We Found Our Forever Home in Denver

My husband was offered an incredible opportunity in Denver a few years ago. We were living in New York City at the time, and the idea of living somewhere else was extremely appealing. I know that some people love the city, but I was tired of the congestion and only seeing buildings and cars instead of trees and grass all around me. My husband felt the same way, so we did a search for Kentwood Denver after his new boss told him that they are a very reputable real estate company in the area.

I was able to start looking at listings right away, and my breath was taken away. We paid more money for our condo in New York City than what we would end up paying for a luxury home in Denver. Even better, these homes were all situated in areas where there were actual yards, trees, mountains, and much more right outside the door. I had so much fun looking at the different properties. Continue reading

The Best Packages of Boracay Hotels

Boracay hotels always offer the best travel accommodations. They aimed to offer their guests the best accommodation, first class rooms and facilities with world class services. Most tourists know that Boracay is the number one tourist destination in the Philippines.

This bone-shaped island has a tropical weather and situated about 200 kilometers from south of Manila and 2 kilometers on the northwest tip of Panay Island in Western Visayas. This tropical island is considered by so many as paradise and has been enticing to people from all over the world because of its powder fine, white sand beach. The weather is mild enough to offer warmth, tranquility, and opulence to the island visitors. The place offers a great venue for numerous water sports activities, outdoors and even indoors activities as well.

Variety Options of Boracay Hotels

Boracay Island is a little paradise and a home to hotels of any kind. Hotels and resorts available are from class “A” to “Triple A” accommodations.

Boracay hotels and resorts that offer Class “A” accommodation are Alyssa Boracay Resort, Casa Pilar Beach Resort, Dalisay Paradise Resort, Galaxy Beach, Milflores de Boracay, Serina’s Place, Noe’s Place Resort, Nikko’s Beach , Saigon Beach, Starfire Resort, Sentro Group Resort and Tropical Guest House.

The class “Double A” Boracay resorts are the following: 357 Boracay Resort, Alice in Wonderland, Arwana Beach Hotel and Restaurant, Asya Boracay, B and B Beach Resort, Bamboo Bungalows, Bans Beach, Boracay Beach Chalet, Boracay Courtyard Beach, and Boracay Gold Crowne Club.

You can also enjoy the facilities of a class “Double A” Boracay resorts from the following: Boracay Peninsula Resort, Blue Waves Beach House, Blue Lily Villa, Boracay Beach, Casa Asia Resort, Casa Camilla Boracay, Chalet Y Resort, Club Manila East, Club Ten, Crystal Sand, Dave’s Straw Hat Inn, Escondido, and Fat Jimmy’s Resort. In addition, Hey Jude Hotel, La Carmela de Boracay Resort, La Reserve Resort Hotel, Lion’s Den Resort, and Punta Rosa Resort with the same class accommodation.

Boracay is a home to hotels and resorts classified as “Triple A” resorts such as Boracay Plaza, Boracay Ocean Club, Calypso Diving Resort, Cocomangas Hotel, Club Panoly, Discovery Shores, Fairways and Bluewater, Fridays Resort Boracay, Le Soliel de Boracay Hotel, Lorenzo, Nigi Nigi Nu Noos and many more.

Hotel Packages at Their Best

The different Boracay resorts and hotels have different package deals offered to the island guests. Boracay Peninsula is located at Station 2, a beach front hotel with pool and an accommodation rate of Php 4813 for its standard single room and Php 5125 for its superior room.

Las Brisas de Boracay in Station 1 offers a superior room with single accommodation for Php 5268 and single deluxe room for Php 5695. Hotel Isla Boracay in Station 3 has the single superior room accommodation for Php 13250 and Php 16500 for their single accommodation in premier room respectively. Most of the Boracay packages are inclusive of 3 days and 2 nights accommodation, daily breakfast, welcome drinks and two way trip of land and sea transfers.

There are other variations of tour and accommodation packages that can provide tourists several options that will make them experience a wonderful stay at Boracay hotels.

Jose Maria Abada writes for [http://www.Philippine-Travel-Guide.com], a travel guide that discusses about the Philippine Islands. The Philippines is an archipelago in Southeast Asia composed of more that 7,100 islands. Check it out to learn more about the country especially it’s resorts and beaches like the world famous Boracay resorts.

Cheap Ho Chi Minh Hotels

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest and busiest city in Vietnam. It has a population of 5 million people. It is extremely crowded, dirty and noisy. However, it is an exciting city. Millions of tourists from all over the world come to explore Ho Chi Minh City every year.

Some of the tourist attractions in the city are the Dam Sen Water Park, Revolutionary Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum. Along the streets, you can easily find shops, markets and restaurants. Being the largest city in Vietnam, the city offers hundreds of hotels for all budgets to make your stay here comfortable.

I recently came across two cheap hotels in Ho Chi Minh City which I find worth mentioning. Depending on your travel dates, the hotel rates are less than $50 per night including breakfast for two.

Vien Dong Hotel

This 3-Star hotel is located at the heart of the city and close to Mariamman Temple. A nearby attraction is the Ben Thanh Market. This building has 10 floors and 100 guest rooms with complete facilities like coffee makers, mini-bars, televisions, free movie channels, safes and phones. In addition, the hotel also provides free internet access to all guests. There are also recreational amenities like sauna and massage rooms. There are also event space with banquet facilities and conference rooms. Room service is also available during limited hours.

Kelly Hotel

This 3-Star hotel is located in Ho Chi Minh City. The nearby attractions are the Mariamman Temple, Ben Thanh Market and Reunification Palace. The rooms are well equipped and furnished with standard facilities like refrigerators, coffee makers, shaving mirrors, televisions, free movie channels and slippers. There are also recreational amenities like the fitness room, spa and massage rooms and hair salon. If you want to check your emails, the hotel also provides free internet access in the public areas. If you need additional services like airport shuttle, tour ticket assistance and laundry services, arrangement can be made on request.

If you plan to visit Ho Chi Minh City soon, the first thing you should do is to decide on which hotel to stay. Use the internet to search for cheap hotels in Ho Chi Minh City and compare the prices before you make any decisions. Making hotel reservations online is probably the best choice. Many hotels offer special rates and free add-on services through hotel portals.

To get special internet rates for Cheap Ho Chi Minh Hotels [http://www.echeaphotel.com/ho%20chi%20minh%20city-hotels], please visit [http://www.echeaphotel.com] for more information. You can also check out other destinations for cheap hotel rates as well. All bookings are confirmed instantly with no booking or reservation fees.

The Very Best Asian Cheap Hotels, Really!

If your passion is travel but your budget squeals like a rubber ducky underfoot every time that you hit the road, then maybe you might want to consider some of the very best cheap Asian Hotels. Really there are a lot of them, but unfortunately trying to find them is like looking for your lost keys, you know they are there somewhere but putting your hands on them is the tough part. All prices are in dollars which are getting to be a luxury item to carry as the dollar continues its steady death defying plummet (hint, hint Mr. President)

Orchidee Guesthouse, Utopia in Sihanoukville Cambodia

Asian Cheap hotels are not supposed to have a pool much less a nice pool that is within a 100 meters of the ocean. Brand new rooms and a cost for most rooms at $20 is a hard deal to pass up. Of course for the really cheap you can go to Utopia which is free, but you will have lots of company close enough to smell the garlic pizza and beer they had for a midnight snack, as that was all they could afford as they kept their travel money stash in dollars, which are losing their value so fast that if you tape them to the back of a moped it will go much faster according to physics, which states for every action there is a equal opposite reaction.

Bright Lotus 2 Phnom Penh Cambodia

Right across the street from the National Art Museum, kitty corner to the Cambodia palace (the place where the king lives) and on the same block as the world famous Foreign Correspondence Club, with air con, refrigerator and a TV that no one watch’s because you are in the best area in Phnom Penh for cruising around. The rooms are $14 to $18 a night USD or Zimbabwe dollars as they have almost reached parity in the local Cambodian markets.

AA Hotel Pattaya Thailand

I just love the pool; no I really love the view from the pool up on the 4 floor. The pool looks out over the Pattaya bay and is very close to Pattaya Walking Street, one of the best places in the world for people watching, as the crowd gets weirder as the night wears on. Around $25 USD but getting more expensive as the dollar continues its steady savings account emptying plummet.

Dai Hong Kim Saigon Vietnam

I really enjoy the city scanning view of Saigon from the 6th and 7th floors. If you can not get a room up high then any of the other hotels in the area will do. The highlight being the great Vietnamese coffee at the sidewalk café’s, affordable for even the poorest travelers carrying dollars, which are getting so light in value that you can use them as floatation devices.

Singapore Cheap Hotels Aljunied Stop on the Singapore subway.

Most people looking for cheap hotels in Singapore usually stay in Little India which is OK, but you get twice as much for half the price if you just go a couple more stops down. Walk out the main entrance at the Aljunied station into the little pocket park, turn right one block, turn left at the stop light, one block to the next stop light turn right again and pick anyone you want. The best street food is here as well as some of the most interesting nightlife in Singapore, at only $25 USD a night what a deal! I suppose to be fair I should mention that it is very close to an adult entertainment area, but hey people that stay in really cheap hotels in Asia have most likely seen this before. The hotels are getting a little more expensive as the value of the US buck, which is starting to look like Jonathan Livingston Seagull wearing his lead helmet on his first day of stunt flying.

Fred Tittle has lived and worked in holiday vacation resorts his entire life, from Lake Geneva’s Playboy Club, as a rock jock for KSPN FM in Aspen Colorado, he became a PADI Pro Scuba Diver in Hawaii, diving on Maui, Kauai, Kona on the big island, and Waikiki on Oahu. He founded EcoSea Dive in Sihanoukville Cambodia He teaches SSI and PADI scuba diving courses and runs liveaboards in the gulf of Thailand and other Asia adventure tours, http://www.ecosea.com

Fred’s new project http://www.CheapCharliesHotels.com where he reviews cheap hotels , budget guesthouses, discount accommodations and cheap international flights, but is really an excuse to go scuba diving on vacation more, Fred is in Phnom Penh trying to figure out where to travel to next in Asia.

How to Cross the Street in Saigon

I started to step into the street, my foot hovering in the air as my knees shook with fright. Heat, humidity, and exhaust fumes engulfed me as the air literally shook around me from what appeared to be thousands of vehicles swirling on all sides of the round-about.

It had been three days since we had arrived in Saigon, officially now Ho Chi Minh City, and we were trapped halfway across an eight lane street. Motor scooters, taxis, auto rickshaws, human powered rickshaws, all vying for first place in the ever crazed race around the streets of the city.

Prior to arriving we’d been given the advice from a savvy traveler to shadow the largest local as they crossed the street. Good advice, I’m sure, but we’re tall Americans and, at best, the largest Vietnamese anywhere near averaged 5’4″ and weighed 110lbs soaking wet! How would they possibly be able to help block us from sure death as we stepped into traffic?

After several hapless minutes, unsure how to proceed, we finally realized we simply had to take the plunge. Adrenaline cursed through my veins making it seem even hotter than it was and finally, profusely drenched in sweat, we followed a tiny Vietnamese woman into the mass of rushing traffic. Skedaddling through traffic like a crab crossing the sand, I could feel the rush of passing vehicles and even occasionally the brush of a handlebar, arm or shirt sleeve as the motorbikes swerved around us.

Breathing hard, sure of our impending death by motor scooter, we slowly but surely made it to the other side. Relieved beyond measure but also disheartened, knowing that we’d have many more streets to cross to continue our walking tour throughout the sites of the city and then to get back to our hotel alive.

That afternoon we wilted in the heat and took cycle rickshaws back to the hotel but in the days to follow, we became more comfortable dealing with the traffic and, in the end learned the most valuable lesson of all. NEVER STOP. Walk slowly and surely and in a straight line. Don’t swerve, and above all, never attempt to avoid the scooters. They will maneuver around you and, believe me, are far more adept at dealing with the street craziness than you or I will ever be. Weeks later, by the time we arrived in Hanoi, we were no longer fazed by any of it and navigated their crazy streets easily. Saigon was a challenging introduction to the streets of Vietnam but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. If you can survive crossing the streets there, you can survive them anywhere.

Discover Lively Saigon While You Embark on a Colorful Journey of Its Past and Present

Watch out guys! Ho Chi Minh City is on the move! Also known as Saigon, the city is a feast for the senses. And it starts on the streets and sidewalks. Hurrying motorbikes whiz by everything, there is no lane too congested, no road too small for these guys. Side street vendors whipping spicy delights and teeming markets with fresh goods define the city. Its people are constantly on the go. And throw in the occasional colonial buildings that dot the landscape consisting of wooden shops, sleek skyscrapers, gourmet restaurants and oriental pagodas. What do you have? Ho Chi Minh City.

Alright, we’ll structure Saigon out for you so you can make sense of this lively city. And the best way to discover Ho Chi Minh City is learn a bit about its past. In comes the Museum of Vietnamese History to sort that out. After that, step into the War Remnants Museum and uncover the horrors that occurred right here not too long ago. And since we are in the museum theme, we’ll throw in the FITO Museum for good measure. What’s inside? A collection of over 3,000 items relevant to the development of traditional Vietnamese medicine. Ranging from the traditional over the counter pills to ancient herbal remedies, it’s all here.

And let’s go further back in the past and explore the city’s colonial flair. The Notre Dame Cathedral was built by the French and completed in 1880. This two bell-tower building could easily be in Europe and pass as a pure European structure. Several other structures could also pass as Western buildings as well, namely the Old Post Office, Continental Hotel, the Opera House and City Hall. And discover the city’s Chinese connection at Cholon. And with an oriental twist. Do so on a cyclo. Experience the lively oriental atmosphere as well as the markets and shops of the area. Included is a visit to the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda.

Now let’s take that time machine and come back to present day Saigon. Let Ben Thanh Market show you the liveliness and color of the locals. On display here are fresh produce and people rushing in masses to get the products they need.

It’s time to eat like a Saigonese. And it doesn’t get any better and authentic than a Pho noodle soup right here in Ho Chi Minh City. After gorging your bowl, tell us about it. Many cannot stop at one.

How to Go Local When Visiting Saigon

For those seeking long lasting memories when traveling, living like the locals during your holiday is the best option. The most captivating adventures do not come from sightseeing, but from real travel experiences. When visiting Saigon, do not try to make the city to accommodate your terms, find a way of blending into the local’s way of life. Getting out of your comfort zone helps you get to live a local’s lifestyle. The following are ways of integrating into the local way of life in Saigon:

1. Mind your etiquette

Residents of Ho Chi Minh city are very warm, polite and welcoming. They are also very conservative and even superstitious when it comes to dressing and social interactions. In as much as they are relatively tolerant towards foreign culture, it is appropriate to dress conservatively and be modest with showing some skin. Always remember to take off your shoes when visiting a private residence or any place of worship. You should also remember to never leave your chopsticks pointing outwards on your plate when you finish eating; it is believed to bring bad luck and is also considered very rude. It is considered polite to leave the chopsticks across the top of your plate. However chopsticks are mostly used in countryside (you will have no spoons, forks or knives available, unlike the city) so it will be not a big problem if you do something wrongly because people in countryside are very friendly and tolerant with foreigners.

2. Rent a local apartment

Even if you enjoy living in good hotels and getting room service when you visit Ho Chi Minh city, returning to your own house at the end of the day can be quite thrilling. Living in your own apartment lets you cook your own food; you can even invite some of your local friends over for meals and parties. If you want to save more money for your trip, you can ask for living with locals. This means you will live and work with locals. You will have chance to experience the real life of locals such as harvesting crop (cut and gather rice), watering vegetable, etc. Furthermore, when you live with locals you can enjoy many local dishes such as “Canh chua ca loc” (sour soup with snakehead fish) or “Ca bong kho tieu” (Small fish cooked with pepper). Having your own place basically allows you to enjoy the tempo of local life.

There are quite a few online real estate agencies where you can view up to date listings of housing opportunities in Ho Chi Minh city. This is quite convenient since you can begin your search for accommodation before you leave your home country.

3. Eat local

Saigon is one of the biggest commercial centers in Vietnam. That is the reason why many people rush to this city with the hope for better lives. As a result, many kinds of food coming from other regions in Vietnam “gather” in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) so visitors can enjoy many wonderful local dishes such as “Pho Hanoi”, “Banh da cua Hai Phong”, “Bun bo Hue” or “Banh Xeo mien Trung”. Here are some places that can serve you wonderful “Bun bo Hue”: Bun Bo Ganh (110 Ly Chinh Thang, Ward 8, district 3) serves from 06:00 AM- 09:00PM and the price for a bowl of Bun bo is from 36.000VND – 66.000 VND. The best restaurants to visit are those named after family members. Visit ethnic eateries which cannot be found in travel guides. These restaurants can be found by chatting up locals in public transportation or in parks. Look for family-run joints which give you the real deal.

4. Take a scooter tour of Ho Chi Minh city and use local transportation

Leave high end chartered tour vans to the less adventurous travelers. It does not matter if you can afford your own driver, using public transport in Ho Chi Minh city gives a you a sense of belonging. It also gives you a chance to interact with the locals and learn a thing or two about the city. Explore the city on a Vespa motorbike to get an exhilarating trip. Taking a bus is also a relatively affordable way to get around the city.

5. Take strolls around

This is the best way to get to know the city personally. Taking regular walks and interacting with locals along the way enables you to get the true feeling of the local lifestyle.

6. Visit a barber shop or beauty salon

When the need to get groomed arises, avoid the high end barber shops to catch up on the local politics and gossip. This enables you to get a real feel of the word on the streets. You can pass by some barber shops of locals such as the barber shop of Mr Dat in Nguyen Van Nam Street, Ben Nghe ward, district 1 or the shop of Mr Diep in Nguyen Binh Khiem Street. You will have a beautiful hair style with reasonable price.

7. Visit a local house of worship

This is the most authentic and realist way to blend into local culture. If you have different religious beliefs, getting to know your hosts religious inclinations enables you to have a proper understanding of the local way of life.

David is an expat who is living and working in Saigon. He is a business owner and a contributor of Saigon City Guide. Hopefully with his tips to go local when visiting Saigon, all visitors will have an unforgettable trip.