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Megatrip Bracket: Southeast Region

September 17, 2012

If you missed the explanation for how this tournament gimmick works, click here.

Today, I’m focusing on the Southeast Region. 16 places I slept on this trip will do battle in a single-elimination bracket tournament, and the winner will move on to the Final Four. Whenever possible, I will include a link to the hotel website. If the hotel does not have a website, then I will just link to the pertinent page of this blog rather than to a third party consolidator like agoda or tripadvisor.

1 – Harold’s Mansion, Duamguete, Philippines
versus
16 – Bus from Nha Trang to Hoi An, Vietnam

Well, the bus rides and the 16 seeds never fare well in this tournament, so it’s pretty obvious what will happen here. Harold’s is certainly a worthy one seed. It’s actually where I’ve been living the last couple of weeks, but for the purpose of this bracket I’ll just focus on my time here in June. While not exactly cheap, Harold’s does provide free coffee all day, wifi, cable, aircon (in my room at least) and a spartan free breakfast consisting of toast. It’s well located in northern Dumaguete, and has other perks like free bicycles, games, a pool table, and free oysters on Friday nights.

Result – Harold’s in a romp.

8 – Ao Phai Hut, Ko Samet, Thailand
versus
9 – Hop Yen Hotel, Hoi An, Vietnam

Ao Phai Hut was one of the pricier places I stayed on the trip at $27 or so per night, and this just offered an extremely rustic bungalow with aircon and wifi, but without much of a sea view for the price. Then again, Ko Samet itself is quite expensive for Thailand, so this price is well in the budget range by Samet standards. Hop Yen was a serviceable place to sleep, located pretty close to Hoi An’s Old Town. It’s one of those places that I spent virtually no time in when awake, since there was plenty to do in Hoi An. Added bonus of the Hop Yen – Hoi An’s only legitimate late night joint, the brand new Volcano Club, was across the street, making for a very short stumble home.

Result – Hop Yen wins, just because it offered much more value. Plus, as Scottie reminded me, Ao Phai had a plague of chair thieves.

5 – Drop In Hotel, Ko Pha Gnan
versus
12 – Than Loi Hotel, Chau Duc, Vietnam

I paid an amazingly low price at the Drop In, under $15 a night for cable, aircon, wifi, fridge, pool, the works. I was at Ko Pha Gnan during a pretty dead time though, I’m sure this place triples its price at full moon time. The Than Loi had a nice riverfront deck and ran $12 a night for an aircon room with wifi, also a pretty good deal.

Result – Drop In wins this round. It wasn’t beachfront, but it wasn’t far from the beach either.

4 – Me Mate’s Place, Phnom Penh
versus
13 – Thanh Long Guesthouse, Dalat, Vietnam

I wrote quite a bit about the strange environment at Me Mate’s in my Phnom Penh post. The staff was friendly and helpful when they stood to make a buck, but uninterested otherwise. The lack of wifi for guests when the staff clearly had access to it grated at me. Thanh Long was a decent place for a couple nights, and the staff was consistent in their apathy, which I prefered.

Result – Thanh Long gets the upset here.

3 – Shangri-La, Ko Samui
versus
14 – Vilaysing, Pakse, Laos

I stayed at the Shangri-La for four nights and really liked it. The bungalow I stayed in was simple and rustic, but also really cheap and steps from the beach. The owner was really friendly as well. The Vilaysing was decent, better than the other places I looked at in Pakse, but it was just another provincial town guesthouse.

Result – Shangri-la, easily.

6 – Saengchanh Guesthouse, Don Det, Laos
versus
11 – Marmarine Villa, Siquijor, Philippines.

The Saenchanh cost $6 a night and featured hammocks on it’s Mekong-facing porch. It was a fine place to lay around, which is the main draw of Don Det. Unfortunately, it happens to be running into the buzz saw that is Marmarine. The Marmarine was my most expensive hotel of the trip, running $50, but it was a great place to be. It boasted an oceanfront deck, hammocks, an outdoor shower, and Japanese tennis enthusiasts. Marmarine was also the most romantic place that I stayed, but that isn’t saying much considering a large number of these hotels cost $10 or less.

Result – Marmarine.

7 – Queen Homestay, Saigon
versus
10 – Happy House, Nha Trang, Vietnam

The Queen Homestay was a nice little joint in the back alleys of Saigon’s backpacker district. When I googled it to see if the hotel has a website, my blog was the first hit, so that’s awesome. Happy House, on the other hand, stole money from my room.

Result – Clearly not picking the thief here.

2 – ABC Bungalows, Tioman Island, Malaysia
versus
15 Heng Heng Hotel II, Kratie, Cambodia

The ABC was my first beach bungalow experience of the trip. My bungalow was pretty bare, but it did have a mosquito net and its own cold shower bathroom. In sweltering Tioman, there’s really no need for a hot shower anyway. From what I saw, this was probably one of the better budget places on the island. The Heng Heng Hotel II was one of seemingly hundreds of small-town, sub-$10 utilitarian rooms where I spent a night. The staff were nice, and they helped me to get a fast ride in the front seat on a van to Phnom Penh.

Result – Going chalk here.

Round 2!

1 – Harold’s
versus
9 – Hop Yen

Result – Harold’s delivers the goods and beats out the Hop Yen. Then again, I’ve stayed at Harold’s four times now, and twice on this trip.

5 – Drop In
versus
13 – Thanh Long

Result – Thanh Long doesn’t run into such a weird place this time, so it falls to the Drop In.

3 – Shangri-la
versus
11 – Marmarine

Result – This is a brutal battle. I didn’t really want to leave either place, and stayed at both for a night longer than planned. Ultimately, the Marmarine wins though. It was much more expensive than Shangri-la, but it was awesome.

7 – Queen Homestay
versus
2 – ABC

Result – Both were serviceable options for their locales, but the Queen definitely offered more for the money, including aircon, wifi, and a flat screen. Upset!

Round 3!!

1 – Harold’s
versus
5 – Drop In

The Drop In offered a nicer room at a lower price, but I’m guessing that’s mainly because of the super low-season time that I arrived. Harold’s gets the nod here.

11 – Marmarine
versus
7 – Queen Homestay

Result – I have nothing to say about the Queen or it’s exceedingly nice staff, but it just didn’t stand a chance against this brutal competition here.

Regional Final!1!

1 – Harold’s
versus
11 – Marmarine

Result – a battle of Philippine heavyweights in the regional final. During the portion of this trip that officially “counted,” I stayed at Harold’s for two nights, then Marmarine for the next two, then returned to Harold’s for the next three. I loved the Marmarine, and it was probably the best two days in the whole trip. That said, at $50 a night, it wasn’t really “of” this trip, but rather a break from my usual budget accommodation. Harold’s moves on to represent the region in the Final Four as the first top seed to avoid an upset.

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2 Comments
  1. momofanna permalink

    You were clearly not on the Road to Nowhere until now! Thanks for an extremely well-written blog of points SE, NW, SW and NE and everything inside. It’s been a pleasure.

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  1. Final Four!!!! « Jaehak's Megatrip

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