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Travelaround 2002/3....round the world in 90 days...by drup[o] | Note from the author | Our mission | Planning a trip / FAQ | day by day travel diary | | Accomodation, maps...and more...... | Hotels rating | Links.... | Contact the author |
During my travel I'm visiting many Hotels and Guest houses, I then decided to write a little note of all of them to better provide useful information to the people who discovers to be a travel appassionato and wants to adventure in this Countries as I did. The prices are expressed in the currency of the place visited, I will also add the conversion in US $ (e.g.: exchange rate in Thailand is 42 Bath x 1 US$) to give you an idea of what it will cost if you are planning your travel budget in advance. Also note that prices are valid for the period of my traveling, from November 2002 till February 2003. Of course there might be some changes in the future but still you might rely in a bit of personal advice from me.
In this chapter I will start from Thailand and carry on for all the rest of the countries I will visit.
Bath 130 US$ 3.00 single room per night
Khao Sarn Road
A quiet fan cooled cubicle, my room was a single without window, only a king size bed no other furniture, sharing toilet and hot water shower but almost clean every time I have visited. The Guest House is ran from a lady that doesn't like troubles at night so expect to have problems if you bring some "ladies" overnight.
Down to the "lobby" (basically is a corridor between the building and the street) are allocated computers for the use of internet and tables to cater food and beverage restore to the guests.
It's not the greatest place in Khao Sarn Road but can be ok for the first night in Bangkok and considering the price this is actually much more of what you get in some other places.
Bath 320 US$ 7.61 single room per night
Normally it's about Bath 4.500 per month.
1 Samsen Road, Rimklong Banglumpoo,
Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200 Thailand
Tel: 0 2282-6540, 0 2282-6559
0 2282-6526, 0 2282-9053
These apartments normally are rented to locals or expats for long stays of over one month; so do not expect to get a room for a night or two.
The all place it's clean, quiet and neat, I was able to make an agreement with the Land lady for a ten day rent at double the daily price they normally charge to customers for a Monthly stay.
Even tough, the only room available was one at the first floor with only a window, (facing to the indoor stairs) so I could not use it.
The room was so far the bigger I had, fitted with air condition system and all the furniture was provided, I had a ward robe, a table and a mini desk with cupboards and draws that was the ideal for working with the computer. Shower without hot water and toilet are en suite, there is enough space and almost all the useful things where provided.
On the ground floor is situated a spacious and very well illuminated Internet room with tens of computers. No restaurant service is provided but the area is full of little restaurants and very "trendy" bars, a part for the usual vendors, also near (2 minutes walking) to the Sawasdee Hotel and Bangkok Bar which are a good spots for a night out.
147 Soi Rambutree, Chakrapong Rd.,
Bath 550 US$ 13.09 double room per night
Trendy fashionable hotel guesthouse, characterized by an open air bar restaurant and lounge which has a great view from the street, restaurant and bar always packed of people sitting on the bimini chairs at the tables lined up on the veranda to the street.
Surrounded by some of the best and enjoyable cocktail bars and street restaurant (specialized in grilled fresh fish) in the area the Sawasdee is notorious and well renowned by an International (elite of backpackers) clientele.
At the time I cheeked in there where no single rooms, so I opted for a double with air conditioned, shower and toilette en suite, the room was clean and with wooden floor. Despite the fact it was a double, this room was actually quite small, no furniture was provided apart for the bed (king size), no hot water or towels in the bathroom and with my surprise no electric sockets anywhere in the room, I couldn't work with my PC or recharge my camera's batteries.
The hotel has an Internet point (price charged to me was double what is normally charged in any other Bangkok shop) down to the hall, a tour desk that also offers the all range of tickets (bus, train, boat). Bar and restaurant are open till late, this could be a bit of a problem if your room would be near b y.
The laundry service was also more expensive compared to others establishment, very efficient tough.
In the overall I wasn't satisfy at all for the price paid, too many thing where missing or insufficient.
Three Lyons King
Just off Pattaya Chai Hat Thai Road
try Soi 9 or 11 (not sure. I lost the business card....apologize)
Bath 350 US$ 8.33 single room per night
This Hotel Guest House is ran by a former British man and offers average noisy air conditioned rooms with windows view in the Soi street, double bed and satellite TV. Shower without hot water and toilet are sharing style with another two rooms in the corridor. Downstairs in the lobby there is a little bar with satellite TV screen broadcasting European major leagues football matches and a pool table, friendly atmosphere, quiet and clean after all.
Patong Rose Guest House
92/10 -11-19 soi Pempongpattana 2, Patong Beach, Phuket,
Web Page: http://www.phuketdir.com/patongrose
Tel: (076) 344505
Fax: (076) 344506
Bath 350 US$ 8.33 single room per night
Rooms are little but enough comfortable for short sating, although is quite impossible to sleep before 1:30 / 2:00 am due to the live music and shows of the nearest restaurants and bars of Patong Beach Road.
An air-conditioned daily basis cleaned room with King size bed, wardrobe, desk with mirrors and cupboards, fridge and satellite TV. The en suite bathroom was huge and comfortable, the shower worked perfectly and hot water was provided.
Neither restaurant and bar services nor Internet access where allocated at this Guest House, although you are just meters away from Patong Beach Road and all its amenities.
Thairungruang Road / Taladmai road
Surat Thani (close to the Bus Station to go to Bangkok)
Tel: (077) 273249 286351-2
Fax: (077) 286353
Bath 310 US$ 7.38 single room per night
I had a room at the 4th floor, thank god there is an elevator, thee room was basic and extremely bigger compared to the rest of the rooms so far visited. Fan cooled, double bed, with all the furniture, included a neon illuminated writing desk.
This is the first time I have seen a telephone on my desk, maybe due from the fact that mainly their customer where locals business related guests. Windows was the size of an entire facade of the room. the en suite toilette was completed with shower but not hot water was provided, although you don't really need it here in Thailand specially in this season.
Anyway, being in Surat Thani bus station, if you miss the boat ride to one of the island like Ko Samui / Phangan as I did and is already dark outside, just ask a tuck tuck driver, they will take there for a fare of 10 bath, (it's literally 2 minutes from the station, you can even walk, bacpack permitting).
KO PHA NGAN
Ban Tai Beach, Ko Pha Ngan Thailand
Tel: (077) 238085
Mobile: 09 8733694
Bath 150 US$ 3.50 single room (Bungalow) per night.
This Bungalow Resort is situated very near to the Raja Ferry Pier where the boats coming from Surat Thani stops.
There are Bungalows right on the beach and others spread on the vast "Palm trees covered" area at one-minute ride by walking.
Depending on the availability of the day you'll get there, you might as well find a nice one on the beach.
The beach itself is little but clean and I have never seen anybody else other than the Resort guests, so I might say is also exclusive. Bungalows are all made in wood a part for the attached en suite bathroom which is made of bricks, cement and tiles on the floor. Elevated from the ground (sand) by pillars made on wood, this characteristic constructions have a comfortable balcony just on the entrance, with a bench or amok in which you can relax in the afternoon when the temperature is too hot to go to the beach or when is raining outside (typical of this season).
These kinds of accommodation are very Spartan and mostly preferred by a young "party" style crowd; so do not expect (specially at this prices) to find all the commodities.
Inside in the main fan cooled room in fact you will find only a king size bed, there is no other pieces of furniture so you might need to spread your backpack and stuff on the floor in a corner. The en suite toilet and shower are simple and not hot water is provided.
The resort has an open air cafe' style restaurant and bar with a pool table as well. The service is family style, prompt and the atmosphere is friendly. At night time you can view an English spoken movie while dining or watch the news at CNN and BBC trough the satellite TV hanging on the main wall of the Restaurant. There is also a laundry service, bike rental (Bath 150 per day for a 4 strokes 125 motor scooter) and ticketing availability for the ferry.
If you eat at the restaurant or ask for a drink or anything else like renting a bike, you don't need to carry money on you but just write yourself in a little clipboard (you'll find one in each table of the restaurant) your room number and what desired and the staff will satisfy your requirements, you will pay when you leave together with the bill of your daily rent. So if you use this system make sure you take a note of how much you are spending every day in order to avoid misunderstanding or bad surprises once you ask for the total amount. Bear in mind there is ATM machines and banks near the resort if you run out of money or need to exchange to the local currency.
Considering the price I have paid for and how near to the beach I was I believe it is still a bargain.
There is also possibility to get an air conditioned bungalow or a double one, suitable for couples, of course at a different price.
Pahnun View Bungalows
Aow Lang Khaay
Kho Tao Suratthani
Tel: 077 456541-2
Bath 150 US$ 3.50 double room/bed (Bungalow) per night.
This is also a family ran business style, but this time is a young couple who take care of all the needs of the customers.
Situated on the top of a little hill and characterized by the wavy waters of the sea, down to the small rocky bay, the resort has over ten bungalows, all of them with a great view of the bay and the sea. All bungalows are double bed, with no difference of price if you are two or one person.
At the time I was there, (November) there was no need for air condition or fan because that side of the island is exposed and shattered from the wind, the bungalows are surrounded from tall palm trees and vegetation that keep them cool and repair from the sun.
Down, just half way to the beach there is a platform all made in dark wood like a sort of "gazebo", this is the recreation place, where you can have drinks, food, play social games, watch movies or just listen some chill out music while reading a book.
Laundry facility and a PC for the use of Internet complete the amenities offered by the Phanun view.
A very important thing to say about this place is that is strongly recommended for those who wants to take a break from the chaos of the big centers.... Phanun view is quite, calm, nobody is never in hurry and there is not time...you can eat anytime, sleep all morning and have breakfast at 2:00 pm or go for a walk in the forest with the first sing of the coks owned by the proprietors.
Diving courses, snorkeling, tracking, bike rental, bus, boat, train tickets can all be arranged in site.... so there is little remaining to you to take care about...
Electricity runs from 18:00 pm to 12:00 am, for the rest you will get used to candles or oil lamps.....this is due to the fact that there is not a regular connection with the company supplier but a rather modest diesel engine that provides the electricity for all the bungalows and the gazebo.
The bungalow is spacious and clean (you still have gaps on between the wood axes), not furnished, a part for the bed of course, the beds are equipped with mosquitoes net (I strongly recommend to use them). Shower and toilet where big enough but here as well neither hot water, nor towels where provided.
HONG KONG 1 US $ = 7.5 HK$
218 Electric Rd., North Point,
Tel: 852 2807 2333
Fax: 852 2807 1221
HK$ 562 US$ 75 single room per night.
The best in hospitality and services so far. The hotel is a tower of 256 rooms and has one restaurant one brasserie cafe', and a bar. As I could feel, the standard where high and respected from all the staff which has been courteous and helpful.
My room at the 13th floor was just about the size a single room should be, air condition, radio, TV, mini bar, and bathroom with all the commodities of an excellent 3 star Hotel. The window was positioned next the bed so I could see down to the street by laying on bed if I would. The desk in my room was enormous and perfect for a businessman or somebody like me who uses a PC laptop, the rest of the furniture very comfortable and made of good material. Safe for keeping valuables, with digital electronic look was situated inside the guard robe. It's a pity that no Internet facilities where in house, but anyway I found a internet club just around the corner (opposite to Mac Donald’s).
I didn’t' personally go to the restaurants, bar, nor had breakfast in the hotel so I cannot include a review of the F/B department.
Best Western Rosedale
8 Shelter street, Causeway Bay,
Tel: 852 2127 8888
fax: 852 2127 3333
web Site: www.rosedale.com.hk
HK$ 472.50 US$ 63 twin room per night.
Part of a well know chain of international hotel, this 4 stars luxurious Hotel has just opened so I got a very comfortable room for a bargain price.
My room was comfortable and fitted with air conditioned, in room broad band internet access, digital cordless telephone, welcome drinks in the mini bar, TV satellite, good furniture, two single beds. The toilet wasn't very big but with all the comforts.
A 24 hours room services is available, massages service, business center, a restaurant of class is located at the first floor plus a dim sum restaurant on the ground floor and a sky bar and cigar lounge with an astonishing view of the skyline of the city is allocated at the 33rd floor.
Wang Fat Hostel
A2,3 F/Flat A,
47 Paterson St.
Tel: 852 2895 1015
Web: http://www.wangfat hostel.com.hk
HK$ 320.00 US$ 41 double room per night.
Right on the centre of the Hong Kong Island busy Causeway Bay district, this 50 rooms hostel is located just behind the “Sogo” department store and minutes away from many more of the biggest shopping mall. Basically you just pop downstairs from your room and you get to all the major attractions such as shops, restaurants cinemas etc. The Hostel is ran by a young man “Sam” which takes good care of all its clients needs.
My room was a quiet, small double with air-condition, shower and toilet en suite, king size bed, TV, phone with free local calls, wardrobe, closet and a little desk with mirror.
Towels where replaced and the room was cleaned on a daily basis.
Wang Fat is a safe place, mainly the customers where young European and Australasian travellers and backpackers.
Laundry facility at a cost of HK$ 40.00 x 5 Kg., a PC with free Internet was available all day in a small room in what I assumed to be the owner office.
I must say that this was the best price I have found during my research on the internet and considering that it was Christmas holidays consider it a bargain for HK hostels market prices, even tough the room was quite small. The underground station is literally round the corner; buses and tram as well is just one minute from the hostel, and the A11 (airport shuttle) stops right in front of the Hotel, that makes your life much more easier.
SIDNEY 1 US $ = 1.69 AU$
5-11 Egan Street
Newtown NSW 2042
Tel: 02 9550 3236
FREECALL (RESERVATION ONLY) 1 800 806 419
Fax: 02 9550 4352
AU$ 23.00 US$ 13.61 dorm bed room share x6 per night.
AU$ 1.00 discount V.I.P card holders.
As almost all the Australian accommodations for backpacker’s style travellers, this Hotel has only “dorm” quarter’s accommodations (6 people sharing), but still (as not found in many other hostels) with en suite WC and shower. The room is big enough, kept clean from the staff (daily), fan cooled and with TV (although ours wasn’t working). Frequented from Europeans, mainly from Germany and UK this Hotel has a good reputation and great atmosphere, the staff is helpful and friendly.
On the ground floor there is a big communal kitchen with stoves where you can cook your own meal and a fridge and cupboards where you can keep your groceries (all food must be kept in special green plastic containers, labelled with your name, date and room number). Remember that you must clean up your own mess after cooking or eating in the communal areas such as the kitchen and café’ style tables in canteen.
Outside just close to the communal canteen there is a small but comfortable swimming pool, which can be used at any time of the day (not after midnight).
The laundry room is located just next the reception desk and the machines operates with AU$ 3.00 charge either wash or dry. Also available at the reception are some small but efficient safe box, here you can keep all your valuables and documents (AU$ 1.00 every time used).
On the first floor there is a TV and Internet room (one PC only but free of charge).
Finally for those who travel by car, a closed parking space is available right on the entrance of the Hostel.
The Shiralee Backpackers Hostell
107 Brisbarne St.,
Northbridge WA 6003
Tel: 08 9227 7448
Fax: 08 9227 7446
AU$ 18.00 US$ 10.60 dorm bed room share x6 per night.
AU$ 1.00 discount V.I.P card holders.
Located 10 minutes walking by Perth railway and suburban train station, Shopping Malls and just before the Harbour. This Backpackers Hostel offers either dorm accomodation or twins and doubles (must book well in advance for this last two) and the usual range of services (TV room, internet (charge), linen, laundry, luggage store, comunal kitchen).
My room was a 6 bed fan cooled, the toilet & showers was outside in the corridor, share with other 3 or more rooms.
Despite the fact that the Hostel did offer what is most required from all the backpackers and travelers, I have found the general atmosphere a bit cold and the people itself too quiet, reserved, not really interested in creating a friendly bounch of friends....as it did happened in the hostell in Sidney.
A city bus can be booked from and to the airport (AUD 11.50), be careful and get an earlier one becouse the shuttle stops in many other Hotels so the entire journey (normally 30 min.)can be much longer....so don't just take the the one arriving 30 minutes or 1 hour before your flight....allow plenty of time to do your check in......I have seen some long queue's at Sidney's airport.
The Northerner Motor Inn
Cnr. North Road & Kohuhu Street,
PO Box 514, Kaitaia, N.Z
Tel: +64 9 408 2800
Fax: +64 9 408 0306
NZ$ 40.00 US$ 21.96 twin room per night.
The Northenner Motor Inn Cnr is a Tudor Stile complex situated ten minutes walk from the center of the litle town of Kaitaia, the last major stop before to heading north to the world famous 90 Miles Beach and Cape Reinga Light house, New Zealand northernmost point.
Spacious and sumptuous surroundings generate an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.
Room facility included ensuite shower, clock radio, fan heater, telephone, TV, Sky TV, iron and ironing board, WC and shower. Laundry was also available in this hotel and spa pool and sauna, bar and restaurant, cocktail lounge and finally a car parking outside.
The general overall nd atmosphere was good and quite charming and the staff friendly and professional.
Il Triangolo Hotel
524 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
Tel: +01 415 433 5122
Fax: +01 415 433 5124
US$ 45.00 double room per night (tax included)
A friendly European style Hotel in North beach (little Italy) and 5 minutes from Chinatown and the shops of Stockton. Family run by two ladies this Hotel has clean, bright rooms, mine had a big window facing on to Columbus (on top of "Cafe' Roma"), so in the morning on my weak up I just needed to step downstairs and have the best coffee on town for my breakfast.
Carpeted rooms with heater, sink, wardrobe, double bed (linen and duvet included), TV (not working, VCR (worked properly). Although toilet and shower are in the corridor on a share system
I've never had problems or delete, actually they where always free when I needed.
45 Dollars could be a sum of money but, again considering that I was just minutes walking from all the amenities and the transportation system I must admit that the price, compared for the service and the commodities offered was ...OK!
Bowery's Whitehouse Hotel of NY
New York NY 10012
Tel: +001 212 477 5623
Fax: +001 212 473 3150
US$ 32.00 single room per night (tax included)
After the usual "check in" procedures I went upstairs where I was assigned........I could hear loud music and people having a nice time thorough the walls of the 1st and 2 floor, when I finally arrived to the third floor......and opened the door of my room.......gosh!.....you cannot believe me if you don't see it....OK let's start by saying that the third floor was actually a big room with two rows of little "cubicles dorms" of the size of the bed, plus another 25 inches to let you move inside. The all thing was made of wood, the "walls" of this little mini rooms where made of wood and they separate each one of the rooms from each other but wheren't high enough to reach the ceiling, actually there was a huge gap so it was like if all the room where connected togheter and anyone could have jumped in somebody else room or hear to what was happening in the room next to. Toilet and shower where allocated near the entrance and of course it was a sharing system..........I was disgusted but had no choice.......take it or .......leave it......