South East Asia offers an incredible range of places to travel and visit for holidays. When we consider grasping these travel opportunities, we usually rely on hotel booking sites to find attractive price-to-value options (e.g. Agoda.com, AsiaRooms.com, Booking.com).
However, sometimes, hotel rooms don’t have availability, ideal prices, or the ‘homey’ feel. Therefore, consider checking out this resourceful website: www.VRBO.com.
VRBO stands for Vacation Rentals By Owners. It offers some interesting alternatives to hotels: vacation homes. The website offer a wide range of descriptive properties and some insightful reviews, which can certainly be useful in terms of trusting the quality of a listing. While this site is widely used in the States, I decided to conduct review for its relevance to South East Asia. Here is a sample of properties that I found in some South East Asian countries.
When scanning the website’s properties in the Philippines, one property that particularly caught my attention was a 9,100 square foot villa in Boracay, comprising 7 bedrooms and stunning views of the ocean. According to the website, the place sleeps 10 to 12 people and has a base rate of $US 850 per night (RM 2,550 per night). If you pool together a group of 11 friends, that’s RM 231. That’s an attractive price for staying in a sea-view mansion when compared to 5 star hotel rooms.
When scanning VRBO properties listed in Thailand, I came across a pleasant two bedroom condo overlooking the river. The property was being rented out by an expat from Florida.
When scanning Malaysia properties (only two!), I saw an older-looking 3 bedroom penthouse in KL city for rent (US$97 per night or about RM 300 per night), and luxury apartments for rent in Penang at The Cove: 1 bedroom (US$ 200 or about~RM 600 per night), 2 bedroom (US$ 225 or about RM 675 per night), 3 bedroom (US$ 250 or about RM 750 per night).
Unfortunately, VRBO’s popularity in South East Asia hasn’t reached the same level as the States’. Some countries in South East Asia don’t even have properties to offer. Here is a breakdown of the number of property listings that returned for the South East Asia countries that I searched for during the date of publishing this post (18 December 2012):
- Brunei: 0
- Cambodia: 0
- East Timor: 0
- Indonesia: 310
- Laos: 0
- Malaysia: 2
- Myanmar: 0
- Philippines: 47
- Singapore: 1
- Thailand: 297
- Vietnam: 9
That is a total of 665 properties in South East Asia, a region that has a population with slightly over 600 million people. When searching for properties in the United States of America, the website returned 196,360 properties, a country that has a population with over 300 million people.
So comparatively, the options are significantly smaller in South East Asia, but I think the site could be a fantastic online holiday booking reference, if it gains enough traction. South East Asia continues to experience strong economic development, a growing middle class, and many travellers who tour through these countries. So, if you own a vacation home and want to earn some rental income, consider posting your property on the website. You might even find your next vacation spot.
Have you used this webite? Share your experiences or preliminary thoughts by posting below.
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Photo credit: mandolin davis / Foter / CC BY-SA
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