The Places we call Home in Thailand

Places we call Home - ThailandArriving in Thailand was like a short break from travelling as we were in our second home country for a couple of weeks. We thoroughly enjoyed being cared for by my parents and having a home base. We were on the road for nearly a year by then and have packed and unpacked our backpacks in over a hundred places. Packing is done in a jiffy but the luxury of not having to live out of your backpack for a couple of weeks was welcomed. Everything went in the laundry, including our bags and our first aid kits and supplies were reviewed and replenished.

Eating out has become a normal daily activity so having home cooked meals was great. We chilled out and caught up with my parents but also visited Chiang Mai and Bangkok, two cities where we always feel at home in. Thailand accommodations are plentiful and cheap and finding a place to sleep was easy. Accommodations are always great value for money and we made our choices based on location. read more

The Places we call Home in India

Places we call Home - IndiaThe choices and availability of accommodation in India is plentiful and divers. With so many visitors per year, largely backpackers, there was no difficulty finding budget accommodation. We started out in North India and trailed down to the south, so it was great to compare the different types of accommodations in this enormous country.

Visiting both North and South India, we noticed a few differences in the facilities of guesthouses and hotels. In the north, especially in Rajasthan, a beautiful option was staying in a (converted) Haveli. Havelis are old private mansions elaborately decorated with one or more courtyards and rich in Indian architectural heritage. After a couple of guesthouses, we noticed one very welcoming feature of our accommodations which was the rooftop. Rooftops became our favorite place to sit back and watch the everyday life on the streets. Read More

The Beach bestaat!

In de film The Beach uit 2000 gaat het verhaal over een groep backpackers die op een paradijselijk eiland in Thailand een eigen gemeenschap hebben gecreëerd. Ver van de lokale overheid verwijderd hebben zij hun eigen regels en leiders. Spanningen binnen de gemeenschap zorgen er uiteindelijk voor dat de utopie geen stand weet te houden en zo komt er aan deze door Jolanda en mijzelf al talloze malen bekeken film een einde. Zo gaat dat in Hollywood.

De strandscènes zijn opgenomen in een baai die Maya Beach heet op een klein eilandje voor de kust van het bekende Kho Phi Phi. We zijn er in 2006 eens geweest maar weinig herinnert er nog aan de film. Echter, in het land van de Bollywood lijkt de film nog steeds door te gaan, Lees verder

The Places we call Home in Sri Lanka

Places we call Home - Sri LankaOur search for accommodation for Sri Lanka started months earlier as for 2 weeks within our month in Sri Lanka we were going to travel with the 4 of us. Chris and Trudy, Lennart’s parents visited us around Christmas and New Year and we wanted to have extra nice accommodation and if possible family rooms to spend lots of time together. It also was the Christmas and New Year’s holiday and thus the very high season for Sri Lanka. Finding family rooms was a bit of a challenge as they usually were not advertised on the usual booking sites and so we searched for places we liked and hoped that they had rooms which could house us 4. As this turned into a bit of a family holiday, we searched for unique, special places with a higher budget than what we would usually stay for with the 2 of us. Read More

The Places we call Home in Japan

Places we call Home - JapanVisions of sliding rice paper screens, tatami mats and creative use of limited space pops into mind when I think of a Japanese home. Obviously Japanese accommodation offers a huge variety of choices ranging from traditional homes to ultra modern hotels. Sticking within our price range we tried to combine clean comfortable hostels with occasional special treats of nights in a traditional Japanese home which costs more but was worth every yen.

After traveling for a couple of months and sleeping in basic accommodation with varying levels of comfort and hygiene, Japan was a lovely change in standard. Even the cheaper hostel chains which we stayed in were clean, comfortable and felt luxurious compared to the places we have stayed at before Japan. Read More

The Places we call Home in China (Our second visit)

Arriving in China for the second time, we knew pretty much what we can expect from Chinese accommodation. However, this time round we were lucky to be able to combine less touristy places and cities with lots of cheaper hostels. Our first base was Kashgar, in the far west of China en route of the Silk Route. We stayed right in the midst of the Old Town in an atmospheric traditional home around a big courtyard. Rooms were basic but that wasn’t a problem as we were able to hang out in the courtyard or on the rooftop terrace. Next stop was Chengdu with so many good value hostels that it was difficult to make a choice. Read More

The Places we call Home in Tajikistan

In a country where tourism has not yet reached, finding a place to bunk down at night was not always easy. Our guidebook had already warned us that accommodation was not the best or easiest to find in our last Central Asian country. Creature comforts were not a part of Tajik accommodation and we experienced walking on ice paths just to get to our outhouse at night. Hot water (or any water at all) was a luxury which we thoroughly enjoyed when available. Read More

The Places we call Home in Uzbekistan

Before we arrived in Uzbekistan, we met so many travelers raving about the quality of the Uzbek guesthouses and B&B’s but also complaining about how expensive they were. They were right on both accounts. In our 2 weeks in Uzbekistan, we were pleasantly surprised to stay in nice rooms which in most cases we even had our own bathroom and toilet which is quite special in Central Asia. Every morning we were treated with a scrumptious breakfast, naan, eggs, yoghurt, curd, pastries and fruit. We negotiated hard as the end of the tourist season is nearing, however, the average price per night was still quite high – $ 28.60 per night. Read More

The Places we call Home in Kyrgyzstan

Most places we stayed at in Kyrgyzstan were homestays and offered a great insight in the everyday lives of the Kyrgyz. We became part of the family, sometimes ate together, shared the bathroom and found out how the houses look like from the inside. Sharing homes with the families or with other travelers became normal quite fast and staying in a home feels much more homely than in a formal hostel or guesthouse. As most accommodation were homestays, the prices were per person and often included breakfast. The average price per person per night was 420 som (EUR 6.30). These were our homes in Kyrgyzstan. Read More

The Places we call Home in Mongolia

In a country where you can see and feel the nomadic way of life, gers, also called yurts are the preferred home for Mongolians. Easy to set up or break down, nothing is more flexible. In Ulaan Bataar, our hostel was in an old Soviet appartment block, which is also the common housing situation for most urban Mongolians. However, once we left the capital, most nights were spent at a family ger camp. At the end of each day after driving through this big empty country, these ger camps would always suddenly appear as everyone is allowed to set up their gers where ever they wish. Read More