Photo: Almost Maldivian at Ao Noi, Ko Kut.

Thailand forum

Pattaya Travellers: Beware of Maneerat Transport & Travel (on Soi Post Office)

Posted by hunghung on 15/4/2008 at 12:56

In March, 08, I took a 7 days/6 nights Cambodia package tour with Maneerat Transport & Travel in Pattaya and that was a horrible experience. When you are in Pattaya, don't go to this "dark travel house" for your travel needs.

Here are the mishaps:

1. Visa Scam: When I arrived at a restaurant near the border at Poi Pet, an agent working for Maneerat asked me for 1200B visa cost plus his 100B handling fee (this fee was never mentioned by Maneerat). I asked him if I could pay US$20 (which was the info I had on the visa cost), but he said no. Unwillingly, I paid him 1300B.(1200 Baht is almost twice of US$20.)

Later, I asked some experienced travellers in Thailand about the visa cost issue and they confirmed I was ripped off.

2. Exchange Scam: After I had passed Cambodian immigration, the driver took the group on the bus to a currency exchange place nearby. He told us exchange places were closed in the weekend (that day was Friday) in Siem Reap and we had better get our exchange there. I found out later that there were plenty of exchange shops in Siem Reap that open 7 days a week. I did my homework and knew US$1 can get about 3,900 Cambodian Riels. That place quoted me the rate of US$1 to 3,200 Riels, which was a total ripoff. Of course, I did no exchange in the shop. Unfortunately, other people on the bus did some exchanges for their Bhat and US$.

3. Tour Not as Described: The tour was not what was described in the tour program. Among many unsatisfactory things, I was left stranded in Sihanoukville (Cambodia) when no one picked me up to return to Pattaya. I had to get back to Pattaya on my own!

Again, don't go to this "dark travel house" for your travel needs.

#1 hunghung has been a member since 15/4/2008. Posts: 5

Posted by ChangFai on 15/4/2008 at 13:24

I find it strange that you dont go into more detail on point 3 , which is surely the worst thing that happened to you ?

Your first two points , I can think of a lot worse scams going on these .

In fact your second point is used by near every hotel in Thailand .

Bottom line , if things like this annoy you , then you should have done it independently , and not through a tour company .

IMHO

#2 ChangFai has been a member since 10/4/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 139


Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 15/4/2008 at 17:05

Sounds like you’ve gained some invaluable experience for future travelling to Thailand/Cambodia.

This happens at a lot of tour places in Ko San Road and is NOT only this one company you used and believe me, you’re not the first person this has happened to!

Did you get taken to restaurant in the middle of no where halfway thru the bus journey? Was it over priced? Did the bus pull up to a house to "re-fuel" where you are then surround by 20 children all climbing onto the bus begging??? Did the bus keep "breaking down"??? When in fact they are just delaying the journey so when you finally arrive at the guest house you are being taken to just outside seam reap its to dark to walk into the centre to check out other hotels, so you have no choice but to stay in their shitty little guest house.

TOURIST TRAPS, one after the other. It’s a well set up scam and happens every day of the year to Thousands of people that just don’t have a clue what is happening to them. Point is it’s not just your tour place. But thanks for the heads up.

#3 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464
 Website 

Posted by hunghung on 15/4/2008 at 17:49

About point 3 (tour not as described), here are the details:

"In March 2008, I visited Pattaya and I took a 7 days/6 nights Cambodia package tour (by road) for 31,000 Baht with Maneerat (copy of receipt available). The tour was supposed to go from Pattaya to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Koh Kong, and then return to Pattaya. The price was supposed to include tour guides and all meals in Cambodia (copy of the tour program available). Here are the major mishaps:

1. Siem Reap (2 nights): Before I paid for the tour, Maneerat showed me the brochure of the hotel which I was supposed to stay in Siem Reap. It is an almost brand new hotel called Monoreach Angkor Hotel (I have the brochure). However, when I arrived in Siem Reap (on March 7), the Siem Reap travel agent sent me to stay in Neak Pean Hotel, which is a very old hotel (although the front was renovated to look new).

2. Phnom Penh (2 nights): When I arrived in Phnom Penh by boat (on March 9), the driver hired by the above Siem Reap agent drove me to the hotel booked. However, the hotel didn’t have the booking record. Since the hotel was full, the driver and I had to look for hotel accommodation, wasting the very limited time I had in the city. In addition to the hotel mishap, it turned out that the driver was just a driver, not a tour guide. He just dropped me at attractions without any explanation of the attractions (a tour guide would walk with me and provide a fair amount of explanation).

3. Sihanoukville (2 nights): This was the most awful part. In Phnom Penh, I asked the driver about arrangements in Sihanoukville and Koh Kong. He said he and the above Siem Reap agent were only responsible for the Siem Reap/Phnom Penh part of the tour and he knew nothing about the rest of the tour, except providing me a public bus ticket to Sihanoukville. I was frustrated. I called and emailed Maneerat to find out arrangements for the rest of the tour. According to the tour program, I was supposed to spend 1 night in Sihnaoukville and 1 night in Koh Kong, with a guided tour in both places. To my great dissatisfaction, Maneerat informed me through emails (I still have the emails) that I would NOT visit Koh Kong and I would spend the last 2 nights of the tour at Holiday Palace Resort in Sihanoukville. Furthermore, there would be NO tour guide, NO transport to the hotel, and NO meals (except breakfast provided by the hotel) while I was in Sihanoukville. When I arrived in Sihanoukville, I was on my own! Thus, the package tour was not a package tour at all, not worthy of 31,000 Baht!!! (For your information, hotel accommodation in Cambodia is around 750 Baht/night. If there is no tour guide for all or a good part of the tour, anyone who pays 31,000 Baht for a 7 days/6 nights tour is being cheated.)

4. Return to Pattaya: This part is unbelievable. When I was in Sihanoukville, I emailed Maneerat about transport arrangement back to Pattaya. Maneerat assured me 3 times (in 3 emails; I still have the emails) that an agent would pick me up at the hotel lobby at noon on March 13 and take me back to Pattaya. On that date, I waited, but no one came to pick me up and there were no messages for me. So I was stranded in Sihanoukville for one night (fortunately, I was able to find my way back to Pattaya myself). Thus, Maneerat failed to complete my tour. A few days later on March 18, I emailed Maneerat about this transport mishap, but I heard nothing from Maneerat, let alone an apology.

This horrible Cambodia tour more or less ruined my holidays. Maneerat clearly has failed to deliver its promised services and the tour was just a ripoff (only the one-day visit to Angkor Wat qualified as a guided tour)."

#4 hunghung has been a member since 15/4/2008. Posts: 5

Posted by hunghung on 15/4/2008 at 17:52

"Did you get taken to restaurant in the middle of no where halfway thru the bus journey? Was it over priced? Did the bus pull up to a house to "re-fuel" where you are then surround by 20 children all climbing onto the bus begging??? Did the bus keep "breaking down"??? When in fact they are just delaying the journey so when you finally arrive at the guest house you are being taken to just outside seam reap its to dark to walk into the centre to check out other hotels, so you have no choice but to stay in their shitty little guest house."

None of these happened on my trip to Cambodia. Thanks God.

#5 hunghung has been a member since 15/4/2008. Posts: 5

Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 15/4/2008 at 18:00

Happened to me the first time. But after a couple of trips you do learn about it. Along with the visa, the currency exchange and a mini bus FULL of mozzies.

Sound like you got off lightly. lol

:)

#6 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464
 Website 

Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 15/4/2008 at 18:05

btw, how much did the tour cost?

#7 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464
 Website 

Posted by hunghung on 16/4/2008 at 04:12

31,000 Baht, a ripoff considering the poor quality of the tour.

#8 hunghung has been a member since 15/4/2008. Posts: 5

Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 16/4/2008 at 04:31

31,000.00 THB
Thailand Baht
+
500.396 GBP
United Kingdom Pounds

1 THB = 0.0161418 GBP 1 GBP = 61.9509 THB

Im sorry to hear that becuase that is an exsessive amount to pay considering it didnt even include the visa!

Were they 4 star hotels or somthing?

#9 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464
 Website 

Posted by hunghung on 16/4/2008 at 05:03

3-star hotels only. If I were to pay for hotels myself, the rate per night would be US$25-30. As I said the tour was a ripoff. So beware of Maneerat when you are in Pattaya (and spread the news if you would)!

#10 hunghung has been a member since 15/4/2008. Posts: 5

Posted by expatrodney on 21/5/2008 at 13:09

The best Travel Agency I have found is Travel Central Thailand. They are very hard to find. They don't advertise, their office is way off the beaten track. I would say they are one of the busiest Travel Agencies in Thailand. I reciently paid in full for a ticket and they told me they were very busy to issue it. They asked if I could wait. I said I would be happy to go back the next day. The next day my ticket was waiting for me with a refund of THB2500 becuase they were able to find cheaper seats for me. My friend also found the same thing he also got a refund becuase the girl who works there keeps trying to get a better deal eventhough we have already paid her. You will not find a more honest Travel Agency anywhere. Their details are:

Travel Central Thailand Co LTD
63/2 Moo 1 Na Jomtien
Sattahip Chonburi Thailand 20250
Phone +66 38 706 414
Fax +66 38 706 270
e-mail: sales@travelcentralthailand.com
Tourism Authority of Thailand License Number 11/4249 IATA NUMBER: 3530736 6

Ask for Khun Nuch

Nuch private phone number is 08 4721 4420

#11 expatrodney has been a member since 21/5/2008. Posts: 1

Posted by 2face on 22/5/2008 at 06:54

expatrodney, thanks for this! You did me a solid with this tip on a good travel agency--with phone and address details! Terrific!

I'll definitely be calling Khun Nuch for my future travel needs.

hunghung, i'm sorry to hear about your experiences,
and thank you too for your tip.

It does seem strange that if small meals were included in the package cost, so should've a bigger need like a Cambodian visa.

Scare tactics abound are particularly apparent in Cambodia where the thinking is extra small.

Generally, if a tout anywhere tells me i have only one choice, and i really ought to hop-to before it's too late, I pretty much know then and there I've got better options and so move away.

If however one is stuck situation, best thing I find is to leave it temporarily. Let the cute little caricature of real person currently in your face just
stand there. He won't take it as personal slight for ending the conversation abruptly, as any one of us is just a moment away from being a crazy foreigner anyway. So what difference does it make by being polite?

Off to side now, take a minute. If you don't smoke, start. Then come back fresh into the attack with a clearer picture and perhaps a renewed appreciation for the human race.

Also, I make it a point to ask around for second opinions. As if I'm up for brain surgery, I ask around and I look for the older guy who has been through it all before and is less likely to try and scam me cause he doesn't want the potential hassle.

Git jiggy widit, too. Have fun with it, is what I mean, as these types feed on our frustrations, which doesn't help our cause which is not for any special treatment but for fair trade, only.

#12 2face has been a member since 8/11/2007. Posts: 25
 Twitter 

Posted by 2face on 22/5/2008 at 07:09

expatrodney, thanks for this! You did me a solid with this tip on a good travel agency--with phone and address details! Terrific!

I'll definitely be calling Khun Nuch for my future travel needs.

hunghung, i'm sorry to hear about your experiences,
and thank you too for your tip.

It does seem strange that if small meals were included in the package cost, so should've a bigger need like a Cambodian visa.

Scare tactics abound are particularly apparent in Cambodia where the thinking is extra small.

Generally, if a tout anywhere tells me i have only one choice, and i really ought to hop-to before it's too late, I pretty much know then and there I've got better options and so move away.

If however one is stuck situation, best thing I find is to leave it temporarily. Let the cute little caricature of real person currently in your face just
stand there. He won't take it as personal slight for ending the conversation abruptly, as any one of us is just a moment away from being a crazy foreigner anyway. So what difference does it make by being polite?

Off to side now, take a minute. If you don't smoke, start. Then come back fresh into the attack with a clearer picture and perhaps a renewed appreciation for the human race.

Also, I make it a point to ask around for second opinions. As if I'm up for brain surgery, I ask around and I look for the older guy who has been through it all before and is less likely to try and scam me cause he doesn't want the potential hassle.

Git jiggy widit, too. Have fun with it, is what I mean, as these types feed on our frustrations, which doesn't help our cause which is not for any special treatment but for fair trade, only.

#13 2face has been a member since 8/11/2007. Posts: 25
 Twitter 

Posted by 2face on 22/5/2008 at 07:10

expatrodney, thanks for this! You did me a solid with this tip on a good travel agency--with phone and address details! Terrific!

I'll definitely be calling Khun Nuch for my future travel needs.

hunghung, i'm sorry to hear about your experiences,
and thank you too for your tip.

It does seem strange that if small meals were included in the package cost, so should've a bigger need like a Cambodian visa.

Scare tactics abound are particularly apparent in Cambodia where the thinking is extra small.

Generally, if a tout anywhere tells me i have only one choice, and i really ought to hop-to before it's too late, I pretty much know then and there I've got better options and so move away.

If however one is stuck situation, best thing I find is to leave it temporarily. Let the cute little caricature of real person currently in your face just
stand there. He won't take it as personal slight for ending the conversation abruptly, as any one of us is just a moment away from being a crazy foreigner anyway. So what difference does it make by being polite?

Off to side now, take a minute. If you don't smoke, start. Then come back fresh into the attack with a clearer picture and perhaps a renewed appreciation for the human race.

Also, I make it a point to ask around for second opinions. As if I'm up for brain surgery, I ask around and I look for the older guy who has been through it all before and is less likely to try and scam me cause he doesn't want the potential hassle.

Git jiggy widit, too. Have fun with it, is what I mean, as these types feed on our frustrations, which doesn't help our cause which is not for any special treatment but for fair trade, only.

#14 2face has been a member since 8/11/2007. Posts: 25
 Twitter 

Posted by 2face on 22/5/2008 at 07:10

expatrodney, thanks for this! You did me a solid with this tip on a good travel agency--with phone and address details! Terrific!

I'll definitely be calling Khun Nuch for my future travel needs.

hunghung, i'm sorry to hear about your experiences,
and thank you too for your tip.

It does seem strange that if small meals were included in the package cost, so should've a bigger need like a Cambodian visa.

Scare tactics abound are particularly apparent in Cambodia where the thinking is extra small.

Generally, if a tout anywhere tells me i have only one choice, and i really ought to hop-to before it's too late, I pretty much know then and there I've got better options and so move away.

If however one is stuck situation, best thing I find is to leave it temporarily. Let the cute little caricature of real person currently in your face just
stand there. He won't take it as personal slight for ending the conversation abruptly, as any one of us is just a moment away from being a crazy foreigner anyway. So what difference does it make by being polite?

Off to side now, take a minute. If you don't smoke, start. Then come back fresh into the attack with a clearer picture and perhaps a renewed appreciation for the human race.

Also, I make it a point to ask around for second opinions. As if I'm up for brain surgery, I ask around and I look for the older guy who has been through it all before and is less likely to try and scam me cause he doesn't want the potential hassle.

Git jiggy widit, too. Have fun with it, is what I mean, as these types feed on our frustrations, which doesn't help our cause which is not for any special treatment but for fair trade, only.

#15 2face has been a member since 8/11/2007. Posts: 25
 Twitter 

Posted by 2face on 22/5/2008 at 07:10

expatrodney, thanks for this! You did me a solid with this tip on a good travel agency--with phone and address details! Terrific!

I'll definitely be calling Khun Nuch for my future travel needs.

hunghung, i'm sorry to hear about your experiences,
and thank you too for your tip.

It does seem strange that if small meals were included in the package cost, so should've a bigger need like a Cambodian visa.

Scare tactics abound are particularly apparent in Cambodia where the thinking is extra small.

Generally, if a tout anywhere tells me i have only one choice, and i really ought to hop-to before it's too late, I pretty much know then and there I've got better options and so move away.

If however one is stuck situation, best thing I find is to leave it temporarily. Let the cute little caricature of real person currently in your face just
stand there. He won't take it as personal slight for ending the conversation abruptly, as any one of us is just a moment away from being a crazy foreigner anyway. So what difference does it make by being polite?

Off to side now, take a minute. If you don't smoke, start. Then come back fresh into the attack with a clearer picture and perhaps a renewed appreciation for the human race.

Also, I make it a point to ask around for second opinions. As if I'm up for brain surgery, I ask around and I look for the older guy who has been through it all before and is less likely to try and scam me cause he doesn't want the potential hassle.

Git jiggy widit, too. Have fun with it, is what I mean, as these types feed on our frustrations, which doesn't help our cause which is not for any special treatment but for fair trade, only.

#16 2face has been a member since 8/11/2007. Posts: 25
 Twitter 

Posted by midogb on 30/10/2008 at 13:14

Some people expect things from a third country(Cambodia)
which is not the thing you should do " for me this complain is foolish (my thought about someone who would pay that for a 6D/5N Tour"cause you could stay like 2-3 weeks with that amount"but understand the there are no kinds of good arragements in hotels & agencys in Thailand )

i've been a customer of this agency(Maneerat Transport & Travel ) for 4 years nothing like this happened to me

hung hung " my advice to you is just get back to the agency & get a re-fund " just if you think straight .. you would".
in your story i never heard you say anything about getting a re-fund so thats why i advice you to do that

& about the tour it self i just got one question for you
did you think about it before you pay ?
i think you didn't & i suppose you never checked the price of this kind of tour anywhere else either
so again if you think you need to get something back then just have the courage & go in to the place
like i did about my flight which i didn't buy there but i could make the refund there .... ??
i hope you'll come to sences & think about getting back your money (a very good advice)

#17 midogb has been a member since 30/10/2008. Posts: 1

Posted by Danlo on 1/3/2010 at 17:56

I do most of my Travel and accom by Google search, budget accommodation search etc etc.

#18 Danlo has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 21

Posted by stoneman on 11/5/2010 at 21:21

I echo the advice from Danlo. I travel to Thailand annually with a sidetrip included. This year it will be to Laos. I've researched through Google where I want to go, what I want to see, shortlisted accom. options and mode of transport. With Laos when it comes to transport I also have some plan Bs. A little prior time and effort can prevent a lot of uneccesary frustration. IMHO

#19 stoneman has been a member since 8/5/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 100

Posted by Danlo on 12/5/2010 at 23:14

These days with the Internet there is nothing you cannot find out, if anyone is travelling anywhere do your homework, search with Google or etc and you will be forwarned, its that easy to cover your R'c

#20 Danlo has been a member since 1/3/2010. Posts: 21


Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.