Why are services in Southeast Asian hotels and restaurants so poor?
From Bali to Phuket to Bangkok to Singapore I feel their services are not up to our U.S standard. Their five stars hotels are more like three stars in here in America. Food is very blend and choices are limited. The Spas are more like nail salons here.
Dean Cortez answers:
Which 5 stars hotel in Singapore did you go to? Shangri-La or Fullerton? Be specific. By the way are you sure the food is very blend? I reckon that our breakfast BUFFET is much more generous and nicer than those dumb continental breakfast from hotels in the west.
Will Merit Swiss Asian School of Hotel Management be better choise then middle ranked IHM Institutes?
My son has got admission in Merit Swiss Asian School of Hotel Management, Ooty. He also got call for counselling in IHM institutes. By his rank, he is not going to get admission in top ranked institutes like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata or Bangalore. I need advise regarding other good IHM institutes and opinion about Merit Swiss Asian School of Hotel Management.
Dean Cortez answers:
I have hear a lot about the merit school and am not aware of the other one. I ahve visited Ooty a lot of time and i have compiled everything here
I am in a process of improviing it.. Please comment here..
Please help me find 3-Star Hotels, and Restaurants for South-Asian food in Shanghai and Hong Kong.?
I will be visiting Shanghai from 26th July for 10 days for business purpose. I will touch Nantong and Hong Kong too. Last year I had problem finding South Asian food in Shanghai, though my hosts treated me in fine and costly restaurants, but as we are not used to the authentic Chinese foods, my stay was cut short. This time I hope that Indian style food will solve my problem if I can find them on may way.
By the way, the Chinese food prepared in Chinese & Thai Restaurants in Bangladesh are quite different than what I experienced in Shanghai.
Thanks for your help in this matter.
Dean Cortez answers:
A good three star chain is the Jinjiang Inn group, which is very popular with Chinese business travelers. Rates are from 150-220 RMB depending on which city you stay in. The reservation phone number is (86-21) 38764588.
Since the customers are usually Chinese, you may want to get a Chinese speaker to make the reservations for you; they have hotels in most major southern Chinese cities. The chain is expanding rapidly throughout China.
The reason you get food at mostly fancy Chinese restaurants is because Chinese business ettiquette requires your hosts to take you to expensive Chinese restaurants. As their guest, this is something you have to put up with; turning them down would almost border on an insult.
Shanghai has many good Indian restaurants. If you like, you can go to Shanghaiist.com and SmartShanghai.com to find out what’s popular. If you like, you can choose your restaurant before your afternoon business meeting. Then when your host invites you for dinner, you can ask to be taken to the restaurant you have chosen.
Best yet cheapest Asian Country to travel?
I’m planning to travel abroad, I want to know what Asian Country I could go where HOTELS, TRANSPORTATION and FOOD are enjoyable but affordable.
Kindly advise. Thanks.
Dean Cortez answers:
Hong Kong as confirmed by a recent CNN poll a must-visit in Asia! Its stunning Victoria Harbour and The Peak have just been rated as Asia’s No.1 skyline by a Japanese TV Station. Google hostels in Hong Kong for as low as HK$120-150 per night. Eating out in noodle shops, tea-house restaurants or fast food is only around US$4 for a combo meal. You could save a lot more if you buy noodles or sandwiches in 7Eleven or supermarkets.
HK has rich culture and history with a perfect blend of the west and the east. Walk up the Escalator which begins from Central District and goes all the way up to the mid Levels. Along the Escalator you’ll come across the early English settlement near Aberdeen Street, you’ll also pass by Soho, South of Hollywood Rd which gives a very unique bar and restaurant street. Hollywood Rd is the famous antique street where genuine Chinese antiques are sold.
From Causeway Bay – Central District – Tsimshatsui District – Mongkok District along the MTR (subway) route are where most of the fascinating shoppings, restaurants, vibrant night life and gorgeous harbour view lies.
If you like green, sea and nature, and are not in a rush in going to places visiting one of the outlying islands ie the Silvermine Bay of Lantau Island is quite relax and gives a completely different impression of Hong Kong than the one often see in pictures. Simply catch a ferry from the Central Pier right outside IFC Building. The ferry trip takes about 30 minutes, a very relaxed ride in the midst of a hustling bustling city. Another beautiful scenic area is Sai Kung District, there’s a Seafood Street where you can handpick life seafood, have the restaurant cook them any way you like and enjoy it in front of the sea. There’re many beautiful mountain trails in Hong Kong, there’s one that goes all the way down to Aberdeen from the Peak. It’ll take more than an hour to walk down. In Aberdeen District (you could also take a bus in Central, Causeway Bay or Wanchai Districts to get there), the boat restaurant “JUMBO” lying out in the sea is quite amusing.
HK is renowned as the world’s shopping and dining paradise. You can eat like a billionaires, in the same token there’re many affordable places with unbelievable prices. HK has the cheapest McDonald’s prices on earth. A Cantonese wonton noodle soup is only around HK$15. A popular Chinese fast food chain all over the city, the De Coral Fast Food, with set meals under HK$30.
Buying brand names is popular in HK since there’s zero sales tax nor import tariffs, brand names are often 10% – 50% cheaper than anywhere else in the world. Street vendors or flea markets is another interesting shopping paradise, they have all sorts of products selling at knockoff prices, eg the Ladies Street, the evening Temple Street vendors in Kowloon side, Stanley Market in HK side etc. There’re also many street vendors located in small side streets of Central District, Wan Chai District, near Johnston Road and Causeway Bay District that sell factory exports “left-overs”. Most prices in HK are fixed, you may be able to bargain a few $ though in small shops and street vendors. You will hardly find any fakes or copies in HK as the law enforcement is rather strict.
Everywhere in Hong Kong is well connected by its efficient and timely public transportation system, the MTR, big and mini buses. Cost is from under US$1 – $2 per ride. It’s easiest to travel by MTR which runs pass all the central shopping and business districts, then either connect to a bus or walk to your destination. Separate fares are charged for each ride. Star Ferry that crosses the Victoria Harbour, and the Island Tram that runs from the East (Shaukeiwan District) to the West (Kennedy Town) of the HK Island are only HK$2 per ride which is a must for tourists.
If you like exploring on your own, simply follow the map, people on the streets always happy to offer directions. HK is one of the most foreigner-friendly cities on earth, plus lots of fun and excitement, visitors often find the place the most vibrant, exciting city that never sleeps, even when you get bored at 3 AM, you could go and have a drink in the bar or even have a delicious late snack. Convenience Stores are located in almost every corner of the main streets and are opened around the clock. The best of all, HK is extremely easy to get around being supported by affordable and well connected public transportation. Hongkongers are very responsive, efficient and persistent in their work that make shopping, dining or doing business a very wonderful experience. You’ll also notice that the people will automatically stand by the side when walking up and down the stairs and escalators, not blocking those behind, which many Asian places are now following suit. In brief, Hong Kong is a fun place to be in, there’s always so much happenings around 24/7. Check www.discoverhongkong.com and have a wonderful stay!
Where to stay in Bangkok, Tailand for easy/close access to watch Asian cup games “4&5 stars hotels” ?
Dean Cortez answers:
Rajamangala Stadium where the Asian Cup will be held is in the eastern part of Bangkok, and there are no quality tourist hotels in that area. Unfortunately, it is also not easy to get there by public transportation either, a taxi probably will be the easiest way to get there, unless officials set up some kind of shuttle to and from the stadium. I’ve included a hotel site that lists hotels by area in Bangkok: http://www.hoteltravel.com/thailand/bangkok/hotels.htm
The hotels in the Ratchadaphisik and Petchburi areas are the closest to the stadium, with the Sukhumvit and Ploenchit area hotels just a little further. Even with light traffic (fat chance), it will take at least 30 minutes or so to get there from the hotel areas in Bangkok.
What are the cheapest places to travel in the Asian Pacific?
Looking to travel in the near future.
I want to backpack, so i won’t need luxury hotels.
bungalows will do. I am not picky on my food either.
I am looking to explore the Buddhist temples, maybe go to visit an island.
And discover more about Asian culture first hand.
Also, if anyone has any tips please feel free to give them.
I will be traveling from my home country.
The United States.
Dean Cortez answers:
The cheapest places are Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia and Laos.
The most hard-core Theravada Buddhist is Myanmar.
So, Myanmar is your destination.
Cheap & safe & exotic.
Lots of temples and monasteries.
DIY & backpacking possible and relatively easy.
Also in Laos, but no temples, just monasteries (Theravada).
DIY & backpacking is possible and easy.
Cambodia is interesting for their ancient Angkorian temples,
initially Hindu and then Mahayana Buddhist.
Modern monasteries are Theravada, and I would say that Cambodian Buddhism is kind of been diluted by Pol Pot killing all the monks in 1970-s. They started the religion anew and there is no deep-root tradition there.
DIY and backpacking is possible and extremely easy.
How do I get from the Asian side of Istanbul to the European side?
Will be staying at the Istanbul Marriott Hotel Asia (on the Asian side of Istanbul). How do I get to to the Grand Bazaar (on the European side of Istanbul)?
Train, bus, ferry — I’m open to anything as long as it’s fast (and hopefully reasonably priced)!
Dean Cortez answers:
Most of the replies were a bit vague. Since Marriott in Istanbul is located in Kozyata??, u better take seabus, it’s like 5 mins from there by taxi, u may even walk to seabusses, wouldnt take more than 20 mins and its a beatiful view, u see Prince Islands while strolling. [Seabusses are the faster, modern, pricier (boat is 1.30 YTL where seabus has to be like 2 YTL not exactly sure how much it is) versions of traditional boats] www.ido.com.tr <u can see what they are like. From Marriot, u can also walk to Ba?dat Caddesi (Baghdat Avenue), it would take like 7-8 mins, from there take a Dolmu? (Ford made MPV-van like vehicles which allow 7 or 8 ppl to travel, u cant get in a Dolmu? And say, drive to this place, they have fixed routes) to go to Taksim Square, it will cost u 5.50 YTL. The routes i descibed are the easiest ways to cross to the other side. But in my opinion, Ba?dat Caddesi is a place u have to spend a whole full day with a Turkish companion who knows there well, u gotta see marina and Fenerbahçe Park? There. Also the center of Kad?köy (where i live, 10 mins by car IF Ba?dat C. Is not infested by maaaaaaaaaany expensive cars with kids in them again) is a good attraction place. There is like 3 Greek churches and an Armenian church there. There is also Bahariye Avenue there which lies upon a hill and known for being steep. It is particularly interesting to see since that is actually the old Kad?köy. I also recommend u to see a performance in Süreyya Operas?, located in Bahariye Avenue. My home is 399 steps away from that Opera building btw.
Answers to some of the comments above: 1. No Grand Bazaar is not located in the Asian part. U gotta take the boat that goes to Eminönü (in Europe) for it from Asian side Kad?köy. 2. There of course is not a train that directly crosses the continent, tho there will be a metro in 2 years, so that we can cross to the European side without using bridges or seaway.
Source(s) I live in Kad?köy district of Istanbul where Marriott Hotel's sub district, Kozyata??, belongs to. And a Kad?köy born