There are customers who do not like small 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.
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 and found the area really useful from the tourism point of view.
During my first trip to Phuket & Krabi, I was wondering whether to go on the island tours fron Phuket or from Krabi. The choice of the tours was difficult too: James Bond Island, Phi Phi Islands, Hong Islands, or a four island tour? Even if one could decide on a tour, which agent to book the tour with and what would be the right price to pay were other baffling questions. My first decision was to save the island tours for Krabi. In Phuket there was so much to see and do in terms of attractions or let us call them distractions. But once in Krabi, as I realised later, it would be difficult to find something that a tourist could do away from the sea apart from eating and drinking. I can suggest this for anyone. If you are visiting both Phuket and Krabi during your holiday, better save the island tours for Krabi. I already explained on reason for this. The other reason is pricing and reliability. In Phuket somehow a tourist always ends up paying too much for a service or does not get the proper value for his money. Krabi, on the other hand, is a gentler place. And once you read this article, you will have adequate information on doing island tours in Krabi.
A day tour of Phi Phi Islands can be done either from Phuket or from Krabi. I did if from Krabi because Phuket kept me busy with several other things but in Krabi there was nothing much to do except going on island tours. Then the other choice to make between a long tail boat and a speed boat was also not difficult. Everyone said that a speed boat would be faster and more comfortable. Seats in a speed boat have proper back support whereas one cannot sit so comfortably in a long tail boat. For these reasons of speed and comfort, tours by speed boat are a bit more expensive. My one day tour of Phi Phi Islands by speed boat including two-way hotel transfers, snorkeling gear, vegetarian lunch, national park entry fee, and accident insurance cost me a mere 1000 THB which was perhaps the best price for such a tour that one can get in Krabi. This was made possible by the tour desk of my hotel in Ao Nang Krabi – Ao Nang Goodwill Hotel. I would paid more at any other travel agency. I have covered the various tour options, pricing, etc. in another article of mine – Island Tours From Krabi. Ao Nang Goodwill Hotel sold me a tour of a company called ‘Ao Nang Photo Tour’.
Travelling from Pattaya to Bangkok City or its airports by taxi is very expensive, a minimum of 1200 THB. The bus services on the other hand are not only cheap but also convenient. Its only a matter of knowing where to go. Of course this cheaper mode of travel will not work at odd hours. There are two different types of bus services, both operated by ‘Roong Reuang Coach’. One service goes to Bangkok City – Ekamai Bus Station, Mochit (Northern Bus Terminal), and New Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai). Unless you have a reason to go to the Mochit or Sai Tai Terminals, I think going to the Ekamai Terminal is a better option because there is a BTS Skytrain Station almost attached to the Ekamai Bus Terminal. Most tourist areas of Bangkok become accessible from the Ekamai BTS Station. More details on this later. The other bus service goes directly to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport’s departure terminal Level 4.