Archive for September, 2009
For those of you who can’t get enough of Bangkok like myself, ZUJI Singapore is offering flight + hotel packages from S$221+ for 4D3N. What’s more, over the next 4 weeks, for every pax booked on a package to Bangkok, receive a free voucher for a massage/buffet/dinner show/admission to Siam Ocean World. Travel must be completed by 31 Dec 2009.
Week 1 (Book from 29 Sep to 5 Oct): Free 2-hour Thai Herbal Massage at Let’s Relax (worth at least around 800 baht – ~ S$35)
Week 2 (Book from 6 to 12 Oct): Free Buffet Dinner at Ramayana Restaurant at King Power Complex (worth 600 baht – ~S$26)
Week 3 (Book from 13 to 19 Oct): Free Buffet Dinner and Show at Siam Niramit (worth 1200 baht – ~S$52)
Week 4 (Book from 20 to 26 Oct): Free Admission to Siam Ocean World
Take a further $20 off using a voucher you can earn from completing a simple questionnaire here.
Here’s a new, targeted email campaign by Jetstar Asia which is not available on Jetstar’s website. Get a $25 or $50 Jetstar voucher free when you book a return flight from Singapore before 2 October 2009. Travel must be completed by 31 October 2009.
1. Since this promotion is only available to JetMail (Jetstar’s email newsletter) subscribers, sign up for the newsletter here, if you are not already signed up.
2. Make a new booking for a return flight at Jetstar.com by 02 October 2009, where the return date for your trip is on or before 31 October 2009 (First point of departure must be Singapore).
3. Make sure you use the email address that you have used to register for JetMail (ie. the email address we have used to mail this email to you) in the booking process.
4. Jetstar will email you either a $25 or $50 Jetstar flight voucher* within 28 days to put towards your next flight.
Terms & Conditions:
1. The first point of departure must be from Singapore. The outbound and return flights must be for travel between the same ports, and be booked in the same transaction.
2. To use your voucher, you must book and travel within 6 months of the issue date. One voucher per JetMail subscriber. If you book a return flight for more than one person you will receive only one voucher. The voucher cannot be used to book the return flight in step 1 above. Further conditions apply.
*Promotion only applies to Jetstar Asia and Valuair flights. Voucher amount is dependant on the city pair booked. Receive a $25 voucher for the following destinations: Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok, Jakarta, Denpasar, Phuket, Kuching, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ho Chi Minh City and Medan. Receive a $50 voucher for the following destinations: Haikou, Hong Kong, Manilla, Macau, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Yangon, Taipei and Surabaya.
When I talk about budget, I don’t mean staying at the cheapest places and eating the cheapest street food one can find – to me, budget means to get the most bang for buck without scrimping too much. I have been to Bangkok more than a dozen times over the past few years, with another trip coming up later this month.
I will share tips for planning a budget trip to Bangkok in a series of articles. This first installment will be on accommodation.
You can get cheap (US$5) beds in Bangkok at Khao San Road inns but that puts you in a location far away from the nightlife and shopping areas in Bangkok. You save on your accommodation but end up spending more on transportation – trust me, taxis from the Khao San area to places like Siam Square or Sukhumvit are not easy to get during rush hours, neither are they cheap.
If there are 2 of you, then a hostel won’t be much cheaper than a budget hotel room anyway. For me, a good hotel in Bangkok should have the following – good location near a BTS or subway station and in a fun neighbourhood with decent nightlife options, clean and decent sized rooms… and of course, low rates.
My favourite hotel in Bangkok has changed several times over the past few years. I used to like staying at the Ambassador Hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 11 when it was charging about US$35 a night via online travel agents. It’s in a perfect location 5 minutes away from Nana BTS station and a few minutes’ walk away from the best places to club and drink in Bangkok. It has an AWESOME buffet breakfast that should not be missed. However, the hotel raised its rates and so I stopped staying there.
Then for a couple of years I stayed at the Mandarin Hotel Bangkok (not the Mandarin Oriental) – it WAS a short walk away from a subway station, and 10 minutes walk to Silom/Patpong. The buffet breakfast WAS good, and the rooms WERE huge and comfortable. I used past tense because, sadly, the hotel burned down a few years ago – apparently it’s sprinkler system was not functional.
My current favourite is the Manhattan Hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 15 – 5 minutes walk from Asoke BTS and Sukhumvit subway stations, still in the heart of Bangkok’s nightlife area, decent rooms and buffet breakfast for about US$30 a night (The rates seemed to have gone up recently). I don’t think there is a better deal out there, because cheaper rooms in the same area are in dodgy-looking motels, while the better ones are in the league of Westin and Sheraton (US$100+ a night).
To me, the Manhattan Hotel has a perfect location – my favourite massage and spa place is just across the road (King & I at Sukhumvit Soi 12; THB 400 for a Thai massage), and so is my favourite restaurant in Bangkok (Cabbages and Condoms, also at Soi 12). A Robinsons department store, TOPS supermarket and a 24 hours McDonald’s is just around the corner, and the main Sukhumvit Road comes alive every evening with street stalls selling all sorts of tourist favourites.
Here are some other hotels I like in BKK for the value and excellent locations they have (click on the hotel names to have a glance at rates) – Le Fenix Sukhumvit (~US$50; Soi 11), Asia Hotel (~US$55; Siam Square area), Samran Place (~US$30; Siam Square area), Baiyoke Boutique (~US$40; Pratunam).
If you ask me I think at current rates Samran Place provides the best value-for-money with rates inclusive of breakfast and its location steps away from MBK shopping mall and Siam Square.
Wego.com is a comparison shopping website where one can search for hotel rates and airfares from multiple sources on one single site. They are currently running a contest with 2 return tickets to Europe on KLM up for grabs. Simply sign up for Wego.com’s newsletter (click on the banner above) and stand a chance to win. Refer your friends to sign up as well and you get more chances to win.