stainless steel temple

Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol: Stainless Steel Temple

Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol is located up on a hill (Khao Kho Hong) behind Prince of Songkhla University in Hatyai City, Thailand. A chartered/private vehicle is the best way to come here. The already paved winding road is narrow, and traffic going up would have to yield to cars moving down.

I found this pagoda really fascinating. Hanging around are metals that chime as the wind breezes around. Together with the natural sound of the forest around, the overall ambience is that of calm and tranquility. Totally peaceful! A great place for meditation.

Here’s a short clip of Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol. Watch this before you go to have an idea of what’s in store.

Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol

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snorkeling in ao nang krabi

Snorkeling in Ao Nang Krabi: Reminiscing it this CoVid-19 Pandemic

It was 2019 just a few months before the news of CoViD-19 broke when we and our families from the Philippines visited Ao Nang Krabi. One of the activities we had in mind was to go island hopping in a longtail boat in the morning, and snorkel in the afternoon.

And so we did.

We booked a day-long island hopping trip at one of the shops outside of Ao Nang Regent Hotel, the hotel where we stayed in. For 13 people, the longtail boat rent cost us 173USD. With this amount came a lunch set with fruits and bottled water, and snorkeling gears. Renting a long tail boat or a speed boat is the best way to go Island hopping if there are more than 10 people in your party. This way, you’ll have the entire boat to yourself and you can be yourself without having to worry about disturbing or offending other people, well, especially if you have children with you.

Our snorkeling experience was totally great. The children enjoyed it so much that they want to go back. Unfortunately, two years after this awesome experience the world was immobilized by the CoViD-19 pandemic.

Now (late 2021), Ao Nang and the whole of Thailand is starting to open its border. We had the chance to go and have our annual family staycation at Ao Nang. Although many shops and hotels were open, several have been hit economically hard by the pandemic. Ao Nang beach as well as Nopparat beach were quite, so quite. There weren’t many tourists, and there were little to none island hopping and snorkeling trips.

To have an idea how lonely and quite Ao Nang Beach and Nopparat Beach in 2021, watch this short clip.

Have you ever been to Ao Nang Krabi? If you have already, how did you find your visit then? Are you considering of coming back anytime soon? Tell us on the comment section.

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swimming pool at Phutara lanta resort

Phutara Lanta Resort Koh Lanta Krabi

We stayed in one of the Two-Bedroom Luxury Poolside Suites on the second floor of a two-storey  duplex building.

children looking at fishes in a big aquarium

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

Aside from island hopping, this could be a great destination, especially for families or a group of friends. Aquaria Phuket is divided into four distinct zones, namely Station Aquarius, South China Sea, Coastal Heaven, and Mystic Forest.

Koh yai grand canyon park swimming pool

Koh Yai Grand Canyon Park: Krasaesin Songkhla Thailand

Koh Yai Grand Canyon Park is another great place to create memories with family and friends. It’s a refreshing recreational place amidst the greens of Krasaesin District Songkhla.

Two girls playing chairball

Chairball a Popular Game in Thailand

For someone who’s into basketball and maybe a bit of football, chairball sounds, well, odd and different. It’s different from chairbasketball and certainly not Tchoukball.

Koh yai grand canyon park swimming pool

Koh Yai Grand Canyon Park: Krasaesin Songkhla Thailand

Koh Yai Grand Canyon Park is another great place to create memories with family and friends. It’s a refreshing recreational place amidst the greens of Krasaesin District Songkhla. It is quite and peaceful. From Songkhla City, Koh Yai Grand Canyon is an hour and twenty minute drive by private car. In your GPS or Google map just type in the name Koh Yai Grand Canyon or เกาะใหญ่แกรนด์แคนยอน, you’ll have no problem locating it.

We visited the park two years into the CoViD-19 pandemic. There were only a few visitors, and it seems like we had the whole place to ourselves. By the way admission is free! You get to enjoy nature at no cost at all.

Accommodation

The park has accommodations for guests who wish to stay overnight. It is quite big, and perfect for families and group of friends. There aren’t many of them, though we observed that constructions are still going on. So by the time when the world is totally free to move around, Koh Yai Grand Canyon Park would be more than ready to accommodate us.

Recreational Activities

Paddle Boat. One of the prominent feature of the park is its huge pond. So it’s but right to have paddle boating here, and feed the fish as you pedal the boat around. We wanted to do this but it seemed like they haven’t opened this to comply with the government’s CoViD 19 protocols.

Outdoor pool. Kids and adults alike could enjoy a good late afternoon lounging in their outdoor swimming pool. It’s not big though, but it has a medium size swimming pool slide that would surely draw attention. Our kids were thrilled but unfortunately due to social distancing they weren’t able to swim. There were group of friends who were already there when we arrived. One useful tip on travelling during the CoVid-19 pandemic is to keep our distance. Instead, we head on to the park’s restaurant and had a late lunch.

Restaurant

The park’s two-storey restaurant has got both airconditioned and al fresco options. It also has lounging structures made of woven ropes, and these literally are the only ones holding you from falling down into the pond. Honestly, it’s quite exciting but surely not for people with acrophobia.

If you’d like to know how Koh Yai Grand Canyon looks now, and if you’d like to have an idea of what it is for future travel, have a glimpse of it through our experience in this short clip.

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ibis styles ao nang krabi hotel for family staycation

Krabi

Many businesses have closed down over these years, and we’re just glad Ibis Styles Ao Nang Krabi is still open. We’re the type of customers who prefer something that we already know, and are comfortable with for our 2021 family staycation.

Asian Cultural Village Sadao Thailand

Songkhla

The Asian Cultural Village is a theme park that consists of 5 different parks namely- Dinosaur park, Farm Animals, Rabbit Garden, Futuristic Park, and the Water Fun park

Chiang Rai

Zipline for the first time, and it is the most exhilarating outdoor activity we have done to date. That moment you realize “HOLY MOLLY I’M HANGING HERE” and that there’s no going back.

hotel landscape

Phattalung Thailand

Longkang Chomdaw Resort is a hotel by the river. The bungalows along the river are the best.

Ao Nang Beach Krabi 2021

2021 Family Staycation Ao Nang Krabi Thailand

After the twelve-month lockdown restrictions have been partially lifted, we got to take our annual family staycation. Although it was short, it’s a much welcome interruption from the monotonous online work and classes. A 5-hour road trip was definitely a refreshing change of scenery from the four corners of our house to the natural beauty of Ao Nang Krabi. It’s also great to contribute to the eventual economic recovery of the country.

Let me say, it’s not as easy as before  because we have to be mindful of COVID-19 protocols like wearing of masks, sanitising our hands, and social distancing. We’re glad Ibis Styles Ao Nang Krabi is also taking these precautionary measures seriously, which is absolutely important.

The pandemic has taken a good two years of our lives, and has made havoc to the economy. Many businesses have closed down over these years, and we’re just glad Ibis Styles Ao Nang Krabi is still open. We’re the type of customers who prefer something that we already know, and are comfortable with.

Last year 2020, we came here for the first time, and was totally impressed. They’ve got the cleanest and clearest swimming pool we’ve ever gone to. The kids love to swim and play around the pool. If you’re planning of coming to Krabi and are trying to find a good place to stay that is easy on the budget here’s a detailed review of our experience at Ibis Styles Ao Nang Krabi.

We also visited Ao Nang Beach (a 2-minute ride from the hotel), and Nopparat Thara Beach (a 5-minute ride from the hotel). As usual the beaches here do not disappoint. They are still as gorgeous as before, in fact, the shores are cleaner.

What was so obvious though is that visitors have significantly dropped. There are lesser visitors than last year. Many of the hotels and commercial establishments have closed down including 7 11’s and Mc Donald’s. The Burger King place right in front of Ao Nang Beach has closed down. Luckily there’s another one, although smaller but it’s open. It’s near the police station right in front of the bus stop where monkey statues are.

To see how Ao Nang Krabi looks like these days, here’s a short video of our 2021 family staycation in Ao Nang Krabi.

From 0.00 to 2.03: A glimpse of Ibis Styles Ao Nang Krabi Hotel, where we stayed for the second time. From 2.04 to 5.30: A glimpse of Ao Nang Beach and Nopparat Thara Beach

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kids in the pool

Koh Lanta Krabi

Lanta Riviera Villa Resort as advertised online caught our attention as it was one of the cheapest family friendly resort. We booked through Booking.com.

disney-esque temple in Thailand

Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai’s Disney-esque Temple: Wat Huay Sai Khao has a Disneyland and Saint Basil’s Cathedral vibes. When inside, the mixtures of so many different styles and sizes of multi-colored stupas and shrines towering around will give you a feeling of being in a totally different place. 

United Residence Serviced Apartments

Bangkok

United Residence Serviced Apartments 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. 

mermaid statue at samila beach

Songkhla

Samila Beach is one of the two beaches in Songkhla Province in Thailand, the land of smile. It is famous to locals and tourists alike; one’s visit to Songkhla is never complete without stopping by Samila Beach.

Chiang Rai’s Disney-esque Temple: Wat Huay Sai Khao

Wat Huay Sai Khao, definitely one of the unusual temples of Chiang Rai, but less popular than its better-known counterparts The White Temple, Blue Temple, and Wat Huay Pla Kang. This was suggested to us by Garage hotel, where we stayed during our visit. It is 20 kilometers or so south of the White Temple. So on our way home, we stopped by and marvelled at how colorful and different it is.

It has a Disneyland and Saint Basil’s Cathedral vibes. When inside, the mixtures of so many different styles and sizes of multi-colored stupas and shrines towering around will give you a feeling of being in a totally different place. There are several viewing points which are publicly accessible. The above photo was taken on the second level of one of the shrines. And the one below was taken on the third level with a beautiful view of the temple structures and the lush green mountain from afar.

Wat Huay Sai Khao is at Highway 1 Phan District, and if you are coming from the south, this would be a great stop as it is on the west side of the road. This and The White temple would be a great morning itinerary. However if you missed this coming in, it would also be an awesome last stop on your way out of Chiang Rai.

Tell us on the comment if this something you would be interested in.

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Lanta Cottage Hotel review

Accommodation: Lanta Cottage Hotel

It is located at Sala Dan, Ko Lanta District, Krabi 81150 Thailand. We had our first getaway here after the travel ban was lifted. Businesses had just started to open, and the entire place felt like it had just woke up from a keep slumber. Going into Lanta Cottage, you’ll see untrimmed plants, dried leaves all over the place, padlocked sheds, and dusty receiving/canteen area.



Room

Nothing fancy about the room, it’s air conditioned and pretty spacious. There’s a mini kitchenette with sink. Plates and utensils are also provided. It’s a family room with one double bed and a bunk bed. Both are pretty hard on the back. But at least they’re not rickety. Please take a look at Lanta Cottage in the video at 4.25.

  • Other room amenities include a flat screen TV, a fridge, a wooden wardrobe, and towels.
  • Complimentaries are the usual coffee and tea, bottled water, and toiletries.

Bathroom

I’m personally not so fond of the bathroom. It is large but the design is not so well-thought of. The toilet is placed very near the wall that you won’t be able to sit well. The bidette spray is placed at the left side of the toilet cramped up in between the toilet and the wall. It’s just way too uncomfortable. It’s not so clean too.

WIFI Connection

Wifi connection is important these days more than ever. Due to the pandemic, several jobs have transitioned online. And we are one of them. However, to our great dismay, this hotel’s Wifi connection had been severed by the provider. We didn’t want to complain thinking it might be an aftermath of the lockdown.

The Pool

Pool is life for our children. They love to hang out by the pool, and have been trying to learn swimming. This hotel’s pool is one of its strength. Kid’s pool is 2.5ft deep, pretty safe even for toddlers. Adult’s pool is 4.5ft deep. Although, not so clean, but we’ve seen worst than it.

Breakfast

Lanta cottage has restaurant area, but didn’t offer breakfast during this time. So we ended up eating in a restaurant overlooking the Bamboo beach.

Parking Lot

There was no designated parking area. Cars can be parked on any vacant lot any where around the hotel area.

Clientele

Lanta Cottage may be preferred by families or group of friends who prefer to cook or bring their own food. And it could also be a nice choice those who opt for a budget-friendly accomodation.

Price

We booked Lanta Cottage for a little over 60USD, definitely cheap. If you don’t mind a few inconveniences here and there, then, it’s a good choice.

Although it wasn’t what I expected, we were just thankful to be out of the house and enjoy the outdoor. We hope Lanta Cottage can bounced back to its feet.

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Ibis Styles Ao nang Krabi

Ibis Styles Krabi Ao Nang: Hotel Review

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Krabi Ao Nang, a family and pet friendly modern hotel, is conveniently located at 725 Moo2 Ao-nang, Nopparat Road Muang Krabi, 81000 Ao Nang Beach, Thailand (725 หมู่ 2 ถ.นพรัตน์ เมือง กระบี่ (หาดอ่าวนาง, 81000)– and can be reached at +66 75 626 388

This is our second after-covid-19 staycation and boy did we get the best bang for our buck!

Hotel room

          We stayed in a family room with a great view of the mountain and vegetation below (watch the video to see how lovely it is). Definitely not the largest room we’ve stayed in so far but it is well designed that it doesn’t feel cramped up. The double bed and bunk bed for our kids were soft and relaxing. We slept like a baby.

Below are photos of the hotel as of 2021 November

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Ajarn Mitch (@mitchryansblog)

 

  • Amenities: It has the usual amenities like flat screen TV, fridge, air conditioner, towels, and hairdryer.
  • Additional amenities: Since it is a family room, it has an X-box console for the kiddos and kiddos-at-heart. Also, it has an intercom if you need assistance and whatnot.
  • Complimentaries include coffee and tea, bottled water, and toiletries.
  • Bathroom: I personally love it. It is dainty, functional, and squeaky clean. There wasn’t any cringy smudges and mildews. Towels are neatly folded on the towel rack. And the wall-mounted mirror adds charm to its entirety.

Overall, the room was lovely, comfortable, and smells great!

WIFI Connection

The hotel had a strong WIFI connection. It was very important during that time as there were things we need to care of online. The hotel did not fail us. No hiccups logging in. And we stayed connected everywhere we went around the hotel even in the pool area.

The Pool

One of the things we look for in booking a hotel is the swimming pool. We’re not great swimmers. But we love hanging out by the pool, especially that Derick and Summer have been self-learning how to swim. The pool in this hotel is the best we have ever been in so far. It’s big, super clean, and certainly well-maintained. The kid’s pool is 0.6 meters deep, safe for toddlers. Adult’s pool measures 1.4 meters deep all throughout, which we think is safer for young children, and those who are not good swimmers.

Derick and Summer had an awesome time, and eventually were able to learn to swim. Yehey!!!

Breakfast

We always opt out breakfast in our bookings. We had a bad experience with another hotel regarding this. However, “The Cliff” restaurant, aesthetically, looked inviting in the first place. Plus, we were informed that the kids will be charged half the price only. Wonderful!! So, we had our breakfast at the hotel during our entire stay. To see the food choices please watch the video.

Parking Lot

Driving is our thing, and so parking is essential for us. The hotel parking is located inside the hotel area, not by the road side. There are designated parking for cars and motorbikes. You can rest well at night knowing your car is safe and secure.

Clientele

Ibis Styles may be a great choice for families, group of friends, couples, and oh pet owners. Great stopover for roadtrips and family staycations.

Hospitality

Another strong point of this hotel lies on the people who, apart from their usual job, go the extra mile to assist and make guests comfortable. They’re accommodating but not in a nosy and instrusive way.

Price

We booked Ibis Styles Krabi for three nights for a little over 150USD. Considering how well-maintained the whole hotel is, and how nice everything is, we definitely got a great value for our money.

Do we recommend this hotel? CERTAINLY!

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Asian Cultural Village Sadao Thailand

Asian Cultural Village: Sadao Thailand/ Dannok Malaysia

Let’s watch the 5 Amazing Parks in this video

Asian Cultural Village is conveniently located in Sadao, Thailand/ Dannok Malaysia. This huge and amazing tourist destination is something you don’t want to miss when visiting the South of Thailand. It has so much in store for all it’s visitors, not only it has accomodations and restaurants to choose from, but it also has 5 different, amazing theme parks.

Dinosaur Theme Park is arguably the most visited of the five. It is a favorite among children and of course those who are kids-at-heart. This place always makes to the list of places for school field trips, science club exploration, or Dinosaur enthusiasts getaways. Speaking of Dinosaurs, this park has life-size dinosaurs of different species. Together with each display is a detail information about them They roar and move! Recently additional features were added like the dark cave with velociraptors and super huge dinosaur eggs, and the dinosaur mascot! Kids just go nuts; they love to touch it, poke it, and even cling on to it. Well, not all though, little ones cry their wits out. Dinosaur park is not only a fun haven to bond with families and friends, it is also educational and informative.

Dinosaur Theme Park

Farm Animals theme park is popular among animal lovers. Here, you’ll find plenty of farm animals from the most common to the rarest, huge to the tiniest, and from the ordinary to the most exotic looking ones. Like the dinosaur park, animal farms is also vast, with ponds, cages, lush trees, benches, and a hanging bridge. Animal enthusiasts would definitely have a great time here.

Rabbit Garden theme park is next in the list, from the name, it has a lots and lots of rabbits. In a gated garden, rabbits are free to roam around, and visitors are also allowed to play with them. Aside from rabbits, this park also has other equally fascinating animals – turtle, fish, otter, and variety of reptile species. Although, we were not able to play the rabbits when we visited, we had a blast with the giant iquanas and snakes.

Futuristic Park may just be the place for Avengers fanatics and enthusiasts. It got giant replicas of The Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Thanos, and so much more. And what’s so interesting about this replicas is that they are all cleverly made using scrap metals. The best time to visit is at dusk to early evening when the colorful lights are on as they are open from 9AM to 9PM. There are so many superhero replicas that visitors might run out of poses for their instagram photos.

Water Fun Park is one of the most visited theme parks in the Asian Cultural Village. Aside from the fact that it is located near the entrance, the enormous fountains are just too magnificent to ignore. They are as if calling very eager children to come and have fun. It also has a large water tank elevated and built high up on the main pool that splashes water into the pool. Children wait happily as the tank fills up and splashes water unto them; they would then giggle and laugh their hearts out. This place is indeed a fun park.

Have you gone here? Please do share your experience on the comment section.

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shicked kids- A Submarine in the Newest and Biggest Aquarium in Thailand
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Ibis Phuket Patong Hotel

Ibis Phuket Patong Hotel Review

Accommodation: Ibis Phuket Patong Hotel

Location: 10 Chaloemphrakiat Riad, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand. ☎ +66(0)76303888

Room

We stayed at a family room with queen sized bed and a bunked bed for the kids. The bunked bed is great, it is usable. I mean, we’ve been to Nadivana Serviced Apartments and it got a bigger and better looking bunk bed but our kids ended up cramped in the lower bunk because the aircon is just a few inches away from the second deck of the bed, which means it’s blowing air directly at you. Anyway, Ibis Phuket Patong’s family room is more than ok. It isn’t that spacious but neither it is cramped up. In terms of space, we think it’s smartly designed. It even has division for the kids’ mini computer area, where a playstation 4 is installed, and the cabled flat screen TV on the side of the parent’s area. It got a balcony over looking the pool.



Bathroom

It is small. However my husband said it didn’t feel cramp up. Also, I didn’t feel claustrophobic despite my dislike for small and tight places. So it is well-designed I should say. However, I have one hiccup that I couldn’t help but mention here. The area where the sink and toilet are, doesn’t have a drain, so water pools there. And to get rid of it, you’d have to mop or “kick” it into the shower area.

Compliments

It got the usual coffee, tea, hairdryer, electric kettle. It also got free bottled water, toiletries, bathroom towels, and pool towels. The room also has an intercom which makes communication with the front desk easy.

For the Children

We stayed in a family room, Ibis Phuket Patong Hotel knows just what children likes. Aside from the bunk bed, the hotel also has installed playstation 4. This is a sure hit for kids. Another one is “Teddy”, a stuff toy our kids lovingly named. It has become their playmate during our stay there, that saying goodbye is hard. Watch the video to see what happened.

Price

It is affordable! It’s a pretty big, well-maintained hotel with great service and an English speaking front desk (broken but comprehensible). Every inch of the hotel is clean and tidy. So with these, paying 176USD for a three-night stay in a family room is already a great deal!

Breakfast

We opted out breakfast. But when there, we decided to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant, TASTE Restaurant. I guess it’s pretty popular in Phuket. Anyway, ended up having breakfast there during our entire stay. We paid a little over 11USD per breakfast for all four of us. We learned later that the kids’ breakfast were free. WOW! Isn’t that awesome?

Pool

Most often than not we book a hotel that’s not only affordable but has a pool especially kids pool. Our children are simply big suckers for it. We appreciate that the hotel keeps their pool clean and tidy in spite of the surrounding trees. The size is pretty decent as well.

Overall

Oh we forgot to mention that the heating system is centralized, even the pool side shower is warm.

We had a wonderful stay. Our children obviously loved it. As for me, everything was perfect except that water pooling on the toilet area.

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United Residence Serviced Apartments

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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