Figure out the best place to stay on Khao San Road in Bangkok and where to escape when you've had enough of the mayhem. From Singapore Slings to the changes in Bejing after the 2008 Olympics, gab about it all here.

Asia Warnings

emilymichael87

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  • Added on: June 1st, 2010
jcat wrote:Hi I'm thinking about travelling to Thailand July 10th-Aug 3rd. My friend backed out on the trip and now I seem to be going on my own. I know no one there. Do you have any suggestions? I've done quite a bit of research, but would really like to have someone show me around for at least the first few days so I can get acclamated with how things work there. I fly into Bankok at midnight. Any suggestions or website recommendations would be greatly appreciated.Thanks!janice


Bangkok having so many interesting places to see that makes it such a rich place for the visiting eye.

Culture and Entertainment:

Interesting places in Bangkok that are well worth visiting include: Jim Thompson's Thai House, Thai Human Imagery Museum, Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, etc.

Palaces:

Palaces that one may visit in Bangkok include: The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo, Phra Thi Nang Vimanmek and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, and Suan Pakkad Palace.

Museums:

The National Museum, Royal Barges National Museum, The National Gallery Museum, Geological Museum, Philatelic Museum, and the Ban Kamthieng.

Entertainment:

The National Theatre, Chalerm Krung, Royal Theatre, and Music art Center.

Religious Places:

The City Pillar Shrine, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Sa Ket, and Wat Ratchanatdaram. In addition to the temples and other shrines mentioned here, there are many more, which give tourists a pretty good variety to visit.

Markets:

Floating Markets, Flower and Plant Markets, Lang Krasuang and Woeng Nakhon Kasem.

Royal Fold Arts and Crafts Centre at Bang Sai Sanam Luang, Turf Club, and The Ancient City.

go girl now

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  • Added on: June 4th, 2010
This one happened in Hanoi about 3 years ago. We flew in and arrived in the evening. Our guidebook had warnings about taxi drivers trying to take you to a hotel that you didn't ask for and to check the address when you get there to make sure it's the right one. We did that and everything checked out and we arrived at the hotel that we'd requested. A man came out of the lobby and over to our taxi and asked if we had reservations. I admitted that no we didn't and he said that the hotel was full, but their sister hotel could accommodate us. I knew from reading the guidebook that they have a sister hotel so didn't suspect anything and they took us over there and got us checked in. It was an old but kind of attractive house and the room was decent enough, though we found out later that the plumbing was awful. After we got settled in though, we began to think that we'd been had,but weren't quite sure how. The next day we went over to the original hotel and they said that they did have rooms and that the man hadn't come out of the lobby at all--he'd been standing in the doorway waiting for us, unbeknownst to them. Thinking back we realized that the taxi driver had made a phone call while en route. We consider ourselves pretty seasoned travelers so this was pretty embarrassing.

AsiaBill

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  • Added on: August 17th, 2010
Hanoi, Vietnam, I usually wouldn't think this could happen TWICE but it did so it's worth mentioning about the smaller mini taxis with meters starting at 8500 Dong versus 10,000 Dong ( U$.50 cents ) for the normal sized air-conditioned taxis ( and there's 3rd van sized taxi which costs 20% more ) . BOTH times I got in the smalller "cheaper taxi" the meter was DOUBLE what it should have been and even more obvious the 2nd time going UP 20,000 Dong in a couple of blocks. So treat yourself to a cooler taxi which is actually cheaper. Also in the guidebook it directs you to an Airport mini-bus across the street from Vietnam Airlines but it turns out to be a 12+ passenger van and it was cheaper than the U$4 / each it mentioned in an older edition. It was kind of confusing as we were looking for small BUS not like private vans. We paid only 40,000 Dong each to the airport.
Feel FREE to ask us questions about living, relocating & traveling in the Philippines; learn more by visiting our website.

tracytravel

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  • Added on: August 20th, 2010
seraphim wrote:When going to the black market in Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia, don't take a daypack. Just put some money in your pocket, or in a plastic bag. I carried my daypack in front of me, with my hand on it and was being alert and it still got slashed, so the usual carefulness is not enough. I've heard similar stories from others so what happened to me was not an isolated incident. Haven't had any problems anywhere else in UB.


Hmm...Good information.. I really appreciate it

steve_anderson

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  • Added on: September 15th, 2010
yes, there are many countries in Asia, which are so badly reputed, that people doesn't feel comfortable there, but not all. The only problem is that foreign tourists are unaware of the fares, places, and stuff, so people make the most from them, leaving bad image of the country and the people. That is not good , but that's true..

Allan108

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  • Added on: January 18th, 2011
Hello my fellow BnA travelers!

I had been traveling in Asia since February 6th and itll be almost one year anniversary this upcoming February. I had went through some unfortunates that I would want to share with you.

Singapore -

DO NOT GO TO 98SG Hostel. VERY UNFRIENDLY staff works there...
Disability travelers (Blind, Deaf and Wheelchair users) DO NOT board on Tiger Airways.
They will either denied you board and or charge you more for using wheelchair. I was
denied board because of my deafness.
Do not overstay in Singapore! I read newspaper that an American male was ordered to
get 3 lashes of stroke for his overstay, more than few months in Singapore for taking
care of his sick wife.

Malaysia -

Kuala Lumpur.. be very careful when walking on tiles on SIDEWALK, yes OUTSIDE sidewalk...when it rains, it is very slippery! Go and walk on street and protect your head.
Some hostel have very smooth tiles floor, look like marble or something, is very slippery
when you get out of shower... I fell and hit my head once in one of hostel I won't mention the name
because this hostel is very nice, great staff and owner... have no intention to hurt their business
but they instead, put all carpets beside showers and is considering seriously to fix this problem.
Rats are everywhere in China town on Petaling St.

Thailand -

THIEVES - My watch and hostel key was stolen under my nose... while snoozing and waiting for the van to come to pick me up to get out of Koh Samui Island to the mainland.

DO NOT trust mini van - buses in Thailand. If you need to go long distance, TAKE train. Very comforty and calm. Mini buses stop FREQUENTLY and take a while to get you to your destination. I had purchased $650 bahts for a bus trip from Koh Samui to get out of Thailand through Malaysia border of Kota Bharu. A bus took me out of the Island, thinking they will take me all the way to the border, but instead, they said the transfer was needed and didn't give me receipt, I was forced to pay another $600 bahts. Its a big ripoff because the train will take you from Surat Thani to the border for only $300 and fast, no need to transfer. SO DO NOT TAKE Thai buses, period! Many buses do not have bathroom while train do. You are better off riding in train than bus.

IN tourist area town, known as Pattaya and Phuket, do NOT tease Thais. If you provoked one of them, and they come in group to take you down and kick you until you cry. It happened to me when playing laser beam toward one of Thais... lesson learned.

Be wary of lady boys in Pattaya or Phuket, they are very aggressive and will try anything to get your money for sex... I hate lady boys, they are NOT female period, they are still men who thinks they are women.

Be careful of walking on sidewalk in Bangkok, many motobike or mopeds riding on sidewalk, make it hazard for pedestrian. They might swipe anything from you if they deemed it is easy to do so.

I had one Thais taxi driver offered me $150 bahts fare, I asked to turn on the meter, he resisted and I said Ill get out, then he turned on the meter, and the ride cost me only $50 bahts.

Thai Taxi driver will drive at length around the Bangkok just to running up fares.. SO be sure to know your area and know where to go. Thai's famous covered motobike taxi is 2 or 3 times expensive than regular metered taxis. This is called tuk-tuk.

Cambodia

Very poor country.

WATCH your belongings in Cambodia but since it never happened to me because I use common sense.

Motobike is generally cheaper.. be sure to pay up to $2 USD for some rides ($20 is usually the fare for the all day trip in Angkor Wats). Bike rental from Jasmine Family Lodge Hotel cost about $1 USD for a full day or motorbike for about $20 USD for full day.

Be wary of OVERLY aggressive Cambodians running toward you at the border of Poi Pet. They hope to get you to ride on his bike for $ to bus station or hotel. It was about 8pm that night, and they scared the hell out of me but I ran to nearby hotel, very nice and reasonable for $400 bahts. Just watch your pockets when entering or exiting the border on both side, I had one young girl aimed at my pocket but stopped short before trying to reach for them when I yelled at her.

Philippines

Filipinos LOVE to steal. its part of their life to support family in need. My digital camera (lucky I always store my photo in www.adrive.com daily so that I do not lose all valuable memories stored in digital camera. Also, a guy swiped my bag that contained a Hard Rock Cafe glass and t-shirt. So next time, put stuff in your backpack and put them in front of you!

Do not sit anywhere outside... as Filipinos pee everywhere. It is nasty!

Do not ride rickshaw, they are 10 times expensive and SLOWer than Jeepney. YOu might ended up paying $150 PHP for a short but LONG ride on rickshaw. Jeepney only will charge you 7 Pesos for even long and long fast ride. There is PLENTY of Jeepney but only you need to know which the one would take you to your destination... ask the driver or anyone in jeepney where they go before paying up the driver.

Taiwan -

No problems in Taiwan except if you want to go to KTV (Karaoke Bars) that happen to have female companion come to you for company, and in 15 minutes you decided to leave the site and they will bill you about $2,000 Taiwan dollars for cover charge!! ($68 USD!!)

Hong Kong

Expect smog and hazy in Hong Kong Island. All pictures you take of skyscrapers from Kowloon will have some white "smog" like air. They are always there.

Chungking Mansion - where many hostels congregate. Strongly recommend you to check some hostels out before reserving a room. I am staying in Taiwan Hostel (Pearl Oriental Hostel on Hostelworld.com) This hostel is located in Chungking Mansion, 3rd Floor, Block A - VERY rude staff, the mattress is hard! They bark at you first thing in the morning if you need to pay for the month in advance. They bark real loud until you give up and pay them for the month in advance payment. Unlike many hostels who would be very gentle, considerate and giving you grace period. I pay the full month and still have to pay for the internet usage. I do not recommend you to try this hostel I stayed.

Other than that, don't let my warning deter you from travel. Everyone probably will have bad luck or bad experience on one of their travels but at least you got experience that many others can't afford.

Allan

Allan108

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  • Added on: January 18th, 2011
Oh one more thing I forgot to add...

Hong Kong - Chungking Mansion

My friend stayed at Germany Hostel, a private room. Not dormitory. So when she returned to her room again, and she found out that her passport and $20,000 Thai Bahts were stolen. Germany Hostel is not really helpful for her. Police returned with her passport but those money were gone. They even not be able to find someone responsible for this EVEN they do have Closed Circuit TV everywhere.

SO DO NOT go to Germany Hostel too. Maybe they have insider that can be able to get in the room
and steal your belonging. I went there, look very nice, look secure and how did they be able to get in the locked room to get money? Maid involved? I do not know.

Allan

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  • Added on: January 23rd, 2011
Wow, thanks for those. You had a pretty unlucky travel.

Just an advice, please remove the $ sign when you mention Asian currency. It's very confusing. And also don't generalise citizens of a nation (It would be insulting to you if one says Americans are serial killers and serial rapists and trigger happy politician shooters). Many Asian countries are poor and they will resort to stealing just to make ends meet. It's a matter of survival, so always be extra careful with your belongings.

Goodluck on your next trip.



Allan108 wrote:Hello my fellow BnA travelers!

I had been traveling in Asia since February 6th a....
Allan

brokensword

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  • Added on: January 23rd, 2011
I agree. Unfortunately common sense is not common.

CarlosAlbert wrote:Yes it has always been safe here as long as you use common sense. Don't insult the people, don't do drugs, be street smart, don't think your better then your host. Follow these rules and your have a good time.

brokensword

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  • Added on: January 23rd, 2011
If only you can email and complain this to Tiger Airways Singapore itself, this one will be dealt with immediately and apologise to you. Sometimes the email reaches the CEO.

Tiger Airways Australia is one of the worst. If you booked online and selected web check-in but decides to check in at the airport, you'll be charged with additional 25 AUD additional as a hidden cost.

Allan108 wrote:My biggest bad experiences with Tiger Airways departing Singapore for Kuala Lumpur.

They denied me board because I am deaf. My friend had contacted his friend who works with travel agency in Singapore and they contacted the headquarter, which said it never should have happened and contacted the field office and ordered me to board on the next flight and it goes through ok.

I want to boycott Tiger Airways in the future but they always have cheaper fares than any other budget airline. I keep buying and act like a hearing person.. went through ok on the next flight from Singapore to Bangkok and from Bangkok to Singapore... but I just dont like it.

I was told that they also forced a wheelchair user to pay extra 250 Singapore Dollars for being a wheelchair user.

be wary of Tigerways Airline if you happened to look or act like a disabled.

brokensword

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  • Added on: January 23rd, 2011
When I was in Philippines, I felt more in danger in Manila than in Davao. I don't know now but you could literally walk alone at night without any worries because the criminals fear the mayor.

Amstel wrote:Just back from Davao, Philippines. Never felt any in any danger. Sure there where a lot of armed security, frisking, looking in bags, under cars, bomb sniffing dogs....But these things somehow, make you feel safer. The mayor there, he don't take to kindly with anyone messing with his city. We met so many friendly, welcoming people there. All smiles and laughter. They really want tourism to return there. The diving is very nice, and everything is way cheap. We are even thinking of buying a place there.Scary place? Brave to go there....things I have heard from friends who find out we have been there. Go visit Davao, and enjoy the diving.

Erika Ayala

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  • Added on: March 4th, 2011
If you happen to plan a trip to India, you have to be aware of their taxi drivers. When I went to India and rode the taxi from the airport, I was surprised by how he drove. It was crazy fast and careless. He didn't care if we were about to bump the other cars. If you saw Eat Pray Love, a movie starred by Julia Roberts, you will see the first part of her India trip. She was terrified by how the taxi driver brought her to the destination. Obviously, it is in the culture of Indian taxi drivers to drive that fast and stubbornly.
Wear your seatbelt. That's important if you're going to India. Plus, just Pray for protection, just like what Julia Roberts did when she went to India.
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anuraglidl

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  • Added on: March 17th, 2011
Erika Ayala wrote:If you happen to plan a trip to India, you have to be aware of their taxi drivers. When I went to India and rode the taxi from the airport, I was surprised by how he drove. It was crazy fast and careless. He didn't care if we were about to bump the other cars. If you saw Eat Pray Love, a movie starred by Julia Roberts, you will see the first part of her India trip. She was terrified by how the taxi driver brought her to the destination. Obviously, it is in the culture of Indian taxi drivers to drive that fast and stubbornly.
Wear your seatbelt. That's important if you're going to India. Plus, just Pray for protection, just like what Julia Roberts did when she went to India.


I too experienced this but this is not the case with all. Some where good too. Actually I think there people are always in a hurry. Specially public transport vehicles. They even try to cross if there is any jam.

Ankitjha

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  • Added on: July 2nd, 2011
Another accident on Ha Long Bay

French tourists escape as boat sinks in Vietnam

There were no injuries in the latest incident, which involved 28 French tourists on Sunday afternoon at the popular visitor attraction, said Josette Farret, a 65-year-old who was among those on board.

"We felt that there were some technical problems before the departure of the boat, which was in poor condition," she said.

According to Dang Huy Hau, government vice-president in Quang Ninh province, the boat went down after a collision with another craft delivering water, but Farret insisted there was "absolutely no collision"

OregonguyinTaiwan

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  • Added on: March 19th, 2012
:D Well.....I read the latest postings and I agree...Taiwan is the best of the Asian culture without the hassles....the KTV scene is weird and never has been of any interest nto me. In Taiwan just remember the pecking order....cars ( MB & BMW"S on the top and DON"T yield to anything!), scooters, bicycles and pedestrians (alway look behind you or you may get runover). I go anywhere I want with no worries about my personal safety day or night.


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