Saturday, 30 June 2012

Photos - Gay Vietnam, Saigon/ Ho Chi Minh City

Going gay in Ho Chi Minh City is really picking up, there are a number of small establishments and it seems that (while they are discreet) there are more Vietnamese giving the culture a go. In fact it is quite upscale, no seedy establishments did I come across, lovely cocktail and dance bars. Plus once the Vietnamese have drunk at least a litre of Whiskey or Vodka or Gin they start dancing.

Windows - popular coffee shop, there are 2 in Saigon, busy between 12 - 2pm and 5 - 7pm
Central - popular bar and dance place, busy after 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday
Apocalypse - mixed dance bar, but frequented at the front on the dance floor by mainly gay patrons, busy after 11pm

Friday, 29 June 2012

Photos - Singapore at dusk

I prepared myself to fly home from Saigon, but on looking at my flight ticket I realised I had a 15 hour stop-over in Singapore. This was my perfect chance to see this concrete and glass city. I wanted to see it, but didn't really want to spend much time here, as I knew it would be just another city, so 15 hours would be perfect (well inclusive of 6 hours sleep of course).

However I was totally amazed by how new and fresh the place was, apart from ridiculously expensive, beyond my expectations (far beyond), I found it revitalized my sense of what a new city is today and how as human-beings we have moved beyond the huge block architecture of our forefathers to the use of glass, electricity and lighting. Singapore was worth the short visit.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Photos - the Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta was the reason for my return to Vietnam - I wanted to see the final south, I wanted to see how the country worked, the largest paddy field. The trip to Cambodia also allowed me to see where the waters of this great plantation came from.

However the water was muggy, dirty and made me think twice about eating rice again...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Featured blog post: Hotels smoking dope?

What are some Hoteliers Smoking ?

smoking hoteliersI just have to get this of my chest, and share my latest experiences with you. I love it how many hoteliers complain about the fact that OTA are penetrating their hotel too far and are almost controlling their business. And not to forget the rants we hear about the ARR being too low. But sometimes we have to look at ourselves instead of blaming others. Some hotels just have to get their revenue management strategy in order, more than anything else.
A perfect example is what happened to me this week when reserving a hotel in Bandung, a large university and retail outlet city in Indonesia. I called a hotel listed in the first page of TripAdvisor to find out what their rates are. I was quoted Rp. 1.200.000. I decided to look around a bit more knowing I should be able to get a better deal in this market. When I looked on the hotel website and saw rooms available at Rp. 800.000. I decided to call back the hotel.

View the rest here:

Photos - Learning Cambodia's past - the killing fields

It was a long night drive to Phnom Penh, leaving at midnight on the 6.5 hour drive I had hoped to get some sleep. Instead it was a furocious drive and the roads were ill-equipped, huge craters seemed to be pitted along the route causing me to bounce on my seat as we bumped along to the capital of Cambodia. It was one of the worst bus journeys of my life - little sleep, air-con was on maximum and the smoothest of roads lastest just a few hundred metres.

However, on arriving and being collected by a Tuk Tuk driver we headed to the Killing Fields, where I learned that in the dead of night families were bundled into the back of a truck, told they were being relocated, before being dropped off in pitch black just to be murdered. I imagine their last journey was pretty similar to mine, accept much more cramped - the horror of this mass grave was enough to set-me off, yet to understand their last journey...

This is a horrific place to visit, as is the former prison, now a museum of where the murdered were kept before they were forced to confess a non-crime then taken to be disposed of. To think this is STILL happening in the world today, it's disgusting!