Tag Archives: cheap

The Ultimate Guide to 24 Hours in Chiang Mai : Backpackers’ Edition

If you’re on the backpacker trail and have got 24 hours to kill in Chiang Mai, make sure you use our ultimate hour-by-hour guide to a day best spent in Thailand’s largest and most significant northern city.

by Amy, MyChiangMaiEverything

 8:30: get ready

Wake up, dress in comfortable clothes and pack a map, water and a top that covers your shoulders. Head down to the common room to enjoy coffee with your fellow travellers and smile – you’re about to have an awesome day!

9:00: eat breakfast

Wander outside till you smell something delectable. Eat a cheap Thai-style breakfast with students and tuk tuk drivers at the roadside. You’ll probably find rice porridge (jok), barbequed pork skewers with sticky rice (moo ping khao niao) or freshly fried Thai-style churros dipped in thick green pandan and coconut sweet custard (pa thong ko sangkaya). Afterwards, head to one of Chiang Mai’s many coffee shops for a strong brew. An excellent choice is Akha Ama, which serves coffee grown by hill tribe smallholders in the nearby mountains.

If you don’t have your own transport, hail one of the red trucks that act as taxis in Chiang Mai. They’re called songthaews and the price to anywhere inside the moat or just outside it is 20 baht per person for one journey. State your destination and simply get in the back if they agree to take you – don’t ask how much or you’ll be charged the tourist price. When you get out, pay your 20 baht and say thank you – girls say “kob khun khaa” and guys say “kob khun khrab!”

10:00: visit a temple

Hop on your motorbike or hail a songthaew and head up the mountain to Doi Suthep temple (this journey will cost more than 20 baht – don’t forget to haggle the price down!). The air up there is gorgeously fresh and on a clear day you can see all of Chiang Mai below you. Before you enter the temple make sure that your shoulders and knees are covered and remove your shoes. Wander around and take in the splendour of golden stupas, opulent Buddha statues and sonorous chanting. Light incense and candles, hear the tinkling bells and kneel in front of a saffron-robed monk to receive a traditional Buddhist blessing.

12:30: paddle in a waterfall and mini-hike

On the way back down the mountain, stop off at the lower falls of the gorgeous Huay Kaew waterfall (Huay Kaew nam tok) to paddle in the stream. The lower falls are behind a popular shrine and small food market that can be seen from the road. If you’re lucky a Thai family on a day out might offer you some fruit or tasty home cooked treats and ask you to join their picnic. There’s a lovely forty minute hike through the forest that starts at the bottom set of falls and climbs to the upper falls, following the stream. Drink lots of water! When you reach the upper falls, hail a songthaew down the rest of the mountain to go get lunch.

13:45: eat lunch

For a healthy meal in a relaxed atmosphere, head to Bird’s Nest on Singharat Soi 3, a popular café amongst the backpacker and digital-nomad crowds. Bird’s Nest chefs try to use only organic food, depending on availability. A delicious avocado and home-made pesto wrap will fill you up and a cold mint, lime and honey shake will refresh you – divine.

Eat street food if you’re on a strict budget. There are a lot of tasty choices on the way back to the Old City along Suthep Road. If the menu is in Thai, point at what you want and say “ow nee, kha / khrab”, which means ‘I’d like this, please!”

If you haven’t tried the big flat rice noodles, kale and egg cooked in soy sauce (pad see ew) yet, try it. It’s the ultimate Thai comfort food. When you’ve finished, order a cha yen – traditional Thai sweet iced tea with tamarind juice, lime and optional milk.

15:00: chat with a monk

Ever chatted with a monk? Go to Wat Chedi Luang in the centre of the Old City. After looking around the magnificent temple grounds and reading the spiritual advice tacked on to the trees, head over to the ‘Monk Chat’ sign and… chat with a monk! You can talk (in English!) about pretty much any aspect of life with him and get a personal insight into Buddhist beliefs.

16:00: re-engergise in two blissful hours

Thai massage is energetic, like doing assisted yoga. It’s definitely worth investing in a two hour massage – you’ll feel amazing afterwards. It can be hard or soft depending on your preference. A polite “raeng raeng” means ‘harder, harder!’ and “bow bow” means ‘gently, gently!’

You can be massaged by a convict! For a unique massage experience, head over to the Women’s Correctional Institution Training Centre. These women are being trained in a sustainable vocation so that they can be masseuses when they’re released, rather than returning to a life of crime. Their massages are really, really good. It’s popular, so it’s a good idea to go early on in the day and book an appointment. Unfortunately you can’t make a phone booking.

Other great budget options are Green Bamboo Massage, and Lila Thai Massage.

18:30: eat dinner

For delicious cheap Thai food, head to North Gate and order food from one of the many stalls. Street Pizza is a seriously cool pizza place, popular with Thais and travellers alike. Vegetarians will want to check out Anchan in Nimmanhaemin, Imm Aim in Santitham or Pun Pun. Alternatively, head to the market early and pick something up as you wander around – there’s plenty to eat.

19:30: shop

There are two main night markets to choose from: the Night Bazaar is open every night and the Sunday Walking Street market is on, you guessed it, Sundays. Both are big and colourful with plenty of beautiful, strange, impressive and unique things to buy: handicrafts, furniture, clothes, accessories, fairy lights in a hundred different designs and art work. Prices are almost always negotiable so barter! Personally I prefer the Sunday market because you don’t have to dodge traffic. Even if you’re not all that into shopping the markets are still worth a visit for the great social vibe and all the different Thai food available.

Look out for the ‘ancient ice cream’ stalls for a tasty and cheap way to cool down. A fresh coconut, chopped open with a machete in front of you and served with a straw is ultra-hydrating and deliciously tropical.

21:30: watch Muay Thai boxing

Spend an hour or two cheering on the boxers at a muay Thai boxing stadium for around 400 baht. There are four places to choose from: Kalare Stadium, Thapae Stadium, Kawila Stadium and Loi Kroh Stadium. Kalare is more authentic and best for real fights, followed by Kawila. Thapae and Loi Kroh have more ‘show fights’ – like guys beating each other up in blindfolds. Have a beer, make a few bets and get loud! Ask your guesthouse for exact fight dates and times.

If you don’t want to buy roses or bracelets from the ladies and kids that walk around between fights, say “mai ow” firmly. It means ‘I don’t want it’.

23:00: drink

Get a songthaew to Ratchawithi Road and pick a bar. This is a great place to make friends before the partying starts. Be warned: Chang beer is cheap but gives you one hell of a hangover – the notorious Changover! Try Singha, Leo or Beer Lao instead.

23:30 – 00:00: party

Head to the infamous Zoe area on Ratchawithi Road, fondly known as The Square of Despair. The bars play music to suit many tastes, like pop, dance, ska, reggae and metal. Some of the bars have live music, others have DJs. There are often special nights with guest bands playing a set. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest nights.

God knows what time

When all the Zoe bars have kicked out, spill out into the row of food stalls. Tacos Bell is a firm favourite for drunken eats. Ask around to see where everyone’s headed next!

Still looking for ideas of things to do Chiang Mai?

Check out Travelog  for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit when traveling in Thailand.

Click here >> 

Image courtesy of Four Seasons Chiang Mai.


Article contributed by Amy – MyChiangMaiEverything.

Make it Your Resolution to Visit One of These Top Destinations in Asia in 2015

Wondering where to head to in 2015? Our Travelog local experts have gathered their top eight South East Asian destinations to visit in the coming year to satisfy your wanderlust and travel needs.

1.  Singapore, Singapore
Hotel – Marina Bay Sands
Local Delicacy – Chili Crab
Attraction – Sentosa Island


Recently crowned as Lonely Planet’s top place to visit in 2015, Singapore has more to offer as they are celebrating their Golden Jubilee this year. Join in as they commemorate this memorable milestone and relish the food, shopping, culture and atmosphere.

See All Singapore >>
SG50 Events Not to be Missed in 2015 >>
Top Things to do in Singapore in 2015 >>
Singapore Hotels to Check Out in 2015 >>

2.  Bali, Indonesia
Hotel – Ayana Resort and Spa Bali
Local Delicacy – Babi Guling (suckling pig)
Attraction – Seminyak

bali indonesia

Famous for its endless white beaches and bright blue seas & skies, Bali offers much more than meets the eye. Indulge in sumptuous seafood or wander around the many cultural Indonesian sites and check out what else Bali has to beyond the beaches and nightlife.

See All Bali >>
Top 10 Must Visit Places to Visit in Bali >>
10 Hidden Beaches in Bali >>
7 Unique Hotels in Bali so Cool You Will Want to Stay Forever >>

3.  Penang, Malaysia
Hotel – Armenian Heritage Street Hotel
Local Delicacy – Char Kway Teow
Attraction – Batu Feringgi

penang malaysia

Penang has been gaining popularity over the past few years and for good reason – cheap accommodation, delicious food and famous street art. Don’t be the only fella at the party who hasn’t visited Penang, hurry to Malaysia in 2015 to enjoy the current buzz and excitement.

4.  Mount Everest, Nepal
Hotel – Hotel Everest View
Local Delicacy – Lechón
Attraction – Sagarmatha National Park

mount everest philippines

Want to strike off something crazy on your bucket list in 2015? Climbing Mount Everest has to be the most incredible feat you can achieve in the New Year.  Join a tour group (the cheaper option) or go on a solo adventure to scale the highest mountain.

5.  Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Hotel – Thai Garden Inn
Local Delicacy – Gang Keow Wan (Thai Green Curry)
Attraction – War Museum at the Bridge

kanchanaburi thailand

Kanchanaburi, situated in Northern Thailand, is famous for its amazing nature (we’re talking cool waterfalls and a diverse range of flora and fauna), historical attractions and tiger and elephant farms. Kanchanaburi has still got some way to go before it hits the tourist trail, so head there in 2015 to beat the crowds.

6.  Luang Prabang, Laos
Hotel – La Residence Phou Vao
Local Delicacy – Chicken Laap
Attraction – Wat Sen

Temple in Luang Prabang Royal Palace Museum, Laos

Lesser known that other Laos cities, Luang Prabang is one of SEA’s hidden wonders. Located just 300km north of Vientiane, Luang Prabang is filled with many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, mountains, cultural and historical buildings, artifacts and not to forget, scrumptious Laotian food.

7.  Siem Reap, Cambodia
Hotel – Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor
Local Delicacy – Green pawpaw salad
Attraction – Angkor Wat

angkor wat cambodia

Home to the popular Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is a popular resort town – a gateaway from the capital of Cambodia. Siem Reap reveals the true natural beauty of Cambodia with its untouched rural areas. However, prices here may be a little higher than the rest of Cambodia, so do take note of that.

8.  Ngwe Saung Beach, Myanmar
Hotel – Ocean Blue Beach Hotel
Local Delicacy – Shan-style ‘tofu’ noodles
Attraction – Rakhine Mountain Range

ngwe saung beach myanmar

We definitely have to include another beach destination to the list, especially with the harsh winters in many countries all around the world. Ngwe Saung Beach is a little known wonderland with pristine beaches and exotic food. It is definitely a viable alternative to touristy Bali.

Still not sure where to go in 2015?

Check out Travelog  for more useful, up-to-date information on things to do and places to visit in Asia.

Click here >> 

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) USC Marshall School of Business,  iLove-IndonesiaOnly Penang, Explorers Web, Go PixPic, Luxury Travel, Intrepid Berkeley Explorer, Travel Myanmar.

Still not sure where’s next on your bucket list for 2015? Check out these useful links for more ideas:

11 Invaluable Tips for Tackling Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market

Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market is famous for its bustling atmosphere, the huge variety of goods (ranging from animals to clothing to art) and how cheap everything is there. What’s a trip to Bangkok without going to Chatuchak? In order to help you make the best out of your trip to the Chatuchak weekend market, here are 11 tips for you.

1.  Familiarize Yourself With the Map

Chatuchak Market Map
Chatuchak has 27 sections and more than 8,000 stalls. To save time and not risk getting lost, look through the map and circle the sections that you want to visit the most before planning your route for the day.

2.  Directions to Chatuchak

directions to Chatuchak
Chatuchak Market is adjacent to the Kamphaengpecth Station (MRT) about 5 minute walk from Mochit Skytrain (BTS) Station and Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park) Station (MRT). However, taking a tuk-tuk is really cheap in Bangkok, so just hop onto one and you’ll definitely reach Chatuchak in no time (without getting lost).

3.  The Vintage Section

Chatuchak Vintage Section
If you are into vintage clothing, do check out Section 5-6. The variety of clothing, accessories and second-hand leather goods at dirt-cheap prices will surprise you. Do not purchase anything from the first few stores you see at the start of the section, the real 100-baht deals are hidden away from the front.

4.  Bring a Trolley Bag

Chatuchak Market Getting Around
With all the amazing deals in Chatuchak, you’ll definitely be buying truckloads of goods and lugging them around the market is going to be a chore. Bring a simple trolley bag that you can throw your clothes in and just wheel your precious goods around with ease.

5.  Replenish Your Energy

Chatuchak Market Food Stalls
The food in Chatuchak is delicious. From the famous coconut ice cream (look for the stall that not only sells ice cream, but also offers free coconut water), to the typical Bangkok street food to the mixed rice style stalls around, you’ll never go hungry while shopping.

6.  Keep Yourself Hydrated

Chatuchak Market Food and Drink
The tropical hot weather will leave you parched and in need of water. Our suggestion would be to bring a bottle of water so you can hydrate yourself wherever, whenever. However if you forgot to bring water, you can just purchase ice-cold bottles of beers, soda and mineral water from the vendors along the open main streets.

7.  You’ll Never See the Same Store Twice

Chatuchak Market Clothes Stores
If you are hesitant about buying something, don’t put it on hold and think that you’ll come back. The complicated layout of Chatuchak will ensure that you’ll never find the same store again – or you’ll spend hours looking for that same store. So if you really like something, just buy it!

8.  After Hours

Chatuchak Market Late Night
If you still want to continue shopping after the market closes at 7pm, the pedestrian walkways right outside the market comes alive with clothing and accessories stall till late. The goods offered are cheaper than the market but there’s less variety and less food stalls.

9.  Bargain, Bargain, Bargain

Chatuchak Market Retail
As with all the other shopping centres and markets in Bangkok, you have to bargain as much as possible. Do not show too much interest when you’re asking for the price and be prepared to walk away but do not expect a crazy 50% discount. The best you’ll get is a bulk discount.

10.  Shipping Companies

Chatuchak Market Shipping Companies
For those who simply bought too much, there are shipping companies like DHL and TNT available around the market. They will collect your purchases and send them back to your hotel so that you can continue shopping without any baggage.

11.  JJ Mall

Chatuchak Market JJ Mall
If you get tired of braving the crowds in Bangkok’s intense heat, head down to the 4-storey JJ Mall that’s only a 10 minute walk away. The mall is air conditioned with food courts, clothing stores (though slightly more expensive), actual restaurants and massage parlors. It’s a terrific place for cooling down and relaxing after a day of shopping.

Find more information on things to do in Bangkok, visit Travelog.

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Chatuchak.org, TripAdvisor, A Pair and A Spare, Keryhi.Can.Boleh, Uncle Tehpeng, Eat and Treats (6 and 7), BlueBalu, Alex in Wanderland, Man on the Lam, Global Travel Mate.

The Ultimate Guide to 24 Hours in Hong Kong

24 hours in Hong Kong - Dim Sum Breakfast – Lin Heung (Wellington Street)

1. Dim Sum Breakfast – Lin Heung (Wellington Street)

When in Hong Kong, eat Dim Sum.

By 9am, Lin Heung Tea House is noisy, crowded and has a line of people waiting to get in. The teahouse is one of Hong Kong’s oldest and is filled with people (mostly of the older generation) sipping tea, eating and chatting with one another. The menus are entirely in Mandarin and the waiters and waitresses are not known for their smiles and politeness.

Yet, be not afraid. Dining at Lin Heung is truly an experience. Walk right in (because no one is going to seat you) and find a table. It’s so crowded that there’s a 4 out of 5 chance you’re going to have to share it with a stranger, but this might prove helpful for those who are baffled by all the nuances in this bustling teahouse. If your neighbour has a fair command of Mandarin, go ahead and ask for help with the menu and they would probably have a good idea of what to eat.

The food is pushed out on carts and as the waiter and waitresses walk out of the kitchen, hungry customers leave their seats with their order sheets and grab the dim sum off the carts. While competing for your food might prove a daunting task, be observant and patient and you will get your fill of delicious dim sum soon enough.

Lin Heung Teahouse may serve dim sum that would fill your stomach but come here with an open mind and soak in the atmosphere of a traditional Hong Kong dim sum teahouse. Don’t come here looking for quality food, instead come for the experience.

24 hours in Hong Kong - Kowloon Park

2. Kowloon Park

After a filling and perhaps exhilarating meal at Lin Heung, head to Kowloon Park for some down time. Walk off your heavy breakfast as you wander through the expansive park that provides tranquillity and beautiful flora for you to admire.

Benches are scattered around the park for those looking to spend some time reading, chatting with a friend or even people watching. For the more active park goer, the Tai Chi groups practice in the mornings so join in for some early morning exercise. There is also a public pool and for a small fee you can enjoy some water fun. Lastly, for the wanderer, there are multiple ponds and aviaries with exotic birds that are worth taking a look at!

This serene and beautifully landscaped park is definitely an oasis in the middle of a bustling and busy Hong Kong.

24 hours in Hong Kong - Mongkok

3. Mongkok

Now that you’re all recharged after a nice morning stroll, throw yourself back into the hustle and bustle that characterizes Hong Kong.

Mongkok is made up of many streets that sell anything and everything. Stop for a quick bite (if you’re still full from breakfast) or go on a food trail, sampling street food from every stall that interests you. Hong Kong’s street food isn’t for the faint hearted though, from the ‘stinky toufu’, to offal in a bowl or on a stick to the more ordinary but still interesting, ‘curry fishballs’, you will definitely be spoilt for choice.

When you’re done with eating, follow up with some shopping at Ladies Street. This is where you’ll find clothes, accessories, cell phone covers and even handbag counterfeits. Mongkok is made up of several markets but if you don’t have time for all, Ladies Street is where the best deals happen.

Central, Wan Chai and Kowloon from Victoria Peak

4. Victoria Park

One of Hong Kong’s top destinations, Victoria Peak provides 360-degree view of Hong Kong. Take the peak tram, which was first opened in 1888 (of course, thoroughly maintained and upgraded today), which goes up a steep incline but provides marvellous views on the way up. For photo opportunities, sit on the right side of the tram when going up – you’ll have breath-taking views of Victoria Harbour in the background.

At the peak, be in awe of Hong Kong’s city skyline. The mix of old buildings and skyscrapers can be seen as you overlook Hong Kong with a birds’ eye view. Look out for the map that pinpoints well-known buildings in the city and play a game of ‘spot-the-famous-landmark’, which could make for a fun activity either with friends or family.

If you stay long enough till sunset, watch as the city comes to life at night. Lights start to fill the landscape of every colour, pattern and intensity. Colourful neon boards flicker in the distance against the backdrop of yellow and white building lights. Definitely a pretty sight to behold!
24 hours in Hong Kong - Temple Street Night Market

5. Temple Street Night Market

Head back down and straight to the Temple Street Night Market. Come up close and personal with the flashing neon lights you saw from afar at Victoria Peak. This place will be packed with people, sounds and smells (as is the rest of Hong Kong) but this night market sums up the cultural experience in the busy city.

Restaurants, cafes and street vendors dot the streets at night contributing to the variety of food available on Temple Street. From fish to shellfish, it’s a pretty common sight on Temple Street as the Hong Kong-ers are very fond of their seafood. So, choose from a wonderful seafood spread to a bowl of piping hot beef/chicken/pork/ wonton noodles, Temple Street will not be short of food for the hungry traveller.

After dinner, continue with your shopping. This is the place to buy your last minute souvenirs both for yourself or someone else at a relatively cheap price. For the avid bargain hunter, Temple Street Market will definitely suit your fancy as you navigate through crowded streets, flanked by stalls selling trinkets of all sorts.

Whether or not you’re big on shopping, Temple Street Night Market is definitely a must go even if its to soak in the atmosphere. A cultural experience not to be missed!
24 hours in hong kong - Tsim Sha Tsui

6. Tsim Sha Tsui

For those who prefer big malls and fancy brand names, head over to Tsim Sha Tsui instead of Temple Street Night Market. Tsim Sha Tsui offers a more glitzy nightlife with restaurants (which offer better service than in the markets) and pubs and bars to chill at after.

Serving up an international array of food, whether you are craving Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Italian, Thai and even Indian food, you’re bound to be able to find something to satisfy your cravings. After dinner, head over to one of the many pubs and bars for a beer with some friends to complete the night!

And if you think the night is still young, walk over to The Avenue of Stars along Victoria Harbour. If you’re done with dinner early, catch the Symphony of Lights – a ten-minute light show at 8pm featuring 45 buildings on both sides of the Harbour accompanied by music. It is definitely a sight to behold and if you think Hong Kong can’t get any brighter, this will prove you wrong. If not, walk down the avenue and see if you can spot any famous Hong Kong star. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be able to miss the 2.5metre statue of Bruce Lee.

See Travelog for more information on fun and interesting things to do in Hong Kong or click here.

Images (from top to bottom) courtesy of The Guardian, Reverse-Live Studio,  A View On Cities, Mortal Coil, China Private Travel and FMT News.

Your Essential Guide to Unusual, Alternative and Different Hotels in Tokyo


1.  Shinjuku Kuyakushomae Capsule Hotel

Everyone knows the Japanese are an innovative bunch, and this is shown in the multitude of capsule hotels across Tokyo as they make efficient use of space. This capsule hotel, although morbidly resembling a morgue, is far from it. Upon arrival, you are assigned to your little pod, which has a bed and a small television for entertainment. There is also a bath and sauna but these are shared facilities, which are pleasantly clean and sanitary. Be warned though, these capsules are not sound proof and for those who are light sleepers, its recommended that you bring ear plugs. For the sole woman traveller, this hotel has a floor specifically dedicated to women for safety purposes.


2.  Meguro Emperor Hotel

Opened in 1973, this hotel was pretty much the fairy tale dream come true. With its castle-like exterior, tourists flocked here to ‘ooh and ahh’ at the architectural wonderment. Gone is its’ heyday but yet it remains as one of Tokyo’s more unique hotels. The interior is lavish and the rooms are elaborately decorated with plush bedding, detailed wallpapers, glass chandeliers and marbled fixtures. This hotel may be targeted at couples looking for a romantic fairy tale getaway but it really is open to all who are looking to feel like a king and queen for a day (or as long as you stay for).

33.  Media Café Popeye

The Japanese love their Manga comics and it’s no surprise that they’ve come up with the ‘Manga Kissa’ or Manga cafes. These cafes run for 24 hours and have floor to ceiling bookshelves of manga comics and videos, clearly a manga lover’s haven. As more youths were staying out late watching and reading Manga in these cafes, lodging was provided. At Media Café Popeye, there is a smoking and non-smoking section and it has around 200 cubicles. You can choose your ‘room’ type which basically goes by the kind of seating it provides – a normal office chair, a comfy reclined chair, a flat seat where you can sprawl on the floor after a day of manga viewing or a ‘pair seat’ which are mainly for manga loving couples. There are shower facilities provided as well so you don’t have to worry about going home oily the next day. However this café is slightly different because it imposes a 12 to 5am power shut down to ensure that it’s users get a good night’s rest. A must-stay for any avid manga reader!


4. Hilltop Yamanoue Hotel

For all the history buffs and old souls, this will be the hotel for you. Used during the war by US army officials, it was converted into a hotel in 1954. Furnished with wood panelled walls, leather seats and carpeted floors, the Hilltop is classically styled and was an occasional hangout for famous writers, scholars. Service here is impeccable and if you want a temporary escape from the ultra-modern Tokyo, the old school charm of this hotel will be a well-received option.


5.  Sukeroku No Yado Sadachiyo

If you consider yourself a Japanophile, staying at a Ryokan should be at the top of your list. Providing a traditional Japanese experience, guests will be treated to sleeping on tatami mats and for the more daring, public baths (females and males are given allocated timings, of course). Wake up to a choice of either a Western or Japanese breakfast but go with the obvious to complete your experience of staying in Japan, Japanese style.

Traditional forms of entertainment are provided as well such as geisha dancing, traditional comedy and a course on proper Japanese dining and house etiquette. The staff at this Ryokan are both thoughtful and attentive providing tiptop service that’s worth the price you pay.

Note: Private baths are available as well for those who prefer to wash up in privacy.

66.  Komadori Sanso

High up in the mountains of Tokyo, lies a secluded two-storey wooden lodge and behind its doors, a tranquil escape that integrates traditional Japanese style of living with nature. Although the journey here might be a bit tedious, it is definitely worth the time and effort. The naturalist or anyone just looking for a place of serenity can come surround here to surround themselves with the natural beauty of the Japanese mountains. This place can serve as a spiritual retreat as well where you can head to the waterfalls to practice ‘Takigyo’ – a form of waterfall meditation. A must for an unforgettable and different experience!


7.  Claska

This quirky boutique hotel cum residence, which contains 20 rooms are all individualised and designed with a modern albeit personal touch. There are 3 rooms however that were designed by artists who were given free reign over how they’d like the room to be. One of the rooms is decorated with plush toys stuffed under the mattress and scattered around the room and another with framed up dried flowers to look like someone’s atelier. The weekly residences have walls with carving that are in the shape of a room’s inventory such as a hairdryer, a lamp or even a pair of headphones. This hotel is definitely where design meets comfort and it is recommended that you book ahead to secure a spot.

Find your Tokyo hotel here, or discover more things to do and places to visit in Tokyo here.

Images (from top to bottom) courtesy of TripAdvisor (1, 5 and 6), Global Grasshopper (2 and 4) and VIP Liner.


The Ten Best Budget Hotels in Bangkok

Bangkok is a wonderland filled with rainbows and unicorns for the budget traveler with its cheap and incredible food, shopping and nightlife. And these low prices apply to Bangkok’s accommodation as well. A night in a budget hotel includes all that you can ever wish for – amazingly comfortable beds, mouth-watering breakfasts and not to forget, free WIFI.

Here’s a guide to the top ten budget Bangkok hotels that cost less than fifty dollars a night.


1.  Budacco Hotel

Just a stone’s throw away from the Pratunam morning market and Platinum Mall, Budacco is a little colorful haven tucked away from the busy, noisy Bangkok streets. With 48 spacious rooms in 6 different color styles and impeccable service standards, this is a shopaholic’s ultimate resting point.


2.  IMM Fusion Sukhumvit

This unique Morrocan-styled hotel is perfect for the budget traveler looking to unwind after a day of exploring Bangkok. IMM Fusion is one of the few budget hotels that actually have a beautiful swimming pool with many cozy lounge areas.  Though it may not be centrally located in Sukhumvit, cheap transportation in Bangkok makes this a minor, negligible concern in comparison to the wonders IMM Fusion offers.


3.  Citin Pratunam Hotel

Looking for a one stop budget hotel in the Pratunam area that will cater to all your needs? Citin Pratunam is your answer. They offer the most comprehensive services, from the newly opened Citin Spa to the complimentary tuk-tuk service; all you need to do is check-in and enjoy the rest of your holiday – fuss-free.


4.  Dang Derm Hotel

Dang Derm is the perfect destination for those seeking convenience and comfort. Not only is it located in Khao San – the most popular street market, but it is also within a 10-minute radius of the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.  The hotel’s facilities and services are also in accordance with the highest standards.


5.  Tune Hotel Asoke

Located in Sukhumvit, Tune aims for convenient service at a discount price. Do not worry, this does not mean discounted facilities, Tune’s beds are said to be made by the same manufacturer who produces beds for 5 star hotels. On top of their excellent facilities, Tune is a short walk from popular mall, Terminal 21 and the nightlife centre of Nana.


6.  Best Western Klassique Sukhumvit

Another Sukhumvit gem, Best Western is ideal for those looking for an authentic retreat in Bangkok. Away from the tourist spots (though still easily accessible by the cheap public transport), the hotel is surrounded by local night markets and restaurants. You’ll be able to experience living like a Thai local, the only difference is that you’ll be sleeping in luxury every night!


7.  Lemon Tea Hotel

The concept of Lemon Tea Hotel is ‘Casual, Easy, and Fresh,’ much like drinking a glass of lemon tea. Sticking true to its values, the hotel is cozy and clean with exemplary service. What sets it apart is the impressive minimalist style that’s great for photo opportunities. Get ready to whip out your camera and spend hours just photographing this picture-perfect hotel.


8.  Check Inn Chinatown by Sarida

Check Inn is a little sanctuary situated in the heart of one of the most vibrant areas of Bangkok – Chinatown. Among the frantic shopping and delicious street food stalls and restaurants, Check Inn is hidden away from all the hustle and bustle. Get a good night’s rest here and enjoy all that Bangkok has to offer.


9.  Asia Hotel Bangkok

Situated in Siam – one of the most expensive areas in Bangkok, Asia Hotel has the splendor of a 5 star hotel with the price of a budget hotel. The prices here are actually just a little out of our budget for cheap hotels but we couldn’t resist recommending it. Where else can you pay little more than $50 a night for entertainment (we’re talking about the famous lady cabaret show in its in-house theatre), two swimming pools, gyms and spa? Be prepared to be dazzled by Asia Hotel.

Find out more about the Asia Hotel Bangkok here.


10.  Ziniza Place

Ziniza Place is an oasis for families who are looking for luxury without the hefty price tag. The best part of Zinizia is its location – close to Bangkok’s finest shopping malls, restaurants and famous tourist spots. Its close distance to the Chatuchak Weekend Market at Bangsue station only adds to the benefits of staying in Ziniza. Stay close to the action and retreat swiftly back to your hotel for a relaxing time whenever the children start getting tired.

Find your budget Bangkok hotel here, or find more things to do and places to visit in Bangkok here.

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Budacco.com, Asia Web Direct, Citin Pratunam, Dang Derm, Tune Hotels, ebookers.com, Lemon Tea Hotel, Check Inn, Asia Web Direct and Ziniza.