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I've just received my hotel voucher for the last several nights of my New Year's trip, so everything is now booked.  I'd found such bargains on the airfare and the accomodations for the first part of the journey that I'd planned to "splurge" on the final hotel.  But where I'm going, it would seem that "expensive" rooms just don't exist (at least for singles, there were a few suites that topped the $100 mark).

What I found was really interesting, but in the interest of keeping it a secret in advance, I will only give a few hints.  I had several ideas of what parts of this city I wanted to stay in, based on nearby tourist attractions and public transportation (preferring trains and subways to taxis or busses).  I kept coming across nice inns and hotels in the $30-$45 per night range (bareboned places such as guesthouses or hostel-style places ran as low as $5-10 per night but I didn't want to stay around the "backpacker" crowd).  But within an hour of beginning my search, I found the "perfect" place for me and was thrilled that it wouldn't come close to "breaking the bank."

Anyway, my "splurge" is in what was (not very long ago) the world's tallest hotel highrise (a title which seems to change quite often).  The least expensive rooms were very large singles in the "Low Zone", meaning somewhere on floors 30 to 50, at just $50 per night.  But, for just $5 more I took a room in the "Sky Zone" which will put me in the upper 20 or 30 floors of the hotel.  If I'm going to stay in such a tall building, I might as well sleep as high as I can!  (And it's still the tallest building in it's particular country.)  Plus, my accomodation includes a free welcome fruit basket and drink, daily breakfast (and that doesn't mean the stale pastry and cold coffee you might receive with your complementary "breakfast" in an American hotel), plus daily passes for the brand-new elevated train which has a station in the building.

Now, I'm not sure which part of the trip I'm most looking forward to — the beginning where I'll be sleeping in a bungalow from which I can step out of and be right on the beach, the middle part where I'll be staying in a floating hotel on a historically-significant river, or the end part in a luxurious high-rise!  One thing that is for certain is that it will definitely be a vacation of contrasts!