentary series hosted by photographer Heidi Hollinger provides insights into living in Singapore through the eyes of local residents, historians, architects and other heritage practitioners.


France Public TV Channel- Echappées Belles - Singapore. Sep 2011

France's Public TV Channel's signature travel program Echappées Belles explores Singapore and attended our Food Walk tour.


Channel News Asia - Singapore Heartbeat. First aired on 12 Aug 2010

Channel News Asia is a regional news station. Singapore Heartbeat is a programme that introduces some very passionate Singaporeans who share their unique finds and favourite places that celebrate Singapore as home.


Hong Kong Cable TV's Entertainment Channel - What a Wonderful Life - Backpacker's Diaries in Singapore. First aired on 17 May 2009.


Mediacorp TV Channel U- Wow Singapore - East Coast episode. First aired on 11 Dec 2007, 8.30pm.

Wow Singapore is a Mediacorp Channel U production that is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board. The show explores various districts in Singapore for its secret finds. The stars of this episode were our guests; Jennifer and Christian who were introduced to Joo Chiat and learnt about Peranakan culture, architecture, foods, clothing and even spent some time in an adventure park. Special thanks goes to Kym Ng, Pornsak and the crew who hosted Jennifer and Christian for the day.


Mediacorp Radio Singapore International - Leisure Tour of the Lion City - Leisure Tour of Joo Chiat. First aired on 29 May 2007, 9.05pm.

A 5 episode Mandarin radio feature programme with us across Joo Chiat. Listen to Radio Podcasts : Episode 1- Introduction to Joo Chiat, Episode 2- Joo Chiat Architecture & Eurasian Community House, Episode 3- Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple, Episode 4- Understanding Peranakan Culture in Joo Chiat district Part 1, Episode 5- Understanding Peranakan Culture in Joo Chiat district Part 2
Special thanks to DJs Seok Khoong and Kristine for being such willing and enthusiastic guests. Read their behind-the-scene thoughts






Mediacorp TV Channel U- Project Y - Tourism episode. First aired on 17 Oct 2006, 9.30pm.

Special thanks to George of Joo Chiat Fried Kway Teow, Just Green Vegetarian, Kim Choo Kueh Chang, Chilli Padi Nonya Restaurant, Kens Delights Ice Desserts of Dunman Food Centre, Katong 328 Laksa, Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple, Eurasian Community House and Lenny, Alice & Staff of Chevy 57 Bar.








Attractions of Singapore

Many guests at our Singapore hostel ask us what they should do while they are in Singapore, so we have put together a list of 5 suggestions to get you started:

If you would like to know more, just come and stay with us at the Betel Box Hostel Singapore and we will assist you on where to go, what to do, where and what to eat and drink, basically we will help you make the most of your time in this fun and friendly city!


Singapore Travel Hub

Singapore and Southeast Asia are currently experiencing a boom in budget airlines. Thanks to airlines such as AirAsia, Australian Airlines, and LionAir. it is now possible to fly all over Southeast Asia for less than the cost of a bus ticket! Still more budget airlines are coming online, such as Singapore Airlines' Tiger Airways (TigerAir) and even Qantas has set up a budget airline (Jetstar) right here in Singapore.

These budget airlines do not just fly to the main destinations. Besides flying to places such as Kuala Lumpur, Phuket and Bangkok, AirAsia also flies to Kuching in Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, which used to be difficult and expensive to get to. They offer two flights per day to Kuching as well as to Kota Kinabalu at very reasonable prices. One of our guests at Betel Box Hostel Singapore, TJ, flew from Johor Bahru to Kuching with AirAsia and after returning to Singapore, he wrote a report about Sabah and Sarawak

Read more on Buses, Trains & Budget Airlines- Onwards Travel from Singapore


What's a Betel Box?

The Betel Box Singapore Hostel is named after the Betel Nut, an addictive spice that is central to Asian hospitality. The Betel Vine is a member of the pepper family and is used in traditional ceremonies and as a social bonding aid by almost all Asian cultures represented in Singapore- Chinese, Malay, Indian, Peranakan and Eurasian. Betel Box as the name suggest, is a container for Betel Nuts, assorted tools and ingredients; each ethnic community has its own decorative versions of the Betel Box.

In summary, the name "Betel Box" embodies all our aspirations of what we want this backpackers hostel to be; friendly, respectful, addictive, aesthetically pleasing, functional and representative of all cultures in Singapore (tall order, eh.). Our Singapore youth hostel is located on Joo Chiat Road; the heartlands of Malay, Peranakan, Indian and Eurasian cultures in Singapore.

The Betel Box Hostel Singapore is the product of our experiences (some good, some not so good) of hostelling, backpacking and budget travelling around the globe. Like you, we get lost sometimes when travelling and slept at airports, bus/ rail stations, bed & breakfast, hostels and cheap hotels. The travel bug still itches but we are calming the rash by creating a international traveler community where we can meet like-minded people. Cutting to the chase, our Singapore hostel provides a home away from home with its creature comforts, within easy reach to all parts of Singapore and in a culturally rich part of town! Budget accommodation in Singapore does not mean budget service; read more About the Singapore Hostel. And oh, you get to enjoy our Stimulating Company! .

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