Sofitel Time and we got to enjoy the room, Probably a memory mattress by how its so comfy with its sheets. The huge TV, the big space. Brother got the 11th floor room so we got a pretty fantastic view of the bay and the pool. The little girl enjoyed the Spiral breakfast. Always the most relaxing time at Sofitel Hotel.
My sister wrote this story, if you search for gem scam in Bangkok you would read of tourists, well traveled or newbie travelers who have been duped into this elaborate con. I’m just glad nothing worse happened to her.
I never thought there would be any scams more elaborated than we see in a movie, but my experience in Thailand let me know I was wrong.
After visiting the Grand Palace, I and my friend decided to have a look at Wat Pho.
While walking under the sun my friend bought a water nearby when a guy sitting at the corner kindly asked us where we are from, and where we are going, when we said Wat Pho, he said that the monks are praying and that it is not open to visitors till 5pm, it was 3:30 pm then and since we didn’t have other plan, we didn’t doubt what he said, he advised us to see other temples and circled some good destinations on our map; such as the Lucky Buddha, Factory export etc. He gave us a tuk-tuk and told us to pay 40 bath for the whole trip explaining that tuk-tuks overcharge tourists and that he can get the price cheaper for us because he is Thai.
Without any question, we followed his direction, and went to the Lucky Buddha – the tuk-tuk driver waited for us outside
The driver firstly took us to a small and quiet temple not worth for foreigners to visit at all. Though I was very disappointed, I still thought I should just give a quick look.
On the 2nd route we were taken to the lucky Buddha temple, where we were approached by another local, who said he worked from the department of tourism who had the day off, He seemed so polite and knowledgeable, he striked up a conversation with us, about where we’re from, what we’re doing. And suggest that we visit Pattaya, Ayuthayya, the Weekend market, and he then mentioned the Export Centre where we are able to buy sapphires and rubies tax free,
He said every year the government will have one week export promotion,, the Thai Govt had waived the tax on gems jewelry for a week and that day was the last day and we must take advantage of this special promotion. Besides that, the prices of gems would be given a discount of 30%. Hence, as tourists, it was the best time to buy some gems and bring back to our country.
Thinking what he said was true, we agreed to go and have a look. We never suspected that he was scamming us as he looked sincere and polite. He said that we are lucky, since we wouldn’t have missed the opportunity as it was the last day of the promotion. When we arrived at the shop, We are greeted by two thai people.
We thought that this was a govt approved center and they sell real gems. The guy assisting me confirmed what the tourism man said and the prices would go up the following day. He said that their shop is selling genuine jewelry and prices are all under Thai Government control. He also said that it is a wholesale shop and they supply to Italy and France jewelers; He then brought us around and showed us sapphire rings, pendants, earrings. Finally, after all the explanations and convincing, Me and my friend bought 2 sets of jewelry for safe keeps. We signed the agreement (too bad we also gave our addresses and passport copies)
The total cost came up to 50,000 baht. He even gave us Certificates of Guarantee.
We trusted them as they seemed genuine and sincere.
When we came back at our hotel I quickly got on the internet to see the reviews on that jewelry shop. My heart sank when I found out we were scammed
I have read that the Tourist Police are not very helpful (and their superiors are possibly part of this scam) and it would be unwise to return to the place of purchase (The Oscar) due to time and language problems. Furthermore, there are reports that victims who chose this route have been abused and beaten up by the mafia.
Thank God I am finally back here! So many lesson learned…I ended up spending even more money on flights, accommodation, not to mention my holiday time that could have been better spent elsewhere… This trip ruined my vacation leave…
Why restrict your starry-eyed sojourns to one city? Start as you mean to go on and take your first steps in exploring our wondrous world together.
Although facilities vary depending on your choice of liner, expect cocktail bars, lazy days by the pool and spa treatments. Speak with Cruise Thomas Cook to see if extras such as Champagne and flowers can be added to your cabin.
European Mini Cruises
If you want to catch a ferry from a UK port and experience European destinations such as Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, three to five day mini cruises will fit the bill.
This is also a lovely way to travel to one or two areas of France, giving you time to top up on your tans and relax on the ship before exploring your various ports of call.
Mediterranean Mini Cruises
Perhaps you have a bit longer to spare, or want to experience destinations a little further away.
Short cruises around the Med are best taken from a foreign port. This will give you a head start on travel, leaving more time for sensuous spas and delicious dinner dates on board your ship.
From Venice explore regions such as Croatia and Athens.
Worldwide Mini Cruises
Speak with Cruise Thomas Cook to see if it is possible to add a mini cruise onto the end of your long haul holiday.
From Asia to America, there are mini cruises available to assist you in discovering surrounding islands and to help you get the most out of your trip. For example, you could finish off a dreamy date in Florida with a mini cruise around the islands of the Caribbean.
Cruise Thomas Cook – The Cruise Specialists – can help you find the perfect mini cruise for you and your partner.
When it comes to choosing a summer holiday there’s no denying that you’re spoilt for choice. From beach breaks and package holidays to cheap flights and hotel deals, weekends in the city to skiing trips in the Alps, there is a never ending selection of holidays for everyone of all ages, tastes and budgets. Another style of holiday which has grown in popularity and appealed to a wider demographic over recent years is cruising. Companies such as P&O, Cunard and Royal Caribbean have worked on their offering to provide something to the younger generation, families and those who prefer short or budget breaks, and literally pushed the boat out to bring new facilities and exciting destinations into their cruise experience.
A cruise holiday is usually excellent value for money – where else can you wake up to a new destination every day, enjoy gourmet meals, endless snacks, top-notch facilities and five-star service? – but in many cases you can go one better. Although most cruises include all flights, accommodation and meals, many tour operators also offer all inclusive cruise packages which include all onboard drinks, helping customers to control spending onboard. Unlike a hotel where you’re tempted to eat out or go for a drink at night, on a cruise you will usually spend time travelling in the evening and during some days too, which means you’ll be onboard for a significant amount of time. So if you’re a night owl and feel like making the most of your holiday, this is an upgrade that certainly has its benefits. In addition many upgrades – such as the all inclusive package and superior cabins – often come with discounts if booked early enough. Keep an eye on new brochure launches or new seasons and book as early as possible to take advantage of full availability, early bird deals and a longer period of time to pay off your holiday.
Water is a big part of any summer holiday. Looking out from a sandy beach over the ocean, or splashing around in the pool with the kids, are what make wonderful memories of holidays abroad.Whether you’re travelling as a couple or with the kids, you’re likely to want to spend a lot of your holiday in or around water, so it’s important to choose a resort and hotel that suits your needs.
Fun in the Pool
To make it easier for water babies with little water babies in tow, Airtours identifies the best hotels for fun in the pool. Simply look for Sunsplash hotels, and enjoy choosing between the best and most exciting swimming pool complexes across the Airtours range.
The Sinbad Club Aqua in Hurghada, Egypt is a fantastic example of a Sunsplash hotel with lots to offer the whole family. An on-site aquapark with a wave pool, waterslides and kids activity pool offers hours of family fun, and the kids will be itching to get down to the pool in the mornings for a full day of water play.
You’ll find amazing package holiday deals on Sunsplash hotels – with all inclusive being a particularly great value option. The Sinbad Club Aqua hotel has five great restaurants, including Greek, Italian and Lebanese al la carte restaurants, to keep mum and dad just as happy as little water babies.
If you love to feel the sand beneath your feet then the Sahara Beach hotel in Skanes, Tunisia, offers the very best of both worlds. This Sunsplash hotel boasts an amazing waterpark and several pools, but is also located right on a white sand beach, so you can take your pick between the pool and the ocean depending on what kind of water fun you’re in the mood for.
Create some wonderful holiday memories by making the most of the water while you’re away. Water babies of all ages will find their perfect package holiday deals at Airtours, so now’s the time to stock up on that swimwear!
Whatever type of family getaway you prefer, holidays in Ibiza can provide the ideal escape for your brood. Whether you prefer to bag bargain All Inclusive holidays or enjoy the freedom of self catering, Ibiza holidays have every type of accommodation option available.
Temperatures in Ibiza during peak summer season can hit highs of 30 degrees C. The heat can be challenging for tiny tots; it is advisable to travel with youngsters between May and June when there is a soft breeze and a slightly cooler average high.
Playa d’en Bossa is the liveliest of the Ibiza resorts which cater for kids. Ibiza holidays in Playa d’en Bossa are filled with days on the beach, watersports and meanderings through the town.
The resort has an array of outdoor play areas for children, complete with play equipment such as bouncy castles, playground rides and trampolines.
Playa d’en Bossa is also where you will find Ibiza’s main waterpark, Aguarmar. The park has five slides, large swimming areas and paddling pools for the kids.
Don’t forget to ask for a packed lunch if you are benefiting from one of many bargain All Inclusive holidays in Ibiza. Aguaramar has an ample amount of picnic areas for you to grab a bite to eat in between the aqua based fun.
Older teenagers will love Playa d’en Bossa’s lively night scene. While the young ones (and their parents) are tucked up, young adults can hit the clubs.
Ibiza holidays with the family can be as laid back as the serene Canary shores of Fuerteventura. Cala Llonga provides a completely contrasting break from the bustle of Playa d’en Bossa.
Expect a tranquil getaway with excellent restaurants, a collection of shops and a few watersports to entertain any restless feet. The shallow waters are perfect for the kids, while parents relax on the sheltered sandy beaches.
There’s a resort here for every family; get away this summer with Ibiza holidays.
Las Vegas is a place where you can be anyone you want to be. It’s where you can walk around wearing your best gown or heated motorcycle clothing. You can walk around exploring the different Las Vegas Hotels that are all designed for your pleasure. Spend your money on lavish clothes or bets and feel lucky. Its all fun in Vegas.The grown man’s little piece of paradise.
If you’re talking about outdoor water fountains in the world that would make you hold your breath and travel back in time, Trevi Fountain in Rome would come into mind. Legend has it that if you throw a coin in the fountain, you’ll definitely set foot in Rome again. I do wish that will hold true for I would love to be in Rome once again. Drinking in the sites, enjoying the food and falling in love all over again.
A friend of mine was worried that the blue spark microphone he just bought for $199 had to be checked in at the airport. I didn’t quite see what the fuss was about but he explained that it really gives excellent recordings and he didn’t want it to be damaged in any way.
I told him that microphones can be taken as handcarry but he was going to be definitely asked to open it. He just needs to calmly answer questions and if he could show some proof that he’s in the music industry, it’s better. I asked him to call his airline to verify for his peace of mind.
It was a bit of reminiscing for me when my brother treated us out for a fun Tagaytay day outing. We weren’t exactly dressed for the place because we thought we were going to have a simple lunch. The Tagaytay Picnic grove cottages were around P300 for an hour.
Tagaytay Picnic Grove looked the same from the years I have been there. Horseback riding and walking those rocky steps and posing with snakes with all that heat was not expected but surpringly actually really fun for the family. The rate for the Tagaytay Picnic Grove Horseback riding was 150 for the small horse and 300 for the big one for an hour.
Posing with the snake was I think P100, the sister was brave enough to try it plus it was okay to take your own pictures while there. The brother was doing his insane photography thing there. Hey, he’s good too. These are my pics so they kind of suck lol.
So anyhow, it was fun and we headed out to Josephines for a yummy lunch.