What’s Benjamin’s experience during his 7 DAYS OF QUARANTINE IN AN AQ HOTEL IN 2022? Watch his DAILY AGENDA, so you can judge better on WHAT TO BRING to make your life easier. ASQ HOTELS / AQ HOTELS stand for ALTERNATIVE STATE QUARANTINE / ALTERNATIVE QUARANTINE HOTELS. This is Benjamin’s THAILAND TRAVEL VLOG about him GOING TO THAILAND FOR THE FIRST TIME.
Having to be in quarantine for 7 days will be a challenge for most of us. In this video I’ll tell you what you should look for in an alternative quarantine hotel and what you must put in your suitcase that will make your life easier.
My name is Benjamin. I’m German, born and raised. However, my mother is Thai. She lives in the province of Loei and I haven’t seen her in many years. I’ve never been to Thailand in my life. This is Goodyau Thailand Stories.
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To be able to move in freely in Thailand, I had to be in quarantine all by myself for 7 days. We must choose our hotel carefully to make sure our needs will be met.
Before I tell you how to find a hotel, I’ll explain how the days are like during quarantine. This way you can better judge for yourself what your needs will be.
Just so you know, I chose the Radisson Suites Bangkok Surkumvhit.
Quarantine daily routine
So once you’re in your hotel you’ll most likely take a nap because the trip was exhausting. There are three main events each day.
You’ll have three meals per day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. They will be roughly served at the same time. You’ll get a menu for each day of the week, and you’ll get to choose the kind of foods you want. When food is being delivered, someone will knock on your door. You can then pick up the plastic bag from a table in front of your door. The food is again individually packed in plastic containers. Plastic cutlery will be provided with each meal.
The food was decent, but don’t expect anything fancy or super fresh. The portions are not huge, but still, I would have quiet some leftovers at the end of my stay. You can order food from the a la card menu anytime. While the three meals are included, any food you order additionally will cost you money.
Once you’re done eating you can put the rest of the food into the fridge. Each morning I would place the trash outside the room in an allocated area for trash.
Each morning and each evening you’ll have to measure your temperature with the provided thermometer. You’ll have to take a picture and send it to the assigned nurse via Line. Line as the most used messenger app in Thailand and very useful also for paying without cash. So, make sure to install and setup Line before you’ll arrive in Thailand.
Time on the rooftop
After your first PCR test result shows negative, you’re granted 45 minutes of outside air on the rooftop of the hotel each day. Naturally this is the highlight of the day. I couldn’t wait for the guy to pick me up and go upstairs. You’ll have to let them know beforehand by Line that you want to go outside.
Thankfully the weather was just superb with lots of sunshine and dry, warm air. After 45 minutes they’ll escort you back to the elevator and you can make your way back into prison.
On day 5, the second PCR test is due. In the morning they picked me up from my room and escorted me to the rooftop. The nurse would take my sample and I then I was quickly escorted back to the room again. It took maybe 5-10 minutes in total.
I was very relieved to learn that my second PCR-test result was negative as well! Unfortunately, this won’t help me get out earlier. You are only allowed to leave the hotel on day 7.
Finding an Alternative State Quarantine hotel
Now that I know how my days would look like I would have made a different choice for the suite I booked. I’ll get to that later.
Finding a hotel with prices is not that easy. It’s best to go to the official Thai government website where they have a list of AQ approved hotels. SHA+ will not be enough. Most booking websites don’t have a filter for AQ hotels, nor do they show prices.
Here’s a helpful ASQ HOTELS BANGKOK LIST that has all the THAILAND QUARANTINE HOTELS listed:
After I selected a few hotels that I liked, I e-mailed them to ask for the price for a certain room.
These are the most important things I would look for:
- Fast internet
- Microwave and fridge
- Enough space to be not feel claustrophobic
- A/C of course
- Central area close to train line like MRT or BTS Skytrain so I can get out of Bangkok easily
These are the things I should have considered as well, and I’ll tell you why later:
- Windows that can be opened, or a balcony
The hotels responded within 15 minutes and 2 days. After you are happy with an offer, they’ll send you many documents you’ll have to fill out and send back. One of them is a credit card authorization form so they can withdraw the installment. It is non-refundable, in case you should change your plans and go to a different hotel. The rest is due before you’ll arrive.
So here I am at Radisson Suites Bangkok. They seem to have upgraded my Deluxe room the Junior Suite. It was spacious, had a little kitchen area and a nice living and office room. The bathroom was very cozy with a large walk-in shower. The bedroom had floor to ceiling height windows, and it had a sperate dressing section.
As I mentioned in my last video, I got pretty sick just days before leaving. I didn’t have any fever, but I had a runny nose and a sore throat and just felt sick and tired. Thankfully it wasn’t Covid. The first PCR test in Thailand also confirmed that.
But I was exhausted from the trip and there was one thing I didn’t consider. You must find a hotel which explicitly mentions to have windows that can be opened. Or ask for a balcony if openable windows are not available.
So what my Junior Suite didn’t have, were windows that I can open. That means, in order to get air into the room, the AC or at least the ventilator had to be always on. You couldn’t even turn it off if you wanted. Combine that with my cold and you have a recipe for disaster.
I got sicker and sicker with each day. My sore throat turned into a bad cough. Sometimes I had to couch many hours before falling asleep. I was worried the neighbors would wake up. The AC that wouldn’t turn off made my lungs and throat very dry. The 45 minutes of outside stay each day were the only break I got.
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Essentials to bring to the quarantine stay
Here are the essentials that you should bring to your stay:
- That helped me with the drafty bedroom at night and also during the day
- Have a little travel bag with medication with you. Useful things are pain medication, anti-biotics, cortisone, mucus reliever, cough drops and something against diarrhea.
- Desinfactant wipes
- Very useful if you just want to go over some surfaces like the toilet seat tabletops.
- Fork, knife, spoon
- Sometimes a plastic knife and fork just don’t cut it. I was happy to have some real cutlery with me.
- Internet connection
- Whatever they advertise, don’t trust the hotel with internet. Get a decent sim card at the airport or have someone get internet for you. You’ll need your passport to get a Thai sim card. Depending on how many people are using the internet connection at the hotel, it can get really slow. I was not able to use internet of full 24 hours once. This is not good if you’re bored or want to work remotely.
- TV stick, etc.
- Usually, the TV’s have some sort of HDMI connection. You can use that to connect your TV stick to it. This way you can enjoy your favorite streaming services and other software on the hotel TV’s.
- If you’re a music lover, consider bringing a small portable Bluetooth speaker. The TV’s speakers usually sound very dull. Listening to music can enhance your mood.
In the morning of day 7 I quickly left to go to the money exchange. So far, I don’t have one single Baht in my pocket. I went to VASU exchange on ??? to get around 9.000 Baht. They opened at 9 o clock. At 10 o’clock Terminal 21 opens, where I will get my true mobile sim card. It’s located on the 6th floor. It was again a fast experience. After 10 minutes I had internet on my phone! 50 gigabytes at 4 mbit/s, valid for 30 days, cost me 200 Baht which is around 6 Euros.
I quickly went back to the hotel, ate my breakfast, grabbed my stuff and checked out of the hotel at 11.15. In total I spent 650 Euros on the AQ hotel. The hotel receptionist gave me my two PCR-Test results on paper and called a taxi for me.
Initially I wanted to stay for 2 or 3 nights in Bangkok to explore before going to my Mom’s village. But due to the sickness I could only think of getting out of the hotel as soon as possible.
At 12 o’clock I was at Don Mueang Airport. Nok Air is the airline I chose to fly to Loei, the province where my mother lives. I can’t believe my Thailand adventure is finally starting.