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Hello, Nǐ hǎo, and Chào bạn.

My next trip is to Vietnam and China and I am very excited. I will be starting out in Saigon and working my way up north. From Hanoi, I will cross into China either by the International train or plane. This is about the pre-planning, the trip itself and after. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine


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When a tiger dies he leaves behind his skin. When a man dies he leaves behind his reputation.
Vietnamese proverb

In Memorium

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam which took place during the Vietnam War between the VC and North Vietnam and 1st Australian Task Force. 18 Australians and 245 Viet Cong soldiers died.

There would have been soldiers on both sides who were only 19.
In commemoration of those who died 50 years ago today. August 18, 1966.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

10. Hong Kong Accommodation

Accommodation in Hong Kong isn't cheap and I wanted something "nice" and had decided on the Salisbury which is run by the YMCA. Apart from the rooms, they also have 4 bed dorms and you stand a better chance of getting a bed if you book early.

So, with this in mind, I went to their online reservation page but found the dorms aren't listed, only the rooms. Not sure why that is, so I emailed them asking for three nights and received a reply the next day asking me to confirm.

I checked the airline website to see the time(s) of arrival and decided to stay four night because by the time I arrive, get to the hotel, check-in etc, there won't be that much time. Anyway I emailed them with my confirmation stating four nights and said I'd send them my flight details after booking. The dates on the airline's website are listed until 6th June and I figure it'll be about 18 or 19 days before the 22 June is up. Today I received a confirmation email. The cost is HK$260.00 plus 10% service charge per bed per night, no tax per night which equates to $31.32 (AUD) and with the 10% is $34.45. I don't know why they just don't say the rate is HK286 rather than 260 plus 26 which is 10%. This is more than I can afford for accommodation but at least I can get cheaper accommodation in other places so it sort of balances out. I hope. (That's what happens when you see Air Asia have another sale and you get all excited!)

Great Location
I must say the location is really good - it's on the tip of the Kowloon Peninsula. Admittedly you won't get harbour views from a dorm but I'll have access to all the same facilities that the well-heeled will. It's only a two minute walk to the Star Ferry, a minute or two to the train station and a minute's walk to the "Golden Mile" - Nathan Road, Hong Kong's most well-known street.

Above: Salisbury Hotel
They have two pools - a "proper" one with six lanes and a leisure and children's pool. I'll go in that one, can't swim to save my life but I'll enjoy sitting in a pool. They have a coupled of dining areas - I just know I'll never be able to afford to eat in the dining room or the Mall Cafe if it comes to that, and probably not even in the Podium Garden but it will certainly be very nice sitting in the garden one with a cuppa tea or coffee. Unfortunately, I doubt that they have a self catering kitchen (which is what you find in hostels) and I'm considering buying one of those little travel kettles so I can boil up some water and make my own tea and coffee. It's easy enough to have tea-bags and coffee, but the milk might be a problem. And I do detest black tea even worse that black coffee.
Ah well, I'll just have to wait and see.

Above: Location map

Good Service
I might have had a bit of a whinge about paying thirty odd bucks a night but there are a lot of good benefits from staying at this place and the Door to Door coach service from the airport is one of them. This Airport to Hotel service costs HK$130 - $15.65. They told me to Please contact the kiosk counter B1 opposite to Exit B, a sign says "Hotel Shuttle" after passing through the customs check in arrival hall at the airport. (The last coach from the airport to hotel is at midnight).
I think I will avail myself of this - sooo much easier getting picked up and taken straight to the hotel. When I was in Siem Reap a couple of years ago, the guesthouse I stayed at had their own tuk-tuk drivers who meet you at the airport. It was the first time I'd been "met". I felt like one of the rich - you know, them folks who when they get off the plane just look for a sign with their name on it and it's all taken care of! Ah bliss.

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