Okay, so you are not really going to live like a king at this place. The rumour goes that it used to be filled to bursting with NGO staff, but now times are hard and the rooms are vacant. So for under $10 for a double room with fan, bathroom and cable TV, who's complaining?
Prek Mohatep Village, Khum Svay Por, 50m from Psah Nath Market
Phone: +855 16 944 955 / 16 912 034 / 12 894 862
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Or just let the touts bundle you into the minibus at your point of arrival.
Though most independent tourists hire a moto to take them round the ruins, if you're up to it hire a bicycle and head out in the delicious cool before sunrise.
It is quite a long ride (at least 40km there and back, including the distances between the temples), but you'll have the freedom to explore Angkor at your leisure without the heat, crowds and the pressure of knowing your driver is hanging around waiting for you. It'll also help you see the country more like the locals do, though remember never to venture off the main roads and tracks due to the landmine threat. Wear a krama to spare you the dust and sun.
Available to hire from several guesthouses for a couple of dollars per day.
The Inner Amsterdam Student House is a great budget place to stay. It has dorm rooms, but I stayed in a twin-room with ensuite bathroom for 40 euros for the night (November). Unfortunately I left too early for the free buffet breakfast. It is situated behind the Concert Hall, with the Van Gogh museum nearby. From Centraal Station take tram #5 to Museumplein (the tram starts from Centraal so that's the only direction it's headed). Trams takes about 15 minutes, it's then about 2 minutes walk away.
Wanningstraat 1, 1071 LA Amsterdam, Tel: +31 (0)20 662 5792, www.innerhotel.nl
A great budget place, right on the Kwai. Rooms are based around a large, green garden area, looking over the river with plenty of hammocks for chilling out. They do good food & drinks as well, although it's best to avoid the terrible selection of movies they show in the evening.
28 Soi China
A swanky but cool cocktail bar in downtown Siem Reap that serves *huge* cocktails for only a few dollars each. Get there for the 6-8 happy hour and a group of 4 can easily get into the party mood for less than $12.
Tel: 016 962 026
Extraordinary remains of monumental civilization dating from 7Ad-13AD:Angkor wat is the most famous temple of the complex, and can be seen on Google earth satellite pics. There are a whole lot of temples, and a stay of at least 5-7 days is recommended. Best time to go is between Nov-March, but the rainy season, from July-October is also good. Great photo ops, and a fascinating culture and people, who, in spite of the Khmer Rouge years and civil war, are friendly and approachable. But be careful of bag snatchers, and children begging in Siem Reap town. Read some guidebooks like Lonely Planet, but dont believe everything it says.
Siem Reap is linked from Singapore on Jetstar airways, from Bangkok on Bangkok Airways, but this last is a very expensive flight.The Singapore link is recommended. There are lots of cheap accommodation in Siem Reap from $5 per day upwards.
If you arrive at Siem Reap by bus, you will be 'greeted' by wave after wave of moto drivers, all offering rides to guest houses for 500 riel. There was a security guy keeping them at bay with a stick when my bus arrived! Beware - the price seems far too cheap, and it is. Once they've got you on the bike, they'll give you the hard sell to get you to hire them to be your guide around the Angkor temples etc. It's better to negotiate a realistic price with them (around 4000 riel) and then choose your guide yourself once you've checked into your hotel and freshened up etc. Much better than trying to negotiate while screaming along Siem Reap's streets on the back of a bike!
Siem Reap, bus station
My money saving idea - lunchtimes on the Alps can cost you between £8 and £25 per day! If you're on a budget ski holiday then make the most of your half-board chalet. 1. drag yourself down to breakfast. 2. add several extra slices of french bread, ham & cheese to your plate 3. create a selection of ham and cheese rolls 4. when no one is looking, take out your serviette and wrap around (discreetly) your freshly made rolls, and hide quickly in a pocket or bag... et voila, enjoy on an uncrowded rock, with a view of your choice... ALL FOR FREE!
Wonderful, family-run neighbourhood Greek restaurant. Fresh fish and meat are cooked on an open charcoal grill and there is a great selection of starters. This place is better than many tavernas in Greece and is very reasonably priced. Try the lamb chops or any of the fish/sea food dishes.
122 Junction Road
020 7272 0318
Tufnell Park or Archway tube (Northern Line). Also on 134 and 390 bus routes.
Lovely street in Clerkenwell lined with independent shops and very good restaurants (Exmouth Market's the home of Moro, a restaurant that kick-started the regeneration of the street ten years ago).
When I strolled down recently there was a new outdoor food and craft market. I was very very pleased to see that Neals Yard Cheese had a stall as usually you have to trek to Covent Garden or Borough market for their cheeses. Was lovely to be able to buy some really good, and not ridiculously priced food but wihout the business of some of London's other markets. I think the market's only there on Friday and Saturday; a lovely way to while away a weekend afternoon, especially as there are lots of tasting opportunities and a really good mix of well-known companies and tiny cottage industries.
Off Rosebery Avenue near Farringdon Road.
Nearest Tube is Farringdon
website is www.exmouthmarket.co.uk
If you're looking for reasonable kids’ ski wear, head straight to TK Maxx. I recently bought my son a designer jacket that had retailed at £160 for £25! A complete bargain that I'll be able to sell on ebay when he grows out of it!
Indian restaurant in Randwick, not too far from the SCG, in case the Army are suffering from Indian cuisine withdrawal symptoms. Great food and nice price. BYO too, bottle shop near-by.
Bombay Bloomers Indian Restaurant
Google map: tinyurl.com/onfk4p
Bali Bali is a Malaysian restaurant just off Cambridge Circus, in the heart of theatreland. Excellent food and great service in a relaxed, bustling atmosphere and at budget prices, this is my favourite restaurant in London.
150 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2. Nearest tube is Leicester Square (walk north) or Tottenham Court Road (walk south).
Having had more than a few ski holidays with the major holiday companies I wanted something cheaper, and the only alternative I could find was to use the big companies to book self-catering accomodation. Then I discovered the French youth hostel website (FUAJ). Cheap accomodation and the most amazing food - and lots of it! One year I couldn't take a whole week off to go boarding so had a long weekend, something that is much harder to organise through the big companies, who tend to deal only in week-long packages.
I speak a little French while the friends I went with don't, but they didn't find it weird being in a hostel where everyone else was French. Yes, you have to organise your own transport but in my experience more and more people are doing this anyway.
I learnt to ski in Bodmi just a couple of years ago. It is easily accesible, parents can leave their kids over there whilst enjoying the slopes and offers a great meeting point for the skiers. From time to time they also offers night skiing practise which is really cool!
Bodmi is located in the little village of Grindelwald, Switzerland. Getting anywhere in Switzerland is easy as their transport system is way better than what we know in the UK.
Fly to Zurich and then either hire a car or, as I chose, hop on a double decker train with panoramic windows for a 4 hour train journey to Grindelwald, you willl need to change trains at least once so bear that in mind when thinking whether to pack those extra pairs of shoes...
All the main hotels are very close by to the train station but if yours is a bit further there are nice reliable buses available and also taxis. Save up on hotel expenses staying at a youth hostel (they do individual rooms if you ask!) and shopping at the local supermarket. The endless fun you will have at the snowy slopes will pay off!
Bar Mleczny (literally "milk bar") is a type of very cheap restaurant, which serves Polish national dishes. Bar Mleczny Turystyczny, situated right in the centre of lovely marine city of Gdansk, is a unique place, in which you can have a quality full meal for as little as 50 pence. You can often meet backpackers from different parts of the world there.
80-835 Gdańsk, Szeroka 8/10, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_mleczny
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