So in America and Europe I’ve got a general idea of what sites I like to use for booking. But in Asia? I’m useless. Here are my thoughts and problems with some of the top hotel booking sites for Asia.
Pros: I like Agoda because I’ve noticed, that at least last year in Vietnam, Agoda tended to list hotels at a slightly cheaper rate than many other booking sites. Agoda also tends to have a larger listing of hotels for smaller Asian towns than most sites.
Cons: Agoda wasn’t always accurate. For example, when I booked my hotel for my stay in Ba Vi, I was quoted one price online, but charged more when I paid in cash at the end of the stay. The extra charges didn’t break the bank, but they weren’t pleasant either.
Pros: Airbnb is great for getting cheap places in ideal locations. I can also afford more bang for my buck with Airbnb (i.e. paying as much as I would at a hostel for a private room or apartment with Airbnb.).
Cons: Airbnb is a bit informal, and I’ve run into problems with places already being booked, but not updated online, and I’ve had hosts make annoying requests after I’ve already booked. I assume this is just luck of the draw with Airbnb and is not a problem exclusive to Asia.
Hotwire, Expedia, etc.
Pros: These sites are established and reliable with tons of reviews for a lot of their hotels, so I trust them.
Cons: They’re American sites, so even though they’re perfect for use in the States, they tend to only list the most expensive hotels for Asian cities.
Hotels.com and Booking.com
Pros: Of all the sites, these two are my favorite for Asia as they’ve typically got a listing of at least a few hotels even for smaller cities
Cons: Even though these two sites have a larger listing for most cities, they still tend to list the more expensive hotels. While they might list a few cheaper options, I typically have to do quite a bit of digging in random corners of the internet to find places that I’d really be interested in booking.
Pros: Wikitravel’s got an awesome system where editors can include Budget, Mid-Range, and Splurge sleeping options for specific cities. Since anyone can contribute, tons of hotel options get included that aren’t included on real booking sites.
Cons: It’s not actually a booking site, so if you find a hotel you like, you’ve got to dig up an email or phone number to find out if the hotel you want is still available or even still around. As Wikitravel’s pages are only updated by casual/helpful users, sometims the pages can be out of date.
So if you’ve got an idea, help me out.
Since I’m currently in Taiwan, I’d be particularly interested in sites that can help me find places to stay for cheap around the beautiful green island. Comment below if you’ve got a suggestion!
Then I can stop breaking the bank on the weekends.