I recently went on Grand Holidays 10 day Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia tour and I was very disappointed. Overall, I liked Singapore and Malaysias tour , the guides are nice and helpful, but feel that the time spend in Singapore is too short. The food in Malaysia was great, but I wished we ate at nicer restaurants with more ambient and not dumpy street food establishments. Overall, I am satisfy with Singapore and Malaysia , my real compliant is Thailand.
1. Our first night in Bangkok, we stayed at the Emerald Hotel (old wing) The room was dirty, ugly, it looked as if the placed was robbed. When we returned to our room after dinner we were harassed by the hotel staff with a list stating that we only had one person registered to the room and after they rechecked we got clearance to retire to our room for the night.
2. Sum Beam hotel Pattaya, is good. Clean room and close to night life.
3. What made the trip horrible are the tour guides. I feel that they make us meet them between 6-6:30 AM everyday so they can add in extra out of pocket excursions and over charge the group for profit.
a. First night, they charged the group $60 USD per person for a night show and buffet dinner.
b. Day 2, They charged the group $20 each for a 20 minute boat ride to feed cat fish by a temple. There were 10 people in the group and we all know that the boat ride does not cost $200 USD to charter in Thailand.
c. In Pattaya, they recommended a 3 pack of adult shows and that we would get a discount if we get our tickets through them. They charged $60 for 3 shows and we saw the real price at the theatre and that it was only $8 USD per person per show.
d. Pattaya Alligators and Tiger show. They sold this excursion to us as a show package, we did not want to see the show, we only wanted to walk around the zoo. One guide told us that if we do not wish to see the show we can walk around the park, but then the other guide insisted that we must see the show or we would have to sit and wait for everyone else at the restaurant then charged the tour group $500 BT per person.
e. Please have the guides be clear on how short the parasailing ride is. $800 BT for a 5 minute ride ridiculous. That is extortion; it is more expensive then parasailing in Hawaii.
f. We spend too much time on bull s**t tailors and fake snake medicine shops. Please shorten the shopping tours.
g. We do not want to wake up at 5am to meet the tour guides at 6am after staying up late in Pattaya.
4. Last night, we went back to the Emerald hotel and stayed at the new wing. It was clean and modern, it was as if it was a completely different hotel. My only complain is that we got harassed by their staff again as we head up to our room after dinner. I am assuming that they think maximum security means high class in Thailand, but I feel that its rude, untrusting of their guest.
5. Food- the buffets are good, but whenever we eat family style there is never enough food. For a party of 10, we clear the plates every time. We even ate stuff we didnt like just so we wont starve later at night.
6. The rest of the tour group may or may not spend their time writing up this review but trust me that they all felt ripped off by the guides.This is the most stressful and un-amusing tour Ive ever been on. I will never recommend Grand Holiday to my friends or family, nor would I ever consider joining a tour again because we are so soured from this trip. Ive been on numerous tours to Japan and China through a different agency, but I was never this stressed out and disappointed.
PS- My mother had been on the same tour as me and she said that the boat (fish feeding) tour and Zoo should be included in the cost. This is a complete rip off!