I don’t know enough about the ins and outs of Asian hierarchy to have a really well informed opinion of what it must be like to set up your own business as a woman in remote parts of Asia. But being aware of the setbacks, discriminations, restrictions, prejudices and pay gaps etc in western society I can only assume they’re really up against it.In the many hostels I’ve stayed in over the last two months, I’ve encountered only two female owned and operated hostels, and I would like to tell you about them…
Alona Hammock, Bohol, Philippines
When the locals asked me where I was staying they always seemed to have a certain disapproving smirk on their faces for Renee the owner of Alona Hammocks. A fantastic tree house-cum-hostel set into the wilderness in Alona. Hammocks and mats spread out everywhere, an alfresco shower, TV, bar and pancakes for breakfast. Six months open and it was full every night. A dirt cheap 250 pesos (inc breakfast) to feel like you’re living with the Swiss Family Robinson.
I was recommended this place and have sent numerous other people that way. As I left rainy season was approaching and Renee was making and fixing up giant, see-through PVC curtains to keep the drips out, whilst maintaining the jungle tone of the place. What a woman.
Mamma Piang’s, Don Det, Laos
Mamma Piang is fucking crazy. Yelling, screaming, dancing, yelling some more; the absolute funniest person I’ve ever met. Walking around settling everyone’s tabs with her big bucket of cash, mingling (screaming) with the guests, yelling some more, launching herself on backpackers walking past, cooking all the meals and looking after her numerous young children. An absolute powerhouse of a personality and a very shrewd business woman.
Seven days off, no breaks, running the place, fixing it, hustling for business and keeping the guests happy whilst trying to maintain balance in the community.