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Life Changing Decisions in Langkawi, Malaysia

You’ve all experienced the post-holiday blues at some point,  despairing at the very thought of returning home and going back to the ‘same old same old‘ routine. Some of you may have even made an on the spot decision to continue your holiday indefinitely.

I aint leaving on a Jet Plane, don't know when I'll be home again

I aint leaving on a Jet Plane, don't know when I'll be home again

Good on you! My decision to take an ‘extended leave of absence’ from the UK happened in an instant, but the actual ‘doing of it’ took over 12 months to materialize.

This decision was made on a sticky evening in the town of Kuah in Langkawi, Malaysia, as the clouds drifting slowly across the breathtaking mountain backdrop.

Kuah Town, Langkawi, Malaysia

Kuah Town, Langkawi, Malaysia

This was January 2009 and the end of an amazing 3 week ‘blowout’ in SE Asia.

We celebrated the run-up to New Year in Langkawi, staying at our ex-pat friend’s apartment, and living like Rock Star Royalty.

New Year's Eve on Ceneng Beach, Langkawi

Little Lylia’s Chill Out Bar, New Year's Eve, Ceneng Beach, Langkawi

New Year’s Eve at Little Lylia’s Chill out Bar, Pantai Cenang was immense and once we regained consciousness, we embarked upon a land and sea mission up to Had Yuan, Koh Phangnan, Thailand for 10 more days  of serious relaxation and partying.

Stone Bar, Haad Yuan, Koh Phangnan, Thailand

Stone Bar, Haad Yuan, Koh Phangnan, Thailand

Now we had returned to where it all began, Langkawi, and I had just made up my mind on a decision that had been gaining momentum as the trip progressed.

Conversations with my ex-pat mate and witnessing first-hand the experiences a life in Langkawi could offer made it clear to me that Se Asia presented possibilities, such possibilities as:

1. Dining like a King Every Single Night of the week

Since we had arrived there all we had done was go out for the most amazing seafood, chinese and malay dishes, all night long and the bill would come to about 10 GBP per head.

lobster, Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Malaysia

lobster, Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Malaysia

At Places like Wonderland, a Local Seafood restaurant in Kuah Town, the quality and price of the dishes was quite simply unreal.

Chinese and Seafood Feast at Wonderland, Kuah Town, Langkawi, Malaysia

Chinese and Seafood Feast at Wonderland, Kuah Town, Langkawi, Malaysia

Not only that, you could bring you own booze just paying for the price of the mixers at the restaurant. A trip to the ‘duty free off licence’ meant you could get seriously sozzled for another 2 GBP per head.

2. Smoothing away the rough edges with the Cool Beach Nightlife

You won’t find a more chilled out beach life than on Cenang. Sometimes it seems like no one’s running the show, so if you bothered about little things like your food turning up you may be dissapointed. But you will meet some colourful characters that take laid back to a whole new level.

Asie, Little Lylia's, Cenang Beach

Asie, Little Lylia's, Cenang Beach

3. Living amidst Breathtaking Natural Scenery

Langkawi is one of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos and is made up of 99 islands on the west coast of Malaysia, close to the border with Thailand. The best place to view this splendor is with a bird’s eye view from the viewing decks and sky-bridge, some 700m above sea level courtesy of a hair-raising ride in a cable car.

Langkawi viewed from Cable Car

Langkawi viewed from Cable Car

4. I haven’t even got to the Powdery White Sand Beaches and warm clear waters yet.

Cenang Beach has the most impossibly white and powdery sand, the kind where whole days can be lost just enjoying the sensation of it between your toes.

Therapeutic, time consuming sand on Cenang Beach, Langkawi, Malaysia

Therapeutic, time consuming sand on Cenang Beach, Langkawi, Malaysia

I am sure we’ve all felt like this at the end of a fantastic holiday, but these possibilities were playing on my mind, there was something more to this, there was a definate desire to break the chain of monotony in my life and go out there and experience something else.

Maybe you feel like I did back then, something a little bit more serious than the post holiday blues, of no real desire to go back to your life at home.

If you do, then my advice is to give it some serious thought, look at all the options. It took me a full year of living back in the UK before I finally did something about it. A full year of weighing up the pro’s and cons, considering whether it was just an extended break of a couple of months that I needed or a clean break entirely.

Even then, I wasn’t completely sure and I made the final decision whilst back on a 4-week holiday in Haad Juan, Thailand.

View from Bungalow on Haad Yuan (Barcelona Bungalows)

View from Bungalow on Haad Yuan (Barcelona Bungalows)

I decided once again, that this was not a long enough break for me and once I had made my final decision, the wheels were firmly in motion and there was no turning back … I went home, tied up all the loose ends and was back out in Asia within 30 days …

If you would like to know more about what life is like for an expat in SE Asia then please feel free to leave a comment or you can contact me directly via Facebook or Twitter at the addresses below.

Cheers

Roger

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Musings from Siem Reap, Cambodia

Being English Gentleman of Leisure

English Gents marauding around Asia

English Gents marauding around Asia

we purchased a 7 day entry pass for the the Angkor Archeological Park. Most people buy a 1 or 3 day pass, but we wanted to take in the temples and ruins at a more relaxed pace, slow it down a little. Turns out, it’s a full time job due to the sheer number of historically important and impressive sites that archeologists have uncovered in the Siem Reap area over the last 100 or so years.

Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Temple Girls at Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Temple Girls at Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

As I write this it is 7am and we are waiting for our Tuk Tuk driver to take us for 2 hours down a bumpy, dust track to visit a temple ruin that has been claimed by the jungle (Beng Melea).

My Best Buy in Cambodia

My Best Buy in Cambodia

Back in England, few eyebrows were raised when I rolled into work at 9.40am every morning, so this feels like the middle of the night to me. The tourist guides tell you Angkor Wat is the heart and soul of cambodian people, however members of the older generation would disagree. They have no interest in seeing Angkor Wat and on a number of occasions we have heard people say “Why do I care about stone? I want food. The heart and soul of Cambodian people is not Angkor Wat. It is just in trying to survive.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Fortunately, I will never begin to comprehend the attrocities that the Khmer Rouge committed against it’s own people. At The Killing Fields Genocide Memorial close to the capital city Phnom Penh an inscription in the exhibition there reads:

“The method of masacre which the clique of Pol Pot Criminals was carried upon the innocent people of Kampuchea cannot be described fully and clearly in words because the invention of this killing method was strangely cruel so it is difficult for us to determine who they are for. They have the human form, but, their hearts are demon’s hearts”.

Genocide Memorial Phnom Penh

Genocide Memorial Phnom Penh

Genocide Memorial, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Genocide Memorial, Phnom Penh, Cambodia


The aftermath of this darkness is haunting and I can feel it thick in the air where ever I go. When it comes to genocide, if Hitler and Stalin et al were neuro-surgeons, Pol pot and his Khmer Rouge were back street abortionists.

Despite the continued poverty of the Cambodian people, a tourism industry has sprung up over the last decade and Angkor Wat is the Pin up Boy of Cambodian Temples, a beast of architectual endeavor. Whilst it is undoubtably impressive in size and grandeur, for me it is surpassed by the truly magical qualities of a couple of the other temples and ruins that left me completely awestruck.

Angkor Watt, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Watt, Siem Reap, Cambodia

I was blown away by Ta Prohm (the Tree Temple used in Tomb Raider)

Angelina Jolie on Tomb Raider set, Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angelina Jolie on Tomb Raider set, Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia

and even more so by Beng Melea, which felt like discovering a lost ancient civilisation swallowed by the jungle. The whole experience was like a massive game of Lara Croft, clambering over ruins pursued by local kids (who may or may not have been packing darts with poisoned tips) whilst continuously dropping Indiana Jones quotes with Dave.

Beng Mealea, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Beng Mealea, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Beng Mealea, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Beng Mealea, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Beng Mealea, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Beng Mealea, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Having a seven day pass to the temples allowed us to spend time hunting down Japenese and Korean girls (hitting them with our best English Gentleman’s Japenese/Korean pick up lines) and to have an interesting discussion with a flute playing South American guy, about shifting world power, the imminant collapse of the American dollar and a new world order. All this in a small room surrounded by 40 buddah carvings in a quiet minor temple off the beaten track a bit.

Angkor Watt Archeological Park, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Watt Archeological Park, Siem Reap, Cambodia

A few days in Siem Reap visiting the temples and ruins can leave you with the impression that the country is developing and business is booming. Sadly that is not the case. Many of the older generation that survived the genocide are damaged beyond reprieve. Some of the younger generation are beginning to pick up the pieces and find a voice for change, but any grievences with the corruption and abuse of power by the government (many of the senior officials being former Khmer Rouge) are only whispers as to shout loudly would likely land you in a hole in a field.

To give you an idea of how corrupt the government is over here, they have called upon the services of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who is currently exiled in Dubai awaiting trial in Thailand for stealing from his own people. Asking Thaksin to become economic advisor to your country is like asking a wealthy businessman with a repuation for human rights attrocities to take over your football club. Nothing in Cambodia makes much sense.

Close enough to "Frank" Shinawatra at COMS Manchester City FC

Close enough to "Frank" Shinawatra at COMS Manchester City FC

However, many of the young people we have met have less political aspirations and a sheer drive and determination to drag themselves out of poverty. One girl we met wanted to be a journalist, but had wisely decided on a less dangerous career path. Whilst us English Gentleman were busy taking a leisurely stroll around ancient ruins perusing over women, films, music and the philosophies of the east and west, this girl was up at 4am everyday making breakfast for her family, before starting work at 6am for a 13 hour shift in a hotel then straight to school in the evening to study business and English. As the Older generation state, the heart and soul of Cambodian people is not in stone or the pure madness and evil of it’s harrowing past. The heart and soul of Cambodian people is in survival and only the younger generations determination for change and to make a brighter future for themselves will allow this to happen.

Cheers

Roger

The Top 6 Phuket Viewpoints

Phuket is a mountainous island with many stunning vantage points to catch a glimpse of one of natures’ truly spectacular sights. The Andaman Sea from up high, resembles a shiny, shimmering, perfectly flat Emerald disk, which blazes like liquid gold at sunset. It is a calming, even spiritual experience that can reset your perspective on life. Below is my guide to the Top 6 Viewpoints from where you can witness the Andaman Sea and the beautiful islands surrounding Phuket in all their glory.

1. Phromthep Cape

The No.1 Viewpoint in Phuket will not come as any surprise, as Phromthep Cape is the most visited and photographed spot on the whole island and for good reason. Sure, it gets over-crowded close to sunset, but this is one truly iconic picture postcard not to be missed.

Phromthep Cape

Phromthep Cape - Photo by Khun Jack

2. Windmill Viewpoint

It is a close call on the bragging rights for No.1 Sunset Viewpoint in Phuket and the iconic status of Phromthep Cape keeps it in top spot. This in no way diminishes the appeal of Windmill Viewpoint which is usually less crowded and offers a much more peaceful and magical ambience.

Windmill Viewpoint

Windmill Viewpoint - Photo by Dimas

3. Three Beaches Viewpoint

This is a very popular viewpoint and provides fantastic views over 3 of Phuket’s most famous beaches, Kata Noi, Kata and Karon.

3 Beaches Viewpoint

3 Beaches Viewpoint - Kata Noi, Kata, Karon

4. Kho Khad Tower Views

This is a lesser known viewpoint on the way to Cape Panwa and offers spectacular 360 degrees panoramas from it’s mountain top tower.

Kho Khad Views Tower

Kho Khad Views Tower

5. Big Buddah

The 45m  Tall Big Buddha can be viewed from most points in the south of the island and it gazes out from a prime vantage point on top of Buddha Mountain. The views on the way up are as spectacular as the view from the top, so make sure you take time to enjoy the vistas from all sides of the mountain.

Big Buddha Phuket

Big Buddha Phuket

6. Koh Sirey Temple

Around Sunset, Koh Sirey Temple is usually deserted, aside from from the numerous Golden Buddha statues, so you can enjoy the breathtaking vistas in a very peaceful and tranquil setting.

Koh Sirey Temple

Koh Sirey Temple - Sea Gypsy village in Foreground

If you would like to know more about these viewpoints please feel free to leave a comment or you can contact me directly via Facebook or Twitter at the addresses below.

Cheers

Roger

Top 10 Tips for finding your dream holiday in Phuket: Tip#3

Now you are well on your way to finding your dream holiday in Phuket. Your first port of call was Tripadvisor where you created a shortlist of potential locations and resorts. You then visited the leading Hotel Booking Sites to hone down your search further in terms of budget and to establish a base price for the hotels on your shortlist. Now it’s time to connect and engage with your shortlisted resorts on a social level.

Tip #3: Connect with your dream resort on Facebook.

Some people haven’t yet bought into the idea of Facebook, but believe me it is so much more than reconnecting with distant school friends. It can be a virtual goldmine of travel related information and is well worth the time setting up a Facebook account for this reason alone. Assuming you are one of the 500 million+ people that actively use Facebook, then you are likely to be part of the 78% of people who are influenced by the opinions of their peers (as noted by Erik Qualman @equalman author of Socialnomics). This makes Facebook your ideal platform for consumer research of any kind. Type Phuket into Facebook’s search box and the first results shown will be those profiles and pages that your friends have already engaged with on some level.

Facebook Search Results influenced by my friends

Facebook Search Results influenced by my friends

Imagine if you find that the top 3 results in your Facebook search for Phuket are actually the Facebook Profiles or Fanpages for hotels/resorts that are on your shortlist. How far will knowing your friends opinions about these places go towards influencing your decision on which resort to choose? How cool would it be to read the latest posts from your friends on your desired location in Phuket? This is easily done by selecting the ‘posts by friends’ option.

Facebook Post by Friends Search Results for Karon Beach

The social aspect of Facebook means you can then very easily connect with each of your friends or even engage them all together in a discussion about the best location for your dream holiday in Phuket.

Even if you’r friends haven’t posted about your desired resort, you can borrow someone else’s friends by searching for ‘Posts by everyone’ to see if anything about you favourite location or resort in phuket comes up.

Facebook Search Posts by Everyone

Facebook Search Posts by Everyone

You can quickly form an opinion of each location or resort on your shortlist based on up-to-date, socially generated information. If these methods don’t yield any results for your dream resort, then carry out a general search as chances are they have a Facebook presence. Request to become a ‘friend’ of that resort or ‘like’ their fanpage and that will give you a chance to engage with the resort on a level that was not previously possible.

Connecting with your dream resort in Phuket via Facebook means not only connecting with the marketing and public relations team at the resort, but also connecting with fellow guests who engage with this resort and form part of their community on Facebook. This can be a really useful method  of quickly obtaining information about a resort or Phuket in general from a variety of sources.

Island Tour recommendations from our Thavorn Beach Facebook Community

Island Tour recommendations from our Thavorn Beach Facebook Community

Once you have connected with your dream resort, you may also be able to take advantage of some great Facebook offers such as our Friends of Thavorn Promotion.

This is where your research on the Hotel Booking Sites will come in handy as you will have established a base price for each hotel and now you can look around on Facebook to see what special offers can top those prices.

Stay tuned for my 4th Tip for finding that dream holiday in Phuket.

Cheers

Roger

Top Tips for The Perfect Phuket Mai Tai.

If you live in Phuket and like to drink Red Wine you will find that it is a little on the expensive side (upwards of 1000 THB for a cheap bottle of decent plonk). On the plus side, at least you CAN now buy decent Red Wine, as when I first visited Thailand over 9 years ago, it was woefully in short supply. I have however, found a cheeky and very gluggable 3 litre box of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon for only 700 THB, but I am not sharing any more information on this as the shop keeps running out of stock.

Out of Stock

Out of Stock

So, if you are looking for a delicious and cheaper alternative to Red Wine for those nights by the pool, read on, because the tips and special recipe I am about to share will take you on a wonderful journey into the ‘enlightened’ world of cocktail making. (After all, Phuket is a tropical island)

1. Know Your Source

I happen to know a fantastic source of wholesale liquor at bargain prices near to Phuket Town. Coming out of Phuket Town on the road past the Jatujak Night Market, you turn left onto the bypass road and a couple of hundred yards on the right hand side is the ‘blink and you will miss it’ Prom Pan Store. You can be forgiven for driving right by this place and being blissfully unaware of it’s existence as it looks very inconspicuous from the outside. Once you step through the door however, oh my lord,  it opens up into a veritable Aladdin’s cave of imported beverages.

2. Deviate from Instruction Manuals

Having acquired several books of cocktail recipes from the delightful shop assistant at Prom Pan, we gleefully purchased all of the necessary ingredients at what turned out to be a very reasonable price. It wasn’t long before I concocted my own version of the Long island Ice Tea, the ‘Wrong Island Ice Tea

Wrong Island Ice Teas

Wrong Island Ice Teas

a guestamation of 5 large shots of numerous white spirits which proved to be too blue for a school night. For this reason,  I’ve now gravitated towards and perfected the fabulous Phuket Mai Tai and my girlfriend tells me they are pretty damn good.

3. Make a Pitcher

The recipe I’m about to share is rather Moorish, so make a pitcher. I don’t do measures, so the numbers relate to the seconds you pour in the ingredient i.e. 1000, 2000, 3000, so for the Perfect Phuket Mai Tai

The Perfect Phuket Mai Tai

The Perfect Phuket Mai Tai

4. Ingredients

8000 White Rum
8000 Dark Rum
8000 Triple Sec
6000 Grenadine (alternatively add Bubblegum flavour syrup for the green version)
24000 Pineapple Juice
24000 Orange Juice.
4 Whole Fresh Lime quartered and squeezed into the glass.
Crushed Ice

5. Method

Fill the pitcher a quarter full of crushed ice. Pour the White Rum, Dark Rum, Triple Sec, Fresh Lime, Grenadine over the crushed ice and give it a good ol’ stir. Add the orange and pineapple juice to the pitcher, roughly about 50 50 for the space remaining. Don’t bother with the garnish of a slice of lime as frankly it is a waste of lime.

And there you have it. The Perfect Phuket Mai Tai.

Top 10 Tips for finding your Dream Holiday in Phuket. Tip #2 Use Hotel Booking Sites to establish a base price.

After you have engaged in the services of Tripadvisor to help narrow down your search for that dream holiday in Phuket, my second tip is:

#Tip 2: Use Hotel Booking sites to establish a base price for your shortlisted hotels.

Hotel booking Sites such as Agoda, Booking.com and Expedia all make this task remarkably easy so take advantage. They all have very intuitive user interfaces and are great for filtering results, based on location, hotel star rating, budget, and hotel theme???? (Yes, you can even search for hotels based upon the type of holiday you are looking for in Phuket whether that be romance/honeymoonspa/relaxfamilycity trip).

They also incorporate great mapping functionality that helps you really visualise the location and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each hotel on your shortlist (such as great price, but 3 blocks from the beach). At every step of the way you can easily compare the room rates of your potential hotels and as the top Hotel Booking sites generally offer competitive rates, they provide a useful guideline as you begin to narrow down your search in term of budget.

If you like the look of a particular hotel, but it is proving just out of your budget range, don’t fret and strike it off your list. By using hotel booking sites to establish this base price for the hotels on your list, you now have a good idea of the price you have got to beat in order to book that dream holiday. That’s right, use these services to establish the price to beat then use the tips in my following blog posts to hunt down those special offers and promotions that are going to bring that dream holiday within reach.

Karon Beach Hotels on Expedia
Karon Beach Hotels on Expedia

Before we do that however, these sites really try to help you make that all important decision by reflecting the true state of the market place so use them to their full capability. Booking.com has a great feature where you can see what other customers are ‘also interested in’, which hotels have been ‘recently booked and when’ and ‘which hotels are rated highest’ by real customers.

Real Time Information about Thavorn Palm Beach Resort on booking.com

Real Time Information about Thavorn Palm Beach Resort on booking.com

It also has the ability to ‘like’ and ‘share’ a hotel or particular location, on Facebook, Twitter or by email, which in turn shows you how many of your friends have ‘liked’ or ‘shared’ that hotel or location. I would like to see the top sites integrating with Facebook Connect in the future, which I am sure would produce some highly innovative and useful additions to the site.

To help save you some time as you compare the prices of your selected hotels, I have provided some links below to popular phuket searches on some of the top Hotel Booking sites.

Agoda – Phuket
Agoda – Karon Beach.
Agoda Thavorn Palm Beach Resort
Expedia – Phuket
Expedia – Karon Beach
Expedia – Thavorn Palm Beach Resort
Booking.com – Phuket
Booking.com – Karon Beach Resort
Booking.com – Thavorn Palm Beach Resort

As I have stated throughout this article, when you have used the Hotel Booking sites to establish a base price for the hotels on your short list, shop around on the hotels’ own website or Facebook & Twitter Pages to try and find yourself a real bargain that might bring that resort that was previously out of reach, back into budget. Although the rates on Hotel Booking sites are usually competitive, alot of hotels’ reward customers who book through their own website and some have Facebook only deals.

For example, our Friends of Thavorn promotion is open to everyone who registers with their email address and offers exclusive, great room rates as well as the chance to ‘WIN a luxury holiday in Phuket’.

More about how Social Media helps you to really hone down your search for the dream holiday in Phuket in my next tip.

Cheers

Roger

Top Tips for Wading through TripAdvisor

You may have mixed feelings over the tropical Island of Phuket, with tales of touristy, overcrowed resorts yet sublimely, stunningly beautiful, deserted white sand beaches clouding the issue.

Heaven or Hell ?

Heaven or Hell ?

These types of feeling are not only isolated to Phuket, far from it, and before you book a holiday to any travel destination, you will more than likely begin dissecting thousands of TripAdvisor reviews, wading knee deep through other people’s, holiday joys and woes.

Wading through Tripadvisor Reviews

Wading through Tripadvisor Reviews

If this sounds like alot of hard work, that’s because IT CAN BE!!! While you are chained to your desktop, America’s Next … Reality Fad will be going on without you. It doesn’t need to be like this however and because you have decided to read these tips first, it will make the job a little easier, more fruitful and ultimately less time consuming for you.

1. Do your Friend’s opinions count?

I’m guessing they do. In fact over 78% of people are influenced by the opinions of their family and friends (Erik Qualman @equalman author of Socialnomics). To tap into this, TripAdvisor has added a great new addition where you can Connect with your Facebook account. This allows you to see your friends’ recent travel activity and also view their favourite travel destinations. I can see that many of my facebook friends have visited Koh Phi Phi, so I click on the link and it takes me straight to the page. It also shows me which hotels my friends have written a review for and as I trust BIG LEE’s judgement, this is likely to hold alot of weight.

Tripadvisor with Facebook Connect

My friends social activity through Tripadvisor with Facebook Connect

2. Safety in Numbers!

Before you dive headlong into individual reviews, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. TripAdvisor Ranks each hotel and resort in a particular destination based on it’s customer reviews, so you can see which hotels have consistently received Top Ranking ‘positive’ reviews.

Phuket Map - Numbers indicate Tripadvisor Ranking for each resort/hotel

Phuket Map - Numbers indicate Tripadvisor Ranking for each resort/hotel

3. Save valuable time by narrowing down your search

If you know you are only interested in a family beach resort with pool and activities for kids, then tick the boxes under ‘Amenity Type’ for ‘beach’ ‘pool’ and ‘kids activities’. TripAdvisor will filter out the unsuitable properties thus saving you valuable time in the process. In fact, I have done it for you here, saving you even more time.

4. Look for common trends in reviews.

Look for common trends across a number of reviews rather than hold a single review in too much esteem. We all know people who see the world through Rose Coloured Glasses and we also know people for whom nothing is ever good enough. There could have been an isolated problem at a resort or the guest could have had a bad holiday for other reasons (like they just found out they can’t stand their partner).

5. Look at how hotels deal with negative reviews.

TripAdvisor gives hoteliers the opportunity to respond to reviews. There could have been a good reason why the pool was sub-standard, but if the hotel doesn’t address this then it looks like they either don’t care or they agree with the reviewer.

Luxurious Freeform pool with Swim up Bar

Luxurious Freeform pool with Swim up Bar

6. Scrutinise the source of troublesome reviews

If a particular review is putting doubts in your mind about your desired resort then scrutinise the credibility of the source by checking the reviewers profile. See what other reviews they have posted and if they are the kind of person for who you would happily follow their advice. Remember, you’re idea of the perfect holiday might not be the same as your grandparents.

Are these your kind of people? (Actually, Yes)

This Party Rocks !!!

7. Deal and Offer Coupons

You can take advantage of some great discount coupons on TripAdvisor by clicking the Deal and Offers Tab. Remember to always check other sources as well, such as hotel booking websites, Facebook pages, Twitter and hotel websites as these coupons might not be the best deals you can find on the web.

8. Member Profile Area

TripAdvisor has the handy feature where you can save all your research into your own member profile area which includes your recent travel searches and any hotels you may have added to your shortlist.

My Member Profile on Tripadvisor

My Member Profile on Tripadvisor

Here are a few Tripadvisor searches on Phuket to get you started.

Visiting Phuket, Thailand
Karon Hotels
Thavorn Palm Beach Resort
Inside Phuket: Written by travelers for travelers

9. Ask the Tripadvisor Community

If you have any burning questions then the Tripadvisor forums are a great place to look for answers. Again, to get you started, I have listed some useful searches.

Tripadvisor Forum – Phuket
Tripadvisor Forum – Karon Beach
Tripadvisor Forum – Thavorn Hotels and Resorts

10. Don’t get distracted.

Remember, you do have a life outside of TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor can become entertainment in itself, especially when you uncover reviews like this.

“I spent the night in the (hotel) room and experienced a friendly spirit. This presence got into bed with me, an old lady, she was nice and I just patted her on the head and we had a comfortable restful sleep. I think I will ask for a different room next time.”

but you must resist the urge and use it for it’s intended purpose, to help you find your dream holiday destination

If you would like any insider tips on Phuket then please leave me a comment or contact me at any time via my Facebook and Twitter pages below.

Cheers

Roger

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