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Alex Onslow

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of Travelling

LAOS Exchange rate £1 - 12,650k
Budget hotel room - £6.30
Evening meal - £3
Beer - 63p CAMBODIA Exchange rate £1 - 6360r
Budget guesthouse room - 9.50
Restaurant meal - £2
Beer - £1.50 PHILIPPINES Exchange rate £1 - 70p
Hotel room - £7.20
Two tank scuber dive - £35
One way flight - £28 THAILAND Exchange rate £1 - 49B
Room - £15.50
Meal - £1.25
Beer - £1.60 VIETNAM Exchange rate £1 - 33,600d
Room - £9
Meal - £2.50
Beer - 50p
Short Taxi - £1.30 South-Central Coast Two Week Itineraries Explore the incredible temples of Angkor, including a side trip to the water world of the Tonle Sap Lake. Travel down to Phnom Penh to savour the dining and drinking scene. Head south to Cambodia's up and coming coastline, including the silvery sands of Sihanoukville. Finish up with the languid charms of Kampot and Kep if heading overland to Vietnam, or with the adrenaline adventures on offer around Krong Koh Kong if continuing to thailand Two Week Itineraries See the sights and experience Hanoi's unique streetlife. Tour incomparable Halong Bay, then take in the extraordinary caves and karsts of Phong Nha. Hue, city of pagodos and tombs, beckons next. Then push on to charming Hoi An, where you can rest up. Party in Nha Trang then continue south to idyllic Mui Ne Beach. Round things off Saigon-style in Vietnam's liveliest metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City Hanoi Northern Vietnam Central Vietnam fly to Vietiane, imbibe its cafes, bars and cuisine for a few days, then head north to Vang Vieng for climbing, Kayaking and tubing. Move on to luang Prabang. Beckonded with bakeries, temples, boutiques and restaurants. After a few days take a two day long slow boat up the Mekong River to Hauy Xai, having already booked yourself in for the memorable Gibbon Experience, and their overnight stays in jungle treehouses. If you've got time head up to Luang Nam Tha for an ecoconscious trek in the wild Nam Ha National Protected area. From here you can fly back to Vientiane to catch your flight out Two Week Intineraries From Bankok, head south to the Samui islands (ko Samui, Ko Pha-Ngan, KO tao) to become a certified beachaholic and diver. Then hop the peninsula to the Andaman beaches of Krabi/Railay, Ko Phi-Phi, Ko Lanta and Traing Islands Two Week Intineraries Vietiane And
Vang Vieng Hauy Xai The Gibbon Experience
Stay in fatastical tree houses complete with cooking facilities and running rainwater showers, 200ft up in th trees! In between scouting for wildlife, you'll be zipping. Your safety harness with a wheel on the end of a cable is attatched to a zip-line; all you then need is a little faith and an adventurous spirit. Your day involves a serious amount of trekking. Bring a pair of hiking boots and long socks to deter leeches. Tubing
Hire an inner tube from the operators by the old market (50,000K rental, 20,000K deposit) who will take you 3km upriver andleave you to drift back in you own time. Stop for a dance and refreshment at the many rivrside bars en route. Caving
The stunning limestone karsts around Vang Vieng are honeycombed with tunnels and caverns, and after tubing caving has to be the towns main draw. The most famous cave, Tham Jang, 1km south of town , was used as a hideout in the early 19th century. A set of stairs leads up to the main cavern entrance. There's also a cool spring at the foot of the cave Luang Nam Tha There are bags of cheap guesthouses, restaurants serving tasty food and a lively market. Many travellers spend a day pedelling around the local waterfalls and temples before setting out into the wilds of Nam Ha.
The dense jungle of the Nam Ha national Protected Area is home to the clouded leopards, gaur and elephants. Visiting in involves going on a tour with an experienced guide. Guides also offer rafting, canoeing and mountain biking along the Nam Tha River, as well as homestays. Vientiane This stunning midranger is a cut above the rest thanks to its lovely outside terraced gardens and tasteful rooms with boutique flourishes: white walls, stained wood floors and cable TV. Lao Heritage Hotel £13 S/D
Air Con
WIFI Mixay Guest House
£4 Dorm
£6 S/D without Bathroom
Air con at extra charge Great value, fan cooled rooms. Some have hot-water bathrooms, while others are bereft of windows. Also has left-luggae facility Dragon Lodge
Air Con Contemporary looking Dragon Lodge has terrocotta-coloured walls , a swish bar and restaurant festooned in laterns and small welcoming rooms. Check out its useful notice board Vang Vieng Chez Mango
Air Con Located over the bridge, Mango is new, scrupulously clean and has seven colourful cabanas (some with private bathroom) in its flowery gardens. Head to the market with with owner Mango to choose the ingredients for the Lao dinner she can teach you to make, or play boules with her French husband, Noah Maylyn Guest House
Air Con Over the bridge, Maylyn is a stalwart of peace with cabana huts set in gardens bursting with butterflies and lantana flowers. affording possibly the most dramatic view of the karts. There's a new building with immaculate rooms with private bathrooms, plus a natty little cafe Phoubane Guest House
Deluxe Air Con extra cost Just west of the Post Office, Phoubane has cool, river-facing bungalows with tiled floors and clean bathrooms with hot water. Its original wooden bungalows are fan cooled, well maintained and a 10th of the price of the new ones Hauy Xai Sabaydee Guest House
Air Con Unfailingly clean rooms with comfy beds, TV, Fan, optional air-con and private bathrooms. Decked in bright colours and pleasant furnishings, some rooms overlook the river Gateway Villa Guesthouse
£8 Close to the boat landing, these are tastefully furnished rooms with hardwood floors, wicker chairs, TVs and contemporary looking linen . Some rooms are more prettified than others BAP Guest House
£7 Run by English-speaking Mrs Changpeng, this wayfarer's fave has a pleasant restaurant dishing up snacks, veggie dishes and Lao staples (mains £1.50). Rooms vary wildly with the best ones facing the river (air con and TV come as extras) Zuela Guest House & Restaurant
£6 Luang Nam Tha Located in a leafy courtyard, Zuela has a welcoming restaurant serving pancakes, salads and chilli-baed Akha dishes, while its spotless rooms have wood floors, fans and fresh linen. Manychan Guest House-Restaurant
£6 Justifiably the town's best loved traveller magnet, Manychan's cafe, with walls spattered in ethnic photography, covers the bases with salads, steaks and breakfasts. Rooms are adequate with hot-water showers and TV Adounsiri Guest House
£5 Located down a quiet street behind the central drag, this newly built Lao villa has scrupulously clean rooms with white walls draped in handicrafts, fresh linen and tiled floors. TV in every room Hanoi is the most graceful, atmospheric and captivating capital city in the region. Here exotic old Asia blends seamlessly with the dynamic face of the continent, an architectural masterpiece evolving in harmony with its history, rather than bulldozing through it. Halong Bay
Majestic and mysterious, inspiring and imperious, Halong Bay's 3000 or more incredible islands rise from the emerald waters of the gulf of Tonkin Halong City
Halong City is the main gateway to Halong Bay. Its seafront is blighted by high-rise hotels but you will find good budget accommodation here. Phonh Nha-Ke National Park
A unesco World heritage site, the remarkable National Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia and is riddled with hundreds of cave systems including the largest cave in the world. Hue
Hue is the intellectual, cultural and spiritual heart of Vietnam. Palaces and pagodas, tombs and temples, culture and cuisine, history and heartbreak Nha Trang
Welcome to the beach capital of Vietnam. Visually it's startling, with towering mountains behind the city and a sweeping beach. Off shore islands add to the appeal , offering decadent boat trips and diving in turquoise water. Hoi An
Graceful, historic Hoi An is Vietnam's most atmospheric and delightful town. Once a major port, it boasts the grand architecture and beguiling riverside setiing that befits its heritage. Mui Ne
Once upon a time, Mui Ne was an isolated stretch of sand, but it was too beautiful to be ignored and it's now a string of resorts. Mercifully , most of these are low-rise and set amid pretty gardens by the sea. The area is definitely moving upmarket, but there is still a surfer vibe Ho Chi Minh City
Ho chi Minh City is a metropolis on the move, and we are not just talking about the citys motorbikes. Yes, Saigon is Vietnam at its most dizzying, a high-octane city of commerce and culture that has driven the whole country forward with its limit less energy and booming economy Hanoi Old Quater And Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi Rendezvous Hotel
Old Quater
Dorm - £5
Room - £16 Aussie-run Hanoi Rendezvous features spacious rooms, good dorms, friendly staff, and well-run tours. Don't miss the reproductions of classic Vietnam-themed movies in the downstairs breakfast bar. Hanoi Backpackers 2
Old Quater
Dorms - £6
Room - £26 Spanking new hostel offering an excellent location, spotless dorms and designer doubles. It has very social restaurant and bar, good travel info and tours too. Central Backpackers Hanoi
Around Hoan Kiem Lake
Dorms - £3.20 Well-run hostel close to good cafes and street eats. It's a pretty social spot, possibly due to the 'free beer' (very) happy hour every night from 8pm to 9pm Northern Vietnam
Halong Bay
Halong City BMC Thang Long Hotel
Halong City
Room £16 - £48 Large hotel with spacious and recently renovated rooms, some with ocean views. Staff are warm and personal, and the Bai Chay tourist docks are just across the road Tung Lam Hotel
Room - £8 This minihotel is making a little more effort than most. Rooms all have two beds, TV, minibar and en-suit bathrooms, and those at front are spacious and include a balcony Phonh Nha-Ke National Park Hue Hoi An Phong Nha Farmstay
Dorm - £5.50
Room - £20 Run by a welcoming Australian-Vietnamese couple. Overlooking rice paddies, this impressive place has a great vibe, a bar, local and western food, and offers outstanding tours, including kayaking, tubing, biking and hiking. Google Hotel
Room - £10 Offering flashpacker chic at backpacker cheap, the light, spacious rooms here have luxurious beds, huge flat screen TVs and modish en-suite bathrooms. The large bar-restaurant is a good place to socialise. Huenino
Rooms - £9 The family owners here are super-attentive, and rooms are very attractively presented with artwork, minibar, cable TV and good beds. A generous breakfast is included Hue Backpackers
Dorm - £4
Room - £13 With a prime location, eager-to-please staff, good info and a fearsome happy hour, it's easy to guess why this is a backpacker mecca. Dorms are well designed and have quality mattresses, fans, air-con and lockers. Hoa Binh Hotel
Rooms £8 - £12 With a good selection of simple and comfortable modern rooms, all with wi-fi, minibar, cable TV and air con, this is getting close to budget chic. However, the pool layout (in the lobby!) is bizarre and room rates change according to demand Vinh Huy
Rooms - £7 All the very cheap, clean well-appointed rooms here represent a great deal and have a minibar, fan and cable TV; some have large bathrooms with tubs Mui Ne Ho Chi Minh City Mui Ne Backpackers
Dorm - £6
Room £13 - £38 Highly popular, sociable place with hospitable Aussie management. You'll find smart four bed dorms and fully renovated private rooms. Rang Garden Bungalow
Rooms £7 - £19 New in 2011, this offers seriously smart rooms around a generously proportioned pool Giang & Son
Room - £16 A clean, comfortable and friendly place on a surprisingly quiet alley. Tall and thin, with three rooms on each floor the only down is there is no elevator. Hong Han Hotel
Room - £13 Anoter guesthouse in the tall and skinny mode (Seven floors and no lift), Hong Han offers style and comfort. The front rooms have thrilling views to the Bitexco Tower but the smaller rear rooms are quieter and cheaper. Free breakfast too. Bich Duyen Hotel
Rooms - £11 This welcoming place on a quiet lane has excellent rooms; pay more for the luxury of a window. Showers are excellent Phnom Penh Sihanoukville Koh Kong Phnom Penh: The name can't help but conjure up and image of the exotic. This is the Asia that many dreamt of when first planning their adventures oversea. Phnom Penh is a cross-roads of Asia's past and present, a city of extremes of poverty and excess, of charm and of chaos, but one that never fails to captivate. Surrounded by white-sand beaches and relatively undeveloped tropical islands, Sihanoukville is Cambodia's premiere seaside resort. The city's lively bars and sands remain pretty laid back, offering bliss and relaxation by day, drinking and chilling by night. Once Cambodia's Wild West, its frontier economy dominated by prostitution and gambling, Krong Koh Kong is striving towards respectability as ecotourists scare the sleaze away Top Banana Guesthouse
Central Phnom Penh
Rooms £4 - £9.50 A great location high above the street action, comfy open-sired chilled out area and popular bar make it Phnom Penh's top backpackers crash pad. Cheap rooms don't come with hot water, but the more expensive ones include brisk air-con. Encounters
Central Phnom Penh
Dorm £4
Room £8 This budget crashpad specialises in cheap dorms that come with fan or air-con and include access to safety lockers. Reliable travel information available thanks to Cambo-experienced host Martin. 11 Happy Guesthouse
Boeng Kak Area
Room £1.50 - £10 The friendly, informative staff put a smiles on backpackers' faces with cheap laundry and good rooms at these prices Mad Monkey
Central Phnom Penh
Dorm £3.50
Room £7.60 - £11.40 A popular new guesthouse in the Boeng Keng Kang area of town. Rooms are homely enough and there are plans for more dorms. Popular bar restaurant downstairs. Mushroom Point
Dorm £4
Bungalows £16 The 'shroom-shaped open-air dorm ove rthe restaurant wins the award for the most awesome shaped crashpad in cambodia. Even those averse to communal living will be content in their mozzie-net-draped pods, good for two. The food gets high marks too Monkey Republic
Dorm £2
Room £6.50 A favourite of the young backpacker crowd, Monkey Republic has an eight-bed dorm and several dozen bright-blue bungalows set around two banana-shaded courtyards Paddy's Bamboo Guesthouse
Dorm £1.50
Room £4 Paddy's targets backpackers with a dormitory, basic rooms, a balcony for chillin', tours and a pool table. Shoot for the wood floored rooms with shared bathrooms upstairs Koh Kong Guesthouse
With BR £4
Without BR £3 This great budget choice has woody rooms sharing a bathroom upstairs off an appealing common area with river views and pillows Blue Moon Guesthouse
Room £4 - £7 Nine neat, clean rooms with spiffy furnishings and hot water line along, narrow courtyard Chiang Mai is a cultural darling; it is a cool place to kick back and relax, the streets of the old city are filled with monks and motor-cycle driving housewives, bookshops, outnumber glitzy shopping centres and the region's Lanna heritage is worn with pride Chiang Mai Awanahouse
Room £4.60 - £17.50 What started out as a small guesthouse has grown into a multi-storey apartment-style building on a quiet soi. Awana is a bit institutional, but has large and bright rooms. The cheapest rooms have fans and shared bathrooms Smile House 1
Room £6.20 - £20.50 A little backpacker village flourishes around an old Thai house here. It's tucked away in a small nok of the old city. It's popular with backpackers for lounging around the pool cold drink in hand Daret's House
Room £3.30 A long-time backpackers fave with stacks of well-worn rooms, Daret's looks like many of Th Khao San's backpackers flop. But because this is Lanna-Land, amiable Khun Daret is often found in the cafe downstairs. You pay more for the luxary of hot water Ko Pha-Ngan
Swaying coconut trees, brooding mountains, ribbons of turquoise water: Ko Pha-Ngan has held fast to its title as favourite backpacker idyll. Despite some modernisation in ealy 2000s, it is still rustic and remote, and there are still some cheap beachfront bungalows intended for hammock-hanging and simple living. Ko Tao
Today, thousands of visitors come to worship the turquoise waters offshore, and then quite often stay. Many years have passed since the first backpacker came to the scrubby island and planted a flag in the name of self-respecting scuba-holics everywhere (hello pizza parlours and ladyboy shows) but fret not, there's still plenty of time to join the tribe Krabi/Railay
Krabi's fairytale limestone crags come to a dramatic climax at Railay, the ultimate jungle gym for rock-climbing fanatics. This quite slice of paradise fills in the sandy gaps between each craggy flourish, and although it's just around the bend from chaotic tourist hustle in Ao Nang, the atmosphere here is nothing short of laid-back, Rasta-Thai heaven. Ko Phi-Phi
Oh, how beauty can be a burden. Like Marilyn Monroe, Phi-Phi Don's stunning looks have become its own demise. Everyone wants a peice of her. A hedonistic paradise where tourists cavort in azure seas and snap pictures of long-tails puttering between craggy cliffs. Ko Lanta
Long and thin, and covered in bleach-blondtresses, Ko Lanta is Krabi's sexy beach babe. The largest of the 50-plus islands in the local archipelago, this relaxing paradise effortlessly caters to all budget types with its west-coast parade of peach sand Trang Islands
The mythical Trang Islands are the last iteration of the Andaman's iconic limestone peaks before they tumble into the sea like sleeping giants. Shrouded in mystery and steeped in local legend, these stunning island Edens are home to roving chow lair (sea gypsies) and technicolour reefs. Bangkok
Bored in Bangkok? You've got to be kidding. This high-energy city loves neon and noise, chaos and concrete, fashion and furniture. But look beyond the modern gadgets and you'll find and old-fashioned village napping in the shade of narrow soi (lane). I will be flying on March the 15th to Thailand! Either landing in Bangkok Or in Chiang Mai From Thailand I shall be heading to Laos! From Laos I shall be heading to Vietnam From Vietnam I shall head to Cambodia I may pop over to the Philippines but I'm undecided And from Cambodia my next destination is Thailand! And that is where my journey ends!
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