26 Mar 2018
Hello, We, a couple in our 60’s, just completed two months of travel in SE Asia. Most of this, we planned and booked ourselves, and also most went very well….lots to see and experience there.
I just want to put a warning out there about a travel business we encountered early on, in Bangkok. We were coming off the Golden Temple and thought we’d get a tuk tuk ride over to the train station, for tickets north. Instead we were lured over to “T.A.T. Mahannop Travel” on Mahannop Rd. A friendly woman named Koiy, greeted us at the door. She asked about what we were looking for, and we explained we were about to progress northward by train, and then bus or van (since we would be heading west of the railroad).
Koiy came up with a travel package which included private car transfer, and bus and train tickets as far as Chiang Mai. I saw/heard a red flag when she told me the train station office was only for Thai people, and that we would not be able to get tickets there. We were sold four envelopes containing vouchers and tickets, for transport. Luckily she also gave us her business card.
Skipping to the end, It turned out we were charged double the value of the total transportation. Along the way there were big glitches in their service provided, such as getting dropped at the wrong homestay, we had booked, and a no show driver on morning of second transport. Something went wrong here (never explained what). Our hotel host called Koiy for us, and soon a driver picked us up (non English speaking)and dropped us at the train station along with 3rd class tickets (not the tickets you want), for a train leaving a whole two hours later. When I emailed Koiy to ask what happened, she gave no response.
Later we gave 3 days notice to cancel one of the vouchers (because we canceled a distant hotel), but again no response to my e-mail. I e-mailed once more to tell Koiy we would stop in her office to review services, once we finally returned to Bangkok.
In the meantime, we were offered Tourist Authority service by the tourist police, to accompany us during the travel office visit. Unfortunately, this did not work out b/c communication by phone was difficult, and they responded slowly to e-mail. So on our own, we paid a visit to Koiy and Mahannop Travel (while we had time before our flight home).
We found Koiy, but were quickly ushered to a man in charge, who was not very accommodating. His dishonesty stood out boldly, and after an hour conversation, long story shorter, we came away with a partial refund of the one unused voucher. The bottom line: Don’t listen to a local stranger on the street in Bangkok when they recommend a Travel Agent, and AVOID MAHANNOP TRAVEL. Once again, they are dishonest and scamming.