Tag Archives: pattaya

SleepEatGolf Guest Author Post on AirportsMadeSimple

The Wet Markets of Thailand

I recently had the opportunity to write a guest post for the website AirportsMadeSimple.  I found Deb’s site on WordPress. Her site focused on travel related posts and articles. I really like the info she provided and contacted her when I noticed she was looking for guest authors in 2014.

After a couple of email exchanges we both agreed that  SleepEatGolf would be slotted in to her schedule for 2014. I then suggested that since I was traveling to Thailand, an article on a wet market in Thailand might make an interesting post for her readers. She agreed and I then had my first assignment for a guest post article.

I really love seeing the wet markets in countries I visit. I find the environment incredibly exciting and interesting. All my life I grew up going to Western style supermarkets, which don’t really give you any idea of where your food source comes from. Wet markets in Asian countries are the complete polar opposite of this type of experience. I guarantee you’ll have a new appreciation of where your food comes from if you visit a wet market.

Don’t just do the touristy night markets. Take an early morning visit to the wet markets and get an eye opening view of something truly unique and culturally different from what you see everyday.

Be sure to check out the complete article at Deb’s great site AirportsMadeSimple! And check out some of the other great posts on this site!

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Canterbury Tales Guest House

Sign

TYPE: Guest House
RESERVATIONS: Strongly Encouraged, Especially During High Season (Dec. to Mar.)
ROOM TYPES: 22 Rooms in 5 Different Buildings. 9 Studio Style, 8 Separate Bedroom, 2 Budget, 1 Apartment, 1 Private Room and 1 Condo Unit. Configurations and Square Meters/Feet Vary.
RATES: 400 to 800 Baht (Approximately $12.50 to $25.00) Per Night Depending on Room Style and High/Low Season Rate. Monthly Rates Also Available but Do Not Include Electricity and Water. Prices as of Jan. 9, 2014.
PAYMENT: Cash & Credit Card via PayPal
LOCAL PHONE #: 038-720-946 During Business Hours, 086-575-4966 After Business Hours (Dave, Owner & English Speaker)
ROOM SERVICE: Available via Canterbury Tales Café During Business Hours
LOCATION: See Map Below


View Canterbury Tales Cafe, Bookstore & Guest House in a larger map

Lodging — Your Vacation’s Money Pit

Besides airfare, where you sleep is typically going to factor in to a large portion of your travel budget and will tremendously encroach on your vacation spending money. Most people spend 8 to 12 hours a day in their room and most of that is sleeping. Even though that equates roughly to a half day, you’re paying for a full day. Dollar for dollar, hour for hour this is a lot of money for very little use unless you’re the type of person who loves to lay out by the hotel pool, eat and drink at the hotel restaurants and bars or have room service delivered.

In these cases perhaps your money is well spent. But if you’re like me and  look at your room as simply a place you’re paying to sleep, shower and store your things safely then a hotel is not the best option. Hotel prices can vary immensely based on factors such as:

  • Location
  • Brand
  • Amenities
  • Room Size

Many travelers choose a slightly lower grade option by staying at a motel or budget hotel that typically have fewer niceties than a hotel but have a lower price. A Bed & Breakfast may come to mind for some, but these places are typically priced similarly to budget hotels or motels with the nicer ones in the hotel price range. Younger travelers likely are familiar with hostels, but if you’re out of the college age bracket you may feel slightly out of place at these establishments.

In the end, most people think that these are the only options available and either splurge on a nice hotel that has everything they’re looking for or they opt for an always disappointing budget or lower end hotel/motel.

The Guest House — Not a Hotel/Motel, B&B or Hostel

An often overlooked lodging option when traveling is the guest house. A guest house is like the forgotten middle child of places to stay. I’d place it right between a hotel and a hostel. You typically won’t have as many services or amenities like a hotel has, but you also don’t have the rules, regulations and sometimes shared sleeping/bathroom conditions that a hostel may have.

Guest houses can range from very nice to borderline terrible and everything in between. Typically they are not clustered in to one area like hotels. You can find guest house nestled in the same areas as 4 and 5 star name brand hotels, right in the heart of the action or slightly off the beaten path. They are usually owned and operated by independent proprietors and the rooms are often larger than any hotel room at 50% to 75% less cost per night. Guest houses feel much more like homey apartments rather than a hotel. Some basic things I expect when staying at a guest house are:

  1. A private, decent sized, secure and clean room with full bathroom
  2. Shower with hot water
  3. Cable TV and WiFi
  4. Air-conditioner and/or fan (depending on climate)
  5. Basic towels and bedding
  6. Cleaning service every 2 to 3 days

It’s important to remember that guest house lodging is not the same as a hotel but it should have more faculties than a hostel. It is a basic set up and the niceties and degrees of services varies from owner to owner. Do not expect an elevator, front desk, bellmen, concierge, phone, mini-bar, soap, shampoo or any other hotel-related types of amenities. Guest house rooms are sometimes located in nondescript buildings such as Canterbury Tales Guest House.

Main Office

Review of Canterbury Tales Guest House

There are many guest houses available in Pattaya, Thailand. I chose Canterbury Tales as my place to stay since it was close to an area I enjoy staying near, price per night and overall good reviews I’d read about from similar minded travelers. This was my second stay at this establishment and my third booking will take place in February of 2014.

Safety & Security

This is my first and foremost concern. I was the victim of a robbery on a trip to Pattaya a few years ago. I was staying at what I thought was a safe hotel, yet an intruder was able to enter my room while I was away and steal my laptop. Sadly this was not the first or last incident at this hotel. The rooms at Canterbury Tales are located in 5 non-descript buildings that do not have signs. The entrances are secure and discreet. There are no guards, elevators or front desk. In the building I stayed in the door leading up to the rooms is secured with a magnet locking system that opens with a key card. The hallway leading to the stairs up to the rooms was equipped with security cameras.

Room 201 Layout — Split Level Studio Style

After checking in at the bookstore I was led down the road for about 2 minutes with one of the workers who helped me with my bag. Upon entering the room I was pleasantly surprised at how large it was; more than twice the size of a hotel room.

Room 201 Flat Screen TV

The layout was a split level design. Directly to the right was the refrigerator, kitchenette area and bathroom. Just up one stair to the second level was the king sized bed, nightstand, flat screen TV, DVD player, dresser, and shelving holding the microwave, kettle and various reading materials and menus for food delivery. There was also a 3 speed standing fan in lieu of a ceiling fan.

Split Level

Also on this level was a separate sitting area that included a sofa, coffee table, two chairs, a large cabinet with more drawers, a small electronic safe (properly installed) and another small mirrored sitting area.

Sofa and Chair Drawers

Despite all of these items there was still plenty of space and nothing seemed cluttered at all.  There were 4 small sliding windows, 2 of which that opened (also locked), had screens and looked out on to the main road. Rooms facing this road may be too loud for some individuals, but I can sleep through most anything.

Hard

Some rooms also have balconies, but I tend to stay away  from these as I’ve found sliding glass doors in Asia are not secure and can easily be lifted off the track allowing entry from the outside despite being locked.

Kitchenette & Bathroom

The kitchenette is basically just a sink and cabinet outside of the bathroom. A few plates, plates and silverware are included. The medium sized refrigerator nearby is empty but there are plenty of mini-markets nearby so you can stock up on what you like yourself.

Bathroom View

The bathroom is of fair size. There’s a sink with cold water only, mirror and some shelving. The shower has a hot water heater and the pressure is good but the hot water didn’t get as hot as I would have preferred, but it was hot enough for a shower and shave.

Sink & Shower

The one downside in most bathrooms I’ve encountered in South East Asia is the lack of a containment area for the shower water. Once you shower, the entire bathroom floor remains wet. This can be slippery and messy if you don’t dry the floor or let it dry naturally. Neither of these are good options as you don’t have enough towels to dry the floor plus high humidity and lack of ventilation make for long natural drying times. I’ve also noticed that faucets are usually not connected securely to the sink. I’m not sure why this is, but these are small annoyances that I can overlook for the price per night.

Other Details

    • Free WiFi – In my visits I’ve found the WiFi to be very stable, a solid signal and relatively fast. This can change day to day in countries like Thailand but I’ve never had an issue in the buildings I’ve stayed in at Canterbury Tales.
    • Air Conditioner – Each room’s air conditioner I’ve stayed in has worked well. Even though the electricity is turned off when you leave the units cool down the rooms very quickly once you return.
    • Bed – The mattress is on the very firm to hard side. In my experiences outside of name brand hotels this is fairly standard in Asia.
    • Management – You may not even meet Dave on your stay, but he is readily available to take care of any issues you may have via cell phone and texts. During my stays I’ve run into several small issues that were resolved quickly and efficiently simply by texting Dave who dispatched his workers to attend to my problems.
    • Cable – The channel selection is good, but if you only speak English it’s limited to an extent. Many channels are in Thai. There’s plenty of news and sports stations (showing mostly games like curling, soccer, cricket, etc.) but very few entertainment/movie channels in English. In my stays I think I’m watching 2 or 3 channels total.
    • Food & Snacks – There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and safe street carts available 24/7 in the surrounding area as well as many that will deliver to your room. There are also numerous 7-Elevens and Family Mart stores where you can buy just about everything you need to stock your room with snacks and drinks.

The video below gives you a good idea of the size, style and layout of the room.

Final Analysis

Canterbury Tales Guest House has been in operation since 2009 and the rooms are often booked months in advance. There is good reason for this. Dave and his staff run a clean, efficient and fairly priced guest house. In my opinion it is one of the best run guest houses I’ve stayed at and a great value for the money. The location is fantastic and you’re less than 10 minutes away via Baht bus from the main attractions in Pattaya like TukCom Mall, Central Festival Mall, Walking Street, Pattaya Beach and Baht buses to Jomtien.  You’re steps away from Soi LK Metro which is a lively area with many bars and restaurants.

If you’re heading to Pattaya on a budget and haven’t ever stayed in a guest house I would highly recommend checking out these often overlooked establishments. You might find that these types of lodgings are more suited for your travel accommodations and Canterbury Tales would be a great first experience for you if it’s not fully booked.

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Rating: 8.9/10 (8 votes cast)

Thai-Ger Line Golf

Signage

RENTAL: See Attached PDF, prices as of Dec. 7, 2013
BAG STORAGE: Available
REPAIR SERVICE: See Attached PDF, prices as of Dec. 7, 2013
GOLF APPAREL & SHOP: Available
HOURS: 8:00am to 7:00pm Daily
LOCATION: See Map Below


View Thai-Ger Line Golf in a larger map

Playing Golf in Pattaya

Thailand is now the world’s number one tourist destination and it is rapidly becoming a golfer’s paradise for millions of new tourists every year. The secret is out and golf courses are becoming harder and harder to get tee times. Greens fees are affordable and the courses are world-class golfing excursions for the beginner or expert golfer.

Fortunately, much of the tourism is focused on the cities of Bangkok and Phuket. Pattaya and the surrounding area is still a golfer’s paradise with over 25 golf courses in the surrounding area for players at all levels.

But how do you know which links are going to be up to your skill level? How can you even get to some of these courses in an unfamiliar land where English isn’t the first language spoken?

If you’ve got a lot of free time on your hands you could spend countless hours researching on the internet, arduously planning out your trip and which courses you plan to play. Most people don’t have the patience or time for this.

Another option is to turn to a company like Thai-Ger Line Golf in Pattaya who serve as a one-stop shop and guide you through your entire golfing vacation without you having to do much of anything except book some tours and showing up to play. Thai-Ger Line Golf will take care of everything for you.

All-Inclusive Golf Tours

I came across Thai-Ger Line Golf completely by accident. I happened to be staying across the street in a guest house on my trip and decided to stop by to see if I could speak with the owner about his business for this article. Unfortunately we were unable to connect and meet up but I was able to stop by one day and speak with Kik, ask some questions and snap a few photos. Even without a face to face meeting I was able to get a lot of information.

Thai-Ger Line Golf has been in business for over 15 years. They have forged relationships with many golf courses in the area and offer daily golf tours starting at 1800 Baht (approximately $60.00) per person. This fee includes:

  1. Transfer to and from the office to the golf course
  2. Caddy
  3. Greens Fees

Office

These daily tours run on weekdays and should be booked a day or two in advance. Custom tours and packages including hotel bookings are also available as are weekend and holiday trips at some higher end golf courses for additional fees. Contacting the office or stopping by to speak with the knowledgeable staff will ensure you’re playing courses that meet your skill level.

If you’re simply looking to play one round of golf in Pattaya or want to spend your entire time playing as many different courses as possible then Thai-Ger Line Golf can help make your dream golfing vacation a reality at a competitive price. They have packages that include 3, 6 or 8 rounds of golf. All you need to do is book your tour, show up and play.

Repairs & Fine Tuning Your Clubs

Thai-Ger Line Golf doesn’t just arrange golf tours. The store also is a full service pro shop providing you with all your golf related needs including repairs and fine tuning of your set.

Need your clubs re-gripped or new shafts? Thai-Ger Line in-house Golf Clinic offers the following services to fine tune your sticks:

  • Grip and shaft change out
  • Lie and Loft change
  • Torque, Swing Weight and Shaft Frequency

Relax & Unwind

Before or after your round you can have a seat at the bar and reminisce about your Eagle shot with friends or figure out how much you and your friends will be wagering on a skins game on your next round.

Cold Drinks

Rest and Relax

You can also practice on the Full Swing Golf Simulator and get your swing analyzed. The store is a great spot to relax and unwind before or after your round.

Video Golf

Golf Apparel & Supplies

The on premises golf shop stocks all the golfing apparel and supplies you need. No need to worry if you forgot something at home as Thai-Ger Line has everything you need right on site including bags, gloves, shirts, hats and much more. They even have custom embroidered clothing with the Thai-Ger Line logo so you have a souvenir of your golfing adventures in Thailand.

Bags

The store also has various makes and brands of high-end golf clubs available for sale.

Golf Lessons

If you’re new to the game of golf and have always wanted to try it  but are unsure on where to start Thai-Ger Line can help. They can arrange a 10 day all-inclusive lesson package that will provide you with 3 hours of daily lessons and includes 2 rounds on beginners courses as well as 9 holes on a professional course. All materials and supplies are included. This is a great way to introduce younger members of the family to the game and is very reasonably priced compared to what it would cost you in your home country.

Golf Tours in the Land of Smiles

Thai-Ger Line Golf is an international member of the USGA and has an excellent record for over 15 years of arranging fabulous golf tours at multiple clubs in Pattaya and the surrounding area.

If you’re a single player looking to get into a game or a large corporation needing a group outing Thai-Ger Line Golf is a great one-stop to arrange all of your golf tour needs. The staff is highly knowledgeable and can help any size group choose the best venue for their needs.

Staff

The next time you book a trip to Thailand be sure to bring your golf clubs. If you truly love golf then make sure you stop by Pattaya and Thai-Ger Line Golf to speak with Kik or Fabian to arrange some rounds. They will ensure that your valuable vacation time is well spent on some of the best courses Thailand has to offer at a fair and reasonable price.

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Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)