The basics are executed very well here, from clean and bright rooms to the excellent location of all three of the Madame Cuc hotels in Pham Ngu Lao. The real bonuses are the use of free internet and wifi, breakfast, refreshing drinks and a simple dinner which are all included in the room rates. Madame Cuc's also appears to house the friendliest staff I have encountered to date, readily fussing over a hint of tiredness or lethargy with a Grandmother's care and attention.
It's in an excellent location not far from Union Square with trendy cafes within 100 meters. Rooms are ensuite and a lot more effort put in to the overall quality of the hostel than you will generally find in all of NYC hostels.
A posh location surrounded by Art Nouveau splendor. The hostel has extra large rooms all with original stunning floor boards. An excellent price considering that five-star hotels are being built in the streets around. WIFi in all rooms and WII games console in the common area.
Excellent waterfront lodging on Lake Atitlan. Accomodation ranges from dorms to comfortable cabins so suits all budgets. Located in the village of Santa Cruz it is accessible only by boat but a reasonably priced, copious dinner is offered every night with a vegetarian option. Laze in a hammock, go for a hike or use it as a base to visit the rest of the lake.
An excellent restaurant serving authentic, traditional Mexican ingredients in a modern style in a beautiful open air courtyard. Prices are high by Mexican standards so take advantage of the three course, 85 pesos lunch served only on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2.30-4.30pm and make sure to try the complimentary shot of single village mezcal bottled especially for the restaurant.
Alcala 403, about 5 minutes walk north of the Zocolo.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yfzabz9
Equity Point is one of the few hostels offering clean if cramped dorms right in the heart of Girona. Shared six bed dorms are around €15 per night, but you do get a very good free breakfast which you can eat as much as you want of.
There is also an adequate kitchen if you can't afford to eat out and want to cook your own food. The staff are really friendly and helpful.
But if you want to use the Internet - don't use their machines as they are ridiculously expensive (€2 just for 1 hour) - instead go to the cultural centre or library where you can use the Internet for up to an hour for nothing (but you must have your passport to show them to get this free usage). On the plus side, the hostel is within walking distance of the train and bus stations making it an ideal base for day trips from Girona. The hostel roof has a terrace with stupendous views of the old walled city of Girona.
We stepped off a bus from Phnom Penh after a seven hour journey and foolishly jumped into a taxi before checking costs etc.
Taxi driver charged us equivalent of c.$20 for a 5 minute ride.
He fiddled the meter and charged us in dong and we were not used to the exchange rate which added to our confusion. Our fault!
An area that is regarded as Ho Chi Minh's backpacker area. The Vietnamese equivalent to Bangkok's Kao San Road.
Plenty of bars (Go2 bar, Crazy Buffalo), travel agencies etc.
Centred around De Tham street
Google map: tinyurl.com/y86tlb6
Woodapple is in Hampton and gets its name from a strange Sri Lankan fruit of the same name (the fruit being hard skinned like a coconut but with an inner pulp like apple and berry pie filling according to our host)
So Woodapple serves Sri Lankan cuisine and does so superbly. There is a reasonable list of entrees but for mains the best choice is the hoppers (bowlshaped rice flour pancakes) filled with your choice of whatever curries are on the constantly changing menus. These are fantastic and come with some amazing chutneys. The coconut roti (bread) is also great. One thing we noticed is that vegetarians are well catered for with a surprisingly good choice of authentic dishes. The service was good, done by the either the lady owner and/or the chef.
Best of all, the prices are very nice and there is no corkage if you bring your own drinks.
427 Hampton St
ph 9598 7800
Woodapple is in the setback Hampton Village area of Hampton st shops and is about 200m north of Hampton station. Parking out front is free.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yfufnkk
A charming ecological hostel from the 1920´s with heating from wind power and a bed rock pump. It's by the small lake of Masnaren and has walking trails, canoeing and swimming right next door. It's also only 30 minutes away from central Stockholm.
NYC vacation rental market is swamped with blatant scams. It is safer to stick to airbnb.com or roomorama.com when looking for an apartment for short-term stay. Craigslist might still have the best bargains though, if you've got the time and patience to hunt for them. In order to weed out the scams, stick to two simple rules: after you've made contact with the person offering a place for rent, ask the magic question: "With all the scammers out there, could I please send a local friend over to take a look at the place before booking?" (doesn't matter if you really have anyone there who could go over, no reply = scammer). Second, do not pay anyone anything in advance unless there is a way to reverse the transaction (read: PayPal only). Anyone requesting full stay's rent plus a huge deposit in advance via bank transfer or money order is a scammer, and they're most likely using photos and descriptions stolen from legit real estate ads.
Right at the top of the Old City Walls, the magical vine-shaded terrace of Lady Pi-Pi offers drinks, sandwiches and an open grill far from the madding crowd with a great view of the Old Town's rooftops.
Vl. Dinko Minjkovic
+385 9 709 8644
Cute little subterranean dining room in Bari's old town, by the market. Scrumptious four course meal plus coffee at a very reasonable price. Heavy bent on seafood, fresh from local waters.
Really liked their riso, patate e cozze (risotto, potato and mussels) -- a signature Bari dish, and a grilled whole baby Octopus! Divine.
This drive takes you through pine forests and dramatic mountain scenery, via Sabie and Graskop. The old gold mining village of Pilgrim's Rest is also worth a visit. Along the way, there are many signposted waterfalls close to the road (admittedly not very big at times of low rainfall but still a good opportunity to have a short walk with gorgeous views). God's Window is a popular look-out place with spectacular views on a clear day. Along the way, there are many interesting rock formations (The Pinnacle, The Three Rondavels and Bourke's Luck potholes).
You have to pay a small charge to visit some of the waterfalls and also at Bourke's Luck Potholes. There are plenty of picnic spots but the cafes and pancake houses of Graskop are a popular alternative.
I have visited the Kruger park over 15 times with my family over recent years. Tom Kelly's overview of the Kruger gives the impression that it's hard to eat cheaply there - but the Kruger is a great pace for a budget family holiday. You can stay in cheap accommodation at most rest camps (usually fixed safari tents for two or four or budget huts for two-six which are spotlessly clean and have comfortable beds and a wash basin). In addition to more expensive restaurants, all the rest camps have cheap cafes and shops selling food so you can eat well indoors or have a BBQ (braai) under the stars for next to nothing. In general, most of the wildlife tends to congregate in the Southern area of the park (from Skukuza down to Crocodile Bridge and across to Malelane)so this is the area I would most recommend - but the Northern areas of the park have fewer tourists and thus are more peaceful.
A no-strings attached gem, the Weinerei offers unlimited wine, juice, and a meal for a one Euro fee (plus a donation on exit) in central Berlin.
The cafe itself is small, packed with locals and the wine isn't bad either!
A must-visit for budget travellers with a penchant for good wine, conversation and value.
HQ is the best hostel I've stayed in, in my entire life. The design is modern, minimal yet very functional. The hostel provided clean bedsheets, a large pillow and soft duvets. Gym facility and chill-out coffee and waffle bar are a plus. Breakfast and wifi are free. What more can I ask for for US$10/ night? The staff were super friendly and always helpful. Loved every second I spent there and will go back everytime I'm Bangkok.
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