Free Wifi. Whether you pronounce it “why-fie” or “wee-fee”, you better have it if you run a guest house or coffee shop or bakery where the travel crowd/back packers roam. And forget about charging for it. That is so 2007. Wife is the new hot water. The new cable tv. The new essential amenity you need to survive and stay on Lonely Planets recommended list. This shot was taken in Pakse, Laos, but it could be just about anywhere. -w
Never far from this room this day, I had plenty of time to study the intricacies of Southeast Asian plumbing. Our room with private bathroom and hot water shower in Pakse, Laos is typical, although each bathroom has it’s own comical twists. In this room, the sink drains out the blue pipe onto the floor just in front of the small hole that serves as the global drain for gray water. The shower head dangling on the opposite wall and runs through a small electrical box just out of the picture, but it is key to getting a warm to hot shower. No separated shower stall, since you stand in front of the sink and toilet to enjoy the shower. It too drains out the small hole in the tile just in front of the toilet. Most toilets in hotels are western-style sit down jobbies and they are all accompanied by a bottom washer spray nozzle. There are no lesson plans on using this, but I suspect one should spray and then use the TP to blot dry, throwing the TP in a garbage bin. The bum-washer leaked like a sieve, so water from it constantly flowed down to that same small hole on the floor. The toilet itself is a “water saver 6″, meaning 6 litres, by the looks of it, to flush down the black water. Fortunately black water does not use the same small hole in the floor. Rubber thongs provided. -k.