Siem Reap Hostel: Garden Village Guesthouse and Pool Bar

Cambodia can be pretty awesome when it comes to accommodation and they can be pretty cheap if you know what and where to look for them. You might also be surprised on how epic they can be. So on my first Indochina trip last year, I made sure to find the best hostel that I can and I think I found one of Siem Reap’s hidden gem of an accommodation The Garden Village Guesthouse and Pool Bar

Location

This hostel is tucked in along one of the small alleys of Sok San road just about a hundred meters off of Pub Street and the Night Market road making. Its location is ideal as it makes points of interest are just walking distance

The hostel also has a 24 hour reception so anyone can check in at any time that they arrive in Siem Reap. They also offer free bus station and airport transfers!

Rooms

Most of the rooms are air conditioned so you don’t have to worry about melting under the Cambodian weather. They are also cleaned every day by the hostel staff making sure that you are comfortable during your stay. The bed I had was in an 6 bed room (I don’t like big dorms) though they also have bigger dorms (16  and 8 bed dorms) that costs way lesser. If you are looking for some more privacy they also offer private rooms at a very affordable price.

 

Facilities and Service

As the name suggests the hostel features a nice pool and a bar that comes alive at night with backpackers trying to have a great time. Drinks are also at a reasonable price and I’m pretty sure that you’ll have an epic night partying. This Siem Reap hostel also has a nice soccer and beach volley ball court where you can play a good game with your new found friends.

Siem Reap Hostel

The best part that I love most about this hostel is that they have a 24 hour kitchen where you can order their awesome drip coffee at any time of the day, yeah coffee addict here. How much is their coffee you might ask? 1 freakin’ dollar! This Siem Reap hostel also amazes me of their service. Hostels usually tend to be lean towards being self service, but the Garden Village Guesthouse and Pool bar has a ridiculous number of staff at any given time that are ready to assist you of anything that you need giving you some sort of Hotel vibe. They also have a concierge desk where you can book your bus tickets which is awesome since they’ll also be the one who’ll coordinate with the bus company to pick you up from the hostel.

 

Siem Reap Hostel

Siem Reap Hostel

How Much This Siem Reap Hostel Costs?

Now here’s the bomb. You can get a bed at this hostel for as low as $4 for their non air conditioned dorm, the bed that I got though only costs $6! I mean, I’d be staying with lesser people in a room that is air conditioned. You just can’t over look what value that extra $2 gives you. Yeah that cheap!

There are other Siem Reap hostels that you can find that has pool but I think the Garden Village Guesthouse and Pool Bar is one of the best there is in Siem Reap.

 

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Singapore Hotel: Marina Bay Sands

As a backpacker, you know that I am not a big fan of luxury accommodations. So when the opportunity came to experience the hotel at no cost (thanks to my cousin – so pretty 😉 ) I jumped into it right away. The Marina Bay Sands, located in Marina Bay in Singapore, is an integrated resort touted to be the most expensive in the country. The property is not only famous for offering 5 star service. The building it self has become a tourist attraction as its top shows to be shaped as a big ship.

Marian Bay Sands

While the Marina Bay Sands hotel also has a massive shopping mall and casino. The main draw for non gambling tourists is actually the ship shaped roof deck of the hotel.  The roof deck allows people see Singapore from a bird’s point of view during the day and a crazy party spot at night. While the viewing deck and the roof deck club is a great spot, people actually check-in in the Marina Bay Sands because of its unbelievably beautiful infinity pool.

What I Like About The Marina Bay Sands

The Rooms

Obviously, the Marina Bay Sands exudes luxury throughout the hotel. The rooms are spacious and offers a great view of  either the Gardens by the bay or a gorgeous view of the city.  The room that we got at first was the Grand Club Room thinking that it was on the higher floors. The room was spacious at 79 sqm with a stunning view of the Gardens By The Bay. However, since we were looking for a room at the higher floors at tower three we asked to be relocated. Why? Tower three has the access to the Infinity pool and it would be more convenient to access the pool from the higher floors. We made a mistake of booking the Grand Club Room assuming it would be on higher floors. We thought so because it was more expensive, well lesson learned. Thankfully the hotel was easy to deal with.

marina bay sands

 

The Infinity Pool

One, if not the biggest draw for people to stay in the Marina Bay Sands is the Infinity Pool. It stands to be the worlds largest rooftop infinity pool there is. Honestly, I never imagined my self seeing this awesome view from the pool. Like I said I am not a fan of paying so much, yet still the rooftop infinity pool was something to experience at least once in a lifetime. Yeah, you can call me lucky.

The Infinity pool faces the beautiful Singapore skyline. Since check in time was at 3 PM we only got to catch the sunset and it was beautiful. The pool may be a bit crowded that day since it was a weekend but the view was still mesmerizing. We enjoyed the sun while lounging on the sun beds until sunset.

Marina Bay Sands

 

marina bay sands

The Location

The Marina Bay Sands is very accessible. In fact, it is directly connected to one of the MRT Stations. It’s that convenient! The hotel is also just across the Gardens By The Bay so I just crossed the street and I was there! The Merlion and the famous Singapore skyline is also just a short walk away from the hotel passing by the Science Museum and Esplanade and through the iconic Helix Bridge.

What I Didn’t Like About The Marina Bay Sands

Thinking that the Marina Bay Sands is one of the most expensive hotels in Singapore, I was quite surprised about their pool. Why? Well, the pool is freaking cold!!! Yep the infinity pool is not heated. I had to brave the cold water on sunset. Your body will eventually adapt, of course but it could have been a way more comfortable if it was heated!

Another thing that I felt off about the hotel is when we checked in. Checking-in an expensive hotel should feel classy and sophisticated. But when we checked in at the Marina Bay Sands, it felt like we were in a Mall! The interior felt too stiff that even the high ceilings didn’t compensate the feel that I was looking for. The staff wasn’t actually that bad, but I feel that they could be a bit more polite and warmer. Just saying that I’ve experience better hospitality before.

What I Think About The Marina Bay Sands

If you can afford it go ahead it is worthwhile experience. Sitting at the roof deck under the Sun in the morning and watching the Sunset at night was awesome. But if you feel that you’d actually spend this into something more and stretch it further I’d say skip it. What I am just trying to say is that do it only if you really like it. I don’t have strong recommendation like it should be a must do, that your Singapore experience will be incomplete without it. But then it would be like a cherry to your icing if you do. If you have around a hundred USD and couple more friends to split the cost with and you want it, go push for it!

 

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Got a different experience with the Marina Bay Sands? Leave your story at the comment section, let us know!

Taipei Hostel: Meander Hostel

Booking hostels can be bit tricky. Sometimes you see really good photos and ratings but when you just get disappointed when you get to your room. I wanted to have a great experience on my return trip to Taipei which happens to be my birthday trip as well ^_^. S0 I pulled up and search for Taipei Hostels in Agoda.com, sorted it out starting with the cheapest ones and checked out the ratings. I was surprised finding a high rating property within my price range and yes the rating is true!

What I like about Meander Taipei Hostel

As soon as I step in I was warmly welcomed by the Meander Taipei Hostel staff, like genuinely warm. I noticed that their lobby offers this wide open common area where every one can interact. As soon as I checked in I was toured around the area by their the wonderful Sarah, she’s just so bubbly I love it. She showed me to the kitchen area where breakfast was being served and just right across it are the viewing area and a huge dining table where everyone can talk while eating.She then introduced me to their events wall. If you don’t have anything planned out when you get here, all you need to do is just check out what is happening on the events board. There’s always something to do everyday!

Meander Taipei HostelReception with their cool staff.

Meander Taipei Hostel

Meander Taipei HostelNot gonna run out of things to do with the events board!

You rarely see hostels with good beds real beds, some of them even just use foams and throws in a linen and a pillow and that is it. Meander Taipei Hostel actually provides you with real beds, yes the not a futon or a foam but some real mattresses and it sure was comfy sleeping on those. Aside from linens they will also provide you a comforter which is awesome specially that Taipei weather can be a bit chilly at times. The only set back is that you have to bring your own towel, which is I feel isn’t a big thing considering that they offer far more quality than most hostels.

Meander Taipei HostelGet the privacy you need with these capsule design bunk beds

Meander Taipei HostelYour own socket, USB charging dock and light in your capsule!

They have about 188 beds where 28 of them are private rooms while the rest are dorm rooms. It is also notable that they don’t put more than ten beds in a single dorm so it doesn’t get too crowded. WiFi is also excellent ideal for Digital Nomads who take their work with them to where they go.

The hostel has this youthful vibe that makes you just want to hang out in the common area and chill out with other travelers. They also have a culturally diverse staff allowing them to support most major languages if you don’t speak English really well.

Meander Taipei Hostel is located about 500 meters from the Ximen MRT station where you can find lots of stores and food shop. You can just walk around and enjoy the local events and have a good time without getting far from the hostel. But if it is just breakfast to startup your day is what you are looking for, there’s not even a need to get out of the hostel. Your booking with Meander Taipei Hostel includes breakfast which is served at the kitchen area from about 7 am till past 10 am.

Meander Taipei Hostel

 

How To Get To Meander Taipei Hostel

From Ximen MRT station just walk straight west through Chengdu road for about 500 meters.

Meander Taipei Hostel Map

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Bangkok Hostel: The Flying Cow, A Value Hostel

Finding a good and cheap hostel in Bangkok can be quite a challenge, sometimes you just can’t get both. But I was pushed to find a hostel near Khao San road because I need to figure out how am I gonna travel going to the city. I wanted to travel efficiently not wasting anytime so I picked one.

Using my booking app on my phone searched for the hostels near the are I wanted to be and sorted them out via price ranging from lowest to highest and saw The Flying Cow Hostel on the top part . I read through the reviews because most of the times cheap means bad service or dirty rooms. However, it seem like it was okay specially that it was just for about 200 Baht. So I went ahead and book.

The hostel has a cafe down stairs where you can order cheap beer and good breakfast, though it does not open till 8 AM, so most of the time I find my self eating along the streets of Bangkok. Believe me I am not complaining, the Bangkok food scene is already worth one trip.

I reserved for a bed in a four-bed-room dorm where I got the top bunk. I actually was bummed initially because of course the the lower bunk is like the prime real estate spot in a dorm room. Then again, the hostel turns the air conditioning off from 12 pm till 6 AM so being at the top bunk with a big open window beside me was a blessing in disguise.

The Flying Cow hostel is a straight forward hostel giving you what you need on the road, good clean beds, air conditioning when you sleep and a good access to food areas. It is also a good 10 – 15 minute walk going to Khao San and Ram Buttri alley (Soi Ram Buttri) where most of the night scene is at.

I felt self while walking at night around my hostel’s area, but of course you still must observe the usual caution.

The Flying Cow Hostel indeed delivered to be a good and cheap hostel in Bangkok and I would highly recommend it!

You can book them through  5_logo_booking-435x712x-435x712x  or   agoda-logo

Note: this post is the sole opinion of the author who is not associated with the hostel in anyway. 

Where To Stay In Hong Kong: Dragon Hostel

 

where to stay in hong kongHong Kong is a ultra dynamic city that never sleeps and staying in location that offers quick access to the train and basic things such as restaurants, convenience stores and a like can be easy so long as you stay within the city centers like Kowloon.

However, getting clean and decent rooms can be challenging specially with so many competing hostels that there is.

After searching over and over the internet for the best and affordable place that there is, review after review we ended up booking Dragon Hostel and yes with no regrets.

Dragon Hostel sits at the heart of Kowloon just a block off from the nearest MTR station. Convenience stores and restuarants are within reach and the neighborhood it sits in offers affordable basic commodities.

 

The building has four elevators two on each side servicing just fifteen floors. Though the elevators, since they are smaller than standard once can be a bit crowded at times it can be a lot more forgiving than the Chung King Mansions -which we suggest should be your last resort.

Dragon Hostel offer rates that are reasonable, I tell you if you get prices lower than what they offer better think twice of how decent they are.

where to stay in hong kong

Overall, our experice with Dragon Hostel was excellent the wifi was fast -like really fast, the beds and the room and the bathroom were clean and no bugs! The rooms a bit small specially for westerners but that is just how the roll with Hostels in Hong Kong. What made our stay extra special was being at the heart of the action where all those haggling and bartering happen.

Like they say there Hong Kong has two faces – Central and Kowloon, and Kowloon is the face of Hong Kong that I love.

Here are the good points I have for Dragon Hostel

  • Clean
  • Accessible and near the MTR
  • Near food stores and convenience stores
  • Friendly Staff
  • I found no bugs in the room
  • Has CR inside
  • Best price there is for quality hostels
  • Offers various assistance for travel
  • Offers discounted rates for Hong Kong attractions

Cons

  • Staff isn’t that good with English but will do their best to help you
  • Elevator sometimes gets too busy going down, but there are four of them so just be patient and it is better than what Chung King Mansion has.

Quick Tip

You can also buy your tickets for amusement parks at the reception at a discounted rate!

If you find this review helpful please help support us by booking through Here where you’ll find the best prices available

>>>Check out my Hong Kong Travel Guide Here<<<

 

Travel Guide: South Korea

The Land of the Morning Calm as we know it, surely you will find the calmness of the Koreans even if the city is bustling. Everybody walks with a certainty in their aura that kinda tells you that they know that everything is going to be alright. It may be the most connected city in the world in terms of technological advances but it is also one of the most traditional and I am sure that as you experience South Korea you’ll never see how people live with technology and tradition the same way ever again.

Visa Requirements

The Republic of South Korea is an OECD member state and provides special considerations for visitors who are either citizens of member countries or have valid OECD member state visas.

Here are the countries with visa agreements with South Korea: CLICK HERE

For Philippine Residents South Korean visas are provided free of charge for short visits and a minimal fee is charged for work and long/business visas.

You may read more about visas for Philippine residents on the links below.

For visa requirements for other nationalities you may refer to the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs for more details

Points of Interest

Seoul

  • Coffee Prince Cafe [Links: Brownmantrips]
  • Nami Island [Links: AdventureAccounting]
  • The 5 Palaces of Seoul [Link: The Chosun Ilbo]
    • The Gyeongbok [Links: ]
    • The Changdeok Palace [Links: ]
    • The Changgyeong Palace [Links: Brownmantrips]
    • The Gyeonghui Palace [Links: ]
    • The Deoksu Palace [Links: ]
  • Jongmyo Shrine [Links: ]
  • N Seoul Tower [Links: Brownmantrips]
  • Bukchon Hanok Village [Links: ]
  • Korean War Memorial [Links: ]
  • Seoul Fortress [Links: ]
  • The Gates of Seoul
    • Namdaemun / Sungryemun (South Gate) [Links: ]
    • Dongdaemun / Heunginjimun (East Gate) [Links: ]
    • Seodaemun / Doneuimun (West Gate) [Links: ]
    • Bukdaemun /  Sukjeongmun (North Gate) [Links: ]
    • Dongsomun  / Hyehwamun (North East Gate) [Links: ]
    • Namsomun /  Gwanghimun (South East Gate) [Links: ]
    • Seosomun /  Souimun (South West Gate) [Links: ]
    • Buksomun /  Changuimun (North West Gate) [Links: ]
  • Cheonggyecheon Stream [Links: ]
  • Ehwa University [Links: rinicesillia ]
  • Myeong Dong [Links: ]
  • Han River [Links: ]
  • DMZ [Links: Kurtzky.com l AdventureAccounting ]
  • Mt. Bukhansan (Baegundae Peak)l [Links: weekendsidetrip.com]
  • Everland Amusement Park [Links: chyngreyes.com]

Busan

The Voice From Within: South Korea Trip 2013: Day 1 in Busan

Guiltless Getaways:  Busan City Tour

Ava Was Here: Touring around Busan in 28 hours

Jeju Island

Chyngreyes.com: Love, Sex, Magic at Jeju, S.Korea

Must Try Activities

Transportation

Going around South Korea is relatively easy as the government had made a good transport system not just going around cities but all throughout the country.

Upon arriving at the Incheon International Airport it is advisable to get as much information as you can at the tourist information counter at the left end of the arrival area. Before leaving the airport (if you can-lol) buy your selves a T-Card which will enable you to access the Subway and buses of Seoul and other major cities around South Korea. The T-Card is re-loadable and  if you are leaving South Korea already you can also refund the remaining credits of your card from the convenience stores in the airport.

A note though on Taxis, I was told that even though there are a lot of taxis around Seoul and that it is presumably convenient you would have to think twice first because they say that in Korea they really don’t find places with addresses but more of landmarks so make sure that you ask for landmarks before you hop on a taxi to your destination.

Accomodations

Here are accommodations that travel bloggers recommend

Food

You can’t say that you’ve been to Korea if you never tasted Korean food! It’s part of who they are and their culture so it is a must try. Food can be tough to order in Korea as really not all of them speak English, but I must say that they somewhat understand the language. Good thing about Seoul is that most of the places/restaurants have menus that have pictures so you can just point the food that you like and order!

Don’t forget to try their street food! They are awesome!!!!

Itineraries

If you blog and you have a post based from your experience that you would like us to link up here please do leave a comment below. 

Guiltless Getaways:  A Guide to Seoul Korea, a Life-Changing Trip

Neil Is A Wandering Soul:  The Best Tourist Spots in Seoul

ChyngReyes.com:  It’s Like Korea, But South!

Ava Was Here: 5 Things To Do In Seoul

 Adventure Accounting: Korea Winter Edition – Budget, Itinerary, Winter Preparation l Budget