Hotel Red Planet Asoke Bangkok Review

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I had booked this hotel with a lot of hope and with a good reason too. I had stayed at Red Planet Pattaya twice and both my stays there had been perfect. Absolutely no complaints. But this one - Red Planet Asoke in Bangkok ended my lucky streak. Its a problem hotel. The shadow of the old 'Tune Hotel' culture appeared to be everywhere in the property. The unconcerned staff, and the forced limited hour use of air-conditioning just reminded me of the guest reviews of Tune Hotels that I used to read on Tripadvisor. Read on to know why this Red Planet is undoing whatever good name the Red Planet in Pattaya is earning...

Cheapest Indian Food in Pattaya

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Where to find the cheapest Indian food in Pattaya? Its a fair question because the prices of Indian food anywhere in Thailand seem to be unreasonably high. I get surprised when I find some of the Indian restaurants in Thailand charging prices similar to those that are charged by their counterparts in Hong Kong which is a much more expensive place as compared to any city in Thailand. I have been to an Indian restaurant in Bangkok that charged 70 THB for a 500ml bottle of water that was sold in 7-Eleven for just 7 THB. This restaurant then added a 10% service charge on top of the bill. On the other hand, there are restaurants in Pattaya that serve a western breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausages, toast, and coffee, all for just 70 THB. What is going on there. In Pattaya, Indian restaurants are springing up everywhere. So is a profitable business or what? Keep reading...

Where To Buy A Prepaid SIM Card in Nana / Asoke Bangkok

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

You need to know this if you do not want to pay 300 THB for a 50 THB SIM. Prepaid SIM cards, especially the ones that tourists look for in Thailand, are sometimes sold at ridiculously higher prices as compared to their official prices. I was once asked to pay 200 THB for a 50 THB SIM at Nana Square Mall in Bangkok and another time was quoted a price of 290 THB for a 49 THB SIM in Pattaya. That had prompted me to call it Thailand's SIM Card Scam. Actually, the simple way around this problem is to buy a prepaid SIM from a telecom company's official shop. There are official shops of all Thai telecom companies at Suvarnabhumi airport where prepaid SIM cards including the "tourist" SIM cards can be purchased. Similarly one can buy prepaid SIM cards even at Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok. However, if you neglect buying one at the airport on arrival, this might become a troublesome issue for you. Keep reading...

Body Massage at Vida Salon & Spa Panjim Goa

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Having written about the other four main spa joints in Panjim - Snip, Sephora, Deltin, and Waterleaf - there was no reason for me not to cover Vida. Actually there are a few others, like the one in Miramar which is called "Elements" or something like that. I have been there too but the quality of the place was so low that I never felt motivated enough to write an article about them. Let me dwell on this aspect a little more. "Elements" or other massage shops like them work on an "agency" model. Some not so good hotels and many taxi drivers work as agents of the massage shops. In addition, those massage shops offer free pick-up and drop from/to the hotel and hence a few unsuspecting customers keep dropping in even if for the first and the last time. Keep reading...

Playing Mini Flush In Casino Pride Goa? Better Not!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I usually do not go to any Pride Group casino in Goa because I find those to be sub-standard establishments. But once in a while I must go there at least to update myself on any positive or negative developments in their operations. During one such visit to 'Casino Pride 1' in December 2016, I noticed something that made me think whether anyone should go and gamble in Pride Group casinos in Goa. It was a 'Mini Flush' table and I could play just one game before I had to get up and run. For those of you who are not familiar with 'Mini Flush', here is a snapshot of the game (please read the entire article for your own good):...

Bangkok To Pattaya Bus Route Map and Stops

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Going on a bus from Bangkok city or Bangkok airport to Pattaya? You may have to make a decision on the way as to which bus stop to get down at? During my first such bus ride on a Roong Reuang Coach from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya, I had to face this situation. The bus stopped and the conductor announced "North Pattaya". Some people got down there while most others like me just did not know where to get down. I thought it would be fine to wait for the bus to reach its final stop. Later the bus stopped twice more at "Central Pattaya" and "South Pattaya" stops before it finally reached the bus company's office and main stop at Thapphraya. From that final stop I could take a Baht bus from across the road that was going towards Pattaya Second Road where my hotel was. But I knew it was a mistake not to get down at the correct stop because if I had not been able to get a Baht bus, a motor bike taxi ride would have cost me extra money. One can face also this situation while going on a mini van from Bangkok to Pattaya because sometimes the mini van drivers also offer the option of getting down on these "North" "Central" and "South" stops especially when the van driver is not planning to drop you at their usual Second Road station. Read on for the correct information...

Best Money Exchange Rates at Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The conventional wisdom says it is always a bad idea to change money at an airport because most airport money exchange counters anywhere in the world offer the worst exchange rates for tourists. The premium charged by airport exchange counters varies between 8% and 13% over the inter-bank exchange rates. But to be precise, this kind of horrible rates are offered mostly at exchange counters located in the transit or departure areas of airports. I feel compelled to state an exception here after seeing the several exchange counters at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport that are located neither in the transit area nor the departure area of the airport. These counters are located at level B1 (basement) just next to the Airport Express Train ticket counters. While arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport Bangkok, after you clear visa / immigration, collect your bags, pass through Customs and are heading for the airport train express or city line for going to Bangkok city, you will come to level B1.

Similarly, if you are leaving Bangkok and want to change your left over Thai Baht into another currency, it will be a good idea to come to level B1 before going to the check-in counters. Keep reading...

Discounts on King Power Duty Free Shopping in Thailand

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Let me tell the truth first - "Duty Free" shopping at airports in Thailand is not cheap. I have experience of buying mostly duty-free booze and chocolates at Thai airports from King Power Duty Free and I always felt that I paid too much. When I compare the prices of booze at Thai airports with those at Kuala lumpur (KUL) or even back home at Bengaluru (BLR), the prices at Thai airports are always higher. The so called duty-free chocolates at Thai airports are so expensive that buying them back at home in a local super market may save a lot of money. On the internet there are stories from people who have bought stuff at shopping malls in Bangkok at cheaper prices than those charged by King Power. Anyway, despite all this, there are going to be times when tourists in Thailand may like to do some duty-free shopping. And it is at those times that the extra discounts offered by King Power Duty Free from time to time can (may be) lessen the expense a bit. I am sitting in my Bangkok hotel on December 1, 2016 looking at a Bangkok city map sponsored by King Power Duty Free. And I see discounts on offer...

Now Get Free Visa To Visit Thailand

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

With effect from December 1, 2016 and up to February 28, 2017, Thailand has waived visa fee of 1000 THB for those tourists who apply for visa at Thai embassies or consular offices or through authorised agents like vfs-global. The agents will continue to charge their service fees and courier costs as hitherto. Similarly, the visa on arrival fee between these dates has been halved to 1000 THB from the earlier 2000 THB. It looks like the dates mentioned above are the dates of travel rather than the dates of submitting visa applications. These changes will affect the tourists from 19 countries who are required to take visa before travel to Thailand or have to take visa on arrival. Visa on arrival to visit Thailand is available at 42 designated checkpoints. With this latest reduction in the visa fee that follows doubling of visa on arrival fee in September 2016, Thailand expects to receive more tourists from the 19 countries during the upcoming busy tourist season. However, it is anybody's guess as to what extent a 1000 THB per person reduction in the cost of travel encourages more people to travel to Thailand. Read below for the list of 19 affected countries...


 

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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.

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