Saturday, October 20, 2007

Don't waste money on expensive hotels in United Kingdom

Britain was a prolific colonizer in the past and my country was a colony of Great Britain until some 50 years ago when we achieved independence. It was said that the sun never set on the British empire. Thus the influence of Great Britain or United Kingdom was spread far and wide, and rightly or wrongly, people in many parts of the world feel attached to the United Kingdom. A tendency to want to visit the country which colonized them is thus natural.

What are the places that attracts such visitors? I would say probably Manchester and London.

Manchester city

Manchester, said to be to have the fastest growing economy, is also known to be the centre of arts, media, higher education and commerce. It is among one of the most visited city in the United Kingdom by foreign visitors. It is famous for its two Premier League football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City. In fact, Air Asia, Asia's most successful budget airline, is one of Manchester United Official Sponsor and has one of its plane painted with the faces of its famous footballers. Manchester United, whether I like it or not, has lots of fans all over the world, who would love to visit Manchester to see their heroes in action on the football fields.

Manchester city is said to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and many of the spectacular warehouses are still standing. During those time, Manchester city was the international centre of textile manufacture and cotton spinning and many of its old cotton mills still exists. Manchester City Center has been placed on the "tentative list" of UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its network of canals and mills.

Manchester city is not just a city of ancient buildings but have modern shinning skyscrapers like The Beetham Tower which was completed in 2006. The Beetham Tower is just one among many others high-rise buildings. Then there is The Green Building which is supposed to be a unique eco-friendly housing project.

Let us not forget the food. Manchester city has some local specialities like Bury's famous Black Pudding, Eccles' puff pastry and currant cake, Wigan's Uncle Joes mint balls and Manchester's fruity Vimto drink.

If I am to visit Manchester city, I would not waste my money on expensive hotels in which I may return only for a short period to sleep, only to go off to see Manchester city's many attractions. I would probably book my hotel from Manchester Hotels which has a Lowest Rate Guarantee which undertake that if you can find the same hotel/accommodation on the same dates and inform them within 24 hours of booking, they we will honor that rate for the night or nights for which you found a lower rate and refund you the difference. That is a real comfort to know.

London, capital city of Great Britain

I visited London twice before. The first time, my family was unwise and spent most of our time at Oxford Street, but did visit some of the better known attractions like Madame Tussuad's, Buckingham Palace, etc. The second time I spent most of my time at the Patent Office. Both time, I had to hunt for accommodation only upon arrival, not a pleasant situation. Now, with the Internet, I would probably book my accommodation ahead of arrival at Accommodation in London and be assured of having a place to sleep when I arrive plus the assurance of getting the cheapest rate as mentioned above.

Photo of London night skyline with the London Eye by Ian Muttoo
This time, I will probably take to trouble to look up more places of interest and keep far, far away from Oxford street. I would probably go to the Houses of Parliament, see the Big Ben and listen to its chimes, Jewel Tower, Westminster Abbey, Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms (will be interesting to see how this remarkable man managed to defeat the mighty German military), probably the Tower Bridge and Piccadilly Circle. And of course now there is the London Eye. It will be great to ride the gondola up to the sky and get a panoramic view of London city.

This time I am going to make sure I don't make the mistake (actually not a mistake, just that Internet wasn't available then) of last time and book my accommodation online at London Accommodation