Laundry Facilities For Tourists In Thailand

Sunday, February 7, 2016

If there is one facility other than body massage that comes really cheap in Thailand, it is laundry. Laundry shops are everywhere. And if you are not able to spot a laundry shop near your hotel, you will certainly see a laundry drop and pick-up counter that will provide outsourced laundry service on the cheap. Most hotels in Thailand provide laundry services for their guests too but they charge a lot more than what a laundry shop will charge. All it takes to get your clothes washed and ironed by the kilo is for you to put everything in a plastic bag and take it to the laundry. Yes, the rates go by the kilo in most shops. The lowest I have seen in Thailand is 40 THB per kilo that I was charged at Hotel Ao Nang Goodwill in Ao Nang, Krabi. Of course, at 40 THB per kilo they will just wash and dry your clothes. If ironing is included, the price is usually double or may be a little less than double. There are coin operated self laundry machines too in most tourist destinations in Thailand, although those are not as many in number as the full service laundry shops. While you use the cheap laundry facilities, there are a few precautions to take. Keep reading...

Take A Nap Hostel Sala Daeng Silom Bangkok

Sunday, January 31, 2016

This was going to be my first stay in a hotel in Silom Bangkok and Sala Daeng looked like the perfect area to be in. Although I had heard many bad things about Patpong but there was also much information about Patpong's transformation from a seedy 'ping pong show' street to a night market of some repute. Tourists actually go there and as long as one is able to ignore the touts pushing ping pong shows, all goes well. To my surprise, Sala Daeng exceeded my expectations and even managed to become one of my favourite tourist areas of Bangkok. I have written an article on why Sala Daeng is beautiful - Patpong or no Patpong that you may find useful. Coming to my hotel in Sala Daeng, I was looking for a budget accommodation, preferably with some interesting character. The one I selected turned out to be a bit of both. It was budget alright: about 20 USD (600 THB) a day for a double room including free WiFi and free breakfast. Actually, on the face of it, Take A Nap Hostel is a great value accommodation. There are a few problems that can be totally resolved if only the owners and managers of Take A Nap get down to work. Keep reading...

Sala Daeng In Silom Bangkok Is Beautiful, Patpong or No Patpong

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I have been to Bangkok a dozen times but always ended up staying in a hotel on the Sukhumvit line. And that too, rather close to Nana/Asok BTS stations because of the advantages of the area particularly for a tourist from India. Indian food is available in plenty in and around Soi 11 and the streets are always full of tourists. I even like the very cheap and good Thai vegetarian food in Terminal 21 Shopping Mall next to Asok Station. But despite all this liking, I always had it at the back of my mind that I had never chosen a hotel on the Silom line. I had also totally missed a well-known tourist area of Silom Bangkok called 'Patpong'. Though effectively today Patpong Road is just a relic of the past but Sala Daeng and the adjacent Chong Nonsi do have a few attractions for tourists in Bangkok. Well, I finally stayed in Sala Daeng during December 2015 and found the area really useful from the tourism point of view. Keep reading...

De Flora Spa Patong (Phuket)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Earlier I wrote an article on a good massage shop in Patong - Chantara Massage - on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road. Chantara is located almost opposite De Flora and is comparatively cheaper and in my humble opinion, is adequate. But then there are customers who do not like massage shops for various reasons. And there are also customers who just have more money to spend. I am neither of these two types of customers but for the sake of gaining experience, I some times venture in to business establishments that I would rather avoid. Going to De Flora Spa was such a venture for me. De Flora, like I mentioned above, is located on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road, a sort of a Second Road parallel to Patong Beach Road. I have given their location map below to make it easier to locate the place. The good thing is, if you located Chantara and walked a little more you will see another expensive spa - 'Let's Relax' on the same side of the road as Chantara and De Flora on the other side of the road. That is three prominent massage joints within the same vicinity. In short, if you start from Jungceylon Shopping Mall, turn left after coming out of the mall, and walk for about 5 minutes, going past Christin Massage, you will see De Flora Spa on the right side of the road. Talking about expensive, and because I would not like to write a separate article on 'Let's Relax', they are perhaps the most over-priced spa that I saw in Patong and even in Chiang Mai. Of course something must be good about them but having been to the comparatively less expensive De Flora, I wonder what 'Let's Relax' must be doing to deserve that kind of pricing. When I asked someone about 'Let's Relax', I was told that a lot of Japanese customers go there. Perhaps they advertise in some Japanese travel publications to attract that business. Anyway, I would give a comparison of 'Let's Relax' pricing with that of De Flora later in this page. And the rest of this article would be devoted to De Flora Spa. Keep reading...

Chantara Massage Shop Patong (Phuket)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chantara is perhaps not listed or reviewed on Tripadvisor and hence will not count among the top massage shops in Patong (Phuket). It is also not in the league of "Lets Relax" type of expensive massage outlets. And actually there are just too many massage shops on Patong's Beach Road and Rat-u-Thit 200 Pee Road, some good and some not so good. Cost of a Thai massage or oil massage is usually within 400 THB and hence it doesn't really require much of a thinking before one ventures in to a massage shop. More often than not, it will be at the invitation of one of the several masseuses sitting outside the shop to solicit customers. During my stay in Patong, I got body massage in one expensive and a few cheap massage shops and if I have to go to a massage shop there again, I would rather go to 'Chantara Massage'. One reason for my liking of this place is that I got really good oil and Thai massage there. And this reason is important. If my personal experience were not good, I would perhaps not write this article. Yet after seeing the place and talking to the owner and their staff, I feel confident that any customer will get a good value for their money at Chantara. This place reminded me of a massage shop on Beach Road in Pattaya - Nantika Physical Thai Massage which I had also liked. Keep reading...

Indian Curry Club Indian Restaurant Patong (Phuket)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Indian Curry Club or ICC is one of the two Indian restaurants in Patong (Phuket) that I really liked. The other one is Madras Cafe not far from ICC. ICC looks good from outside, so much so that one feels tempted to go inside and sample their food. This looks business is important actually. During my stay in Patong I did eat in some other Indian restaurants too. There was one chain called 'Tandoor' or something like that. When I was in one 'Tandoor' outlet, I saw tourists looking at the restaurant from outside and then walking away instead of coming in. The presentation of 'Tandoor' was just not inviting enough. ICC, though, seemed to be doing very good business even during the low season month of September. Their location could be one more reason for this popularity. ICC is located at building number 169/9 in Soi Sansabai, a lane opposite Bangla Road on its Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road end. Another way to find ICC is to first locate Jungceylon Shopping Mall. Coming out of the shopping Mall one can turn right and then after walking a little, turn right again into Soi Sansabai. ICC is on the left side going into Soi Sansabai. The restaurant opens daily for lunch and dinner. Keep reading...

Madras Cafe Indian Restaurant Patong (Phuket)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

There is quite a choice of Indian food in Patong. I saw several Indian restaurants on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road (sort of a Second Road parallel to Beach Road) and the several small lanes connecting these two roads. For a first timer in Patong, it may be difficult to pick one initially. I walked those lanes and had Indian food in many of those restaurants and finally was able to pick two Indian restaurants in Patong that are better than others. Madras Cafe is one of those two. This restaurant has a South Indian name but one can not just have South Indian food here but also North Indian, Arabic, and Thai food. Madras Cafe is well located with entry from both Bangla Road and Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road sides. On Bangla Road, one can get to Madras Cafe from the lane next to 'Seduction' Disco and on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road there is a lane opposite Jungceylon Shopping Mall (first lane before Bangla Road) that will take you to the restaurant. Their phone numbers are 076-340012, 084-3055211, 080-5212259. Madras Cafe opens daily from 11.00am to midnight. Keep reading...

Casa Jip Guest House Patong (Phuket) Review

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My first visit to Phuket was in September 2015. I had decided to stay in Patong and was looking for a budget accommodation. During September, being low season, even the high end hotels there should be going cheap. I could have stayed in a good hotel at a budget price if I had gone to Patong without an advance hotel booking. But my first port of landing in Thailand was Phuket and I would need a hotel booking voucher for my visa on arrival. Advance bookings do give comfort but not without a price. The guest house I booked was rated OK by their previous guests and it was cheap too, like 550 THB a day. 500 THB is the basic pricing for any good budget hotel or guest house in Thailand. Anything less than 500 THB makes it a dicey proposition. But that does not apply in September which is the month of the year that sees the lowest number of tourist arrivals in Thailand. Considering that logic I was paying too much but somehow my imagination did not work beyond Casa Jip. Going to a place for the first time does create some anxiety and from reading many online reviews of many hotels, Casa Jip seemed better than others. Its location was one obvious advantage. Keep reading...

Patong (Phuket) to Ao Nang (Krabi) By Bus

Friday, January 15, 2016

After my four days of stay in Patong, I needed to go to Ao Nang in Krabi. I checked with a few travel agents in town who all advised me to book a seat in a mini van that would pick me up from my hotel in Patong and then drop me at the bus station in Krabi town, directly without any hassle and would cost me 650 THB. Of course it would be easy but then one can buy an air ticket between Bangkok and Krabi for about 700 THB and that made me think hard. 650 THB seemed too much. What was the other alternative. Some friendly staff in an Indian restaurant told me that there was a nice air-conditioned bus service between Phuket town and Krabi town and it did not cost much. But that would require me to first travel from Patong to Phuket town and then find the bus station in Phuket town. I estimated the cost of this bus trip. I would pay 30 THB for the bus ride from Patong to Phuket town, then some more money to a motor bike taxi to go to the bus station. A ticket for the A.C. bus from Phuket town to Krabi would cost approximately 150 THB. Another public bus ride from Krabi bus station to Ao Nang would cost 30 or 40 THB. My total expenditure as per this option was going to be within 250 THB and that would mean a cool saving of 400 THB. I was not carrying too much luggage anyway and was really ready for the cheaper bus journey. Keep reading...

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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 I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh. (Email:


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