Photo: A walk in the fields near Tetebatu, Lombok.

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You can now review destinations on Travelfish - and win prizes!

Posted by somtam2000 on 7/5/2009 at 20:32 admin

Hi all,

We've just opened a new feature to allow Travelfish members to add their own opinion on destinations, and whether they're worth a visit or not -- like the accommodation reviews, but for individual destinations. For example, if you've got something to say about Sukhothai in Thailand, you head to the Sukhothai section, scroll down a little, and fill out the form you'll see.

Here are a few pointers:
a) For now, all comments are moderated before they appear.

b) We're hoping that Travelfish users will have lots of useful, interesting information to share. But long-winded rants probably won't make the cut and we reserve the right to edit wordy pieces down to the length they merit.

c) Please post only your own work. Don't waste your time (and ours) by cut and pasting information from another source into Travelfish. We're looking for original opinions and thoughts on specific destinations. Please, please, please respect other's copyrights.

d) While you're free to make as many submissions as you want for a specific destination, you're also able to edit your submissions in the Member Centre. So if you want to have a single missive, or a series of shorter thoughts, either method may work for you.

e) Don't make stuff up!

f) It's simple -- there's no HTML, meaning no bold, italics, links and so on, at least for now. We may add in bold, italics and links in the moderating process.

g) No spam and no promotional URLs. We realise that this will provide a considerable temptation for business owners to try and plug their own businesses and websites -- don't. Travelfish members can add a website address to their profiles (in the Member Profile section) -- that is where they belong and please leave it at that.

h) Ownership -- nothing has changed in this regard, to quote from the Terms when you signed up: "Your comments on our listings may be used by Travelfish in the future. By adding a listing comment to the site, you give us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, international licence to use your postings in anyway that we see fit."

This represents substantial new ground for Travelfish, and we just wanted to be clear on a few points before everyone gets started.

But it's not all boring stuff!

Given that we'll be reading every submission, we thought we'd have a COMPETITION -- not just a competition, but a bunch of them!

ONCE A WEEK, we'll award either a Flickr Pro Membership, or the equivalent in Travelfish Guides (ie US$24.95 worth) to a submission we think is really great. There is no small print, no catch -- all you need to do is write about somewhere and you'll be entered into the competition. (If nobody has written anything inside of a week, we may stretch it out to a month!)

Ask away if you've got a question, and if you're looking for a sample of how it looks -- you can see the page on Sangkhlaburi.

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by exacto on 8/5/2009 at 03:46

sweet. i'll look forward to using this on my next trip later this year. plus, i can't wait to see what people have to say about Vang Vieng! cheers.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,659
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Posted by somtam2000 on 8/5/2009 at 07:02 admin

Thanks exacto -- look forward to reading your thoughts. You're always welcome to wax lyrical about places from your previous trips!

We've had our first submissions, Dongphuvieng on Ko Rattanakosin and beachgirl of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya -- great stuff all three, please keep them coming.

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by somtam2000 on 9/5/2009 at 08:52 admin

Another new submission, this by new member australasianBFs on Ao Thian Ok on Ko Tao.

Keep them coming!

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Posted by swag on 12/5/2009 at 11:43

Somtam, just finished a detailed submission on Koh Lipe after logging on but tried to submit and was told to log in again, so submission lost mmm
Swag

#5 swag has been a member since 28/3/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 331

Posted by somtam2000 on 12/5/2009 at 12:55 admin

Swag -- bugger!

I think the site automatically logs you out 24 minutes after the last page you opened, so I guess perhaps it took you 25+ minutes to write your entry -- sorry about wasting your time!

I'll try to figure out how to lengthen the logout time, but in the meantime (if you're up to spending another 25 minutes of your time) perhaps write it, then login and cut and paste it in -- or just open another window every now and then to keep you logged in.

Apologies!

Stuart

#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by swag on 13/5/2009 at 05:42

Somtam, no worries will get around to redoing it, doesn't help doing it at work so obviously went over the 25mins
swag

#7 swag has been a member since 28/3/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 331

Posted by somtam2000 on 13/5/2009 at 12:25 admin

Another great entry, this one by swag on Thailand's Ko Lipe -- thanks swag -- especially as you had to type it out twice!

#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by somtam2000 on 17/5/2009 at 21:21 admin

Thanks to Archmichael for a great report on Vietnam's My Khe Beach -- good to see some Travelfishers getting a bit off the beaten track!

#9 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by somtam2000 on 18/5/2009 at 08:57 admin

It's just been pointed out to me that a week had elapsed before Archmichael's entry came in, so they're in the next draw.

In the meantime, swag wins either a complimentary Flickr Pro membership or -- $24.95 worth of Travelfish Guides -- will be in touch by email to sort it out.

Thanks all & keep them coming!

#10 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by somtam2000 on 18/5/2009 at 15:22 admin

We've just had another new submission, by beachgirl (now our top contributor) on Kanchanaburi . Thanks!

#11 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 20/5/2009 at 19:12

Hey Somtam, I have been writing reviews of some hotels an places and have had them published on Tripadvisor website.

Thing is, they are usually quite long (my khao san review was long) and if i wrote another review it wouldnt be any different.

So basically my question is, Will you accept the same reviews for travelfish?

:)

#12 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464
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Posted by somtam2000 on 20/5/2009 at 22:49 admin

Jon,

First question: What are you doing posting stuff on TripAdvisor when you could be posting it on Travelfish!!! ;-)

I wasn't sure of the answer to your question as it really revolves around "ownership". So I did some digging around and according to the TripAdvisor website, they own your reviews now, not you, so they're not really yours to republish anymore!

From the horses mouth:

"After you write a review, it becomes the property of TripAdvisor."

And so I'll ask the question again, why are you posting anything on TripAdvisor!

That said, all our submissions are edited by yours-truly and Mrs yours-truly before they surface on Travelfish, so we'll be sure to give anything you submit a good scrubbing through the detripadvisor machine. I can't imagine they'd get too excited about that -- but who knows.

But we would LOVE to get you contributing!

As an aside, regarding ownership, from the get go, when we started Travelfish ... wayyy back all those years ago ... anything that gets posted on Travelfish you retain 100% ownership of. BUT you grant us a "non-exclusive, royalty-free, international licence to use your postings in anyway that we see fit". That means, we can take your missives, wrap them around a coffee cup and flog the cups for $100 a pop and not give you a penny -- but you could do the same ... and, ahhh, you could post your missives wherever you damn well wanted to -- because they are, after all, your missives.

And on that note, I'm going to bed.

#13 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by somtam2000 on 21/5/2009 at 08:16 admin

Another submission in -- BruceMoon on Luang Nam Tha in northern Laos. Includes a video and map link!

Keep them coming!

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Posted by DLuek on 21/5/2009 at 18:10 TF writer

Hi,

I just wrote a review of Phimai, but after hitting "Submit", the page refreshed but the submission was not there. I had copied the text just in case of a problem and my subsequent 3 attempts to submit the copied text also didn't work.

And then I threw my computer out the window in frustration so I'll need you to reimburse me for that too. (kidding:)

By the way, nice to see Travelfish expanding (Malaysia).

#15 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,176
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Posted by somtam2000 on 21/5/2009 at 21:51 admin

Hey DLeuk,

We received it -- three times -- so I hope the computer bounced off the window and back into your lap!

Will post it up tomorrow -- late now.

#16 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by DLuek on 22/5/2009 at 11:16 TF writer

Ah, I forgot that you look them over first... I'm used to the hotel reviews and forum posts that show up immediately. My apologies.

#17 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,176
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Posted by somtam2000 on 22/5/2009 at 13:12 admin

DLeuk - no apologies necessary!

Our latest entry, for the laid back ruin town of Phimai in northeast Thailand is now online, courtesy of DLeuk. Thanks!

#18 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 23/5/2009 at 15:40

Hey Somtam, I don't really know why I reviewed a load of stuff on Trip adviser. I guess it was because I came across it when I was researching Budapest recently and just thought that some of the reviews/comments on Thailand were a joke so I just got stuck in!

Never really thought about doing it on TF and again I don't know why. :(

BUT, I will be now!!! :)

The reviews I wrote are my thoughts, and saved on my computer and I am also going to be using all of them on my own blog so Trip Advisor can blow me if they have a problem with that.

So, I if you want I can send you all my reviews and you can edited them to comply with Travelfish all you like. Where shall I send them?

#19 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464
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Posted by somtam2000 on 24/5/2009 at 18:56 admin

Two more submissions in -- from Jon_Mak_Mak on Ayutthaya and Bangkok's Khao San Road -- suffice to say Jon's aint a fan of KSR!

Thanks for the submissions and keep them coming!

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Posted by exacto on 25/5/2009 at 23:49

somtam,

hey, i know you are busy writing code for the edit function on the forum and all, but i have a suggestion for a possible future upgrade to these new place reviews if you are interested. i've noticed that on many websites there is a chance to review the review, or more specifically, to vote if the review was useful or not. i thought that as the number of reviews grows, it might be a useful tool to help sort out the more useful reviews from the others. i'd imagine you'd want us to be logged in so that there was some accountability to the voting. :-)

anyway, if you think that might be useful in the long term, have fun with it. if not, no worries. thanks.

#21 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,659
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Posted by somtam2000 on 26/5/2009 at 09:18 admin

Hi exacto,

Yes a rating thing is planned -- I'm just waiting to see what the take-up is before I add that in.

Re the edit thing for the forum, that's probably not going to happen. Primarily because spammers make "normal" posts, then go back and edit in spam stuff later on -- makes it very difficult for me to keep on top of what is a growing problem on the site.

Cheers

#22 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by somtam2000 on 5/6/2009 at 08:37 admin

Great entry in from brucemoon -- on Umphang in northern Thailand -- a terrific and very under visited (by foreign travellers anyway) spot.


Keep em coming!

#23 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by somtam2000 on 8/6/2009 at 08:23 admin

Two more submissions -- by MADMAC on Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom -- both cities, off the tourist trail in Thailand's northeast. Thanks!

#24 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by somtam2000 on 14/6/2009 at 13:50 admin

Just added a bunch of new reviews -- including Pai Udon Thani That Phanom Yasothon Don Dhet Pakse Champasak and Vientiane -- keep em coming!

#25 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by chaos23 on 22/6/2009 at 01:06

will do, the last ones where from me :)

#26 chaos23 has been a member since 4/9/2008. Posts: 17

Posted by somtam2000 on 29/6/2009 at 09:29 admin

Just got in a terrific entry by elocin on Phnom Penh and SBE on Bangkok's Taling Chan floating market -- well worth a read -- thanks! June entries finish soon!

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Posted by somtam2000 on 1/7/2009 at 18:37 admin

June's winner is SBE for her addition on Taling Chan floating market. It was superb to have a user write about a place we -- despite our rhetoric! -- are yet to cover. SBE reminded us that it still pays to get off the beaten track even in well-trodden countries like Thailand. SBE, I'm assuming you'll be after the Flickr upgrade, but pls drop me an email to confirm.

Thanks -- and lets see some more for July!

#28 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by somtam2000 on 7/7/2009 at 13:04 admin

Another entry in, this from BruceMoon on Vietnam's Mai Chau -- keep the entries coming!

#29 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by somtam2000 on 3/10/2009 at 09:19 admin

Ok, been a while between posts in this regard -- apols. So we're doing this now on a monthly basis -- winning entry gets a Flickr Pro upgrade, the equiv (US$24.95) in Travelfish Guides or a Travelfish Tshirt.

September's winner was tezza for his entry on Ko Samui which gave a good wrap on a number of beaches and places to stay. Thanks!

#30 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by bedu on 25/11/2009 at 12:27

Vientiane in Lao PDR.

Well, for a quiet place there is still a lot to see and do. Hundreds of hotels and restaurant choices, temples and markets galore.

Be careful about getting a 'bargain' iPhone as they are copies and the battery doesn't last long, as well as some of the functions of an iPhone not being available.

If you're going there from Thailand for a visa run, many of the problems that were there at the embassy have gone and it's quite a quick process. They were still giving out free double entry tourist visas as of August 2009.

The Lao people are a lot more friendly and less 'Lets rip the tourists off' than some Thais are in many resort towns.

Food is cheap, freshly made and tere are many choices, from French cruisine topizza to Thai/Lao food.
A nice, if a little expensive cafe, is Joma, not far from the Thai embassy and next to a swimming pool complex.

Hotels as anywhere, you get what you pay for. Lao Ong Dao is 600 baht and not far from the Thai embassy, clean, TV, air con, hot water shower, towels and soap.

Check out the temples, they are so old, but still amazing.

#31 bedu has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 58

Posted by christay2009 on 29/12/2009 at 03:00

I added some information to Phanom Rung, it wasn't a review as such but more concerned transport options. It does not appear to have made it onto the page, yet it hasn't been deleted by travelfish either. I think i may have submitted something else too but can't recall at this minute. Just wondered what was g'aan on

chris

#32 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414

Posted by somtam2000 on 29/12/2009 at 15:56 admin

They're all up now -- including yours. Just delayed due to distractions with the iPhone thing and Christmas etc.

#33 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by christay2009 on 31/12/2009 at 21:59

no worries. it was my first time attempting to add anything, just wondered if there was a spanner in the works

i may add some more if i remain unemployed

#34 christay2009 has been a member since 8/2/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 414

Posted by somtam2000 on 3/2/2010 at 09:46 admin

I've just turned on a bunch of submissions -- thank you everyone.

As promised, Tshirts, Travelfish guides or iPhone Apps to the following:
christay2009 for Phanom Rung
Exacto for Ko Maak
encoredupoulet for Ko Sdach
and tezza for Kuala Perlis

Will be in touch by email re what prizes you want.

Cheers

#35 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by caseyprich on 12/4/2010 at 07:14

Hey - I threw up a number of reviews about a month ago and they still read "Not a soul has had a thing to say about this place -- why don't you get the ball rolling?" . . I figure you folks have to read through a number of reviews before approving them, but I was wondering what the usual lag time is - - - just curious if I did something wrong that may have made my reviews unacceptable. too long? too boring?

#36 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by somtam2000 on 13/4/2010 at 07:13 admin

No I'm just behind in getting through them (we normally go through them at the end of each month). Should be done by end of the week -- you put in some great ones!

#37 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by caseyprich on 13/4/2010 at 16:45

thank you very much - i wouldn't have found such wonderful places over the last few years if it hadn't been for this site. i should have joined up sooner.

#38 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by somtam2000 on 20/4/2010 at 09:33 admin

Ok, submissions for March are (finally) online. Lots of good thought on places, including:
Luang Prabang
Muang Ngoi
Udomxai
Phu Quoc Island
Prachuap Khiri Khan
Ko Lanta
Ko Lipe
and more!

caseyprich will be in touch by email re a prize - can be tshirt, iPhone apps, Flickr voucher etc.

Thanks all!

#39 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,576
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Posted by caseyprich on 20/4/2010 at 21:08

wow! thanks! I would like to thank all my travel buddies, and all the bus drivers, and all the authors who wrote the books i read on those beautiful but painful bus rides. . .

and china . . . i'd like to thank china for being my base camp and express my wish that some day Travelfish would expand it's coverage to China . . though then it might get great-firwalled and i'd have to use a proxy to view it.

#40 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by caseyprich on 28/4/2010 at 09:12

um - do you have my email address?

#41 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by apriljune on 1/6/2010 at 16:50

guys thank you that am part of this site.
because it helps a lot of my work and
i found lovely places that i can go.

#42 apriljune has been a member since 1/6/2010. Posts: 13

Posted by pranjal on 2/8/2010 at 18:30

Hi
I just got back from Thailand and the information on this site was massively accurate. My trip was Mumbai-Bangkok-Koh Samui and the data provided here was more than impressive.
The hotel lists, as well as beach reviews was a sure fire!!

Many thanks

Pranjal

#43 pranjal has been a member since 2/8/2010. Posts: 1


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