Hanoi, Vietnam : Hanoi Celntral Backpackers Hoste

hcb

Address (Hostel 1) :
Hanoi Central Backpackers Hostel 
No. 16 Ly Quoc Su Street
Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Vietnam
Address (Hostel 2) :
Hanoi Central Backpackers Hostel II
No. 11 Hang Manh Street
Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Vietnam
Address (Hostel 3) : *the biggest, newest*
Hanoi Central Backpackers Hostel Old Quarters
No. 16 Thanh Ha Street
Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Vietnam

 

Charge: USD$5 per night for 8-beds dorm room with free simple breakfast froom 7:00am-10:am (all 3 hostels) and free flow of local fresh beer (bia hoi) everynight during beer-o’clock hour 7:30pm-8.30pm. Also other offers like free shots, cocktails, etc. (hostel 1 & 3). Also, free pub crawling guided tour with special deals!
All 3 hostels also offers private rooms at good rate.
  • Free wi-fi in a room and free computer/internet usage in common area.
  • En-suite bathroom/toilet in every dormitory, with hot & cold shower.
  • 24 hours air-conditioning
  • Balcony (hostel 1 only)
  • Hair-dryer to borrow from the receptionist

 

  • Laundry service for 30,000VND per kilogram
  • Taxi service to the airport for USD$15 per taxi, not per person
  • Tour service to many places including Ha Long Bay, Sapa & Perfume Pagoda
  • Bus, train and flight booking service for domestic & international routes
  • Visa service for any other countries especially Laos, Cambodia, Thailand & China

 

Note: This is not paid neither free advertisement for Hanoi Central Backpackers Hostel chain. 
Advertisements

Hoi An, Vietnam : A Quick One Night

Arrived in the morning from the most uncomfortable ride in a sleeper bus from Nha Trang to Hoi An. It was hell-ish 11 hours ride. Even valium not able to make me sleep! Arghhh!!!
Alert! Alert! Do NOT take your bus trip from this travel company – ASIA SMILE TOURS – their bus is SHIT! Not only it was really bad, they also took passengers from the street side and “forced” them to sleep on the floor. Oh my…
So yeah, arrive in the morning in Hoi An. Checked-in into the famous Sun Flower Hotel. I was kindda confused when I arrive at this hotel because the “scenery” look like a hospital. Too many injured youngsters in the lobby. Either waiting to check in or waiting for a bus to next destination. Some look really in pain, some look painfully drunk. *facepalm* The lobby was really super busy. Backpacks everywhere! Messy I must say. And the staffs, dang, they are fierce!
Anyway, this is the only hotel that provide dormitories. And the only hostel that I ever been that served buffet breakfast. I mean a proper buffet breakfast!!! Hell yeah!
hoi-an1
Yeah, it was a quick visit to this town. I didn’t even make my way to it’s famous Old Town area. But at least I went to the beach. It was a good, nice beach but I made a mistake to come to the beach for sunset because that was the time when all the Asian people that afraid of getting dark came out and play. LOL!
At night, I wet to Sun Shine Cafe as suggested by Jack & Tom that I shared room with when I was in Nha Trang. They served good food and 3,000VND bia hoi – buy 2 free 1. Hahaha! Awesome. I also would like to suggest this cafe to whoever that going to Hoi An. The cafe located at 46 Tran Cao Van Street. Please say HI to the server girl (owner’s daughter) and their lovely dog – Mickey.

Da Lat, Vietnam : The Central Highlands

If not because of Hannah & Thomas, I probably will never make a way to Da Lat and many other places before reached Da Lat. For that, thank you for Hannah & Thomas for invited me to join them for a road trip to Da Lat. Love it.
Starting from busy bustling crazy chaotic HCMC a.k.a Saigon, it took us 3 days 2 nights before reached Da Lat which only 310km from Saigon. It was not about the distance, it was about the attractive distractions, rains and crazy unbelievable bumpy road conditions that took us that long to be in Da Lat which normally it only gonna take 8 hours if you take a bus from Saigon. Hehehe…
On the way to Da Lat, not only we were distracted by the panoramic view but also waterfalls. Yeap! Waterfalls! We went to 3 waterfalls – Dasara, Dambri & Pongour. They were amazingly beautifully stunning waterfalls I ever been in my life. Alright, sound a lil bit exaggerating heh? LOL. But yeah, they were really interesting.
dalat
Dasara Waterfall – in order to get in/out from that waterfall, you have an option either to walk through a jungle or be like us – drove our own self-controlled roller coaster 460m through the jungle, scream and shout and let it out loud while the roller coaster stroll down the rails. Crazy!
Dambri Waterfall – This one is insane. A visitor gotta take an elevator down to the waterfall. Once you get out from the elevator, hahaha, you’ll get wet and soak from the powerful mists from the about-8-stories-building waterfall. No one swim there. tho. I guess because of the strong streams that stopped people from swimming. But it was really spectacular.
Pongour Waterfall – Normal waterfall compare to Dasara or Dambri. No fancy roller coaster or elevator. But the waterfalls itself is amazingly gorgeous. From the picture, it look like a man-made waterfall untill you see someone in the picture and realize how big the waterfall is. Crazy! Oh and the grilled corn served with chives oil… Haha!
So on the way to Da Lat, we also went to eat at quite few places and I am really fall in love with Banh Beo, a traditional Hue’s recipe of steamed tapioca cake served with croutons or crackers, shrimp, friend onion, minced meat and eat with sweet sauce which I believe made from fish sauce.
Also when almost reaching Da Lat, we stopped by and had an amazing home-made Vietnamese yogurts and artichoke tea. Really really good. Simple and healthy. No one should miss the yogurt!
Hannah also introduce me to this snack where beaten eggs spread on top of rice paper that still grill above the charcoal oven; mix with shrimps, onion, chives and chili sauce. Was simple but yeah, nice.
Da Lat itself is a very unique place. Cold, chill and rainy. I felt like “dude! I’m in Scotland!!!”. Hahaha! It was beautiful tho although it always rains. And in my opinion, there are so much to see and so much to do in Da Lat compare to Saigon. And the traffic less crazy, too. We also picked up a personal tour the last day we were in Da Lat. And before we went back to Saigon, we went to the “longest distance” cable car journey, overview Da Lat.
Note: In Da Lat, we stayed in this cute modern hotel named Tri Giao. For USD$25 a night consisted of 1 queen bed, 1 single bed, mini bar (fridge), LCD tv, wardrobe cabinet,  make-up desk, coffee table and chairs, shower/toilet with hot/cold shower.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : Metropolitan City With A Soul

Kuala Lumpur’s very own Petronas Twin Tower or known as KLCC with the locals is a significant trademark of Malaysia. RM64 (student price) – not complaining. Might sound pretty expensive but for the view and the experience to be on the sky bridge at 41st floor and the view point at 86th floor, it worth the price. I mean, come on, it is not you gonna go up there everyday unless you work there, right? Well, go, if you have a chance to go. A must-visit place if you come to Kuala Lumpur or your visit to Malaysia will be incomplete no matter how many pictures you take below/outside the twin towers.

kl

I stayed in Serendipity Backpackers that situated in the middle of Golden Triangle – Changkat Bukit Bintang – where all the bustling nightlife comes alive when sunset down. RM20 (without breakfast) in a 8-10 beds dormitory room. Pretty OK; with a/c, shared bathrooms/toilets with hot/cold shower. I like the common area where most of the backpackers who stays there hangout chit-chatting, online, watching movies and some just nap!
I also love Travel Hub Guesthouse situated in Chinatown @ Petaling Street. RM22 for a/c dorm, inclusive breakfast. Quite spacious compare to Serenity Backpackers. All beds comes with own power socket and reading lamp. The wifi much better here, too. The fact it is in Chinatown, it is pretty much easy excess to everywhere as the LRT and bus station is nearby.
Batu Caves is a must-visit place if you come to Kuala Lumpur. It is a sacred place for Indians/Hindus. It gonna take a little bit of hard work as you gotta climb up 272 stairs to reach the top.
The rest, ask me. Too many to write about Kuala Lumpur! It is a metropolitan city with soul!

Melaka, Malaysia : UNESCO Heritage City

Melaka @ Malacca “the historic state” is the third smallest state in Peninsular Malaysia located next to the Strait of Malacca (Selat Melaka). Just 2 hours bus ride from Kuala Lumpur. This historical city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 7th July 2008.
Malacca, is heavy influence by it then colony back in 16th, 17th century – the Portuguese; also the Chinese. And well-known for its Baba-Nyonya people. However, Malay still make quite a large population in Malacca. The Chinese people in Malacca especially from the Baba-Nyonya background speaks perfect 10/10 Malay language without any Chinese accent.
summlk
Lots of place to visit in this tiny city such as A’Famosa, Jonker Walk, St.John’s Fort, Melaka River Cruise, Portuguese Square, Taming Sari Tower, Stadthuys, Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum (if you are museum person), Fredrick Hendrick Bastion Archaeological Excavation Site, Bastion Middleburg, Kampung Hulu’s Mosque, Mini Malaysia & Mini ASEAN Park, and maybe shopping malls?
While in Malacca, I stay at the Roof Top Guesthouse. RM25 per night in a 4-beds dormitory. All single beds, no bunk beds. With a/c and quite big wardrobe cabinet, too. The owners of the guesthouse, a local couple were really friendly, helpful and informative. The wife will bake a pastry (roll bun or cake) at night for the guests’ breakfast the next morning. How awesome is that, eh?
I also hang out with the Couchsurfing Malaysia community in Malacca whereby they have their own “port” in the middle of the Chinatown called Zero Art Gallery.

Phuket, Thailand : Beach Bums

Me and Cori met again in Phuket after Krabi. She was at Phi Phi Island before.
We stay together at Pineapple Guesthouse @ Karon Beach area. I used to stay there back in 2009 if I am not mistaken. Quality, cleanliness, environment… still the same like before even the price too! I paid 150THB per night. It was considered low season or else the so-called normal price is 180-200THB. It is the price for 12 beds dormitory (fan) with 2 attached shared bathrooms/toilets. Also there are fridge inside the dorm to keep our food/drinks.
beachbums
We rented a motorbike for 170THB per day (24hours) and moved around from one beach to another – Patong, Karon, Kata, Nai Harn, Rawai…
And I would say Karon Beach is the best beach among all especially when it almost sunset when people no longer jam-packed the area. Back in 2009, Rawai was really really beautiful, clean and the water were so clear. But not anymore. Development took places… people become greedy of money. Sad.
Ahhh… but one thing that managed to make me happy. I got my Swedish meatballs fix again! Twice in Phuket 🙂 One nearby our hostel at Karon. One is somewhere on the way from Nai Harn to Rawai. Awww yeah!

Bangkok & Hua Hin, Thailand : Travel With John

After more than a month talking to each other about meeting up again finally we met each other again @ BKK Airport and then stay together @ Lucky Guesthouse near to Khao San Road just for 490THB per night. Queen bed, with windows, attached bathroom, hot shower, towels, blanket and nice linen. Oh, and TV too.
4 nights before that, I shared a room with Tara (I first met her when I first came to Bangkok 3 months ago) in Budget Guesthouse exactly in Khao San Road; until the day she left to India and John arrived, me and John moved to Lucky Guesthouse and spent number of nights together.
Bangkok1
This time around, no more sight seeing. Too lazy for that. Enough of temples. Tired of it. But never tired for party. LOL! We went partying 3 nights in a row. Crazy!!! And our favourite rave scene is The Club on Khao San Road. Of course there are lots of other clubs in Bangkok but The Club is just a walking distance, so why not?
Oh, I went to Siam Paragon cinema to watch Loopers staring Gordon Joseph-Levitt and Bruce Willis and I was baffled when people actually need to stand up to Thailand’s national anthem (even you are not local) few minutes before the movie started. That was new to me!
After Bangkok, we moved down south to Hua Hin.
Hua Hin is just 3 hours bus ride down south from Bangkok. Went there with John Joyce and we stayed at Mamas Guesthouse. Awesome guesthouse I must say. 700THB per night for king-sized bed, a/c, wardrobe cabinet, balcony with table and chairs, television, 2+3 sofa, side lamps, fridge, modern toilet and… JACUZZI! Yeap, you read me right – JACUZZI!
After months in SEAsia, for the first time, in Hua Hin, I managed to get my Swedish Meatballs fix from a Swedish restaurant called “Swedish Restaurant”. It was so good, a real Swedish meatballs with creamy mashed potato. Love it! I look like a drug addict that just got her cocaine fix. LOL!
HuaHin
Anyway, Hua Hin is the oldest and most traditional Thai resort combines the attractions of a modern holiday destination with the charm and fascination of a still active fishing port and its great 5 mile long beach.
But, John always left me alone at night to hang out with, errr… you know… those “girls”. Whatever.