Mystery of the Missing Hotel Booking (Day 1 - Continued) - 10-Day Vacation in Thailand

Previous posts in this series:  How we arrived on our itinerary  Visa on Arrival Mayhem   So we landed at Chiang Mai airport at 11:30am on 23rd December and the first impression of the city, as formed when our aircraft was preparing to land, was that of a green and organised city. And we had also heard great things about it from our friends. So we were already looking forward to it.

Previous posts in this series:
How we arrived on our itinerary
Visa on Arrival Mayhem

So we landed at Chiang Mai airport at 11:30am on 23rd December and the first impression of the city, as formed when our aircraft was preparing to land, was that of a green and organised city. And we had also heard great things about it from our friends. So we were already looking forward to it. 


Our hotel was in the city centre, which is only 5-6km from the airport. First we asked around for taxis and found counters in the arrival hall. The fare was somewhere around 150 Bahts. We headed out and stood on the pavement. After a couple of minutes, a Songthaew drove up to us. Songthaews are small trucks that have seating in their compartments. The charge was 30 Bahts per person. These are essentially shared taxis. we shared ours with another lady, however, a Songthaew can easily seat 8-10 people. In 60 Bahts, we were standing on the doorsteps of our guest house. 

We had booked the Yin Yang Guest House on the Moonmuang Road through Booking.com. We were looking forward to seeing this property because it looked really pretty in the photographs. And when we arrived at their front desk, we were impressed by how pretty the property was. We were eager to check in and rest for a bit. We had been up all night and were really tired. 

However, when we asked the front desk, they had absolutely no idea of our booking. We were shocked. We shared the link of the booking with the property through Booking.com, but even that did not work. The booking was showing up in our account at Booking.com, but not in Yin Yang Guest House's. Needless to say, we were shocked, and even though we hadn't made any payment as yet, we were worried that we may not be able to find a good accommodation. Yin Yang guest house did not have 

We called Booking.com, but their Automated Response System was all in Thai and we couldn't understand a word of what they were saying. We wrote them an email instead. My husband went around asking if any of the nearby guest houses had any availability, but none did. Apparently at that time there was a marathon happening in the city and that had brought a sea of travellers into the city. Now we were really worried. We had spent a lot of time in zerowing in on the Yin Yang Guesthouse and were by now beginning to think that our Thailand trip was jinxed, especially since this was the fourth unpleasant surprise so far. 

However, in a few minutes the front desk executive informed us that they can help us get accommodation in another hotel nearby. VJ accompanied them to check out the accommodation. This turned out to be the Top North Guest House. The room available was almost in the same budget, but without AC. And it was a bare room with a twin bed, instead of a double bed. It was no where as nice as what we had thought we would be staying in. The room available was on the 2nd floor. However, it was clean and was in town centre, so we decided to go for it. This was surely not the ideal situation, but we had no other choice. We were also terribly worried about the bookings we had made in Ayuthhaya, Phuket, and Bangkok. These too were made through Booking.com.  

It was only on the next day that Booking.com decided to respond to us. They expressed an apology that the Yin Yang Guest House wasn't able to honor their commitment, but they made no mention of how they are planning to make up for this mess. In the meanwhile, we also received a cancellation notice from the Yin Yang Guest House. This was mystifying. How could they cancel a booking they did not have any record of? This did not seem right. Till date, we haven't been able to figure out what happened. But thankfully, the rest of our bookings worked fine. 

Nevertheless, we think that Booking.com took our complaint very lightly. We could have ended up in a really bad situation. And imagine what would have happened if we hadn't been able to find an alternate accommodation? Thailand is a great country, but things weren't looking too good for our trip so far. 

Booking.com does not allow us to rate this property now. I would want to share my review on the basis of this experience, but it seems that option is not available to me. If you know of any way to review a property that has cancelled your booking on booking.com, kindly let me know. Also if there is an escalation procedure on Booking.com, I would want to explore that too. 

Once we had settled in our room in Top North Guest House, things finally started looking up. Day 1 was far from over yet.  Positive experiences of this country were about to start. In the next post, I will share how we spent Day 1 in Chiang Mai. And trust me, you would want to read about it.

Once we had settled in our room in Top North Guest House, things finally started looking up. Day 1 was far from over yet.  Positive experiences of this country were about to start. In the next post, I will share how we spent Day 1 in Chiang Mai. And trust me, you would want to read about it. 

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