Thursday, December 10, 2015

MY SEMINYAK BEACH, BALI

This was my fourth visit to Seminyak Beach in Bali. I had been there in May, September, October and November months, which were all great. I did hit the rainy season once at the end of November and this is when the beach looked completely different one morning. All kinds of garbage was washed ashore, but usually I just had one day after another of perfect weather and awesome sunsets. Not much else to say about that!
















 

Monday, November 23, 2015

MY SCARY NIGHTS IN BALI

Well, I have to say that it wasn't as bad as it sounds in the headline of this post, but my nights in the FaveHotel Seminyak left me with a bitter aftertaste. The hotel was a recommendation from people who had stayed there many times before me. Location was just what I looked for. Close to all my restaurants, bars, shops as well as easy to reach with a motorcycle and for friends to pick me up. The walk to the beach is an easy one and once the street vendors recognize you, even the "hello my friend" calls stop! I also love Seminyak beach, so the location was a perfect as in my two former hotels. 

The ones I had stayed in before were far more expensive though (and classes better), so my expectations of the FaveHotel were almost zero, given the really really cheap price they charged. 

The room was nice, with a few exceptions. The A/C was really dirty but the management had it cleaned within minutes of me pointing it out to them. The shower had a few patches of mold, which was expected at this price class and given the humid climate in Bali. 

Other than that the room was comfortable, quiet (to the back of the hotel) and up on the 6th floor tucked away in a corner. The room was big enough to move around even with two large suitcases.  There is a small board attached to the wall which can be used as a little desk for a laptop. 

Breakfast was included in the price, which was an awesome deal! Breakfast is served downstairs in the open-sided lobby/bar area and it was surprisingly good. Lots of options for Asians and Europeans! Fresh eggs are also made by the staff. Everyone is really friendly here, inclusive all the staff at the check-in counter. 

Now, the bitter taste moment came when I discovered "kutu busuk" one night. Those that suck the blood out of your neck and then disappear inside the mattress again. My friends assured me that they will not stay on me but I surely panicked, informed the management, changed the room, sprayed the new room with some nasty poison (just in case) and there was no more problem. The staff was very helpful in getting me a new room in a fully booked hotel, though to the front side of the hotel. So, I got to experience the quiet room and a noisy room during my stay. Both rooms were OK. 

The FaveHotel also has a pool, which is right next to the bar/restaurant area. It offers free parking (for motorcycles, not sure for cars) and it had one of the best selections of TV programs, even Sport Channels in English, so I was able to watch a F1 race live :-)

WiFi is free, but it really depends on where you room is. I was warned by some friends that the signal is not very good inside the rooms, which proved true for both rooms. In the lobby it is fine. 

On my own rating scale and in relationship to the cheap price, the FaveHotel turns out as follows: 

Location 5 of 5 (as a conscious decision)
Room Size 4 of 5
WiFi free and working 2 of 5
Breakfast included and yummy 5 of 5
Staff competency and friendliness 5 of 5
Safety box in the room and adequate size 5 of 5
Bathroom functionality 4 of 5
Room design and functionality 4 of 5
Sounds 4 of 5 (depends on the room)

Cleanliness of the room 3 of 5 (I just added this new criteria) 

Given the staff's quick reaction to fix things and make you feel comfortable and the great price in connection with the location, I would probably go back on another trip. 











Breakfast/restaurant area




Lobby/Chill out area

Breakfast area

All the rooms look identical

Monday, October 19, 2015

MY SINGAPORE DURING THE HAZE

I am always excited to go back to Singapore. I really love the city and it's people! There is always something new to see and explore. F1 is one of my favourites and of course I had been back for the race in 2015. 

Before the race, the air quality was bad. So bad, that I had gotten emails from my friends in Singapore that the race might even be cancelled or that measures will be taken to match the bad air with the security needs at the race. Well, luckily nothing happened and the air was "okayish" though not good. You could clearly see the haze in the lights of the race. 

However after the race and a week after it, the air quality became so unbearable that it was impossible for me to breath and walk around without a mask. I had brought some high quality masks from Europe and after walking around with a lower quality mask from Singapore, I quickly changed to the more expensive ones. Though, even with a mask it was no fun at all. I started coughing and my eyes kept burning. So, finally I opted to stay in the apartment and not really go outside. Definitely not something I want to experience again!









 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

MY ROYAL PARK - RAJAPRUEK CHIANG MAI

My second visit to The Royal Park Rajapruek or Ratchapruek in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The first time I had hundreds of other visitors around me while this time I got lucky and almost had the entire park to myself. I went early and during the hot season, but there were still plenty of flower arrangements displayed. Besides the Royal Pavilion, I particularly liked the displays of Nepal, India and other countries.