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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Als je op wereldreis vertrekt is het verstandig goed naar je verzekeringen te kijken. Je standaard ziektekostenverzekering dekt in het buitenland wellicht niet alles wat je nodig kan hebben en medische kosten kunnen dan al snel voor je eigen rekening komen. Ook je doorlopende reisverzekering dekt niet meer als je langer dan 365 dagen aaneengesloten in het buitenland verblijft. Tevens zul je in het buitenland vaker in de verleiding komen om risicovolle sporten als duiken of canyoning te gaan doen, en die zijn doorgaans niet standaard meeverzekerd.
What do you bring along when your backpack becomes your home for at least a year? This must be one of the most popular questions asked when we told our friends and family that we decided to go travelling. Backpack or suitcase? Get gear along the way or from home? And how can you survive with such a small amount of clothing?
We kregen vaak de vraag of we de loterij hadden gewonnen. Nou, nee. Maar sparen lukte ons best goed en dit is hoe we het gedaan hebben.
Sparen voor een wereldreis vergt een flinke motivatie. Voor een beetje fatsoenlijke reis gaat het al snel om grote bedragen en lijkt het soms niet de moeite om ook op kleine dingen te bezuinigen. Als je een nieuwe jas wilt kopen bij een winkel waar de jas 10 euro duurder is dan bij een winkel aan de andere kant van de stad ben je niet snel bereidt om 20 minuten te fietsen voor die 10 euro korting. Als je vervolgens beseft
A nice hostel or guesthouse can make such a difference when you travel. As we are travelling low budget, accommodation is an expenditure we try to save on, however, it must be safe and clean. Accommodation in China was slightly higher priced than what we thought it would be, however, quality was also higher than in many other Asian countries. Nearly all our rooms had air conditioning (which was very welcomed as China had its hottest summer in six decades) and a private bathroom, even with hot water! Generally speaking, overall, we spent an average of 130 yuan/16 euros per night (per room). Of course cities were more expensive than smaller towns.