The Erawan Shrine Bangkok

Tuesday, May 24, 2016



Erawan Shrine is one of the smallest yet one of the most famous attractions in Bangkok. It is important equally to both locals and foreign visitors. The Shrine is dedicated to Lord Brahma, a Hindu god referred to in Thai language as Thao Maha Phrom. Thus the official name of the shrine is Thao Maha Phrom Shrine, but it is popularly known as "Erawan Shrine" due to its location and history. Its an open compound below Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel which earlier was the building of a government owned hotel called Erawan Hotel. In the year 1956 when Erawan Hotel was under construction, a series of mishaps took place on the site that upset the construction workers. It was believed that the construction of the building had been started on a wrong date. Due to the workers' protest, an astrologer was consulted who advised building of the shrine honouring Lord Brahma who is known as "the creator" as per Hindu mythology. It is said that after construction of the shrine in the compound, the construction of the hotel went smoothly. The construction of the shrine was the work of the Department of Fine Arts of the Thai government and was completed on November 9, 1956. Later in the year 1987, the original hotel was demolished and the new Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel came up. It is the immense faith in the power of Lord Brahma to grant wishes and answer prayers is what brings everyone to the shrine. It remains open daily from early morning to midnight. Keep reading for more...

Chatuchak Weekend Market Bangkok

Monday, May 23, 2016

Chatuchak Weekend Market is perhaps the most famous Bangkok street market. Its actually more than a street market because there is a section of the area that is covered, has permanent shops inside a cluster that resembles a municipal market. The range and quality of the goods on sale here is perhaps the best in Bangkok when it comes to street markets. Wikipedia lists nine kind of merchandise that is sold here: plants, antiques, pets, food & drinks, fresh & dry food, ceramics, furniture & home decor, clothes, and books. And all these are sold across 8000 shops divided into 27 sections. The market opens on Friday (6.00pm to midnight), and Saturday & Sunday (9.00 am to 6.00pm). I went there on a hot Saturday morning and decided that perhaps the best time to visit the place would be on a Friday evening. During the day, it is just too hot here unless you are going there during the months of December-January. Another beautiful attraction, Chatuchak Park is adjacent to the market area and if you are interested in the park, the best time to go will be early in the day or in the afternoon. Keep reading...

Pratunam Market & Indra Square Bangkok For Shopping And More...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pratunam Market is always on the list of places to visit for a tourist looking to shop in Bangkok. Its a lot of shopping, on the street and also inside some air-conditioned shopping malls. This area is not very upmarket though, and hence ideal for a budget shopper. People come here looking for bargains. In particulars, one can find really cheap ready made clothes on the side walks here. Those looking to buy bulk quantities of garments for business can also find enough stocks in the markets around Indra Square. The market can be accessed through BTS Skytrain but getting there will take a bit of walking too. One can get down either at Siam (Central) or Chit Lom Stations. From Chit Lom, take Exit 1, get down and walk in the direction of Siam Station under the skywalk. Soon you come to Ratchadamri Road from where you need to turn right. If you are coming from Siam Station, take the skywalk coming towards Chit Lom / Erawan Shrine. Once you come to the road intersection, get down and turn left on the main road along the Central World Mall. You will cross Central World on the left, Big C on the right, and then a river bridge. After the bridge, a left turn takes you to Platinum Fashion Mall / Pantip Plaza. If you do not take that left turn, keep walking straight, you will eventually come to Pratunam Market. Its a long walk so be prepared. Otherwise try taking a taxi from Siam or Chit Lom Stations. A tuk tuk is another option but certainly more expensive than the taxi. Keep reading...

Remember Your Future Travel Plans With 'Tripit'

Saturday, May 14, 2016

If you travel as much as I do, you will certainly need a service like 'Tripit'. Actually we all do travel bookings well in advance and when there are just too many things to remember, some of those get slipped out of memory. On two occasions I have booked two different hotels for the same night, once in Siem Reap and once in Goa. In Siem Reap I could not cancel the extra hotel booking because both bookings were non-refundable. Good thing that hotels are always cheap in Siem Reap. My recent double hotel booking in Goa did not cost me extra money because I cancelled one of the two well in time, but it sure forced me to start looking for an online travel reminder service. I needed something where I would be able to store my air travel and hotel booking information for future retrieval and if possible, get some timely reminders too. A quick Google search brought up a few choices out of which I decided to try 'Tripit' because it looked like just what I needed. Basic version of 'Tripit' is totally free. Keep reading...

The Worst Priority Pass Lounge In India - Port Lounge At Goa Dabolim Airport

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Its the worst but then it is also the only Priority Pass lounge at the domestic terminal of Goa's Dabolim Airport. I have been to several Priority Pass lounges in India and have never seen one so bad. My Priority Pass membership is for an unlimited number of visits and because of that I do not have to pay on a 'per visit' basis. That is the only reason why I have walked into this lounge on a few occasions. The official name of the lounge is Port Lounge as per the Priority Pass directory, but that name is nowhere to be seen when you get there. The domestic departure hall of Goa's Dabolim Airport does not have any establishment called "Port Lounge". There is one restaurant called "Golden Chariot" which, being the only restaurant there is always over-crowded. if you walk into that restaurant and are able to make your way to the billing counter in the back, they will take your Priority Pass card and swipe it on the ancient manual swipe machine. I don't even know it that is called swiping. They keep the card on a slot in the machine, keep a carbon-print type of charge slip on top of the card and drag a roller on it twice. The roller presses the carbon-print slip against the card and a carbon impression of the card number is formed on the slip. Decades ago, credit cards used to be charged like this. Priority Pass is keeping the history alive here in this excuse of a lounge. Keep reading...

Chiang Mai Sunday Walking Street And Night Market

Thursday, May 5, 2016

If one is planning to visit Chiang Mai, it is better to include a Sunday in the plan. Because Sunday is the day when in the afternoon, the road leading from Tha Pae Gate to Wat Phra Singh turns into a festival ground. It becomes a walking street because vehicular traffic is stopped on this road. The over a kilometre stretch and many of the Soi's on the way turn into a colorful street market of souvenirs, food, massage, music and other entertainment. Everything continues well into the night. And because of that it is also called as Sunday Night Market. Though the market starts in the afternoon, it comes to life fully after sundown only. Cheapest foot massage in Thailand, at 150 THB an hour can be enjoyed here out in the open. This place on a Sunday evening attracts almost every tourist in Chiang Mai thus making the regular Night Bazaar of Chiang Mai look deserted. Keep reading for more...

Varanda Do Mar Panjim Goa Hotel Review

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

When one of the best hotels in Panjim (Goa) does not become my favourite, I think it is only my bad luck. In this case though I hope that my bad luck will change someday if the high and mighty who control the operations of this hotel so decide. There are so many good things in Varanda Do Mar. Its one of the cleanest properties, has very spacious rooms, several of the rooms offer nice views of the sea, food is almost good, and the location isn't half bad. Trust me, in Goa finding these many good things together in a hotel is not easy. Most of the hotels there just maintain a below-standard set up and keep posting fake positive reviews on Tripadvisor to trap customers. Varanda Do Mar is better than most but there are still a few reasons that keep it from being perfect. Again, most of the problems can be solved in a jiffy. I intend for this article to be an appeal to the owners of Varanda Do Mar to help their guests. Please keep reading...

Tuk Tuk / Taxi Service Rates From Patong Beach (Phuket)

Monday, May 2, 2016

A fixed rate tuk tuk and taxi service operates in Patong from outside the Jungceylon Shopping Mall - Bangla Road side, and covers local as well as nearby outside destinations. The interesting thing is that this service costs the same for tuk tuk and taxi with each vehicle carrying a maximum of four passengers. The tuk tuk operating from here is designed more like a Baht Bus, only smaller. Red in color, it can carry 6 to 8 passengers and hence operating it on a shared basis is also an option for the drivers. One can find these red tuk tuks in many areas in Patong including Beach Road. But there is a concern here, since the rates are the same for a tuk tuk or a taxi, is it at the option of the passenger to choose between the two types of vehicles? I could not get a clear answer from the guy at the counter due to the language problem. He said "both taxi and tuk tuk", that's all. Yes, there is a small counter in the compound of Jungceylon where usually one guy is standing with the rate card. The rate for going somewhere within Patong (referred to by them as "Patong Area") is 200 THB for 4 persons max, with some exceptions for which they will charge 300 THB. A single person taking a full charter will pay the same price. Maybe expensive but in a way it is a good service because it provides a reference point for bargaining with a freelance taxi driver in Patong or elsewhere in Phuket. Keep reading for full list of rates...

Winning At Casino Slot Machine Games

Monday, April 25, 2016

Let me start with the obvious - it is often said that winning at casino slot machine games is a matter of luck. You win as much as your luck favours you. It is at least partly true. Now let us consider another factor - slot machines are designed to payback only a certain percentage of the total money that is deposited into the machines by the players. Usually, this percentage is around 90%. That does not mean that 90% of the players on a particular slot machine will win something. It only means that the collective long term losses of all the players on a slot machine will be approximately 10% of the total money bet on that machine. If the bets of all the players on a particular slot machine are averaged, all the players would have lost 10% of the amount of their bets. Slot machine players as a class of people win nothing. The casino is the only winner, taking 10% of the total bets on a long term basis. In the short term though, anything can happen. In the short term, there are going to be several winners and losers, some big and some small. Some players will lose all of their money on a slot machine while some others will walk away with a good amount of profit. In the short term, it is as much a game of skill as it is a matter of chance. Keep reading...
 

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ABOUT ME

I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is desiyatri.com. I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh. (Email: desiyatri@gmail.com)

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