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Sivalai Place offers the most luxurious, spacious and peaceful living spaces available and along with the impeccable and modern facilities; reflecting comforts and conveniences of an exclusively environment of a quality 'Home'.

The warm and inviting ambience of our cozy residence makes it a perfect home for both short term and long stay in Bangkok.

Sivalai Place is conveniently located in a quiet and safe neighborhood of Sivalai Villas. Close to Thammasat University, Silpakorn University, Siam University, Siriraj Hospital, Thonburi Hospital, the Naval Base, the UN(United Nations), the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, the National Museum & the National Art Gallery, City Pillar Shrine, Democracy Monument, Throne Hall, Vimanmek Mansion, Dusit Zoo, Flower Market, the Royal Barge, Temple of Dawn, Chinatown, Little Indian (Pahurat), Khao San road and Shopping Malls & Local Market.

Within 10 min drive to Wang Lang Pier.
Within 15 min drive to Khao San road.
Within 15-20 min drive to Sky-Train (BTS) Wong Wien Yai.

We hope that you will consider Sivalai Place your next home.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The 1,000-baht Escape

The 1,000-baht escape

Leave the plastic cards at home and put city stress behind you with a short outing to places where people still enjoy life the old-fashioned way

Published: 29/12/2008 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Business

If you're tired of bad economic and political news, leave your worries behind and take a trip during the New Year to refresh yourself before starting 2009. This time, though, the trip should be simple and affordable at only 1,000 baht a day to suit the present belt-tightening situation.

The Amphawa canal plays a key role in the livelihood of the community in Samut Songkhram, a popular haunt of stressed-out city folk.

Pack your favourite Hawaiian shirt and James Patterson novel and book accommodation in a province near Bangkok. After recharging your batteries, you'll be ready to work again, even with the uncertain prospect of a salary cut or layoff.

A 1,000-baht-a-day trip makes a good choice in the current context with a shift from luxury travel to affordable trips. Put that overseas visit on hold for a while because Thailand needs Thais to travel within the country and distribute income to local people. Experience simple folk traditions and you may find a new solution to problems and discover what life really means.

Watcharachai Sitraparkulsiri, a senior programmer with a private company, took the advice to heart recently. He ventured out with his friends to Amphawa District in Samut Songkhram, with a budget of 1,000 baht per day per head, including accommodation. The trip taught them about happiness from the simplicity that they had ignored for a long time.

"The 1,000-baht-a-day trip was very challenging for us. Discipline was crucial to manage the limited budget. Although we faced some difficult times during the trip, we believed that we would get good things as well. And the experience became a cherished memory for us," said Mr Watcharachai.

Four males and one female with 2,000 baht in pocket money and no credit or ATM cards started a journey at The Mall Bang Khae. They thumbed a lift and within 15 minutes found a kind driver who took them to Amphawa.

Dine to your heart’s content on food cooked fresh from the boat.

When they reached Amphawa, they booked one night's accommodation with a friendly homestay at Roen Sabai, located along the Amphawa canal and only 150 metres from an evening market.

A pink homestay room was 700 baht for two people per room per night, combined with breakfast. A 900-baht package including trips to see fireflies and the local lifestyle, morning alms offering, a night market tour, a cycling trip, temple visits and meals was also on offer.

Mr Watcharachai recalled that while they were reading novels and relaxing on a balcony by the canal in the evening, smiling paddling vendors kept passing by and offering their products. Among them was a man in his seventies who came with his small grandson to sell pomelo and other fruits.

"We asked for a kilo of mangoes. He gave us an extra amount of jackfruit and papaya. We were very happy. This kind of thing is rarely seen in the city," he said.

Surely, Mr Watcharachai asked the paddling vendor, how can he make any profit by giving away so much? The vendor said with a smile that he just wanted to give fruit to younger people who were fellow Thais. Despite making no profit, he was fine because he still had enough to eat. All these fruits were from his orchards.

"Giving satisfies me and it means people will come back here again. Visiting and shopping here will enable local people to make a living. If visitors find our products excellent, we will benefit from word of mouth," he said.

Mr Watcharachai said it was a simple answer but very sincere.

Fruit at provincial markets is far cheaper than in the city, and free samples are the norm.

"If people shared the same ideology with this old uncle, society would not suffer from the present political conflicts. This man who loves to give should prompt us to ask ourselves what we have done for society. Small social contributions from all of us will be enough. We need not plan any big contribution," he said.

The group spent 150 baht each for dinner at the market then went fishing and reminisced about when they were young.

"We hadn't hung out like that for a long, long time. At that time, I felt happy as if I had nothing to worry about tomorrow. We went to bed late at night and really had a good sleep," he said.

In the morning, they gave food offerings to a monk with 60 baht. Total spending for each person was 915 baht - 350 baht for accommodation, 150 for dinner, 60 for a boat ride, 105 for bus and minibus fares, and 250 baht for souvenirs and other expenses. They still had 85 baht to buy a garland to pay respect to Lord Buddha and happiness in their pockets.

A tour agent is a convenient choice for people too busy to create a trip. For example, Tour Sooksun offers three packages including Wai Pha 9 Wat in Nakhon Pathom, Ayutthaya and Samut Songkhram (Amphawa). The packages are quite popular and suitable for everybody amid a recession and local strife.

The one-day-trip price is only 999 baht. The packages include paying respect to Lord Buddha at nine temples, lunches, shopping, bus fares and learning history and traditions.

source: The 1,000-baht Escape - Bangkokpost.com

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