I asked my hostel to book for me one hour elephant trekking so they picked that company
The transfer from and to the hostel where included, they arrived on time and the car air conditioning works well so no complain but on the way to the safari I had to wait for almost 15 minutes in order to pick up others
The Place is somehow small not like what I was expecting but that’s not the issue
About the elephant trekking the first thing I asked them to use my camera and to take a photo of me they refused and said it's the company policy and there are going to be a professional photographer who will take my photo; I was very disappointed and angry
The elephant handler was nice and friendly however the ride was scary as hell!
The elephant was in a mess and very hungry and we had to stop several times so that she can eat and for some reason the elephant was angry and doesn't liked me so she wanted to throw me off her back and I was about to fall, I was terrified and screamed at the top of my lungs and the elephant handler went to bring help as he lost control of the elephant. It was a nightmare
Honestly speaking I felt sorry for the elephant and I wanted this ride to end by any cost
The ride was supposed to last an hour but I believe it took only 40 minutes but it was ok with me since I didn’t enjoy it and I was worried about my safety
They asked me if I want to attend the elephant show but I said no, I really wanted to leave that place
The photo part: I went to collect the photo thinking it’ll cost several bucks but I was shocked when he told me it costs 800 baht!!! That’s a lot of money and a total rip off…but since I wanted the photo so bad as a memory from my trip I had to pay :(
Before going I thought elephant trekking is going to be the highlight of my Phuket trip but I ended up very disappointed and I had to pay a little fortune for a photo
Patong- not the tourist paradise you thought
Pukhet(especially Patong) exists just because of tourists, it is the most expensive place in Thailand all because of high-value tourist's currency.
It is not a relaxing place, I personally don't like this place, people go there more for the night life and its associated erotic activities. If you want to see the wonderful scenery of Thailand and experience the charm of the Thai people, other places like Chiangmai and Bangkok far out rate this place, if you like beach , go somewhere else, here in Pathong, the beach is so crowded you cannot even sit down, the sun chairs put up by touts totally conquered the whole beach, you have to pay to even sit on the beach!
Pathong Merlin is too packed and expensive, resulting in poor service, beware of this place if you are using your credit cards, they will not charge the transaction amount in Thai Baht, but instead, will convert the amount into your home currency straight away, at the hotel's prevailing exchange rate(which can be 10% higher than bank's rate) and on top of that, will charge you another 3% service charge.
Unique Suggestions: When taking taxi - ask and confirm the price beforehand, same thing for prices in restaurants.
When using your credit cards - please make sure it is charged in Thai Bahts, not converted straight into your home currency straight away at a premium rate - plus a service charge.
Change your Bahts before coming to Patong, rates here are extremely bad, or change it in Bangkon if you arrive there first.
Fun Alternatives: Go elsewhere if you like beaches - better and cheaperRelated to:
Wang Talang International Lapidary Store
If you are not into buying assorted precious stones like diamonds, jade, gold, pearl or semi precious stones like ruby, saphhire, emeralds, this is not your thing and since I don't like to buy jewelries, i have included this in my Tourist Trap tips. Unfortunately, if you go on a half day or whole day Phuket City tour, whether by big bus or small tour vans or private car, all the tour guides will stop at this huge Jewelry Factory, located at the Outskirts of Phuket Town. An option will be just walking around the area and have a free drink near the exit as they offer free drinks here.
opens: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm everyday
Unique Suggestions: address: 34/2 M 3, West Chaofa Rd., T.Vichit,, A.Muang, Phuket Thailand 83000
tel no: 080-144-73-75, (66 76) 521600 , 521605
Fax : (66 76) 521599
according to their website:
Our 2,000 square metre airconditioned store is centrally and onveniently located on the outskirts of Phuket Town, and is just a leisurely journey from any part of the island.
We specialize in exquisite Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Jade and Diamonds, collected by our own gemologists and set by our highly trained jewelers.
Every of our pearls, cultured, nature or fresh water ones are carefully selected and collected in order to uphold the fine name of Wang Talang which renowned as pearl center.
We offer also genuine Thai silk, elegant ceramics and the beautiful pewter ware thet has been produced here for almost a century.
We carry all kinds of Jewelry Souvenir and Gifts items including exclusive collections of both Gentiemen's and Ladies's Rings, Pendants, Earings, Bangles, Bracelets, Necklaces, Brooches and Tie-pins set with Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Diamonds, Pearls and Semi-precious Stones.
All our products undergo strict quality control to ensure that they are of the highest quality.
Our specially trained staff have an indepth knowledge of all kinds of jewelry and ornaments. We assure you that we only handle the highest quality products.
Fun Alternatives: none, all phuket city tours go by here, just avoid buying stuff and just get unlimited free drinks at the snack area near the exit.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Luxury Travel
- Business Travel
Moulin Rouge Gentlemen's Club
I've Included this at the tourist trap tips as you can get your wallet drained really fast when you want to experience russian and slavic strip shows here in phuket.
there are no pictures inside as they have strict no photo taking policy and they have big and burly russian bouncers inside to enforce this.
This is a different experience from the Ping Pong shows that are infamous in Phuket. The Moulin Rouge Gentlemen's Club is at the Soi Dragon Part of the busy Bangla Road area and what makes this joint different from the rest is that it is a strip club that features Russian and Slavic Women as dancers instead of thais. Local thais are not allowed to enter here so that many asian tourists need to present an ID to the bouncer to prove that they are not local thais.
They have strip shows from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am everyday and the prices here are sky high, beers costs 250 to 350 baht a bottle, ladies drinks at 380 baht per glass and unlike in las vegas strip shows where they dance and put their "assets" in your face so that you will give them tips, here at the Moulin Rouge, they just dance in front of you topless (not the full mounty) and they expect you to give a 100 baht tip minimum. Private shows costs 2,000 baht.
address: 39/2 Bangla Road, Soi Sea Dragon, Patong Beach, Kathu, Patong, Phuket, Phuket, 83150
Opens: 10:00 pm to 4:00 am
Unique Suggestions: just avoid the moulin rouge and don't be tempted by the pretty russian and slavic girls outside advertising the strip show at the second floor. just hang around the ground floor area as the ground floor area is not a strip club and with local thai girls pole dancing.
Fun Alternatives: none, just avoid it if you don't want to spend anything.Related to:
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
- Luxury Travel
Premier Property and Leisure scam
In Kata Beach, Phuket the following scam is alive and well. Watch out for and avoid the marketing promotion by young people on scooters - they stop you and ask if you speak English and give you a scratch card that always gives you a "prize" of something small (a beach bag) and something large (such as 20,000baht or a free holiday in Phuket) if you go to a 60 minute promotion for a Tour Company called Premier Property and Leisure (www.premierpropertyleisure.com).
This is a variant of the "Timeshare" wolf in sheep's clothing. Beware! We spent over 2 hours being talked at by a sales rep from PPL (“Dave” a sleazy Scotsman) who kept pitching the benefits of "buying an asset" in order to give you cheap holidays for the rest of your life (actually 25 years plus an option to extend for another 25 years). He was very nice and explained a lot about this system and all the benefits and how the membership would never end - it could be passed on to our children when they were old enough to travel for themselves.
The system was basically that we should pay NZD20,450 for a 25 year membership with PPL for discount holidays (1 week free every year and “unlimited” extra weeks @ NZD249 per week, anywhere in the world - as long as it is affiliated with their company. When the 25 years had gone, the membership would be renewed with another 25 years without any additional cost.
While owning the membership, every year we should pay a Body Corporate fee for maintenance of USD288. We could then stay in one of their 3 apartment properties in Phuket for one week per year (“free”) or we could stay in another apartment somewhere else by using the Dial-An-Exchange timeshare exchange service (www.DAElive.com) that was included in the PPL membership.
Problems we encountered with this scheme (after refusing to be part of it, unlike many other unhappy customers):
1. Benefits are based on expected future value which may not eventuate. Will you be in a position to take a vacation every year? What if you get sick, lose your job or get divorced? There is no way of being able to ascertain future net benefits, so from an investment point of view it is risky.
2. Bookings have to be made 45 days in advance and there are no guarantees of availability. It seems that many people have had difficulty booking the weeks they want or are able to take a vacation.
3. Resorts are not close to cities. For example DAE resorts in Queensland, Australia are only in Bundaberg, a small country town with no tourist attractions, Likewise New South Wales resorts are in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Forster and Batemans Bay (???). If you doubt this go on the DAE website and check out the locations in a range of countries over a range of dates.
4. This is not an asset as it does not grow in value. It is an investment (as it has initial costs in Year 1 and ongoing costs and benefits), it is a membership subscription (as it has annual fees) but it most definitely is NOT an asset.
5. What if after a few years PPL goes into receivership or is bought out by another company? Will they honour the previous agreements? What if no further properties are added to the portfolio?
6. We were told that the initial price would increase over time, so if we delayed and came back next year it would be higher cost. This is also not justified as over time costs in the travel business have reduced not increased (Just look at the cost of international airfares over the last 30 years if you want any proof of reducing costs).
7. Most importantly: If we were to take this great deal, we HAD to sign and pay on that very same day! This was important! It was not possible for me to take the contracts home with me, read them in my own pace (or have a lawyer read through it) before I decided whether to sign up or not. Making a contract on about 120 minutes of information for a sum of anything over about 5000 USD should be illegal. Or at least a 24 hour “cool off” period should be mandatory in all contracts
The answer is of course that you will be overwhelmed by the fantastic deal and the dream of being able to enjoy luxury vacations with your family for the next 25 years for a small upfront investment. If this deal is as great as they say, why is it not possible for me to sign up for it later (when I am no longer in Thailand)? The answer is that in fact there is no “cooling off period” in the contract. The only contractual out clause is if you can prove that the benefits are not as stated. Which on balance they probably are. But whether they are worth the costs is another question. Simply changing your mind (“cooling off”) is not a valid reason for a refund of fees paid.
On various websites,
(e.g. http://www.scandasia.com/viewNews.php?coun_code=se&news_id=155th) there are email threads with some suspiciously positive comments about the company (PPL) being posted by people portraying themselves as happy customers. An example is shown below from someone with very poor English purporting to be from Melbourne (misspelled!) but with a yahoo.co.uk email address:
we have been member since 12 years now and we ve been to marriott spain,Paris,London last year.We booked already next march to orlando,florida.In point of view,we save more than 60% from or past holiday.we like to come back to Phuket in next october with friends.Great holiday with all freedom.
Brian and Kathleen.Melbourn
Clearly there are some people who want to warn others not to do what they have done and there have been requests to remove these negative comments from the email thread! As for some of the positive comments, I think that most of them on the above website are constructed by PPL! Some of them may actually be genuine.
I am convinced that if you pay the 20,000 NZD or USD whatever for a 25 year membership, you will actually get some lower cost vacations and some very nice service (at least for the first few times, maybe the first 3-4 years). But it is also highly probable that you will NOT get cheap vacations for 25 years and most definitely you will NOT get vacation savings that sum up to the net present value of 20,000NZD or USD (or whatever amount you paid).
Unique Suggestions: So if you haven’t already got the idea when a young guy or girl asks if you speak English and gives you a scratch card: RUN A MILE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION!!!Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Spa and Resort
Jetski damage scam
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE YOU EVEN CONTEMPLATE HIRING A JETSKI IN PHUKET!!!!!
I did not know anything about the jetski scams in Phuket before we hired a jetski, so I guess it is lucky for us that we did not get scammed!!!
Apparently it is very common for the jetski owners to ask you to pay for certain damages to the jetski when you return it - and the amount for the damages (either that you have made or that were previously there) will be VERY VERY HIGH!!!!! PLEASE make sure you check over your jetski before taking it out and note any damages to it and even (a better option) is to take a photo of it. This scam is, as I said, apparently very common, especially in Phuket, so please be aware of it.
This is an extract from a site I will give you a link to called Bangkok scams and it discusses in detail this jetski scam. I thought the extract was very handy.
"Thais like to bark, but at the end they cannot do a thing to you. The police cannot force you to pay anything. The owners have to take you to court for that. The best thing any of you can do is call the police. Then do not pay a dime. Tell the owners right there that they can tale you to court. That will make them come to an agreement. In front of the police they will not touch you, or they will get immediately arrested. I have lived in Thailand for a while and have seen Thais try to rip me off. It will not work. My piece of advise in Thailand or anywhere else is "know your rights"
ATM withdrawals come with a 150bt fee
I only used an ATM in Patong twice, but both times were at differenct Banks and both times I was hit with a 150bt fee. Im not entirely sure if this is the case with all ATMs but just be aware of it and therefore make the largest withdrawals you possibly can, I think the biggest possible withdrawal at one time was 5000bt. But still I guess a $5 fee to quickly and easily access your money while overseas is not too bad.
24hr vomitting migraine.
If youve never travelled long distance in a plane before and you are prone to migraines, just beware that you may encounter a rather horrible one!!! It seems that everytime I travel to Asia Im struck down for at least 24 hours with the worst vomitting migraines of my life .... and that sucks big time!!!
This time I even went to my doctor and got the strongest migraine meds he could give me, but that still did not stop it, and I lost one whole day because of it. I am told it may have something to do with the cabin pressure in the plane, nothing else I can really put it down to. People assume its because Im stressed about flying, well that aint the case .... I may be excited and anxious to get to my holiday destination, but I certainly aint stressed.
So, my first whole day in Phuket was spent either in bed asleep or in the toilet heaving up. So this is just a warning to those that suffer from migraines to possibly expect one comes touchdown in paradise!!!
Beware of tourists on mopeds with scratchies!
This seems to be a new scam in Patong, and you will come across these almost non-stop on a daily basis, so they will indeed become very very annoying!!! This scam was NOT around 2 years ago when I was here, so its a new one.
And it will go like this ....
You will be walking along the street, and a moped will pull up beside you and stop, usually with 2 foreigners on it. They will ask "Do you speak english" and your immediate reply should be either "no" or "yes but Im not interested"!!!!! We never really got what this was about, but they give you a scratchy and tell you that you have won a free t-shirt or something if you go to a certain place to collect it. Nothing is really free these days .... so just steer clear of these people.
Avoid Sala Spa
My friend read many good reviews of Sala Spa in Phuket on Tripadvisor and decided to check it out. It was more expensive than the places nearby but since it is supposedly the #1 massage place, we decided to try it nevertheless.
The masseuse could not understand English at all but that is very common. I lay face up and she did my legs. It was great though she did not check if the pressure was alright. Then she did my arms. After that, she got me to lie face down to do my legs again. Soon after, she got me to turn over again for the head massage. I was quite puzzled why she did not do my back but did not question since the order of Thai massage may vary from place to place.
While she was doing the head massage for me, I made the biggest mistake of falling asleep. When I next woke up, I felt someone tugging at my hair. Yes, the masseuse was pulling my hair! She gathered a few strands of my hair and tugged at the roots. Having done many different kinds of massages, this is really the strangest head massage I had done. Soon, she was combing my hair.
She then got me to sit up and massaged my back for a good 2 minutes before informing me that the massage was done. She did not even massage my back much. I changed and went out to wait for my friends. They described a massage totally different from mine. I am sure one can tell the difference whether a massage has been done. Even if I really did fall asleep, I would have felt something. Moreover, some Thai massage moves require us to hold on to the masseuse, I couldn’t have done it when I was sleeping.
I went down to complain with the cashier (probably the only person who could speak English). She got the masseuse down to ask her. Obviously the masseuse insisted she had done the complete massage for me. There was nothing I can do except blame myself for falling asleep
Unique Suggestions: Well, if you want to go to Sala Spa, either pray that you get an honest masseuse or do not fall asleep during the massage.
Fun Alternatives: Basement of Jungceylon shopping centre has massage too. It is quite open. The masseuse will not be able to slack in the private cubicle while you are asleep.Related to:
- Spa and Resort
Don't Get Sucked Into This!
There is a company based in or near Surin Beach called 'Premier Property and Leisure'. Their sales reps (some are locals, some are expats) promote their sales pitch through an official looking scratch card, whih turns out everyone seems to win something. To claim your prize, you need to accompany them to their offices which are professional looking. The local tout claims they will receive a large bonus if you go along to collect your prize, but you need to be willing to be shown around one of their companies resorts, Basically you get to their office, sign some paper work to collect your prize. This is when an expat sales person, (who as obviously studied alot of Anthony Robbin's sales techniques) will then try to promote their 'time share' like promotion for hotels. They really do the hard sell. Whether it is a scam or not, you will be made to feel pressured, The idea of collecting a so called prize, lead to a very frustrating hour. Not what you want to deal with on a relaxing holiday. So if you want to buy into some sort of time share thing, fine, if you don't then don't give them a second of your time. They are dressed in white polo shirts with a logo on the chest saying Premier Property and Leisure.
Unique Suggestions: Don't accept the scratchy ticket from the people in the white shirts with Premier Property and leisure on the logo.
Stop asking for sex while having a Thai massage
Phuket and specially Patong beach is one of the places on earth where it's easier to have sex if you want to.Now i wonder why people must ask or accept sexual performances while having Thai massage.I write this because I could not find one and I repeat one Thai massage place in Patong where the girl did not stress you offering sexual services.10 years ago when you asked for a Thai massage you could simply lay down and relax while the lady stretched all your muscles.Now you practically spend most of time refusing her offers and for sure you do not get out relaxed.
Unique Suggestions: When the firl asks you to get naked, tell her you want to keep your underwear on and try to make it clear that you only want a Thai massage.
Fun Alternatives: As can see from the pic, I started to ask to wear a massage suite in order to let the masseu understand I was there fr a massage only.Did it work? No Way, as I said I got offered sex in any massage I went.Related to:
Water fountain show
An inflight magazine suggested seeing the water fountain show at Jungceylon. It has schedules and we saw the night schedule.
The show was nice but tends to be a little bit boring.
Unique Suggestions: Sit (on the floor!) and watch, it is relaxing after a long day!
Back up a little and beware of water sprays on your cameras.Related to:
- Family Travel
I would really like to see (and ride!) a tuk-tuk. In Phuket I asked were to find one and was disappointed to be pointed to a small van-like four-wheeled vehicle. Agree to the cost of transport before you ride.
Isn’t tuk-tuk supposed to be a three-wheeled vehicle, like the Indonesian Bajaj or the Philippines’ tricycle?Related to:
- Arts and Culture
touts at phuket city bus stand
the moment your bus (songthaeow) reaches the terminus you will be inevitably surrounded by a number of touts. the typical sales line is that you are not in the city centre and they can organise a tour of the old city and shoppping areas for virtually nothing. definitely too good to be true.
be assured that their interest is to take you on a shopping tour where they can earn commissions. most of these touts are avoided by the visitors. saving grace for these touts is that they do take no for an answer gracefully.
phuket town is walkable and the main shopping areas are within walking distance. you make your choice.
Unique Suggestions: just say no politely and most of them back off. cool your cool and better option would be to say that you have been to phuket many times previously. act out as if you know your way around.
Fun Alternatives: within walking buses there are buses that can transfer you to BIG C a huge shopping centre for a few bahts (25) per person
walk away from this bus stand and hail a tuk tuk and bargain the price for him to show you around phket town. can be covered a few minutes.Related to:
- Family Travel
Amari Coral Beach Resort is superbly located on a secluded private beach at the southern-most corner...more
80/19-20 Moo 2 | Soi Cokmakham 3, Rawai, Phuket 83130, Thailand
Good for: Couples
683 Patak Road, Karon Beach, Muang, Phuket, 83100
Good for: Solo
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