So, are the casino slot machines really random? This question keeps coming up, even in the minds of experienced players. The new players certainly have doubts about the functioning of slot machines and even extensive reading/consulting on the subject is not able to clarify everything for them. The official answer to this question, which is also the theoretical answer, is simple and short – yes, slot machines are random and the outcome of every spin is decided by a software called “Random Number Generator (RNG).” Once you understand this concept of RNG, you are expected to have understood everything. A casino would certainly like you to believe that slot machines are all random and can pay out that dream jackpot at any time. The reality is different, very different actually. I do not say that you should totally discount the concept of RNG, but in practice, the RNG plays only a small role in how much money will be left in your pocket at the end of a session at the casino. It will be of immense help for you to learn the concepts of payout ratio (set by the casino), type of the slot game, jackpot or no-jackpot, part of a group of slots or stand-alone, day of the week, time of the day, the number of players in the casino and how many are playing on slot machines, and of course, your own plan, if you have one. Make no mistake, winning on slot machines requires you to be a genius, not just lucky, and that too on a regular basis. There’s nothing random about that.
Chiang Mai, the largest city is northern Thailand, is a different tourist destination for someone who remembers Thailand by the typical beach resorts of Pattaya and Phuket or the by the crowds and shopping malls of Bangkok. Chiang Mai is a quiet town, on most days anyway, except when parts of it come alive with activity when it hosts its weekly bazaars which are visited both by locals and tourists. The Chiang Mai Sunday Market is one example. The nights are quiet too except for the area in and around the daily Night Bazaar outside the old city near the famous Tha Phae gate. The Night Bazaar has typical Thai style street shopping, entertainment, massage, and food. Nearby there is a red light area too, called Loi Kroh Road.
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 maybe 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.
It’s funny nowadays how many attractions become ‘popular’ just by being listed and reviewed on Tripadvisor. If you go to Tripadvisor and see the top sights and landmarks of Bangkok, Jim Thompson House will figure at number 5, right after the Grand Palace and the riverside temples like Wat Pho. I have never been convinced but still had to cover Jim Thompson House at least for the sake of this blog. Therefore, after my one dozen trips to Bangkok, I decided to go see what Jim Thompson House was all about. As the name suggests, the house was built by James Harrison Wilson Thompson, an American born in 1906 who later decided to settle in Thailand and founded the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company. The house was his residence that was built in the traditional Thai style using a lot of teak wood. Construction of the house was completed in 1959 and Jim Thompson lived there until 1967 when he suddenly disappeared in 1967 during a holiday trip in Malaysia. Presently the house is a sort of a museum which is nothing but a former residence with some old furniture intact, surrounded by a compound with a lot of greenery. There are a gift shop and a restaurant too on the premises. The house is open for visitors every day from 9.00am to 6.00pm. The restaurant opens from 10.00am to 5.00pm for lunch and 6.00pm to 10.00pm for dinner. An entry fee of 200 THB has to be paid (credit cards accepted) for seeing the museum but I guess one will be able to access the restaurant without paying the entry fee.
‘Five Star J’ has been serving vegan and vegetarian food in Pattaya for several years. It is located at 313/37 on South Pattaya Road at the corner of 3rd Road and opens daily from 11.00am to 11.00pm. The restaurant can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and 097-235-4209 (Please see location map and directions below).
Most of the food served here qualifies as vegan and “Jain” but there are a few dishes that contain eggs and those are clearly identified in the menu. Food containing eggs is cooked in separate pans. The quality of the food is awesome, everything very fresh, just lightly cooked and containing only the healthy ingredients. The fake meats in the dishes are made from soy or Konjac roots but not all the dishes contain fake meats. There are several preparations containing only vegetables and/or mushrooms. Pure coconut oil is used for deep frying, soy bean and sunflower oils are used for cooking, and olive oil is used for salads. Onion/garlic/white sugar are not used in any of the food. Similarly, MSG, sodium benzoate, artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, or trans fats are not used in Five Star J’s kitchen.
Chiang Mai has all the expected modes of public transport in a Thai city except for a metro rail. Well, a metro rail is not a possibility any time in the near future but recently the city has got its first air-conditioned local bus service. Before the local bus, the primary mode of public transport in Chiang Mai was ‘songthaew’, which is somewhat similar to a Baht bus that you might have seen in Pattaya. The songthaew is still there, and so is the tuk-tuk. And every once in a while you may also spot a meter taxi too, especially when you arrive at the Chiang Mai airport. Let us read in detail about these four modes of public transport in Chiang Mai:
Bangkok is Thailand’s most visited city. It has everything for a tourist – great places to see, excellent food, endless shopping avenues, and the best thing – its all available at bargain prices. Travel within the city is easy even for first-time visitors, and one can manage one’s way with a little bit of knowledge of English. I have been to Bangkok several times and will keep going back. I have written several articles on my experiences in Bangkok and if you cannot find here what you need to know, just post a comment below any of the articles and I will respond as soon as possible with an answer.
AIS is one of the three mobile companies in Thailand that sell tourist-specific SIM cards at Thai airports, such as Bangkok DMK and Suvarnabhumi, Phuket, Krabi, Samui, and Chiang Mai. The other two companies are True and DTAC. The prices of the tourist SIM cards of all the three brands are similar but there are differences in the features. To know the exact offerings on DTAC and True SIM, please visit these pages: Tourist SIM by True Move, DTAC Happy Tourist SIM. Personally, I have never used an AIS SIM. Their SIM offering looks more complicated than the other brands. For the features of AIS Traveller SIM, please read on…
If you thought Bodia Spa was one of the best that Cambodia has to offer, you are mistaken. I have been to Bodia Spa in Siem Reap but after I experienced this ’88 USD for 2 hours’ package at ‘The Spa’ at NagaWorld Phnom Penh, Bodia Spa of Cambodia is looking to me like a fraud establishment. At Bodia I spent a little under 50 USD for a 90-minute Aromatherapy and got a mediocre massage in very ordinary surroundings. At NagaWorld, spending 88 USD got me 2 hours of total pampering – 30 minutes of sea salt body scrub and one hour of Aromatherapy massage in a private 5-Star suite that not just had a massage table but a comfortable double bed, a sauna cabin, a steam cabin, a jacuzzi, and a shower. The remaining 30 minutes when I was not getting a scrub or a massage, I was at liberty to use the various facilities in the suite.
If you have not had this experience at The Spa, reading this article will surely make you wanna do it during your next visit to Phnom Penh.