霞女之旅

Xia's Journey

Crappy Krabi

on June 9, 2012
FLIGHT Details Cost per pax
To Tiger Airways, TR2182, 25 May 2012, Fri

Depart SG = 10:25am

Arrive Krabi = 11:00am

SG $60
Return Tiger Airways, TR2183, 27 May 2012, Sun

Depart Krabi = 11:40am

Arrive SG = 2:40pm

SG $200
ACCOMODATION Srisuksant Resort 2 nights , Superior Room with breakfasts SG $37.50
SG $297.50
PURCHASES / MEALS ETC Flowery top THB 50 = SG$ 2

Flowery Dress THB 50 = SG$ 2

Adidas Jacket THB 330 = SG$ 13.75

Waterproof Bag THB 325 = SG$ 13.50

(THB 650 for 2pcs)

Vespa Tee THB 150 = SG$ 6.25

Airport to Hotel THB 600 = SG$ 25

Hotel to Airport THB 600 = SG$ 25

Fri Dinner THB 340 = SG$ 14

Sat Lunch and Dinner = THB 185 = SG$ 7.70

Cakes THB 100 for 3 = SG $4.17

Tees and items for family = THB 140 x 7pcs = THB 980 = SG$ 40.83

   

 

 

 

 

 

SG $ 95.83

~ SG$ 393.33

Itching for a get-away and needing to clear the Vesak Day (Sat) leave-in-liau before end of May, sis and I decided to go away for a short break. We were pondering where to go when I chanced upon a hotel deal from Groupon.com.

Costing $75 for 2 pax, 2 nights at a Krabi 4-star hotel; Srisuksant Resort, superior room with breakfasts thrown in, the deal was too good to be true.

That would have been S$37.50 per pax for two nights and S$18.75 per pax, per night. The usual price would come up to $181, and it was a hefty 59% savings!

Krabi, here we come !

We were often skeptical of such “too-good-to-be-true” deals, and we were suspecting that it was either a very old and run-down hotel or that it has to be haunted to be promoting at that price.

Without doing much research nor having many other options on-hand, we decided to take up Krabi since it was the cheapest alternative. We jumped into booking the hotel deal with Groupon.com and Tiger airfares.

25 May 2012, Fri

Upon arrival at Krabi, we sought out assistance at the Information counter. They gave us advice on how we could go about getting to our hotel; either by bus or by cab. Since, it was our first visit and we were unfamiliar with the roads, we decided to take a cab to our hotel, costing THB 600 per vehicle.

Chafahut Travel Co Ltd

There was a tour agency  ~ Chafahut Travel Co Ltd at the arrival hall and we decided to check out their prices. We were attended to by this Chinese-looking man named Peter who spoke Teochew. He was charging THB 1300 for island hopping to Phi Phi island. After some bargaining and using some “We are Chinese, and Chinese should help Chinese” emotional blackmailing, we gave in and bought the Phi Phi island hopping at THB 1200 per person. Just as we were signing on the dotted line, it started to storm. Hence, we asked “What if it rained the next day ? Are we able to cancel and get a refund back ?” He very promptly replied, “Yes, Of Course, no problem at all.” With that assurance, we paid up and left the airport for our hotel.

It took us about 40mins to get to our hotel.

When we first arrived and saw the hotel, we were thinking, “Wow, this is decent. Wonder what’s wrong ? Maybe it’s the rooms.”

Prior to the trip, I did a quick read-up on some reviews of the hotel and read that the rooms were old and dirty etc.

Awesome Srisuksant Resort

Srisuksant Resort

As we proceeded to the rooms, we passed by the huge L-shaped swimming pool and two other kiddo pools. There was a kid’s room as well as a gym too. I was more than prepared to be in for a rude shock for the dirty rooms, but instead, I was in for a pleasant surprise that the room was really clean, pretty and had a balcony with two chairs facing the forest. There was even a day bed with a bed wedge on it for a more comfy TV watching. The shower was clean and had a really modern partition between the wet and dry area. The vanity top was well-equipped with toiletries and had a ‘huge bottle’ of shower gel and shampoo for guests. Came prepared for the worse, we were delighted by the nice surprises.

As it was still raining outside, we stayed-in and lazed around, had a nap and watched some TV programmes.

Krabi Shopping Scene

As the rain subsided at about 6pm, we proceeded out to the Night Market stretch for some shopping and dinner. It was quite a distance from the hotel to the Night Market stretch. It took us about 20 to 30 minutes on foot. But the good thing was that, there were some small shops along the way which got our sore, tired feet distracted. Most of the shops sold similar stuffs ~ tees, swimwear, flipflops, bags, sunglasses, caps etc. The only difference was the pricing and their service attitude. Some were nice and friendly, whilst many were rude and refused to budge on the prices. Ultimately, we bought from the friendlier ones.

On the second night of our shopping, we had a nasty encounter with one of the vendors. He complained that I asked the price on the first night (the waterproof bag that I needed to get for Jerry) and asked for the price again on the second night. Grumbling, he said that it was the best price given and yet why I did not get from him. He was rude – I was spiteful. I refused to get it from him! Even if another vendor was selling at the same price, I would get it from the other vendor. But ultimately, I got it from another vendor at a cheaper price !

We came across some tour agencies as well and asked for the Phi Phi island tour price. Some quoted THB 1000, some THB 1200 and some THB 1300. However one of the tour agency ladies actually mentioned that it was the monsoon season and it was not a good time to do the island hopping trip. She suggested that Nov to Jan would be a better period. We found her honest and candid despite that it would meant that she may not get a deal close. With this, we realized that we had not done adequate research and that we were here during the wrong season. It was a lesson learnt. From this, I learnt to check out the “best periods” to travel when I plan for my next trip.

As we strolled along, we settled our dinner at a Thai eatery along the Night Market.

We had a Morning Glory dish costing THB 80, a Pad Thai set at THB 90, a Green curry set at THB 100 and a coconut at THB 70.

The rice was beautifully moulded into a heart-shape and the coconut had a pretty orchid perched on top of it.

The dinner came up to THB 340 (~ SG$14) for two pax, and we thought it was really well affordable, considering the neighbouring pricey restaurants.

That was until we had our dinner the next night.

Dinner at Night Market

26 May 2012, Sat

We got up at 6am and realized that it was raining cats and dogs.

We called the agent at 7am to cancel the package. He said he’ll wait till 845am for the speed boat person to arrive before we confirm cancelling the package.

At 9am, when the speedboat person came, we told him that we would want to cancel the package and have a full refund. He was at a loss and had to call the agency to resolve it with us.

Heavy downpour at 6am which clouded all vision

When we called the tour agency representative, Peter, he mentioned that he was driving and would call us back 1hour later at 10am. We waited till 1030am and he has yet to call us back.

We decided to proceed to Krabi town for a short tour and got the front desk to help us take down the message.

We got on the song theaw to go to the town.

The song theaw, costing THB 50, had two parallel rows of seats, 6 on each side, facing each other. It took us about 30 mins to arrive at the town.

It was a rather run-down area with an out-dated shopping mall.

We strolled along the streets and visited a temple.

Song Theaw to Krabi town

We came across a street hawker and had our lunch there. A Pad Thai here only costs THB 50 and a fried seafood beehoon only costs THB 45. It was delicious. We decided to pack them for our dinner. We left the town at about 2.30pm and arrived back at the hotel at about 3pm.

When we got to the front desk, we were told that Peter had returned call and informed that we would not be getting our refund back. Infuriated, we called him. He insisted that we were the ones who wanted to cancel the package and not that they cancel the program and hence we are unable to get our refund back.  On the previous day, when we asked him, he was indignant and said we could. Now, he said we could not. We were hopping mad! That would have been THB 1200 x 2  ~ SG$100. Unless he provides us with a full refund, we would lodge a complaint against his company in Thailand embassy as well as lodge another complaint in Singapore’s Thai embassy.  Without us finishing, he slammed down the phone on us.

Sis was speechless and asked to see the front desk manager on how to go about lodging a complaint against the fraud company. We spoke to the front desk manager, she was patient and open to our grouses. She gave us advice and suggested that we seek out more options in future rather than jumping onto the first option. As we spoke, the Peter guy called back and said that he will provide us with a full refund and that we could get the refund from him the next day at his tour agency.

Appeased, we left the front desk and head back to our room to take a breather after the trauma.

We took a dip in the hotel’s huge L-shaped pool, had dinner before we head out to the Night Market to grab more stuffs since it was our last night.

huge L-shaped swimming pool that goes halfway around the hotel

27 May 2012, Sun

We brought all our stuffs down and had our breakfast at 745am.

The breakfast spread was good with noodles, rice, salad bar, cold cuts, hot toasts and even someone to do up the eggs.

There was even children cutlery for the kiddos.

Sumptous Breakfast

The chair we sat on had three legs and the washroom near the café had a most intriguing door I’ve seen. It was the traditional Chinese Emperor kind of door with a bolt to lock up the toilet.

I had nothing but raves for the hotel and at the price that we’ve gotten at, it was indeed a steal.

The only grouse was that it was a tad too far from the main Night Market stretch.

Intriguing toilet door and chairs

We got the driver to come pick us up at 8.45am and off we went to the airport.

We headed to the tour agency and did our refund.

I took tons of shots of him and his agency.

He gave me the “Wanna-beat-me-up” look. I didn’t give a damn. I continued shooting and that must have really pissed him off.

Peter from Chafahut Travel Co Ltd Tour agency at the Krabi International Airport Arrival Hall giving me the “Wanna-Beat-Me-Up” look. DO NOT EVER USE this LOUSY and TERRIBLE Chafahut Travel Co Ltd …!!

The flight that we were on was almost one hour late and thinking that we would arrive one hour later as well, I texted my brother so that the kids need not come to the airport so early. We arrived earlier than stipulated and when we called my bro, the kids were having their afternoon naps. We headed home on our own. Not too long later, the kids called. Disappointed that they did not get to go to the airport to pick us up, Bel bellowed at sis, “Da-gu, why you come back so early?” It was indeed hilarious seeing the little kiddos hopping. Haahaa… 🙂

Some lessons learnt from this trip :

  1. Check out the best season to travel before jumping into the trip.
  2. Check out more than one option before making the ultimate decision.
  3. As skeptical as I would still be, not all cheap deals are frauds.
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2 responses to “Crappy Krabi

  1. click here says:

    Hey there! I’ve been reading your blog for some
    time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Texas!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!

    • xia says:

      Thank you very much for popping by and the shout-out. It means a great deal to me… Thank you very much once again… 🙂

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