Her brow furrowed with concentration. Having fallen once already – the result being a scraped knee – determination had set in. She pushed off wobbly at first, but eventually managed to steer straight for a few seconds. A lightness danced across her face – she was sailing on two wheels – her pigtails flapping against the breeze. Until the handlebars veered left and her concentration lurched to a dead halt. She wailed in frustration. Her mother ran over, cooing soothing words, setting the bicycle upright.
This was the scene I witnessed as I made my way along the streets of Yuen Long, a suburb of the New Territories in Hong Kong, far from the bustling alleyways or shopping centers of Mong Kok.
If you recall, my first try at Roomorama culminated in a semi-disappointing stay. Though Yuen Long had a decidedly gated community feel, with surreal signage (Melrose Place in Hong Kong?) the single thing that suppressed any doubts were tiny grey birds chirping in the leafless trees. The quiet was a pair of warm arms to slip into.
So I was hopeful as I turned the corner of Sacramento Avenue towards my second stay with Roomorama. And what did I find? Hint: view the video.
The variety of rooms on Roomorama knows no bounds.
My hosts, Don and Margaret, were eager to engage with travelers by driving people to spots like Kowloon, escorting guests to where they needed to go or inviting anyone and everyone to Sunday family barbecues. They went above and beyond to assist me with the work visa I needed to obtain for my upcoming teaching post.
I felt comfortable, safe and happy in that room. Certainly, the balcony view helped!
Is Roomorama worth a go? Absolutely. The site is stylish, with an interface that is easy to navigate.
For a solo female traveler – the overall benefits of feeling secure and comfortable where you lay your head is essential. As you saw, it’s in the realm of possibility to find a lovely abode to maximize your trip.
Though, as I mentioned in my Taipei post, sites like Roomorama are user generated. It’s always wise to read host profiles thoroughly as well as the reviews.
Like the little girl who didn’t give up on mastering that bicycle, short-term accommodation needs to be given several chances.
Living local is worth the quest.