I was doing a quick stop in India to go and see the Taj Mahal. I looked for a hotel near the airport. Hotel Le Princess was rated 3 stars and cost $12 a night. I would only be there to shower and sleep. The staff were excellent, and very helpful. There was no cafe but they had a room service menu. When I called to order something to eat the young fellow came to my room to make sure he had my order right. The location was not great if you planned to go out at all, but I did not, so it suited me fine. Would be a one star anywhere else.
I decided to move to a place with hot water and internet. I met my friend for dinner and there was a B&B right across from the cafe. I went to inquire and was told I could move in any time the next day to Pariwar B&B Ganesh Man St., Thamel. I was assured they had hot water and good internet. The cost was to be $9/night. When i arrived the next morning the owner tried to convince me I should take a deluxe room instead. I declined and was told my room was being cleaned and would be ready in 15 minutes. Two hours later I was still waiting as my room “dried”?? I finally got moved in 3 hours after my arrival. The owner was quite pushy trying to sell me tours. The hot water was warm, the next day it was cold, and then there was no water at all. I was told it would be fixed right away but 5 hours later there was still no water, so I moved again. The room was okay but nothing special.
I reserved a room at Hotel Himalayan Travellers Inn because they offered free airport pickup. It is located at Thamel Marg, and cost $13. When I arrived there was no one at the airport to meet me. A young man outside the airport offered to call them for me, and they said they would send someone. An old fellow with a very old car arrived about 20 minutes later. As we got close to the hotel he asked me for a tip….. when I asked at the hotel if I should tip him they said I should not. My room was advertised to have wifi and hot water – it had neither. It was difficult to find. I met a friend for dinner and we got lost as he walked me home. Room was not great for clean or comfort so I only stayed one night.
I went to Zhangye to see the famous Rainbow Mountains. I stayed at the Zhangye Liangmao Hotel $12. 276 DongDaJie St., Zhangye, China. This was a perfect choice as it was located in the heart of Zhangye. I spent a day at the Rainbow Mtn Park and the rest of my time I just walked around the very interesting area. It was obvious from the stares not many foreigners visited this area, but everyone smiled. Staff at the hotel did not speak English, but were kind and when I used the translate app on my computer they gave me any help I needed. The room was clean and comfortable.
I was just doing an overnight in Hohhot China. My train was arriving about 9:30 pm and I was leaving the next day at noon. I reserved a non smoking room at Pengcheng Hotel, 100 M North to Dazhao Plaza. $13. It was not a long taxi ride from the train station, and when I arrived I was thrilled to see I was next door to a large temple. The entire hotel smelled like a huge crowd all chain smoking cigarettes. When I opened the door I am sure a cloud of smoke came out of my room. I went back to the desk and showed my reservation for a NON SMOKING room. The man came back to my room with me, and I was expecting him to move me to another room. No, he removed the 5 ashtrays from my room! I guess it was then a non smoking room. It was late and obvious I was not going to win that one. I had to run around in the shower to get wet in the morning – not much water. Location was worth the problems, I was able to visit two big Chinese temples in the morning before I had to return to the train station.
Once again I was promised internet and hot water as I checked into Hotel Api, Narsingh Chowk Marg, Thamel. They did tell me I needed to turn the “geyser” on for half an hour to heat the water. I was able to get it slightly warm. My friend had been upgraded to a good hotel as his travel agency had screwed up, and he was only one block away, so we decided I should just shower at his place – endless HOT water, and big fluffy towels – heaven!! The staff at the hotel I stayed at were excellent – always checking to see if I was okay and if I needed anything. At $7 a night I was just fine – and the internet worked most of the time – never very fast – but it did work. The location was great.
I chose a flight from Vancouver to Ulaan Baator with a 19 hour layover in Beijing. As usual, I booked my accommodation using www.booking.com. I chose this hotel for several reasons. At $21 / night it was inexpensive, offered a free shuttle service, and free breakfast. I did not know where to pick up the shuttle but a gal at one of the Information desks in PEK called them for me and told me to go to Gate 5. An inter-airport bus departed from that gate, but across the street was the shuttle bus parking. I had my reservation printed in Chinese, so the driver was able to determine I was in the correct spot. It was about a 20 minute drive to the hotel, and checking in was quick and easy. This hotel required the key car to be inserted in a slot to turn on the electricity in the room. The room and bathroom were clean and basic. I could not get the internet to work on my computer – but it did on my IPad. In the morning I went for the free breakfast. It was interesting. There was nothing offered to drink. Breakfast was a hot hard boiled egg, rice broth, steamed buns, and 3 kinds of salad. I tried 2 of them. They were very good but very salty. Every hotel room in China has a kettle, and cups – but no tea or coffee. I always have my own with me so I can have coffee when I wake up. I caught the shuttle back to the airport expecting it to drop off at departures, but we were dropped off at exactly the same spot where they had picked us up. I would certainly recommend this place if you are one a quick layover and only need a place to sleep and shower.
Chiang Mai ViewPlace 2, Condo B 90 Moo 1 Mahidol Road, Phaded Sub-District,
Chiang Mai, Thailand, Chiang Mai 50100
I thought it would be nice to be in a quiet place for my week in Chiang Mai. I knew this small city was very popular with travelers so I looked for a place away from the city center. I found a studio apartment for rent on Airbnb. It is a new building, spotlessly clean and nicely furnished. There is a pool, gym (that I never used) and laundry. It is in a neighborhood of many new condos, and close to the airport. If I walk the 2 blocks to the main road, and turn left it is only a 10 minute walk to a big shopping center called Airport Central Plaza. I love the doormen there, white gloves, sharp uniforms, and they salute, and click their heels when you enter……makes me feel important. This mall has a huge saltwater aquarium. I spent an hour watching the fish. From this mall it is easy to catch a songtaeu (shared taxi) to town, but I always walk. Its only 30 minutes and an interesting walk every day. My only complaint was the neighbor’s rooster, who can not tell time. He thought we all needed a 5 am wake up call most days – and it is still dark then.
I – Sanook
118 Soi Songphra, Siphrayay Road, Kwang Maha Pruttaram
Khet Bangrak, Bangkok
Tel: 02 633 3636
I knew by the time I got here I would be tired. A friend of mine told me she often rented a place for a month at a time when she traveled. I thought that sounded like a good idea – and I started looking on Airbnb. This place has a hotel, a hostel, and the women’s residence – where my room is, a cafe, a coffee shop, and a little convenience store. I have a big room, great bathroom, a/c, tv, fridge, big desk and a king bed (with good bedding). It costs $8 a day, but I had to pay $15 for my internet access in my room, and will pay a few dollars for electricity when I leave. If I want housekeeping I pay for that each time. Its new, clean and safe. Great staff. Staying here I also have access to the communal kitchen and swimming pool. It appears to have a lot of young Asian women guests- and I think most of them are students. I can walk to the metro in about 15 minutes, and its less than 5 minutes to a bus stop. This complex is down a small alley off a small street in a very typical Thai neighborhood. It is perfect!
Mong King Hotel
Flat 2105 21/F
Sun Hing Bldg.
607 Nathan Rd.
I just never learn. I know I should only reserve and pay for a place for one night, and then if I do not like it, I can leave. For some unknown reason I decide to book, and pay for, my room in Hong Kong. The hotel website said they spoke English. I booked a single room, with private bath. Website said it was 9 sq. meters, and 2 pm check in. I arrived about 1 pm and wanted to drop off my pack. There was no reception, only a phone on the wall, 2 numbers, a sign that said 3 pm check in, and a sign that said to call the number, and if someone answered, be patient, someone would come….. I called the numbers, no one answered, no one came. I went for lunch and came back at 3, called both numbers, no answer, no one came. Finally at 3:45 someone answers the phone – but they do not speak English. I wait. An elderly Chinese man eventually appears and indicated I should follow him. We go up in the elevator to the 25th floor, then we go down a very dirty hallway, and up an even dirtier set of stairs. I am getting a bad feeling about this. Finally he opens a door into a short hallway, with 5 doors, a small table with a telephone, and a bathroom. At least this area is clean. He shows me the bathroom, that is obviously shared by all rooms. He then opens the door to my room?? It contains a smaller than single bed 3 ft. x 5 ft. The walls surround the bottom half of the bed. The rest of the room is the amount of space it takes to open the door. I show him my reservation – this is NOT the room I reserved. This room is not even 3 sq. m., but he just smiles and nods. I finally realize I am not going to get anywhere with him – so I put my pack down and he leaves. I return to the office phone several times, no one ever answers. Each day I try to contact someone who speaks English, and each day I fail. One night at midnight the fire alarm rings. I hear people running and yelling in the hallway. I get up, get dressed and go out to see two elderly Chinese women in full panic mode. I go back to phone for help, guess what?? no answer. The stairs I use only go one floor, so I find the fire escape route – but there is a doorway to the stairs, it is locked. I am on the 26th floor…. I finally go back to bed, and the alarm rings for 45 minutes. One thing about it – it will go down as one of the worst rooms I have ever had – right up there with the one in Egypt, someone had left the window open, there had been a sandstorm, two inches of sand on the floor and the bed……No more paid reservations for me.