mp3 walking tours

Soundtrek has started producing mp3 walking tours for Bangkok — a great idea and one we’ve been tossing around but haven’t had the time to move forward on. Until we get our act together please go take a look at their site — you can listen to the tracks individually for free or download the lot for a small fee.

On Boroburdur

As promised, below are a few happy snaps from Java’s Boroburdur. It was our first time there, and earthquakes, a bubbling volcano, terror attacks, both tsunamis (there was a second one last night — thankfully not as destructive, but still over 100 dead) have really taken a toll on Indonesia’s tourist industry — Yogyakarta (the closest main town to Boroburdur) had very few foreign faces and the actual site was almost deserted.

Travelfish (and CM Blue House) make it into the Star Bulletin

The Hawaii-based Star Bulletin ran an interesting feature on CM Blue House — one of the most popular guesthouses listed on Travelfish — over the weekend. It is an interesting interview with the owners — and one I’m sure they’ll be happy with…

“Our goal is to turn this into a boutique property,” Riley said of the guesthouse, which has been touted as a good value on and is expected to be featured in the next edition of “Lonely Planet,” a travel reference guide.

The Star Bulletin got our domain name wrong (their story reads .com rather than .org), but we’re hoping they’ll fix that one up!

Congrats CM Blue House

Off to Boroburdur

We’re off to Java’s magnificent Boroburdur shortly and will be back on Monday. As the laptop is most definetly not coming with us, there may be some delays answering emails and queries — our apologies — we’ll make it up to you with some nice pics come Monday ;-)

Let’s Visit Asia gives Travelfish a good wrap

Ruth Schaffer, over at Let’s Visit Asia has some very kind birthday wishes for us.

Indeed! And $$ aside, online travel guides such as Travelfish is your best bet if you want up-to-date information about the place you’re headed to. No more outdated hotel reviews. No more confusion about prices. No more looking for recommended restaurants that are no longer there.

You can read her full write-up here.

Thanks Ruth!

Carl Parkes on Travelfish — book me in for the 13th anniversary

Carl Parkes put together one of the benchmarks of SE Asia guidebooks with his SE Asia guide for Moon publications, and in response to a PR we circulated for our third birthday, we squeaked onto his very well-regarded blog.

While I’d venture he’s probably not our number-one fan, we’ve nevertheless booked him in for an invitation to our 13th anniversary in 2016. Feedback, and particularly negative feedback can be some of the most useful you can get!

You can read Carl’s comments here.

Update: Just heard back from Carl and I spoke too soon (note to myself, wake up before blogging) — he thinks the site is excellent, but ventures only that the reviews should be longer.

Thanks Carl.

Time for a splurge

Had enough of bamboo bungalows furnished with a mosquito net modelled on swiss cheese? Of bucket flush toilets with a hole in the bucket? Of soiled sheets you wouldn’t bury your garbage in? Of chickens and dogs waking you at 4am? Then don’t fret — we’ve just added a new series of features to offer you an escape from the hardship of backpackerdom — Travelfish splurges — and when we say splurge, we mean SPLURGE!

These stories will pick out what we believe the absolute best of the best, and we’re not holding out on price — that’s right, in all likelihood, you will need an expense account — preferably someone else’s!

As always these places will have been reviewed anonymously — so no perks, no freebies and no hotel propaganda — you’ll be reading exactly what we think.

We’re starting off with the spectacular Trisara Resort on Phuket and next week will be jumping over to the other side of the gulf to a very special spot on Ko Samui… we’ll try and rattle off one every week, but don’t hold us to it!

So without more ado, please meet Trisara.

New Vietnam to sourthern Laos bus

TTR reports that Vietnam and Laos have opened a bus link between Qui Nhon in Binh Dinh province and Pakse in Champasak, Laos . The route is intended to draw overland tourist across border between Thailand and Vietnam . The new service launched on July 4th takes about 12 hours and costs US$16. The busses currently run four weekly trips on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

The trip runs through Pleiku and Kontum provinces in Vietnam and Attapeu, Sekong and Champassak in Laos.

Release: No weight, no worries — The Travelfish guidebook to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam

JAKARTA, July 12: Southeast Asia is one of the fastest changing travel regions in the world.

“So why do travellers spend almost US$60 on more than two kilograms of out-of-date guidebooks, when they can get everything they need online and it won’t cost them a cent?” asks co-founder Stuart McDonald., an online travel guide to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, turns three on Wednesday. As a gift to its readers, the site has just posted guesthouse listing number 2,500 — cementing its status as the most comprehensive travel planning website to the region.
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