Our first trip to Thailand was a disaster. First of all, booked us on the wrong flight (minor oversight.. no big deal).. I also had very little money. We also did not no where to go until we got there. We still had a good time but next time we will do things waaaaay better by planning ahead. I will learn some of the language, list all the places and things I want to do, and save money to go.
This series (Pattaya Prep) is a breakdown of all the things I am doing to prepare for my trip to Thailand with 6 months. Its a walk through with resources and guidance on preparing for the culture, language, location and shock of the wild life style of Pattaya, Thailand.
Brilliance of the imagineers. The level of detail and design in every attraction is something you have to experience to appreciate. StarTours for example has about 10 mini shows in the line to the actual ride. Each mini story line integrates into the actual ride. Its hard to find that kind of detail at any other theme park. Each attraction attempts to emerse you into the theme with music, sound, site and even smell.
Its great for kids! If you take kids to Disneyland its something they will never forget. Its a memory that they will cherish because something in that total experience will resonate with them. Its just magical to kids.
Its convenient in L.A. Disneyland in L.A. is extremely convenient. With great weather year round and fairly cheap hotels and stores in the surrounding park area, its a great choice if you want to keep prices low and happen to already live in North or South America.
California Adventure vacation
Disney California Adventure. Another bonus of being at Disney LA is California Adventure. Its a completely different theme park equal to or greater than Disneyland. If you have two days, its worth spending once day in Disneyland and one day in California Adventure. If you are there one day, you can get a Park Hopper ticket to go to both for the day ($200).
Lines, Lines, Lines! At the peak of the day, the lines are waaaaaay too long. You can wait as long as 3 hours in a line for a ride that lasts 5 minutes. If you are with kids, they may get restless.. its very brutal for kids. But you can avoid this by getting FastPass. It will schedule you for a ride.
$$$$$! The food, the swag, souvenirs, services, parking, hotels (in Disneyland) will cost you up to 4 times more than what you might pay at a normal store in Calfornia. Now keep in mind that California is notoriously among the most expensive of all states. If you spend 9.99USD for a hat in a convenient store in L.A. that same hat will cost 20 – 30 dollars in Disneyland. If you spend 9.99USD for a hoody at Walmart, that same hat can cost 30 – 60 USD in Disneyland. The food is even more ridiculous! A lousy hotdog, bun, small bag of chips and NO DRINK will cost 7 – 8 USD. If you have a large group, this price can quickly turn into 100 USD.
Even with all the lines and prices, its worth going to see in your lifetime. The level of detail and quality of theme park is unmatched. If you want to save money, don’t spend as much INSIDE the park, bring lunches, stay outside the park, bring extra batteries and plan on spending as little as possible inside Disneyland. Once you are in, all rides are free but the lines will make you have to budget your time because its only open from 9am to 10pm. So make sure you get a FastPass.
Not far from the beautiful white beaches of Alcoy in Southern Cebu is Boljoon.
Boljoon is a historical town located at the Southwest of Cebu Province. Hundreds of years ago, Spaniards came to introduce their religion and built one of their churches in this town. The Patrocinio de Maria Church was built in 1783 and underwent expansion in 1808. The church is made of coral stones and hard wood. It has been solidly built and has not been distracted until now. Its ceiling has a beautiful captivating design. When you enter the main entrance, on the left side is a huge old door of the Boljoon Parish Museum. It has been preserved and guarded by the locals. There are tourist guides who will assist and lead you the way to explain each thing inside. The museum has a lot of stuff kept from the people who use to live there such as antique decors made from shells and the big metal bell. Spaniard friars clothing that they used in conducting masses for Roman Catholic religion are displayed in wooden stand inside the glass frame. Archaeologists have dig in some part of the church and found bones along with gold jewelries.
Across the church is a park beside the shore. It is small and ordinary although their wash area looks unique and interesting. Their faucets are placed inside the earthenware jar.
If you are from a GCC country, America, Africa or anywhere in Europe you can have an ok time in Kuwait. If you are from Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Nepal then you will have a hard time getting here and living here.
I am an American and I have been here in Kuwait one year. I want to give my honest opinion of this country. First of all, I feel safe in Kuwait. I am a black man and have never had a problem.. I experience more racism in my own country than here. It seems to be a bonus to be black here.. which is a big surprise because most places I have been in the world are not that way. My filipino, Indian and Bangladesh friends seem to have the opposite feeling about Kuwait. They don’t have anything good to say about it except that the money is good.. and most times not even that. Its because they are treated bad by locals. I have seen it and its really a shame, because there are some very good moderate Muslims here and I am sure many Kuwaitis are very good people.
With all the positive talk out of the way.. I will be completely frank. There are MANY rude and impatient people here.
Kuwait is a place that I don’t think I would ever visit without having a high paying job here. That being said, its better than some other middle east countries that I have been to. I have enjoyed it more than Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, but I liked Bahrain and Qatar better. It is really not inviting to tourists.
If you are reading this and you are thinking, “then go home to your own country..” don’t worry I will. I am just being completely honest of what I have seen.
But I want to be fair. I think if you are Kuwaiti or know someone with “Wasta” (power) then you could have a pretty good time in Kuwait. I know some that said that they got in good with the locals and had a great time.
The laws make it hard to feel comfortable. Kuwait has a sponsorship system. That means that foreigners must be sponsored by Kuwaiti person to live here. The Kuwaiti citizen takes responsibility for the foreigner.. the kuwaiti then has some control over their passport and whether that person will stay in the country and how long. So this system is abused by many companies and citizens. Domestic Helpers have it very bad because the person that they do house work for is usually a citizen. They are not professionals and have very little accountability. This leaves room for all kinds of physical, sexual, psychological abuse that is common among Domestic Helpers.
It is against the law to distribute alcohol. It is still done and people do drink but very discretely. If you know someone you can get into private parties. There are no clubs in Kuwait but there are private invite only discrete parties. If you know someone that can get you in on that scene.
The last think I will say is that the roads here are deadly. I have seen two people die on the road right before my eyes. I have seen cars on fire and buses flipped. There does not seem to be much of a drivers test and not much regulation of the roads and infrastructure. Also, there are many from third world countries that probably never drove before the came to Kuwait.
So what is good about kuwait? There are great muslims here.. some of the best people I have met have been muslims of every race and every shade. It is really an honor to have met such great people of faith. Also, there is opportunity for progression in careers and/or work.
‘ Club Pump is the second in line for top “hook up” spots. The club is located at the back of Cebu Grand Convention Center near Ayala mall. They serve alcoholic drinks, beers and food for cheap. This is a “Korean Territory” which means that most of the people you see here are Koreans and mostly play Korean music. You will hear “Gangnam Style” all night until your ears bleed. If you’re a foreigner and looking for girls, you can try this club too since there are many girls that come to hunt.
Entrance fee: P 100.00
Weekdays are ladies night
Loft is a class A club in Cebu City. This is located at IT park across the 3 star Waterfront Hotel where the call center businesses are. There are many restaurants near the club. The kind of music they play are techno, Dub step and instrumental. The security is strict to ensure the safety of the guests.
Entrance Fee: P 300.00
Weekdays are ladies night
Vudu is a high class drinking place in Crossroads Banilad Cebu City with a peaceful ambience.
Pipeline is a place to drink chill and to play pool. If you are a big sports fan this is the place for you! There’s no entrance fee and free charge for playing. They serve local brands of beers and few alcoholic drinks. In front of Pipeline is the Rainbow Karaoke bar. The place is a walking distance from Club Pump.
MO2 DiscoBar is another place to party.It is divided with a restaurant,an outdoor restobar with a band playing music and a discobar. They also have pool tables, and a ktv bar . MO2 is located at North Reclamation Area.
Rainbow KTV is for entertainment for singing with group of friends and family. This is a 24 hour bar with wide flat screen televisions and a good quality of sound system.
Red Hot Chili Bar is a bar to watch women dancing on the stage (they look bored though and not really entertaining but you can play pool at the corner of the bar for free. You just need to purchase some drinks. Prices are not high.
How does someone accidentally go to the wrong city? It is a miraculous feat of neglect and stupidity but I managed to do it. I didn’t notice until I was in line with the tickets in my hand.
Not being early enough to the airport was my gf’s first of many irritation tantrums on a tirade of horrible mood swings. The second tantrum came when she noticed we were standing in the wrong line then realizing we are on our way to Bangkok and not Pattaya, Thailand. Then she started to freak out about not having the migration form filled out.
“Give me money.” She was standing there impatient with her hand out. She was not in a good mood so to the old English guy in front of us it looked like was the servant of Super Queen.
Money was going to be a problem. I had booked us to the wrong city and my gf was having very bad mood swings.
1> Never be too busy to double check. And if you are traveling with a partner have her TRIPLE check everything (tickets, itinerary, luggage, passports, etc)
2> Emergency back ups.Have multiple accounts accessible just in case of a financial emergency. Have contact information to the the local embassy of your country. Have a cell phone with a local SIM. Have some way of getting on the Internet. Have one change of clothes in your carry-on. Carry extra medication. Carry a pocket translation dictionary.
3> Don’t panic. It won’t help. If you are with a partner, be supportive and helpful. Don’t waste energy panicking, complaining and whining.
4> Ask for help. Guys have a problem asking for help (especially for directions). If you need help ask, in most cases pride will not help when you are lost.
5> Be patient. When things go wrong, we have a tendency to place blame because it makes us feel better. But its more effective to be patient when someone is irritated or has made a mistake. If they are irritated sometimes they are just expressing frustration. If they have made a mistake, rubbing their face in the mess is not going to make your situation better.
6> Take responsibility for your mistakes. If you mess up, man UP! Its hard to accept a mistake but the first step to recovery is to realize there is a mistake then move on.
7> Explore alternatives. Even the best laid plans sometimes don’t play out as accepted. In some cases, it helps to look at other options. And be ready to accept them.
We were in Bangkok with only 12,000 Baht (400 USD) for 4 days. We got off the plane in a panic wondering what we could do and where we could stay for 4 night. I guess its obvious.. but its best to plan BEFORE you go to a country not in the airport after arrival.
But what if you find yourself in Bangkok with only 400USD and must live there 4 days?
You can totally do it and pretty comfortably. You can actually do it MUCH cheaper.
In fact, backpackers do it on much less that 100USD/day all the time. They live in a cheap Hostel or rent a cheap room from an inviting thai citizen, they catch the train or walk to get around and eat very cheap. So yes, in Thailand travel from all over the world with limited resources are there in Bangkok “living the dream”.
We lived comfortable in Bangkok you can do a lot with 12,000 Baht in a four days. Hotels, travel & food are all cheap. If you want extras (sex, clubs, massage, luxury Airconditioned travel) it might break your 12,000 Baht budget.
where to stay
The best way to find places to stay is the Internet. I recommend www.agoda.com and tripadvisor. But some of the very small places we found actually were very difficult to find the Internet because they won’t be listed the first few pages of large search engines, they will not have they’re own webpage and sometimes not even have any reviews.
What we noticed is that in certain parts of the city it’s cheaper. Silom & Patpong, Sathon and other places away from more popular tourist areas, for example,
have places at “thai prices” as low as 700 baht per night (with no breakfast little or NO Internet.. but that is with most places).
“Soi Cowboy” in the Sukhumvit road seemed to have many of the High Classes places and many, many westerners.
Examples of Cheap Hotels (700-1700 baht/night):
-Niagara Inn (900 Baht)
-Silom Village Inn (1050 Baht w/wifi access)
-Sawasdee Bangkok Inn
-Sathorn INN http://sathorninn.com/
Quick Cheap TiPs!!
– Find hotels near the skytrain (the cheapest way to travel around the Bangkok)
– Look for places that give free breakfast to save on the most important meal of the day
– Look for FREE Internet (just because they mention wifi it does not mean its free)
– Booking online is sometimes cheaper (Agoda.com)
– Have a thai friend that can get the “thai prices” everywhere you go
– You maybe able to find low prices around Chualalongkorn University
*Are you Muslim?
Welcome to Soi Phiphat 2 & Liap Khlong Chong Nonsi Road in Bangkok! Here you will find Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabian Embassy’s Near Residence & Trinity Hotel.
With the wild reputation that Bangkok is sometimes accused of having we were surprised to see such a large variety of Muslim’s.
How to Travel in Bangkok (cheap)?
The best and cheapest way to travel is the train. The Suvarnabhumi Airport City Line (SARL) will take you to the Skytrain and the Skytrain can take you to MRT. If you take a taxi from the airport you will end up spending anywhere from 400 baht to 1000+. This is not what Thai’s are charged.
Watchout for petty cabs (tuktuk) they are pretty cheap within the city, but if you are a westerner they might try to up the cost x4 (which is still not much). If you are not not going far and they are charging 100 baht or more just lower the price or ask another. They will negotiate but don’t get too stingy, they are trying to make a living.
Tuktuk fees for a short ride – 10 baht
tuktuk fare for temples around bangkok is 50 baht to 100 baht
REAL Thailand verus $$ Thailand
At the temple of the Black Buddha, we met a Thai gentleman. He told us DO NOT got the Pattaya and DO NOT waste money Bangkok. He high recommended Ayutthaya to really see the Thai people and Thai culture. He said Pattaya is dirty and Bangkok is only good for shopping.
Since we were in the temple I didn’t tell him I was looking for filthy and dirty and sex. Instead I listened to a very enlightening lesson about Buddhism, and Thai culture. Its was the highlight of my trip. Many thai people were very helpful with directions, with recommendations on things to do, places to eat and helping to speak the language. When you hang out in the very touristY spots, you will find a lot of local abusive with the price gouging, exhausted and bored with the constant influx of foreigners and some rude people (service is not that good in thailand). In Ayutthaya, Thailand its different but you must come to your own conclusions.