Posts Tagged ‘travel tips’

About Us:

Established in 1986, formerly South East Asia Divers (how everything began) concentrated our efforts in producing quality scuba diving experience around Phuket Island in Thailand. Quickly we discovered that our guests became members of our big family and requested our advice when it came to plan their next trip. That was the time when we decided to expand our activities and South East Asia Dreams was born.

Quick, South East Asia Dreams became a small, online boutique travel consulting agency specialized in customizing holiday packages  within Southeast Asia and some other unique places around the world.  Our goal and commitment to our valued guests and their holiday dreams means that you will have one of us by your side. Looking after your interests, from the moment you contact us. The focus of our travel service relies more on quality, rather than quantity.  From the time the planning process (link to how to book with SEAD) begins until you return home safe from your dream holiday!

(Add that we add more destinations)

Our Quality that sets South East Asia Dreams apart is our exclusive focus on our customers and to assure to provide them with a live time experience.  Our Partners in the region have one overriding message from our company – make sure our guests returning home completely satisfied with their experience. The South East Asia consultant and operation staff is constantly monitoring the day by day client services and will contact the clients regularly to make sure they are satisfied.

The South East Asia Dreams team have long term extensive experience of Thailand and other destinations in Southeast Asia. South East Asia Dreams is continue adding new destination to cover all parts of South-East Asia where our local knowledge helps us create unique programs for all interests and tastes.

Our Philosophy

southeast Asia Dreams philosophy

… is a very simple one: We always try to be at least one step ahead and wholly centered on providing our customers with the best service in the industry.

Keeping on top of the travel scene in Southeast Asia requires hard work and dedication. We continuously strive to provide our guests with the best in customer satisfaction…. we love to see happy faces around us!

Our guests have worked hard to fulfill their dream of an exotic holiday in Southeast Asia – so we work twice as hard to make your dream come true! We love our countries, traveling and exploring nature here which is our home. This perfect combination of business and fun makes our life in Southeast Asia very enjoyable.

Stay in touch

As South East Asia is becoming in the last years more a community than a travel agent, we love to stay in touch with our friends. Please join us on our SEAD FaceBook Page as well as subscribe to our Newsletter.

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The What is “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration” (SHA) project

Safety and Health Administration | %%sitename%%

The Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration project is a result of cooperation between:

    • the Ministry of Tourism and Sports,
    • the  TAT
    • the Ministry of Public Health,
    • the Wing of Disease Control,
    • the Department of Health and
    • the Sector of Health Service Support,
    • Government and private sector organizations involved in the tourism industry.

Together they aim to make tourism a part of Thailand’s disease prevention and hygiene measures. To ensure that both Thai and foreign tourists have a positive experience and they are happy and confident in the hygiene and safety standards of Thailand’s tourism products and services. So combining public health safety measures and companies’ high-quality service standards, we can prevent the spread of COVID-19. Because it will improve Thailand’s tourism products and service standards.

So, Various boards in the tourism industry are in charge of inspection and certifying the result of improving a workplace according to the SHA standards.

Types of workplaces:

There are 10 types of workplaces:

  1. Restaurants / diners,
  2. Hotel and Meeting place,
  3. Tourist attraction,
  4. Transportation,
  5. Travel agency (only local),
  6. Health and beauty,
  7. Department store and Shopping centers,
  8. Sports for tourism,
  9. Entertainment,
  10. Shops.

The TAT grants SHA  certificates and assigns a serial number to successful entrepreneurs. It records it in the database of the list of entrepreneurs who have received the SHA certificate. The entrepreneurs have to comply with the SHA  standards because otherwise, TAT can cancel the SHA certificate.

SHA gives hygiene and safety measures for tourists. During the re-opening time of companies or services, tourists and service receivers are asked to provide any suggestions by TAT. Data can be used for more improvements. Companies will be randomly inspected by the board.

Another Project inside Thailand is the cooperation of DMC’s which built a uniform Health & Safety Standards

more details about SHA 

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OTA’s COVID-19 Failure Highlights Value of Working With a Travel Advisor

Reference: Travelpulse Brian Major March 20, 2020

The COVID-19 related failure of prominent OTA Bookit.com illustrates the value of working with a travel advisor, as dozens if not hundreds of travelers have this week found themselves stranded in international destinations and facing unanswered queries of future booked travel representing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The OTA, whose proprietary software allowed travelers to select destinations and travel packages based on the traveler’s region of origin, shut down unexpectedly on March 17, devastated by cancellations generated by the spreading virus.

Travel agent handing tickets to clientsPHOTO: Travel agent handing tickets to clients. (Photo via Getty Images Plus / iStock / vadimguzhva)

A statement on the company’s website reads: “BookIt.com has paused normal operations, and the international destinations we service have closed their borders to arrivals. Due to the nature of this unprecedented pandemic, we have had to close our call centers in Florida, Jamaica, and El Salvador. This, effectively, means that we will be unable to provide agent assistance in canceling any upcoming trips.”

The statement continues: “BookIt is in the process of canceling all upcoming travel between now and June 30, 2020, for international travel. Your resort booking will be canceled automatically. As we are currently unable to process refunds to you, please contact your bank for options available to you as a cardholder. If you wish to reschedule your stay to a later date, please do so directly with your selected resort.”

In a March 17 letter to hotel partners, CEO Bud Finlaw said “Since Monday of last week, we have experienced a tsunami of cancellations. Over the weekend and through today, our cancellations have exceeded new sales, and dramatically so,” he said.

“Obviously, this is an untenable situation. Despite great efforts from our Exec Team [sic] to find a path to continue with business as usual, we have now determined that the best option is to suspend regular operations until this crisis passes.”

The company’s next decision is particularly damaging to travelers: “This cut will affect our ability to service your resort as we would normally do. And, as a result, we do not plan on making payments for arriving guests who do not cancel their stay.”

The move left hundreds if not thousands of travelers in untenable situations, as many guests found their Bookit.com resort payments were not made, with resorts demanding full payments from departing guests.

The last post on the OTA’s Instagram page is littered with appeals from travelers desperate to cancel upcoming bookings or resolve resort payments on current travel that were not made. A post from @meghanhays7 reads, “BookIt.com I have a trip in 5 days! With the outbreak I need to cancel and cannot get ahold of anyone. I have called 30 times. My ID is 50617917! Please help!!!”

Another poster, @nhmtnx, writes “Soo I’ve tried to call multiple times and all the different numbers available none of the numbers are working! I had no issues checking out of the hotel yesterday, but my friend and her husband are stuck! The hotel is telling them they can’t leave until BOTH rooms are paid in full at FULL PRICE!!!! Like can someone help!!!”

Travelers weren’t the only ones harmed by the OTA’s overnight shutdown. Workers at the company’s Florida office reported they were terminated without notice or warning.

In his letter to resort partners, Finlaw added, “As we ride out this storm, we understand that you, too, will be facing the same difficulties. We realize that you must make your own business decisions as to arriving guests.”

In a Facebook posting, Tom Varghese, owner of Travel Tom, posted screenshots of complaints from Bookit.com consumers left high and dry by the OTA’s failure, warning travelers and colleagues. “A major OTA is going under. And they are leaving all their clients high and dry,” he said.

Varghese warned followers to check any Bookit.com reservations and offered to assist re-booking clients. “The CEO basically told the hotel partners that they will not be paying the resorts and will be keeping the client’s money, so, clients will have to pay again when they arrive or will be turned away. Unbelievable!”

Varghese added, “Many folks book on online websites because there is a perception that it is cheaper or faster, which most of the time is no longer the case when you work with a qualified travel consultant that understands you and your requirements.

“We all go to our favorite barber or hairstylist, not because they are the cheapest but we know that we trust them and they will take care of us. Why would you do any differently for a multi-thousand dollar experience for you and your family?”

Nadia Sparkle, owner of Travel by Sparkle, also warned travelers and colleagues via Facebook: “They have tons of clients currently in destinations and are not able to leave the hotel/resort because Bookit.com failed to pay them,” she said.

“This is one of the reasons I am selective about who I work within the travel industry. I’ve heard so many people say, ‘Why use a travel agent when I can book online myself?’ Yes, you can, but who’s your advocate in a situation like this?”

 

Why you should work with a Travel Advisor

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How to cross the border from Ranong/Thailand to Kawthaung/ Myanmar

To cross the border in Ranong / Thailand to Kawthaung in Myanmar is quite easy and a great start into your Mergui Archipelago adventure. You must cross the border river which separating the two countries. For those who try to make this way by themselves we did a step by step guideline how to do and what you need 😊

Kawthaung in Myanmar

There are a few things you need to bring along with you on the journey. Bring your passport, a copy of your passport and the little white departure card, you received when you entered Thailand (TM6). For the Myanmar side, you need the printout E-Visa form or the visa which is already stamped in your passport from a Myanmar Embassy, as well as some new, nice, and crisp US$ Notes. The officers do not accept any other currency or old US$ notes. The amount payable depends on the length of stay in Myanmar. The Myanmar Authorities do not accept any other currency than US$.

Start point is the Saphan Pla Pier and Immigration Checkpoint in Ranong.

The Saphan Pla Pier in Ranong is a small pier hidden behind the PTT petrol station and the 7/11 convenience store.

Ranong Immigration Checkpoint   Immigration Ranong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google map: 9.948098, 98.594781

Here are the directions in Thai, in case you want to show them to your driver:

กรุณาไปส่งที่   ท่าเทียบเรือ
เทศบาลตำบลปากน้ำระนอง
ถนน เฉลิมพระเกียรติ

As soon you arrive many of tout will offer you a boat to cross over to Kawthaung, the gateway to the Mergui Archipelago. The prices are different and most of the time these guys are trying to fill up their long tail boat with more people, so maybe it can a little bit time to departure.  But you can also negotiate for a private boat.  The usual price is around 300-500 THB per longtail or if you join in the prices per person is between 50 – 100 THB.

Visit Immigration Office

But before you jump into one of the longtails, do not forget to visit the officer at the Thai Immigration Checkpoint as you must check out of Thailand.  The Immigration office are 2 small windows on your right side when you come in. Please make sure you have your passport ready.

The Officer will ask you where you are going and how long you are going to be away for, because they are looking for people who try to do multiply visa runs by crossing the border. By Thai Immigration Law, every foreigner can cross the Thai Border per land only two times per calendar year.  If you needed a visa to visit Thailand, please make sure to get a re-entry visa before leaving Thailand, if you are planning to return to Thailand after your trip to Myanmar and your adventure within the Mergui Archipelago.

After you got your passport with an exit stamp in it back, just walk to the Longtail boat pier. The small and somewhat adventurous looking boats there, are the only available transport option to Kawthaung.

A tip: Bring a copy of your passport as the little boats need a copy for the passing checkpoints.  Otherwise you can make a copy at the little shop next to the Pier in the little kind of supermarket, the longtail guys are also happy to make a copy for you the prices are usually between 5-10 THB.

Crossing the river

The Longtail boats have a cover, so you are protected from the sun. Please put one of the life Jackets before the boat departs.

On the way to Kawthaung, you will stop an Immigration points, where Thai passports were taken up to be stamped. There was a Customs checkpoint next to it. Sometimes they will ask you to show your passport, sometimes not. The process is always different, but you do not have to leave the boat as your captain and crew will take of this whole process, just hand them over your passport which you will get returned as soon as they back.

30 – 40 minutes later you will arrive in Kawthaung, the entry point to the Mergui Archipelago.

On the Way

 

 

 

 

 

After this quick stop at the Thai Immigration Checkpoint you will pass the Thai Customs before you get out to Ranong area to cross the river between Thailand and Myanmar. Enjoy the cruise along stilt houses on your way.

 

On the way you will pass on a tiny island the Thai Army station.

Before you reach the mainland of Myanmar you will stop or slow down at another tiny island with Myanmar Army present, also here you must show the passport by just holding it up, you do not have to get of the boat.

 

Sometimes the driver just must show the passport to the officers by collecting your passport, but you will get them back immediately as before.

Arriving in Kawthaung, Myanmar

In Kawthaung you will be welcome from many touts and men on motorbikes.  Just ignore them and make your way to Immigration.

After disembarkation, turn left along and walk along the road until you get to the. Walk along this road to get to the Immigration Office. It is located at the Myo Ma Jetty also called the Myanmar Immigration Pier, on your left-hand side.  Just have a look for the sight that says, “Warmly Welcome and Take Care of Tourist”.

Enter the pier area and turn behind the little building left to the small Immigration Building.

Get in and give the officer your passport, a copy of your passport and visa. They will stamp your passport and take a picture from you, same as they do in Thailand. If the camera is not working, what can be happen sometimes, have a passport picture ready.  After the Check in process you are ready to enjoy your time in Kawthaung.

Outside the Mya Ma Jetty English-speaking touts will await you to give directions and be waiting for you to exit the office to offer a taxi ride, hotel, guide or suggestions on things to do in Kawthaung.

Welcome to Kawthaung and the Mergui Archipelago!

 

Kawthaung Border Crossing Wrap-Up

Paperwork to bring:  Passport, 2 copies of your passport and proper. Myanmar and Thailand Visa, one Passport picture (just in case)

Price of boat: 300-500 THB for a boat or 50-100 THB to join in

Time on boat: 30-40 minutes including all the Immigration stops around 60-75 minutes

Time Zone:  Myanmar is a half hour behind Thailand time : 7:00 pm Myanmar is 07:30 in Thailand

The Myanmar Immigration Office is open from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm local time

 Explore the amazing Mergui Archipelago on one of our amazing Cruises or unique Resort. Combinations between them is also possible

How to cross the border from Kawthaung / Myanmar to Ranong / Thailand

Kind of the other way around.

  • Check out at the Myanmar Immigration office (Check your exit stamp)
  • Make your way back to the Myanmar Longtail pier and find a boat to bring you to Ranong
  • Arriving at the Longtail pier in Thailand, go to the immigration office and collect your TM 6 arrival form
  • Fill out the form and see the officer again to check you into Thailand (Check your entry stamp and expiration date)

If you need any transfer to or from Ranong within Thailand visit below link with many option of taxi, van, bus and train

Your booking engine for land transfers around asia

 

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Cruisng to Colonial Time alone the Mekong River

*Terms and conditons applied

For more information, please contact us directy: South East Asia Dreams

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