Hostel Birdnest Guesthouse
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Birdnest Collective Cafe & Guesthouse
210 Jalan Tun HS Lee 50000 Kuala Lumpur
Birdnest Guesthouse 2
64 Jalan Hang Kasturi 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Phone number: +60126947366
Why we recommend this place
Birdnest Guesthouse is as close to a backpacker’s vibe as you can get. Actually, there are two of them, both based neatly in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown. The atmosphere is great, the prices are very affordable, rooms – nice and cosy.
Now you might think that it’s just another hostel for travellers – party style, youth, affordable… But the reason this hostel is on the recommended list is – this was the place where one of the creators of Backpackers Nation picked up the backpacking disease. We just have to include it. Here it all began. We, creators of Backpackers Nation, encourage every real backpacker to visit this place and to meet Willi, the owner and creator of Birdnest Guesthouse.
Willi, a passionate backpacker himself, is a real idol, a man you would want to follow. It was him and the people who came and left Birdnest, that encouraged Mindau to see the world. It was this place where the seed of nomads was planted deep into his soul and grew tall and strong. Mindau came here to work for a few months following a youth programme that allowed Lithuanians to change the environment they are in. And just after one month of being in this special environment he has decided that backpacking is what he craved for.
Sorry about the sentiments.
So, getting back to the WHY you should visit this place – Birdnest is right in one of the most popular backpacker destinations in Kuala Lumpur: based in the Chinatown you are near the main tube (sky train) stations, best street food, culture, not far from the city centre, all the other hostels and backpackers, not to mention the Reggae Bar (girls, do be a bit more careful in this bar, some of you might get a bit more attention that you would like).
In Bidrnest 1 there is a very affordable female dorm and in Birdnest 2 they have a mixed dorm. They also have very affordable single, double, triple rooms, some of them come with air-con, a very useful add-on in Malaysia.
To make the atmosphere more like a real Birdnest you will find the cat Jackie, two iguanas, and some new additions to the animals they have in there. They even have a swing that looks like a birdhouse! Not to mention the coolest graffiti pictures ever!
Birdnest is also a great to be your travel planning headquarters. It has loads of guides, maps, books, WiFi; spacious areas, where you can stretch your feet and put together your next trip. And both guest houses being one stop away from the main bus and sky train station, many backpackers use it as a place to return to, some of them even leave their bigger backpacks here and come after weeks to get ready for the next destination. It’s very useful, as from KL you can get to almost every part of South-East Asia.
The reason why this place is such a backpacker centre is because only backpackers are allowed. This kind of guarantees that any time you will be there, you will meet like-minded travellers, socialize with amazing people and have one or two drinks with Willi, an old-time (experience-wise) backpacker, who has plenty of stories to tell you .
Kuala Lumpur is known for many things. It’s like a Western civilization hub in Eastern civilization world. You will find big companies, start-ups, western-like pubs, bars, restaurants, huge super-malls. Probably every famous city that attracts tourists will eventually become a part of the “big” civilization. But one of the things that keeps to amaze us about the city is the food culture. Being a centre where Malaysian, Chinese and Indian cultures coexist together, Kuala Lumpur has one of the best traditional cuisines in the world. You will find best Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, Bangladesh and many other dishes for a very affordable price on almost every street corner in the city.
Both of the Birdnest Guesthouses are located in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown – the place where you will find the biggest variety of all KL’s cuisines that makes Malaysian food culture to be one of the best in the world.
- Alcohol is very expensive in Malaysia, so it’s worth asking for locals where you can get some better deals on drinks. The best prices we found was in this cool corner shop called 6 B Bottlez Houz, that you can find here. They usually have deals they call “three-ten” or similar, that means that you will be able to get 3 cans of beer for 10 Ringgit.
- Water and soft drinks are a MUST in South-East Asia, I mean, surely it’s a must everywhere, but in this region you have to always have a bottle of water with you so you could stay hydrated. Now water is not too expensive in Malaysia, but for the real budget travellers, here’s another place where you can save some money. You cannot get one bottle of water here, but if you plan on staying a bit longer in one place, you can get a box of soda or water (plenty of other stuff too) for a very good price.
- Now we must say you will find many street vendors selling great food in Chinatown. The one we want to show you is a place where we spend a lot of our nights and lunchtimes. It’s a big food court where you will find a big spacious room under a roof and on all the sides of the room you will find different vendors. You will see the place here, just keep in mind that the first restaurant is not a part of the food court and their employees will try to snag you before you make your way to the food court. So go passed the first few tables and enter the food court itself. Tandoori chicken with naan bread is something you should really try!
- Western food (kind of). We all know that sometimes in Asia we start craving for western food. You will find many famous brands in KL, if not all of them. But one that we really liked was Malaysia’s own burger brand called Ramly (no, they did not pay us to advertise this). They make the burgers right in front of you on the street from small street vendors. They are different from all the famous brands, but, some would say, a lot more delicious. You should be able to find one right here.