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.

Hey Lovelies! For More of Budget Travel in Thailand check these out

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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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 after all, it’s free. Definitely a budget Thailand travel! 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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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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Songkhla Night Market: $10 Feeds a Family of Four

If you’re on a budget travel to Thailand , one important thing to plan is where to eat. This touristy country certainly has so many restaurants to choose from but one sure place to get super affordable food is the Night Market.

Please watch this short video to find out where you could get the best value for your money.

Night Market is the place to go. Night markets or night bazaars are street markets, which apparently opens at night. It is certainly cheaper than regular restaurants, or fastfood chains. Aside from this, the night market is the best place to experience Thai food and delicacies at an affordable price. Also, most night markets promote local traditions like the Thai puppet show, folk songs and dances, so this is the place to go to feel authentic Thai vibes.

a boy holding strawberry smoothie at the night market
Derick and Summer Thailand @the night market

As seen in the video, 10USD has bought a family of four enough food for dinner. And below are the food they bought in the night market.

  1. Fried rice with vegetables and salted fish.
  2. Bamboo shoot spring rolls
  3. Roasted pork
  4. Deep fried chicken
  5. Crispy fried seafood with vegetables
  6. Local french fries
  7. Strawberry shake
  8. Crispy pancakes
  9. Bottled water

It is a tradition and certainly a great one. Going to a night market, especially in big cities is like one-stop shopping as it also has shops for Thai souvenirs and memorabilia. Definitely the best place to go if you are on a budget travel to Thailand or to any Asian country.

One downside though, which by the way is being looked at for solution, is the amount of plastics used.

Have you ever been to a night market?

If you are looking for an affordable place and at the same time loaded with so much fun to visit with your family, you might want to consider going to the most affordable aquarium in Thailand.

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Travel Tips: All You Need to Know

Collect memories not wealth, as they say; travelling is fun, engaging, educational, and healthy. In recent years, there have been influx of travellers all over the world. People are going to places they have dreamt of all their lives. Some travel to beautiful places they have seen in social media. And other more adventurous souls have walked paths less travelled. Although travelling is great and certainly fun to do, preparation and safety should not be overlooked. This post is all about travel tips and essentials, everything you need to know before your next travel.

So feel free to browse and read through the articles for essentials that you definitely need to prepare yourself for before that anticipated travel. Let me start with the very thing that I think most travelers forget.

family in an island beach travel tips - budget thailand travels


1. Planning a Travel

2. Pre-travel preparations

3. The Booking Stage

4. Where to

The world is getting smaller, figuratively, yaas! People could travel anywhere, anytime. Nowadays, there are no more boundaries. If you fancy coming to Thailand for a holiday, here are list of beautiful, affordable tourist destinations to visit and accommodations to stay in.

5. Family/ Solo Travelers

There you go folks.

I’ll be updating this travel list essentials every now and then for more on travelling. Let the world be our canvas, our classroom, our home. If you’ve got travel articles you’d like to be included in this list please contact me at mitchelle.juaban@gmail.com.

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Songkran is Thailand’s New Year, and it’s a big thing around here. This time of the year people gather and have fun splashing water on the streets.

This cascading waterfalls located in Satun Thailand, in the south, is amazing. By looking at it, you’d think it’s slippery but actually it’s not. The waterfall basins, rocks, even the tree roots around are covered by calcified limestone minerals so there’s no fear of slipping.

This family-kid-friendly theme park is a few kilometers shy away from Thailand-Malaysia border at the south of Thailand. It also has beautiful accommodations for those who’d wish to stay before moving on with their travel.

Aonang Regent Hotel, Krabi Thailand: Hotel Review

Accommodation: Ao Nang Regent Hotel, Krabi Thailand is located at
262/24 Aonang soi 11 Leela Valley Moo. 2 Aonang Muang , , 81000 Ao Nang Beach, Thailand. We booked this hotel through booking dot com.

Hotel Room

My family and I stayed in a Deluxe Triple Room, which was pretty spacious for a family of four. The overall design was simple, functional, no nonsense type. It was fitted with wooden cabinets with built-in, wall size mirror,  wooden dresser and tables. Walls are clean with no photo frames whatsoever. The private balcony over-looking the mountain and pool below was where we had our snacks and light meal. The large, clean bed was on a solid wooden platform. It was so comfortable; we woke up refreshed and relaxed.

The bathroom was large with dark-colored tiles, but I could tell they were clean. We love the huge shower which gives off large volume of water but lands softly on the skin. The standard, american-size toilet needed upgrading though. It was clean but there were corroded portions around the seat that were rough and stained. It looked a bit icky.

songkran at aonang regent hotel

Amenities and Complimentary

It had the usual amenities like coffee maker, hair dryer, medium-size fridge, and freebies like toiletries, coffee, tea, and bottled water. But take note, there were two sets of bottled water, the ones in the fridge are for sale. This room’s aircon unit is big and strong. The flat-screen TV has English channels to choose from.

A hanger rack for drying clothes was also provided which was really convenient as we were there to celebrate Songkran 2019, and to go island hop as well, so, you could just imagine the wet clothes that needed drying.

Aonang Regent Hotel also offers free Tuktuk ride around Ao Nang, twice during the day from 8 a.m until 5 p.m. If you avail this beyond these hours, a service charge of 50 Baht per person is incurred.

The flat-screen TV had a few bilingual channels to choose from. These are pretty convenient channels as you have the option to choose the audio. But there will be a need for you to tinker with the remote before getting to it. The channels are usually in Thai as it is the standard setting and the English audio is the secondary choice.

Wifi is strong. The internet connection in this hotel is excellent. We were able to log in immediately without problems. We were able to stream movies and even play mobile games.

Fitness Center is open to all guests. It has the usual equipment like treadmill, benches, dumbbells, pulldowns and machine fly, as well as hula hoops which the kids had fun using.

Kids pool was a jacuzzi-converted type. It was originally meant to be a jacuzzi so having it right next to a hotel room was a grand idea. A guest would just have to jump into their swimwear, open the door and just jump right in to the jacuzzi. But, having it converted into a kids pool presents a bit of a problem. You could just imagine the noise the guests had to bear, and water coming in the room floor as children play and splash water around. I think this is something the hotel management has to look into.

Food

We opted out breakfast. The breakfast was a bit pricy. Although, the rate is comparably higher as this is a touristy area, there are still places that sell food at a slightly cheaper price. So we decided to walk around and explore the place.

Clientele

Aonang Regent Hotel is popular to both local and foreign tourists. It’s a pleasure looking and listening to people talking in different tongue.

Staff

The lady in the receiving desk could speak English and was accommodating and friendly. She patiently answered our inqueries regarding the hotel, island hopping itinerary, and many more.

Overall

We had a great stay at Aonang Regent Hotel. We would certainly recommend it for guests who are on an average budget. And for those who would like to have an easy access of the beach but would like to have peace and quiet during the night.

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