Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Not only is Sojourn Beds & Cafe our top pick for staying in Taiping, it is also most travellers' favourite choice as observed on TripAdviser and most hotel-booking platforms. Almost all Taiping blog articles mentioned Sojourn and that was how I got to know about it.
After arriving in Taiping by train, I headed right to the hostel — without reservation on a Sunday (off-peak). And that's Ken (in the photo above), the friendly host at Sojourn, a British who has been in Taiping for the last 4 years. Ken welcomed me to the last available bedroom — a double room which he rented to me with a discount as I was alone. And I sojourned at Sojourn for 2 days.
* Sojourn means to stay in a place temporarily.
Touring the Hostel
Sojourn Beds & Cafe is in the second unit along a row of old houses. After the main door, which is electronically locked at all times, is the front porch with two tables and chairs (as shown in the photo below). The cafe and bar counter (for check-in also) is after the second door.
Check out the beautifully-decorated and cosy cafe with Chinese and Japanese anime. It is a nice place to soak hot afternoons away.
Let's tour the rest of the hostel at the same time as Ken showed me to my room. Before going up to the second floor, we have to take off our footwear and change to the slippers provided or go barefooted, which I preferred.
Unlike the cafe below, the second floor is decorated with antiquated artifacts — old wooden furniture, traditional woven baskets, etc. The common areas are quite spacious with sofas. At this point, the cleanliness of the hostel is evident — Ken did all the cleaning himself as his partner (didn't catch her name) was in Kuala Lumpur.
At the end of the corridor to the rooms is another common area with more sofas and antique clocks. It's like standing in the house of a traditional Chinese or Peranakan family.
And this is the interior of my "Tiger" room with air-con and a large ceiling fan. Other rooms are named as "Lion", "Dragon", "Phoenix", etc. As Sojourn is renovated from an old house, the walls and flooring are wooden, so ear-plugs are needed for better sleeps at night.
Back to the staircase, and behind it, are the shared bathrooms. There are more bathrooms on the ground floor for those who stayed in the dormitory.
Next to the bathrooms is a big terrace where sojourners can hangout and soak in the sun. Slippers are provided for both the bathrooms and terrace. Don't go barefooted on the terrace.
Sojourn is like a museum itself with olden-day artifacts and wall decors. I will just show some of them. Starting with an old bicycle on the wall.
Bamboo trays with some artifacts along the staircase.
Some antique cameras in a cupboard.
A Malayan ant-eater in mosaic on the wall of the front porch.
There are more mosaics outside the hostel. First, a seahorse on a pillar. Next, a fish and sea waves on the front wall of the hostel.
Simple breakfast with hot beverages are provided free. If you need cold drinks or mineral water, just take from the fridge and put the money in the coin box on the bar counter.
To me, breakfast at the hostel, or whichever accommodation, is always optional as I prefer local food out in the street. And there are several eating places around Sojourn.
Read: Local Food in Taiping
WiFi is available in the cafe and rooms.
A 24-hour self-service laundry shop is available 2 blocks away, close to Taiping Wet Market and opposite Pizza Hut.
Use the map below to get to Sojourn Beds & Cafe from the railway station.
Taiping's historical Wet and Dry Markets and Clock Tower are within walking distance from Sojourn, along Jalan Kota. A trip to the laundry and you will find all three of them.
Additionally, the famed Taiping Lake Gardens is only a short 600m walk from the hostel. You can also pay a visit to the historical Antong Coffee Mill and check out street arts in the vicinity. Follow the link to find out more about them.
Check out the rates of the dorm beds and rooms on Agoda.com to get better deals. Due to Sojourn's popularity with travellers, it will be better to reserve ahead, especially the rooms, to avoid disappointment.