Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

This text is translated into Russian by google automatic human level neural machine.
EastRussia is not responsible for any mistakes in the translated text. Sorry for the inconvinience.
Please refer to the text in Russian as a source.

Rest as a feat!

Vacation. This magic word for most of the Russians before was something like a blue dream, and after the fall events it was almost a fantasy

In a country where the tourist infrastructure is developed only for minimal interest, and even then not everywhere, and round-trip flights cost barely one and a half ordinary salaries, a "package vacation" system (when you sit down on a charter-fly-rest-return, and all for a single amount) has become something of a panacea. But, as it turned out, not quite: first, because of the well-known events, Egypt "fell off", then Turkey, now here is Indonesia, and for those who are not ready or cannot travel as "savages" there are a lot of options: Thailand, Vietnam, Bali and Philippines. Igor Ageenko, the Amur correspondent of East Russia, learned from personal experience how to relax for a "bag" and at the same time save at the current dollar rate.

Rest as a feat!
Through hardships to vacation

That this year I would go to Thailand, I knew back in the summer: firstly, I had already been there twice and I know the area quite well, secondly (and importantly), the local currency remained from the last trip, and thirdly, I just wanted to relax on the sand without any excursions. So the choice of Pattaya as a holiday destination in 3-s since it did not cause any special problems (I will make a reservation right away that planning a vacation in advance, given my nature of work, is not yet possible, so "packages" for people like me are the most ideal option).

A call to a familiar manager to a travel agency indicated the cost of a voucher for two at 72 thousand rubles for two - at the time of booking it was $ 1136, which for us at any rate could no longer rise - booking them seemed to "freeze". Then the search began for rubles, which were to be exchanged for dollars, the search for a bank with the best rate and other pleasant (vacation is already close!) Chores.

We experienced the first shock when our plane was blown up over Sinai - it immediately became clear that in addition to the lives taken away, this tragedy would indirectly affect the cost of the tour (here the aforementioned reservation played into the hands):

- When you booked your tour, it cost 72 thousand, now the price has increased by another 10, - says an employee of the travel agency Victoria, - but it's not so scary: from Khabarovsk, tours to Thailand have risen in price from 50-100 (!!!) thousand for two.

- Indeed, it is more expensive to fly from Khabarovsk than from the Amur Region - this is due to the larger number of residents than in the Amur region. There is more demand, the planes fill up better, accordingly, the prices that Moscow sets for each region differ significantly, '' another travel manager confirms, `` but now it looks like they will equalize: our carriers are canceling the devil to Bangkok from the Amur Region - the occupancy rate of aircraft, according to their opinion insufficient.

In a closer conversation with the leadership of the travel agency, it turned out that the planes are still filling up. The question is at what price: 10 people can buy vouchers for 70-100 thousand, the rest of the seats in the liner will be sold by 25-30. Whoever is lucky. And here it is more profitable to transfer them to where they can pay more.

- Regarding the Far East, the situation with Turkey and Egypt was reflected in the following way: we observe only a decline in price and tourism categories, - says Irina Usoltseva, tourism manager of Pegas Turistik, - Thailand costs 15 thousand, Vietnam - 12 thousand per person. It's minimum. In your case, a week before departure, the voucher began to cost not 72, but 49 thousand for two.

The surprises did not end there. With a more detailed search in the vastness of the network, it turned out that both "Anex Tour" and "Pegasus" (the only companies that take tourists by charter from the Amur Region to Thailand and Vietnam) are owned by the Turks. money for holidays in the countries of Southeast Asia goes, oddly enough, to a country with which we now have very difficult relations and a period of mutual sanctions has begun.

- To date, we do not have any information about the withdrawal of Turkish capital in Russia, - the managers emphasize, - we have not received any official information on this matter. In Thailand, there are at least 3 hotels that are owned by the Turks - the Pegasus company. Due to this, we can keep a fairly reasonable price. No one else has the opportunity to take their customers on their planes to their hotels, so the company will continue to carry its customers.

But with the dictaphone turned off, all as one, glancing fearfully towards the management office, they say only one word in an undertone: “we’re afraid” - if the Turkish capital in our country begins to “cover”, a new redistribution of the tourism market is coming, and then not only thousands of managers will remain without work, but the already rather big prices for overseas vacations will rise significantly.

"Land of smiles" with and without benefit

Problems began, where they were not expected at all: acquaintances from Sberbank advised in advance to prepare cards for vacation - to tell the hotline where you were going, mark the necessary card numbers and use them in the country I needed - it seemed, what was so difficult here? I called the hotline, agreed with the girl from the call center that with 2-x specific cards from such and such to such and such, purchases in another country are possible, and the next day I thought that I would need more cash.

The ATM took the card, but refused to give money, referring to an unknown error. “Okay,” I think, “I'll go to another one,” but there the situation repeated itself. They could not help me at the bank branch, saying that the problem should be solved only by phone. Having presented all the comic and tragedy of the situation, I called again the Sberbank call-center from the Sberbank office: it turned out that for some reason the night before I had been given the wrong date for using the card (a day earlier) and, in addition, they did not explain one important feature - in addition to the immediate places of visit - Thailand - it is better to indicate the United States, because all banking transactions in this country go through the States ...

In general, with such a mood we flew to Thailand - 7 hours flight to Bangkok and another 2 to Pattaya by bus. The first 2 trips I had with "Biblioglobus", this one went to "Anex-tour" due to the lack of options. The first catch was smelled when, after an hour's drive, we stopped for a snack (I’ll explain right away that there are periodically areas along the route where you can eat, go to the toilet, etc.): instead of the usual stop with the already familiar Starbucks, the bus turned where- then behind the fence.

- If you want to exchange rubles for baht, you can do it with me - only local currency is accepted in the store! - the guide of Kyrgyz origin, assigned to the group, shouted briskly with an accent to the Russians, - we guarantee a good course for you.

The rate was about 0,4 rubles for 1 baht. Going into a store specially built for Russians, it became clear that we had not prudently took sandwiches from Russia for nothing: mangoes at 100 baht per shake (at the market price of mango 50 baht / kg) or coffee at 150 - mentally multiply by 2 (hello, new course) - no, it's better to be patient for an hour. But our compatriots went. Business, what really ...

We didn't have to go to the meeting with the hotel guide scheduled for the next morning - after learning that we would not take anything from the excursions, the girl Olga lost all interest in us.

By the way, about excursions: prices for them have skyrocketed. Judge for yourself: Cambodia hotel guides cost 6500 baht per person (previously it was about 3-4) - if there are two of you, it's cheaper to go there ourselves. Such a high cost is explained simply: the number of people has decreased over the past year, but you have to earn money. Now, however, things have begun to improve.

- Over the past month, tourist flow to Thailand has increased by 20-30% - these are clients who rebooked tours from Egypt, and then Turkey, - during the conversation it turns out that our hotel guide Olga is from Donbass, - at first I worked in Turkey, but when the season ended, I decided to go here. The preconditions that there would be problems with Turkey and Egypt began when Transaero began to go bankrupt - those in the know immediately decided to change their place of deployment.

Taking this opportunity, I ask about the most frequent methods of “divorcing” tourists here.

- In general, I have been here for only 3 months, but during this time I was able to understand this, - says Olga, - no one will stick to an ordinary person, there are always prerequisites for a “divorce” - Russians often go out in the evenings in the evenings - these are the main clients of scammers ... I would highlight the following:
- widespread counterfeiting of cosmetics, jewelry and medicines;
- street agencies - excursion booths constantly migrate around Pattaya, to which people give a prepayment, and then they do not come for them. When they come to a place where there was such an agency, there is a food stall;
- ferries to Ko Lan cost only 30 baht per person, but they often run overcrowded and sink;
- a tipsy man walks along the famous Walking Street, he is given a bundle, they say, a "gift", he takes it, and a couple of minutes later he is surrounded by dummy people who allegedly saw that there are drugs in the bundle. In a state of passion, Russo-tourist is milked to the skin;
- they can slip any rubbish into their pockets if you, again, are drunk or behave too defiantly;
- or here's another example: a Russian tourist hired a prostitute (sex tourism in Taia is 500% developed) - she gave him drugs and, together with her colleagues, cleaned out the room.

By the way, about the hotel - be prepared for anything. for example, the declared wi-fi at the Sea Breeze hotel really was, but for money (50 baht per hour!), or by the pool (to get it, you need to buy a cocktail / food), and there was no safe, not only in the room - even in the building - I had to go to hand over my valuables to the main one. In addition, when we checked in, they demanded a deposit of 1000 baht - they did not accept it in dollars, so we had to change $ 20 right at the hotel with a not very favorable rate.

Personal advice

What to take with you?

On all the forums that I read before the first trip, they do not recommend taking anything at all, except for the relatives of the stomach "Mezim" (it can be replaced with a simple pineapple, of which there is an abundance in Tae), activated carbon and antihistamines (anti-allergenic) drugs. I decided to supplement the list with hydrogen peroxide, a bandage (which, after a photo shoot and the subsequent fall on sharp stones, turned out to be very useful), antibacterial hand foam, plasters for calluses and a pair of T-shirts with shorts. Everything else is easier to buy right on the spot - from slippers to a suitcase on the way back. With one caveat: mentally convert the price in baht into rubles - if 2 years ago the rate was approximately 1: 1, now it is 2 rubles = 1 baht.

Money.

Cash in Thailand is best brought in 100-dollar bills (the rate for them is the most profitable), and when you arrive at the Bangkok airport, do not rush to change everything in the local exchange offices - it is better to change $ 20 for a small amount so that you can eat / drink, and the rest is already in Pattaya. Rubles for baht are clearly not worth changing.

Another problem I faced on my first trip to Thailand was the inability to withdraw money through the Maestro system (local ATMs simply refused to read it) - Visa and Mastercard work without problems. ATMs charge about 150 baht for each transaction. By the way: ATMs issue all the money in baht.

Food.

"No spicy" and "No sweety" ("not spicy" and "not oversweetened") - you need to learn these phrases by heart if you plan to live in peace with your own stomach at least until you leave. The fact is that traditional Thai cuisine for the Russian taste is either too spicy, or too sweet, or both at the same time. In addition, as it turned out, some cooks like to play a trick on tourists, causing a storm of emotions not only on their face and stomach, but also among the waiters - they can "accidentally" sprinkle pepper on you if you recklessly decided to taste the dishes, saying: "Well I ate it in China. " Nevertheless, you shouldn't be scared and worried - Thais respect the choice of guests, so if you asked, they will do it for you without tricks. In addition, there are usually spices on the tables, which can be used to regulate the intensity and pungency of the taste.

I would strongly recommend to all gourmets after a couple of days of exploring the cuisines of the surrounding cafes, go to the Thai seafood market (usually they are marked on all tourist maps, or their location can be checked with the guide) - this is truly an enchanting sight! Everything crawls, runs, seethes, moves its tentacles and mustache, and when you look at the prices, you want to cry. Fresh squid - 150 baht, shrimps 200-250, barracuda - 280, shark - 300 baht per kilo, and so many all kinds of mussels, scallops and other sea good ... Everything bought on the market can be cooked there - on the shelves located around the perimeter, knowledgeable people will skillfully cut it for you, fried, steamed and boiled.

You can also eat quite satisfying and very tasty in the same place where Thais eat - in small street cafes next to supermarkets - there is excellent broth and delicious noodles with meat.

A small life hack for those who want to buy inexpensive spices and products: on the street. Sukhumvit has a hypermarket "Macro" - prices are 2-3 below, than, on average, in the city - all the locals are stocked there. If you are too lazy to go there, go to the Best Supermarket - it is located right next to the Dolphin Monument - delicious coffee beans, Brie and Camembert cheese, European wines and other food there at reasonable prices.

Trips

Something, but there are enough excursions in Pattaya for every taste - you can fly over the jungle on a rope, no less extreme rafting on the Kwai River, go to a show for adults, go to a water park or a local Disneyland, see how flowers and fruits grow or just feed the elephants and crocodiles, but along with these main types of the program, be prepared for the rest, "bonus". The fact is that locals are trying to squeeze the maximum money out of any congestion of tourists, so do not be surprised when, after crocodiles or elephants, you are suddenly taken to watch the ring for 300 thousand baht minimum or "the highest quality and cheapest souvenirs" at a price 2 times higher than on the collapse closest to the hotel. Of course, it spoils the general impressions of the excursion, but everyone earns as best he can.

I highly recommend going to the local aquarium - a ticket costs 500 baht per adult, and it is quite possible to get to it by tuk-tuk (see the map, which are in abundance in Pattaya).

But if you decide without an excursion, "savages", to go to the capital of Thailand - Bangkok, in any case do not take a taxi - pay 1500/2000 baht, and win half an hour at best. The fact is that Thais themselves travel from Pattaya to Bangkok by comfortable minivans for only 120 baht per person (they are taken to Victoria Square). Finding them is quite simple - we understand from the arch with the inscription "Walking Street" to the intersection of South Pattaya and Second Road, at the intersection without crossing the street we turn right and dem 20 meters: there are minivans with a yellow stripe below. The drivers speak English quite well, so you can safely drive to the capital. But the most important thing: be sure to buy a card (or insert it into a tablet / smartphone), write down each other's phones and remember the time of the last bus back - 8 pm, otherwise you will have to spend the night in Bangkok, which, in principle, is not so bad.

And, finally, once again: read the forums in advance!
May 18: current information on coronavirus in the Far East
Digest of regional events and latest statistics