Weekend i Hong Kong

I am sitting and is booking a weekend in Hong Kong,. It is so cool that I actually can do that. Normally a weekend away would mean Copenhagen or Stockholm…

It´s not very expensive either! :)

Asiatour Hong KOng

So, hotel, where to stay?. I read some about it and there are basically two areas, Hong Kong island or Kowloon, Hong Kong Island is the fancy area, with big malls and boutique hotels, Kowloon is the more genuine area with street markets and backpackers hotels. Guess where I will be staying? [Check for hotels in Hong Kong].

I will be staying @ garden hotel, I will get a 8 sqm room for RM 130..I KL I will stay at Citin Seacare Hotel, as usual. Same price, double the room including breakfast.

Flight is booked, i will be travelling with AirAsia.

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Smart tips on how to travel on a budget.

With so much cheap hotels, places, food and beer, Southeast Asia is the perfect destination for anyone looking to travel on a budget. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Thailand; it doesn’t matter where you’re headed, these countries on a budget can be simple. But look out for the costs of transportation, trips and souvenir that can all add up and you might end up paying more than you expected. Here are eight top tips for making sure all those little extras don’t leave you out of pocket.

AsiaTour Bus Travel Langkawi Kuala Lumpur

1. Take night buses or trains

Always try to book on to a night train or bus when you can. Long distance transport in South-East Asia is very cheap and the network pretty extensive. A lot of locals choose to travel overnight, when tickets are cheaper and your ride will be relatively comfortable. Most trains and buses have sleeper beds or reclining seats and decent air-con. Some travelers are put off by overnight travel because of safety concerns, but it carries the same risks as daytime travel, just be sure to always keep an eye on your luggage and be aware of your surroundings. When packing your things make sure your valuables are in a bag that you can bring with you and watch over.

It’ll also save you on a night’s accommodation, plus you won’t have to sacrifice precious daytime that could be spent sightseeing or soaking up the sun.

2. Go for soft seat rather than sleeper berth

If you choose to go by night train, soft seats are the most economic choice. It may seem sensible to go for the sleeper seats, which are usually four beds on two levels per cabin, but these are often cramped and riddled with bed bugs. Don’t get the wrong idea, soft seats are not first class, but at least you get a bit more breathing space and they do recline all the way out, plus they’re the cheapest option for basic comfort. You’ll get the same facilities with soft seats as you would in a sleeper, including air-con and trolley service. Just don’t forget to pack your ear plugs.

3. Eat street food

A lot of travelers stay clear of street food, fearing upset stomachs or worse. The truth is that some of the freshest and cheapest food can be found on the streets of South-East Asia. You’ll pay a premium for eating “Western” food, compared with rock-bottom prices for tasty treats – from chicken noodles to sesame doughnuts – from roadside food stalls. Street food sellers buy their produce every morning fresh from the local markets so you’re sure to get the real deal. Pick a popular stand, do as the locals do and go for it. Besides whoever cooked the food is especially good at his or her local food, the western food is best in the western world.

Asiatour street food

4. Drink local beers, wine, liquor and sodas

Go local on booze too if you’re sticking to a tight budget. Imported alcohol beverages increases the costs and you will miss out on an opportunity to taste the local beverages. In Vietnam, every day at about five pm, cafés moves to the streets, filling the narrow pavements with miniature red plastic furniture and tubs of chopsticks. This means only one thing, Bia Hoi time. With prices so low it´s hardling even worth mentioning add some snacks , like for instance fried spinach and beef dumplings and pull up a stool. Resting your feet and letting the world pass by you instead of you walking pass the world, is a great way to spend the afternoon. This daily ritual is quite common across South-East Asia and each country or town will have its own version of Bia Hoi, Hanoi’s home brew. So take advantage of these ridiculous prices, sample some tasty home cooking and meet some of the locals.

5. Haggle

Don’t be shy if you want to bag a bargain. Make sure you haggle in the markets to get the best price on everything, from tea and coffee to genuine fake designer goods. Stallholders will expect you to at least ask for a discount, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed. Often, the price will rise automatically once they’ve realized you’re a tourist, so you can guarantee he’ll have wriggle room on that “Guchi” handbag or those silk slippers. Know that the price you start with will not be the price you will end up with so start low. If they insist on a high price, just say no, turn and walk away, if the price you gave isn´t insultingly low they will come after you.

You can in fact haggle for so much more than the markets, try at the accomodation, renting a car or a motorbike or taxis.

Asiatour rent a bicycle

6. Avoid organised tours where possible

Sometimes organised tours are the easiest and cheapest way to get out and see some of the stunning sights, especially when you’re short on time or have to take ferries or infrequent local buses to get there. But, wherever possible, try and organize it yourself. In bigger towns, the local bus system will take you where you want to go for a small fee. Alternatively, hire a bike or a motorbike for a couple of pounds and cycle out, this way you’re guaranteed an adventure! For example, if you’re planning to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia, rather than fork out on a bus tour through a travel agency, hire a bike and cycle out there at dawn. You’ll catch the sunrise and save yourself some cash. Local buses are not only very cheap but they will probably give an adventure on the journey itself.

7. Agree on taxi prices before you jump in

If you’re looking for a ride, tuk tuks and taxis are in abundance in most towns and cities. However, before you jump in, be sure to agree a price, ask more than one driver, and try asking for a discount. Otherwise the driver will say any outrageous sum that pops into his mind when you arrive and you are not able to protest. Make sure you know the exact address of where you want to go. It’s been known for taxi drivers to take detours to travel shops or other hotels to try and persuade travelers to book tours or change accommodation, then charge more for the extra trip. They will also tell you that the hotel you booked is not good, the tour you are taking is the worst and the sights you are seeing aren´t genuine. (They are only trying to ”help” you because they will get a small fee for every tourist the bring to specific places.)

8. Bring only today’s budget

When you leave your home in the morning don´t bring too much money, if you have a lot of money in your pockets it is so easy so spend it all (and people around you will notice you are flaunting it). Bring the budget money for today (and maybe some extra in your socks for emergency) and it is so much easier to stick to your budget.

9. Make some of your own food.

In hotels where you have water heater you can easily make your own breakfast by buying bread and cheese. The hotels that provides the water boiler will most probably also provide coffee or tea. If there is a refrigerator on your room you can buy some juice of your preference add some fresh fruit and voila, the breakfast is complete :)  If you stop by the hotel during the day the instant noodles are a cheap, delicious and great alternative for lunch!

10. Use local transportations in the city.

it is so easy to jump into a taxi when you arrive in a new city and then you continue to do so during your entire stay.  Ask for help in your reception, bring a good map and start taking local transportation within the city. It costs just a small percentage of taxi rides and it is so much fun. Keep watch on your handbag or valuables tho because in rush hour it gets crowded in trains and buses. In Kuala Lumpur they offer a [free bus line] that makes all the ”must stops” in the city.

 

Postad i Blandat

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Bus in Kuala Lumpur: Go KL

In Kuala Lumpur there is a free bus that stops on all the musts (KLCC, China Town – Petaling street, KL Tower, lots of hotels, Bukit Bintang, Railway station, commuter train station)  in the city, it goes often (every 5-10 minutes) and it has AC and free wifi on board.

Asiatour GO KL lines

It´s called GO KL and it has 4 different lines that all cross one some place so switching from ione to another is not hard at all.

This is a great way to see KL and it is also free!

Asiatour GO KL

The buses are new and eco-friendly (natural gas) and has easy access for the old and disabled.

[Link]

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Hotel: Chaleena hotel, Bangkok Thailand

Chaleena is a 4-star hotell situated in the area of  Ramkanhaeng, Bangkok. It is a great area with lots of students, a huge night market by the stadion at the  Ramkamhaeng road. Not many western tourist around the area.

Asiatour Bangkok Chaleena Hotel

Asiatour Bangkok Chaleena Hotel

The hotel has a pool where you can relax after full days of shopping and exploring the city of Bangkok.

Asiatour Bangkok Chaleena hotel pool

Asiatour Bangkok Chaleena hotel pool

You can book with or without a breakfast. I suggest inklude the breakfast since it is a good one and it will enable you to start your day filled with energy. Not far from the hotel is a cinema and it is also really close to the Stadion where there is a big genuine Thai market all nights of the week but wednesdays.

Ramkamhaeng night market Bangkok Asiatour

Ramkamhaeng night market Bangkok Asiatour

It has very easy access to the commute ferry that will take you downtown in 30-40 minutes. Relaxing and cooling to go by ferry instead of getting stuck in the traffic jams of bangkok. When you pay, just tell them ”Last stop”and you will be at a walking distance to all big malls around Siam Square. Going home again the stop is called ”Sapan mit Mahafthai pier”. Costs about 20 TB / RM 2/ 4 SEK / US$ 0,65 / £ 0,4.

Commuter ferry in Bangkok Huamark Asiatour

Commuter ferry in Bangkok Huamark Asiatour

If you arrive by flight it has also a easy access to the train coming from the aiport Suhvarnabhumi. Airport Link City Line has a stop at Ramkamhaeng station. [Click here for information].

Asiatour Bangkok Chaleena hotel reception

Asiatour Bangkok Chaleena hotel reception

Prices range from 692 TB / 141 SEK / RM 70 / US$ 22 / £ 13  for a Superiour without breakfast to One bedroom deluxe including breakfast 1.530 TB / 311 SEK / RM 154/ US$ 47 / £ 28 (exchange rate april 2014)

Asiatour Bangkok Chaleena hotel Standard room

Asiatour Bangkok Chaleena hotel Standard room

The wifi is free and works good in the rooms. Facilities: * 24 hour room service * restaurant * wifi * concierge * laundry service * coffee shop * bar * safety deposit box * fitness center * spa / massage * outdoor pool (open 07-19) * car park * mini bar * refrigerator in room * complimentary shampoo and soap Adress: 453 Soi Ladprao 122 (Ramkamheang 65) Click on [Chaleena Hotel in Bangkok]to book (if you do so I will get a small donation from the booking agency – Thank you.

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Hotel: The Seasons Huamark, Bangkok, Thailand

The Seasons (formerly All Seasons) Huamark is a 3-star hotell situated in the area of Huamark, Ramkanhaeng, Bangkok. It is a great area with lots of students, a huge night market by the stadion down the Ramkamhaeng road. Not many western tourist around the area.

Standard twin room the seasons Huamark Asiatour

Standard twin room The Seasons Huamark Asiatour

Standard twin room The Seasons Huamark Bangkok Asiatour

Standard twin room The Seasons Huamark Bangkok Asiatour

The hotel has a pool where you can relax after full days of shopping and exploring the city of Bangkok. (Closed for repairs untill approx Juli 2014).

The Seasons Huamark Bangkok pool Asiatour

The Seasons Huamark Bangkok pool Asiatour

You can book with or without a breakfast. I suggest inklude the breakfast since it is a good one and it will enable you to start your day filled with energy.

Next door neighbour to the hotel is ”The Mall” and during nighttime it is a plaesure to walk the road of Ramkamhaeng with it’s market vendors. Not far from the hotel is a cinema and it is also fairly close to the Stadion where there is a big genuine Thai market all nights of the week but wednesdays.

Ramkamhaeng night market Bangkok Asiatour

Ramkamhaeng night market Bangkok Asiatour

It has very easy access to the commute ferry that will take you downtown in 30-40 minutes. Relaxing and cooling to go by ferry instead of getting stuck in the traffic jams of bangkok. When you pay, just tell them ”Last stop”and you will be at a walking distance to all big malls around Siam Square. Going home again the stop is called ”The mall Pier”. Costs about 18 TB / RM 1,8 / 3,6 SEK / US$ 0,55 / £ 0,33.

Commuter ferry in Bangkok Huamark Asiatour

Commuter ferry in Bangkok Huamark Asiatour

If you arrive by flight it has also a easy access to the train coming from the aiport Suhvarnabhumi. Airport Link City Line has a stop at Ramkamhaeng station. [Click here for information].

The seasons Huamark lobby, Bangkok Asiatour

The seasons Huamark lobby, Bangkok Asiatour

Prices range from 672 TB / 138 SEK / RM 68 / US$21 / £ 12,5  for a Standard twin without breakfast to Superiour suite including breakfast 2.200 TB / 453 SEK / RM 223 / US$ 69 / £ 41 (exchange rate april 2014)

The wifi is free in the lobby but if you want to connect in your room there will be a small fee charged.

Facilities:

* 24 hour room service

* restaurant

* wifi in public areas (not extremely good, disconnects all the time)

* babysitting

* laundry service

* smoking area

* bar (not so inviting prices)

* safety deposit box

* fitness center

* outdoor pool (closed untill july 2014)

* car park

* complimentary bottle of water every day

* mini bar

* refrigerator in room

* free coffe and tea

* complimentary shampoo and soap

Adress: 5 Soi, Ramkamhaeng road 15, Huamark

Click [here to book (if you do so I will get a small donation from the booking agency)

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Hotel: Citin Seacare Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Newly renovated hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Most central hotel I ever stayed at. Walking distance to Chinatown, Little India, KLCC (Petronas towers), Central Market, Bukit Bintang and Bus station (Pudu Sentral). Close to LRT trains that can take you almost anywhere in Kuala Lumpur.
Hotel has a good breakfast that varies basically every day with fresh fruits, noodles, eggs, toast and soup.

Asiatour Kuala Lumpur Citin Seacare Pudu superiour double bed

Asiatour Kuala Lumpur Citin Seacare Pudu superiour double bed

Maybe the cleaning in the rooms aren’t the best. I placed a crisp on the floor under the bed and it was still there when I left 7 nights later together with some dirt from a previous guest. But everything visible gets cleaned every day unless you don’t want them to.

Asiatour Kuala Lumpur Citin Seacare Pudu Superiour toilet

Asiatour Kuala Lumpur Citin Seacare Pudu Superiour toilet

Prices range from Superiour room excluding breakfast RM 104 / 1029 TB / 210 SEk / US$ 32 / £ 19 to Premier room including breakfast RM 130 / 1290 TB / 263 SEk / US$ 40 / £ 24

Facilities:

* reception open 24 hrs

* concierge

* safety deposit in room

* luggage keep

* wifi (it says only in public areas but I had a great connection in my room #306)

I can easilly recommend this hotel because of its central location for that price! if you want to book, please click [here] and I will get a small donation from the agent – Thank you

Adress: 38 Jalan Pudu, Chinatown

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Squirrelcount @ Cenang Homestay

Jag och ”Sketkatten Oscar” (Ja, jag kallar honom så) gör en squirrelcount på vår terrass.

2014-05-03 21.54.01

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Eat: Champor Champor Pantai Cenang,Langkawi, Malaysia

Asiatour Langkawi champor champor 18

Champor Champor is a pearl in Pantai Cenang.  With it’s mixture of foods, the atmosphere and the environment it’s a perfect place for the romantic dinner for two or the start of a long night of party if you prefer so.Asiatour Langkawi champor champor 14

Uma, the owner and chef, is also a perfect blend. She is Malaysian, Tamil and Swedish (a tad bit Norway too) all in one, she speaks many languages and she will probably greet you in one of them.

The food is cooked with passion and love.  You will find Malaysia, Indian, Mongolian, Portugeese and Thai dishes mixed with ”western” for main courses. Starters and desserts too of course. Umas famous Curry is a dish not to miss!  As it is a part Indian restaurant you can of course find some good vegetarian dishes.Asiatour Langkawi Champor Champor 20

In the bar, Theo (Dutch) serves the draft (Tiger) or local beers together with some imported ones, fruit juices and drinks, wine and cider with a smile. All at very reasonable prices.Asiatour Langkawi champor champor 15

The prices for the main coarses range from RM 24 / 48 SEK / US$ 7,5 / £ 4,5 to RM 49 / 98 SEK / US$ 15 / £ 9.

Asiatour Langkawi champor champor 12

If you are lucky when you have finished your meal Uma will come and play a game or two with you, all for your enjoyment and to start of your perfect party evening.

A unique place that will give you a unique experience, on the main road of Pantai Cenang.Asiatour Langkawi champor champor 13

Champor Champor is open Mon – Sat 18:00-Late (Last order from the kicthen is 22:15)

Read the reviews on Tripadvisor [here] and on Facebook [here].

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Travel between Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, Malaysia

There are 3 different ways to travel between Kuala Lumpur and malaysia. Fly, by bus or by train.

Fly

AirAsia has sometimes really good prices from RM 69 / 138 SEK / US$ 22 / £ 12,50. The flight takes one hour but of course you need to think about travel to and from airport as well. 1-2 hrs in KL and 20 mins in Langkawi. (To Pantai Cenang). Please note that if you fly with Air Asia the flights leave from aiport LCCT. There are trains + bus you can take to LCCT from KL sentral (Fast and expensive or cheaper and not as fast.)

The journey takes totally abt 4-5 hrs.

Positive: Time spent and if you get a good price it is cheap.

AsiaTour Fly Travel Langkawi Kuala Lumpur

Bus

You can buy busticket at Pudu Central in KL or at the travel huts in Pantai Cenang.

If you go from KL the ticket only takes you as far as the ferry in Kuala Perlis and then you have to take the jetty (ferry) to Kuah, Langkawi ( RM 18 / 36 SEK / US$ 5,6 / £3,30 ) and then taxi to your destination.

If you go from Pantai Cenang there are plenty of places to buy a total package  (look around and check for prices, they vary from 94 RM / 188 SEK / US$ 29 / £ 17 to RM 125 / 250 SEK / US$ 38 / £ 23). That way you will get a transport to the ferry in Kuah, take the ferry to Kuala Perlis and then take the bus (all costs for this should be included in your ticket). The busstation is only a few hundred meters from the ferrystop.  I you prefer not to buy a package you need to take the taxi to Kuah (RM 30 / 60 SEK / US$ 9,2 / £ 5,50 from Pantai Cenang), the ferry (se prices above) and then the bus ( ca RM 48 / 97 SEK / US$ 15 / £ 9).

The journey takes total abt 12 hrs.

Positive:  Cheap and you can travel by night and save costs for hotel
Negative: can be unsafe because of tired drivers smoking pot and traffic situations.AsiaTour Bus Travel Langkawi Kuala Lumpur

Train

The night train goes from Arau  (19.37) to KL sentral (06.00) and costs from RM 23 / 46 SEK / US$ 7 / £ 4 for AC economy class up to RM 54 / 108 SEK / US$17 / £ 10 for sleeping lower berth . To get to Arau you need to take the ferry from Kuah to Kuala Perlis (se fares above) and then a taxi to railway station (RM 24 / 48 SEK / US$ 7,50 / £ 4,50) The train ticket can be bought on the station or online.

If you are travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi; take the night train from KL sentral (21:30) to Arau (08.59) it costs RM 23 / 46 SEK / US$ 7 / £ 4 for AC economy class up to RM 54 / 108 SEK / US$17 / £ 10 for sleeping lower berth and then taxi to Kuala perlis (se fare above) and then ferry to Kuah (se fares above) and then taxi to your destination in Langkawi.

The journey takes totally abt 11 hrs

Positive: trains are very safe and it is pleasant to be able to walk and eat and sleep while travelling.  You also save money you should have spent on the hotel.

Negative: There is only one train / dayAsiatour Train Travel Langkawi Kuala Lumpur

Extra Please not that there are no electric outlets on any of the ways to travel so make sure your electronics are loaded or bring a powerbank or two.

I wish you a good and safe trip!

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Eat: Kahuna Cafe, Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Malaysia

Kahuna cafe is a breakfast and dinner place off the main road in Pantai Cenang (on the road towards the night market, Izz room and Rainbow Lodge). Rosita and Ben serve good and very priceworthy food.Asiatour Langkawi Kahuna Cafe 45

Ben cooks and Rosita takes care of the café, making it very cosy and homey. They are both very friendly and Ben always have time for a joke.Asiatour Langkawi Kahuna Cafe 46

For breakfast you can mix and match to your preference: Asiatour Langkawi Kahuna Cafe 48They have a variety of food from Ribeye steak, to Barracuda, burritos, fish & chips, salads and baked potatoes. Try the french fries with Bens black pepper sauce. YUM.Asiatour Langkawi Kahuna Cafe 49

Prices range from RM 2 /4 SEK / US£ 0,6 / £ 0,4 to RM 32 / 60 SEK / US$ 10 / £ 5,50.Asiatour Langkawi Kahuna Cafe 51

If you want to they can also help you with renting motorbikes and finding a place to stay. In fact I believe you can ask them for help on anything, they know this place really well.

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