Sunday, 27 October 2019

UK Lorry Tragedy 25 of the 39 murdered feared from Vietnam

Such a heartbreaking story has been emerging from Grays Essex in UK. It is so very unfortunately being reported that as many as 25 victims of the 39 bodies that were discovered in the back of a trailer could be from Vietnam. The exact number of Vietnamese  has yet to be confirmed, but a substantial number of names have now being released to the press with locations mainly from Ha Tinh in Central Vietnam. There are also reports of other victims from North Vietnam. 

Update, Unfortunately it is now being reported that it is thought it is highly likely that all 39 Victims come from Vietnam. 

The interviews on Sky News today have shown families from the area very distressed and upset, and I wanted to add my sincere condolences from this website.  

Today it has been confirmed that the lorry driver has been charged with numerous charges including manslaughter and people trafficking  and it is expected that more charges are to come, with others already arrested.  I believe that the figure charged for each person for this most hazardous of ways of starting a new life is £30.000. I am quite honestly astonished at the figure. There are reports about high figures that some of these people were told they could earn. Just promises that are just impossible for someone who has just illegally entered the country can earn. 

This is such a serious case that all ports around Europe and UK must do more to check vehicles. How long does it take to open up the back of a lorry? A few minutes, but it is impossible to get out if you are locked inside.  Yes it will cause delays, but the system will improve as time goes on, then opening a container would be normal procedure.  Why are cameras not fitted? More needs to be done to round up these gangs, and that will need to be an international effort.

This is going to take a lot of time for those families and friends to recover from that have lost their loved ones in such shocking circumstances. Lets hope that lessons are learnt for the future so this never happens again.  My thoughts are with you at this terrible time.    

Monday, 19 August 2019

Grand Inna Resort Kuta Beach Bali Indonesia

Grand inna Resort Kuta Beach Bali Indonesia
Continuing on with a few hotels in Bali I stayed 4 nights at the Grand Inna Hotel. It is a very big hotel with 320 rooms over a large area so you don't really get the impression that there are so many people here, even though it was nearly full. 

The location is without doubt one of the best in Kuta, it is right by the main entrance to the huge beach which is miles long, The Breakfast area and one of the three pools even back onto the beach and you can go out this way so avoiding any roads at all. From here there are an abundance of places to sit and lots of small shops and some small restaurants very close by. 

So three pools, going from the beach side of the hotel, you
Grand Inna Resort Kuta Beach Bali Indonesia
have the one I have already mentioned, this has music playing all day and it does get louder until sunset. Its not annoying music though, its pretty cool actually and fits in well. In the middle of the Hotel you have the 2nd pool which is the quietest of the three, it has plenty of sunbeds around it and its pleasant place to sit all day if you want to. People do put towels on the beds but not crazy early and you can get a bed at 9.30-10am no problem at all. The 3rd pool is about the same size as the 2nd one, it has more activities going on for the children and so does get a bit more noisy and pretty busy. There is a swim up bar here as well. 


Learn to Surf Kuta Beach
So plenty of choose to choice from and of course you have the massive beach. The water in Kuta is quite dangerous, it is ideal for those wanting to learn to Surf, but its not very good for toddlers at all. The beach was nice and clean though, and if you have teenagers that want to learn to surf, then this is the place. It costs £18 for a 3 hour lesson, and won't need anymore than that, it is  worth the investment though. After that you can just hire a board for a few hours a day, plenty of places to do that. 

Grand Inna Resort Kuta Beach Bali IndonesiaThe Hotel does go quite quiet in the evening, but thats not always a bad thing, its right in the heart of everything so its not far to walk to Pubs, Restaurants, Shopping Mall or Nightclubs. Its all there. There are two restaurants however one indoors and one outdoors. The indoor one was very quiet when I stayed, the outdoor one was busy. I didn't eat in the evening in the Hotel. 

Grand Inna Resort Kuta Beach Bali IndonesiaThe room I had was very good, it had pool access and had a small terrace, it was a few steps to the pool. The Wi-Fi in the room was excellent, very fast and reliable. The room had recently been decorated and it had everything you could think of in the room, very comfortable, no issues at all. I was in the middle of the Hotel and it wasn't noisy at all. Bathroom was excellent with a great shower.

Breakfast was overlooking the beach by the 1st swimming pool, and it was quite busy, but it was coping ok, I went about 10am 1st day and it was very busy indeed, I went earlier about 7.30 to 8am on the other days and it wasn't too bad. Good selection of everything. What you might expect in such a large hotel. 

Check in and out was fine, again as in most hotels here you
Grand Inna Resort Kuta Beach Bali Indonesia
can leave a deposit and spend that around the Hotel, and although I didn't, but I will in future in Bali as its difficult getting near to the right change all the time. Here service charge is hidden in the price and not added. Which I know is double dutch, but the point is you pay what it says on the menu, not 10% more, much better. 

I had some laundry done here, and I have to say it was excellent, my clothes came back all on hangers extremely well ironed, very impressed indeed. 

So to sum up, if you want a busy hotel right on the beach, like a bit of music and enjoy the sunset then this is a great hotel. Its mid range in price makes it very popular. Short distance to everything this is an excellent choice of hotel if this is the kind of holiday you are looking for. Check out the prices they are pretty good for such a large hotel right on the beach.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Adhi Jaya Hotel Kuta Bali Indonesia

Adhi Jaya Hotel Kuta Bali Indonesia
Indonesia has a slightly different weather pattern than most of  South East Asia and so it is very popular at different times than Vietnam Cambodia or Thailand. It is very popular with Australians mainly due to proximity and also the beautiful climate particularly between June and September. Where most of Asia is having its worst weather, Indonesia is having its best. So I recently took a trip in July and am going again in August/September 2019. So this is very much an up to date review of 3 or 4 hotels in this area. 

So yes weather I think resembles more like Spain than anywhere else that I have been, I lived in Cyprus for a few years and its not as hot as there, but still plenty hot enough and the evenings are nice and cool and its easy to walk around on an evening out. Lovely weather in fact. 


Kuta is a busy location, some people think it is too busy, I didn't think it was that bad at all, it does have something for everyone really, lots of families walking around. The beach
Adhi Jaya Hotel Kuta Bali Indonesia
was very clean indeed the authorities have ensured it is cleaned every morning, they certainly don't do that in Thailand or Vietnam. It shows because I walked for miles up the beach and it was spotless. Sunset is always busy, everyone gathers to watch the sunset and have a couple of beers. Beer on the beach is very cheap. Yes I did take that photo!


The water isn't that warm and it is quite rough, it is perfect however to learn to Surf, there are plenty of willing locals that have started up lessons, you don't need that many, but you do
Adhi Jaya Hotel Bali Kuta Indonesia
need a bit of help to start. 3 hours lesson first attempt is about £18 so not too bad. You will probably be alright to go it alone after that. Some people are naturals, some have to work at it. But watching I could see many many people having fun! It is a really long beach so you have to take care to swim in the areas that are designated by the red/yellow flags with lifeguards. 

So to the hotel, this first one Adhi Jaya Hotel is on the main street that runs through Kuta, it is about 10 minutes from the airport. Probably the easiest way to find it, is that is dead opposite Marks and Spencer in the Discovery Shopping Mall. That is the entrance to the Restaurant which is the quickest way in, the actual entrance is just around the corner, there is small parking area and then the lobby. 

Incidentally just to the right of the restaurant on the main street is an ATM machine and a money exchange booth, which was fine when I used it. Just check your money and can't go far wrong. 

The beach is about a 10 to 15 minute walk, turning right out of the hotel and crossing over, you keep going until you come to a large entrance and short walk then to the beach. This is right at the end of Kuta beach, but here you will find the excellent Broadwalk restaurant that is right on the beach. Beautiful place for lunch or dinner and not too expensive and great service and views.  


Adhi Jaya Hotel Kuta Bali Indonesia Check in and check out was very smooth and they were very cheerful and helpful on the front desk. Like most hotels in Indonesia you can leave a deposit which you can spend in the bar and/or restaurant. That is standard and works well, its up to you really. You can pay as you go. With the strange crazy exchange rate I think setting up a tab isn't a bad idea because often its not easy finding the right money to pay as you go all the time. 

The room I had was adjacent to the pool, although not direct, but it wasn't far away. The room was spotless and had recently been refurbished. It had everything I needed and was an excellent room. Very impressive in fact. A central lightening and air con switching system by the bed. Good tea and coffee. Good TV but didn't use it other than checking to see if it worked. The Wi-Fi was pretty good. 



Adhi Jaya Hotel Kuta Bali Indonesia
The Restaurant for breakfast was quite comfortable I did like the chairs and tables, there was also sofas and soft furnishings if you wanted them. But generally for breakfast a good old table and chair does the job best. I didn't eat in the evening in the Hotel but looked to be quite a few that did and the prices seemed very good. Eating out in Indonesia is good value. Drinking is a bit more expensive. 

The swimming pool was busy on my first day, but it was pretty quiet for the other 3 days. There was a swim up bar that was being used a bit. All in all this is a very good smaller family run Hotel but still in the heart of Kuta and not far to walk to anywhere. Taxi's are very cheap in and around town so don't be afraid to explore a bit. Highly recommended and not as expensive as the larger hotels that are on the sea front.  Check it out further and get a quote 

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Centara Grand at Central Grand Plaza Near Don Muaeng Airport Bangkok Thailand

Centara Grand at Central Grand Plaza Near Don Muaeng Airport
Continuing on the theme of checking out other hotels in the South East Asia region I recently stayed at two of the larger ones near the Don Muaeng Airport in Bangkok which is used for short haul and internal flights. It is the primary airport for Air Asia. You can also use it as a short term base to explore Bangkok however for a longer visit I would recommend staying more in the heart of the City.

Adjacent or even part of the Hotel is the Huge Central Grand Plaza Shopping Mall which has all the shops you can think of and a massive fast food section with every major chain in this area, and all those around the World. It is a 5 minute covered walk from Floor 3 of the Hotel and straight into Floor 2 of the shopping mall. So if you are only staying for a few hours waiting for an early flight you don't have to worry about where to go, as it is definitely worth a look around and its very quick and easy to get to.

The Hotel itself is obviously quite big, I was on floor 17 which the floor below the Club rooms which are on floor 18 to 20. There is also a rooftop restaurant and bar. On the ground floor there is another couple of restaurants and a bar, so with also the Plaza next door you really don't have to go far for food. Obviously it depends on your budget but whatever your budget there is something for you.

Breakfast was very good, it was quite busy but the dining
Centara Grand at Central Grand Plaza Near Don Muaeng Airport
room is large and could cope quite easily. The rooms seemed to have been revamped not long ago as they were smartly decorated and all mod cons were in the room.  There is a lighting/air con switch system which is by the bed which is very handy. It also has a alarm clock. There was a 24 hour food service which was very well priced and helpful if you arrive very late. There are various standards of rooms available starting at about £90 (Aug 2019)

Its a very impressive hotel that is well located, if you do get a taxi to the airport you might well be asked if you want to go by the freeway (which has a toil) take this option as the other roads are exceptionally busy, you will be asked by the driver to pay the toil, its not a lot.  50 baht. Just be aware that this will be added to your fare. That is very cheap If you don't take this option then good luck on the other road! There is an airport shuttle which I didn't use, and also parking services.

Certainly recommended and especially if you like shopping, you won't find anywhere as near to the airport (15 minutes) and right on the doorstep of the huge shopping mall as this. Note this Hotel is about 35 minutes from BKK airport (Suvarnabhumi) which is the larger International Airport, however if you are going near rush hour, it can take over an hour, or more! Not a problem as long as you plan correctly. Take a further look at booking com 

Friday, 28 June 2019

Tet New Year Holiday Information Vietnam 2020

Tet New Year Holiday Information Vietnam 2020

The Tet Holiday takes place quite early in the year of 2020 and it will be the year of the Rat.  Dates you need to be aware of are as follows


Tet Eve 24th Jan 2020

Tet Day 25th Jan 2020

Tet Holiday 26th Jan 2020

Tet Holiday 27th Jan 2020

Tet Holiday 28th Jan 2020

Tet Holiday 29th Jan 2020 


You can find other blog posts on this website that give lots of information about this time of the year, but mainly you will find that outside of the tourist areas a lot of places are actually closed for the full holiday. Inside the tourist areas you will find a lot of cafes and restaurants open for business. You might find that they do add a small surcharge as they are open during the holiday period. Not all, but some. 


Travel is more difficult and that includes a few days before and after, however you will be able to get a taxi to the airport, it will probably be more busy at the airport. Certainly buses and trains will be more busy as people travel home to their families. 
Planning is important, and in particular on Tet Day it is a very quiet day, they celebrate at midnight on the 24th Jan 2020 and you find the streets very quiet on Tet Day, not a good idea to move around on this day, try and plan around this time, especially on Tet Day.


You will see lot of movement of flowers during Tet in Hoi An there are 4 or 5 streets that are dedicated just to selling flowers. In Saigon you can find a flower festival it is usually open on the run up to Tet for about 12 days, and is best seen in the evening.  They have moved it slightly in recent years due to the building of the metro/underground but to be honest its hard to miss in District 1 of course. 


All banks and public buildings are closed over Tet however attractions are mostly open, best to check, but I am sure most places are open, but of course they are pretty busy, busier than usual. 


I really enjoyed Tet its not a problem if you plan, it is a problem if you turn up on Tet Day and have no idea it is happening, and believe me a lot do!  Plan it well and its a great experience, my tip would be go to Saigon for the run up to Tet and go to Hoi An on about 23rd Jan and stay for a week, or at least 5 days. In the evenings in Hoi An there is music and a festival area which has all sorts going on, it is very Vietnamese, but good fun to experience. You can check out Whats on in Hoi An on a daily basis to see what is on each evening.  


You should be aware that the North of Vietnam in January can be cold, so I would certainly recommend travelling south to north and take some warm clothes (this information is for January Tet, it does warm up end of Febuary) Unfortunately it can be wet in central Vietnam in January so just have to trust to luck on that one. Saigon and the south will be hot as usual. 

x

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