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Thailand Travel Tips

Head over to my IG if you came here for the photos: https://www.instagram.com/gonewithcua/
Ticket cost: $627.06 on my no interest til Sept 2017 card
Travel Dates: Tuesday, June 13-Monday, June 26, 2017; monsoon season 2 weeks, any more is too much. “Best season” to travel is December-January. It rained everyday around 4pm, but we didn't mind
Getting to Airport: Took a coach bus from Madison to ORD for $31 each way, $55 if buy online roundtrip. This saved everyone’s labor, time, and cost. This is only worth the money if it's just one person traveling. But if you are traveling in a group, definitely drive together and get dropped off.
Airlines: United - ANA and then HK-United, roundtrip from ORD
Time purchased ticket before departure: May 17th, about 1 month, which was a Wednesday, however prices were very close when Bao bought her ticket 1.5 weeks before departure.
-I just googled the airports “ORD - BKK”
--in Thailand: VietJet, Air Asian, and ThaiSmile
Cities visit: Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Krabi

Quick shout out: Lots of love, thanks, and credits to my friends: Chong Her for ultimately planning the trip and Bao making other plans and verifying things to do. This was truly a stress free trip at a last minute. I am known as a planner and researcher, but I did barely any of that on this trip and I have my friends to be extremely grateful and thankful for. I literally bought my ticket and went. Alright, lets get to the topics

MUST APPS/TIPS:

-Watch over tipping; we were “super generous” in our tipping. Although it’s ¼ of tipping in the US, the proportions were considered high. For example, our meal would be 300 THB and we’d tip 100 THB, which is ~$3 USD, and the average in the US is $5+. I just did it because it took less out of me to earn what they earned. But if you’re on a budget, you can just tip accordingly.

-BYOTP: Bring your own toilet paper; you will pay between 2+ THB to use bathrooms too. Sometimes, there won’t be any TP or hasn’t been restocked.

===Apps

-Use UBER. So you don’t feel obligated to tip. Please consider using my referral. You wanna get this app on your phone before you go because you'll have to verify with a code sent by text. FREE Uber ride (up to $10). To claim your free gift, sign up using this link: https://www.uber.com/invite/chouak5ue

-Yes, GoogleMaps works there.

-Trip Advisor if there is one. We got a lot of our information on there

-Your airline app; mine was United and the app offered free movies to watch on your device once the plane is in motion. Not just that, if you have an account, it will store your flight info. Sometimes, the transfer gates won’t show up as you arrive to an airport, so having the app will give you instant access once it’s updated.

-Please make sure you have all these apps installed. Most of the registration will need your working cell phone # to confirm. So if you’re already oversea and don’t have international coverage, you will not get that code to confirm to use the app.

Money/Currency Exchange: According to Google, the rate is $1 USD = 33.97 baht, so you want to get as close as possible. I took $677 USD and eventually exchanged it all at 3 different times just to check out the rates. $400 at 33.43 in Bangkok at a bank, then $200 at 33.77 in Chiang Mai near the street market, and 33.88 off a booth on the street vendors.

However, I believe the best exchange rate may be with your ATM debit card, but then again, those foreign fees might just end up making it the same. ATM withdrawal is at least safer, assuming you’re not making a daily withdrawal. How do you know for sure? I don’t know, I just read that it was. I didn’t do this myself personally.
Transportation:

Skytrain: Basically a subway, but not underground, hence the ‘sky.’ We took the Skytrain most of the time in Bangkok because we didn’t find out UBER was compatible until we went to Chiang Rai. It was about 57 THB/person each way so the 3 of us would’ve been 171 THB, which was a fair price when the supply is high on UBER. I would’ve paid that price for safety and convenience. It was about 30+ mins per trip using the subway. Once we got off the subway, we walked to our destination or took a taxi or tuk-tuk. Again, using UBER will help you avoid getting ripped off.

Taxi: Sometimes the taxi will run a meter and with you not knowing your way, it might take a longer route.

Tuk-Tuk: You should be able to set a price wtuk-tukstuks regardless of the distance.

Uber: This was mainly used in Chiangmai because our hotel wasn’t where there was a lot of traffic. Thank goodness the receptionist told us about it or we would’ve walked half a block out everyday to catch a taxi and get overcharged. If you’ve used an UBER before, it works the same. The only difference is that you’ll be charged the currency of the country, which means foreign fees to your payment method if it has any. If you’ve never used it, it’s really simple. The app will ask where you want to go, show you the cost, and then accept it or wait later or walk to a busier area for the price to decrease. Not just that, the price you pay on uber is the price for the 1-4 people together.

I would recommend getting a prepaid international card ahead of time if you’re thinking about doing this. Not only is it good for traveling, but also reservations that require a credit card.

Personal Driver: We paid 1000 THB/person for a personal car + driver to the Elephant Sanctuary 2.5 hours from Chiagmai. You can go with a group for less, but we wanted the royal treatment :D. JK, we just didn’t want to be on a long car ride with other smells.

Car Rental: We didn’t do this because Thailand drives on the left side. But if you’re up for an adventure, you can totally rent your own car. But I feel like it’ll end up being the same, just labor on your end.

Lodging: Chong made all of the reservations ahead of time. She booked 2 AirBnb for 3 days each and 4 days at the Krabi resort (how does that add up to 14 nights? idk). We were dropped off at this wrong location, but it was next to a fancy-ish hotel, so we stayed there for one night. It was reserved through hotels.com for $48 USD, and valued at $100+ if booked directly with them. Here's a summary of where we stayed: (1) Supailai City Home, Bangkok (2) TF Hotel, Chiangmai (2250 THB or $65 total for 3 nights) (2a) Duangtawan Hotel, Chiangmai ($48 USD/night) - booked through hotels.com, so the charge is in USD and not THB, which means no foreign fee for you. We booked it literally 2 hours before checking in and ditched the creepy TF Hotel, lol. (3) Aonang Cliff Beach Resort ($48 USD/night) - where the Infinity pool is. We had the 'Romantic View' which included an outdoor tub we didn't use :(. But it was a good location to scout the street vendors and walk to the beach. Here's top 10 Hotels in Krabi: Ao Nang Phu Pi Maan Resort & Spa looks really pretty https://www.tripadvisor.com/SmartDeals-g297927-Krabi_Town_Krabi_Province-Hotel-Deals.html
Other Airlines: We flew out to other cities from Bangkok by plane too. They were pretty cheap, about $30 one way way. One thing to be prepared is the luggage fees. Some of them have a general guideline of 1 carry on + personal item. The max weigh for a carry on is 7kg ~ 15 lbs. Vietjet charged 500 THB and AirAsia charged 900 THB. I think Thai smile didn't charge at all; at least for us. I personally didn't get hit with any fees because my carry on was under 7kg
Wifi: Chong and Bao purchased a wifi pocket at the airport for a 2000 baht deposit and was 3200 baht ~ $95 USD/$32 per person for 2 weeks worth. That's more than my phone bill, but it was crucial for all of us to have wi-fi at all times. Bao and I needed that to Face time our boo-thangs. And we literally Googled everything, so we needed good internet at all times. The wifi pocket was always charged whenever we were 'home' and it lasted all day until 8-9pm, which we were already back home by that time.

Packing essentials: I packed a pair of tennis shoe because we planned to climb a mountain, but it was 1500 THB at the end of the entire trip that we just didn’t want to spend. Other than that, I wore my Nike sandals the whole entire trip.
  • Lots of shorts. I packed 3 pairs of shorts, which I should’ve packed more.
  • light weight tops
  • Underwear for each day if you don’t plan to do laundry (some hotels have a washer + dryer that you can pay to use)
  • headphones - sometimes the planes do provide them, but you’re better off having a set at all times
  • One good hat for shade
  • One good pair of sunglasses
  • 1 or 2 swimsuits
  • Garbage bag for dirty clothes
  • Extra duffel bag for souvenirs!
**USE A CARRY ON: It depends on how long you're going of course and what you plan to buy. I know that on the way back, United Airlines allows 2 FREE CHECKED BAG. What does that mean? You can stuff a duffel or buy a suitcase with souvenirs on the way back and it'll fly directly to your final airport. If you plan to fly other airlines, be conscious that you may have to pay for those bag fees too.

I waited until the final days to start buying souvenirs because I didn't want to haul it during the trip. In addition to that, think about the hotels or places without and elevator. You will have to carry that!

On the way back, I checked in my 2 bags. Although I was hands free at my one stop in Hong Kong, it wasn't so convenient when I landed in Chicago. If you don't mind waiting for bag when you arrive, do the check in bags. If you just wanna be gone right away when you land, just keep your carry on with you.
Questions throughout my social media:

How much should I bring? I brought $650 and that was enough for me. I got some little gifts for family at home. Feel free to bring more; the more you have, the more you’ll spend. Keep in mind, the street vendor food are $1-$2 per plate, which is enough for a meal. If you want to go to fancier restaurants or buy expensive items, you will need the dough ($$)

Where's a good mall? The only mall I went to was Siam Center in Bangkok. It was just a mall with modern clothes. If you're looking for elephant pants or traditional Thai clothes, you'll need to go to the markets.

Where are the street markets? We went to 3: Khao San Road in Bangkok, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai, and Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok. Chatuchak Weekend Market is the best one with a variety of vendors and the lowest prices of them all too. It's only open on weekends.

What were the main things we did?  Elephant Sanctuary for about 1700 THB ~ $50 USD/person, Grand Palace 500 THB ~ $15/person.

Where did my money go? Lots of it on food. The 1 hour long massages ranged 200 THB to 800 THB. Don’t pay more than 300 THB, please. If you have the money for it, do them daily. You will regret you didn’t pamper your massage enough.

I will update this post as I go and people ask questions. I’m in the process of making a video with all these comments, but maybe I’ll do it once I get more questions. Thanks for reading.

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Pro-Choice

It's 1am on a Thursday and since I don't work early tomorrow, I wanted to respond to this video from my FB newsfeed. https://www.facebook.com/203805062990264/videos/1352253278145431/

In short, Ben Shapiro expressed his stand on abortion and he is pro-life. What is pro-life? "All Lives Matter," meaning that as long as there's a baby, they must have the right to life.
When I was young, I didn't really understand all this stuff. I actually didn't care nor take a stand. Now that I"m older and understand the world and 'life' more, I have formed a view.

I just find it extremely annoying when it's a male perspective saying they are pro-life. Are you taking care of the children that don't have parents who are responsible? Wait, that's not your issue because your view and job were to make sure those children got a life and your part is done.

Even if this view comes from a female's point of view, I'd still stand on the opposite end. How can someone be pro-life when the person carrying the baby is the one that ends up with it. If she's lucky (lucky? smh), her partner will help her raise the child/ren. With or without a partner, there are other factors and elements to raise a child. You can't say the life should live when you are not going to take care of it. You are not paying the childcare. You are not the one that has to work to bring food to the child. You are not going to be a part of the child's life, why are you making decisions for someone that is?

Pro-lifers are for life, but what about homelessness, adoption, not wanting their taxes to go to welfare, what about those lives? Because people are adults (that's supposed to have their life together, like a job), pro-life is no longer an issue? How can someone be pro-life when there are millions of orphans out there who are waiting for someone to give them a 'life'?

Regardless of the situation of how a baby happened, by accident or choice, it is the person who is having the baby that's stuck with it. But when that person files for child support, the world looks down on him/her. If s/he doesn't raise the child to society's standards, they're a bad mom/dad.

In this video, Ben constantly said he will financially contribute to these unfortunate individuals to make up for the financial factor. But it's not just money that's needed to raise a child. It's taking them to school or childcare, will the parent have transportation for that? No one is handed a car and I don't even want to go into an argument about the financial support for public schools. It's making sure the child has a school lunch, are you paying for it? The Trump team is cutting down school lunch support. On top of all this, it's making sure they have a good job and maintain it too.

I'm not saying that it's right for people to throw away a life because they're lazy and don't want to work at it. But these people are clearly not capable of loving, caring, and raising another life. People standing up for pro-life is like me telling them what they can and can't eat; the car they should drive; the degrees they should go for; they shouldn't smoke drugs. You can't tell me what I can't do to my body and then allow people to drugs.

If you are pro-life, you better be picking up kids, paying for their school lunches, and getting their athletic gear.

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How I scored a $10 meal for $1 - Starbucks Banana & Panera Bread Dinner Roll Trick


Hi Guys,

It's been a long time since I posted anything relevant. Today's post is dedicated to how to pay minimal toward a maxi-meal-deal.

Starbucks has always had deals or challenges like visit 3 times, get XX points. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to order in separate transactions. In this case, bananas is the cheapest for $1; hence the name 'banana trick.' I've done this to all my challenges and that's how I'm able to reach stars to earn a Gold level status. For example, if your challenge is to have 2 transactions, order 1 banana in 2 separate transactions.

To maximize your savings at Starbucks, the ones located inside Target often has a Cartwheel deal. Usually, it's 25% off a frappe or 25% off Starbucks sandwich.
Recently, I got a similar email from Panera Bread and decided to test it out. I found the cheapest item, dinner roll (.75); hence 'dinner roll' trick name. My challenge was: visit 2 times and earn a free you pick 2. I loove their chipotle chicken avocado panini and those are $6+ for half a sandwich. Unlike Starbucks, I think you have to go separate days to count as your visit. I tested this out by buying 3 dinner rolls in one day, but it was probably only considered 1. Then the next day, I placed another single order and my reward kicked it. I was also able to order or use my reward right away too, so it was 1 trip, a total of 2 trips. I didn't have to make a 3rd trip to redeem my reward, get it?

Breakdown in short: Order cheapest item in separate transactions or days to qualify for the reward that can be redeem

PS: You can do the DOT trick to earn more rewards. In addition to the discounts, ALL NEW ACCOUNTS/members get a free dessert item

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It’s an internship + Nightcrawler Review

Are you graduating soon and need a job? Usually, at the last semester of your final year, you’re recommended to get an internship. Sometimes these are paid and not-paid.

Fortunately for me, I had a flexible ‘internship’ where I worked counted as my intern. But for some people, it’s not. I just feel like the word internship is just a disguise for ‘do work for free’ than learning the trade/skill. But again, it depends on where it is that you’re interning. For ex, maybe an internship at the White House is cool because it’s such a rare opportunity, you get to network and stuff … but then, why work for free if you are good at what you do? And all you want is to get paid for it.

There are pros to doing free internships too. There’s no commitment and maybe more flexibility. Maybe you get to work with the person on top instead of an actual job where you start from the ground.

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I am a refugee.


I am a refugee. I have only lived in the US for 24 years. Growing up, I never felt like different; I never felt like a 'refugee' or an outsider. That was because of the way I was treated by my lighter skin neighbors during my early years in the US. The way they treated my family with kindness made me think everyone was kind and I still think the same. Then my family moved to a different part of town and we had the nastiest and racist neighbors. I was too young to understand they hated and cursed at us. When we played ball games and if the ball rolled to their yard, the old lady said some really mean stuff. I was so confused why she was so mean and angry, but because my first neighbors were so nice, I shrugged it off.

You can't change people through policies like building walls and banning them. You have to get to know them. And because of my neighbors, I've always seen the good in people and it never crossed my mind to bomb anyone. I went to school and was pretty much brainwashed that Americans were the good guys during the Vietnam War. Um...not completely true. WHO TF bombs a country that has families sharing 1 chicken leg? I'm not even exaggerating. WHO TF bombs a country with people who doesn't even have a basement to run for cover and safety. They don't even have clean water. Their life is so hard already. We're after the wrong people. It is such a false statement to ban people coming from the middle east for protection.

My mom literally swam the Mekong River for her life. Look at me, living in America with swimming classes, and I don't even know how to swim. Refugees are not the bad people here. They are coming from a place that none of us can't even live for a day or a couple hours. There are still Hmong people in the jungles of Laos to this very day, hiding from communists because they sided with the US during the Vietnam War. But I won't use this time to take away the spotlight of the Syrian refugees

Imagined if this happened when Einstein was still alive. The Nazis seized power in Germany on January 30, 1933. Just three months later, March, he quit his job, and by October, he came to the US. Then helped develop the atomic bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Because America let him in, this unfortunate achievement was claimed by America, "Our guy was the brain behind it! Yea, we're awesome. We're smarter than you."

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In adultlifetips coupon finances guidance investment Life shopping

6 Easy Ways to Earn Money - How I made over $2,000+


Hello world! I just realized that I made over $2000 last year from what I already do. $2k sounds like a small number, but when you actually look at it, it's a pretty big number.

Alright, lets get to business. I have 6 easy ways to earn money and I'll share them from easiest to most complicated.

1. This new one: Milesup app
-get points for driving.
-I already made $25

2. Use Ebates
-Shop online through the ebates link.
-You can shop in your cart
-But I always like to do a final click
-There are some stores that offer in store cashback too

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In coupon credit investment Life shopping

What if Couponers are Anonymous?


It is so crazy how alike couponers are to Anonymous. Who is Anonymous? "Anonymous is a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities. A website nominally associated with the group describes it as "an Internet gathering" with "a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives" (wikipedia).

Instead of hacking the internet, we shop the crap out of it! We don't mean to shut down any governments, but we've been shutting down some websites/stores all due to extreme couponing. Here are some examples:

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In adultlifetips Life

"Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous." - Albert Einstein

Call it God, call it Allah, call it Jesus. This quote is so true, so that means I am an Einsteiner. I truly believe there's a higher power out there. I do believe in science ... and supernatural at the same time, even though it's complete opposites. Today, I'm going to share my experiences of "seeing (is believing)" this. I'm not a Christian, but I'll still make some references from there; at the end of the day, it's just words ... that the Christians were given credit/reference to.

1. Today, 1/13/17, I've been so stressed out about new duties at work; accounting! I don't have any background in it at all. Well, I was a bank teller, but that's just basic cashier duties - at the bank. I was so stressed out to the point that I wanted to quit because I was doing (and will be held accountable for) something I didn't know. (It's fricken accounting! Even real accountants have issues with accounting, that means I am at level -1 million). Anyway, I had to gather some reports for the training. I messed up on saving the files, and in accounting, shit needs to match up, especially numbers. Anyway, I was just like, "#### IT! This is what I've got to give them." So on 'training day' (LOL! - starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke), we opened these files. I had lost hope and felt like a POS when the first 2 files' names didn't match. This meant I had to look at all the files again and rename them, so it can be matched nicely. Then the following files, it magically worked out. For example, CHECK FILE - 12 and LIABILITY - 2 went together.

Scientifically, I happened to mistakenly name some files. But it was just too much of a coicidence. I had been stressed out about this, and the Almighty showed me that it will help me.

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In khangfamily mother

Two Lessons from my Dad

My last post was about my mom, so I think it's only fair that I also bring in my dad too. Thank you for reading.

1. Savings is a big deal

I was 23 when I got my first car. I had saved up maybe $3k by then. I was so excited to basically give the whole $3k for my down payment because I read that it's better to pay more toward that or as much as you can so you'll pay it off sooner. However, my dad said that I didn't need to and it didn't make much difference. If anything, it was a loss. My dad told me that it is so hard to save or to get the ball rolling and when you are on it, keep what you have.

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