TO TRAVEL – Leaving one home to find many others!

TO TRAVEL – Leaving one home to find many others!

For many people travelling is about leaving their home and being on the road, wandering and discovering. Before we left Belgium to travel around Thailand and Malaysia we would have said exactly that. Yes, to us traveling still is wandering and being free but the best thing about it all was finding new places where we could feel at home!

We are pretty sure many backpackers will experience this. When people ask you about a good place to stay, the first one that pops in your mind will probably be exactly that.
Not the place with the bed bugs, or the food that made you sick, or the tour Gide that ripped you off or the loud neighbors having intercourse those are the places that make your traveling stories interesting to tell afterwards.

But the place where you don’t just feel like a paying customer anymore, where you look forward going back to, where you wouldn’t mind staying a bit longer because it makes you feel so at easy and where getting to know the working crew is as interesting as getting to know other backpackers! And there is no better way to explore the area then with some inside information from the local crew!

We write this article to thank all the working staffs at places like this!!!
Most of the places we stayed in where good, but just a few of them had that little extra! It is because of that little extra effort they do, that people stay and more importantly, come back! They work hard and still help you out with a smile, they get their energy in meeting people and therefor show interest in who you are.

Some people have disagreed on the places we liked best, but just as meeting other backpackers on your trip, it asked for some mutual effort to get to know the employees of your accommodation.

You are as likely to fall in love with a good hostel/hotel then you are likely to meet new backpackers as long as you keep an open mind for it all!
The challenge in backpacking is going back to a certain basic level. You own only what you carry on your back and for people on a budget a clean room with a bed, a cold shower and a fan will be enough to be happy with. We always went for the cheapest and basic rooms to stay in. And not once did we feel like we missed something. Quite the opposite! Thanks to all those hard working people we felt at home.

The ultimate winner where we stayed at this summer was Shiralea Backpackers Resort on Koh Phangan in Thailand! This place just had it all! Basic and clean bungalows in a green setting, a great pool, very tasty restaurant and a lively bar. This place became perfect thanks to the epic crew who we could joke and chat around with. All of them became good friends!

Seeing the local kitchen ladies play beer pong with the bartenders was one of the greatest moments we won’t forget!

Second greatest place was SK House II in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Hidden in a calm street this hostel became our home of the north. Nice budget rooms, walking distance to everything there is to see and with a little pool to cool you down. Right after checking in, the tour guide gave us a map and with different markers he highlighted the best places to visit and things we could do on ourselves without having to spend money on tours! Every morning the staff would greet us and have a chat and after coming back from a day out they asked us about what we did. Even if there are not a lot of backpackers around this staff will be great company.

The great crew from SK house II !
The last great place we would like to thank is Fathers Guesthouse, Cameron Highlands Malaysia. Unfortunately we didn’t get to stay at this place since they were fully booked. They also organized highly rated tours so we visited the guesthouse to book a trip. The owner and the other members of the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming. We didn’t even stay at the hotel and were offered free tea and cake while the owner was making multiple phone calls in order to still fit us in one of the tours. As we waited we noticed this was the way they treated all their guests. With kind interest and friendly conversations. No doubt, if we pass here again this is where we will stay!

We are sure there are more great places like this and all of them deserve a big Thank you! Thanks to you a traveler should never be homesick!

Lara Claessens

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