Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom of Siam – Siam Niramit Tickets are available!

Siam Niramit Tickets are available!

Silver Seat + Buffet Dinner
Adult THB 1350
Child *THB 1250 (Between 90cm – 140cm)

Buffet Dinner & Pre Show starts from 5pm.
Theatre Door opens at 7.30pm. Show starts at 8.00pm.

Lots of photo opportunities.

If you booked your transport with us, you will enjoy additional 5% discount off the Siam Niramit Tickets.

Please contact our coordinator for your tickets. DeFreesia Transport Services – an authorised operator by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (License No. 14-02461)

Khao Yai Getaway

If you have already booked your 4D3N Khao Yai package from us, here’s a HUGE thank you! If you have not, do check it out!

Now, this post isn’t about our tour package even though it is really worth it (we are the only licensed tour operator with a focus on you and your family).

One of our partners chanced upon this beautiful accommodation in Khao Yai and would like to recommend you to have a look at it. Presenting, Hotel Labaris Khao Yai….

The luxurious exterior spreads into every corner of their hotel compound and into the interior of your hotel rooms. The untainted feel of elegance fills the air and rejuvenates your life like never before!

Images Source: Hotel Labaris Facebook Page

This hotel has 5 room types:
– Deluxe
– Grand Deluxe
– Duplex
– Infinite Villa
– Infinite Villa 2 Bedrooms

Am not going to bore you with more details. Should you require more information and possibly a discount code, contact us for a chat today!

Muay Thai Gym Directory Launched!

Named “Awesome Muay Thai”, this directory has been carefully produced to include everything that tourists, as well as Muay Thai fans and practitioners, need to know about this unique martial art; such as, where to watch Muay Thai matches, where to learn to become a Muay Thai practitioner, and where to buy Muay Thai gear and accessories.

Officially launched on 25th September 2019 by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, this “Awesome Muay Thai” directory features comprehensive information for tourists wanting to experience Thai boxing or Muay Thai martial art in its country of origin.

76 Muay Thai gyms across Thailand can be found in this directory, including important information of each gym’s – background, coach’s profile, courses, and Google Maps QR code. There is also a list of shops and stores selling Muay Thai gear and accessories and souvenirs. In addition, related Muay Thai facilities and services including hotels, resorts, spas, as well as shops to get Muay Thai tattoo symbols or Sak Yant tattoos, are listed.

The ‘Awesome Muay Thai’ directory can be downloaded in a PDF file or e-book format at http://tourismproduct.tourismthailand.org/

Talad Neon Night Market – Is this just another joint?

Compared to Ratchada Rod Fai (train station) night market, Talad Neon Night Market is slightly smaller in size but not necessarily less “equipped”. You will find similar items being sold in nearby Platinum Fashion Mall or Pratunam Wholesale market in the day, but for busy locals, this will be a good place to shop. As such, this makes Talad Neon a great place for locals to have their shopping crave eased.

This night market has a good variety of shops, which include the typical “Chang” fashion tees, Thai hand-made souvenir stalls, barber shops, local snacks and more! One special mention will be this hand-made keychain stall situated next to the main road. At THB29 each, these hand-made keychains can be personalised with your name after you have selected the design you want.

Talad Neon Night Market is located right next to Berkeley Hotel on Petchaburi Road, Pratunam, and about 7mins walk from Chit Lom BTS.

Artbox Bangkok – Worth the trip?

Ok, if you are looking for the typical night markets’ kinda experience, you will be disappointed. Artbox Bangkok is a cool “pop-up” market with a difference; started in June 2015, these stalls (not all of them) are housed in giant metal shipping containers which can be moved around the city.

This container-box themed night market is packed with lots of artistic food creations and innovative products! Definitely Instagram-friendly thanks to its fairy-land lights that set the ambiance.

From 30th May 2019, Artbox Bangkok has moved to a semi-permanent location address located in Sukhumvit Soi 10 @ Chuvit Garden. This night market will be at this location till 30th November 2019. Previous locations include Queen Sirikit MRT Station, Makkasan MRT Station and Chatuchak. 

Best time to visit? What to expect?

  • Go in the evening or night time; best times to visit are between 5pm to 9pm
  • Less hot in the evenings, and you can take nicer photos when the lights come on!
  • Lovely alfresco picnic and eating area for you to chill, wine and dine while enjoying live band performances!

Artbox Bangkok invites some of the best aspiring young artists and artisans in Bangkok to showcase their talents. Get yourself sketched in hand-drawn portraits, or take home one of thousands of locally hand-made products!

Creative foods is another thing that makes Artbox Bangkok so special. You will find many creatively served snacks and drinks here, so come with an empty stomach and open mind for trying as many delicacies as you can.

Artbox Bangkok at Chuvit Garden (5mins from Nana/Ashok Station)

The easiest way to get to Artbox Bangkok @ Chuvit Garden is by taking BTS SkyTrain to Nana station or Asok station as the park is located on Sukhumvit Road between these 2 BTS stations (about 250 m from Nana and 350 m from Asok).

Verdict:

is it worth the trip? If you are expecting to find usual touristy souvenirs such as “Chang” t-shirts or elephant pants here, you will be disappointed. However, if you’re into creativity, you will definitely like strolling between rows of stalls selling local fashion brands, artworks, and unique accessories.

Dress Code – Temples and Palace Visits

thailand-temple palace dress code

Temples and the Grand Palace visit is one of the “must-do” when you come to Thailand for the first time. Not only will you find and experience the rich history and culture of this country, you will also be blown away by the majestic architectures.

Did you know?
There are strict dress codes to be followed when visiting the Grand Palace and temples in Thailand. You will notice some of the signs seen below when you visit:

hailand-temple palace dress code 1 thailand-temple palace dress code 2

The general rule of thumb (for both men and women) is not to wear anything that exposes your shoulders, no shorts or mini skirts (length below knee – okay). For ladies who have a scarf and “happens” to dress in appropriately, you can cover the shoulders with the scarf (or used as a makeshift long skirt). Covered shoes are recommended, if you’re wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks (i.e. no bare feet).

SCAM ALERT
If anyone outside the boundary walls of the Grand Palace or temples says you’re improperly dressed, it will be a good idea to ignore them as it may be just another scam to try and get you into a Tuk Tuk to take you to a gem store. Normally, your dress code will only be checked after the ticket booths (prior to the entrance to the sacred grounds). If you need to borrow a scarf, it’s may cost you 100 baht (returnable deposit).

So the next time you visit Thailand and wants to visit the Grand Palace or any of the temples, do note the appropriate dress code!


Article contributed by Calvin Ng – Fitness Trainer and Online Business Coach

Self-Driving in Thailand

What is the first thing that came to my mind when writing this topic? TRAFFIC JAMS! Then again, that happen mostly in the main cities (including Bangkok). The rest of Thailand is almost jam-free as cars may not necessary be the main mode of transport.

To give you a sense of how safe it is to drive in Thailand, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released its Global Road Safety report 2015, and named Thailand as the nation with the second highest rate of road traffic deaths – some 36.2 deaths per 100,000 people every year!

self drive in thailand death toll worldwide 2015

Driving Conditions
In Thailand, people drive on the left side of the road, similar to driving in Singapore. Thailand’s road system is divided into highways and expressways. Highways connect every part of Thailand and usually have four-lanes. Expressways are toll-payable roads (similar to Malaysia’s Touch ‘N’ Go System) and are usually elevated. This system of expressways however is mainly concentrated around Bangkok.

When driving in Thailand’s larger cities in general, it is wise to avoid the left lane as it is generally used for loading and parking. Do leave some room between you and the car in front of you when stopping at an intersection; motorcyclists tends to squeeze and weave through at the expense of your bumpers!

Generally speaking, the roads are pretty good and easy to drive on. Driving through main cities (including Bangkok) can be more challenging because of traffic, and some of the link roads with very narrow lanes (called sois) were created before cars were a common transport.

What license you need to self-drive in Thailand
According to the Authorities, if you are visiting Thailand as a tourist and you want to rent a car for just a few days, you just need to carry the driving permit you obtained in your home country in order to start driving. However, this only applies to country who has an existing treaty with the Thai Government.

If there is no treaty in place (which is highly unlikely), you may consider applying for an International Driving Permit (IDP) in your home country before traveling to Thailand. Basically, it is a translation in English of your original driving license, so if your national driving license is not in English, it can save some hassle with the local police if you can produce an IDP.

Renting a vehicle for Self-drive
You may need to provide a copy of your passport as form of guarantee so make sure you have a copy on hand if you decide to rent any vehicle.

Motorbike – If you know how to and have a valid license to ride one, this is one cheap mode of transport. It typically cost less than THB300 per day, better discount if you rent it for longer periods. The rental bikes should be insured with the basic insurance but make sure you check with your personal travel insurance whether you are covered or not, and exactly how, if you rent a motorbike.

Car / Mini-Van – The cost of renting a car varies depending on the location in Thailand and the car rental company. The major factor that will affect the rental cost is make and size of the car you want to rent. The cost ranges from THB700 per day for 4 seaters to THB5000 per day for a luxury mini-vans. Again, discounts are available for extended periods of rental. As you may have realised, engaging De Freesia Transport Services is much more affordable as they also provide the driver who is English-speaking and you don’t have to worry about getting lost!

Finding your way around Thailand
You should be able to bundle a GPS together with the vehicle you rented. Try to navigate using the main roads from Point A to B, best used together with a physical map. Some tried successfully using Google Maps but make sure you keep your eyes on the road as you may not be as familiar as the locals streaming pass your vehicle.

Even if you are driving in Bangkok where road signs are common, I would not place my bets on them if you know what i mean.

self drive thailand confusing_sign1
Image Credit: www.driving-in-thailand.com


Article contributed by Calvin Ng, Fitness Trainer and Online Business Coach

FAKE Somboon Seafood

Did you know that there are eight official branches operated by the REAL Somboon Seafood restaurant? Famous for their Fried Curry Crab, Somboon Seafood has been in operation since 1969.

Somboon seafood real deal 1

Here’s their history:

1969 – “Somboon Seafood” first opened in Samyan Area, occupying a shophouse close by Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy. This was where the famous “Poo-Phad-Phong-Karee’’ (Fried Curry Crab) was originated and became very popular among Thai diners for its freshness, deliciousness and reasonable prices.

1990 – The second outlet ‘’Surawong’’ opened on the more urbane Surawong Road and the brand Somboon Seafood started to be well-known among Japanese and international expatriates.

1991 – At end of the lease for the Samyan outlet, the restaurant was moved to a new location, “Banthadthong”.

1993 – Introducing “Somboon Chinese Restaurant”, on Banthadthong Road. The new restaurant brand features authentic Cantonese cuisine and is well received by local and international public figures and businessmen.

1996 – New expansion of Somboon Seafood, the “Ratchada Branch”, on Ratchadapisek Road, which at that time was an emerging business district of Bangkok

2001 – The restaurant launched its “Udomsuk (Bangna)’’ branch in the prime residential area of eastern Bangkok.

2008 – The return of “Samyan Branch” at the newly-built Chamchuri Square Building, the same spot where the first Somboon Seafood restaurant was established 40 years ago.

2014 – Somboon Seafood is proudly celebrating its 45th anniversary with the launching of two new branches: “Central Embassy” and “Siam Square One”. The new outlets are located in the middle of the city’s prime entertaining and commercial districts and easily accessible by BTS skytrain.

OKAY, enough of the REAL DEAL!  Now, lets have a look at WHO’s the FAKE?!?

somboondee somboon real fake

Apparently, there is a not-so-new-kid-on-the-block named SOMBOONDEE SEAFOOD MARKET. It was reported multiple times by different bloggers and tourists that they have been cheated by their “flagged drivers” to patronise this seafood restaurant which is passing off as the original SOMBOON Seafood. This has annoyed the original SOMBOON Seafood so much that they decided to warn their clients but sharing that they have only eight outlets and be aware of SCAMMERS!

So next time, please only go to the following outlets to feast on their Fried Curry Crab! I am slurping my saliva while finishing this post! Haha.

1. Bantadthong Branch (nearest BTS National Stadium) – 895/6-21 Soi Chula 8, Bantadthong Rd., Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
2. Surawong Branch (nearest BTS Chong Nonsi) – 169,169/7-12 Surawong Rd., Suriyawong, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
3. Ratchada Branch (nearest MRT Huai Khwang) – 167/9-12 Huay-Kwang Intersection, Ratchadapisek Rd., Din Deang, Bangkok 10320
4. UdomSuk Branch (nearest BTS Udom Suk) – 26 UdomSuk 60, Sukhumvit 103 Rd., NongBon, Pravet, Bangkok 10250
5. Samyan Branch (MRT SamYan Station) – 315 Chamchuri Square Building, Room101-102-103 Ground fl., Phya Thai Rd., Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
6. Central Embassy Branch (BTS Ploen Chit Station) – 5th fl., Central Embassy 1031 Ploenchit Rd, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
7. Siam Square One Branch (BTS Siam Station) – 4th fl., Siam Square One Building Rama 1 road, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
8. CentralWorld Branch (BTS Chit Lom Station Exit 1) – 6th fl., CentralWorld 4, 4/1-4/2, 4/4 Ratchadamri Rd., Pathum Wan, BKK 10330


Article contributed by Calvin Ng, Fitness Trainer and Online Business Coach

Top 7 Cafes in Bangkok

coffee bangkok cafe near BTS

While researching on the growing digital nomads community in Bangkok, this topic came to mind and I decided to investigate what would be the top cafes in Bangkok and I ended up with the following list. I have not personally been to all of them but this curated list of coffee joints were mentioned repeatedly by various influencers on the worldwide web.

I will go through the following list in random order and will have  a separate table showing the different cafes based on proximity to BTS stations.  Do let me know if this list becomes obsolete as I admit that I am not based in Bangkok 24/7.

Top 7 Cafes in Bangkok
1. FILL IN THE BLANK
2. KARMAKAMET DINER
3. (UN) FASHION CAFE
4. AFTER YOU
5. AUDREY CAFE & BISTRO
6. CASA LAPIN
7. D’ARK BY PHILLIP DI BELLA

Proximity to EKKAMAI Station
1. FILL IN THE BLANK
2. (UN) FASHION CAFE
3. FEATHERSTONE BISTRO CAFE & LIFESTYLE SHOP
4. ONE OUNCE FOR ONION
5. VANILLA GARDEN
6. INK & LION
7. KAIZEN COFFEE CO
8. NIKKO CAFÉ
9. THE GARDEN OF DINSOR PALACE (another branch near Thong Lo as well)

Proximity to PHROM PHONG Station
1. KARMAKAMET DINER
2. D’ARK BY PHILLIP DI BELLA
3. CERESIA COFFEE ROASTER
4. FUCHEER BY LUKKAITHONG
5. KARMAKAMET SECRET WORLD
6. LIBRARY CAFE
7. PERHAPS RABBITS’

Proximity to SAPHAN TAKSIN / THONBURI Station
1. THE NEVER ENDING SUMMER

Proximity to SIAM Station
1. AFTER YOU (quite a few branches now)
2. PHIL COFFEE COMPANY (another branch near Thong Lo as well)
3. MERMAID CASTLE SIAM
4. MR JONES ORPHANAGE
5. ONCE CAFE & CUISINE

Proximity to THONG LO Station
1. AFTER YOU
2. AUDREY CAFE & BISTRO
3. CASA LAPIN
4. GREYHOUND
5. HAND & HEART CAFE
6. PHIL COFFEE COMPANY
7. ROAST
8. ROCKET COFFEE BAR
9. ROOTS COFFEE BAR
10. GRAM
11. JONA WAFFLES
12. THE GARDEN OF DINSOR PALACE
13. TOBY’S ON SUKHUMVIT

Hope the list above is helpful!  Have a Caffeine great time!


Article Contributed by Calvin Ng, Fitness Coach & Online Business Trainer

Top 7 Tourists' Scams in Thailand

top 7 thai scams

Have you noticed that not all tour operators in Thailand (especially local tours) are licensed? Also, do you know what are the Top 7 Tourists’ Scams in Thailand? Check this out!

1. This Place is Closed
– This happened some time back when I was travelling with my mum and wife to Bangkok for a short break. We wanted to go to Chinatown for some Sharkfin soup and seafood, so we hailed a taxi outside Platinum Mall. Once we boarded, the taxi driver commented that there was bombing and Chinatown is closed for redevelopment and insisted to take us somewhere else for dinner. As we started driving off, I felt something wasn’t right and googled while in the taxi on redevelopment of Chinatown after bombing… nothing came up. I immediately yelled at the driver to stop and he dropped us off the roadside, in the middle of nowhere. With my awesome navigation skills, my family walked back safely to our hotel 15mins later.

– Another common version of this scam can happen near any tourist attraction but still happens a lot outside the Grand Palace. As you approach, someone will tell you that the palace is closed for various reasons. Ignore them as you will end up in either a gem store or a tailor shop.

2. Damaged Jetski / Motorbike
– Some of us like to play watersports and explore the city in a motorbike by renting them from local pop-up stalls along the beach, especially in Phuket or Pattaya. It’s all smiles of happiness when you scoot-off, but when you come back after your fun, they will point out scratches and dents in the jet ski (or motorbike) and they will demand large sums of money. What they fail to mention is that a dozen other customers have already paid for those scratches. If you rent anything, be it motorcycle, car or jet ski, make sure all scratches and dents are documented.

3. Help me get FREE Gas
– This happens every so often on a Tuk Tuk ride where the driver will bargain with you on the pricing for his ride to a location you wanna go to. He will then tell you that in order to match your price, he will need your help to visit a Gems factory or Tailor shop for a short while so he can get FREE gas. If you are not in a rush for time and have a big heart, you will walk right in t o this scam.

4. Priceless Gems
– Not sure about you, but I am no expert on gem stones so I will typically avoid any gems factory outlets visits no matter which overseas destination I go. It is just too common to be pressured in to buying something very expensive which may be worth next to nothing just for a SAFE ride back to your destination once you are stuck in that situation. Of course, to make you feel better, the shopkeeper will have “actors” who will tell you what a great bargain you had!

– A variant of this scam revolves around the shopkeeper accusing you for paying with a counterfeit note. He or she would go to the back of the store, away from your sight, swap the note you handed over with a realistic counterfeit one and return. Giving the fake note to you, he or she would demand for new payment, leaving you to pay for twice or thrice the original amount.

5. Tailor, Tailor, Alligator!
– Similar to the Gems factory, such tailor shops are typically low quality in workmanship and materials used. This can happen anywhere, but is more likely at tourist locations. Halfway through a Tuk Tuk trip, your driver might ask you to wait as he take a toilet break. Coincidentally, a stranger approaches you, and start telling you about some bargain he found at a tailor shop which only Thai people know.  At this point, your tuk tuk driver will be back and the stranger will “helpfully” tell him where the shop is. At the shop, the prices seem like a good deal and high pressure sales tactics are used to make you pay everything upfront with FREE home delivery! Too good to be true? You decide!

– If you want a genuinely great tailor, go to Paul’s Fashion at Sukhumvit Road (BTS Asoke) SUKHUMVIT SOI-20 (200 meters inside the Soi opposite 7/11 )

6. Ping Pong Show
– Don’t believe the touts outside those shady bars, especially when you are at Patpong area. They will lure you with free sex shows and drinks for only 100 baht each. You will end up paying a bill in the thousands. Stay clear if you are alone as they can turn violent (some may even threaten your life with “tainted” needles with AIDS virus) if you refuse to pay.

7. Meter? No Meter, Spoil
– This is probably the most notorious of all; even the Tourist Police acting deputy commissioner Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakpal vowed to step up its crackdown on taxi drivers who take advantage of foreign tourists. Many Taxi drivers were accused of refusing to use the meter (claiming the meters are spoilt), and some tourists complained that they were charged Bt800 (S$33) for just a 300-metre ride!


Article contributed by Calvin Ng, Fitness Trainer and Online Business Trainer