This would be a fine hotel to “book”

When you check into the Literary Man hotel in the town of Obidos, Portugal you might not sleep a wink they tell you. Why you ask? Because the hotel has a library stocked with approximately 50,000 titles. They range for fiction to cookbooks to vintage collectibles. It is said to be an affordable night’s stay too.

You might recall that Mel’s fascinated with books. As an antiquities’ buff, Mel has accumulated a healthy collection of history books. Some during the days when we lived in Holland, and yet other more recent purchases off Amazon. So this resonates well with him.

However this is by no means the only hotel that is book themed.

Back in 2013, CNN listed a bevy of 14 hotels (read here) around the world. Check out the Nines in Portland. They have a deal with Powell books, one of the sources that Mel pursues for his book fix. Or the Heathman hotel, also in Portland (why ah?). For the Hobbits fans out there, decor at the Hobbit motel in New Zealand revolves around the book(s). But none of them matches the Literary Man hotel’s phantasmagorical setting for book buffs.

So why not consider Obidos? A reasonably exotic locale (depending on your point of view), affordable nights’ stay, a warmer climate (for those in the throes of winter). All good reasons to kick back, relax and enjoy a read!

Will you book a reading holiday?

An adult’s Disney fantasy

Heheh. Not some wet dream… but believe this has caught your attention!

In our travels, the epicurean side of the journeys figure pretty strongly in our planned or unplanned soujorns. Take our journey to Bangkok. We had to try our Greyhounds cafe in Bangkok so that we can compare it against the one in Singapore. Nothing beats verification that we’re getting the real stuff right? Just like the shrimps in the featured image…don’t ask why we used that…

Or our more recent journey to Japan. It was Valentine’s and there was such a kaleidescope of confectionery to sample and purchase. And this was excluding the fantastic seafood meals we had while out on the coast of Toyama!

Now imagine dining as if you are a princess in the magical castle. Disney has apparently taken the experience in the happiest place on earth a notch higher. For about US$15,000 one can bring 11 other guests to enjoy drinks an a seven course dinner at 21 Royal. It’s good to know this price comes with park admission and valet parking.

What’s good is that the gratuity is already included, so you don’t need to search the wallet for an appropriate amount to tip 15% off the cost of the event! Do you even carry that much cash around? Might be branded a terrorist or money launderer…LOL. Or worse, it could be confiscated or rendered useless…(re India scrapping currency)…ok we digress again.

One of the experential sides of our journeys is all about the food in the places we travel to. Would that be yours too?

There appears to be lots of foodies out there with a lot of spare change. In any case, better make that booking quick because it seems this dining location is pretty hot. Start saving the pennies now!

Will you dine at 21 Royal?

Surmount that travel record!

For all nomad wannabes, James must be your idol. At age 24 he is said to have travelled to 196 sovereign countries around the world. That incredible Journey took him five years, splitting time to read for his graduation from the London School of Economics…

wtiYou see, for doing this he could have been awarded the “Tribal Chief” certification. Recall this is a lifetime award and he need not re-certify. Let his exploits be framed into the halls of fame! Remember this is the highest accolade that one can purchase be bestowed upon from the World Traveler Institute (WTI) – no affiliations with the UNWTO of course…since we made it all up. But since we had no takers, this business venture has not lifted off. Anyone still interested?

If you read the article, you will  note that James did not just dropped everything and went traveling. He actually managed to graduate from the LSE in the process of doing so! Woohoo! Yeah there was a gap year, but can you imagine being to all sovereign countries on this planet in that span of time? The passport must had been fully stamped! LOL.

And funds do run out when you are ‘YOLOing‘…so James was candid about the fact he had to get into all kinds of jobs to support this traipse around the world. Consider that this is a far cry from his current job! Don’t stalk him though.

But the question for today’s post is not about YOLO travel. It’s about what you do AFTER you have completed this “quest” (in our opinion). Aside from sharing the experience to 80,000 followers on instagram, what else would one do? Would it be meaningful?

If you were James (at 28 and visited all the world), what would your life goals be next?

Your personal drone photographer

Oh juxtapose once again.

There are luxury travel companies offering packages that takes drone videography of your journey (read here) in the name of seeing where they’ve travelled from a different perspective. And back on the ground, there would be professional shooters photographers to assist in taking selfies of you (and your partner), without the hassle of you doing it yourself. Yep, no more selfie stick or stretching your hands out…

You see, this touches so many topics. We’ll just comment on three.

For one, it seems not only wedding couples are getting feted for such treatment these days. Though yes you do pay for them. No need for selfies? Heheh, normally Mel & Suan asks someone’s help to take a photo when possible. It’s free by the way. You just need to return the favour if requested. Nope it may not end up with a professional looking photo, but do you really want a photographer following you all over? Ok, ok some do relish the attention…

And those drone photos and videos. How would you know if those were really your journey(s)? Could had been edited seamlessly and easily these days…LOL. Hey, if Mel can cook edit, so can you! Seriously we don’t think anyone remembers Martin Yan, hence you are not likely to find that funny…but we digress. You might have read about our post on drone photography here, guess it will be a little challenging to get that kind of photos with a drone. Perhaps one day there can be an under-water drone that helps divers take photos like the one taken for us (by a diver) in Okinawa of a whale shark.

Finally, the ones who call themselves “travellers” are going to see red on this one. Camera (phone) toting tourists jamming up the streets, not appreciating local culture and norms already creep these folks out. Now, you have an entourage? OMG. Someone’s gonna have a heart attack! LOL.

Would you fork out the $$$ and sign onto these tour packages?

The Dutch re-invented walking

Huh? Who invented walking the first place you ask. You know in Singapore we have been struggling to manage mobility devices. These are the small electric motor driven bicycles, hover boards or kick scooters. The issue is how to share the limited walking path with pedestrians. Bear in mind there isn’t as much of a bicycle culture like in the Netherlands (where we lived a while), sequestering a part of the road for bicycles or these mobility devices.

But today we are not debating this issue.

Rather, we are making reference to the fact such electric mobility devices do not give you any exercise. Ok, perhaps the kick scooter without a motor. Since you are virtually dependent on electric power for movement for most of these devices. How would you like such a device that will get you to where you want and yet give you an exercise?

Consider the “Lopifit”. Instead of cycling, you can now threadmill your way to work (read here). Really? Yep. Walk on the device as if you are strolling or Walking at a fast pace. The choice is yours. Know that as you do your health app in your phone or watch will be clocking the distances covered. Up to 50 miles (80km) on one charge, you can scooter walk your way from Changi airport to Jurong (far western end of Singapore) and back! Now that should help burn some of the calories that you might accumulate later in the day…

Not bad eh?

Since Singapore is moving towards putting in more infrastructure to facilitate these personal mobility devices (PMDs) and goad folks to be car-lite, this invention comes at an opportune time! For a ‘low’ price of just approximately US$2400, you will define mobility in a way no one else will!

Will anyone buy this?

What is the dirtiest item in a hotel room?

Hey travelers, what is most important to you when it comes to travel accommodations? Did we hear you say : a clean hotel/hostel room? And does that come with expectations of a clean bathroom and towels too?

Whatever the form of accommodation, be it a hotels, hostels, dormitories or apartments, we believe you look for a constant (high) level of hygiene standards. The last thing you want is to fall ill while you are on holiday because the room you are staying is crawling with bugs, big (bed bugs…) or small (bacteria and viruses).

So where do you think is the dirtiest part of your room?

This may seem alarmist, but if this article is to be believed it is the remote control. Although this may seem to apply only to hotels and apartments, come to think about it that’s logical to apply this to dormitories and hostels too. We cannot believe that the cleaning of the room will include the remote in the case of hotels. Besides with the large number of rooms, the cleaning is more than likely focused on the prominent things. And do you think your AirBnB host routinely clean the remote too? How about the remote in the common lounge of the dorm or hostel? Seriously?

It may not be the fairest of assessment, from reading around and just putting our thinking caps on, perhaps there is a list of top 3 worst things to touch or use without being careful:

  • TV remote control
  • Bathroom sink and toilet seat
  • Switches – be it for the lights, power etc

For us we believe if you do not habitually touch your mouth or eyes, than most of this don’t matter if you wash your hands regularly with soap (not just rinse in water). Some authors recommend you prepare sanitation wipes to take preventive measures.

What would you do?