12 Jan

Place I Stayed in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai ViewPlace 2, Condo B 90 Moo 1 Mahidol Road, Phaded Sub-District,
Chiang Mai, Thailand, Chiang Mai 50100
Thailand

M Plus Condo       20160111_162704

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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.20160111_081954

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21 Dec

Place I Stayed in Bangkok

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I – Sanook

118 Soi Songphra, Siphrayay Road, Kwang Maha Pruttaram

Khet Bangrak, Bangkok

www.i-sanook.com

Tel: 02 633 3636

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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!20151220_11250520151217_174540

11 Dec

Place I Stayed in Hong Kong

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Mong King Hotel
Flat 2105 21/F
Sun Hing Bldg.
607 Nathan Rd.
Kowloon

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.

 

05 Dec

Places I Stayed in Chongqing and Guangzhou

Chongqing:20151121_152515

I stayed to Hanting Hotel, 157 Chaotian Village, Conjiaping, Juilongpo District.  The hotel was fine with a very helpful staff (who spoke no English).  My room was large with a big bed, and great bathroom.  Good free wifi. First room had a noisy air vent so the next morning I was moved to another room.  My second room was on the 4th floor but the lift only goes to the 3rd floor.  This area was full of construction and not an area good for walking at all.  I even had trouble finding a fruit stand.  Everywhere in this city is a + 1 hour taxi ride past high rises as far as you can see in every direction.  I was just overwhelmed by this city.

 

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I stayed at Hi Inn, Liwan,  134 Xihua Road, Liwan District.

Nice room, but the hotel has no lift – so lots of stairs. Wifi worked well, and was free.  Loved this city – so green and walking friendly.  I was sad I only planned to spend a couple of days there.20151125_141215

19 Nov

Place I Stayed in Xi’an

PLACE I STAYED IN XI’AN

 

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WARRIORS YOUTH HOSTEL
Address: No. 98 Bei Ma Doa Xiang
Website:  I booked with Agoda
Email: qinyuanhostel@163.com
Telephone: 86 29 8738 9911

Taxi cost from railway station: $2 – $3
Bus fare (bus 103) from station $1

Cost: $16
Wifi: Free in rooms, excellent
Location: Great – easy walk to famous sites, and bus transport
Safety: Good, heavy lock on inside of door.
Staff: Very pleasant and helpful, spoke quite good English.
Food: None on site, but lots of cafes, street food, and little shops close by.

This is a perfect place to stay. I had a huge room with a big king bed. I was cold and the staff showed me how to control the temperature in my room. It was quiet and had a desk, tv and hot water dispenser. I was able to walk to the clock tower, and it was not a problem to use the local bus to get to the railway station to take the bus to see the Terracotta Warriors. When you arrive at the railway station you will be mobbed by touts wanting to help you to get the bus. There will be buses with #5 on them – but the yellow ones are the scam ones. Face the station, then walk to the parking lot on the right. You will see big gray/green buses with #5 – 360 on them – just get on one. Someone will come and collect the 7 yuan fare as you travel. This bus will take you to a parking lot at the warriors sight. This is where I found it difficult. I could not find any signs pointing the way. I usually follow the crowd – but most people got off the bus at the science and tech university – so there was no crowd to follow. To get to the warriors – turn your back to the street – go right, there will be a small walkway – with a parking lot across the street. Follow the walkway until you see KFC. Once you see KFC you will start to see blue Ticket signs20151112_084440

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14 Nov

Place I Stayed in Beijing

BEIJING BESTAY RAILWAY HOTEL EXPRESS

www.bestay.com.cn

No 10 Fahua Nanli, Chongwen District Beijing
010-67155599

This is a budget hotel, and it is not near the train station. A taxi will cost approx. 20 yuan.
Most staff do not speak English, but I found them polite and helpful.

My room cost $20/night. It was about half the size of “cozy’. A double bed took up more than half of the width of the room, and the full length. There was a desk and an electric kettle. The bathroom is the length of the bed, about 4 feet wide, with a sink, toilet and shower. The bathroom is separated from the room by a sliding glass wall.

They use key cards and you must use it to access the elevator on the main floor. Once you open your door you must place the card in a slot with green lights on the wall beside the door. This will allow you to turn the lights on.

The room was clean and the bed was comfortable. There was tv, and A/C. Buttons on remote for A/C were in Chinese.
Location: If you arrive by taxi you will likely approach the hotel from the left side, if you are facing the hotel. I thought the area we drove past just prior to reaching the hotel was a bit sketchy.

To get to the subway: Walk out the door and turn left. Walk about 3 blocks to the busy street. Turn left and then go over the overpass. You will see signs for Tiantan North. The Temple of Heaven entrance is just past the Subway entrance.   On your way to the busy street you will pass a Peking Duck Restaurant.  They have English titles for their menu, the food is excellent, as are the prices.  I recommend the pork with peaches.

Bestay Hotel Express

Bestay Hotel Express

Clean Cozy Room

Clean Cozy Room

31 Oct

Places I Stayed – In Central America

I have had a number of requests for information on places I stayed during my Central America trip.  I have done the list but feel it is rather long to publish here.  Anyone wanting information on any places please feel free to contact me.  I will be doing a post for each of the places I stay while I am in Asia – there should be quite a variety -I hope. G