Category Archives: Air Asia

Reblog- Backpacking Thailand by backpackies Anonymous

We are suffering from the “travel” itch again! It was time for us to go somewhere. Anywhere will do.  Sitting in Penang for too long was driving us nuts. Don’t get me wrong, Penang is a wonderful place. But it was time to just pack our bags, and go for some GO GO dancing! Some RnR.
Bangkok was cheap and it had a direct flight from Penang. We kept going into Air Asia’s waiting lounge. Which meant that we had to wait for hours, till we actually got RE-directed to the PAY page. Only to be kicked out with an ERROR message telling me that the transaction did not go through. Yes, we feel your pain especially when you plan out to wake up at 2am just to sit in front of the computer, hoping to be the first person to score some CHEAPO flights. We hear your pain. There is nothing much you can do, but try and try again. I think the best time to surf for cheap flights, especially when their PROMOTIONS are on, is during the 3am – 5am window. Some say its between 7am to 9am. But 9am is basically your cap, as you know people nowadays. The first thing they do at work is UPDATE FACEBOOK and BUY cheap flights.

Long story short, we were off !!! We paid RM 205 per person one way from Penang to Bangkok. Which was dirt cheap. These are some of the pictures we snapped throughout our travel.

Checking in on Air Asia. Look at the mess behind the counter! I bet you if you throw your over weight bags over there, without her noticing, i don't think you need to pay for excess luggage

Oh come on! Penang International Airport is such a beautiful airport. Where is the soap for the sink man! Why are all the dispensers empty?

What's to BRAVO about this picture?

To date, i still do not understand the meaning of the toilet signs at the Penang International Airport.

Sawadee Krup! Welcome to Bangkok. See how enthusiastic my girlfriend was when she heard i was going to revisit Patpong? (For the writeup of course!!)

When you reach Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.  Once you get off the plane, there will be shuttle buses waiting to transit you to the arrival terminal.

From the plane you will need to take a shuttle bus to the terminal

About 4 years back, the only transportation out of Suvarnabhumi Airport was just the taxi. At that time, the taxis would cost between 400 THB to 800 THB for a normal cab to central Bangkok. Now the times have changed. You have a couple of options. Here is a list of options and the floor in which you need to go, to get it.

We wanted to take the Airport Rail Link to town because we heard it was fast and cheap.  Check them out here > Bangkok Airport Train
Unfortunately, when we arrived, the train had left and the next train was going to arrive 30 minutes later. I decided that we should take the taxi. My reasoning was, since there was 2 of us, and it would cost around 380 THB for the 2 of us to get to town by taxi, which was about 170 THB more expensive than taking the train. Train for one way was 90 THB per person/ per way. And 150 THB per person/return.

Because our first guesthouse was not located along the main BTS SKY TRAIN lines, this meant that if we were to take the train, we would still end up either walking from the nearest BTS station or taking a taxi to our guesthouse which was somewhere in SILOM.
We stayed at Just Beds. And the place is simply a steal!  You have to got to check it out. We will blog about this in the next blog.
So to get to the trains, there are plenty of signs that will lead you there.

Naaah! this is the way to the airport bus counter

The train counter is on B floor.

Just in case you decided to wait for the train, the Thai’s are very considerate, where they have made their chairs comfortable for you to rest on. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep and miss the train !

Along the way you can find plenty of chairs where you can sleep on, if you have an early/ late flight and want to skimp on hotels and taxi fair to Suvarnabhumi Airport

We proceeded straight to the taxi stand, where you will have to tell the person at the counter where you want to go, and he/she will write your destination on the piece of paper which you will then hand over to the taxi driver.

Organized taxi booth to any where in Bangkok can be taken from here

Watch out for peak hours where the traffic in Bangkok is utter madness. In case your flight arrives around 4pm to 6pm. Then we suggest maybe by taking the train, it will certainly save you plenty of time, instead of getting stuck in the taxi. This is only IF your guesthouse/hotel is in the city center like Silom or Sukhumvit.

Riding pillion on a motorcycle is probably the fastest way to get from point A to point B. It might not be the safest though. Average fare for a bike like this starts from 20 THB to 30 THB for short distances. They might charge you more, because you are a foreigner.

HAILING A MOTORCYCLE – What i normally do, which i know is ” SICK ” to others is that, i will have a Thai person write down my destination on a piece of paper. I will first ask how much the charge is. Then i will act deaf/dumb and show the piece of paper to the rider. After getting down, i will just pay the man the money without saying a word and walk off. It has worked before for me. I hope it will too for you.  Unless you are not as CHEAP as me.

Taking the famous Tuk Tuk on the highway would be suicide! Bargain hard for the right price first

I think the maximum you can get on a tuk tuk is 3 adults or maybe 5 kids. Depending on your size really. The tuk tuk driver often is reluctant to ride with more than 3 adults on board. Maybe 4 girls will do the trick? Who knows?

Because our guesthouses we were staying was located around Siam Square and Silom, we opted to ride the Sky Train often. It was not only faster but air conditioned as well. We hate to bargain- if its not for shopping purposes.

We ended up traveling around mostly by Sky Train, because it was cooler (air conditioning) and because we were staying in the city center, it was easily connected to all the malls, restaurants and famous attractions

Check out this TUK TUK that we saw in Ayuthaya! Ayuthaya is about 2 hours by Minivan from Bangkok. Its a nice city to walk around and see the ancient ruins.

Woah! Speed racer is in town

Another thing you should know about the working Thai’s is that, they are very trendy! Taking this in to account, make sure you dress up when you are heading to the clubs or to a nice restaurant!

Every where i turn , everywhere i see, i see everyone playing with an I phone!

I practically lived off street food in Bangkok. There was just so many types of food by the road, and all of them were delicious!! I wouldn’t say that they are cheap. I prefer the word “Affordable”.

You got to love the street food in Bangkok

Sometimes it makes you wonder, with all the smog and soot from tuk tuks and the infamous Bangkok traffic, that are the fruits sold by the road side dirty?

I saw these kebab’s on sale along Khao San Road! Lovely! (It is not common Thai street food, but because its on Khao San Road, everything is westernized

We caught a vendor feeding this squirrel alcohol! Poor squirrel!!

And of course, every single Thai is really friendly. This Mama San was apparently the leader for this pack of “Beach Boys”. They stopped to get the same meat skewers as me, when i managed to slide in a shot!

The next day we went sightseeing. One of the must see’s in Bangkok would be the Grand Palace. You will have to see it at least once.

Wat Pho was our next destination.
Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest wats in Bangkok (with an area of 50 rai, 80,000 square metres) and is home to more than one thousand Buddha Images as well as one of the largest single Buddha images of 160 ft length- the Reclining Buddha.

Wat Pho is also famous for its Traditional Thai Massages. The temple is considered the first public university of Thailand, teaching students in the fields of religion, science and literature through murals and sculptures.In 1962 a school for traditional medicine and massage was established.The temple is home to one of the earliest Thai massage schools.

On the way back from Wat Pho, we went through the amulet market, which has the biggest collection of Amulets for sale in Bangkok.
But amongst all these holy stones and amulets, its amazing what you can find ! This is truly AMAZING THAILAND!


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Filed under Air Asia, backpacking, budget hotels bangkok, Thailand

Breakfasts around the world while backpacking- by backpackies

As you travel and backpack around the globe, you will soon learn that breakfast is not having it at a ‘FAST FOOD’ joint!
Rather it is more about being more adventurous and heading out to find and eat what the locals have for breakfast.
Here is a list of what some people in their country eat. 🙂

backpackies breakfast

Are you dreaming about the Mc Donalds breakfast in your sleep??

backpackies backpacking asia

A full English Breakfast – it must have beans, sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, hash browns and toast. Of course, it should all be knocked back with a cup of tea, but black pudding is optional as far as I’m concerned.

backpackies backpacking asia

Breakfast in Iran – it usually features some sort of naan bread with butter and jam. When a light breakfast just isn’t going to hit the spot Iranians eat halim. Halim is a mixture of wheat, cinnamon, butter and sugar cooked with shredded meat in huge pots. You can eat it hot or cold. You can also see the Iranian version of an omelet here too.

backpackies backpacking asia

A Cuban wake up meal – usually consists of sweetened coffee with milk with a pinch of salt thrown in. The unique Cuban bread is toasted and buttered and cut into lengths to dunk in the coffee.

backpackies backpacking asia

Polish Breakfast – known locally as Jajecznica, a traditional Polish breakfast consists of scrambled eggs covered with slices of custom- made kielbasa and joined by two potato pancakes.

backpackies backpacking asia

 Quick Spanish breakfast – Pan a la Catalana, or Pan con Tomate, in Spain is simple but really delicious. Just rub some bread with fresh garlic and plenty of ripe tomato, then drizzle with olive oil and salt. Top with cheese, ham or sausage for an extra bit.

backpackies backpacking asia

A yummy Moroccan breakfast – usually consists of different breads with some chutney, jam, cheese or butter. They have a really delicious crumpet-style bread which they make in huge slabs for you to tear a bit off, and a semolina pancake bread called Baghir – both are really tasty.

backpackies backpacking asia

A healthy Hawaiian breakfast – I couldn’t imagine Hawaiians eating anything but fruit to be honest. Of course, there’s the bagel but I’m sure they’d burn the energy from that off in a few minutes on their surf board anyway.

Nope! Sweedish people do not eat Sweedish meatballs for breakfast!

backpackies backpacking asia

Swedish breakfast – often involves a Swedish pancake, known as a Pannkakor. It’s a thin flat cake made from batter and fried on both sides – much like a crepe. It’s usually served with a sweet, fruity filling.

backpackies backpacking asia

Icelandic breakfast cuisine – a hearty and hot breakfast to fight off the dark, icy mornings is what’s needed here. Hafragrautur, or oatmeal, is served with a sprinkle of brown sugar with a few raisins or nuts on top, perfect.

backpackies backpacking asia

Breakfast in Portugal – a delicious and simple affair with stuffed croissants and plenty of coffee served in the sun.

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Filed under Air Asia, backpacking, Backpacking Kuala Lumpur, Backpacking Langkawi, backpacking london, backpacking melaka, Backpacking Nepal, Backpacking Sarawak, backpacking Vietnam

Wonders of Nepal through our eyes, by backpackies

Nepal is definitely an experience you would want to try out at least ONCE in your life time. Or maybe once is not enough as well!

The food, the people, the smell, culture and sheer natural and historical beauty is enough to take your breath away. With so much to share and tell, we decided the best way to show it to you is to put up pictures of the trip. After all pictures speaks louder than words.
So here we go…

backpacking nepal

Even Bart can do Everest. SHAME ON YOU!

backpacking nepal

Nepali flags flying proud for sale at the souvenir shops

backpacking nepal

Buddhist Stupas are everywhere

backpacking nepal
There are so many old temples in Nepal that you would walk by one and not even notice that it was a historical site. Some Nepali people use part of the temple to store their goods and some even use it to hang their washing.
And somehow somewhere along the streets you will manage to find a fresh fruit stall. (The freshness of the fruits are somehow dubious)

backpacking nepal

fresh fruits stall that also make juices.

Nepali locals playing a game with some stones picked up from the road side and a play board drawn crude on a stone slab.

backpacking nepalPuppets of Ganesha the Indian Elephant headed god can be seen sold along the streets. The Nepali people are very spiritual at heart.

backpacking nepal

puppets of Ganesha on sale

Internet and IDD/STD international phone calling service can only be found in touristy areas. You would be lucky to find one which hasn’t been affected by the daily load shedding. (Every day, for about 3-4 hours, Nepal faces electricity cuts)

backpacking nepal

IDD/STD phone call and internet center

Vegetables sold by the road side which look really miserably. The carrots are the size of my last finger!

backpacking nepal

woman buying vegetables by the road side in Kathmandu City

A national security guard guarding a government building in Kathmandu.

backpacking nepal

One of the worlds most elite special forces, The Gurkha. Gurkha guard on alert

backpacking nepalA temple in Kathmandu Durbar square. This temple is at least a few hundred years old.

backpacking nepalForeign and local tourists flock to this spiritual square to pray and admire the beauty of the temple.

Below is a giant statue of a guardian animal protecting the temple grounds. Locals also pay homage and respects to the guardian as well by offering lights, flowers and a red type of dye which is dotted on the statue after prayers.

backpacking nepal

A guardian temple lion status

backpacking nepalIts amazing to see in the Durbar square in Nepal have so many different types of temple structures. If you notice, the left white structure and the right structure has different architecture.

backpacking nepalTo pay homage and respect to the spirits and deities, the locals would put the red dye on the stone to show respect.

backpacking nepal

cute hand woven cotton hats with cartoon characters

backpacking nepal

Most of the temples have intricate wooden carvings like these

backpacking nepal

The famous stupa at Boudanath!

backpacking nepal

One of the temple structures at the Durbar Square

Locals are seen climbing on top of the temple structures and sitting down there chatting to their friends totally unaware of the harm they are inflicting on to the intricate temple structures.

backpacking nepal

A local woman preparing a dish of dried up wheat, mixed spice potatoes, beans, and buffalo meat

The buffalo meat was pretty tough to chew. But otherwise it was pretty tasty. We wouldn’t lie to you and say it tastes like chicken!!

backpacking nepal

countryside in Nepal on our hike up to Changu Narayan Temple

backpacking nepal

Locals sitting down by the road side, to prepare temple offerings.

backpacking nepal

Temple offerings - Incense, flowers, butter lamps

patan durbar square

Patan Durbar Square

In the square it self you can see so many different architecture present. The amount of detailed carvings and attention given to the decorations on the temples are just astonishing.

nepal temple

Nepali winged guardian which can be seen praying facing the temple

backpacking nepal

this temple is a few hundred of years old

backpacking nepal
Woman selling flowers and butter lamps to devotees.

backpacking nepal

view from Nagargot Nepal

Nepal is such a beautiful country, the nature, people and culture. If you have the opportunity, make the time to visit Nepal.

We took so many pictures of Nepal and this is only a fraction of it. Please join us on our facebook fan page at backpackies is on facebook, to ask us anything on travel in Nepal as well as to share with us your travel experiences.



Filed under Air Asia, backpacking, Backpacking Kuala Lumpur, Backpacking Nepal

Hatyai Airport to Hatyai town by Mini van review by backpackies

With so many direct flights by the budget airlines to Hatyai (Hatyai by backpackies) , Air Asia flies direct from KL to Hatyai. Tiger Airways flies 10 times weekly direct to from Singapore to Hatyai.

With so many people arriving by flight to Hatyai on budget airlines, we thought the next question would be “So what is the cheapest way to get to Hatyai town from the airport” ??

Don’t worry, we at backpackies do think about you.

  1. Easiest way to get to town is of course by taxi. A cab will cost you around THB 250- 300. There is a taxi counter just outside arrival where you can get a cab – EASY.
  2. The cheapest way to town might not be the most ideal way either. There is a local Sawngteaw that runs past the Airport. They will stop just outside the airport. You will need to walk in which is like around 300 m. Cost around THB 50.
  3. We prefer to take the MIDDLE PATH. The express vans from the Airport to Hat Yai town is very often. (You can buy a ticket from the counter which is just outside the arrival gate) They are very reliable, fast and cheaper alternative to the taxi. It costs THB 150 and takes roughly 25 minutes

Van’s from Hat Yai town to Airport, there is a fixed time. You have to check at their office.The office is in Thanon Niphat Uthit 1 . Next to the Thai airways office. There is a phone number on the pictures down below.

hatyai mini van from airport to hatyai town

The Airport express van office is next to the Thai Airways office in town

hatyai mini van from airport to hatyai town

telephone number you need to remember

hatyai mini van from airport to hatyai town

the mini vans leave reasonably on time

hatyai mini van from airport to hatyai town

you will need to call and check on the departure times

hatyai mini van from airport to hatyai town

comfortable seats with air conditioning for the 25 minute ride. I cant complain

If you guys love travelling as much as we do and would love to share your travel stories and tips with us, we would love to hear from you. So please if you have a facebook account, do add us on BACKPACKIES IS ON FACEBOOK

See you there!

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Filed under Air Asia, backpacking, cheap flights

Saigon Mini Hotel review by backpackies

We arrived in Hi Chi Minh aka Saigon on a late evening Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Clearing customs was pretty easy so it took us about 25 minutes from the time we landed, cleared customs, collected our bags before we were off on a prepaid taxi to town.

We took a taxi to apparently where the ‘backpackers hung out’ which was the “Western Quarter” on Pham Ngu Lao street in District 1.
Walking around we found Saigon Mini Hotel 1. Saigon Mini Hotels is actually a chain of hotels, so you have Saigon Mini Hotel 1,2,3 and 5. All of them are within the walking distance from each other. So if one didnt have any space, most likely you will be diverted to another one with similar rooms. Each hotel had different room types. Im not exactly sure which one has which. If you contact them via email, im sure they will put you up in the right one.
Looking at the location of Saigon Mini Hotels which was pretty near to the famous BEN THANH MARKET (the inside opens from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm; and the outside opens from that time till midnight) coupled with the fact that it was already late and that they only had only one room left available for the night. We took it!
We just couldn’t wait to start the next day as we heard a lot about Ben Thanh Market and all the delicious Vietnamese cuisine you could find there as well as the souvenirs to buy home.
The food at Ben Thanh were priced to cater for the tourists. And the souvenirs, you needed a third lung to bargain with the traders there. But that is another story.
So before resting our tired bodies on the bed, we as dedicated backpackies reviewers, decided it was only right to let you guys see, what the room looks like. Here is what we think.

saigon mini hotel

nice and simple sign board

saigon mini hotel

entrance to Saigon Mini Hotel 1

Make sure if you are out exploring the city, its best to bring along a hotel name card and a map. Just in case you need a taxi to take you back, at least you know the address or a phone number which you can call.

saigon mini hotel

the double room

The en suite room was air-conditioned because it would be madness to get a room without one. Bloody hot outside!

saigon mini hotel

the bed was soft and comfortable

The bed was just nice and soft, as were the pillows and sheets. Bliss! Oh i need to mention how nice and think the towels were too! Like what you usually get in 4 star hotels.

saigon mini hotel

a small tv with some local channels and a fridge

The fridge was very handy to keep the local wines at the supermarket or mini market.

saigon mini hotel

a kettle and a hair dryer

saigon mini hotel

the mini toilet with shower 😛

The rooms might be a little pricey for backpackers standard which is why we only stayed for one night.
We still stayed in the same area but in another dodgy-ier hotel. Will upload that next.
Till then if you are interested in staying here, here is the website. Saigon Mini Hotel
If you need more reviews, you can find them on Tripadvisor.

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Have a safe and fun trip where ever you are going!

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Filed under Air Asia, backpacking, backpacking Vietnam

My virgin visit to Patpong Bangkok by backpackies

My first night out in Bangkok and the ‘helpful’ receptionist at my Guesthouse already points the direction to the nearest night market – PATPONG. (Of course everyone has obviously heard of PATPONG, except me who still thought it was the BEST night market in Bangkok.

I was staying at Just Beds a nice small boutique hotel which had rates that were quite reasonable. (I will blog about it a little while). It was stated there on their website that it would be a 10 minute walk to Patpong. But i thought since i was going to be tired from all that wonderful shopping that i envisioned in my head, i took a taxi there. The cab costed me 50 THB something  (please dont get me started on the sang (cents)) The zeros 0000 behind the notes are already confusing me enough.

There are two ends to Patpong sandwhiched between Silom and Suriwong Roads, just down from the Sala Daeng Skytrain Station and is home to the city’s most popular and renowned night market, many fine shops, restaurants, five star hotels and the main draw of all, some of the city’s most boisterous nightlife.

ping pong show pat pong night market

Welcome patpong! You wanna see show...banana show, ping pong show...tiger show

The Patpong area as we know it today, was founded in the late 1960s when a number of bars were erected for the US servicemen who were enjoying R + R away from the battlefields of Vietnam. By day the area was home to the offices of international companies, including a number of airlines, but by night it transformed into something far more exciting.

When the troops pulled out in 1975, Thailand’s increasing tourist trade discovered the area and since then Patpong has been a magnet for tourists and locals alike.

pat pong bangkok

some soi's are so narrow even the skinny lady boys have a hard time squeezing in between the taxi and the road side stall to get pass traffic!

Small shopping stalls overflow into the side streets of Silom and Suriwong but the main shopping is in Patpong Soi 1 itself.
(Soi means small street in Thai). There are plenty of things to buy here, ranging from shoes, fake watches, souvenirs, jerseys but all with over hiked up prices just to cater for the farang (white man) market. So if you are buying something here, make sure you bargain hard.
(This is what we normally do. If they open a price, lets say 500THB, we offer 50 THB. I know its ridiculous but it’s also shows how much we are prepared to offer, which isn’t a lot. Then you need to bargain up while the seller bargains down. Bargain till you meet a middle point where both of you are happy. What ever it is, just try to enjoy yourself. No point, if you guys and up yelling 4 letter words and being angry about it in the end. I have seen many people who cannot handle stress end up like that.

patpong bangkok

jerseys of every team and every player you can think of

patpong night market bangkok

flower soap handcrafted

patpong bangkok

creative pillow covers - very colourful with nice 'meaningful' words

patpong night market

zooming in on the wordings so you OLD fellas can read what it means

bangkok night shopping market patpong

glasses galore!!

Girls will love Patpong. But generally we noticed that all the street markets sell almost the same things. Here you will find plenty of sun glasses, earrings, hair accessories, hand bags and shoes.

bangkok patpong night market

stitch and donald makes smoking marijuana so illgally happy

Patpong has developed and it is not just known as a red light area.  Patpong is more diverse than any of the city’s other bar areas and is home to open air bars, live music venues, pool halls, gogo bars and other specialty bars.  You truly are spoiled for choice.

bangkok patpong

angry bird fever is madness in bangkok

Even if you are a shopping freak, you still got to eat don’t you? All around Patpong are small food stalls selling the local snacks and meals. Most common you will see is fried or BBQ food stuff. Below you will see a fried chicken stall selling every single part of the chicken FRIED!
Did you know that in Thailand: Fried chicken skin is a delicacy?

patpong night market

fried chicken!

The sushi stall had quite a variety going on for 5 THB each . I missed the Unagi Sushi, though i don’t think they have it.

bangkok patpong night market

fresh road side sushi

We passed by this stall selling pork rice. Man it was so good that if melted in our mouths. I would definitely go back there for another. A normal plate with pork meat, vegetables and 1 egg costs about 45 THB.

bangkok patpong night market

fatty pork rice served with vegetables and egg

patpong night market bangkok

Yummy pork rice, that is cooked will its so soft that it half melts in your mouth

patpong bangkok night market

Fresh seafood any one?

I kind of doubt how clean it is though since it is directly beside a busy road side. Mostly they will taste delicious after covered in tuk tuk smoke.

patpong bangkok thailand

steamed soft bread dipped in a mix of pandan kaya and coconut milk

bangkok night market

after a full tummy we venture further into patpong

They have a whole group for this??? Kewl….. i didnt know that. Did you??
As you reach the Suriwong end of Patpong. If you turn left, you are a very horny man. If you turn right you are gay.
We turned right just to be sure they got their left and right -RIGHT!
We discovered a street and here is what we saw..

patpong dream boys

Check out the patpong dream boys

patpong lady boys

Dream street in patpong- every girls fantasy?

Of course there are toys here for sale as well in case you got bored with your toy boy.

patpong bangkok

A variety of tools for everyone

patpong bangkok boysThis guy even gave me the happy pose! He is really loving his job.
You get to sit with girls, kiss them, entertain them, free drinks, and you get PAID! What a job….

Of course just on the other street are where all the lady boys or KA TUEYS (thai) hang out. They were so friendly that one of them kept flashing her panties at me. What a syiok i got! (SHOCK)

patpong night market bangkok

of course Patpong is crawling with lady boys as well

Just ignore the lady boy on the right. He/she is just trying to be friendly.

What we were trying to figure out was, out in the middle of all this fantasy we were suddenly hearing some hymns….from a choir. And here was a group of students trying to collect donations from all of those poor farangs who have just went shopping in PATPONG.

pat pong night market bangkok

And all of a sudden we see this band of innocent school children collecting donations

PATPONG besides being a famous red light district and shopping market, it is where you will find great bars and clubs to hang out at. We were sitting in one of them, sipping our over priced beer as we watch how the touts try their best to pull tourists into a ping-pong show.

We hope this give you an overall of what to expect in Patpong, Bangkok. If you guys have any more questions about Patpong please do add us on facebook at backpackies is on facebook.

If you want to ask us where the best ping-pong shows or tiger shows. I’m sorry we do not know. (Seriously).
Good luck and happy travelling.

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Filed under Air Asia, being happy while backpacking, Thailand

Famous Steamboat Street Food in Luang Prabang, Malee Restaurant Review by backpackies

We have to be honest to you that our recent trip to Laos was totally done without any help from the Lonely Planet.

To say we did the entire trip on our own, backpacking and researching without any prior Divine ‘travel guidance’ would be a lie. We did “Google” out ‘Laos’ and also ‘Things to do in Laos’ though. Hope you don’t condemn us for cheating in advance.

We were still trying to shake off our numb legs courtesy of the energy sucking 8 hour bus ride from Vang Vieng. To make matters worse, our mood was pretty sombre that day because of the leaky so called ‘dry bag’ that the girl sold us for 40,000 Kip (5 USD), assuring us that our important stuff would be safe when we go TUBING. Our camera and phone was **cked! Soaking wet, I tried to revive it by drying it in a dry environment. (But that’s another story).

When we got to Luang Prabang, this place immediately gave us a very relaxing and slow-paced feel to its whole setting. It is advisable to rent a bicycle and ride out to see what the whole town has to offer.  We did just that and rode around the side of Mekong River, where there were plenty of Guesthouses, restaurants, massage parlours and a few nice quaint coffee shops along the way.

As it was already getting dark, we decided to have some dinner.  We saw quite a number of  locals sitting by the river eating something. It looked good!.

Malee restaurant lonely planet

A local crowd eating here

Guests just sit on short plastic and wooden stools under a plastic canopy.
It’s directly next to the Mekong River. On each table, you’ll find a circular slot and in goes a charcoaled heated piping hot metal steamboat cum grill.

malee steamboat restaurant laos

Prepararing the food behind the counter

It looked like they were eating steamboat. Half of the food was in soup and the top of the silver pot was where they were BBQ’ing some meat on it.
Looked interesting enough for us to decide we would eat here.
Most importantly we felt that because it was a cold day, it would be inviting for us to have something hot. The rates and portions looked reasonable as well.

The dinner set we ordered. (Of course you can order separately, individual meat or more vegetables according to liking)

You’ll get a menu choice of Chicken, Pork or Beef along with vegetables. Use pork belly or vegetable oil to oil the grill and on which you’ll throw your meat for grilling. The lower portion doubles up as a steamboat, where you’ll add stock to cook vegetables and mushrooms.

malee steamboat luang prabang

Plates of vegetables, meat strips, egg and sticky rice

malee restaurant steamboat luang prabang

We set the meat to BBQ and the vegetables in the soup to cook

malee restaurant steamboat luang prabang
Little did we know, later after coming back from Laos, only did we notice that the restaurant we ate at “ Malee Restaurant” was recommended by the Lonely Planet.
If you love BBQ, you would love this place. You don’t actually ‘eat under the stars’, but its Al Fresco for sure. The place was clean and it was pretty airy at that time, so we didn’t have to worry about our main enemy “Mosquitoes”!!!

malee restaurant luang prabang

sitting on small stools and enjoying the local cuisine

We had our dinner at around 8 ish, which was already dark. The whole place was actually quite crowded when we left. We did the occasional foreign tourist eating here, but majority of the crowd was local.

The BBQ cost 35000 Kips per person (2010).

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Filed under Air Asia, backpacking, being happy while backpacking