The 'All out of witty titles' Tour travel blog

Accommodation Costs 2013 – 2014

These costs are for 2 people in $AUD and the reviews are our personal opinions at the time of our visit

17/10/13 to 18/10/13 Melbourne

Family – excellent, great company. Good food and best of all at a very low cost

19/10/13 to 21/10/13 Kuala Lumpur

City Hotel 88Ringgit = $29.50 Aud Total $88.50

This hotel is in Chinatown area well positioned to transport and local attractions .We have been coming to this hotel several times a year for the last 6 years ,but it is now starting to look tired and unloved also the staff attitude could be better Rooms medium sized/TV only 2 English channels/air con/good hot showers/free Wi-Fi in rooms/hot & cold water dispensers on each floor/ We have never had any security problems here all said done this is still a good budget option

There is a brand new hotel next door now called Hotel Rainforest which we viewed, the rooms are small though but for the same price we think we will give them a go next time we are in KL

22/10/13 to 28/10/13 Hong Kong

Pandora Hotel 754 HK$ = $102 Aud Total $713.00

Stayed here for 1 week. Hard to find at first. Stayed in a executive room much bigger than the others, staff helpful but the house keeping left much to be desired. Great area close to MRT so no problems getting around. This hotel is yet to be finished so up until Chinese New Year I think they will still be sorting out the bugs. Have no hesitation in recommending this place, its great value for Hong Kong. Pros: new rooms/new sheets/new towels/great area. Cons: Inexperienced staff/no English television channels/very little English spoken at front desk/some people may be offended by the Karaoke bars???? On the first 7 floors.

29/10/13 30/10/13 Macau

Pousada de Mong-HA 800Mop = $110.00Aud Total $220.00

Just one word BRILLIANT, we are coming back. This is a training hotel run by students of the IFT there are only 20 rooms which appear to be booked out months in advance. Staff will bend over backwards to make sure your stay is a rewarding experience. Attached to the hotel, slightly up the road there is also a training Restaurant which is not to be missed. Top quality food at very good rates. We ate here twice during our stay. There is also a Macanese’s buffet on Friday nights which is usually booked out 4 to 6 weeks ahead.

Room facilities include your own computer/cable TV with a great variety of channels/Aircon/great bathroom complete with massage shower/huge king size bed/small balcony off the bedroom/and the list goes on.

I can’t recommend this hotel highly enough the only downside is it’s not in the tourist area but this is no problem as the transport system in Macau is very good and most places are easy to access by . Do not miss out staying at this hotel while in Macau.

31/10/13 to 1/11/13 Macau

Sun Sun Best Western 688Mop = $92.00Aud Total $184.00

Best Western not Best Western! This hotel lets down its brand name in a big way. The rooms are grubby and the smell of stale tobacco completely overwhelms you as you walk into the room. Walls and ceilings mouldy, carpet stained dirty and frayed, bathroom in poor condition, no English channels available on the television, coffee and tea making a challenge as the jug’s cord would not reach any of the power points in the room. Eventually had to use power point in the bathroom.

On the positive side, the location is good and the staff in the front foyer and front desk were good. This aside, this is the worst Best Western Hotel we have stayed in and for AUD$90.00 plus per room per night is a disgrace to the Best Western Brand. We certainly won’t be staying here or with Best Western for the rest of our 4four month Asian holiday.

2/11/13 to 3/11/13 Shenzhen

Garden Inn Shenzhen 132Cyn = $24.00Aud Total $48.00

First off the positives easy to get to from both the port of Shekou and the Shenzhen airport by subway (underground Train) .Good clothes and fashion accessories shopping opposite the hotel, also many good eateries nearby.

Now for the negative’s room stank of tobacco smoke, safety deposit box not screwed down ours was not working properly they just replaced and put it on a bench be aware these safes are not secure. There is little to no English spoken here. Also the hotel does not have an email address??? so if you were making a forward hotel booking and were requiring a print out of the booking this will be an impossible task believe me we tried. Apart from this this is a good overnighter and as the old saying goes you get what you pay for

It’s worth a visit to Dafen an Artist area where there are over 600 shops selling fake masters and also painting supplies some of the most beautiful paint brushes we have ever seen also there is an electronics area near Huaxin subway station

4/11/13 to 12/11/13 Beijing China

Chinese Culture Hotel 205Cyn = $35.95Aud pn. Total $323.61

A Gem In A Busy City

We stayed here for 9 days first of in an inside room for 2 nights then paid a little extra for room with a window which was slightly larger and a lot quieter. The staff made our stay – ever helpful and wanting to please. Kristal was particularly good, helping with everything from buses, maps, shops and cafes. On the edge of the tourist area, no many Westerners. Buses No 2 will get you to the Forbidden City in 4 stops. No 104 will take you to Wangfujing Subway station and more. Bus 108 to the business centre and Olympic area. All buses are at the end of the street. Found a great restaurant over the main road (zebra crossing) and up a lane (opposite The Hot Pot restaurant) – cheap beer and fabulous food at reasonable prices. Don’t expect too much English at the hotel. Crystal is reasonable and Linda (from Mongolia) has better English. No hesitation in recommending this hotel and will revisit. Rooms are average budget, rather thin walls but clean and well maintained.

13/11/13 to 15/11/13 Xi’an China

Han Tang House 166Cyn = $29.20pn – total $87.57

Really a youth hostel/hotel with notices, very cheap dorms plus doubles with private bath. Wi-Fi in rooms. Cleaned every day on request. Staff OK. Food and beer fairly expensive – the staff suggested we buy our beer from the small supermarket across the road where a large bottle was 2.5RMB. Plenty of good eating places up and down the street. A dumpling place in particular, on the left hand side heading towards the phone area was great and cheap. All in all a good budget option where you can gain plenty of information for your onward travel. Will stay here again. Close to the station for trains. If you come from Beijing on the fast train you can catch the metro to the city and then a bus to the hotel. Should only cost 8rmb per person, not the 100rmb per head the taxi was asking at the railway station.

Overnighter on Train Xi’an to Shanghai 16/11/13 to 17/11/13

1008Rmb = $176.85Aud Bad night snorer in compartment about 2 hours sleep then his wife on the phone from about 5am to we arrived at Shanghai at 8.30 am glad to get off

17/11/13 to 22/11/13 Shanghai

Marvel Hotel 351Rmb = $61.50Aud Total $370Aud

Booked this on Agoda we were only to stay for one night as a little over our normal budget but ended up staying 6 nights a great hotel next to metro in walking distance to the Bund/People’s Square and many other Shanghai attractions’

The room was large with in-room safe, air con, Wi-Fi, great shower in a lovely glass walled shower room, flat screen TV but only 1 English channel. Very pleasant staff, especially the reception staff who were ever helpful. If your budget can stretch to this I would recommend it. Just around the corner were plenty of cheap eating places particularly one selling salted duck and duck dumplings. Ate there several times, always good, always a line up.

23/11/13 to 24/11/13 Overnight train

Shanghai to Nanning

24/11/13 to 30/11/13 Nanning

Greenforest Hostel 148Rmb = $26.00Aud Total $182.50Aud

Hard to find from the train station. Perhaps easier to get a taxi which should cost about 7 – 10 rmb. Very helpful reception staff, most with fairly good English. Room small but clean and a nice shower with plenty of hot water. Bed and bedding were great. Air con, free washing machine (although nowhere to hang it to dry). There is TV in some rooms but no English channels. Really friendly lounge area with TV, pool table and book shelf. Staff can help with directions to just about anywhere. Several good eating streets within walking distance, one to the left and one to the right. The boardwalk running beside the river is just across the road and perfect for an evening stroll.

1/12/13 to 3/12/13 Hanoi

Hanoi Home Hotel 287,000Dong = $15.50Aud Total $46.50

This is hard for us to objectively review and our budget has risen slightly. 2 Years ago had a great stay but finished badly with an incident with the receptionist over money. This was resolved with the owner sending us an email to apologise. Therefore we returned recently. Still a good room (perhaps a little noisy), good position, good amenities, great for budget travellers. Unfortunately the staff let the whole place down. Both men at reception could hardly tear themselves away from their computers, let alone give any advice. However, ignoring the service, a safe, clean room. Will stay elsewhere next time as there’s lots of other hotels in this price range.

4/12/13 to 11/12/13 Cat Ba Island

Thao Minh (New Star Hotel) 250,000 = $13.50Aud Total $108

Brilliant! Fabulous view of the harbour from our 8th floor, two double beds with crisp linen, almost new building, helpful obliging staff, air con, flat screen TV with many movie channels, fridge - lacks nothing in fact. Rooms range from $5 - $20 IN THE OFF SEASON. Good restaurant downstairs, cheap laundry. Probably the best thing here is Victor Thang, a local who works for the hotel and sells tickets/hires bikes/tours etc. Dealt with him 2 years ago and this time – his prices are reasonable, he is ever helpful with local knowledge and can speak reasonable English. Made our stay hassle free. Highly recommend this place.

12/12/13 Hanoi

Splendid Jupiter Hotel 462,000Dong = $22.oo Aud

Room was small but very clean. Hotel near to street food and bei hoi outlets, close to St Joseph’s Cathedral. Flat screen TV with many channels, small bathroom, safe in room but best of all was the breakfast – choose as much as you like from the menu, from soup to fruit & yoghurt. Staff helpful with most of them having good English. Would stay here again but would have to negotiate the price down a little if staying for any length of time.

Hanoi Sweet Home Hotel (did not stay here but got a good look through with the owner)

The owner is a co-owner of the Hanoi Home Hotel just down the road which we have stayed at and reviewed. A new hotel, huge rooms thoughtfully furnished, some with balconies onto the street. Staff have a far better attitude than Hanoi Home Hotel. Probably need to negotiate the rate but would be nice to stay in. Owner has a very good grasp of English and is very customer-oriented. This hotel is about 3 doors down from Hanoi backpacker’s and would probably suit couples all rooms have all the mod cons including Wi Fi we will certainly give this hotel a go when we next return to Hanoi

13/12/13 to 19/12/13 Hoi An

Hoi An Trails Resort 1,050,000 = $56.75Aud Total $397.30

First off I have to say we don’t usually stay in accommodation this fancy as we are budget travellers in the $10-$25 range. Wonderful room, bigger than most Hong Kong apartments. Dark teak floors, high ceilings, huge airy bathroom with 2 showers, crisp white sheets and towels (changed twice a day). Lovely. Large flat screen TV, in room safe, fridge, medium sized balcony overlooking the pool. Rate includes breakfast, the menu changing each day but with staples such as eggs, cereals and fresh fruit every day. Staff are well trained and attentive with a special mention to the cleaning staff who must have wiped every surface every day. Free bicycles but suspect they are the same bikes when the resort opened in 2005. Free shuttle bus into town and to the beach. Fairly close to food outlets and bars. Is far enough away from town not to have hawkers continually trying to sell you stuff as soon as you leave the resort. If you want a treat this is the place to do it.

20/12/13 to 21/12/13 Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon Sports Hotel 450,000Dong = $24.32Aud Total $48.64

This hotel is the backpacker area of HCMC. Room size average, tiny balcony onto the busy street. Fridge, TV, in-room safe, A/c and fan. Great shower. Good clean budget hotel. Tour desk in the lobby manned by Jenny who was ever helpful and with good English. Her tours where reasonably priced. Surrounded by street food stalls, cheap beer outlets and more expensive restaurants. Something for everyone.

Word of warning: If you want photos printed do not use the Camera Centre at No 74 (same street as hotel). We were overcharged exorbitantly and had to wait 2.5 hrs for our prints which were promised in 1 hr not to mention an almost hysterical sales assistant who refused to refund our money after waiting for so long. There is a better printer shop around the corner at 8A Tran Hung Dao.

22/12/13 Ben Tre Island (Mekong Delta)

Hong Thai Home Stay 420,000Dong = $22.70Aud

This home stay is on the My Thor side of Ben Tre tucked in among small canals and orchards. There are 3 rooms available, very basic but clean. Unglazed windows, unlined concrete walls, mozzie nets, cold shower, Western toilet. Typical of dwellings in this area. Food was good, the host trying his best to please. Free bikes but in very poor condition. Lovely surroundings, rice paddies, small villages and friendly locals. Great for bike riding. Not touristy at all. Host will take you to the bus station (14km) for a fee. His brother is a tour guide but we found him quite expensive. Cheaper to book tours from HCMC if you’re going further into the Delta.

23/12/13 to 24/12/13 Con Tho (Mekong Delta)

Xuan Mai 1 315,000Dong = $17.00Aud Total $34.00

Up laneway which during the day is a hardware market. Rooms are clean and reasonably spacious with A/C, TV, WiFi. Staff have no English and not particularly friendly. Big plus is Ms Ha who can arrange tours etc. Her English is passable and she understands what you want. We did the two floating market tour with her niece Thoa who was fantastic. Her English was almost flawless and she explained all the questions we could throw at her. We rarely take organised tours but very glad we took this one.

25/12/13 to 28/12/13 Ca Mau (Mekong Delta)

Dong Anh Hotel 300,000Dong = $16.21Aud Total $64.86Aud

Newish hotel, very good staff. Large clean room with TV, A/C, fridge, WiFi, nice shower. Rooms on the upper floors are better as the lower ones are very noisy. Handy to street food and cheap beer. Very few Westerners venture this far consequently the locals are incredibly friendly, waving and greeting you.

29/12/13 Rach Gia (Mekong Delta)

Hoang Gia 2 (Royal Hotel)250,000Dong = $13.51

Fairly clean spacious room, standard budget overnighter. All the usual facilities. Opposite the main market, 1 block from the bus station. Plenty of street food around, also if you like wandering around local communities has pleasant streets and very friendly locals.

30/12/13 to 31/12/13 Hatien (Mekong Delta)

Long Chau Hotel 300,000Dong = $16,21Aud total $32.42

Nice hotel with airy rooms right on the river. A little tired but still has some charm. Usual facilities. Staff were pretty useless, had to jump in front of the ever-blaring TV to get their attention. Suggest rooms at the back as our front room (with fabulous balcony) was very noisy from about 5am with river traffic and local market directly underneath. Very pleasant reasonably priced hotel.

01/01/14 to 05/01/14 Kep Cambodia

Reaksmey Krong Guesthouse $25 00Usd = $27.57Aud Total$142.85

One of the best hotels we have stayed in, bang for your buck. Medium sized room with TV, A/c, fridge, Wi-Fi. Nice very clean bathroom. Cleaning staff are a dream. Best of all is the position – 50m from the Crab Market which seems to be the eating/drinking hub of Kep. The manager here is extraordinary, very helpful and offering bikes/tours/money exchange at reasonable rates.

06/01/14 to 07/01/14 Phnom Penh

Koki tree Serviced Apartments–Hotel $30.00Usd = $34.28Aud

Total $68.57

Large 3 room apartment Bathroom/Bedroom/ combined lounge kitchen complete with medium size fridge freezer/duel gas hotplates/pots and pans plus crockery. Serviced each day. Our room at the back of the building so was quiet. Spartan and a little worn but good value for the area. A/c and fan. Security bars on all windows and front door. No lift.

08/01/14 to 09/01/14 Siem Reap

Jasmine Garden Villa $19.50Usd = $22.23Aud Total $44.46

Booked this guest house for all the good reports on Trip Advisor. Was very disappointed, the first room we got was dark, dingy and mossie filled at the end of a corridor. After complaining we were told there were no other rooms. Next day we were moved to an upstairs room which was marginally better. This guest house is at the very end of a dusty traffic-filled unsealed road, at least 15 minutes’ walk to Pub Street. Breakfast was not worth getting up for. Staff were excellent. Can get much better value closer in.

10/01/14 Battambang

Lux Guest House $16.00Usd = $18.22Aud

In the back-packer area close to food stalls and markets. Large airy room, hot shower, air con and the usual facilities. Wi-Fi was very slow and patchy, staff barely tolerating their guests. Would not like to have crossed them. All in all a good basic backpacker abode but a little pricey and the staff need lessons in charm.

11/01/14 to 14/01/14 Battambang

Sovannphum Hotel $16.00Usd = $18.22Aud Total$72.88Aud

Fabulous. In our 4 month trip, this comes close to the best value, nicest staff and most brilliant room. Very large new airy room with a balcony overlooking the river, huge bathroom. Everything ultra clean. Fridge, huge flat screen TV, Wi-Fi. Room serviced every day by diligent friendly staff. This hotel is on the other side of the main town, just over a river crossed by many bridges. Previously known as Golden Land. Stayed extra days solely because of the room and staff. Close to cheap beer, street food and restaurants. A little less touristy than the other side.

15/01/14 Bangkok

New Siam Guesthouse 620Baht = $21.37Aud

Good budget backpacker establishment in Rambuttri stayed hear many time over the last 3 years close to the river ferry pier 13 and many other Bangkok attractions also plenty of cheap food vendors and tour operators for onward travel in Southeast Asia

16/01/14 to 21/01/14 Bangkok

Andrew Gemmell My Nephew (his Unit Sukhumvit)

Exceptional accommodation 18thfloor overlooking one of the busiest intersections in Bangkok. A great stay with him thank you very much Andrew we really enjoyed ourselves

22/01/14 Ao Nang

Sukiuthai Guesthouse 1000Bhat = $34.48Aud

Backpacker Accommodation above Massage joint Aircon/TV cable/hot water/bathroom stank glad we only spent one night here/very average room but peak season in low or shoulder season would be lucky to get 500Baht for the room was the only room we could find at the time

23/01/14 to 12/02/14 Ao Nang

Yu Bungalow 667Baht = $23.00Aud Total483.00Aud

Incredible surroundings, bush, banana palms, views of the sea – all up a very steep crumbling set of steps. 3 Bamboo type bungalows and 4 more substantial concrete ones. We scored the Upper 3 concrete bungalow. Huge room with large bed, coffee table and chairs and a spacious private veranda overlooking the jungle and sea. Only 2 minutes from the hub-bub below but you’d think we were in the middle of the jungle. Rooms are pretty tired, maintenance is not high on the priority list but for the price you can’t complain. The owner (?) Yu likes a drink but not overly keen on cleaning but that’s OK with us.

13/02/14 to 14/02/14 Air Flights

Krabi to Kuala Lumpur Coolangatta Australia

14/02/14 to 19/02/14 Brisbane

Freebies staying with Sonia’s family a pleasant stay and wonderful to catch up with family again thank you

20/02/14 Air Flight

Brisbane to Hobart (HOME)

Summing up Accommodation we spent 126 days on the road our average costs per night were

Freebies 14 Nights

Overnight travel 3 Nights (Air/ Trains/Bus/etc/)

Malaysia 3 Nights Average $29.50

Hong Kong 7 Nights Average $102.00

Macau 4 Nights Average $101.00

China 27 Nights Average $34.10

Vietnam 31 Nights Average $25.48

Cambodia 14Nights Average $24.78

Thailand 23 Nights Average $23.40

Average for paid Nights was $35.71

Average for total Nights was $30.89

I hope this is of some use to the readers of this blog that may be travelling the same route as we did

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