Good: Siem Reap, Cambodia
We took a chance and followed the advice of our hotelier in Phnom Penh. We booked with his buddy hotel, $25 a night for a triple. “It’s a bit outside of town,” he told us. “There’s free shuttle service.” Needless to say I wasn’t holding my breath but low and behold there was a tuk-tuk waiting for us at the mini-bus stop. We arrived at the hotel, which was gorgeous, but definitely a bit outside of the tourist area. It was quiet, peaceful and all together perfect. Looking off our balcony we saw rice fields and the luxurious swimming pool. The place was five star by backpacker standards, and the nicest place we’d had stayed in a long time. We were treated to a delicious made to order breakfast and spent the afternoons relaxing by the pool. When we booked a car for Siem Reap, our driver ended up being the owner and our car was a Lexus SUV. The place was heaven and it didn’t blow our budget!
Bad: Marsabit, Kenya
This would have taken the cake until we got to SE Asia. Off of what little backpacker trail there is in Africa, there exists only two kinds of accommodation: first class and…local. Driving on the “road” from Kenya to Ethiopia we pulled over in the largest town, Marsabit and headed to the local place recommended by the guidebook. The basic cement rooms had seen better days, and the electricity was intermittent. Sometimes there was “hot” water, but the only food available was abysmal. Excellent. Unfortunately the shared toilets were squatters and our friend was sick, a bad combination.
Ugly: Don Det, Laos
Our bus was late to arrive at the turn off for four thousand islands in Southern Laos. We arrived at the turn off after dark, meaning it was well past dark by the time we got to the dock and took the boat across to Don Det. We were frantically searching for a place to sleep in the dark. Thankfully the island was a bit deserted, but the accommodations were abysmal or outrageous. We spent one night in a cruddy little hut and “got the heck out” the next day. Unfortunately that also back fired and we ended up spending the next night (for free) in a crummy hotel room at the bus station. Dirty sheets, walls and floor. It was gross and the buses started rolling in at 6 a.m. We had of course arrived around three, because sometimes a four hour bus ride does take 12.
This column of ishouldlogoff.com aims to answer those questions that we always get asked. What was your favorite this, or your worst that. Every week we aim to highlight a new topic and will do so until we run out of ideas. If you have an idea for a Good-Bad-Ugly post, feel free to tell us in the comment section below or send us an email. To read all of them, click here.
Want to avoid bad and ugly lodging? Check out this promotion from HostelBookers!
HostelBookers, the budget accommodation specialist, is celebrating its 7th birthday by giving customers the opportunity to win a trip for two to 7 cities of their choice plus £1,000 each to cover travel expenses.
The prize is seven 3-night stays for two people in any 7 cities in which HostelBookers has availability. The winner can choose to book consecutive nights away, or alternatively, plan a number of weekend breaks. To enter, participants need to answer a simple question about HostelBookers’ Awards for Excellence 2011 and submit their email address to be in with a chance of winning.
The competition will run from 13th April 2011 to 15th of May 2011. The lucky winner will be drawn at random by the judges on the 20th May 2011.