Cheap Hotels in Asia, Problems to Expect and Avoid!

For cheap hotels in Asia it seems to be a standard practice that they will take you to the worst room they have first. This is not as dumb as it may sound as when the day gets longer if someone has taken the bad rooms, and then the hotels have a better chance of renting the good rooms at the last minute. Almost guaranteed, that if you reserve a room over the internet you are not going to get the best rooms, unless you are very specific with your room reservation. Most times you are not familiar with the hotel, so you need to do some research and see if previous guests have complained about a problem, then reserve accordingly.

Look for bugs, some cheap hotels don’t do a good job of controlling pests like mosquitoes which at best will give you a bad night tossing and turning, a nightmare night would be contracting a tropical disease like dengue fever. When you are doing a walk through of the room check in the bathroom move the shower curtain, or the towels if they are hanging, if you get an airborne squadron of mosquitoes, it is not a good sign. If one room has them a good bet is they all will have them. You still might take the room and burn a mossy coil or get the hotel to spray the room then turn the air on, or have a fan blowing over you at night when you sleep in case any were missed. Make sure that they spray under the bed!

Check the windows that they are locked and that you can lock them. Look to see if there is access to the window from outside. I have seen it a few times where they hook your pants or small bags through the windows which can cause a pretty good hit if you have a wad in your pocket or they get your camera bag! Try to remember to keep things away from windows and out of sight, either in a closet or under the bed.

Turn on the air and check the lights & TV that there is not a problem; the cheap hotels & guesthouses often don’t manage their maintenance well and the staff does the absolute minimum which means they are not telling the management what is not working correctly. Broken things might stay that way for a long time as many problems will not show up until after the guest is settled in and then is stuck with the decision to move to a different room or accommodation or to stay and put up with the inconvenience. It is always better to catch problems early rather than to be aggravated later.

By doing these simple things I have had many more good experiences in Asia than bad. I also find that a sense of humor and some patience will a long way. A cheap 2 star hotel should not be compared against a 5 star hotel, so lower your expectations laugh a little and you will travel longer and further for less money.

Keeping Safe in Asia

ASIA, LAND OF DIVERSITY

Asia is a beautiful and diverse place, from rain forests, rice fields, and cultural landmarks, to bustling cities, gridlock motor bike traffic, and relentless marketeers. But there are two sides to this intriguing land; Asia is also a place of terrible crime, violence and corruption. Travellers to Asia can take safety precautions and procedures to ensure you are kept safe.

CRIME PREVAILS

Most Asian countries are developing nations, where people on average have a much lower income than people from western countries. I was talking with a young 20 year old man that was waiting on us at a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He told me he worked 18 hours a day, 28 days per month, and he earned US$40 per month (US$1.40 per day). Although these people get by, living in these conditions can be very difficult, and turning to crime would be an attractive and almost irresistible option. Just a small amount of pick-pocketing and stealing could provide a lot more for their families.

TRAVELLERS ARE TARGETED

Most lower-middle class Asians will see foreigners as very wealthy people. In their minds, if you can afford to travel here, you are rich. Criminals will know that you will be carrying valuable items and cash, and you could be targeted as a potential victim. My friend and I were walking to the park near our hotel in Ho Chi Minh. He was taking photos with a very expensive camera and kept it loosely around his neck with a strap. Thankfully, before anything happened, a concerned local who could speak very good English told us that we should be extremely careful if we were to have the camera out, especially at night time. We returned the camera to the hotel room before returning to the park.

AUTHORITIES ARE OF LITTLE USE

If you are a victim of a crime in the developing Asian countries, there is not much help provided. In fact, the police can be just as corrupt as the criminals. While in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I was visiting an Australian who lives there permanently. She had just bought a car and was giving it a test run. She saw some locals drive down the wrong direction of a one way street and decided to do the same. Immediately she was stopped by the police. According to protocol, she was to go to the police station and receive a US$25 fine for breaking the road rules. She waved a US$10 note to the policeman, he took it, returned to his car, and let her go about her business. The police in Cambodia rely on bribes and corruption to provide food for their families, as the wages they get do not go very far.

HOW TO BE SAFE

No-one likes to be a victim of crime, so here are techniques to be safe while travelling in Asia.
1. Do not keep valuables lying around in hotel rooms. Hotel cleaning staff earn a lowly wage, and although they may be nice and honest people, don’t tempt them. A good idea is to lock your luggage zippers with a padlock when leaving possessions alone in hotel rooms.

2. Do not keep valuables loosely hanging on your body. Cameras and belt bag straps can be slit with a small knife very quickly, and by the time you have figured it out, your items are gone. Use a slim, poly-cotton money belt, strapped inside of your clothes, around your body. They are very thin, almost invisible under clothes, and inaccessible by shifty pick-pockets.

3. If possible, wear your backpack at the front. This is not so important if you are in a group, but when alone or in a pair, this is a good idea. An acquaintance was sharing with me his experiences in Cambodia. A foreign woman with a bag on her back was riding on the back of a moto (motorbike taxi service) when a man (who was on foot) grabbed her pack as she was riding by. The woman stubbornly held on to her pack and came off the back of the moto. Although she got to keep her possessions, she was covered with cuts and grazes from the fall.

4. Travel in numbers. A good rule is to have at least two people going everywhere you go, ESPECIALLY at night time. When we were in Cambodia we made it a rule to walk in pairs, even throughout the day. I know this can be difficult for people that travel alone, may be you could find a group from your country that is going to the same country that you want to go to.
http://www.asiaexplored.com An up and coming website dedicated to travel in Asia.

Miss World Pageant

1951: London, England. Miss Sweden was the first Miss World.Miss United Kingdom, Laura Ellison-Davies, was the 1st runner-up…

1952:London, England.Miss Sweden, May Louise Flodin, was crowned Miss World.

1953:London, England. Denisse Perrier became the first French to win the Miss World. Miss Greece was the 1st runner-up…

1954:London, England. Miss Egypt, Antigone Constanda, was elected Miss World. She was the first African woman to win the Miss World.

1955:London, England. Surprisingly, Miss Venezuela, Carmen Susana Duijm Zubillaga, won the Miss World title. Miss Venezuela was given a heroines´s welcome when she returned to her country.

1956:London, England.Miss Germany, Petra Sussana Schurmann, was elected Miss World.

1957:London,England. Marita Lindahl was the first person from Finland to win the Miss World pageant.

1958:London, England.Miss South Africa, Penelope Anne Colen, was elected Miss World. She was the second African woman to win the Miss World.

1959:London, England.Corinne Rottschafer was the first woman from Holland to win the Miss World.

1960:London,England. Norma Gladys Cappagly became the first Argentinian to win the Miss World.

1961:London, England. Miss United Kingdom, Rosemary Frankland, won the Miss World title. Miss Taiwan, Grace Lee, was the first runner-up…

1962:London,England.Catharina Johanna Lodders became the second Miss Holland to win the Miss World pageant.

1963:London, England. Surprisingly, Miss Jamaica, Carole Joan Crawford, was crowned Miss World. She became the first woman from Caribbean to win the Miss World.

1964:London, England. Miss United Kingdom, Ann Sydney, was elected Miss World.

1965: London, England. Miss United Kingdom, Lesley Langley, was crowned Miss World. The United Kingdom was a dominant force in Miss World in the 1960s.

1966:London, England.Rita Faria became the first Miss India to win the Miss World title.

1967:Miss Peru, Madeleine Hartog-Bell, was crowned as the 17th Miss World in London´s Royal Albert Hall Theater on November 16th.The favourites were South Africa´s Disa Duivestein, United Kingdom´s Jennifer Lewis, Czechoslovakia´s Alzabeta Struckulova, Peru´s Madeleine Hartog-Bell, and Guyana´s Shakira Baksh. Miss World 1967 worked as a fashion model for approximately 10 months in Paris. For the first time, Tanzania sent a delegate named Theresa Shayo to London.

1968:London, England. The winner was Penelope Plummer, Miss Australia. At the onset, Israel´s Mirey Zamir was the favourite. Misses Guyana and Yugoslavia were semifinalists.For the first time, the United States did not qualify for the semi-finals.Africa sent eight delegates to London (Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, and Uganda).

1969:London, England.Eva Rueber Staier became the first Miss Austria to win the Miss World title.Miss Mexico, Gloria Leticia Hernandez Martin del Campo, was crowned Miss Photogenic. For the second time, Czechoslovakia, a communist republic in Europe, sent a delegate to London. Miss Czechoslovakia, Marcela Bitnarova, was one of the semifinalists at the pageant. Ironically, Peru did not participate at the Miss World.

1970:London, England. Surprisingly, Miss Grenada, Jennifer Josephine Hosten, was crowned Miss World.She became the first black woman to win the pageant. Ms.Hosten put Grenada, a small island in the Caribbean, on the map when she was elected Miss World.
Miss Yugoslavia, a communist state in Europe, qualified for the semi-finals.

1971:London,England.Miss Brazil, Lucia Tavares Petterle, won the Miss World title.Surprises among the top 15 were Misses Guyana (Nalini Moonsar),South Africa (Monica Fairall), Guam (Deborah Bordallo), and Portugal ( Ana Paula De Almeida). Surprisingly, Grenada did not participate at the Miss World.

1972:London, England.Miss Australia, Belinda Green, was crowned Miss World. She was the second woman from her country to win the coveted title.For the first time, Botswana sent a delegate named Agnes Motswere to London. Surprises among the top 15 were Misses Seychelles (Jane Edan Straves) and Mexico (Gloria Gutierrez Lopez).Surprisingly, Miss Belgium, Anne Marie Roger, did not enter the semi-finals.Before she went to England, Miss Belgium competed in Miss Universe 1972, where she was semi-finalist and Miss Photogenic.

1973:London, England. Marjorie Wallace became the first American to win the Miss World title.Miss Philippines, Evangeline Luis Pascual, was the first runner-up.In July, her countrywoman, Margarita Moran, had been crowned Miss Universe 1973. Miss Seychelles, June Gouthier, was semi-finalist and Miss Personality.

1974:London, England.Miss United Kingdom, Helen Elizabeth Morgan, was elected Miss World.Just four days after Miss United Kingdom, Helen Morgan, had ascended the throne she was dethroned by Miss World Organization. Why? She was a single mother. Miss Wales and Miss United Kingdom was the first runner-up in the final Miss Universe 1974. She once said,” I offer the triumph to my son Richard. I will feel proud that when he grow up he can says that his mother is officially one of the most beautiful woman”.She was replaced by Miss South Africa, Anneline Kriel. Miss South Africa 1974 became the third woman from Africa to win the Miss World pageant.Miss Yugoslavia, Jadranka Bajac, was crowned Miss Photogenic.

1975:London, England. Wilnelia Merced Cruz became the first woman from Puerto Rico to win the Miss World title. Miss Yugoslavia,Ladija Verkovska, was the fourth runner-up. Miss Venezuela, Maria Conchita Alonso Bustillo, finished in 7th place. From 1984 to 2004, she became an actress and singer in Latin America, Spain and the United States.
For the first time, Haiti sent a delegate named Joelle Apollon to London.Certainly, Miss Haiti had classical beauty of the black women around the world.She finished in 6th place. Surprisingly,Miss Swaziland,Vinah Thembi Mamba, was crowned Miss Photogenic.Miss United States, Annelise Ilschenko, did not qualify for the semi-finals.

1976:London, England.Miss Jamaica, Cinthya “Cyndy” Jane Breakspeare, became the second woman from Jamaica to win the Miss World title.Miss United States,Kimberley Marre Foley, did not qualify for the semi-finals. In the 1970s, many women from Caribbean won six global pageants:Grenada (Miss World 1970), Puerto Rico (Miss Universe 1971 and Miss World 1975), Jamaica (Miss World 1976),Trinidad & Tobago (Miss Universe 1977), and Bermuda (Miss World 1979).

1977:London, England. The Miss World 1977 title was won by Mary Stavin, Miss Sweden.Ironically, Miss Brazil, Magdalena Sbairini, was the big favourite. Surprisses among the top 15 were Miss Mexico (Elyzabeth Gonzalez) and Miss Peru (Isabel Frias Zavala).Unfortunately, Miss Nicaragua, Beatriz Lacayo Obregon, one of the most beautiful girls, did not qualify for the semi-finals.

1978: London, England. Miss Mexico, Martha Eugenia Ortiz, was a big favourite, but she did not win the Miss World title. She was for many the “Miss World of the night”! However, Miss Mexico was crowned Miss Photogenic.Surprisingly, Argentina´s Silvana Suarez was crowned Miss World. Miss El Salvador, Iris Yvette Mazorra, did not qualify for the semi-finals.She was one of the most popular delegates in Miss Universe 1978.

1979:London, England. The Miss World 1979 title was won by Gina Ann Cassandra Swainson, Miss Bermuda. She was the first runner up in the final Miss Universe 1979.Miss Venezuela, Tatiana Capote, was disqualified by Miss World Organization. What happened? One of her breasts slipped from the side during the dress rehearsal.

1980:London, England.Miss Germany, Gabrielle Brumm, won the Miss World.However, Miss Germany was dethroned by Miss World Organization. On November 28, 1980, in Agana (Guam´s capital), Miss Guam, Kimberley Santos, was elected Miss World.

1981:London, England. Miss Venezuela was crowned Miss World and Miss Americas. At the onset, Venezuela´s Carmen Josefina “Pilin” Leon Crespo was the favourite.

1982:London, England. Miss Dominican Republic was crowned as the 32nd Miss World in London´s Royal Albert Hall Theater.She was the first woman from her country to win the loveted title. For political reasons, Miss Argentina did not participate at the Miss World.The favorites were Misses Trinidad & Tobago and Switzerland.Special awards were given to Lolita Morena of Switzerland for Miss Photogenic, and to Maureen Therese Lewis of the Cayman islands for Miss Personality. Miss Trinidad-Tobago, Althea Ingrind Rocke, was compared to “Cleopatra” by Journalists.

1983:Miss United Kingdom, Sarah-Jane Hutt, won the international beauty Pageant on May 26, 1987, in London.Surprises among the top 15 were misses Hong Kong (Margaret Cheung) and Bolivia (Ana Taboada Arnold).Miss Bolivia made it to the quarter-finals for the second time in a row.Miss Yugoslavia, Bernart Marovt, was elected Miss photogenic.

1984:London, England. Venezuela´s Carolina Astrid Herrera was crowned Miss Photogenic,Miss Americas and Miss World. However, Miss Brazil became a big favourite by experts and journalists.Miss Brazil,Adrianne Alvess de Oliveira, had several years experience as professional model in Paris.

1985: London, England. The final results were: Miss USA (2nd runner-up), Miss United Kingdom (1st runner-up), and Miss Iceland was Miss World 1985. Ironically, Miss Venezuela, Rudy Rosario Rodriguez del Lucia,had the highest semifinal score…

1986:London, England.Giselle Jeanne-Marie Laronde from Trinidad & Tobago became the third black woman to be crowned Miss World. Curiously,Miss United States, Halle Berry (currently famous actress) went to London to enter the Miss World pageant, where she came in sixth place.Miss Ecuador, Alicia Gisella Cucalon Macias,finished in 7th place.

1987:London, England.The winner was Miss Austria.Ulla Weigerstorfer became the second Miss Austria to win the Miss World contest.The first runner-up Miss Venezuela was the crowd favourite. Albany Josefina Lozada Jimenez was one of the most beautiful women in the Miss Venezuela history.Miss Poland, Monika Nowosadko, finished in 4th place. For the first time since 1982, Argentina sent a delegate named Catherine Ciscatto. She came in sixth place.

1988:London, England. The final results were: the 2nd runner up was Miss United Kingdom, the 1st runner-up was Miss South Korea and Miss World 1988 was Miss Iceland. Linda Petursdottir became the second Miss Iceland to win the Miss World.Miss Guatemala,Mariluz Aguilar Rivas, was crowned Miss Photogenic.

1989:Victory City, Hong Kong. Surprisingly, Miss Poland, Aneta-Beata Kreglicka, was elected Miss World. She was the first woman from a communist country to win the Miss World title.The USSR competed at the Miss World pageant for the first time.Miss USSR,Anna Gorbunova, won the Miss Photogenic award.

1990:London, England. The final results were: Miss New Zealand (4th runner-up), Miss Finland (3rd runner-up),Miss Venezuela (2nd runner-up), Miss Ireland (1st runner-up), and Miss United States was Miss Americas and Miss World 1990.Miss Venezuela,Sharon Luenso Gonzalez,won the Miss Photogenic title.

1991:Atlanta,United States. Miss Venezuela, Ninibeth Beatriz Leal Jimenez, was crowned Miss Americas and Miss World 1991.She became the fourth Miss Venezuela to win the Miss World contest.

1992:Sun City, South Africa.For the first time, Africa hosted the pageant.Representatives from 83 countries, territories and dependencies attended the Miss World.Miss Russia, Yuliya Alexandrovna Kurochkina, was elected Miss Europe and Miss World 1992.

1993: Sun City,South Africa. Representatives from 83 countries and territories attended the Miss World.One of the most enthusiastic fans was Nelson Mandela, who was president of South Africa. Miss Jamaica, Lisa Hanna, was crowned Miss World. Miss People´s Republic of China,Wang Yin Tao, did not compete at the Miss World. Miss China pageant has been forbidden since 1950 by the Chinese communists.

1994: Sun City, South Africa.The final results were: Miss Croatia (4th runner-up), Miss Zimbabwe (3rd runner-up),Miss Venezuela (2nd runner-up), Miss South Africa (1st runner-up), and India was Miss Asia and Miss World 1990.Miss India, Aishwarya Rai, also was elected Miss photogenic.

1995:Miss Venezuela,Jackeline Maria Aguilera Marcano, was crowned Miss Americas and Miss World in Sun City´s Entertainment Centre on November 18th.She also won the Miss Photogenic award.

1996:Bangalore, India. Irene Skliva was the first person from Greece to win the Miss World pageant.

1997:Baie Lazare,Seychelles (a small island in Africa). Representatives from 86 countries, territories and dependencies attended the Miss World.India´s Diana Hayden was elected Miss World.She was the third woman from India to win the Miss World title. For the first time since 1989, Miss Venezuela, Christina Dieckmann Jimenez, did not qualify for the semi-finals.

1998:Lake Berjay Mahé Beach Resort, Seychelles. Miss Israel,Linor Abargil, was crowned Miss Asia and Miss World.Linor Abargil was the first woman from Israel to win the Miss World contest.For the second time, Miss Venezuela,Veronica Schneider, did not qualify for the semi-finals.

1999:London, England.Miss India, Yukta Mookhey was crowned Miss Asia and Miss World 1999.At the onset, Venezuela´s Martina Thorogood Heemsem was the favourite. Many people thought that Miss Venezuela was robbed…

2000:London, England. Representatives from 95 countries and territories attended the Miss World. India´s Priyanka Mini Chopra was elected Miss World.She became the fifth Miss India to win the Miss World pageant.

2001:Sun City, South Africa. Miss Nigeria,Ibiagbanidokibudo Asenté Darego, was crowned Miss World. At the onset, Miss Chile, Christiane Balmelli was the favourite.Surprisingly, Miss Chile did not qualify for the semi-finals. The People´s Republic of China competed at the Miss World pageant for the first time.Miss China,Bing Li, was finalist.

2002:Abuja (Nigeria) and London(England). Representatives from 88 countries and territories attended the Miss World. Azra Akin was the first person from Turkey to win the Miss World pageant.Vietnam,a communist country in Asia, competed at the Miss World pageant for the first time.Miss Vietnam,Pham Thi Mai Phuong, was semi-finalist.

2003:Sanya,China. For the first time,the peoples´s Republic of China hosted the pageant.Representatives from 106 countries, territories and dependencies attended the Miss World. Miss Ireland was crowned Miss World and Miss Europe. At the onset,Rossana Davison, was the favourite.

2004:Sanya, China.Representatives from 107 countries, territories and dependencies attended the Miss World.Miss Peru, Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia,was elected Miss Americas and Miss World by internet users. Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia was the second woman from Peru to win the Miss World title.After her victory, she was given a heroic welcome in her country.Currently, she is an idol in Peru such as Teofilo Cubillas (former football player),Cecilia Tait Villacorta (former sportswoman), and Gladys Zender (ex-Miss Universe).

2005:Sanya, China. Representatives from 104 countries and territories attended the Miss World. Unnur Birma Vilhjámsdottir became the third Icelandic to win the Miss World pageant.

2006:Warswaw, the capital city of Poland. Representatives from 104 countries and territories attended the Miss World.Miss Czech Republic, Tatana Kuracharova, was elected Miss World. At the onset, Venezuela´s Federica Alexandra Guzman Diamante was the favourite. Many people thought that Miss Venezuela was robbed…