Tag: Phuket Travel

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Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: Thailand, for Beach Days and Night Markets

Where: Thailand
April 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

Now that your bank account might be a little more padded, there's nothing better than to splurge on an exotic trip more than half-way around the world to soak up the sun, sip fruity cocktails, and experience a new culture. One destination that ticks all these boxes and more is Thailand. With its beach resorts, rural charm, and mega-city metropolis style, you can definitely say that there's something for everyone.

Exactly 12 hours ahead of the central time zone, this Southeast Asian country is well and truly half-way around the world. While the distance can be a plus for some, the time it might take to travel to Bangkok from the US may be a deterrent for others, but we can only tell you it's well worth the haul. Thai Airways, United, Cathay Pacific and plenty other Asian airlines do have routes with only one layover, so it's really not all that bad.

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The Disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Teaches a Hard Passport Lesson

Where: Malaysia
March 10, 2014 at 9:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

An entire weekend has passed since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and, in that time, the only news of any consequence has been that at least two passengers onboard were traveling under false identities, using stolen passports.

No aircraft, wreckage, emergency calls, or anything to decipher the mystery has been found.

What we have now is a world distressed by the use of these stolen passports, both swiped in the last two years while the original owners (who are alive still) were visiting the popular vacation destination of Phuket, Thailand. Phuket is an island towards the south of Thailand, much nearer to the border with Malaysia than the Thai capital of Bangkok.

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Say No to Jewelry and Yes to Private Pool Villas for Valentine's Day

February 11, 2014 at 5:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

Do yourself a favor this Valentine's Day and skip the expensive dinner, skip the diamond engagement ring. Instead, put airline tickets in the hands of your love, and give the gift of an experience. All this week, we'll be sharing a few of our own recommendations for some of the most romantic travel ideas in this world.

Idea #1: A night or two in a private pool villa, for skinny-dipping.

Now, skinny-dipping here and there doesn't make you a nudist, but it does impart some spontaneous edge and prove you're more than a little comfortable in your own skin. Sleep naked, and wake up before coffee by walking straight from bed into the deep end.

Unlike an overwater bungalow, the confines of a private pool ensure there'll be no sharks or jellyfish lurking below. Here's our three favorite hotels with villas whose pools are ultra-private:

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Flight Review: In the Unlimited Legroom Sweet Spot on JetStar Asia

June 25, 2013 at 12:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

Getting around Asia on a shoestring is easy, courtesy of its plethora of low-cost carriers. Itís worth doing a quick investigation into the airlineís reputation and safety record if youíve never heard of them before. Affiliation with major international carriers (in this case, JetStar has ties to Australian flag carrier Qantas) always helps. Navigating your way onto the right seat may be a bit daunting, but break it down in steps and youíll be off in no time.

During the booking process, pay close attention to the difference between base fares advertised in huge font on the homepage and total cost, which gets pushed up by taxes, surcharges, fees, and myriad options for add-on packages. For our JetStar flight from Phuket to Singapore, we maximized bang for our buck by paying 800THB ($25) to select a premium seat in row 1, resulting in the bliss of limitless leg room, all the way to the cockpit door.

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Flight Review: A Small Flight in a Big Business Class Seat on Thai Airways

June 24, 2013 at 11:57 AM | by | Comment (1)

Ok, before anyone starts berating us for the unfair comparison of intra-European business class with what we found on our domestic sector between Bangkok and Phuket, hear us out. We know comparing a short-haul, single-aisle plane thatís flying, say, London to Rome, is pretty much guaranteed to come up short in the space and comfort department against the wide-body Airbus A330 Thai Airways used for our flight. We know the dynamics of the business class market in Europe are vastly different from domestic/regional Asia traffic.

But still, anyone who has forked over the substantial cost of a European business class ticket and found themselves with the "luxury" of exactly the same seats as in coach bar the empty seat in the middle, a curtain separating the cabin that might as well not be there looking at the amount of traffic that finds its way from said coach cabin to the forward washrooms, and a hardly inspiring "meal" service, will agree that it can be a bit of a lackluster experience. In contrast, there were lots of things to like on our short 1.5-hour hop from Thailandís capital to one of its main beach destinations.

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Thai Smile Not Quite Taking Off As Planned

Where: Thailand
February 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM | by | Comments (0)

Back in March we were excited to talk about the news of a new budget airline coming to Thailand. Our excitement was then justified as Thai Smile took to the skies in August. Now, the little Thai LCC has already overhauled its service model.

Going from a modern offering of mostly economy with a few EconomyPlus-type seats flying domestic routes and key regional international routes, the airline has now moved to a full-service airline similar to its parent company, Thai Airways. The reason for the change? Thai Smile cites "poor reception" from flyers for the Thai Smile layout.

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It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's...Flying Nok Air, the Planes That Look Like Birds

August 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM | by | Comments (0)

Don't knock Nok Air. Their planes may be painted like tropical birds, their flight attendants young enough to feel more like candy-stripers, and their hub airport of Bangkok's Don Mueang International empty enough to inspire more smirks than all that "we fly smiles" claiming they make, but our own flight on Nok was actually pretty great.

First off, a little background. Nok Air is a Thai low-cost airline that started up in 2004 and now runs routes out of Bangkok to a slew of popular vacation destinations typically no more than several hours' flight time away. View all their routes right here. Flights start around 1,300 THB ($41) on average, which even includes an in-flight snack and one free checked bag up to 30kg.

We hopped onboard, flying from Bangkok-Don Mueang to Phuket International, a 1.5-hour flight that cost us only around $51 USD total (and it was a last-minute booking).*

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Jeremy Renner's Latest Action Scene? A Bar Brawl in Phuket, Thailand

Where: Thailand
January 5, 2012 at 1:29 PM | by | Comment (1)

Action star Jeremy Renner had to fight off a real-life attack last night during a bar brawl in Thailand, one that sent two men to the hospital.

Jeremy was drinking with friends at Rachada Pub in Phuket Town around 4:30am when, according to the police, one of Renner's friends, Vorasit Issar (GM of the luxurious Sri Panwa Resort), dropped a glass on the floor which started an argument with the staff.

As the disagreement escalated, six men, who worked at the bar and the Canara restaurant next door, started attacking Renner and Issar with a a rotor axe, metal pipes, and a wooden club.

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Munching McDonald's Exotic 'Samurai Pork Burger' in Phuket

October 18, 2011 at 1:52 PM | by | Comment (1)

As dedicated as we are to trying out the most local and unique foods for our Foreign Grocery Friday series, we also have a definite thing for investigating the fast food preferences of destinations. This usually involves stalking the pastry cases of Starbucks in Switzerland or snacking as the world's fanciest Taco Bell, but more likely we're around the corner squinting up at the menu boards of a McDonald's.

Hoping for some rice patties or other exotic offerings, we wandered into the Golden Arches in the Central Festival Mall in Phuket Town, Thailand. Instead we came face-to-face with the Samurai Pork Burger, a standard item on Thai McD's menus, and something that sounded safe to try.

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Foreign Grocery Friday: The Pancake-Flavor Pretz Sticks of Japan

Where: Japan
September 30, 2011 at 12:32 PM | by | Comment (1)

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!

This won't be the first time we feature the tasty little pretzel sticks beloved by all of Asia, and available in as many flavors as to give everyone a favorite. They are Pretz, the savory brother of the sweet treat Pocky, which is a miniscule breadstick dipped in chocolate or fruit-flavored white chocolate.

Pretz, instead, are not dipped but covered in salt or flavoring. Hong Kong has a thing for Shark's Fin Soup and Abalone Pretz, but Japan keeps it classier with options like "Salad," "Butter," and...what we've deemed the creme de la creme: Pancake Syrup Pretz.

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Foreign Grocery Friday: The Salak Fruit of Southeast Asia

September 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!

Heading to a store and identifying the fruits of Southeast Asia can prove a workout for both Wikipedia and Google Image Search for your smartphone. It's like a game! That is, until you encounter one fruit that remains anonymous even with all the googling of "brownish fruit, sharkskin texture, thailand."

Thus, we turned to Twitter a few days ago to identify the above fruit, and several of our awesome followers @Jaunted recognized it immediately as Salak, or palm fruit, a plant native to Indonesia but grown through SE Asia. It also has varying names: Sala in Thailand, Salacca or Salak everywhere else.

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