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Old 6th November 2012, 09:45   #61
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
When I woke up, the HiAce was not there...
Bobbi-Jo and Steve, the wonderful folks who run the place where we checked in (more about them and the lovely hotel they run, later on), had taken my family and friends on a guided tour of the local area. My friend drove the HiAce, and they showed the way around with a lead car - an Innova (very popular in Thailand). The good places to dine, nice beaches etc. - it's a service they provide to all guests that check in.

In the event, they went to one of the least populated beaches in Phuket, the Panwa beach, just a matter of 4 km (some of it through zig-zagging narrow lanes just wide enough to take the minibus) from where we were staying.
Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach.jpg

Lunch was at a shack on the beach, and it was so good that all of us went back there the next day to enjoy the afternoon again.

Enjoy the photos from the beach first.
The first pic probably represents the seaside tourism that Thailand is justly famous for.
Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-1.jpg

The girls having some fun in the water

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02947k300.jpg

Uninhabited as far as the eye can see

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-2.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-3.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-4.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-5.jpg

The right place to sit out and enjoy the sun!

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-6.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-7.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-8.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-9.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-10.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-11.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-12.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-13.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-14.jpg

Some panoramas...
Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-15.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-16.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-17.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-panwabeach-18.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 6th November 2012 at 20:16. Reason: Photos not loading
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Old 6th November 2012, 10:46   #62
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

The little shack right on an empty stretch of the Panwa beach also serves up some mouth-watering stuff. Fish and chips, for example.
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02959k300.jpg

They also serve this, freshly cooked as per your choice. Prices are absolute VFM - worked out to ~150THB per person (not including lobster of course!).
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02974k300.jpg

A panoramic view of the beach from the shack. Peace and quiet, except for the sound of water and wind. More pics coming up.

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02962k300.jpg

And if you hadn't paid too much attention to your education earlier, here's an ooop(s)... er... opportunity to catch up on your reading in the peace and quiet!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 6th November 2012 at 11:05.
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Old 6th November 2012, 10:57   #63
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Very nice write-up SS da, very helpfull for someone like me who plans to go to Thailand soon.

The pictures in post number 61 above are not showing, instead we get this " Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator ".
Please look into it and do the needfull.

Thanks again.

Last edited by mitrajdeep : 6th November 2012 at 10:59.
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Old 6th November 2012, 13:49   #64
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
And if you hadn't paid too much attention to your education earlier, here's an ooop(s)... er... opportunity to catch up on your reading in the peace and quiet!
What did the madam say(direct in front of your camera) after you have finished shooting this video? Seems she got to know what you were shooting at.
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Old 6th November 2012, 20:43   #65
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What did the madam say(direct in front of your camera) after you have finished shooting this video? Seems she got to know what you were shooting at.
Everybody knew the subject being shot - it was just a disparaging comment about people not studying at the right time.

================================================== =======

A few pics of the shack...

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02939k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02940k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02941k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02954k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02975k300.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-dsc02976k300.jpg

...and the steep path leading down to the shack from the main road. On their trip there the first day, they weren't too sure whether the HiAce would handle the slope.
Thailand | Third Time-dsc02977k300.jpg

That's me driving the HiAce up the slope with all but one member on board, while my friend shot the video to record just in case we did get stuck.


Last edited by SS-Traveller : 6th November 2012 at 20:51.
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Old 6th November 2012, 21:38   #66
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Fantastic narration of a mind-blogging trip! I wonder how I missed it so far---looks like I'm working too much!

I returned from a trip to Sri Lanka last week and discovered two things in common:-
  1. We too used a Toyota Hiace. But it was not a self-drive van, but provided by our travel agency. But it was an automatic version that had a range of 700+ kms after full-tank. It looks just like the one you rented.
  2. The bridge where the film 'Bridge on the River Kwai' was filmed was actually in Sri Lanka at a place named Kithulgala. The river there is the Keelani River. So it looks like you went to the real bridge on the real river, while I went to the 'make believe' one in the film.
I am eagerly waiting for more from you. I'll come up with a TL on Sri Lanka soon, when my workload reduces.

Last edited by vnabhi : 6th November 2012 at 21:39.
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Old 7th November 2012, 11:38   #67
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Meet our extremely affable hosts at Phuket, Bobbi-Jo Harrison and Steve, who run the Sansuko Ville Resort and Bungalows. Sansuko in Thai means a place of happiness - very appropriate.
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-1.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-2.jpg

The lady had undergone major surgery 3 weeks before, yet she was running the place so well.
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-3.jpg

The entrance, in the evening
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-4.jpg

The common area / reception
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-5.jpg

The property is small, and has 9 rooms, of which 2 are pool-view rooms. Each room is squeaky clean, the process of maintenance being personally supervised by Bobbi. They ask you to leave your footwear outside before entering the rooms, and as Indians we are totally at home with the concept!
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-7.jpg

The pool...
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-6.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-8.jpg

...and after getting out of the pool!
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-9.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-10.jpg

The stories get bigger...

Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-11.jpg

Pool table
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-12.jpg

The girls busy trying out darts
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-13.jpg

We paid 1100THB per room with triple accommodation, including free wi-fi and tea/coffee maker & supplies in the rooms, but not including breakfast. We paid an additional (IIRC) 100THB per person for this breakfast platter, including tea/coffee/juice.
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-14.jpg

At the breakfast table
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-18.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-17.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-16.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-15.jpg

Bikes that can be rented out
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-19.jpg

The small things that we LOVED:
  • Having 2 of the 3 rooms ready for us to occupy, even though we checked in a couple of hours early.
  • Taking us out for a familiarization trip around the place in their own car, with suggestions about where to eat / shop / chill out.
  • I carelessly dropped my lighter into a storm water drain and lost it. Bobbi gave me a complimentary replacement immediately.
  • A hanger in every room to put out and dry clothes.
  • The ladies liked a particular teapot (the silver ones that you can see in the breakfast table pics) that was used to serve our tea at breakfast. She got the ladies 3 of those at wholesale prices, just because they enquired! We found similar teapots at the Tokyu department store in Bangkok later on, being sold on a 30% markup. (The ladies regretted not taking back a few more from Phuket! )
  • Making arrangements for us to park our car inside the property, though their own car stays on the road (actually more a lane), and is said to be perfectly safe. In the event, we left the HiAce on the road for the 2 nights we stayed there, and nothing happened.
  • Discounts (i.e. the prices applicable for local Thai folks) being passed on to their guests for the various shows in Phuket. Thailand has a dual pricing policy for Thais and foreigners, for entry tickets to any entertainment show. All one has to do is ask them to procure the tickets. However, we never did go to any of the shows.
Only downside (for some) may be the fact that they do not accept credit cards and online bookings. You need to write an email to them to confirm your reservations, and pay cash on checkout.



The cutest and friendliest dog - specially dressed up by Bobbi everyday.

Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-20.jpg


The girls spent hours playing with it. Finally, our daughter wound up the courage to ask: Can't we keep a dog like that? It doesn't bark or bite...
Thailand | Third Time-sansuko-21.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 7th November 2012 at 11:51.
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Old 8th November 2012, 00:51   #68
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

thanks for the detailed travelogue SS. It couldn't have come at a better time for me. I have a family vacation coming up in Thailand in couple of weeks and all this info is going to be so useful. Hooked on for some more details about Phuket.
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Old 8th November 2012, 09:28   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitrajdeep View Post
The pictures in post number 61 above are not showing, instead we get this " Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator ".
The issue has been fixed, and you can now see the photographs.
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thanks for the detailed travelogue SS. It couldn't have come at a better time for me. I have a family vacation coming up in Thailand in couple of weeks and all this info is going to be so useful. Hooked on for some more details about Phuket.
Thanks. Sure, coming up in a while... Just to clarify, our trip did not include visits to 'hotspots', so expect strictly family-friendly pics.
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Old 8th November 2012, 12:59   #70
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S: We'll do it later on.

A: No, no, everything'll close in the evening. Let's go out now.

S: Okay then, let's ask Bobbi which is the nearest.

It's just that my friend has run out of Thai Baht, and wants to change some USD. Thailand has plenty of moneychangers at the tourist hubs, but rates can vary, and one needs to check multiple places to find the best rates. We get into the car, and drive off according to Bobbi's directions, to locate the nearest moneychangers. Unfortunately, they offer 29.85THB/USD, and we want better rates. There's supposed to be another moneychanger further ahead, at the Viewpoint.

We drive up to the Cape Panwa Viewpoint and park.
The moneychanger there offers us an even poorer rate.
Thailand | Third Time-a8.jpg

There seems to be a storm brewing up somewhere over the sea.

Thailand | Third Time-a8-1.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-a8-3.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-a8-8.jpg

We enjoy the sight and the cool breeze blowing. A few customary photos taken.
Thailand | Third Time-a8-4.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-a8-5.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-a8-6.jpg

A boat comes in and some people get on

Thailand | Third Time-a8-7.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-a8-9.jpg

The place is almost deserted, and we want to go and fetch the rest of our friends and families, who are still relaxing at the hotel, after an excellent lunch (I got lunch packed in a box, that the others had carried back for me from the beach shack).

No, let's drive to the city for a bit.

So we go the other way, back to the city. I ask the GPS to find me a bank. My friend get a conversion rate of 30.40THB/USD. He's happy. I look up and find an oh-so-familiar sight above - a jungle of wires. Quite like Chandni Chowk. I'm happy too.
Thailand | Third Time-a8-10.jpg

We return to the hotel, pick up the rest of the gang, and go to the Cape Panwa Viewpoint to sit around and gab.

Thailand | Third Time-a8-11.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-a8-12.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-a8-13.jpg

An apartment block being constructed across the road draws my attention.

Thailand | Third Time-a8-14.jpg

Is it good value for money at 1.99 million THB for a one-room set? I don't know. But the view to the sea is wonderful...

Thailand | Third Time-a8-2.jpg
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Old 8th November 2012, 13:19   #71
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

Boss,
A question regarding the VOA necessities, Should we present the Hotel booking receipts for the complete duration of our stay. eg. If I book a hotel in BKK for 2 nights before arrival & then move to other town, is this permissible?
Cheers.
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Old 8th November 2012, 13:51   #72
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Time to see a little more of Phuket. We start driving around the city aimlessly, just to look at the sights in general. By 8PM, the main city wears an almost deserted look. The nearest beaches are Kata and Karon. We head for Kata.

On the road leading up to Kata beach, Phuket's nightlife is in full swing. It's crowded, with nowhere to park, but not oppressively crowded like a marketplace in Delhi during Diwali. No opportunities of taking photographs here. Nor do we want the children to explore this zone.

We drive around to the next beach northwards - the Karon Beach. It's comparatively empty, and we get a convenient place to park.
Thailand | Third Time-karon.jpg

A few Chinese kids are busy setting off firecrackers - it's the last day of their Vegetarian Festival, and firecrackers are a way to celebrate.
Thailand | Third Time-karon-6.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-karon-8.jpg

We take a walk along the footpath. Everything here seems to be extra-expensive...
Thailand | Third Time-karon-5.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-karon-4.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-karon-3.jpg

Even this fruit-seller was twice as expensive as usual! We still ended up buying a whole pineapple from him - he did reduce his price to a fair extent after traditional bargaining techniques were used on him!
Thailand | Third Time-karon-1.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-karon-2.jpg

A few restaurants there make us feel hungry, but the prices seem astronomical.
Thailand | Third Time-karon-7.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-karon-9.jpg

With a live fish station and live music, did we expect rock-bottom rates? Well... enjoy a bit of the live music for free!
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Old 8th November 2012, 20:22   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAHIR.KITTUR View Post
Boss,
A question regarding the VOA necessities, Should we present the Hotel booking receipts for the complete duration of our stay. eg. If I book a hotel in BKK for 2 nights before arrival & then move to other town, is this permissible?
Cheers.
Wherever in Thailand you may have booked hotels for the entire period of your stay, please keep documentation (1 copy of all hotel bookings, anywhere in Thailand, for each member of your group) to present at the VOA counter. Also, multiple copies of your return flight tickets is required, 1 copy to be submitted for each applicant.

Your visa-on-arrival will be issued only till the date of your return flight ticket, and in any emergency, an extension has to be applied for in Thailand. However, when having a visa issued from the Thai Embassy in India, the usual duration is for 3 months from the date of application.
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Old 8th November 2012, 22:12   #74
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We were still going to have a nice dinner and not break the bank. And here's the place we found by literally following our noses. The deli / bistro / bakery smelled really nice.
Thailand | Third Time-23-dinner.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-23-dinner-1.jpg

Waiting for our dinner while I play around with white balance on the camera.
Thailand | Third Time-23-dinner-2.jpg

Thailand | Third Time-23-dinner-3.jpg

Dinner's served. Pad Thai chicken noodles for me.
Thailand | Third Time-23-dinner-4.jpg

Can we have some mineral water please?

Uh-oh, what did you ask for?

Mineral water...

Should have asked for packaged / bottled drinking water. Here comes trouble...

The waiter opens the 2 bottles in one deft movement, before I can say Stop!

Ripped off for 80THB per bottle (~140INR).
Thailand | Third Time-23-dinner-6.jpg

A lot of folks call any bottled water sold in India, mineral water. The bemused expression says it all. Next time, remember to ask for drinking water, not mineral water!
Thailand | Third Time-23-dinner-5.jpg

The water didn't taste any different to me, but the food was excellent. And reasonably priced. Stick to the Thai menu, don't get adventurous and try Continental stuff here without looking at the prices first!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 8th November 2012 at 22:18.
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Old 8th November 2012, 22:14   #75
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Default Re: Thailand | Third Time

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[b]
And if you hadn't paid too much attention to your education earlier, here's an ooop(s)... er... opportunity to catch up on your reading in the peace and quiet!
Maybe what she is reading is a field guide/ DIY manual on how to go wading in the sea!
I think she has swimming goggles on!

Regards
Sutripta
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