Archive for Bangkok Airport Hotels

Going over to the Thai side

You are dating a Thai guy? Inevitably, this is the question I get asked after I tell people about my boyfriend. To be fair, a white, American girl and a Thai man holding hands is an unusual sight, but it shouldn’t be. There are always complaints from expat women about how the dating scene in Thailand is about as bad as it gets. Many women have completely given up, but I also think a lot of women haven’t ventured over to the Thai side. So I encourage you to join our small club.

Of course, these reasons are not meant to apply to all Thai men, but here are some of the benefits I have found about dating a Thai guy:

1. They carry your bags, including your purse. When I first started dating my boyfriend, he would always reach for my purse and try to take it off my shoulder. Needless to say, as an American woman, this was incredibly confusing to me. I later asked him why he does this and he said “it’s just what it is, it’s our culture” Alright, that’s reason enough for me! However, I do still carry my own purse. I just can’t accept the idea of a man with a purse, but I haven’t had to carry anything else in over a year!

2. Hate paying farang prices and being jerked around by people trying to squeeze every last Baht out of you? Watch them try to do that when you have a Thai boyfriend with you. Not only will you be paying a fair price, but it’s hot to watch your man defend you, even if it is to save ten cents.

3. They’re funny. While too much of this kind of attitude can quickly become annoying, most Thai men are jokers at heart and who doesn’t love to be with a guy that can make them smile?

4. Square jaws, good heads of hair and full kissable lips.

5. Thai men have a well earned reputation of being less than faithful. Obviously, you want to steer clear of anyone in that group, but if you can find a good one, Thai men are faithful family men. If family is something that is important to you, a Thai man will share that value with you. Many of them will still live at home with their parents until they get married, which to a Westerner is a red flag. But, if you can get over this cultural difference, it’s kind of cute that they want to take care of their ageing mom and dad after having been taken care of for their whole lives. That’s a green flag for me.

6. They will come to you. I’m all about women’s rights and girl power, but there is still something nice about a man offering to pick you up and take you to dinner, even if it’s inconvenient for him, rather than meeting him there. There’s something very gentlemanly about it that a lot of Western men have lost. For Thai men, this is expected and totally normal so you never have to feel like you’re inconveniencing them; it’s something I am still getting used to.

7. They’re very loving, and at the end of the day, this is what most women are looking for. They are much quicker to drop the L bomb so be aware that it doesn’t carry the same weight for them as it does for many expat women. I think I heard it from him on our third date but I didn’t repeat it until at least our fourth month. Normally that would have sent me running, but I had been warned about this. While they can sometimes be lazy, ahem, please do the dishes … they will do small, thoughtful, romantic things that surprise you and make you fall in love with them again and again.

8. Everyone says a little spice is good for a relationship. Thai men like spicy in the morning, at noon and in the evening …

If you haven’t gone over to the Thai side yet, I say give it a shot!

The post Going over to the Thai side appeared first on Expat ladies in Bangkok.

Going over to the Thai side

Princess Suvarnabhumi Residence 549/18 Onnut-Lat Krabang Road, Thapyao 02 172 9919 Excellent Bangkok Airport Hotel – professional friendly staff, one of the closest and most popular hotels in the immediate BKK Suvarnabhumi airport location.

Bangkok Airport Hotel

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Foreign exchange rate for expats

Bea Toews invited me to share with you all some tips on how to make sure you are receiving the best exchange rate and also avoid needless bank charges.

She pointed out that many expat seniors live on investments that are sent to Thailand from abroad, and they want to get best value for their money. The more money that arrives from abroad, the more important it is to get good exchange rates.

Very briefly, I will take you through the process of transferring money and show you how you can save money on exchange rates.

Firstly I would like to explain the basics of FX (Foreign Exchange) so you all have a better understanding of the charges and rates you are being offered.

There are various ways of sending money abroad, using your Bank in your home country, using an FX Broker, or using money transfer companies like Western union etc.

All of the above will have a charge attached to each transfer you make called a transmission charge. This will vary but most banks charge around £20 – £30 for each international transfer you make. Does not sound expensive, but this is not where they make their money. The real profits are made on the spread. This is calculated from the rate you are being offered and the mid market rate or wholesale rate. Everybody has access to these rates online. Try it for yourself. Find out what rate your bank is offering you and then check the mid market rate on websites like XE.COM or Bloomberg.com. Also note that the mid market rate is constantly changing throughout the day so what may be a reasonable rate in the morning may not be that good by the afternoon.

Here is an example of a mid market rate, For this example I will use for British Sterling and Thai Baht. At the close of play when writing this article, Bloomberg was quoting 54.9956, a major high street bank was quoting 52.40, This equates to a spread of nearly 5%!

In monetary terms that would mean for every £1000 you send abroad you are losing an additional £50 on the spread plus a transmission charge of circa £30 which would equate to about 4 – 4500B per transfer. If you are transferring larger sums say from £10000 – $25000, the charges start to get eye watering!

Regardless of how you send your money abroad, one thing you want to avoid doing when living abroad is using your bank cards from your home country.

This is by far the most expensive way of exchanging foreign currency as your bank will charge you for each transaction, you will also get hit by their poor exchange rates and in Thailand the Thai banks also charge 150B per transaction when withdrawing money from an ATM. You get hit from all angles. Open a bank account locally to avoid local bank charges.

Now that you have an understanding as to how banks and brokers make money when you transfer funds, what are the best options available to you?

It’s simple – use a Foreign Exchange Broker when buying foreign currency. Make sure they are fully regulated in their home country and that they hold your funds in Segregated Client Trust accounts – this is critical as the bank holds your money not the FX Company. Make sure they have easy to use technology so you can purchase and send currency around the world at your convenience. And last and not least, make sure you know the spread that will be charged on each and every transaction that you make. Without this you are buying foreign currency blind.

I hope this has given you all an insight into how Foreign Exchange work, I would be delighted to offer any advice that you may need, I would also encourage you to visit our website and feel free to email me any questions you have regarding this article and also how we can start saving you money when making cross border payments.

Rick.futieh@ewealthglobal.com www.ewealthglobal.com

The post Foreign exchange rate for expats appeared first on Expat ladies in Bangkok.

Foreign exchange rate for expats

Princess Suvarnabhumi Residence 549/18 Onnut-Lat Krabang Road, Thapyao 02 172 9919 Excellent Bangkok Airport Hotel – professional friendly staff, one of the closest and most popular hotels in the immediate BKK Suvarnabhumi airport location.

Bangkok Airport Hotel

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One day trip to koh samed 4 islands

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Koh samed is relaxed island with stunning beachs it combines the allure of a tropical paradise with reasonable with proximity in pattaya. Koh samed is a main island and also have small island around there. There are Koh Talu, Koh Kudee and Koh Kham.

Itinerary

8.00 am.   Pick up from various hotel.

8.30 am.   Leave from pattaya to banphe pier and get lunch box.

9.30 am.   Get to the boat “Satorn Princess” go to koh samed island for pick up customer  from the island and cruise for sightseeing the beach and the go to Koh talu island

11.00 am  Arrive to Koh Talu Island get the free time for snorkelling or fishing and enjoy for thai buffet on board. After luch we will go to Koh Kham Island.

1.30 pm.   Koh Kham Island is a private island where you can where you can relax and spend time on the beach, swiming as you need. After spend time at Koh Kham Island for feeding and swiming with a lot of fish.

3.00 pm.   Send our customer to Koh samed and arrive back to Phanphee pier.

5.30 pm.   Arrive back to pattaya.

 

 

From:
฿1,700.00

To:
฿3,800.00

One day trip to koh samed 4 islands

If you need a bangkok airport transfer
look no further bangkokairportlimo.com offers the most reliable, competitive deals (all rates are inclusive of tolls).

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Bangkok Airport Hotel 3 of the most popular Bangkok Airport Hotels – great deals, all hotels within 10 minutes of the airport terminal, 24 hour reception and transfer service – instant confirmation and secure payment.

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Bangkok to Amphawa & Fisherman Village

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Routing : Easy & but lot of activities

Duration : about 2 Days

Uncovered yourself to the social and cultural diversity of Thailand by visit to different villages. Fascinated by food , simply way of living and art which are around the Thais.Catch fish by hand Visit the bird net temple, taste local snack, and seafood market.

Go through the coconut organic farm and get your hand on making coconut sugar bar with primitive method. Join Fisherman community and participate in their daily work such as finding food on mangrove, catch fish by hand, and finding Krill. It is depend on tide and weather

 

Itinerary

Day 1

  • 07.15 Meet at Wongwein Yai Sky Train station (station S7). Meeting place is on sky train station near Exit 3 sign Please be on time since we need to walk to train station for 15 minute.
  • 07.40 Hop in train to Mahachai, 50 minute train ride with the local people
  • 09.00  Arrival Mahachai, a chance to travel around the fresh seafood market. Across the river to Tachalom to take tricycle around the town. Taste unique local food snack, and drink. Get to know seafood industry and history of the town. Visit temple with thousand swallows which live in temple compound. Visit Thai house made of teakwood with long history
  • 12.00 Lunch at local restaurant
  • 13.33 Start to take another train to Mea Klong where the train ride through the market when the merchant still open for sales the product.
  • 14.30 Arrival at Mea Klong train station and continue to break at resort for 30 minute for refreshment or go strength to visit Fisherman Village which depend on train schedule.
  • 15.30 Time to join Fisherman community and participate in their daily work such as finding food on mangrove, catch fish by hand, finding Krill & razor clam , harvesting sea product (such as cockle, mussel & oyster) or surf board on mud. It is depend on tide and weather.
  • 17:30 Shower and having dinner in the village at bamboo stilt house
  • 20:00 Travel to small resort

 

Day 2

  • 06.00 Morning wake up
  • 06.30 Thaibreakfast
  • 07.00 – 10.30 Go through the coconut organic farm and get your hand on making coconut sugar bar with primitive method
  • 10.30 Return to hotel to break and refreshment
  • 12.00 Having famous noodle for lunch
  • 13.00 Visit Wat Baan Leam
  • 14.00 Take local bus and return to Bangkok (for weekend , those who want to be a Amphawa floating market and hang out till evening and return by local by own)

 

PACKAGE PRICES INCLUDED

  • Sightseeing as the itinerary including admission fee as stated in program
  • Local transporation such as feery , boat, moto taxi
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Admission fee of the tour guide for the guide if applicant
  • Government VAT
  • Snack, drink in itinerary
  • Share Room in small home style resort

THE PRICES EXCLUDED

  • Credit card Charge
  • Personal items & hotel incidental charges
  • Drink
  • Gratuities to the guide, driver and hotel’s porter
  • Third language speaking guide charge extra 500 Baht/half day tour or 1000 baht/day tour (Day tour)
฿5,800.00

Bangkok to Amphawa & Fisherman Village

If you need a bangkok airport transfer
look no further bangkokairportlimo.com offers the most reliable, competitive deals (all rates are inclusive of tolls).

New Products from Main Website Store

Bangkok Airport Hotel 3 of the most popular Bangkok Airport Hotels – great deals, all hotels within 10 minutes of the airport terminal, 24 hour reception and transfer service – instant confirmation and secure payment.

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Smartphones, Tablets, or Laptops: What’s Best for Travelers?

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On the first Tuesday of each month, Dave Dean from Too Many Adapters is here giving you great tips and advice on travel tech and gear. Here is his column this month.

“Should I bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone?” It’s a question I’m often asked – and for good reason. There are pros and cons to each device and, with overlapping features, picking the one that’s right can be confusing.

There are a lot of issues to think about with each device – size, weight, costs, insurance, and security. Striking the right balance between them all isn’t easy, but it is possible. As a tech guy, I carry a lot of devices (and a lot of chargers) but for those not obsessed with every new device on the market, you only need one device. You want to keep it simple on the road. Here are the pros and cons of carrying a smartphone, laptop, or tablet with you on the road as well as product suggestions!

Phone


There are plenty of reasons to take a smartphone along on your trip – in fact, for travelers who aren’t trying to work from the road, it could be the only device they need. While rarely best at anything, smartphones are fine for many tasks that used to require separate gadgets. When you’re trying to reduce space, weight and cost, that’s a big benefit.

Pros

  • They take the place of multiple devices. There’s no longer a need to pack a separate flashlight, map, calculator, music player or alarm clock.
  • It’s easy to get connected when you need to, even if you’re not using cell data. Cafes, airports and train stations usually have Wi-Fi available, and in much of the world there’s always a McDonald’s or Starbucks nearby if you want bad burgers and coffee with your Facebook.
  • There are hundreds of useful travel apps out there that work offline. App such that do currency conversion, translation tools, help with navigation, are guide books, itinerary trackers and more can help make your travels easier.

Cons

  • The biggest con is battery life — it’s rare to find a smartphone that will last more than a day of normal use. Long flights, bus rides and days of exploring often result in a dead phone before you get to your accommodation. With everyone else in your dorm room also wanting to charge their gadgets every night, even finding a power socket isn’t always easy.
  • Although phones are getting larger, a 5″ screen isn’t ideal for entertainment – books and movies aren’t so great on a small screen.
  • Websites without mobile-friendly versions get annoying very quickly.
  • Typing on phones is fine for updating your Facebook status or sending a quick message, but you’ll end up frustrated if you’re hoping to do much more.

Recommendations
If you are looking for a simple, cheap, and basic device, a phone may be for you. If you aren’t planning on using your device for work, don’t mind a small screen, or need much, a phone may be for you. For longer form writing, you can always use Internet cafes!

I personally carry a Google Nexus 5, which is a high-end phone without the high-end price tag. Other than better battery life, I wouldn’t change anything about it. The camera takes good shots, even in low light. It’s remarkably fast, with video and the most demanding apps running flawlessly. I wanted a phone that would take three years of abuse on the road without needing an upgrade, and so far, it feels like I’ve found it. The Nexus costs $399 for the unlocked 32GB version.

Tablets


Tablet computers have only been around for a few years, but ever since the iPad came out they’ve been very popular. They offer a larger screen and better battery life but are more expensive and take up a lot more room.

Pros

  • While you won’t have standard calling or texts, tools like Google Voice, WhatsApp and Skype can be good replacements if your internet speed is fast enough. All of the apps work as well or better than on a phone, and the larger screen makes many tasks a little easier.
  • Battery life is usually longer than a smartphone, especially when in flight mode or just using Wi-Fi. If your tablet does have a cellular data option, you’re in luck there, too – tablets usually have an unlocked SIM card slot. Pick up a local, data-only SIM and you’re good to go.

Cons

  • Size is an issue. Even the smaller 7-8″ versions won’t really fit in your pocket unless you’re wearing a large jacket. They’re also heavier than smartphones, especially if you have a full-size tablet.
  • Taking photos with tablets is, quite frankly, a horrible idea. Their size and bulk make them hard to hold steady, and that’s before the cover starts flapping around. Screens are hard to see in direct sunlight, and since it’s rare for people to use durable cases with tablets, it’s easy to damage or drown them. Plus, let’s face it, you look pretty silly doing it.
  • While the screens are bigger, the apps and input are usually exactly the same as a smartphone. That means typing is still slower than using a proper keyboard, and software options for doing real work are limited. While you can use a Bluetooth keyboard to speed up your typing, that’s yet another piece of technology to buy, power and carry around.

Recommendations

For those looking to do more with their device, especially watch a lot of movies, a tablet is a lot easier on the eyes. When it comes to tablets, I recommend the Google Nexus 7. It’s small and light, reliable and surprisingly powerful. At $229 or $269 (depending on storage space) for the Wi-Fi versions, it’s also great value. I’ve been using mine for around a year now, and am very happy with it. If you absolutely must have an Apple device, opt for the iPad Mini. It’s more convenient to carry around than its bigger brother.

Laptops


It wasn’t so long ago that if you wanted to get online when you traveled, your only choice was to carry a laptop or find a dusty Internet café. Those days are long gone now, of course – so are there still reasons to pack a laptop at all?

Pros

  • The biggest advantage of a laptop is versatility. There’s software to do pretty much anything a traveler could need, and websites always work best on a computer. Storage space is rarely an issue, and it’s easy to backup photos from a separate camera (or phone, for that matter.)
  • Laptops are much more powerful than any tablet or phone, and combined with the larger screen and proper keyboard, getting things done will be faster and easier. That’s more time enjoying happy hour, less time in front of a screen.
  • Hybrid tablet/laptops are becoming more common which, if you buy a good one, provides the best of both worlds without carrying separate devices.
  • If you work from the road, a laptop of some sort is the most sensible choice. Anything else will end up costing you far more in time and frustration than you ever save in weight and cost.

Cons

  • Weight. While laptops are getting lighter all the time, you’re still not going to be slipping it in your pocket as you head out the door. Add in the weight of the charger, and you’ll definitely be looking for excuses to leave it in your dorm or hotel room when you can.
  • Price. The price tag can be substantial — depending on what you need, expect to pay anything from $500 to $2000 or more. Carrying a gadget that valuable guarantees extra worry about theft or damage, and travel insurance typically either won’t cover the full cost or will require an extra premium to do so.
  • They’re fragile. The last thing you want to do is drop your computer.
  • They are expensive to insurance and replace.
  • They have a lot of power – power you won’t use. Laptops are great for travelers running an online business, but your every day traveler rarely needs all the hard drive space, computing power, and apps.

Recommendations

If you’re running an online business, a laptop is a must.  If your budget runs to $1000-$1500, it’s hard to go past the Macbook Air. Slim, lightweight, with good battery life and flash storage for extra speed and durability, Macbooks also come with good warranty service if you’re traveling to places that have official Apple stores that can do repairs in-store. Check if there are any refurbished models available before you buy.

Other recommendations include the Asus Transformer T100 for basic needs, or the Toshiba Kirabook or Dell XPS 12 for most other requirements. There are, of course, plenty of other choices too — I’ve put together a guide to buying a travel laptop if you need more details.

What should you use?

For most casual travelers, a smartphone is the best choice. It replaces a dozen or more other gadgets, fits into a pocket, and, with a bit of patience, can be used for most online tasks. If it has an unlocked SIM slot, getting mobile data is relatively cheap and easy – and given how many places offer free or cheap Wi-Fi, you could choose to just use that instead. Best of all, perfectly usable phones start at under $200.

If you prefer a tablet, by all means take one with you instead. The better battery life and larger screen may make up for the other disadvantages, and if you buy a model with cell data, it’s easy to get online almost anywhere. You’ll be looking at $250-$600+, depending on what you buy.

Unless you work online, there’s little need for a laptop on your next trip. While they provide ultimate power and flexibility, the size, weight and cost of most laptops mean they aren’t worth the trade-off.

Another thing to remember is that most travel insurance companies only cover up to $500 USD. If your device costs more than that (and it probably does), you’ll need to buy a supplemental policy.

In the end, I would say that a smartphone or a tablet is the right device for a traveler who isn’t running a blog or business from the road. Laptops are heavy, expensive, and unneeded.

 

Dave runs Too Many Adapters, a site devoted to technology for travellers. A geek as long as he can remember, he worked in IT for fifteen years. Now based out of a backpack long term, Dave writes about travel and tech from anywhere with half-decent Internet and a great view.  You can also find him talking about the life of a long-term traveller at What’s Dave Doing?

 

 

 

If you need a bangkok airport transfer
look no further bangkokairportlimo.com offers the most reliable, competitive deals (all rates are inclusive of tolls).

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

Bangkok Airport Hotel 3 of the most popular Bangkok Airport Hotels – great deals, all hotels within 10 minutes of the airport terminal, 24 hour reception and transfer service – instant confirmation and secure payment.

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19 Reader Questions and Answers

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Every day I get asked hundreds of travel questions. My inbox is constantly full, and it takes hours each day to answer them all. I’m not bothered because I enjoy answering people’s travel questions and helping others travel more. However, not every question merits a single 1,000 word blog post to answer it; most have simple and short answers to them. Today, I’ve taken twenty questions that were asked on Facebook and posted the answer here. So, without further ado, here are reader questions and my (attempted) answers to them:

Sarthak: Is booking my tickets and hostel enough for planning?
For some, yes. For others, no. It really depends on the person. For me, I do a little research on what there is to see, do, and eat in the place before I go. I also try to read up on the history but, beyond that, I don’t do any major planning. I think it’s better to just go with the flow. Once you have the money sorted out, that’s really the big thing. On the road, it all works out.

Clay: Is running a large blog stressful and do you ever find it overwhelming?
All the time. It changes how you travel. I spend a lot of time researching information, fact checking, and trying to keep the website up to date. Travel is not all play for me. It’s work now. It’s work I love and choose but, like all work, there are stressful times.

Betti: What about security and safety for your stuff while you travel (money, credit cards, camera, laptop, e-reader/tablet, etc)? Any tips would be really useful!
I actually just brought on a new writer to talk tech and security on the website! Dave Dean will be writing about all these subjects. His post tomorrow deals with a lot of this. You can read his first post from last month here.

Tamara: Which Schengen country is the least difficult to get a long stay visa from?
In my opinion, Spain or France.

Carlos: What would you consider the quintessential German city after Berlin?
What we think of quintessential German is more often than not Bavarian (beer halls, lederhosen, dirndls, schnitzel, etc) so if I had to pick one city I would pick Munich.

Jessica: Is it possible to get a multi-country work visa so you are able to travel and work while you need to?
Work visas are only valid in the country they are issued in. There is a little leg room in Europe because of its common economic zone but it really depends on the type of work visa you are getting. However, generally, multi-country work visas don’t exist.

Oliver: What is your secret to compiling all the travel information you discover when you visit a place that you share with us? Where do you get inspiration from?
I basically write about my experiences. Whatever I do is what I write about. That being said, I generally go into each trip with the mindset that I am going to figure out how to travel that destination on a budget. I ask a lot of questions at tourism boards and get the prices of groceries, buses, and everything in between. My goal is to figure out the how of travel. To me, it’s like solving a puzzle.

Matthew: You have mentioned tours you guide, where do you post information/dates on your tours?
I’m currently not offering any at the moment but when I do, I’ll post the dates on the blog! I probably won’t offer any until next summer.

Travis: Where won’t you travel to?
I won’t travel to war zones. Other than that, there isn’t a place on Earth I don’t want to see.

Alex: I never fully understood your travel hacking. Can you explain it to me?
It can be a confusing topic but I have a book on the subject that might be able to help. You can read it here.

Katherine: What is your oddest couchsurfing experience?
My oddest couchsurfing experience took place in Germany. The girl who I was staying with yelled at me for taking a shower, saying I had taken one the previous day. Combined with the fact that she wouldn’t give me any pillows or blankets to sleep with on the couch, I left that day. It was a really odd experience. She didn’t seem like she really wanted to host someone. I’m still not sure why she signed up for the website.

Arania: What is the best way to access your funds or take money with you abroad?
The best way to access your money is through ATMs.

Valérie: What is the life insurance for long term travel? What about the average cost per month of long term traveling if you had to average cheap and expensive countries?
I don’t know about life insurance, it’s not something I’ve ever looked up but, to your other question, the average cost of each country per month varies greatly depending on the traveler and the country. As I write, the average cost of a year around the world is about $50 a day. However, everyone is going to be different. While I provide numbers as a guideline, only you know how much you really need by looking up costs and planning out your activities.

Rebecca: How do you travel in and out of Liechtenstein in one weekend?
No idea! I’ve never been!

Pallavi: Where does the courage come from to travel?
Courage is running into a burning building to save a life. Me? I just think that it’s a big world out there and if I don’t go see it, I’m going to miss out on experiencing a lot of life. It’s not so much courage as it is desire.

Tony: When do you plan on visiting Canada?
I was in Toronto a few months ago. I pop in and out of Canada every couple of months. However, I don’t have any current plans to do a big cross country trip there at the moment.

Maya: Are you planning to update your phone app TripSaver?
Not anytime soon.

Siân: How do you break large notes the ATM gives you in countries where things cost very little and shops/hostels/market traders don’t accept them?
I usually go to banks or exchange bureaus. They will break your big bills.

Jessica: Do you have any experience with the third party site “Flight Hub”? They are listed on Kayak and always have the cheapest rates. I am just hesitant to book with a site I have never used or heard anything about before.
I’ve never used Flight Hub before but if they are listed on Kayak, they are probably legit. Most aggregators like Kayak or Momondo vet the websites they list on them so I wouldn’t worry too much!

If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section!

The post 19 Reader Questions and Answers appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.


19 Reader Questions and Answers

If you need a bangkok airport transfer
look no further bangkokairportlimo.com offers the most reliable, competitive deals (all rates are inclusive of tolls).

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

Bangkok Airport Hotel 3 of the most popular Bangkok Airport Hotels – great deals, all hotels within 10 minutes of the airport terminal, 24 hour reception and transfer service – instant confirmation and secure payment.

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61traveltips1

61 Travel Tips to Make You the World’s Savviest Traveler

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a smart traveler staring out in Nicaragua after a long hike Most people aren’t born savvy travelers. It’s something that only comes with on the road experience. In the beginning, you make a lot of mistakes. Travel savviness is a process born of missed buses, foolish behavior, cultural unawareness, and countless tiny errors. Then, one day, you begin to seamlessly move through airports and integrate yourself into new cultures like a fish to water.

I want to help speed up the process and help you avoid my mistakes (and I often make a lot of them) so I put together this giant list of 61 travel tips that cover everything under the sun to help you reach your full travel ninja potential:

Always pack a towel. It’s the key to successful galactic hitchhiking and plain common sense. You never know when you will need it, whether it’s at the beach, on a picnic, or just to dry off.

Buy a small backpack/suitcase. It will force you to pack light and avoid carrying too much stuff.

Pack light. It’s ok to wear the same t-shirt a few days in a row. Take half the clothes you think you will need….you won’t need the rest of it.

But take extra socks. You’ll lose a bunch to laundry gremlins so packing extra will come in handy.

Take an extra bank card and credit card with you. Disasters happens. It’s always good to have a backup in case you get robbed or lose a card. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere new without access to your funds.

Make sure to use no-fee bank cards. Don’t give banks your hard earned money. Keep that for yourself and spend it on your travels.

Travel by yourself at least once. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and how to become independent. It’s cliché, but it’s true. Traveling solo taught me how to fend for myself, talk to people, and handle unfamiliar situations with ease.

Don’t be afraid to use a map. Looking like a tourist isn’t as bad as getting really lost and ending up in the wrong neighborhood.

But don’t be afraid to get purposefully lost. Wandering aimlessly through a new city is a good way to get to know it. You might be surprised by the hidden gems you find.

Always visit the local tourism office. They know about everything going on in town. They can point you to free activities, special events happening during your stay, and everything in between. Use this resource.

On international flights, book window seats so you can rest your head on the bulkhead. Also, book seats close to the front so you can beat everyone to the passport control line.

Don’t buy a money belt – they’re stupid. Thieves know they exist and being seen with one basically shouts, “Look at me, I’m a tourist with money! Rip me off!”

When you go out, take only what you need. Limit the amount of cash and bank cards you carry with you so if something does happen, you can easily recover.

Always carry a lock. They come in handy, especially when you stay in dorms and need to lock your stuff up.

Make extra copies of your passport and important documents. Don’t forget to e-mail a copy to yourself that way you’ll almost always have access to them, one way or another.

Look both ways when you cross the street. Especially in countries whose traffic flow is different than you’re used to.

Ask hostel staff for information – even when you aren’t staying there. They deal with budget travelers all day, every day. They know exactly where to go for cheap meals and attractions.

Learn basic phrases in the native language of your destination. The locals will appreciate it and it will make your interactions easier.

Read a history book! You can’t understand a place’s present if you don’t know anything about its past. Read up on the destinations you are visiting.

Don’t be ashamed to walk into a Starbucks. Sometimes familiarity is comforting.

But do be ashamed if you go into McDonald’s. Seriously. That shit is gross and unhealthy for you.

Shop around. When booking flights, sometimes it is cheaper to fly into airports close to your final destination, and then take a train or bus to where you need to go.

Always get behind business travelers when in security lines. They move fast. Try to keep up.

Never get behind families. They take forever. It’s not their fault; they just have a lot of stuff.

When you check in to the hotel, don’t be afraid to ask for an upgrade. They have a lot of flexibility and it can’t hurt to ask.

Libraries, Starbucks, and most cafes have free Wi-Fi if you’re staying someplace that charges you to connect.

Lunchtime is the best time to visit historical sites. The sites empty out and you’ll have fewer crowds to fight.

Never eat in a touristy area or near a tourist attraction. As a general rule, I walk five blocks in either direction before I find a place to eat.

Locals don’t eat out every night and neither should you. Go grocery shopping. You can learn a lot about locals’ diets by seeing the type of food they buy.

Eat at expensive restaurants during lunch. They offer lunch specials – same food as dinner but half the price.

Pack a flashlight. It will let you see at night, help you avoid stepping on stuff, and help you tell ghost stories. Who’s afraid of the dark?

Carry a basic first-aid kit. Accidents happen, so be prepared. I take with me bandaids, antibacterial cream, and ointments for cuts and scrapes.

Book flights 3-4 months in advance to get the best price. And don’t drive yourself too crazy trying to get the absolute cheapest fare. Spending five hours to try to save $10 will cause you a lot of stress.

Stay in hostels. They are cheap and you’ll meet a lot of people! Hostel bars are also very cheap.

Use Meetup, sharing economy, and hospitality websites to meet locals. They’ll be able to give you the insider’s perspective on your destination.

Be open to strangers. Not everyone bites. You just might make some lifelong friends.

But keep your guard up. Some people do bite, so keep a healthy level of suspicion.

Try new food. Don’t ask what it is. Just put it in your mouth and see if you like it. If you put your guard up, you might miss out on some unusual and delicious local cuisine.

Avoid taxis. They are always a budget buster.

Take an empty metal water bottle through airport security and fill it up at your gate. Drink from the tap when you can – you’ll save money and help the environment.

Take free walking tours. Besides being free, these tours will give you a good orientation and background of the city you are in.

Get city attraction cards. If you are going to visit a lot of museums and other attractions in a short period of time, a city pass is going to save you money on admission (plus most provide free public transportation too!).

Take pictures of your luggage and clothes. If your bag gets lost, this will help identify it more easily and speed up the process of having your travel insurance reimburse you.

Carry emergency cash. Because emergencies happen. Like that time in Romania when I couldn’t find an ATM and needed money for the bus to the hostel!

Get good shoes. You walk a lot when you travel. Don’t beat up your feet. Love them as much as they love you, and they’ll take you to amazing places.

Get vaccinated. Because falling prey to an illness in a foreign country is not fun.

Learn to haggle. Haggling is a fun, playful way of not getting charged the foreigner price. It’s the art of negotiating and one that will help you throughout all of life, not just at the market.

Use points and miles for free travel. You can go a lot further in the world when you don’t have to pay for it. Make sure everything you do gets you miles.

Take a jacket. Nights get chilly.

Eat street food! If you skip the street food, you miss out on culture. Don’t be scared. If you’re nervous, look for places where kids are eating. If it’s safe for them, it’s safe for you.

Get travel insurance. Don’t be foolish. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to be out thousands of dollars in bills. Travel insurance is the most important thing you get that you never want to use.

Be patient. Things will work out in the end. No need to rush. You’ll get to where you are going in due time. Travel is about the journey, not the destination.

Be respectful. Locals are willing to help you out, but there’s probably a language barrier, so keep your cool when something doesn’t go your way. If you don’t, you’ll end up just looking like an asshole tourist.

Don’t over plan your trip. Let your days unfold naturally. Schedule two or three things and let the day fill in the rest on its own. It’s less stressful and letting the day just take you is one of the best ways to travel.

Relax. See Be patient.

Be frugal – but not cheap. Don’t be pennywise but pound-foolish. Look for deals and don’t waste money, but don’t miss out on great experiences or walk 10 miles to save a couple of dollars. Time is money. Spend them both wisely.

Take earplugs. Snorers are everywhere and you need your sleep.

Search incognito. If you are going to be searching for flights, use the incognito feature in your browser to hide your browsing history so booking websites don’t track your cookies and raise the price on you.

Always have an extra USB charger. Batteries die. Your good mood shouldn’t.

Take photos of and with people. Lots of photos. Years from now, you’ll want to look back on those nights you can’t remember and the people who made them memorable.

Finally, wear sunscreen. For as the Baz Luhrmann song “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” goes:

“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience.”

The post 61 Travel Tips to Make You the World’s Savviest Traveler appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

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Yunnanese Restaurant in Mae Salong, Chiang Rai (ร้านอิ่มโภชนา)

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Along with the beautiful scenery, and the fresh mountain air, one of the main reasons I wanted to take a day trip from Chiang Rai to the small village of Mae Salong (แม่สลอง), was to eat. Mae Salong (แม่สลอง) is a small ethnically Yunnanese Chinese village, located in the hills of northern Thailand, about a 1.5 […]

The post Yunnanese Restaurant in Mae Salong, Chiang Rai (ร้านอิ่มโภชนา) appeared first on Thai Street Food, Restaurants, and Recipes | Eating Thai Food.

Yunnanese Restaurant in Mae Salong, Chiang Rai (ร้านอิ่มโภชนา)

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Revisiting Baan Suan Pai and The Spring Epicurean Market During the Thai Vegetarian Festival

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The street I live on has donned the yellow flags and restaurants have put out special menus for this week’s Thai Vegetarian Festival which lasts from September 23rd until October 3rd. One of my favorite restaurants has signs on the wall that read ‘vegetable food’ in the most unsexy advertisement for the healthy stuff ever. […]

The post Revisiting Baan Suan Pai and The Spring Epicurean Market During the Thai Vegetarian Festival appeared first on Thai Street Food, Restaurants, and Recipes | Eating Thai Food.

Revisiting Baan Suan Pai and The Spring Epicurean Market During the Thai Vegetarian Festival

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traveldepression1

Post-Trip Depression: It’s Often Emotionally Harder to Come Home than Go Away

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Before my first trip around the world, I was driving through Boston with my friend Mike. One of the things I was talking about was how different life would be when I returned home. Where would my friends be in life? How would they change? What jobs would they have? New hobbies? New relationships? I imagined a world of possibility.

“Everything will be exactly how you left it,” he said. “When I studied abroad, I thought the same thing. But, in truth, nothing will be different when you come home. Everything and everyone will be the same.”

I didn’t believe him. After all, a lot can happen in a year.

But when I came back, I realized he was right. I had changed but home didn’t – my friends, now heading into their late twenties, had the same jobs, were going to the same bars, and mostly doing the same things. Moreover, Boston itself just felt the same. It had the same pulse as it had before.

It was as if home had remained frozen during my time away. I still loved my friends, family, and city, but I didn’t fit in anymore. I had outgrown living there. Home felt small and unrelatable – I had this fire in me that I couldn’t express to anyone and it frustrated me. It yearned to try new things, go new places, meet new people but whenever I tried to express that, words fell flat. That fire was a feeling only those who had traveled seemed to understand – a simple nod to conveyed understanding of this shared bond.

As the excitement of home wore off, I wondered what was next. I was restless. I felt stale. Did I take this long trip only to end up right back where I started? No, of course not. I took it to grow.

Coming home is easier now than it was that first time in 2008, but the road still beckons me after just a few days. I know it’s there that I will find kindred spirits who understand me.

Every time a friend comes home from a trip, their first question to me is always, “How do you cope?” Returning home is hard and few address the reality that for a lot of people, coming home is an anticlimactic end to a life changing experience.

After a year of mind-blowing adventures, you are back where you started – sitting on a couch, back in your apartment, or in your old bedroom, bored, anxious, and jittery. You find your friends don’t understand the new you, don’t want to hear about your time sailing the Pacific while they sat in rush hour, or don’t get why you feel so uncomfortable being back. “What? You don’t like it here anymore?”

You feel as if you came back to exactly the same spot you left.

I know. I’ve been there.

And so have many others.

Post-travel depression is real. Anyone who has returned from a trip knows what I am talking about. We talk about how amazing and life-changing long-term travel is, but seldom address the idea that coming home is harder than leaving. Online communities allow you to commiserate with like-minded people, but they only help a little.

When the initial hugs are hugged out, the stories told, and the reunions over, many of us find that coming back home isn’t really coming home at all. Our true home is being surrounded by the unknown.

The road is where we belong.

And, because of that, our gaze will always be on the horizon, looking, dreaming, and wishing for another opportunity to get away again.

The post Post-Trip Depression: It’s Often Emotionally Harder to Come Home than Go Away appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site.

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