To say Bangkok is a budget destination is truly an understatement. I have rented an apartment in a complex that has a hotel, a hostel, and the women’s residence that I am in. We have access to the hotel swimming pool, and a communal kitchen. My apt. is big, a king bed, with good sheets, a long desk. tv, a/c and a refrigerator. All for $8 a day. I did have to pay $15 to have internet in my room, and I will have to pay for my electricity use when I leave. It is a block from a 7/11, and there are lots of good places for street food. My dinner usually costs $2. I got a refillable card for the subway, and as a senior I travel for half price. A two hour ride on a the local river boat costs 50 cents. There is also a Skytrain, and city buses. They are all independent of each other – and only senior Thai nationals get a discount on the Skytrain. There are huge ultramodern malls, cramped crowded street markets, and shrines and temples everywhere. Walking around the local neighborhood is a perfect way to spend any day.
Hong Kong may be part of China, but its a separate entity when it comes to Customs and Immigration. I had to exit China and enter HK. Dynamic does not even come close to describing HK. It is vibrant and exciting and non stop action. Five days meant I had to go fast and furious every day to see and do the most important things. The skyline is one of the best in the world, and they enhance it with a free light and laser show every evening when buildings on both sides of the harbor display lights in time with the music. Old residential buildings nestle in beside ultra modern skyscrapers downtown. High fashion is the norm here – and a million places to shop. I stayed on Nathan Road in Kowloon, and it was lined with high end jewelry stores, all busy all the time. Taking a Hop On Hop Off bus tour works well for me, gets me to the famous sights with ease. I bought a 48 hour pass, so used it one afternoon, one full day, and then one morning. There are three routes, two on the Hong Kong side, and one for Kowloon. There is also a night tour to see the lights. HK could certainly rival Vegas when it comes to neon lights. I loved the south side of HK island, lots of hills and trees, and views of the water. The Victoria Peak tram has been a tourist highlight for many years, and a fun experience. I rode the Star Ferry for free as I had a senior’s metro card, so I often used it. Christmas decorations were in place and some of the lighting was spectacular. Reviews say the best view is from the 100 floor of the tallest building. I read it was built on reclaimed land…. and somehow going up there just did not appeal to me. My room here will make the top ten “Unforgettable Places I Stayed ” for sure.