Bedroom at Victoria Phan Thiet

Our strangest hotel room surprises…

This month’s Travel Link Up was a quirky one – we were asked to share stories about ‘interesting things in hotel rooms’.

Hotel room surprises

I’ve had some great little finds in my room before, as I share below, but when discussing the topic with the other LWT ladies the hilarious thing was that three of the team all came up with the same thing – lizards!

Yes it appears that sharing your hotel room with a lizard is something you should expect when visiting Asia (or any humid climes to be fair).

During trips to Thailand, Vietnam and Bali I’ve had some cute little scaly visitors and now it’s one of those things that make me smile about coming back to SE Asia – making more little lizard friends!

Justin and I (well, mainly me) even give them names – the first one is always called Larry, then if he ever brings a friend she’s named Lucy. In Vietnam we even have five waiting for us by our door one evening – I was struggling to come up with interesting names beginning with L!

Anyway, clearly I’m not alone in my experience, as some of the other lovely LWT  team members will attest to…

Laura’s lizard tale

“I went travelling around Thailand for two weeks a couple of years ago with some friends and we made our way around several of the beautiful islands there. We stayed on the quieter and more rural side of Koh Phi Phi and found that our hostel room looked straight out to sea and included an open air shower room.

“The view was so beautiful and while it was odd at first, it was actually rather nice to shower outside! But because of the openness of the room (there was literally no roof), we did have one uninvited, but pretty cool visitor.

“A lizard had made himself at home in a corner of our bathroom and while it made me jump when I first saw him he was very chilled and didn’t move all day. Lizards make a noise that I can only liken to a dolphin’s chatter and our new friend was very friendly and chatted away to you while you were showering. An odd, but pretty cool experience I have to say!”

But reptilian guests are nothing to do with the quality of the hotel you’re staying in, they’re simply an expected part of visiting a tropical climate and as Louise explains, these houseguests do have their benefits.

So, whether you hostel it like Laura or go for five star luxury like me or Louise, you’re still likely to find a lizard or two say hello in your room…

Laura’s shower buddy…

Louise’s lizard story

I can remember I was on a FAM trip to Thailand, as part of my job at Kuoni and we’d ventured out to the beautiful area of Kanchanaburi. It’s quite rural – think hotels made from rafts and acres of tropical rainforest with the odd Asian elephant.

“Anyway, after a long day of exploring, taking the Thai-Burma railway route as seen in ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ and visiting the area’s Allied War Cemetery, we retired back to our hotel, Dheva Mantra Resort and Spa.

“Don’t get me wrong, this hotel was elegant, upmarket and luxurious, but as I walked into my room that night, I had a little friend awaiting me. That’s right. On the wall of my room was a little lizard.

“It turns out after a little Google, it was a Chingchok lizard and they’re fairly common in Thailand – handy for keeping mosquitoes at bay. I was only staying for one night so decided instead of getting him removed, I’d just adopt him as a little pet. His name became Charlie and he was a great roommate.”

Tankards of tea!

Although this animal lover doesn’t mind sharing her lodgings with an occasional visitor, I have discovered other things in my hotel rooms that have entertained me more than watching Larry sunbathe on my patio.

For example, during my stay at Lone Pine in Penang, I discovered that gone were the measly teacups I was used to seeing in hotel rooms, replaced by epic ‘tea tankards’ that could even sate a British caffeine addict like myself.

I loved them so much that Justin asked in reception if we could buy a pair to bring home, which they kindly let us. Now every weekend we sit in bed and enjoy our morning cuppa in our Lone Pine tankards and think back to our great stay in Penang…

My beloved Lone Pine tea tankard!
My beloved Lone Pine tea tankard!

bedtime treat at Victoria Phan Thiet

Bedtime stories and sweet treats

But the best of best when it comes to hotel room surprises has to be returning to my room at Victoria Phan Thiet in Vietnam to discover a bedtime cake and story.

Yep, you read that right. Every evening, as part of the turndown service, guests would be left a beautiful wooden box which inside would have a little cake and a scroll telling a Vietnamese fable.

I loved these so much and would be so excited to get back to my room every night to see what we’d find. I even used to make Justin sit down and listen to me read him the fable, which, with its broken ‘Engrish’ would make it even more entertaining.

Such a unique idea and one that’s always made me smile when it comes to mind. Best hotel room surprise ever.

But now over to you – do you have any lizard experiences of your own to share, or perhaps you’ve come across something even better than cake and bedtime stories? We’d love to hear what weird and wonderful things you’ve found in your hotel rooms, so please share in the comments below!


This month the topic for the travel link up is ‘most interesting item you’ve discovered or seen in a hotel room or accommodation’.
How to link up your post: pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st – 7th October), add it to the link up widget below on either Emma’sAngie‘s or lovely co-host Aftab @ Fresh and Fearless – from the 1st of the month.
There are no rules – basically all we ask is that you check out some of the other cool bloggers that are involved in that months travel link up; make a few comments here and there and tweet a few of the posts out to your followers that you think they will love. It’s a great way to meet some new travel bloggers and share some blogging joy!
hotel room surprises

By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)


  • Ngaire

    Cute lizard buddies! I’ve seen pieces about the Thai-Burma railway, definitely think it’s going to be added to the ‘to travel’ list! Great post

  • Ania

    Nothing as exciting as your bedtime stories, but I enjoy it when cakes and sweets are left in the room. There were geckos everywhere when I went to Borneo, and one made its way into our room one night. It was very shy though, and scurried into the rolled-up bath mat and stayed there! The lizards and geckos were one of my favourite things about that part of the world!

  • Dannielle

    I was super excited that there were geckos running around everywhere outside (and sometimes inside) at my parents new house in North Carolina. I wouldn’t mind them in my hotel rooms, as long as they stayed out of my bed!

    • Keri

      Ha ha, excellent! And yeah that was the only thing that creeped me out at first, I was worried they’d run all over me while I slept! :s

  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    Oh we too were given a bedtime story in Hoi An Vietnam, what a coincidence – I wonder if this is something of a local tradition there. The lizard thing is a brilliantly entertaining and highly original entry for a list like this! Much of my childhood summer holidays were spent visiting family in India and the lizards were practically part of the family! 😀

    • Keri

      Interesting, lets see if anyone else who’s stayed in Vietnam says something. And thanks – yep its an expecting part of travelling these days… 😉

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