Thursday, July 30, 2015

Country Inns & Suites Panjim Goa Hotel Review

Country Inn located near Panjim City's Kadamba Bus Stand (Plot No. 31, EDC Patto Plaza, Panjim, Goa-403001, Phone: 91-832-674000) is one of the two 'Country Inns & Suites By Carlson' properties in Goa at the time of writing this article. The other one is in Candolim. Now going by the comparative pricing of this hotel it is supposed to be one of the better properties in Panjim. To an extent it is, but its not my favorite. I have stayed here three times, twice on free award bookings and once on a paid booking. As it sometimes happens in a casino, I got lucky here only one out of the three times. Actually, finding a good mid range hotel in Panjim is not easy. I have tried a few and the best one in my experience is located in Dona Paula (The Hawaii Comforts). The ones in Panjim city are either too expensive or too bad or even both. This Country Inn scores over many others because of its location. It is not only very close to the city bus stand but also in the middle of Panjim's business centre - Patto Plaza. But whether you will have a comfortable stay here still depends a great deal on your luck. Keep reading...

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Panjim Inn WelcomHeritage Goa Hotel Review

Before this post, I reviewed one of the best hotels in Panjim - The Hawaii Comforts - and now it is the turn for one of Panjim's worst. When I booked a room for three nights at Panjim Inn, I had no idea that this experience would be the one to forget as soon as possible. After writing this article I will try never to think about Panjim Inn again. But right now, I must share some details with you. Panjim Inn, a so-called WelcomHeritage Hotel (I don't know what that means, and don't want to know) is located at E-212, 31st January Road, Fontainhas, Panjim (phone: 832-2226523). Its a nice area close to the Casino jetties on one side and at a walking distance from the city church on the other side. The property is an old residence, not sure of the "heritage" claim though, of the owner of this hotel. After my check-in, when I was being escorted to my room, I saw the gentleman (owner) sitting in a hall. I said hello to him but he did not respond. Later, one of the hotel's staff told me that "Sir" likes to speak only to "foreigner" guests and not to "Indians". That was strange but I was not there to make friends with royalty anyway. Now if only the hotel had turned out to be better than the owner's behavior! Keep reading...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Hawaii Comforts Panjim Goa Hotel Review

I have till now stayed in several hotels in Panjim, the capital city of the State of Goa and out of all those hotels, Hawaii Comforts was the hotel where I had the most comfortable stay. Not to say that Hawaii Comforts is perfect but in Goa where the hotel industry relies more on posting fake Tripadvisor reviews than doing anything worthwhile to ensure guests' comfort, this one hotel deserves all the praise. The only known and incurable problem with Hawaii Comforts is the location. In a way, it is located in Dona Paula which is one of the places of tourists' interest in Panjim but then this area does not really have much to offer. The taxi & tuk tuk guys repeatedly punish you for staying in a hotel in Dona Paula because the public bus service to this area stops at 9.00pm. There is no other good restaurant around for the sake of choice so Hawaii Comforts' own restaurant remains the only source of meals. Breakfast is always included in the room price and that is a good thing because not only the breakfast is nice, the room tariff itself does not pinch the pocket too much. Keep reading for details...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Prepaid Taxi Counter at Panjim City Kadamba Bus Stand

Similar to the prepaid taxi facility at Goa's Dabolim airport, there is a prepaid taxi counter outside Panjim City's Kadamba Bus Stand. This prepaid taxi counter operated by 'Panjim Pavan Yellow/Black Taxi Association' is open from 7.00am to 8.00pm everyday. The taxi fares at this counter are similar to the ones charged by the yellow/black counter at the airport. For example, a non-A.C. taxi fare from here to the airport is INR 672, which is the same as the fare charged for a ride from the airport to a hotel in Panjim city. The passenger is given a bill (2 copies) at the counter but the payment is to be made directly to the taxi driver at the destination. In this page, I will give the fixed prepaid taxi fares (as in July 2015) to Goa's major destinations from Kadamba Bus Stand. Pictures of the full tariff cards are also included. Keep reading...

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hong Kong Disneyland Essential Information

If you are travelling along with kids, then this is one attraction in Hong Kong that you would not want to miss. And let it be clear at the outset that this is perhaps Hong Kong's most expensive attraction. A standard single day ticket price for an adult is HKD 499 and for a kid (3-11 years) is HKD 355. Two-Day discounted tickets are also available. You will find detailed pricing later in this page. Another thing, and take it seriously, visiting Hong Kong Disneyland for just one or two days is not going to be enough. Because so much goes on in this park that in one or two days you will miss more than what you will be able to see and do, which is why taking an annual membership of the park is highly recommended. In this page, I have given all the basic information that you need to have to plan a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland. Keep reading...

Chillie Garden Indian Restaurant Fortress Hill Hong Kong

If not anything else, Chillie Garden Indian Restaurant near Fortress Hill MTR Station is attractive for its economy meals. Consider this: A vegetarian or non-vegetarian Indian set lunch for just 47 HKD per person! You may not see this kind of pricing in many other places in Hong Kong. They even have a 'Student' set lunch for 39 HKD. The prices are certainly attractive but let me clarify here that you get what you pay for. The quantity and quality of food in the 47 HKD set lunch is not as good as what other Indian restaurants (like Khana Khazana, JoJo, or Branto) in Hong Kong will give you. And that matters. Khana Khazana for example has an excellent value unlimited buffet on weekdays for under 100 HKD. I am not saying that Chillie Garden is all bad but my concern here is that someone, particularly a non-Indian customer, forming a poor opinion about Indian food after buying this 47 HKD Indian meal at Chillie Garden. Another important aspect here is that I bought a vegetarian set because I am vegetarian but most of Chillie Garden's clients buy non-vegetarian set which obviously at 47 HKD means more value. All that said, if you happen to be in Fortress Hill/North Point areas of Hong Kong and looking for an Indian meal, Chillie Garden is worth a try. In this page, I will give the details on their location, opening hours, menu, pricing, and pictures of the food they served me. Keep reading...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Prepaid Taxi From Dabolim Airport Goa

Prepaid taxi is big business at Goa's Dabolim airport. Though a public bus service very much operates from the airport, a majority of the tourists end up getting into prepaid taxis to get to their hotels. And in India, whenever we see a prepaid taxi service we are happy thinking that we are not getting cheated. Well its INR 670 for one non-A.C. taxi ride from Dabolim airport to Panjim city (32 Km), not cheap at all. A taxi driver told me that the prepaid rate includes one side full tariff and 50% of the return tariff because it is assumed that the airport taxi will return empty. So this prepaid taxi service from Goa's Dabolim airport operates at a 150% tariff. Still if you intend to take a taxi make sure to take a prepaid one because the freelance taxi drivers outside will fleece you. In this page I have given the essential information for taking a prepaid taxi from Goa's Dabolim airport including the tariffs for major destinations in Goa. Keep reading...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Public Bus To and From Goa Dabolim Airport

During my last trip to Goa I met a solo female traveler from Brazil waiting at the ticket counter at Vasco da Gama to buy a public shuttle bus ticket to go to Panjim. She had arrived at Vasco from Goa's Dabolim airport on another public bus. It seemed unusual because I generally see foreign tourists arriving at Dabolim airport either hopping onto their 'pick-up' vehicles or taking prepaid taxis to get to their hotels. This lady was different so I asked her why? She said, 'there are always hundreds of people working at airports. So do they all take taxis to come to work or go back afterwards? There have to be public buses for them and obviously those buses can also be used by tourists'. That was very sound logic and I felt ashamed that I had come to learn of this only after paying a lot of money to taxi drivers to travel between Goa airport and Panjim city. of course now I use public buses only and I feel that all my fellow travelers should do the same unless they are carrying too much luggage. Consider the difference in the cost: INR 670 for a taxi ride and just INR 45 per person for a bus ride. In this page, I will tell you all that you need to do to make this trip on public buses both ways - to and from Dabolim airport. Once you reach Panjim Bus Stand, there are public buses to go anywhere in Goa, like Calangute or a South Goa beach. Keep reading...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple Hong Kong

After going to a few Tao temples in Macau, I had started believing that they all look the same. And then I saw this one - Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple in Hong Kong and that changed my belief. Of course, Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is not just a Tao temple, but also a Buddhist and a Confucian place of worship. Oh did I say worship, well a lot more than just worship happens here. Its like a shopping mall of religion, where both devotees and tourists get treated to a spectacle of faith, fortune-telling, superstition, and even some recreation. I wonder why this temple does not top the lists of must see places in Hong Kong because it should. The popularity of Wong Tai Sin temple is mostly due to the belief that it makes every wish come true upon request. I would believe all that but after spending an hour in and around the temple, I was no longer sure if anyone there really believed in the temple's powers. In this page I have given information on what to do and see in the temple and also how to get there. Keep reading...
Blog by: Narinder Singh