United Residence Serviced Apartments

Accommodation: United Residence Serviced Apartments

Location: 414 Sukhumvit Soi 63 (Ekamai 26), Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110

Telephone: 02 711 5010

United Residence Serviced Apartments

Bangkok, Thailand

www.UnitedResidence.com

Room

We stayed at room 83, on the eighth floor of the building. This super clean, non -smoking room is good for 2-3 occupants, the third being a child younger than 12. It has the usual amenities you’d find in other hotels but what sets this apartment apart from other below 100USD accommodations is the fully-functioning mini kitchen. It has a two-door fridge, a microwave, and a front-open washing machine.

It is also equipped with the following:

  • Coffee and coffee maker
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Cupboards
  • Flat-screen TV with English channels
  • Wall-sized mirror
  • Built-in wardrobe
  • Mini terrace with clothes rack
  • Intercom
  • Towels
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Mini safe
  • Drawers

Bathroom

It is a OK. It’s super clean and comfortable. There’s warm water in both shower and tap. I, personally felt at home immediately using the bathroom. There are no weird stains on the walls and especially no mildew. The drain system is good, so water doesn’t pool around the toilet area unlike Ibis Phuket Patong Hotel.

WIFI

It is fast. Fast enough to stream videos from Youtube and other websites. There weren’t any hiccups logging in.

Parking

It is private and gated. So you could sleep sound in the evening knowing your car is safe in the garage.

Staff

They are friendly and speak English. They are quick to respond when we can’t get the washing machine to work.

Price

We stayed for two nights and paid 66 USD. If this isn’t a great deal, I don’t know what is then.

Overall

We love the room, the staff, and the location. We definitely recommend this.

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Geysers by the Road in Northern Thailand

geysers by the road
Geysers by the Road in Northern Thailand

Looking at these geysers by the road in Northern Thailand as cars pass by is but incredible!

Wiang Pa Pao is a district southwest of Chiang Rai, and a common stop-over for buses, vans, and private cars traveling to and fro. Chiang Mai is a three hour drive from Chiang Rai, and so this stop-over is definitely a welcome one. And why not! Wiang Pa Pao’s geysers are awesome.

Any one who’s passing by will definitely give this place a second look. From a distance you could already see random white steam patches against the greens as you travel up and down the hills. If you’re new to the place, these would seem like smoke as if someone’s burning something except that it doesn’t dissipate in the air.

Innovation

What we like about Wiang Pa Pao, is that they actually took advantage of these wonders without ruining it. They’ve paved the surrounding ground and constructed a fence around it. They also built satellite pools where people could dip their aching legs. It has become a great tourist attraction of the place and consequently a decent source of income. And we believe the entire length of the road that stretches from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai was so design having the geysers in mind.

Source of Income

As mentioned, these geysers by the road have attracted so many tourists. Thus increasing the district’s revenue. Here, you’ll find restaurants, souvenir shops, Seven Eleven, Accommodations, and even jewellery shops. Some locals sell hard-boiled eggs cooked in one of the pools. Water’s temperature is at 98 degrees celsius. Really hot!

Foot Spa

The place has at least 3 to 4 pools where you could dip your feet or legs. The water is so warm! It took us a while to get used to the temperature before we enjoyed the dip. A lot of people enjoyed it too, and really took their time while chatting with friends and munching on some tropical fruits.

Is it a great place to visit?

Absolutely!! One, the place is free. It requires no money whatsoever to enjoy this rare phenomenon called geyser. Second, the foot spa is relaxing and refreshing and you get to do this amidst the trees around. The geysers are by the road, so accessible. You need not hike hundreds of kilometers into the mountain just to see one. Lastly, it would be a great financial help for the people of Wiang Pa Pao who so graciously share nature at no so much cost.

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Singha Park Chiang Rai: A Must Visit

Boon Rawd Farm, famously known as Singha Park, sits a few kilometers away from the center of Chiang Rai. It is less than 10-minute drive from the White Temple. Singha Park Chiang Rai is one of the visited attractions in the city. Aside from it’s vastness and beauty, going in and exploring the place is free of admission.

Singha Park/ Boon Rawd Farm/  บุญรอดฟาร์ม.

It is a vast open land with so many beautiful attractions.  A giant effigy of a Lion (Singha in Thai) greets visitors at the entrance with numerous variety of colorful flowers prettily landscaped behind. There’s a designated place for parking. Cars are allowed during low seasons. There are however two means of going around the park,  biking and by trams. There are different types of bikes for rent -mountain bikes, grandma’s bike,  and double bikes at 120 baht an hour.  Trams are scheduled at regular intervals and it cost 1.67 USD (50 THB) per child and 3.34 USD (100 THB) for adult. This takes tourists around the park and stops at the park’s destinations.

Telephone: 091 576 0374

Opens: 9.00 am to 5:00 pm from Saturday to Sunday

Attractions in Singha Park

  1. Flower Park. Different species of beautiful, colorful flowers are displayed here for at least a week or two and mostly during the first two weeks of January. The flowers were totally breathtaking.  The park is quite big that a couple of hours, which was the only time we had, is definitely not enough to leisurely roam around. And I suggest that you fully charge your mobile phones and cameras before coming,  The place is so amazing you can’t stop clicking.  I would certainly go back as I have not really fully enjoyed the place due to lack of time. I’d also make it sure that I have the appropriate camera. The photos I’ve taken of the flowers and the place are not great due to again lack of time and limited battery life.  In fact there were several attractions I haven’t photographed.  
  2. Swan Lake. Next stop is the swan lake. From the name itself this huge lake has plenty of white swan, and giant coy fish. Children could feed them through bamboo tubes that piped the sides of the lake. And just recently (as of November 2019) at the opposite side of swan lake is a large effigy of a rat made from hay.
  3. Tea Plantation follows. Here, you’ll see vast field of tea plants, such a pleasant sight of well-contoured greens. There’s a tiny station around here that sells tea powder. They also got customs and baskets tourists could use to take photos with.
  4. Zoo. Watusi cattle and short-legged horses are the main attractions in this part of the park.
  5. Strawberry farm. During the winter season that is from December to February, strawberry is aplenty. They are big and sweet in this part of Thailand.
  6. Mushroom and Herbs. As of 2019, they have develop a certain variety of mushroom (please see video). They also have variety of herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil, and many more.
  7. Zipline. Oh yes, I guess one of the highlights! We Zipline for the First Time, Made the More-Than-24 Hour Car Drive Worthwhile! This is the last stop of the tour. This place has a very nice restaurant that opens until the night. They also sell their own-made ice cream, the Boon Rawd Ice Cream. The zipline has a separate fee of 10 USD (300 THB). Aside from the zipline, they also offer other activities like wall climbing, biking, and survival trail.

Here’s a short video clip of the rock climbing activity in SIngha Park.

There you go folks. Hope you’ll have a great time there.

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Tips for Planning a Family Trip

tips for planning a family trip
https://pixabay.com/photos/family-trip-italy-alps-wander-789029/

Going on a family trip can be one of the best experiences for both you and your children. Trips provide opportunities to experience new environments together, and can open your children’s eyes to the world. However, without proper planning, traveling in large groups with kids can quickly turn stressful. In order to make sure you make the most of your vacation, here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a family trip.

Hold a Family Meeting

The first thing to do before starting off on any family trip is to hold a family meeting. Why is this important? According to the Center for Parenting Education, a family meeting is a great opportunity for children to feel like they have a voice in family decisions, and can increase family closeness. When it comes to planning a vacation, this is a great opportunity for family members to touch base on where they’d like to go and what they’d like to do. You can discuss dream destinations, as well as streamline and adjust vacation plans to fit family members’ schedules and expectations.

Plan Ahead

Once you’ve got an idea of where you want to go and how long you want to be away from, it’s time to start planning. While it may be tempting to leave things until the last minute, planning ahead will definitely save you a lot of worry and headaches in the long run. The Huffington Post recommends forward planning because it leads to less stress, as well as helps you spend less time and money. The earlier you start shopping around, the higher the chance you can snag rooms or tickets at a discount, especially if you’re looking at taking a trip during the holiday season.

Research Your Transportation

Traveling with kids can be difficult, especially when they’re young. You’ll need to do more research on your modes of transportation, as children have different needs compared to adults. If you’re renting a car, look at insurance packages and child safety regulations. For longer haul trips that require time in the air, an article by Aviation JobNet recommends comparing airlines before making a decision. Among the factors they suggest for consideration are ticket prices, luggage surcharges, customer satisfaction, and frequent flyer status.

Manage Expectations

Finally, before you head out on your trip remember to manage expectations. Traveling with children comes with unique challenges that will require a bit of creativity on your part, so you should be realistic about what you expect from this holiday. For example, child development psychologist Dr. Amanda Gummer recommends that international trips be reserved for children older than five, as they’ll be less likely to remember the trip at a younger age. Children also react differently to high-stress situations on the road, so parents should be patient and be ready to take lots of breaks. However, although being realistic is important, remember that vacations are supposed to be fun bonding moments. Leave some space for you and your family to have fun, and you’ll be sure to make tons of beautiful memories.

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Zipline for the First Time. Made the More-Than-24 Hour Car Drive Worthwhile!

Zipline for the first time, and it is the most exhilarating outdoor activity we have done to date. Zip-line consists of a pulley attached to an inclined steel metal cable secured on a slope. The person is attached to a free moving pulley and moves through the cable aided by gravity from point A to point B. In this case, point A is from an 8-storey tall building stretched to point B on the ground across a vast field of Singha Park. Yep, we did it. Zipline for the first time, and it made the more-than-24-hour car drive to Chaing Rai so worthwhile!

Chaing Rai is the northern most city of Thailand, just a few kilometers away from Myanmar in the west and Laos in the east. It is home to the famous Singha Park where this awesome Zipline activity is found, and where the annual Winter Balloon Festival is held.

How’s the experience?

Well, we geared up and took the elevator up. We watched the structures below get smaller and smaller. Anticipation is building up. This is our first time. We’ve arrived, 8-storey above ground. Cool breeze brushed our blushed skin, waiting for our turn. Hooks checked and put in placed, we positioned and got ready to go. Gates opened and with our hearts in our throats down we went. That moment when your feet leaves the platform and into the open seems like forever stuck in a few seconds. That moment you realize “HOLY MOLLY I’M HANGING HERE” and that there’s no going back. And so without any choice, you decide to let go and give the loudest scream of your life. We screamed at the top of our lungs, laughed, screamed, laughed, and screamed some more without reservation. We landed on the opposite side a bit shaky but safe, intact, and SO thrilled and exhilarated! What an experience! We’d like to do it again. And so we did.

We’re looking forward to our next zipline activity. It was awesome and something worth trying!

two kids geared up to zipline for the first time
Singha Park Chiang Rai Thailand

The takeaway for us from this zipline for the first time experience.

  • We thought it’s way too scary for us because of the height. But realized that we’re stronger and bolder than we thought we were.
  • It was a feat to try something out of our comfort zone, and actually loved it.
  • It is great to invest on giving our children experiences they could treasure forever.
  • For us as parents, to give our children a bit of a slack and let go of the worries, the “what ifs”, and just let them have fun.

Have you tried zipline before? How was your experience?

Please let us know by sharing it on the comment section down below or on Youtube. Thanks.

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Five Fun Ways to Use the Coke and Mentos Experiment In

Back in the day, say 15 to 20 years ago, mad science came out; and it rocked the kids science world. At that time, the coke and mentos experiment wasn’t just incredibly fascinating and entertaining, it also seemed difficult and restrictive. There was an impression that it should be done in the laboratory only, with strict supervision of an adult. Well, this was the impression I got. Now with the internet, many have popularized it with different variations that even young children could do it on their own. At present, any one could do it anywhere, anytime. Below are five fun ways to use the coke and mentos experiment in.

slow motion coke geyser- Five Fun Ways to Use the Soda and Mentos Experiment With

Here are Five Fun Ways to Use the Coke and Mentos Experiment In.

  1. Kids crazy science experiment. In school, students are asked to conduct experiments whether be a class activity, a big science project, or for a science show, knowing which is more explosive coke vs mentos or coke vs baking soda could be an incredibly educational and entertaining experiment. It doesn’t use toxic chemicals. There are only two simple and easy steps to follow. Little ones would surely be able to follow and even experiment on their own.
  2. Kids party. A mad science theme party is unconventional but it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be done. Parties are all about fun. What could be more fun than to let kids have fun blasting off sodas with mentos and baking soda in the backyard, the messier the better. Yeah right Mommies? Lol. I could already picture it out in my head. Four to five fun science activities, one of which is the fun coke and mentos experiment, kids hopping from one experiment to the other.
  3. Family bonding moments. Derick and Summer took an active part in planning the kids experiment coke, pepsi, est, big cola vs. mentos and baking soda challenge from purchasing of materials down to cleaning the place afterwards. Changes were made from the initial plan to give way for their suggestions. They wanted a spontaneous, free-flowing sort of way in conducting the challenge. And so they took care of the video introduction. They also decided on the whats and the hows. It was a learning experience for all of us. We, as parents learnt to let go, and trust their capabilities.
  4. Kids outdoor activity. With the kind of pull screens have on our children, parents need an activity that is so fun and interesting, children couldn’t say no. And this experiment could definitely tickle their fancy.
  5. Great for slow-motion videos. And as you can see we have a family Youtube channel. Doing the soda and mentos experiment was like shooting two birds with one stone. It gave us time together; we had a blast. Derick and Summer loved and enjoyed it. As a Youtube content, we hope to inspire families out there to do the same. And with the present technology, we were able to render it in slow-motion, making it even more interesting.

Here’s a short video of the coke and mentos slow-motion. Have fun watching!

So these are the five fun ways to use the coke and mentos experiment in. Do you agree with the list? Is it something you’d fancy doing one precious weekend?

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Kids Fed the Fishes in Aquaria Phuket: Exploring the Largest Aquarium in Thailand

The new Aquaria Phuket is now the largest aquarium in Thailand, as advertised. It is located in Central Phuket Floresta, right at the heart of metropolis Phuket. Phuket is home to hundreds of expats and welcomes thousands of tourists each year. Aside from island hopping, this could be a great destination, especially for families or a group of friends. As expats ourselves, we had the chance to experience it. We had so much fun in Aquaria Phuket. Fish feeding is one of the most enjoyable activities you can do. Explore the largest aquarium in Thailand.

Kids Fed the Fishes in Aquaria Phuket: Exploring the Largest Aquarium in Thailand

Aquaria Phuket is divided into four distinct zones, namely Station Aquarius, South China Sea, Coastal Heaven, and Mystic Forest.

  1. Station Aquarius is a semi-interactive zone as kids are allowed to touch the different species of star fish in a medium size, shallow pool, which occupies most of the space in this zone. You are required to wash your hands before touching them. It is important to note the grabbing is not allowed. In this area, there are also variety of jellyfish, sea shells, and insect preserves.
  2. The South China Sea Zone. This probably takes the biggest chunk of the aquarium. One of the interesting features of this zone is the USS Lagarto, a USA submarine wreckage from World War II, which was found in the gulf of Thailand. Read more of the submarine in the newest and biggest aquarium in Thailand or watch the video straight away of the submarine in the newest and biggest aquarium in Thailand. Here, children are allowed to feed the fishes. So, it has got a walk-in platform that goes all the way into the center of one of a tank. With a bucket of fish worth 20THB (0.65USD), kids can have a top view of the tank and feed the fishes there. Also found in this zone is the largest underwater restaurant in Asia, the ANDASI Restaurant. It has a spectacular view!
  3. Coastal Heaven features marine animals like penguins, red sea turtles, otters, and reef sharks, and many more. My daughter was pretty excited to see sharks in the aquarium. Their advertisement shows a large shark, and so she wasn’t so thrilled to see the reef sharks. Of course, we had to explain everything to her.
  4. Mystic Forest features variety of fishes segregated; one tank for all colorful tiny ones, the other for the gentle giants. On the second floor of this zone, are wide selections of rainforest insects like spiders, centipedes, millipedes, and frog. It also got chameleons and snakes.

Here’s a short video of Derick and Summer Thailand in Aquaria Phuket. This video shows the Station Aquarius and The South Chine Sea Zones only.

Would you consider bringing your family and friends here? What feature of this aquarium would you be looking forward to seeing?

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Two Fun Ways to Wear Wigs: Find Out for Yourselves

Wigs are covering for the head made from either artificial or real hair. Wigs have certainly evolved in terms of use and the people who use them. From England judges and barristers of law, wigs have found their ways to the masses. Many people use them for various reasons; people in the fashion industry frequently change hairstyles like they change their clothes. They are able to do this by using wigs. We’ve seen Kim Kardashians, Kylie Jenner, and Gwen Stefanie go from long, straight, jet-black hair one day, and then to short, curly, blond hair the next day. Insane, right! But, yes, they are able re-invent themselves in a blink of an eye, by using wigs. Some use it to cover baldness, while others to give their natural hair time to rejuvenate. Aside from these, there are other fun ways to wear wigs. They’re no longer just for the famous. And one doesn’t need to have a reason to justify wearing a wig. Nowadays, whenever people feel it, they wear it. Below are two fun ways to wear wigs.

Some Fun Ways to Wear Wigs

  1. Parades. Institutions and organizations hold annual parades whether to mark a special event, or a part of a holiday tradition, or for everyone to see a special person. During these time, people going in the parade would surely want to glam up. They would want to show their best self to the onlookers. In Thailand, this is a sure thing. Paraders always look their best. They get up so early in the morning to get their make up done and their hair styled. Most often than not, wigs are used to get that updo hairstyle, that curly hair, that human hair weave, or human hair weave bundles with closure. Adults and children alike look forward to special events because they love glamming up. Moms who are into wigs have so many to choose from. There are even human hair wigs for black women.
paraders- some fun ways to wear wigs
Sports Week Parade
paraders in pink costume - some fun ways to wear wigs
Sports Week Parade
beauty contestant- some fun ways to wear wigs
University Night

2. Cosplays. Cosplay is a thing of today. With the popularity of Japanese anime comes cosplay, and it has rocked the entire world. Cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime. Here dressing up is a totally new, whole different level. It doesn’t detail the costume alone, but with it comes the make up, the props, and of course the hairstyle. Cosplayers, most of the time, use wigs to achieve the look.

Photo Credit: The Mainichi

For some, wigs are a necessity while others for fun. Whatever the case may be, wigs are part of today’s world and will be for a long time.

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Which is More Explosive?! Coke vs Mentos or Coke vs Baking Soda

The Coke and Mentos experiment has gained so much popularity in Youtube. And for sure every science teacher has utilized this in their activity or lab. Also every kid in town wants to try their hands on this. However you aside from Mentos there’s another agent that could be as powerful as mentos, that is baking soda. In this short video below will give you a definitive answer to this question. Which is More Explosive?! Coke vs Mentos or Coke vs Baking Soda

I will try to explain the science behind coke and mentos as simply as I can. Ok here it is.

  1. Normally, sodas like coke are carbonated which means they contain carbon dioxide – the fizz.
  2. These gases are squeezed in the bottle and are looking for places to attach to, and this is when they start forming bubbles. That is why, the minute it is opened they fizz out.
  3. In this case, dropping mentos into a soda provides “a lot of places” for these gases to attach to.
  4. So instead of getting defused unto the air, when you open it. The gases instead attach themselves into the surface of the mentos.
  5. They then form bubbles. Just imagine the amount of bubbles they produce, too much for the bottle to handle. And so they all burst out in a powerful explosion.
two kids amazed by coke vs mentos or coke vs baking soda experiment

From this explanation, we can see that soda and mentos explosive geyser is more of a physical reaction than a chemical one. So the more mentos dropped, the more surface area they provide for the carbon dioxide to attach to, then, the more explosive the geyser is.

What about baking soda? Which is More Explosive?! Coke vs Mentos or Coke vs Baking Soda

If a cup of baking soda is dropped into a bottle of coke, I mean, it should be insane. Baking soda must contain thousands and thousands of particles providing enormous surface area for carbon dioxide to form bubbles with. Right?

Have you watched the video? If you haven’t, please watched it now to see which gives a better result: mentos or baking soda. Have fun!!

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A Submarine in the Newest and Biggest Aquarium in Thailand

Aquaria Phuket, Thailand’s newest and biggest aquarium opened in Phuket Island just last month (August, 2019). It’s located at Central Phuket Floresta shopping mall. This state of the art aquarium surprisingly incorporated a submarine wreckage from World War II called the USS Lagarto. A Submarine in the Newest and Biggest Aquarium in Thailand? How cool is that!

Watch this short video to see the USS Lagarto inside Aquaria Phuket. Enjoy!

USS Lagarto (SS-371), a Balao-class submarine, was a US Navy submarine named after a lizardfish. Its wreck found in 2005 was missing a starboard torpedo, suggesting it went down fighting.

A Submarine in the Newest and Biggest Aquarium in Thailand

I must say, the USS Lagarto definitely adds drama in that aquarium. Watching fishes swim around it coupled with the ambient sound of a submarine certainly gives an eerie feel. The concept is new (well at least on this part of the world). It is interesting. And it’s something educational. A great springboard to discuss a piece of history to children.

Kids and adults alike were awed by the huge structure inside the aquarium. It is something to marvel at.

What we really appreciate!

  1. Submarine wreckage. For us this is the main attraction of Aquaria Phuket. Whoever thought of this must be a genius. We love the idea. It’s refreshing, certainly different from the other aquariums we’ve gone to.
  2. Great Edu-tainment. Coming to any aquarium for that matter is certainly educational. But having this piece of history right in front of your eyes, gets into your emotions. And it actually gets you thinking of its history. Kids would start asking the whats, whys, and the hows.
  3. Basic information. Around the area are basic information about the displays and the sea animals in the tank. Plus additional information about the environment.

What’s more?

Aquaria Phuket also houses the biggest underwater restaurant in Asia, the Andasi Lounge and Restaurant. It is located right in front of the biggest tank, so you’d have a great view of the aquarium while enjoying a meal or snack.

people sitting outside an underwater restaurant in front a tank with A Submarine in the Newest and Biggest Aquarium in Thailand
ANDASI Lounge and Restaurant

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