AVOID the Mimi Guesthouse.
I was rented the most awful motorbike imaginable (after the owner assured me that everything was fine). In addition to several annoying structural problems with the bike that I didn't notice at first (broken right mirror, broken right passenger foot-peg, broken horn) the headlight didn't work -- found that one out after the sun went down! Luckily I was only a couple blocks from the place, so I went back to get a new bike. The worker there offered me a different one. I checked EVERYTHING that time, and found that the horn on the replacement bike didn't work. I refused to take the substitute as horns are the way people communicate on the road there and to drive without one is very dangerous. He offered no other solution, and even pointed to three or four bikes parked right there that were "not working." Basically, the place operates on knowingly renting out shitty and dangerous motorbikes to tourists. I tried to reason with him and get a partial refund, but of course it was useless as the man was an asshole and refused to do anything but offer me the motorbike with a broken horn. I finally left in disgust. Please do not patronize this business!
Leap, and the net will appear.
I just spent a few days in Cambodia with my mom and I just want to warn others about the bus scam from Bankok to Siem Reap. I think its mentioned in most of the guidebooks, and I have been to Cambodia previously on two other trips, but this time it was really frustrating. Basically, if you take a bus, they "sell" the bus to a guesthouse and instead of being dropped off in the center of town, you are taken to someones guesthouse.
We were taken quite far from the city center and they refused to drive the busload of us back. My mom was freaking out because they refused to stop the car and let us out near town. It was like were held hostage! Very annoying when its dark out and your travelling with your mother!
Sorry for the long complaint...but I just had to vent since this was really annoying. Thanks
I thought I should share one of my little minor stories with nice people who have been looking for warnings^^.
For any of those who have never been to Japan or rather a big city in general, there are generally people outside of stores handing out flyers. Which I am fine with, it gives people jobs and helps advertising. One thing I really hated in Japan was that usually outside the clubs in Japan is that they would have these big black bouncers who would try to get you to come in. My first night clubbing I made the mistake of shaking hands with one of them. The bouncers put out there hands like they want to shake your hand and then they pull you into the club. I was pulled into a club where they said I had to pay the 5000 yen entrance fee. I never even saw the name of the club.
The one bouncer was blocking the entrance and wouldn't let me leave. I told him I would call the cops and the bouncer just kept insisting I was being rude without even checkout the club. Luckily I was wearing my steel-toed boots that night since I didn't have any black shoes and kicked him in the lower region and ran for it. I went to the nearest police block and told them what happened but the cops seemed sympathetic, and took down a report but I doubt they ever did anything.
Moral of the story-somebody reaches for your hand in the club part of town: stay far away from them unless you are with multiple people.
Patience is divine, but never tip for late pizza^^
This pains me as DD and Carlos at reception were really nice people... Still.
We stayed here for one (long) night, during which the bed collapsed and we found a rat in our room. Since there was no-one at reception and no way to contact anyone in the early hours we waited in reception until 7am when we got a partial refund and found ourselves a much nicer place to stay.
'Even if you're on the right road, you will get run over if you just stand there'. - Will Rogers
Most of Asia is perfectly safe and there are so many enforcement agencies where ever most tourists visit. The ONLY areas to avoid are a few "hotspots" in the Philippines like the Sulu Islands of Tawi Tawi, Basilan south of Zamboanga, the Lake Lanao area and the North Catabato area , all three predominantly Muslim areas in Mindanao; 90% of Mindanao is perfectly safe also. Or like recently more violence in East Timor. I arrived in Bali 4 days after the 2nd Bali bombing and felt NO DDANGER whatsoever.
The American government is focused on spreading fear around the world so it's in their economic interest to discourage international travel and encourage Americans to keep spending and consuming at their local shopping malls and keep using their credit cards. Cheers, Bill
On arriving in BKK, go down to the departures area and get a taxi that has just dropped somebody off, as they wont have payed a fee to the airport.
Insist that they turn on the meter, just keep saying meter and pointing at it, they might pretend not to understand, but theyll give in eventually, make sure you do this before the taxi sets off, preferably as your still getting in, and getting bags sorted and the like so you can still threaten to get out if he doesnt switch it on.
Also, if you take the motorway, and you probably will, theres two toll bridges which you have to pay for on top of your fare, its 20B and 40B, or it was last year at least, they might try to its way more, and we had one guy asking us did we know how much it was, then trying to convince us it was about 200B, just for the craic really i think, a few of the taxi drivers tried to rip us off, but it seemed to be done in a pretty jokey way, if you just argued back with humour they gave in, think they kind of enjoy it
cant remember how much it cost, but wasnt dear
You won't be saving saving any time or money anyway.
Former Airport Taxi Driver
ps: the tolls are clearly posted on the tollbooths.
I was just going on the experience of the 8 or so taxis we got in Bangkok last year, about half of which we had to ask to turn on the meter, one we had to argue with, plenty of people have mentioned before about gettin certain drivers to turn on their meters, I don't think i am out of line with this?
I don't really see how we were rewarding the dishonest ones, you often don't know if a taxi driver is dishonest until the trip is underway, and theres not much you can do about it at that stage. The one guy that tried to convince us the toll was 200B was saying this while we were driving, well after we had left the airport, so we didn't have much choice but to continue with the journey, or else get out and try to hail a taxi from the side of the road.
We didn't notice the prices listed at the booths, clearly unobservance on our part!
Drivers cannot pick up from departures. They know that. They get fined if they pick up there, and rightly so. (The legitimate fare to your hotel or guesthouse is usually less than â‚¬6 anyway, which is nothing after spending â‚¬800 or so to get there.)quote:I don't really see how we were rewarding the dishonest ones,
quote:Be wary of catching a taxi from BKK airport. The non-metered ones show up in the taxi queue, just like the metered ones. Ask before you climb in.
The international departure tax would be increased by Bt200 to Bt700 and domestic passengers would incur a Bt100 fee, up from a current Bt50. The increase would be effective from February 1 .
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