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Back Home Guesthouse KL by backpackies

They don’t win awards for nothing! Welcome to Backhome Kl , backpackers hostel in KL!
Winner of the Number 3 hostel in Asia and Number 1 hostel in Malaysia for year 2010 and 2009  respectively. (awards by hostel world)

Apart from all the other guesthouses, hostels, dorms and budget hotels in KL, back home  manages to stand out from the bunch. Back home incorporates a minimalist and modern look to its designs that makes guests feel right at home. Couples with its friendly staff, spacious toilets, comfortable and clean rooms, you can be sure of a great nights sleep here at Back Home KL.

Our story:
A few points that you need to take in to account when you are looking for accommodation in KL. In a city like KL, location is everything. You don’t want to choose a place to stay (even though it is like a 5 star hotel but takes you 2 hours to get there). Because if the taxi fare don’t kill you, the walking and transiting from one LRT ( light rail transit) to another will! (KL public transportation is terrible)!

When we first googled out hostels in KL, after skimming thru the non-important sites, we came across Back Home Kl on the second page. And because we have already heard of this place previously from the local newspapers. We decided to check it out.
First thing that struck us was the prices of the beds. At Back Home KL, they are charging something like 40+ per dorm. So that is like a premium compared to the other hostels and guesthouses along Bukit Bintang (who are charging around RM 25 to RM 35).

The other thing is the location. On the map it looks like it is very far from every thing else.
Where as, if you stay at Changkat Bukit Bintang,Chinatown, Tengkat Tong Shin or anywhere around these areas, you are practically in the center of everything (shopping, food etc).

Taking these two things into account (location and price), we were still very attracted by the reviews and pictures.
So we decided to give Back Home a try.

Back Home KL hold to the saying
“So whatever rocks your world, we’ve got it”
And they promote on their website:

* Clean and Comfortable!
* Central location in Kuala Lumpur. Walking distance to LRT and convenience stores.
* Contemporary design.
* Cool attached Cafe.

Just the slogans we are looking for at backpackies.com

Expecting to walk quite a distance. Surprisingly it only took us like 5 minutes walk from the Masjid Jamek LRT station. Back Home Kl was very conveniently found.

cheap guesthouses kl

BACK HOME KL is 5 minutes walk from Masjid Jamek LRT station

Back Home is easily recognisable by the white wash exterior. You can also look out for the banners by the side

cheap guesthouses kl

look out for the white washed building along Jalan HS LEE

The main door of Back Home KL looks something like this. It shares the same entrance as this Yong Tau Foo shop. Back Home Kl’s entrance is on the right hand side. The door is electronically locked so you either need the key code or just ask someone from reception to buzz you in.

guesthouses kl

front entrance of back home kl

The staffs were really friendly! Simply loved them! Dewi (the indian lady) keeps laughing! She cheers the customers up easily.

cheap guesthouse kl

friendly staff taking care of the reception!

cheap guesthouse kl

Awards for this place. Year after year- back to back

cheap guesthouse kl

small but cozy lounge that is very tastefully decorated

cheap guesthouse kl

We stayed with them during hari raya (a malay celebration), and they served us some satay, ketupat and lemang for free

The wifi signal was strong enough to cover the courtyard as well

 cheap guesthouse kl

small court yard to chill at

If you don’t have your own computer, there are work stations at the lounge area that you can use.

cheap guesthouse kl

in the lounge : there is cable tv on a wall mounted LCD tv, reading corner and some computers where you can acccess the internet

Really strong beds for the dorms. No creaking and no movement at all! Just careful not to kick the bed or stairs, as in the end, your legs will be the one hurting ! Unlike other places, Back Home Kl uses welded steel to custom make their beds.

cheap guesthouses kl

dorms @ back home kl

There is a small wash up area inside the dorms. (this was in a 4 man dorm)

cheap guesthouse in kl

dorms come with a sink inside

cheap guesthouse kl

very strong steel ladder to climb up to the top bunk

cheap guesthouse kl

we checked! they used slumber land mattresses and pillows. No wonder you can sleep like a baby

cheap guesthouse kl

notice for guests

It gets a little too noisy especially if you are in the rooms facing the main road (Jalan HS LEE). Traffic honking their way thru the day can be a nuisance. The reception sells ear plugs for RM 4- RM 6. I guess if you really cant stand the noise, and if jamming toilet paper in your ears don’t work, you just need to buy the ear plugs!

Another thing you need to pay attention to, is that the reception closes after 12 midnight. If you are out clubbing or drinking and intend to get back after this hour, please do remember to get the security code so you can access the door.

Lockers are provided, but you will need to have your own lock. If you don’t, you can rent if from the reception at RM 5. You will get it the RM 5 when you return the lock and key.

cheap guesthouse kl

common showers are clean and the water pressure is powerful

The showers are spacious and clean. The tiles are non slip tiles, and the showers are very powerful. Hot shower and cold shower is available. However there is no shower gel provided. You will need to buy some yourself from the shops outside. They don’t sell it either.

cheap guesthouse in kl

clean toilets and thank god you don't have to buy your own toilet paper

cheap guesthouses kl

wooden stair case leading to the top floor

cheap guesthouses kl

upstairs corridor heading to the other rooms

cheap guesthouse kl

walk way leading to the toilets on the second level, the courtyard is directly below

There is no proper place to hang clothes. So guests resort to using the railings to hang their wet clothes.

cheap guesthouse in kl

view of the courtyard from the second floor

Our Verdict: they deserve every inch of the small award they have displayed on their reception!

Clean and comfortable place to stay in. Only complaint is the prices! 😀

If you are interested in staying at backhome kl, you can either check out their website at backhome kl or find them at

Backhome Kuala Lumpur
30, jalan Tun HS LEE
50000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 60320787188
email: info@backhome.com.my

For more free budget information visit us as backpackies.com or please do join us on our fan page on facebook at backpackies is now on facebook

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Bloody Bed Bugs! Budget hotels Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Asia

God Damn! I hate Bed Bugs!
Blood Sucking Bed Bugs! Yeah…You better be afraid!
Cuz they are your worse night mare!
If you are constantly looking out for cheap hotels, motels, hostels to sleep in, you can be sure that one of these days, you will run in to them!
** Thats why we search hard on www.backpackies.com to find you accomodations that arent with BED BUGS!

Bed bugs are tiny, “if you got shitty eyes, then yeah you can’t see them”, well hidden parasitic insects, that feed on BLOOD. They usually infest the bed – hence the name BED BUGS.
  

this is how small a bed bug is, AFTER it is filled with your blood! Its smaller when it just started sucking

Bed bugs are mostly active at night, and they are very good at sucking your blood without you noticing it.
** From now- THEY refers to the BED BUGS  

This is what a bed bug on close up looks like!

this is the life cycle of the bed bug!Most species only feed on humans when other prey is sleeping, or not moving. bed bug bites is itchy as hellThey are attracted to CO2, warmth, and other chemicals that your body emits. They don’t necessarily crawl on the bed sheets, setting fire to the blanket, doesnt work!

( They can be crawling from the walls, or drop down from the ceiling! (Wear a hat? When you sleep? Cuz they might make a home in your hair?) ha ha we are kidding. But seriously, they can crawl!
  

How do they suck your blood? 

Bed bugs feeding on your skin!

There is these hollow feeding tubes that stick out from their mouth, and they pierce your skin and inject their saliva which contains anticoagulants and anesthetics while it slowly sucks your blood. Kind of like how vampires and mosquitoes do it.
You wont feel pain or itchy at first, but after they bite you, and the drugs wear out, then you start to itch. And really itch badly!
  

bitten by bed bugs

Bed bugs will suck for about 3-5 minutes and then go back to hide. Probably to digest what they just took from you.  

Mind you, these critters can live for a year without feeding, but they normally try to feed every 5 – 10 days. When it’s cold, they can also hibernate. So in this hot Asian climate, don’t ever think of hiding from them! 

How do they infest and move in with you?  

There are several ways in which dwellings can become infested with bedbugs and their eggs.  

Bed bugs can infest and breed  

bed infested by bed bugs!

  1. In clothing’s and luggage – which is why most damn hotels don’t allow you to put your bags on the bed!
    bags on bed
  2. They can also backpack! They just travel with their bags on your animals! (If you bloody have one), soo now instead of ticks, you have to be worried of bed bugs too!

They can infest anything! Unless they are killed together with their eggs!  

How to know if there are bed bugs?  

It is really hard to see if the bed or room has any bed bugs.  

They hide mostly in dark corners, cracks, and in clothes and mattresses.  

Typically a bed sheet might look nice and clean. But after a few hours, once you start to feel itchy, and find small blood stains on the sheets, then you can be sure there are bed bugs around.  

Catch them in the act – Keep a flashlight by your bed, and turn it on when you start to feel itchy, watch the sheets closely for movement. If you get up or move too much they will go back into hiding. This can be hard to do – if you’ve only got a few of them, they only need to come out once a week or so anyway, so you might get unlucky and not see any, even though you have them.  

What wont work?! We tried it already!  

If you are sleeping in a room with two single beds. No point moving to the other bed, for it is surely infested also. (But you can always try)  

Putting on an extra bed sheet or towel doesn’t work either.  

Putting a bath towel on the bed doesn’t help, they just crawl over the towel!  

Sleeping on the chair? Its as bad an idea as sitting and falling asleep in the toilet.
  

sleeping in the toilet- they might climb up your ass and bite you!

and if we were forced to sleep on the kitchen table, we would surely bring some company with us! he he

Sleeping on the kitchen table (that is if your budget hotel even has one) wont help  

Sleeping in the bath tub, is freaking cold!  

Dont bring them home with you.  

Make your target less attractive. Put it up high on a chair. Don’t put your bags on the floor. But of course dont put them on the bed also, as you might not know if there are any that is already in your bag.  

Using a plastic bag to store your clothes is a good way to isolate them from the bed bugs.
  

packing smart!

Finally, do a quick inspection of your clothes in your luggage before you leave.  

When you get home from your trip, immediately send your clothes for washing and air your bags in the sun.  

They hate sunlight 

How do you ease the itch and not get bitten again?  

corticool - mint cooling gel

Corticool, which is a cream that relieves itching from insect bites and that you can buy over the counter.
You can also try Benadryl or using calimine lotion will help with it. Of course, that won’t stop you from actually being bitten.  

Some ways you can try.  

Use a double tape to tape around the sides of your bed legs. It only works if the mattress or bed sheets aren’t infested already. The bed bugs will get trapped if they try to crawl up the legs on to the bed.
  

bug spray!

2) Sterifab is a good stopgap solution until you can bring
an exterminator in. It’s a spray bottle product that is effective at killing them. You’d never get them all with it, but reducing the number of them helps reduce the number of times you’re bitten. It also lingers and keeps killing for a day or so after you spray it, so it can keep working overnight.  

There is a new certain type of sleeping bag that comes with an Insecticide Layer.
If you are travelling in asia. Most probably, you can try the medicated oil, which is cheaper and easier to find here than Corticool. It is the same minty gel – CORTICOOL mentioned above. This is in oil form. Great for head aches and easing nausea.  

chinese medicated oil, helps a little

The bites can last from a few days to a few weeks.  

Depending on how allergic you are. It will definitely be faster if you apply some medication.  

When are these bites going to go away?  

That could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It depends on how allergic you are to them. Some people are really allergic and will have them for a lot longer. Most of the time, the itching will stop first and the bite mark will gradually disappear.  

 We hope you know when its mosquitoes and when its bed bugs!  

We wish you all the best and may god ..kill all the rest (of the bed bugs) 😀
Have fun backpacking!  

 
 

 

  

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Visit the Rice Museum Langkawi (Laman Padi Langkawi) instead- On Cenang Beach

My visit to the Rice Museum along Cenang Beach was really lucky.  I opened the map of Langkawi and saw that one of the  attractions there was the Burnt Rice Fields- Beras Terbakar in Malay. Not only was it far and hot, but there was nothing to see. Ok, some say that when it rains, the rain water will wash away the top soil and you might see some burnt rice from long ago.

If you aren’t already sweating like a pig! – Just know that Langkawi hardly sees any rainfall. So if you are hoping for see some green paddy fields, you slowly wait la!

The rice Museum is a great place, fun for photoshooting and also very educational (if you have the right guide)

It is located along Cenang Beach towards the very end, opposite Casa Del Mar.
Entrance is FREE and you can even get a tour guide to explain everything to do with rice to you for FREE!

Here is what we captured.

Personal tour of the museum

different plots of paddy fields

different shades of green on the paddy fields

lady farmer smiling at me

backpackies langkawi

saving the rice! Scarecrow versus the netting method!

pluck and bring home some irish good luck?

fish trapping area in the paddy field

just finished seeding! Plastic bags are hung so that when the wind blows , the bags will shake and the birds wont eat the seeds

rooftop planting paddy fields

this device is used to pound the rice !

The rice museum is a great place to visit in Langkawi. Visit www.backpackies.com for more info. Hope you guys find this place educational!
And just remember its FREE!

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“Whore-tels” anyone?! Don’t be fooled.


Not all Cheap Hotels comes with a “plus + plus” whore service you know.
And not all come with a super super sleazy name like “Fantasy Hotel” or Wonderful Land”  attached to it!

dark stairs leading to "happy time"

Since long ago, Asian  mentality has grouped together the word CHEAP with DODGY, DIRTY and PROSTITUTES, when they refer to Hotels.

Because in Asia, most of these low budget hotels are used as prostitution dens to remain low-key to avoid detection from the police and also because it is a Asian culture to try to get the maximum profit from a minimal investment!

backpackers hostel! For those "not so"innocent backpackers. You know who you are!

Bloody hell yes, we have had our fair share of dirty stained walls, musty “100 guys must have had a gang bang here” odor to it, bed bugs that seem to have 8 generations living in the same bed, squat toilets that look worse than what i see in the guys dorms and oh yeah! our favorite! Couples banging the hell out of each other and the whole hotel can hear it because of the thin cheap chip boarded walls . WE HAD ENOUGH!

We decided to jump out and write this short blog to speak our mind, because of the http://www.backpackies.com ideology, where we are dedicated to finding the best, cleanest and of course NON DODGY budget hotels in ASIA.  People always ask : “What 4USD for a room in central downtown? Are you sure about this? Is it a prostitution den? ”

Massage Sir??! Cheap Cheap

NO. The budget hotels listed here has already been thoroughly researched and the pictures you see here are what we see ourselves.

P/s : So we are sorry if you are looking for some “Happy Time” by looking for a place to sleep on our site.

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Getting High Smoking Shisha Can Kill You!

Shisha is freaking addictive!
“very often people refer to the tobacco as “Shisha”= Incorrect. The common
term for tobacco is Massell! (Arabic nomenclature)

Craving for a smoke of Shisha after a meal? Or simply wanting to get “high”
while relaxing with friends? The common question people seem to have is,
weather shisha is as addictive and harmful as cigarretes. “Doesnt the water
filter off the dangerous stuff?”The Shisha/Hookah culture has been gaining
popularity in Asia, especially in Malaysia and Singapore. Its been seen as an
alternative to the tradisional, teh tarik or coffee at the local mamak/coffee joint.
The best part is, modern traders nowdays offer both!Just to brush up on
history, hookah or hukkah in Hindi is a single or multi stemmed (often glass
based) water pipe used for smoking.It is believed to have originated from India.
Yes, most of us have the conception that it comes from the middle east.
Apparently it was the indians who started it. Operated using a water
filtration concept, hookah is used to smoke herbal fruits and floral flavoured tobacco.
There are plenty of terminology for this apparatus, Narghile is the name used in
Syria,Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Turkey where the “n” is dropped in Arabic pronounciation.
Narghile is derived from the Persian word nargil which means coconut, and in
Sanskrit narikila suggesting the early hookah was hewn from coconut shells.
In cafes and restaurants,it is rare for the smoker not to order an individual
hookah as the price is generally low.
But for those who are sharing one, cafes usually provide separate plastic mouth
pieces that you can attach for personal hygiene. Believe it or not, in some
places, Iran for example, the mouth pieces or “Amjid” is usually made from wood
or metal and decorated with valuable stones.

"smoking shisha"

Make your own Shisha

Do it your self “Hookah”
The hookah is usually made of 4 components.

The bowl, or the head of the hookah is a container made from clay or marble is used to hold the coal and tobacco.The bowl is loaded with tobacco, and covered with alluminium foil and perforated with tiny holes. Hot bits of charcoal is placed on it allowing the tobacco to be heated up.

The plate is used to keep your supply of hot coal.

The body of the hookah is hollow (to let the smoke flow through) with a gasket at the bottom. The gasket has one minimum opening for the hose but can have multiple openings making it a multi hosed hookah. (usually for the longer bodied ones)

Theres a valve at the bottom, near the connection of the gasket and the water jar. It controls the air intake into the hookah. Closing it decreases the dillution rate, thus creating more intense smoke.

How it Operates
The glass jar is filled with sufficient water to submerge the inner
tube which is attached tightly to it. Tobacco is placed inside the bowl on top of the hookah with burning charcoal on the tin foil. When you inhale, air is sucked and heated by the hot charcoal, heats up the Tobacco, producing smoke, passing through the tube into the water, up the hose and into your lungs.

Tobacco/Molasses
Tradisionally tobacco is mixed with sugar based syrup together with bits of fruits and extract to give it the sweet fragrant smell. Some times these flavours are derived from adding artificial flavourings including the all time favourites, mint, apple, chocolate and others. Blending flavours has become the latest “in” thing, which smokers think it gives a more complex flavour.

Effects of Shisha
Some might think that smoking shisha isnt as harmful as cigarretes, but the real truth is, because of the prolonged period of smoking shisha it exposes the smoker to more smoke. The water absorbs only little amounts of nicotine from the smoke, thus making it addictive. “Using the waterpipe for 45 minutes, could triple nicotine, exposure and substantially increase your intake of carbon monoxide, plasma nicotine and heart rate. Did you know the amount of TAR (mg) from 1gm of Shisha Tobacco is almost 72 times the same yield from 1gm of cigarette? Here are some sites for additional reading. Last but not least, we know you enjoy a puff of shisha. Just like anything else, do it responsibly.

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