Photo: A walk in the fields near Tetebatu, Lombok.

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A bit of a change accommodation wise

Posted by somtam2000 on 11/8/2011 at 17:11 admin

There was a discussion going somewhere else on the site regarding this, but with all the confusion on the forum at the moment I can't actually find it. As it is very pertinent to what I'm working on/revising at the moment (Phuket), I though I'd do a quick note about it.

In the past, we've endeavoured to cover (and list) as many places to stay as feasible in order to give you the widest possible choice of places to stick onto a shortlist. We're now actively working to move away from that, instead trying to select a selection of what we consider to be the best places across the range of budgets that we tend to cover.

There are a few reasons for this, which I'll just quickly go over -- if you have more questions, let me know below and I'll answer as best I can.

Being selective
One of the main reasons is that it is probably far more useful to give you a list of 15 or 20 places to choose from rather than 60 -- or more. When was the last time you asked a backpacker on a bus for a guesthouse tip in Luang Nam Tha and they rattled off a list of 30 places?

As an example, we used to list around 120 places to stay around the immediate Khao San Road area in Bangkok. Earlier in the year we cut that back to about 70, then again, and now we're cutting it again (probably to a final total around the 40 mark) -- forty is still a lot of places to choose from :) In the Sukhumvit area we're cutting our accommodation listings by about two thirds.

Keeping our costs under control
I'm not (thankfully) doing all the legwork anymore, so we have researchers who are paid to do a lot of the research now. Paying someone to look at and write-up 30 near identical guesthouses is a waste of both their time and our money and really does you no favours.

We also cover far more real estate than we used to. Some very popular destinations on the site (Ko Chang, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui in Thailand for example) are embarassingly out of date -- we're working to address that, but we won't be listing all 100 beach shacks between Haad Rin and Thong Sala anymore! By cutting back on time elsewhere, we'll be able to better spread the workload.

Times change
There is a lot more information out there than there was seven years ago. There's quite a few hotel review sites out there that were not there when we started, so there are a lot more sources of information to make use of. Can't find the guesthouse that meets your needs on Travelfish.org? Try Travellerspoint.com. We're not luxurious enough for you? Try Agoda.com or Booking.com. Or you know, just Google it!

But some things stay the same
While we'll be listing fewer places in the future, every single place that we do list, as always, will have been visited in person and, as much as possible, reviewed in an anonymous basis. We take no freebies, the opinions are all our own, and we are working our ass off to continue to deliver independent travel advice to the region that we hope helps you get the most out of your trip.

Good travels!

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,710
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