2/06/2011

Accommodation review # 3 Soi 18 (near the ASOK station)

I dragged my only luggage along the Sukhumvit Road (I can almost pronounced it now…). I said goodbye to N during the skytrain trip. I passed the Emporium and the queen’s park.  Memories came up like old movies only this time I’m here alone physically and mentally as well.

image photo from Baan Sukhumvit Soi 18 website

I should have got off the skytrain one stop earlier as I found Soi 18 is only 3 minute walk from the ASOK station. The downside of traveling alone is you don’t have anyone to share the traveling cost, eg. accommodation, transportation and the FUN of carrying the luggage by yourself up and down the skywalk.

Only later I realized a shortcut to save myself from doing weight lifting with my 14 kg luggage. There is a building (couldn’t remember the name, but it is connected to the skywalk to the ASOK station) near the station. Remember to go into the building and take the escalator downstairs if you happen to stay in Soi 18. It would save you heaps of time and effort!

Soi 18 located in a shabby lane (I’m sorry to say that but it is true) but once you got in the hotel, there’s not much to complain about. They have an elevator (it is very important since I once uplift my luggage alone for 5 floors in Prague) and my room is in the 4th floor.

The room is clean and in a just right size for me. The view, well, don’t expect anything grand but the quality is generally satisfying. They offer free wifi and breakfast  is included.

While I’m waiting for the check-in, a Chinese elder came to assist me with the luggage. He asked me if I’m from China and I said no. He reminds me the stereotypical Asian roles in most Western movies, polite and humble. He said he just arrived the country and he came from 廣東, the southern province of China.

From his eyes, I see homesickness.

The manager is very nice and helpful. In general, I’ll recommend this place to budget travelers.

1/28/2011

Accommodation review #2 Dhevan Dara Resort And Spa 華欣住宿

My friend, Jr, the expert of Thailand, suggests the place and I really appreciate his idea!

It is about 13K away from the city centre of Hua Hin but the trip worth it!

Hua Hin is a place where the Thai Royal family enjoy their retreat from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

N is my travelling companion for the 5-hr journey by train from Bangkok. We met at the central station (the local doesn’t seem like understanding the name in English, it is better to learn the name in Thai to avoid misunderstanding). I went to Jim Thompson house again before leaving for Hua Hin.

There is a storage room for you to leave your luggage in the Central Station. It cost me 50 Baht

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The train really isn’t very presentable considering its narrow walkway and interior deco and most importantly, punctuality doesn’t seem to be an important value in this country.

Luckily, N and I have numerous stories to share with. We literally couldn’t stop talking!

Then finally we arrived. We wandered around the city centre and had some light dinner (well, in small quantity but rather hot and spicy!) before the pick-up van showed up.

It’s better to acquire the bus timetable before you head  off to Dhevan Dara Resort And Spa.

The service is free but you have to notify them beforehand.

Here in Dhevan Dara Resort And Spa I have my own villa! Well it’s not grand but good enough for me. N was a bit surprised at the place, too. So after dropped off our stuff at our private villa (couldn’t help emphasize that again…), we head off to the beach by the shuttle bus.

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P1010960 So this is my villa in the evening! Looks very cozy, isn’t it?

It’s nice to have someone next to you when you travel along. Good to feel relaxed and off-guard. I actually fell asleep by the beach! N told me some interesting news in Thailand and how they have mafia IMPORTED from Germany and the love stories between numerous westerners (especially elders) and local girls.

We then did our stall shopping and I found a shop sells incense oil starts from 60 Baht ~ 100 Baht!! Great bargain!

The breakfast comes with the room is nice but needs to be improved about sanitary. I saw flies circling on top of the salad plate…

Finally N asked the staff in Thai if there’s any better way to go back to the city. They offered a shuttle service from the resort to the Victoria Monument for only 180 Baht!! Thanks to my lovely companion!

It’s always good to know a bit of local culture, here’s one piece from BBC.  What Thai royal family means to the country

1/27/2011

Home away from home_my review over the accomodation in Thailand






I met this cheerful Brit couple over the breakfast table at Be my guest B&B. They asked me how I learned this place among all the various places in different styles and scales for travelers. I told them I did my research via tripadviser. Apparently, they got their resources from the same website, too. Then there came another newly-wed couple to join our breakfast chat. They, too, did their homework via TRIPADVISER. We all agree the INTELLIGENCE we got from this online forum genuinely reflects the reality.

I always booked my accommodation via the price comparing system offered by Backpacker's Forum TW. It's a great tool for independent travelers. They have similar app. for airline tickets, too.

The host of Be my guest B&B is a Thai. He seems to run the place on his own term. He's very efficient, quick and a bit distant from the first sight. The place is full of information about the country and he himself is a great information center as I learned a few local knowledge from him.

Examples

He told me to avoid private buses like this. These kind of bus tend to wait long for more people so you can never count on them to take you to places promptly. It's true. I saw two of these red buses waited for more customers in the same spot for more than 10 minutes!The place seems to be a popular choices for Europeans and it seems like I'm the first Taiwanese customer. It's really a gem in this city sometimes seems a bit over developed for tourism.
The kitchen is nice and spacious. The breakfast sometimes comes with a bit local twist (see the clip).

The downside of the Be my guest B&B, however, is its quite difficult to find it even for taxi drivers. The place is located in a maze! So do print out the detailed map before you leave as the host suggests in the info. It costs me 260 Baht of taxi from the airport to the place. The Brit couple spent 300 Baht for the same trip...have no idea why??

and guest what, the Bri couple are not going back home until mid April!! and it's only the end of January now!! What a life!!


video

11/28/2010

Disappointed, but I still believe in CHANGE

Dad was pretty positive about the outcome before the election day but I've never optimistic about the election. Still, was a bit disappointed about the outcome.

The people's choice does not necessary means everyone's choice.

However I'm very proud that at least one side of the party practice the value of democracy. Be they the winner or the loser, they honor the democratic value. They accept the failure with grace and style.







我常常在想到底是那邊的支持者是1高2低啊? It's stupid to generalize the public like that, regardless of which side they are!!

4/04/2010

希望台灣也有一個Hallmark-online shopping at 全日照文創

在這個只寫email的世界裏,收到卡片的機會真是越來越少了.住在鄉下想挑個有點質感的卡片更是不容易.好幾次在拍賣上找尋專門賣卡片的商家,不是構圖太幼稚,要不就是太制式.

總不要為了買張卡片跑到台北去吧?!

找到了全日照文創,買卡片就輕鬆多了!!而且我喜歡他們的題材選擇,不是大山大海(當然那也沒什麼不好),而是巷弄中的街景,或是很有台灣風味的植物寫真,若能再多開發一些具備台灣特色的題材文具,那就更棒了

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我這次訂了他們的199 package,收到包裹時有些驚喜呢!!

很質樸的手感加上認真的筆畫,很喜歡:-) 

CIMG4017 打開以後也是很精緻的包裝.

CIMG4018 我買了這些卡片

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唯一讓我不是很滿意的一張是這一張

總覺得那一行斜斜的中文怎麼看就怎麼破壞版面…

這一張真的不是很讓我喜歡…:-(

2/16/2010

Romantic memory from Praha

It has been a year since my last trip to Praha. I love the streets, the people(most of them) and some of the most interesting shops there.

A happy Valentine’s day for couples married or not.

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2/13/2010

Travelers 'must –a world clock

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Love this little app. It’s a handy way to get the time right when you are on-the-go, that is if you have easy access to the internet.

Gosh how much I miss traveling…

 

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