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Phuket – Patong Beach Vacation

June 7th, 2012 · Cheap Hotel Thailand, Thailand Information, Trip Report, Trip Report 9

Well…it’s been a long time coming for this trip report. No excuse except that I just added it. I was looking through some old pictures today and figured I had the free time to do it.

Back story for this side trip is that I had a friend come over for his first LOS trip…he wanted to see Phuket, so I came with since I’d never been before either. Weird how Pattaya keeps such a hold on a person :P

After a few days in Pattaya and after doing a little research on where to stay we booked a flight on Air Asia for a reasonably cheap rate…can’t remember exactly as it was over a year ago, but I believe it was below 2,000baht.

Ok, so the hotel we agreed upon was the Hilltop Hotel overlooking Patong beach. It was during the mid season and all 3 of us (my friend brought a friend of his along with him from the States) had a superior room. That will run you about 1,600baht. Helluva a deal for the hotel.

I arrived early since I booked my airline tickets separate from them and the hotel had a taxi waiting on me at the airport. It took about 30 minutes to get to the hotel from the airport. It was easy to tell how much hillier the island was compared to Pattaya. I wasn’t too sure about renting a bike for my stay. I met the owner, a Danish fellow by the name of Jaan, and checked into my room. Nice small room with tv and decent internet.

The internet was fast enough for me to play poker at PartyPoker.com. PartyPoker’s a good way to pass time and sometimes even come out ahead. I just played poker until Ken and Sam showed up. By the way, that party poker link will give you a $500 bonus if you use it to sign up.

After the taxi brought them we just kinda hung around the hotel pool ordering food and drinks until night time. The hotel gives you a buzzer that you can carry around with you and just buzz when you need more food or another drink. They’ll just add it to your room tab and you pay when you check out. I liked that and it did away with paying the bin every night or every time we left the hotel. Jaan actually makes a lot of the items on his menu by hand…like the bread, icecream, and a few of the Danish dishes that I can’t recall the names to. All of the food was delicious…just wonderful. Also, you could even have food all throughout the night. Some sort of sandwiches after hours and into the early morning.

The first night we took a complimentary baht bus down to the beach and went around checking out the various bars in the area.

Second day of the trip was my favorite. My friend Ken wanted to get motorbikes and cruise around the island. I explained to him that traffic might be a bit hectic and he’d never rode a bike in Thailand yet. He wasn’t having any of that and insisted we go for it. We got 2 bikes from Jaan for 200baht/day. Sam couldn’t ride a bike and planned on riding with Ken. Well, Sam’s a big girl and we soon realized that Ken wasn’t going to be able to ride her around all day. We also found out that Ken wasn’t much of a rider himself :P

So what we ended up doing was this…I took Sam on my bike and we went down off the hill until we found a motorbike taxi guy not doing anything and offered him 1,000baht for the day to drive Sam around and also do a bit of tour guiding for all of us. Ken and myself would just follow him around the island. I thought it was a great idea. It did turn out really well. The taxi driver was great and showed us some great little spots around the SouthWestern part of the island. Ken did get lost (he was a bit slow and always ended up pulling up the rear), but our taxi guy drove back and found him. Phuket is an awesome place to take a ride on a motorbike.

We had a trip to the Phi Phi islands planned out for the 3rd day. I ended up staying down the hill at bars all night long which turned out to be a horrible idea. Jaan had recommended a few tour packages and we picked one out and set it up to be picked up at the hotel around 7am. I was knackered and really didn’t feel like taking the trip. We ended up on a yacht type boat with a load of other people. Mainly Chinese and Japanese tourists. They did have booze on board, but no beer…only wine coolers. Another thing…we forgot to take sunblock with us…big mistake. Anyways it seemed like it took forever to get to the small island (Phi Phi Lek). Once there we just sat in the bay and were only able to look at the beach. Ken and I decided we’d just swim to the beach while the others on the tour swam out in the bay. It took about 50 meters before we figured out it could be a bad idea, so we turned back and joined the others.

We left from there and docked at Phi Phi Don, the larger island. Here the tour group had us a lunch set up which wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great either. The service was pretty bad as usual, so we left the group to check out the island. We were able to track down some sunblock, but it was priced at 500baht in the store…I don’t know…I thought that was pretty crazy. I guess we should’ve broke down and bought it, but we didn’t. While walking around and cooking in the sun we decided we’d split from the group and hire our own boat. I wish we would’ve done this from the beginning. It was more expensive than I would’ve liked, but we ended up finding us a captain that would take us back to the small island for some snorkeling. Phi Phi Lek was a lot less crowded and had better beaches I thought.

After a couple of hours in the water it was time to head back. Once we got back to the main island we had to find transportation back to the West side of the island…we were on the East side. We ended up each getting a motorbike taxi and it was up there in the top ten worst experiences in my life. It had to have been an hour before we made it back to the hotel. All of us with sunburn and just exhausted from the day. Being in Phuket though we had to go back to Patong beach and hit up some bars before the night was through.

We just hung out in the hotel pool the next time and did some recuperating before gearing up for another night at the beach bars. It was our last night on the island and it was fairly relaxed and we had a fun time. Ken and Sam were taking off for Singapore the next day and I was going back to Pattaya.

The only thing that came up at the hotel that soured the stay a bit was that just about all of the food and drink orders ended up on my tab as well as I had been charged double for my room than what it was supposed to be. I brought it up to Jaan though and he was great about and settled the issue immediately. Ken and Sam had already left for the airport though by the time I figured out about the food bill. Eventually we split it when Ken and Sam came back to LOS to stay in Bangkok for a couple of nights, so in the end everything worked out. All in all I’d have to give the Hilltop 4/5 stars. Really amazing place to stay. Enjoy the rest of the pictures.

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Egypt Resorts and Attractions

April 19th, 2012 · Uncategorized

If you make a decision to spend your vacation in Egypt, usually you have a choice of two sea resorts – Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh. They both are very popular, but Hurghada is situated in African continent while Sharm El Sheikh lies on Sinai peninsula.

About 30 years ago Hurghada was just a simple fishing village. But now, with it’s a resort with crystal clear water, untouched reefs. It has become one of the best Egyptian tourist destinations. A significant part of its fame Hurghada gained as one of the best diving centres of the world. Like all oriental cities Hurghada make living out of trade, so if when you walk along the city, be ready to beat off the pressing offers of the sellers, deserving to make you buy their souvenirs. There are some more entertainments except shopping and diving in Hurghada. You can make a jeep trip to a desert, visit Bedouin’s village there; you can see corals and some natural preserves. Hurghada is also has aqua-park. Fishing is one of the popular tourist’s activities in Hurghada too. Today, Hurghada is known as a party town, particularly among Europeans. Locals and others will tell you that life begins at night in Hurghada, with the many, many clubs.
The best time to visit Hurghada is October-November. In winter there are strong winds and it becomes dark very early.

Go here for cheap Egypt holidays

When you are in Hurghada don’t miss the chance to see one of the most outstanding monuments of Egypt history – Luxor and the Valley of the King. Pharaoh’s tombs and ancient temples are worth visiting.

Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the most accessible and developed tourist resort communities on the Sinai peninsula. All around are Bedouins, colorful tents, mountains and sea. Na’ama Beach is one of the center of the tourist activities. Located just north of Sharm, this area is developing into a resort town of its own. For those who like shopping, the Sharm El-Sheikh mall provides shops with both foreign and local products, including jewelry, leather goods, clothing, pottery and books. Nobody leaves Sharm el-Sheikh without several useless but very pleasant souvenirs. Like Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh is famous for diving too, but it has more diversity in corals.

Those, who choose Sharm el-Sheikh also has opportunity to watch the attraction of Sinai peninsula – The Monastery of St Catherine, Mount Sinai (or Mountain of Moses), Pharaoh’s Island and Salah El Din Citadel, Nabq National Park, Ras Abu Galum National Park and so-called ‘Coloured Canyon’.

The last but not the least of the Egypt must-sees is Cairo with its pyramids. From either Hurghada or Sharm El-Sheikh it will be a long trip, but you will never regret it!
When you going to Egypt, be aware that 3-star hotels in Egypt have nothing to do with 3-star hotels in Europe. So, it’s better to choose 4 or 5 star hotel. Probably it saves you from many inconveniences. Often, the large hotels have zoos, playgrounds, discos, bars, a number of pools and even small theaters. So, may be you will to want to leave your hotel.
Anyway, a trip to Egypt promises to be exotic and interesting experience.

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Sapphire Lodge – Bryans Birthday Bash 2011

December 29th, 2011 · Pattaya Info, Pattaya News, Pattaya Nightlife

The Sapphire Lodge of Pattaya, Pratumnak Soi 4 will be hosting Bryan (owner of Pattaya Addicts forum) and the addicts boys for Bryan’s birthday party.

It is tomorrow, the 30th of December, in the evening. Here are some of the things they’ve got planned:

“I have organised 5 girls to do lesbien shows throughout the night. Food from punch and judy. The party starts at 7 p.m and ends early hours
in the morning. We are trying to give the girls a test run and turning it into a late night gogo, we ordered poles and lights for the next month.”

I won’t be making this years party, but I did catch last years New Years party at the Sapphire gogo near Walking Street. The food was great and there were lots of activities lined up for entertainment. They did a good job of mixing it up so that it was different than your average night at the gogo.

The motorbike taxi from walking street is only 60 baht and its around 1600 metres from walking street.

It’s located at the bottom of soi 4 off pratumnak hill.

Just ask the taxi drivers to take you to “Asia Hotel”

More directions here

Video of Sapphire Lodge before its soft opening

Chokdee

PP

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Motorbike Rental Pattaya

October 18th, 2011 · Pattaya Info, Pattaya News

If you’re going to holiday in Pattaya, or stay long term then you might want to think about renting a motorbike.

Right now, the very best place to rent a bike in Pattaya is from Kessaya. He’s the best because he has the lowest prices and the best customer service.

Here’s a link to Mark’s site – Motorbike Rental Pattaya

I believe he currently has around 22-25 bikes and most of the time they’re all rented out, so make sure to book early.

He stays on the Darkside, but will deliver to your hotel in Pattaya or Jomtien if needed.

He’s helped out a few times when I’ve lost my key one way or another :O

I’m a big guy and the Click worked great for me. It’s a 110, but had plenty of power to get me to Ban Chang and back lots of times. It set me back 2,000baht a month which is a bargain.

Just make sure whatever you do try to stay off the bike if you’ve been drinking. The roads are dangerous enough in Pattaya and if you don’t end up hurting yourself you could just as easily hurt somebody else, so please be responsible.

Once again the link to Mark’s site is Pattaya motorbike rental

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Where do Expats go for Holiday?

September 16th, 2011 · Pattaya FAQ

[poll id="2"]

Ok, we all know lots of people love coming to Pattaya for holiday, but where do all of you expats like to go for holiday? Let’s see some answers in the poll as well as some comments about where you go and why.

While I was in Pattaya the only place I went for a little side holiday was Cambodia. It was cool, I liked it, but it wasn’t Pattaya. I only went to Siam Reap, which was fun, but too quiet for me. I thought the little drinking area they have is cute and all, but just a lot of yuppy tourist types sitting around talking to a lot of other yuppy tourist. Does that make sense?

I guess I only went because it would only be a few days and I wanted to see Angkor Wat while I was in the area. I realize that in itself is a bit touristy, but I don’t care :P My idea of an ideal Cambodian holiday would be to hit Phnom Penh hard and party it up in the city as well as going out in the boonies somewhere where it’s real grimey and third worldish.

I imagine a lot of you go back home to Europe now and then to see family or maybe handle some business. Anybody ever just go down to the Philippines? I know of a few that do that and it really helps break up the monotony that Pattaya can sometimes bring on.

How about any Greek, Mediterranean, or Turkey holidays? I’ve always wanted to travel to that part of the world, but haven’t got a chance yet. China would be fun too.

Anybody have any thoughts about the scene in Central and South America compared to Thailand? Never been myself, but another area on the to do list.

Ok well, leave your comments below about where you like to go on holiday when you’re living in Thailand and vote in the poll.

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Site Update

May 3rd, 2011 · Site News

Just wanted to update readers on the fact that I’m not currently in Pattaya and don’t have any new posts to put up.

All of the posts lately are from flickr and youtube.

I know…lame, but I have other projects at the moment.

Make sure to go through the site though and enjoy the pics and trip reports.

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Imani Zubeh – Book Him for Your Thai Club

March 20th, 2011 · Thailand News

Check this guy out if you’re looking to find some different music for your venue. He specializes in piano bar type entertainment and would probably fit well somewhere in Bangkok, Phuket, or Pattaya. He’s currently living and working in Japan, but looking to get some bookings in Thailand.

He’s got some snazzy tunes that would make for a nice relaxing evening at your place.

www.Imanology.com

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Should I Tip While I’m In Thailand?

February 11th, 2011 · Pattaya Info, Thailand Information

To tip or not to tip. That is the question in Thailand. As for the answer, it’s the same answer to many questions a foreigner might have while in Thailand. “Up to you”

Traditionally, there is no tipping. Western tourists have brought the custom to Thailand with them. Now the Thais, enterprising bunch that they are, of course try to get as much of a tip out of tourists and as often as possible. 5 baht here, 10 baht there. You’ll receive the occasional dirty look depending on where you are if you skimp on the tip.

On the other side though, if you are paying in an establishment usually frequented exclusively by Thais, you will not be expected to tip. Also, if you know that a restaurant for example already applies a %10 service charge…well, there’s the tip right there.

I’d like to mention thought that every time I’ve been with Thai friends they will tip the staff, so perhaps it is the thing to do nowadays.

In the end, it’s your money to do with what you please. You’ll still be treated friendly no matter if you tip or not.

I thought this was a bit funny…tip box in a dental clinic.

thai tip box

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Yamato Japanese Restaurant Review

January 31st, 2011 · Pattaya Info

Review of a little Japanese place on Soi Yamato

Yamato Japanese Restaurant

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Sapphire Club | Pattaya Party

January 30th, 2011 · Pattaya Info, Pattaya News, Pattaya Nightlife

Taken from Pattaya-News

“Every Thursday night is now party night at Sapphire Club in Soi 15 off Walking Street. the opening night was this week, 20th January 2011 and the club was packed to the rafters all night. If it was anything to go by Thursdays at Sapphire will become a must do for most tourists and ex pats alike. The night features all the usual dancing and shows plus:

* Special Drink Offers
* Extreme Games.
* FREE food – yes free food every Thursday – and superb it is too, not the usual party fare thats for sure.”

pattaya party

I went to one of their parties in December and they really did put on a great show. Lots of people turned up and they had plenty of girls to accommodate all of the people. The food was really good as well. If they’re putting this on every Thursday night, then you’ve got a great chance to see a well put together party when you make it into town.

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