Traveling to Thailand - 8 Places to Start Your Thailand Holiday

Bangkok the big mango

Bangkok is the ideal starting point for any Thai holiday and countless monstrous shopping centers and hundreds of clubs will keep you busy forever. The tourist's sights around the grand palace will be done in a weekend and if shopping is not your thing Bangkok have exit in all directions for very cheap prices by air, bus or train. It is also the home of Khosan Road the mysterious street that is the big starting point for every person who wants to be called a true backpacker in Asia. You will feel right at home with backpackers delight such as Star Bucks and Mac D that moved in a few years ago.

Pattaya the black pearl on the east coast of Thailand

Pattaya, discovered by the Americans during the south east Asia wars, built up by sun hungry men from the United Kingdom during the 1980s, invaded by Vikings in the 1990 and put to sleep until around 2000 when the Arab invasion started but was stopped by the Russian take over in 2006. People come to Pattaya to live, to play golf, to visit the many girl bars but they don't come to swim in the sea. Pattaya is not a ideal family holiday destination but Thai family's still flock her on big weekends to sit under huge parasols with their cloth while playing cards and eating sea food.

Issan the forgotten Kingdom

Not many tourists travel further north then Ayutthaya but more to the north east is the forgotten tourist destination if Issan (essan). Issan is what many people call the real Thailand and people from north east are the work horses behind all factories and rice farms in Thailand. On the big holidays you can see Bangkok shut down and the bus stations overfill with people trying to get back to the forgotten Kingdom. For people that want to travel where not many tourists have traveled before this is the perfect place to start your exploration of Thailand. Most backpackers skipped the north east of Thailand and headed straight for the northern parts so this is a hidden gem. You will not see many other white people besides the older settlers and their younger native wife's. Don't be surprised if some villages never seen a white person and that you will see Thai genuine smiles and hospitality. You can travel by bus but the best way to travel is by car or motorbike if you have the possibility.

Samui island the rebel outpost

Samui was from the beginning a big farm for Coconuts but most of them have been cut down or died in a disease and nothing is done to save them. Now Samui in south Thailand is a place for backpackers that could not leave Thailand because they did not want to back their suite job. They also could not get enough of trance music that coming from the island of Koh-Phangan. The former backpackers' have set up spa, yoga centers, cologne centers, wellness centers and just feeling happy because I smoke to much weed centers. Samui has real unspoiled beaches and bungalows by the sea and in the wet season the whole center get flooded. You can compare it a bit to Christiania in Denmark since the motorbike gangs also found their way here, it just more sunny.

Phuket the Andaman Pearl

Phuket is the starting point of every island hopping tour in south Thailand and many low cost carriers fly here every day from around the world. It the home too many expat and you will find the most ridicules prices ever for a house on this Island. Phuket is a perfect holiday detention for everybody because it has the nightlife, the clean beaches and cheap hotels if you look for it. Phuket has never really recovered after the Tsunami 2004 and the many hotels are empty most of the low season and real bargains can be found.

Krabi the Island kingdom

Who can forget the old James Bond movie "Gold finger" and the hidden Island near Krabi in south Thailand? If you want beaches, underwater exploring and quiet nightlife then Krabi is the place to go. It is also the place people go for rock climbing. Krabi has many spectacular five star resorts where the beach really belongs to you and not many tourists bother to travel down here.

Chiang Mai the northern realm

It does not matter how you spell it Chiang Mai, Chiangmai, Cheng Mai or Cheang Mai it is still the capital of northern Thailand. Many artists and culture personalities from both Thailand abroad have built homes here and they create a unique atmosphere in this northern part of Thailand. If you want to travel further north and visit the hill tribes of Thailand Chiang Mai is your starting point. The town has lost some of its charm to traffic jams and forest burning but in the cold season Thai travel so they can try on the glows and winter clothing's they bought in Bangkok. If you want to buy cheap Thai style furniture imported from Burma this is the play to go.

Hua Hin the new charter Paradise

Thai people think of Hua hin like a high society place and like to travel there by car and stay in posh hotels and visits expansive spas. The sea side resort is most famous because it's where the King of Thailand like has his summer castle. The tourists that come here are mostly charter and Hua Hin is perfect for families even it's is a bit difficult to get there. The beach stretches forever and ever year they play elephant polo here.

Samal Island's 5 Best Beaches

Aside from being the metropolitan society of the Davao region, Davao City also holds a remote island vibe that's undeniably captivating and calming at the same time. Housing an adjacent island that boasts pristine shores, crystal clear waters and world-class accommodations, a quick escape from the city is possible at any time of the year.

Samal Island is Davao's pearl as its beauty never fails to enchant its visitors. A tiny spec of land within the Davao gulf, many beach resorts are widely accessible by boat rides from the city's wharfs. To name a few of the most visited beach resorts in the island, here's a list below:

Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort

Just five minutes away from the city's wharf, this resort is the most accessible in Samal Island. Developed with top of the line accommodations, visitors can enjoy a day trip or a booked accommodation in the vicinity. The Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort is also perfect for those who just want to squeeze in a beach trip from their busy schedules. Because of its nearness, people prefer to take a quick break and just have lunch in the area. Moreover, the resort proudly features its bird sanctuary and mini zoo as well as its Bali themed huts that's all perfect for an island getaway.

Maxima Aquafun

For a different beach trip, Maxima Aquafun is something to put on one of your beach trip schedules. Forget about sun bathing and go for a water adventure as the resort is situated on the island's cliff areas. Featured on several national travel shows, Maxima's facilities are really something to look forward to. Get that adrenaline rush as you try the resort's water sports most especially the largest water slide in Samal.

Kaputian Park and Beach Resort

Perfect for the backpackers and those who are longing for paradise but are on a budget. Samal Island only proves that the beach is for everyone. Owned and managed by Samal's local government, guests don't need to spend a lot just to achieve the ultimate beach getaway. Bask in the sun and lie on the white talc-like sand as you enjoy the sea breeze and majestic horizon.

BlueJaz Beach Resort and WaterPark

For yet another quick escape, head on to BlueJaz, a gem within the island. Filled with amazing amenities and a wide variety of accommodations, the resort services perfectly whether it's only for a day trip or for a couple of days. With pools, giant water slides and a zip line adventure, there's a lot in store for everyone in BlueJaz. Moreover, the food is just delectable.

Buenavista Island Resort

For those who want to splurge a little for the ultimate privacy, Samal features Buenavista Island Resort. A posh island resort where you get to rent the entire island, you'll be able to enjoy an island escape like no other. Fees on this island are inclusive of transfers, accommodations and food.

Malaysian Food and Top Ten Must Eats

Eating is a favourite pastime in Malaysia. I don't know if it was a Malaysian who coined the term 'live to eat', but other than visiting the mall, Malaysians eat, eat and eat. In fact, we eat at anytime of the day. Or night. Or even midnight. Yes, there are plenty of 24 hours restaurants called 'mamaks' that cater to our midnight hunger pangs. In fact, the stereotype of a Malaysian is that he eats not just during breakfast, lunch and dinner, but in between as well! This used to be such a problem in civil service that the government had to eliminate brunch time in order to increase productivity!

In fact, in Malaysia, very often people do not say, "How are you?". Instead, they say, "Sudah makan?", which means, "Have you eaten?"

It's not surprising that Malaysia is truly a paradise for food lovers. Being a multi cultural and multi racial society, not only do we have the best food from each culture, cultural integration produces even more types of foods.

Let me introduce to you the cuisines of the three main races in Malaysia- Malay, Chinese and Indian. If you have tried Chinese or Indian food before and think you've tasted it all, think again. Malaysian Chinese and Indian food have adapted to the local palate and have evolved into cuisines of their own. And like other cuisines, there are many regional variations, but here I will give you a general overview.


Cooking Style

Let's begin with Malay food. Malay cuisine uses many types of fresh aromatic herbs and roots such as lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallots and chillies. Many of these herbs and roots are native to this region. Spices are also important and they are called 'rempah'. Another important ingredient is coconut milk, which is added to make a dish creamy and rich. There is also a key ingredient called 'belacan', which is a fermented paste made from tiny baby shrimps mixed with salt and chillies.

Typical Meal

You can find Malay food everywhere in Malaysia. A typical meal that you might order is a rice dish with dried anchovies, cucumber, peanuts and a hard boiled egg, together with the meat of your choice, called 'nasi lemak'. The rice is cooked in coconut milk. You might even order plain rice and usually accompanied by three side dishes of your choice, such as chicken, mutton, or beef and a variety of vegetables- all cooked in Malay style. Accompanying your dish, you could have beef soup which is called 'sup lembu'; or mutton soup which is called 'sup kambing' - two very popular Malay soups. To wash it down, you may order a refreshing cordial drink called 'air sirap'; or a cordial drink with condensed milk called 'ais bandung'.

Other Delicacies

Other Malay delicacies include fish mousse, grilled slowly over a fire, called 'otak-otak' and a noodle dish garnished with cucumber, onion, and lettuce served in savoury fish soup called 'laksa'. There are many regional variations of 'laksa', so try one in every state. There is also a Malay salad, which is called 'ulam'; consisting of a combination of fresh aromatic herbs; mint, basil, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaves, and raw vegetables like bean sprouts, long green beans, shallots, and cucumber. Instead of Thousand Island dressing, the topping is a combination of salted fish, dried prawns, fish crackers, fried grated coconut, and other savory garnishes.

If you're in Kelantan, which is the north-eastern state of the Peninsula, try this regional dish that serves blue rice with a variety of side dishes, It's called Nasi Kerabu. The blue colour is a result of the cooking process, where certain types of herbs are thrown into the water during the cooking of the rice


For dessert, try a bread-like puff with sugar, corn, and coarsely chopped nuts in the middle called 'apam balik'.


Cooking Style

Next, we move onto Chinese food. Chinese food is typically considered milder in spiciness, but Chinese cuisine in Malaysia has taken a spicier touch. Chinese cuisine is varied, but in Malaysia the style is generally the Cantonese style of cooking. A common way of cooking is stir fry. Cantonese cuisine balances the yin and the yang, of food, a difficult concept to describe. You may hear people refer to it as the cooling or "heaty" effects of food. For example vegetables, some fruits and soup are considered cooling and meat is considered heaty.

Typical Meal

A typical Chinese meal can be found easily in many restaurants and hawker stalls in Malaysia. You can also go to a 'kopitiam', which is a traditional Chinese cafe. You might order 'economy rice', which has rice and a variety of side dishes. A common practice is to choose three side dishes- one meat, one vegetable and the last, a dish like tofu or egg. You might also order a noodle dish. There are many styles of cooking noodles such as Cantonese or Hokkien style. You can try the fried noodle with eggs, cockles and bean sprouts called 'char kuey tiao', or Chinese noodles with dumplings and roast pork called 'wan tan mee'. You could also order thick noodles fried with black sauce and pork lard called 'hokkien mee'. Chicken rice is also very popular in Malaysia. To wash it down, you could order Chinese tea, or herbal tea.

Other Delicacies

Other delicacies include Chinese spring rolls stuffed with steamed vegetables, bean sprouts, turnip and carrot, called 'popiah'. Another popular dish here is the pork rib soup called 'bak kut the'. The soup is cooked for many hours with garlic, pork ribs and a variety of herbs. Chinese dumplings are also a must-try. They are glutinous rice wrapped in a leaf along with pork, mushrooms, nuts and salted duck egg yolk. if you have heard of 'dim sum' before, you must try the Malaysian version. It is basically an assortment of bite size dishes, including seafood, meat and vegetables. Dim sum is usually eaten in the morning.


For dessert, a well-loved Chinese dessert is curdled soy bean milk topped with syrup called 'tao foo fah'.


Cooking Style

Indian cooking is of course, very spicy and hot. it has also adapted to the local culture to create a new type of cuisine. Most of the Indian food in Malaysia (comes from) from Southern India, but North Indian food is also widely available. Spices are the heart and soul of Indian cooking. Spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric, fennel, cardamom, clove, cinnamon and star anise are widely used.

Typical Meal

Indian food is easily available in Malaysia. For a typical meal, you might want to have rice served on a banana leaf, accompanied by a variety of spicy hot dishes such as mutton, chicken, fish, squid and crabs. Or you might order bread, and there are many types of them. To name a few, thin rice pancakes or 'thosai', fermented rice and dhal or 'vadai', wheat bread or 'chapati', flour bread or 'roti canai'. Or you may also be interested in chicken tandoori- that's chicken slowly grilled in a clay oven.

Other Delicacies

There are 24 hour restaurants open if you're suffering from a midnight hunger pang. Affectionately called 'mamak', they have been institutionalized as a Malaysian icon. Mamaks are run usually by Indian Muslims. If Westerners hang out at bars, Malaysians hang out mamaks. Mamak food is distinct, and a popular drink here is the 'the tarik', or tea with condensed milk. Other popular food you can order in a mamak is the 'maggie goreng', which is fried Maggi instant noodle with eggs, vegetables and meat.


For dessert, you may be interested in a sweet dish of rice noodles topped with coconut and coconut palm sugar called 'putu mayam.'

Other Cuisines

There are many other types of cuisines in Malaysia, such as Nyonya cuisine, which is the cooking of the Straits Chinese. Straits Chinese trace their ancestors to Malays and Chinese, and their cooking combines the styles of these two races. I'd recommend a chicken stew cooked with salted soy beans and coconut palm sugar called 'ayam pongteh'; and a chicken dish cooked with nuts from a type of mangrove tree found in Malaysia, which is called 'ayam buah keluak'.

The Portuguese, one of the many colonialists who set foot in Malaysia, left their mark too on local cooking. One (example) is the Devil's Curry, a dish made from vinegar, herbs and nuts and plenty of chilli- hence its name Devil's Curry.

Top Ten Must Eats

Alright. It's now time for the top ten must try foods in Malaysia. As with all cuisines, it is very difficult to compile a list of only ten, especially in Malaysia where there are definitely more than ten foods you must try!

However, if I were to compile a list, it would look like this:

Number One.Nasi lemak. This is the national dish of Malaysia. Nasi lemak literally means 'rice in cream'. There are many regional variations, but the most common ones consist of steamed rice that is cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves, which is a kind of plant indigenous to this region. Traditionally served on banana leaf, the rice is topped with cucumber slices, dried anchovies, roasted nuts and hard-boiled egg. But the most important ingredient is the 'sambal', a kind of hot spicy sauce made from chilli, pepper and spices. In fact, how delicious a nasi lemak is really depends on how well the 'sambal' is made! Most people will eat nasi lemak accompanied by a dish like chicken, cuttle fish, cockles, beef, or beef rendang which is beef cooked in dried spices, and vegetables.

Number Two. Bak Kut Teh. The name translates into 'meat bone tea'. This Chinese dish is a soup with pork ribs, herbs and garlic cooked for many hours. Other ingredients include mushrooms, internal organs, and dried tofu. Green onions and fried shallots are sometimes added in as well. Bak Kut Teh is served with rice and 'you tiao', which are long fried pieces of dough. Chopped garlic and chilli in soy sauce served in tiny plates often accompany this dish. Chinese tea is a very important part of this dish and is drunk to balance the taste. Try Bak Kut Teh for an authentic Chinese meal.

Number Three. Laksa. Yet another favourite Malaysian dish, laksa has many different regional variations. The more common one is the asam laksa. It is a sour fish- based soup where the main ingredients are shredded fish, usually mackerel, and finely sliced vegetables including cucumbers, onions, red chillis, pineapple, lettuce, mint, and ginger buds. Thick white noodles are then added into the soup. To top it off, a thick sweet shrimp paste is added. Other variations of laksa are Laksa Sarawak, Laksa Penang, Laksa Kedah, Laksa Ipoh, Laksa Kuala Kangsar, Laksa Kari, Laksa Johor, Laksa Kelantan, Laksam, Laksa Lemak and many more.

Number Four. Satay. You might have heard of this one before. It's basically skewered meat served with peanut sauce, cucumber, onions and rice cakes. The choice of meat is varied- you can choose deer meat, rabbit meat and even fish, but the most common are chicken and beef. The marinated meat is skewered on bamboo sticks and grilled over charcoal.

Number Five. Char Kway Teow. It literally means 'stir fried rice cake strips'. Flat rice noodles are fried together with chilli, prawns, cockles, eggs, bean sprouts and vegetables. Sometimes it is fried with pork lard. It also has many regional variations, but the most famous one is the Penang Char Kway Teow.

Number Six. Nasi Kandar. A popular north Malaysia meal that originated in Penang, nasi kandar is widely available. It has rice, and a variety of spicy side dishes to choose from. In fact, it is the spices that make nasi kandar so unique. The dishes are laid like a buffet and you have to point to the side dishes that you want. After you have chosen your side dishes, the waiter will pour a variety of curries onto your plate, and this process is called 'banjir' or 'to flood'. If you can't take spicy food, ask for less curry.

Number Seven. Roti Canai. One of the most (widely consumed foods) in Malaysia, roti canai is a type of flatbread that is available everywhere. It is round and flat, and is eaten with lentil curry called 'dhal'. You can ask for your roti canai to be made in many ways. The more popular variations are: with eggs or roti telur, with banana or roti pisang, made smaller but thicker or roti bom, made thin and flaky like tissue paper or roti tisu. You can even be more adventurous and ask for roti kaya, spread with Malaysian jam made from coconut; or roti Milo, with chocolate powder sprinkled on top. Try a few and find your favourite roti!

Number Eight. Cendol. An all time favourite Malaysian dessert, cendol consists of shaved ice, smooth green rice noodles in chilled coconut milk and coconut palm sugar, or gula Melaka. Sometimes, red beans, glutinous rice and corn are added. If you have a sweet tooth, ask for more gula Melaka, as many Malaysians do!

Number Nine. Teh Tarik. The national drink of Malaysia. It is tea sweetened with condensed milk, and can be ordered hot or iced. Teh means tea in Malay and tarik means to pull, jerk or tug. The milky tea is prepared by using out-stretched hands, pouring the piping hot tea from one mug to another several times. The higher the pull, the thicker the froth, the thicker the froth, the more delicious it is.

Number Ten. I've saved this until the last because there are few things more divisive than this fruit. It is the durian. Known as the King of Fruits, you either love the durian or you hate it. Its smell has been described as sweet, heavenly, fragrant, or disgusting, revolting and downright offensive. The smell evokes either deep appreciation or intense disgust. Some have compared the smell of the durian to the civet, sewage, stale vomit, skunk spray and used surgical swabs. The British novelist Anthony Burgess describes the durian as, "like eating sweet raspberry blancmange in the lavatory". Chef Andrew Zimmern compares the taste to "completely rotten, mushy onions." Anthony Bourdain, while himself a lover of durian, says of it: "Its taste can only be described as...indescribable, something you will either love or despise. Your breath will smell as if you'd been French-kissing your dead grandmother." Travel and food writer Richard Sterling says that its odor is best described as "pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock that can be smelled from yards away." It's no wonder durian is banned in most hotels and airlines.

The durian is green in colour and has sharp thorns on the outside. Inside, the flesh of the fruit is usually yellow, but the colour varies from species to species. Durians used to be seasonal fruits, but with genetic modification, durians are now available all year around. This is either good news or bad news, depending on your feelings towards durians. The best place to get durians is directly from the orchards, but if you'd like to just sample a bite or two, you can get them at major supermarkets. Just ask around.

I encourage you to be adventurous and try the durian. However, if you are too overpowered by the strong smell, you can always try durian ice cream or durian cakes, though purists will swear it is not the same at all.

So there you have it. The top ten must eats in Malaysia. I hope you'll manage to try all ten.

Go out and explore. Ask the locals where to find the best nasi lemak or bak kut the. Everyone would have their favourites. It's time to find some Malaysian food and start digging in. Or as we say in Malaysia, 'makan-makan' or 'let's start eating'.


This is the end of Malaysian Food guide. I hope you've enjoyed learning about Malaysian food. Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of the cuisines in Malaysia, and a deeper appreciation of its food.

Choose the Best Camping Style For You

I can imagine what you are thinking at the moment. The summer is in full swing and it is the most preferable and adorable season for those who love nature and love to be in the middle of natural beauty. Thus, you may well be considering a camping adventure. It can be such a sweet and lovable pastime as I feel if you ever tried camping, you are more open to return to it. However, there are some people who only know camping as idea or notion and need to experience it in order to understand it or to know how much fun it can be. So, let's chat about camping as it is great fun and most defiantly a real adventure. Before we start the camping tour, we need to provide you with some information on camping types. After identifying the kind of camping you would prefer we can then decide what suits you best.

The first type is Recreational Vehicle Camping or RV Camping

This by definition is rather comfortable way of camping. From the name you can see that it is like home on wheels. You can bring everything you want and need in this vehicle: food, clothes, personal things, furniture pieces etc. This category is ideally suited for those who like their creature comforts at all times.

The second type is Trailer or Camper

Actually it s very close to the first type, the difference is just minor things fro example some trailers do not have toilets or showers, refrigerators etc.

The third type is Tent Camping

It is a given here that you are ready to sleep on the ground, though covered by a tent. In this case you have to think about all the necessary things like additional warm clothes or additional blankets and of course all the hygienic items you will need in advance. It is also required that you look for a place you can shelter for the night. Depending on your individual preferences you can choose a camping site or maybe just a place near a village or a local green area, however, if you are really fed up with everything and want to have a rest away from society, and then a distant place away from everyone may well be your cup of tea.

The next is Hiking or Backpacking

This type is for the advanced, sporty and experienced adventurist, because everything you need you will carry on your back, so you need to be fairly fit. Your rucksack must be full of only the most needed things; it must be light and packed properly so that you can carry it for long distances. Before you go hiking- think twice about this kind of camping.

The last style of camping is Canoe or Kayak

This is a most specialist and comprehensive type of camping. In addition to all things you need to carry also you have to think about the extra component of the canoe. As well as taking care of all things so as for them not get wet and keep them safe.

Hopefully we have now given you some food for thought and even some answers to your questions. Of course, this is just a starting point.There is still a great amount of other questions you should still want to ask, such as what equipment you have to take with you, what other advice do I need, what are the recommendations on the various camping sites and places do I need? If you want to know more follow our articles. If you want to find an idyllic place for camping, then try travel Isle of Wight as it is the best place to have a great holiday.

Hotels in Goa - Choice Of Comfortable Stay

Goa a major tourist hub of India oozes a distinctive charm unique this place. Having been under Portuguese rule for 451 years the state looks visibly different from rest of India. As different is the state such is its tourist population and hotels that come in all shape and sizes catering to all the sections of the society.

For people looking for some indulgence and money is not a matter of concern then they can easily opt for the Five star deluxe hotels that pamper its guests to the tee. Some of these super luxury hotels are the Goa Marriott Resort, Cidade de Goa Hotel, Majorda Beach Resort, Park Hyatt Goa Resort, Taj Exotica and Spa, Radisson White Sands Resorts and many more.

Some of the facilities that guests can look forward to at these lavish hotels are restaurants and bars, banquets, conference rooms, spas, room service, laundry service, car rental, shopping arcade, doctor on call and much more.

Scaling down a little Goa also has tremendous choices in terms of its 5 star hotels. Some of them are Taj Holiday Village, Bambolim Beach Resort, Hotel Goan Heritage, club Mahindra and many more. Some of the standard facilities available with these hotels include multi cuisine restaurant, bars, 24 hr cafe, conference rooms, business center, Money changing, secretarial services, safe deposit lockers, Doctor on call and much more.

There are also wide choices of budget hotels available for tourists traveling on a budget. Hotels under this category also enjoy massive popularity as the majority of travelers to this part of the country are young adults, students and backpackers who do not like to shell too much on accommodation. The budget hotels offer basic amenities and friendly services getting you through the day. Some of the popular budget hotels include Alor Holiday Resort, Hotel Delmon, Ronil Beach Resort, Hotel Villa Sol, Ronil Royale and others.

Facilities at these economy hotels are complete value for money and you will not be disappointed. Some of the facilities available at these hotels generally include multi cuisine restaurant, bar, conference facilities, Foreign exchange, laundry services, communication facilities, doctors on call, Sightseeing assistance and much more.

A word to remember is that Goa is comparatively on the expensive side as per Indian Standards, hence these budget or economy hotels are popular tourist choice and offer great packages. Also do remember to make advance hotel bookings if traveling to this region as rooms are difficult to get during peak tourist season.

An Overview of London Hotels

London, being the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is one of the top tourist destinations in the entire world. It is a melting pot of art, culture, fashion, and society. That is why it should come as no surprise why the city has thousands of hotels and lodging establishments to cater to the sheer demand of people visiting the city.

There are London hotels that cater to the entire gamut of tourists, especially given that the London Development Agency says that the amount tourists spend in London amount to over £15 billion ($23.64 billion) annually. That is definitely a lot of tourists, and that entails a whole lot of revenue. London has all types of hotels that suit all sorts of needs and budgets, ranging from luxury hotels to more affordable bed & breakfasts and even backpacker hostels.

For those who have quite a lot of money to spare, there are only 3 can't-miss luxury hotels: The Ritz Hotel London in Piccadilly, Claridge's in Mayfair, and the Savoy Hotel located in central London's Strand. Staying at these opulent hotels entails a steep price-up to £1,000 (over $1,500) per night.

The prices of accommodations in London largely depend on the location. Those with a good measure proximity to the city's center and nearness to other landmarks and tourist attractions will of course tend to be more expensive. Even 2-star or 3-star establishments can fetch upwards of £150 (nearly $235) per night if the location is right in central London. This scales higher as the stars go up.

Cheaper accommodations can be had, however. As with other major metropolitan areas, London offers hostels and apartments that are highly cost-effective if a tourist isn't too particular about room size, quality of furnishings, and sharing with others (for groups). Sometimes, during the summer when school is out, certain university residence halls are made available for visitor accommodation. This is another option for those seeking budget accommodations.

Here's one good tip for visitors to London who want to save money on accommodations: more savings can be had by staying in a hotel somewhere farther from the central area of the city. Even if the costs of transportation are factored in, there's a big difference compared to the amount one would spend on hotel rooms near the center. What's more, tourists can get to see more places by staying in the periphery.

For those with cash, however, it is safe to simply say "go to town." It would be a shame not to experience the best of the best when it comes to London hotels. A night at The Ritz or at the Savoy would provide a memory to last a lifetime. Moreover, getting to rest and relax at these famous establishments, with all the lavish furnishings and high-end services and world-class dinners, can be an adventure in itself.

With the sheer number and variety of people visiting the UK capital of London year in and year out, it is only natural to have establishments that cater to every possible need of tourists and sightseers. It is only important to determine which aspects of London hotels to prioritize-cost versus convenience and comfort, among other things. Regardless, one should be able to have the vacation of a lifetime.

Nana Hotel Bangkok - Is it Worth Staying In?

The Nana Hotel in Bangkok is arguably one of the most talked about hotels in Bangkok. The major draw to this hotel is obviously nearby Nana Entertainment Plaza, which is a 4 story den of sex and booze, and the parking lot outside of the Nana hotel which is full of freelance prostitutes. There is so many mixed reviews about this place that it almost makes it impossible for anyone to decide whether to stay or not in this hotel. But most will agree, Nana Hotel is one of the most well known guest friendly hotel in Bangkok. This means registered guest do not have to pay an additional fee or joiner fee for bringing in unregistered guest for an overnight stay.

How do I know this? After living and working in Bangkok for over five years I have become the unofficial tour guide for friends and friends of friends and so on. All of them eventually ask me "Is the Nana Hotel a good place to stay in?".

And my honest answer at the time was "I don't know, I live in an apartment." Since I knew I was going to get asked that particular question time and time again I decided to follow along my friends (or guinea pigs) and see personally how the hotel looks from the inside out.

The Nana Hotel is located on Sukhumvit Soi 4, in a mixed commercial zone that doubles as red-light district. Scores of freelance prostitutes congregate in the surrounding areas especially outside of Nana Hotel's parking lot. This is definitely not a place to bring your family especially kids and grandparents. However, I do see them often, mostly Europeans who are not so uptight about such spectacles. You can easily access the Sky Train at Nana BTS station with a 5 minute walk. The Sky Train will easily take you to the other attractions in Bangkok.

Now, I'm not sure when the hotel was built exactly, but it's safe to say the 1970's is the first thing that comes to mind. The lobby is usually filled with backpacker types, young guys looking to sow their oats and a smattering of older folks looking for company that they otherwise never find back home. Once I've seen a group of Australians wearing rugby uniforms. Are they actual athletes is a whole different subject. Obviously a far cry from the days the hotel was first opened. I've read previous reviews about reception staff being rude and obnoxious to guests who are checking in.

After living in Bangkok for awhile I know the reason why. Thai society follows a strict social order and is very class based. The better you look and present yourself, the more respect you get. So if you're checking in dressed like you're heading straight for the pool, forget about that much talked about gracious and beautiful Thai smile. I'm not saying you have to dress like your heading to an important business meeting. A nice clean button shirt, pressed pants and clean shoes and you'll see your respect meter shoot up. You'll even get a better chance of scoring an upgrade or a room in excellent condition. By the way, this is true in any hotel in Asia, actually most likely everywhere.

It works time and time again whenever my friends check in. They don't always get a room upgrade, but they get rooms where they've never had to ask for a room change or find questionable carpet stains.

The rooms here are the absolute bare basics. After-all the Nana Hotel is considered in the budget category. A bed, color television with international channels, mini fridge and a decently clean bathroom is what you get for around 1400 THB including taxes and a free buffet breakfast. A free daily newspaper is a nice added touch. Housekeeping did there job quite well, or as best as they can, after all they have to clean up after piss drunk guests half the time.

The Nana Hotel doesn't offer much in terms of facilities for guest use, just an adequate pool on the fourth floor and free Wi-Fi in the lobby. In the lobby is also where you can find Angel's Nana Disco, a frequent freelance hangout. And since ladies enter for free you're going to find a lot there. Definitely worth a visit.

My final word here is the Nana Hotel in Bangkok is a good choice for you if you want to mess around and have fun. But I wouldn't recommend staying here throughout your entire trip. It's best to stay there for 3 nights, enjoy the nightlife, and shift over to another hotel in a more quiet area. It's what I suggest to friends who come visit me in Bangkok as the unofficial tour guide.