Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Vinpearl Waterpark Phu Qhoc Vietnam

Vinpearl Waterpark Phu Qhoc Vietnam
Vinpearl is owned by a Vietnamese Billionaire, he has major operations in Nha Trang and now in Phu Qhoc. Along with Hotels, the company also has Ferries, Powerboats, a very impressive Cable Car and also in the resort in Phu Qhoc a Waterpark with rides both wet and dry. It is a very large complex that is 35 minutes in a Taxi from Duong Dong one of the main tourist beach areas. I got a seperate independent taxi both ways, and amazingly and a very good testament  it was the same price both ways that was 330.000 dong, that equates to just under £11 very reasonable indeed. This is the quickest way to get to the resort, taking the cheaper transfer bus can often take well over an hour. From the resorts closer to the park there are free shuttle buses. But don't be afraid to use Taxi's in Vietnam they are very cheap indeed and get the job done in half the time.

Tickets can be bought very quickly at the office, there was no queue when I got there at 10am. The 2019 price is Adult 500,000 dong, concession are 400,000 dong. That is for over 60's you do need proof. However for the younger ages it goes on height and the magic height is 140 cm if you are under that you pay less, and if you are under 100 cm then it is free entry.


Vinpearl Waterpark Phu Qhoc Vietnam Your transport might stop so you can buy tickets along the way NO NEED you can buy tickets at the park no problem at all. Be forceful with them, you don't have to buy anything on the way.
There is also a Safari that you can buy duel tickets for, however I did not do that myself so cannot fairly comment, but the ticket price does bump up to 900,000 dong for Adult, about £30

So once inside you will find it to be ultra clean and tidy with huge wide walkways. There are shops and cafes and it is quite impressive. To the right is the Water park, here you can drop off your bag for a few pence, and hire a towel if you need to. One thing I did find is there are not many places to sit, if you get there later than 10am then I doubt you will get anywhere except a bench. There are a few sunbeds so get there at 9am to 9.30am for one of those. It is not a busy place by any means, but just there are so few places where you can make "a base" for the day. Shame really, a bit of a error I feel.


Vinpearl Waterpark Phu Qhoc Vietnam
The water rides are all in good condition and do have lifeguards controlling them, there is a great choice and no queues. Plenty of mats in good condition and plenty of rubber rings. Hard to fault any of that and the water looked very clear and fresh. There were plenty of life jackets around for the younger ones to wear and they all looked brand new.

There is a Dolphin show at 2pm (that could of course change) and the Aquarium besides being somewhere cool to go for 30 minutes or so is excellent. Both are included in the price. Again exceptionally clean and tidy inside and plenty of room to walk around. The fish looked very well cared for indeed.

There are also other rides in the park, only problem was I think that the rides had to wait for enough people to turn up. That might improve early evening when it cools down a bit. It was very hot walking around. However by 5pm it would be a lot easier. Of course a lot of people arrive by coach and are gone by then, so not really sure if that is fact or fiction about the rides being more frequent.


Vinpearl Waterpark Phu Qhoc Vietnam
I think Children aged 3 to 16 would love this place, it is a good day out, but as I have just said it is very hot walking around, but of course if you are in the water park for most of the day that isn't a problem.

I would mark this place the following

Cleanliness and general tidiness  10/10
Gardens 10/10
Rides 9/10
Seating 3/10
Shops and Restaurants 8/10
Aquarium 10/10
Staff 8/10 
Toilet Facilities 9/10 
Cost 7/10

I didn't take my camera all photos were taken by myself 19th Feb 2019 on Phone.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

No Postal address in the UK - You can use ours Expost UK

No Postal address in the UK - You can use ours Expost UK
Looking to move to Asia long term? (or in fact anywhere in the World) and have you thought about how to control your UK post? It can be simple of course, get a family member to forward your mail, but it is a commitment and you might want to keep somethings to yourself. So why not be in complete control and rent a virtual mailbox with a UK address?  This mean you can redirect all your mail from UK Bank, building society, solicitors, insurance, credit cards, HMRC, to a valid UK address. 

You can then log into your mailbox which has a unique easy to remember number look at what has arrived for you in the past few days and decide if you want the item scanned for transmission to you via email, or destroyed, or sent on to your current overseas address which you can change at anytime.

There is a very friendly email backup service open during office hours in the UK you can expect a quick and helpful reply the same day. I have been using the service now for 6 months and have only had to ask a question once, it was dealt with very quickly. I have only requested 2 bits of post to be
forwarded, both arrived safety and well packaged and clearly addressed. In our digital age there is less and less need for post, but there is always going to be a need. You can order from Ebay, Amazon or any UK Store and use your virtual postal address. You can choose which area of the country your address is. Mine for instance is in Taunton. 

So you can sign up for a short term, or for the best rate sign up for a year, if you use the Bonus Code PHOTO you will receive an extra month free of charge. You pay a yearly fee (or shorter without bonus) and then a postal rate which is great value so each item forwarded is paid for from your postal account which is started off with just £20, you can top up at anytime, I have not topped up in 5 months. 

Endorsement, I can really recommend this company, they have done a great job for me, taken any stress out of my UK postage as I live in Thailand. I don't have to keep bothering family or friends, my bank etc know my UK address and send everything to them. I choose what I want to do with
that bit of mail. I am in complete control and it could not be easier.  SIGN UP HERE

Friday, 25 January 2019

Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival dates 2019

Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival dates 2019
The Hoi An Full Moon Lantern Festival is a very popular evening indeed. In fact it is quite overwhelming the amount of people that visit the City for that evening alone. 

Be prepared and arrive early, perhaps book your spot to enjoy the view. Anyone who is looking at the dates and disappointed that the festival won't be on during their time, don't be. Hoi An is beautiful every night the lights are stunning every night. Just on the Lantern Festival of course there more, but I can assure you there a lot more visitors as well. So here are the dates for 2019 and start of 2020


2019
Mar 20th
Apr 18th
May 18th
Jun 16th
Jul 16th
Aug 14th
Sep 12th
Oct 10th
Nov 10th
Dec 9th

2020
Jan 9th
Feb 7th
Mar 7th
Apr 6th 

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

2019 Tet holiday Information in Vietnam Feb 4th - 9th

2019 Tet holiday Information in Vietnam Feb 4th - 9th
2019 will see the Vietnamese celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Pig and it will take place all over the country from Feb 4th to Feb 9th. There is a steady build up to the great occasion and you will see families very busy getting ready, lots of flowers for sale. Most general stores (that are not really visited by tourists) will close for the whole period, maybe longer. But these stores selling household goods do not effect the tourists in anyway.

Nearly all shops will close on Tet Day which is Feb 5th and it will be very quiet everywhere. However in the tourists area's about half the restaurants will be open. In Hoi An most of the tailors will be closed, however 1 or 2 do remain open. Hoi An probably is the least effected it is a very good base for Tet. They have a week long family area that has music and games, its fun to join in and watch. In Hoi Chi Minh they have a huge flower festival that is definitely worth visiting if you are in the area. It runs for about 10 days and usually starts a couple of days before Tet. It is best seen at night. 

Travel can be difficult, buses and trains do get busy, but you can always hire a car. Probably the best advice though is to get to a destination of you choice a couple of days before Tet and stay put for 4 or 5 days. Enjoy the culture, talk to the Vietnamese they are exceptionally friendly over the Tet period and will invite you to join in with their family celebrations. They are very generous indeed. Don't be afraid to travel to Vietnam over Tet but it is very important to plan well. Don't travel on Tet day is my advice. 

4th Feb 2019  Vietnamese New Year  (Fireworks at midnight if government permits they are sometimes cancelled if there has been bad floods as in 2017)  For your information only really, the Vietnamese at midnight on Tet draw a line under anything negative that has happened the year before. If they have had a dispute with a neighbour for instance this is forgotten and a fresh start begins. Not a bad idea really is it.

5th Feb 2019  Vietnamese Tet Day  Very quiet day, but some restaurants open for tourists. All shops are closed. Its simple really, the more you are in a tourist area the more likely you will find things open. Prices are sometimes increased, they are not always displayed that well, it is a traditional thing because they will of course be working over their holiday. Its usually about 10 or 20% so please be aware that could be added to any bill over this period. Not always, but it does happen a lot. 

6th Feb 2019 Vietnamese New Year Holiday  
7th Feb 2019 Vietnamese New Year Holiday
8th Feb 2019 Vietnamese New Year Holiday 
9th Feb 2019 Vietnamese New Year Holiday

Things then start to get back to normal, but in some rural areas you still might see huge family parties going on, after the 9th Feb, they enjoy their family time and it can go on for some time. Not really effecting tourism at all, if you pass a huge Tet party, don't be surprised if you get dragged in. We passed on 4 days after Tet had finished and about 10 children came running out and told us to come in. We had a drink, lots of food and even sang some Karaoke !! They were very drunk I have to say. But it was really good fun. 

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Lux RIverside Hotel and Apartments Street 136 Phonm Penh Cambodia

Lux Riverside Hotel and Apartments
When you are in a big city, staying central can save you a lot of money in transport, obviously Hotel prices go up, but the Lux Riverside Hotel and apartments are not that expensive and probably the best located of them all. Ok its an oldish building, and the rooms are older, but they are large and comfortable, have good air con and fans, and also good wi-fi. It is right in the heart of the action. Just 50 yards from the River, nearly opposite a sports bar which is open 24 hours and shows all the sport. There are plenty of bars with ladies in, if that is your thing. It is I suppose a Hotel for singles or friends travelling rather than couples. Mainly due to the location. 

There a buffet breakfast on in the morning, mixed reviews on this, I enjoyed the breakfast, it had everything you need. No real complaints from me. They had fruit, cereal, bread, cakes, and cooked breakfast with eggs sausage tomato mushroom etc, along with a couple of Asian dishes. 

Lux Riverside Hotel and ApartmentsThey do have rates to stay here long term, a one bedroom serviced apartment, so that includes cleaning and fresh towels and bed linen is from $750 (about £580) to $900 they have different size one bedrooms that includes internet, but breakfast is an additional $150 a month. Which is $7 a day. Remember these are long term rates. They do have small Kitchens but electric does have an additional small charge. 

At the moment they have 20% off rooms which mean they are between $40 which is pictured (about £30) and $60 a
night I have stayed in three different rooms and found them all to be good value for money. I stayed in the largest suite over New Year 2018 and it was HUGE, a real treat

All the staff were very helpful there are plenty of Tuk Tuks outside to take you to the sites of the City and beyond. A very good choice if you want to be on Street 136, where the action is.


Monday, 22 October 2018

Shipping containers as rooms Why Not Hostel in Dong Hoi

Yes its true the Why Not Hostel in Dong Hoi is made up of decorated shipping containers, but they are bigger than you expect inside (I worked in one for 4 months) and in my opinion a lot more comfortable than a multi person dorm room.

Why Not Hostel Dong HoiSo first Dong Hoi, is a good stopover point between Hanoi and Hue. Not only that, it is very close to one of the largest caves in Vietnam called the Phong Kha Bang Cave. 

The complex is centrally located in the City of Dong Hoi and also not far from the beach. A good time to visit is between March and September out of the rainy season, if you want to to the caves. Other times are fine if you are not going caving. It does have a very good small airport, but suggest if you are staying in a Hostel then pretty obviously the cheapest option is by rail. You could go by Bus, but it would be long trip, and not so comfortable.


Stopping here it would be possible to avoid an overnight train, however if you want to take an overnight train to or from Hanoi, you can. It is a pretty undiscovered area, not many tourists. Not so much English is spoken. They do have a fantastic fish market every morning down by the River, you can't miss it, and it is one of the best I have every been to. Very vibrant, interesting, and locals all want to say hello as you walk around, and love having their photo taken, but it is still polite to ask. 
Why Not Hostel Dong Hoi

The Hostel has 22 rooms, each are 16 square metres which isn't a bad size at all. Plenty for two or
three nights, I expect most only stay for one or two I always suggest staying two. They are all colourfully decorated and very clean and tidy inside. 

You can book a double room with seaview for just £15 on Booking com   And I can assure you they are just like the photographs here. That price includes Breakfast!! The accommodation has a separate bathroom and shower, free wi-fi, and air conditioning, you can see the white air con unit above the bed in the photograph. There is a 24 hour check in desk. This is super value for £15. Great name because you have to say "Why Not" 

This Hostel is getting great reviews, it is something different, and it is in an usual but interesting location and on the reunification express train route and is well worth a stop over if you are travelling up or down the coast with a backpack. 

Friday, 19 October 2018

Ibis Bangkok Nana Khlong Toei Sukhumvit 4 Thailand

ibis bangkok nana
Choosing a hotel in Bangkok is not easy especially if you have never been there. It is almost impossible in fact. You really have to do a bit research and find the area that you feel is best
for you. The one I have stayed at is in the heart of the action and just 150 metres away from the famous Nana Plaza. This leads to the Sukhumvit road and right there is a BTS station  (Sky Train)  which work in conjunction with the MRT (Underground) railway system. Also along this area and just over the road is one of the best areas for pubs and restaurants. But it is a big city and other people like other areas.  

This is a budget hotel where you can get rooms for £43 just over $50 with rooms that are modern and it has all the facilities that you need. The rooms are not massive but they are easily big enough for a few days. There is no real limit on the amount you could spend at a 5 star hotel, this is major city so you can easily pay 3 4 or 5 times the cost of a room here. 

There is an excellent restaurant in the Hotel that serves a buffet style breakfast and a bar is available. 
ibis bangkok nana
You are getting a very good all round hotel slap bang in the middle of the action for a great price. Its not fancy, but it is very functional with very clean rooms and good wi fi,  Its great value for money in the heart of the City and so its very highly recommended.  More details here and make a booking

Saturday, 13 October 2018

LK Empress Hotel Soi 12 Beach Road Pattaya Thailand

LK The Empress Pattaya ThailandI thought I would add some other hotels from neighbouring countries. So first up Pattaya which is about 90 mins  by car from Bangkok and is by the sea. To transfer to Pattaya it costs just a couple of pounds on the bus, takes about 3 hours with a short break half way. It is 1000 baht (sometimes 1100) by a pre arranged Taxi who will meet you with a greeting board. On today's rates that is £23 or $30 which is pretty good. It is motorway all the way, most Taxi's travel at about 60mph or 100kph not too fast at all. 

The LK Empress is on Soi 12 and is right in the middle of the action and right across the road from the beach. It has to be said its not the best beach in the world, Jomtien beach which is 15 minutes away by 10 baht Taxi Bus is a bit better. However it is pleasant enough to sit and watch the world go by, but swimming is not really recommended in the sea in Pattaya. Shame!  There are various programmes going on to improve the situation, but they are still not doing enough.  The hotel does have a swimming pool on the roof of the reception area so its not high, as seen in the photo above. 

The Hotel is part of a chain so it has its core values and expectations and it is spotlessly clean throughout. The large dining room for Breakfast does get quite busy, but there is always a seat somewhere.  The choice is very good, with a mixture of Asian and European food that you can choose from on the Buffet style counters. You can get fried eggs or omelettes. 


Reception LK The Empress Pattaya
The reception area is very lavish and looks spectacular, it is kept cool with good air conditioning. The staff on the desk where quite helpful I had no problem at all booking in, or checking out. There is a very useful 24 hour 7/11 shop with an entrance on the street, and also inside the Hotel by the lifts, so you don't have to leave the Hotel. This is very handy indeed. There is also an ATM outside. There are numerous ATMs just outside to the right of the building as well as the one at the 7/11.  There is also a Taxi rank. 


The rooms are large and well appointed, they have everything you would expect from a high end hotel in a city and the wi fi works very well. The staff do an excellent job of cleaning your room everyday and the bed is comfortable and really I couldn't find any problems with the rooms or bathroom at all. There is a safe which is easy to use, and an iron and ironing board. There are some rooms that have a sea view, but they are more expensive, no surprise there. My view at the rear wasn't very good, but it didn't bother me. If you do want a view, you will have to pay more.  The photos look as though it is a five star up market hotel, but it isn't like that at all, it is quite relaxed, and is a good price for the facilities and area. 

With its near perfect location and everything in the City within walking distance the shopping malls, beach, nightlife, markets, then this is a very good choice indeed. I would stay there again. You can view more details here   Check room prices and make a booking. 

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Simple Tips for travelling Vietnam and Asia

Well after nearly a year of change in my life I am back into my blog and probably in a much better place now as I am on a long tour of Asia myself and will be checking back into Vietnam very soon. 

So I thought why not put together a few tips that I have picked up and also some hotels that I have stayed at in neighbouring countries. Cambodia and Thailand where I am right now. I am also soon to visit Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

The following is really aimed at first time travellers although 2nd time travellers may find this helpful also and be able to relate to some of my points...hopefully anyway.


Itineraries 

One of the most talked about subjects on Trip Advisor forums is potential Itineraries for a route though Asia. There is no correct answer to this question, as a lot does depend on who is travelling. I think this can be broken down because Budget, Aspirations, and Age are all factors. You have to sensible and work within your budget and age group to achieve your aspirations or goals of the holiday you are planning. But it is fun to plan, it can take time, but it does pay off. The better your planning the easier your trip will be, that is a fact.

Don't try and do too much, if you have a 14 day holiday you should be looking at 3 or 4 or maybe a maximum of 5 stops. I would always recommend at least two nights in one destination, one night is just a sleep night you don't get much value out of it. Fair enough if it is a transit break, that is different. But I would still recommend 2 nights. Its good to have a goal or target place that you might stay 3 or 4 nights maybe even 5. It is a holiday, take time out, travelling every other day in Asia is hard, it is fun, but it will be hot, and it will be difficult and could be frustrating at times

Try not to travel at night by road, night travel in my opinion on the roads is pretty dangerous a lot of traffic driving around without lights on, and I always avoid it myself. Train is a better option, I would always purchase the best seat (cabin) at night, they are not expensive and you might get a bit of sleep. Air travel is a great option nowadays, ok it is cheating a bit, but it does get you from A to B quickly and air fares are very reasonable especially in the same country, they do go up 
if you are travelling to another country no doubts about that. The more countries you visit, the more expensive it gets, that is true if you are on any budget. So maybe take that into consideration, 1 or 2 countries max. 3 or more can get very expensive indeed.

Money

Cash is king, its true, if you are from a European Country with the Euro, UK with the pound or USA with the dollar, then for a short trip your best value is to take cash and exchange it on the 2nd day (not at the airport) at a local exchange office. They all offer virtually the same exchange rates, if you walk 2 miles you might save yourself 20p exchanging £100 is it worth it?  


Do not change money before your leave, you will always get a better rate in Asia. If you want a small amount to see you over arriving then that is different, get $50 or £50 that will be plenty for the transfer, bits and pieces and your  1st night. It is safe to use your debit card, but different countries charge different amounts. Thailand being the most expensive, it is about £9 on top of a £250 transaction. In Cambodia and Vietnam it is about £3 not so bad. Bring cash to Thailand it is easy to change and much better than using your debit card. Cambodia and Vietnam obviously it is probably better to use your debit card rather than carry cash. Think about what suits you the best, and make sure you have a back up card, you know the telephone numbers to contact the banks, and you know your pin number! Transactions do get queried a lot from this area and banks especially Visa will stop transactions that is very frustrating.

Weather

Generally the weather in South East Asia is similar but it is not the exact same everywhere, there are slight or even quite big differences. For instance it can be quite cold in Hanoi in December and January where it is very hot and Sunny in Saigon. It can be rainy in Hoi An in late Jan early Feb (with floods) but by the end of Feb, beginning of March hot and sunny. Best time to visit Phu Quoc is Dec to Mar but it is the worst time to visit Hanoi, although usually by March it has warmed up. 

There have been floods and disasters in this area this year in October the rainy season. But you can never put your hand on heart and be 100% certain, we are living in testing times with the weather and you can't rule much out.

Just take a bit of time and make sure you are not visiting an area at a time where the weather could be extreme. Normal rain is not a problem it only rains for an hour or two and the sun is back out again. But there is no getting away from the fact the weather can be a problem. Don't go caving in Vietnam in the rainy season, its obvious, but a lot do, and are disappointed when the caves are closed. Research Research Research. Its easy to do nowadays.

Sunglasses and Suncream
Sunglasses


If you are staying any length of time, do yourself a favour and buy yourself a decent pair of sunglasses before you set off. 

It is important to protect your eyes but you won't do that with a pair of rip off sunglasses that are sold on every street corner in Asia. They are all rip off's, they won't protect your eyes and are a waste of money. If you are here for a week or so and want a cheap pair fair enough, but as long as you are aware you have bought sunglasses that are useless that's fine. On the plus side if you lose or break them, then its not a problem. 

The sun here is a lot stronger than in most countries in Europe it can give you sunburn when it is hazy, and it is very bright indeed when there are no clouds at all. Protect yourself. 

Sun tan lotion or Sun cream is expensive in Asia, bring it with you. End of advice.

Visas and Passports


Visa and Passport

Visa regulations change, so be wary of old websites as they could potentially have information that is way out of date. It is best to go to the embassy of the country that you are visiting, from the country that you live in.  If you are from UK, go to the website of the Vietnamese government in London. That is the easy rule, they hold the correct information

At the moment things are more relaxed, quite simply the countries in Asia want visitors so in general for most  European countries USA Canada and Australia it is free 30 days entry, But not in every case, Australia in particular can be different.  Always check. Stick to the rules, don't try and bend them. 30 days in most cases can be extended. There are different rules for places like Phu Qhoc but only if you are going there direct (via Saigon without entering the country) So again, check and double check. 

Two other tips, before you leave take a photocopy or two of your passport, and any visa's that you might have if you apply before you go. Also when you get a Visa stamp check it! Often the dates are hand written, and so human error does occur, check it straight away. So its a good idea to actually know what you are expecting to see. Have a quick look and carry on. Its easy to forget and mistakes do happen. I have seen them, luckily though not to me, so far. 

Local laws and Customs

I am not going to go on about this, this is just being polite to the country you are visiting to try and attempt to learn a few words of the lingo "please, thank you, good day, good night" all the obvious and they are appreciated, they really are. 


Keep to the law and you will be treated very well indeed. Break the law and you can expect a pretty tough time. Appreciate their customs and religion, in all countries the head of state, maybe King (or Queen) are highly respected, that is across the board, do not under any circumstances say or do anything to offend the head of state, it is punishable and could land you in serious trouble. There are other things that are offensive in Asia that are not in Europe, you should read up on that. It only takes 10 minutes.

Taxi and Motorbikes Tuk Tuks and Cyclos orRickshaws 

Cyclos in HueThis subject is a bit of a minefield, I think the golden rule is, take care in major cities but generally in other areas such as
the provinces and smaller towns they are far more trustworthy. But no doubt there are problems in places for instance Hue with the Cyclos. Certainly do not take a Cyclo in Saigon and my advise would be stick to Vinasun Taxis. 

Motorbikes can be dangerous my advise, not the driver, but the others on the road, I would avoid if you can. However lots of people do use them, and 999/1000 have no problems. But I don't fancy them myself. 

If you use a Taxi and he is a good driver, friendly and doesn't try and keep asking about where you want to go (as that can be annoying) then take his number. Use Hotel taxi's or drivers they are in my opinion always the safest, and know they must drive carefully. My general overall experience is that most Taxi drivers are quite good, very good even. But there are the odd ones of course. But unlike somewhere like Egypt where they are all completely mad, here they are safer. On long distances ask for a break, I like to see the driver getting a break as well. They often work very long hours and get tired. You are in charge, ask for a break. They are usually very happy to take one, and glad you have asked! 

Plugs and Electronic Goods 


2 pin extension lead
Advice mainly for those from UK is one of the best things I brought with me on this trip has been two extension leads with a two pin plug on, just plug that in, and away you go. However I have now seen plenty of these here in Thailand so I suspect they have caught on, and are for sale everywhere. Depends on how long you are here for really, but they do of course work in Europe pretty well also. 

Bring all the batteries you need, while you can buy them here, it may take you a while to locate them, and they will probably be expensive.

Small UK/European Plugs can be bought in all the small 7/11 type shops they are not expensive, but the extension lead might be a lot harder to find. I got mine from Amazon it was £10, and I bought two, and they have been brilliant. I use them everyday and make life so much more easy. Here you can pick one up for about £6 or £7, they vary in quality. 


Electronic goods are slightly cheaper here, but not by much, and of course you will have difficultly, or indeed it will be impossible to claim on a guarantee when you return home. My advise is unless you have done massive research and know what you are doing, buy at home. Nowadays the specs on a computer make pitting one against another virtually impossible. The salesman in your country might not know what they are talking about, but I can assure you most here don't either. Some do, but finding them isn't easy. I don't see a lot of advantage of buying goods here to be honest. But maybe on high end stuff you might save a bit. You won't on low end.

Phones Wifi or Data

Everyone has a phone nowadays, and everyone in Asia does as well, this is one thing that is cheaper, if you go into a large store that specialises in phones (usually one in every city, if not more) then you will find hundreds and thousands of phones at great prices. So helpful if you have an idea what you are looking for, do your research. If you don't know what you are looking for, then good luck, you will be bombarded with helpful sales persons keen to get that sale.

Wifi across Asia is excellent, you can easily travel for 2 or 3 weeks and just keep using Wifi, no problem at all. But if you are staying for a month or so, it is worth considering getting a local chip and buying access to Data. For instance I am in Thailand at the moment and for £14 I have one month unlimited internet access. I can use it on the beach in a taxi, anywhere the reception has been superb and the speed excellent. A real bargain. That is with AIS if anyone is coming this way for any length of time. Countries of course do vary, but I think this is pretty typical of what you might expect to get.

Not having to ask for Wi Fi codes and signing into networks every few hours is well worth £14.  Plus I can use it on the beach or just in the street to find somewhere if I get a bit lost. Very handy indeed. Most of you will know more than I do about phones to be fair. But data is cheap to buy and well worth it if you are in one country for over a month. 

Food and Drink

Eating and drinking in Asia is cheaper than Europe do doubt about that, the street food especially is far cheaper. But it isn't quite as easy as you think to just eat street food. During the evening it is easy enough, but when its hot during the day, its rather uncomfortable. There are plenty of smaller restaurants with fans to cool you, or even air con places, but you can expect to pay more, and you can't really argue with that. I usually swap and change about, one day eat local, another maybe a bit more upmarket local, and then an English bar or something. Alright for me I am here long term, but generally you will find every single possible type of food especially and at all different prices. The food is not all spicy either, in fact generally it is not hot and spicy, and the menu will say if it is or not, or the spicy bit will be separate and you can add it or leave it. As the saying goes "up to you" The locals know what we are like and they have adapted their menu's to suit us. Most places will offer European and Asian food. 

Personal Security It goes without saying travel anywhere and there can be dangers if you don't take care. Only carry the amount of money you need around with you, if you want to carry ID then carry a photocopy of your passport. In larger cities, Hanoi and certainly in Saigon take care carrying expensive cameras, and even more so mobile phones. They have snatch squads active, but you can find them in London. Just don't wave your phone around on a busy street, be discreet and you will fine. Don't walk home in the dark along streets you are unsure of take a cab, or get back to your hotel before dark if you are in a very remote area, as there won't be any street lighting and it could be a bit scary. But generally in the cities in the tourist districts it is usually safe enough. But no where is 100% safe anymore. Just be aware, don't get too drunk, if you are a bit tipsy, get a cab......not a motorbike! 


Well that is all I can think of right now, I will add more as it comes to mind. Hope you have found this helpful, I do have a contact button if you want to ask anything.  

Have fun and enjoy your planning!  


Tuesday, 20 February 2018

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
Set a few Kilometers outside of Danang with fabulous views of the Peninsula and its own beach and fully contained resort the Intercontinental Danang is without doubt one of the best hotels in the area. It has several dining options all of a very high standard topped by the highly acclaimed La Maison 1888. There is also a very large swimming pool and a Spa. 

The accommodation are beachfront Villas all with private balcony, as you can see by the pictures the views that this setting provides is stunning. 

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort Staff reviews are extremely high, that's not really a surprise in Vietnam, and a top hotel will always have highly trained, courteous, and friendly staff. The Intercontinental Hotel is no different, the staff are recommended in virtually all reviews. 

There are golf clubs nearby and also it is a short trip into Danang which is nice to visit and also has its own attractions which are very popular. They can all be arranged very easily from the Hotel. 

InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
The huge suites are not cheap it has to said at around £380 and upwards, however you get an absolutely stunning very large Villa with a view you won't match. Check them out on Booking Com and you can see the standard is very high indeed. 

Friday, 9 February 2018

Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon

Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon
If you want a large hotel overlooking the River in Saigon you do have a good choice. There are quite a few to choice from and to be fair hard to find the best one, they are all very good indeed. The Renaissance Riverside Hotel fits the bill for being in a great location for a great view of the river. It also has a very well known Roof Top Pool with an amazing view.

It is worth picking a room with a river view, and you can also go for a Club Room which is not that much more expensive but you do get quite a lot included in that extra price. Free Club Lounge Access includes a Hot Buffet Breakfast, Midday Snack, Hor d'oeuvres, Dessert, and late night snack. Also free cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, there is also free Wi-Fi in the lounge. The cost is
Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon
about £35 or $45 a night extra.....for 2 people of course.

Like most Vietnamese Hotels the service is excellent, it comes with a free smile and nothing is too much trouble for the staff here. The Hotel receives excellent reviews You will be made most welcome and I am sure have a very comfortable stay right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City......Saigon.



Thursday, 9 November 2017

Trump and Putin to Meet in Danang Vietnam


Embed from Getty Images


Both President Trump and Putin are expected to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) leaders meeting which opens in Danang Central Vietnam on Friday.