Asia Posts

Reggae Mansion Hostel Review In Kuala Lumpur


I was originally looking for a hostel on the internet that was central to Kuala Lumpur and also had a view of the Petronas Towers. Eventually I found the highly rated Reggae Mansion hostel, which had an amazing roof-top bar with views of the KL Tower and the Petronas. Without a doubt, my stay at the hostel was the highlight of my trip to Kuala Lumpur. After the first night of drinking, most of us quickly became friends in the hostel, often eating together and heading out in the evenings together. Down the street from the establishment is an actual reggae bar, so most of us would head down there in the evenings for some drinks and dancing. The hostel is massive – inside is a full restaurant, countless dorm rooms, hallways full of private rooms, laundry facilities, and even a 20-30 seat movie theatre which shows two movies a […]

Two Month Visit To South-East Asia


Last summer I was sitting in a rented room in Vancouver, trying to decide where I was going to go next on my little adventure. I had always had New Zealand at the top of my list, but given how it was winter in the southern hemisphere, I needed to come up with a plan that didn’t involve freezing to death. After all, I am a migratory nerd, so I should probably follow the sunshine. That’s when my friends, Scott and Sam, contacted me and said they were going to be in Thailand for a few months and that I should come for a visit. Thailand: land of smiles; I like happy people, so it seemed like a good fit. Before I knew it, I had booked a multi-leg journey from Vancouver, to Thailand (via Tokyo), to Auckland and home. It cost me about $2,000, but I figured given the […]

Auckland Bound

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As per my last post, I was supposed to spend the weekend in Bangkok this weekend and then head to Auckland on Monday. But given how people are evacuating from Bangkok, I decided to try and change my flights around to get out before things get even worse. Thankfully most airlines (including mine, Air Canada) are offering free change fees on flights to and from Bangkok due to the flooding crisis there, so my ticket was eligible for a change. I tried calling last night to sort it out, but unfortunately due to the time change I didn’t get the ticket office in time before it closed. This time I managed to get it in time, but was originally told there were no flights out until Monday on Malaysia Airlines (which is the carrier I was on). I then asked if they could put me on another partner’s carrier instead, […]

Visiting Singapore For A Few Days


I checked out my hotel in Ubud, Bali and made my way down to the airport. I gotta say, driving in Bali is one of the scarier driving experiences I’ve ever had. People are fairly ruthless on the roads, and most of the paid drivers are extremely agressive (passing in the other lane when there’s lots of traffic). You sort of have to trust that these guys know what they are doing, and do your best not to pay too much attention to what is going on. I heard that traffic might be bad, so I left the hotel early knowing I’d probably end up with time to kill at the airport. Unfortunately for me the free WiFi was pretty much useless, and there’s absolutely nothing to do in the airport other than buy duty free and eat a few token items. One thing that is a bit annoying is […]

Eat, Pray, Code: Four Day Visit To Bali, Indonesia


After visiting Kuala Lumpur for five days, I decided to take a three hour flight down to Bali, Indonesia. Bali is known as The Island of the Gods due to it’s amazing temples. It also happens to be a primary resort area for most Australians looking for an ocean-side vacation. I spent my first few days laying low in the hotel, mainly to catch up on sleep after a fun, somewhat exhausting weekend in Kuala Lumpur. I was staying in a hotel in Sanur, which is a beach area on the south-east coast of Bali. Ultimately I wanted to head to the cultural centre of Bali, Ubud, to meet up with a friend of mine from Canada. I figured that I may as well take advantage of the commute up to Ubud and see some of the sights on the island. I managed to find a great driver via the […]

Visiting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


I always knew I would be in Kuala Lumpur briefly, since I have a 9 hour connection there on my way to New Zealand. But outside of that I really wanted to make a trip down to Malaysia, if only to see the Petronas Towers in person. Given that my laptop was dead in Phuket, I decided to simply head down to Kuala Lumpur early. I stumbled upon a really cheap flight ($50) on Malaysia airlines and booked it the same day. Five hours later I was getting off a plane in Kuala Lumpur and heading down to the Reggae Mansion hostel in Chinatown. Here is a summary of the time I spent visiting Kuala Lumpur. Reggae Mansion I was originally looking for a hostel on the internet that was central to Kuala Lumpur and also had a view of the Petronas Towers. Eventually I found the highly rated Reggae […]

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand


After leaving Koh Tao, I took the ferry back to Koh Samui and boarded a Bangkok Airways flight for Krabi. Krabi is a little town on the west coast of Thailand, and one of two gateways over to the Phi Phi Islands (the other being Phuket). Given the distance between the two locations, I couldn’t find another way to get to Koh Phi Phi in one day, other than to fly to Krabi instead of bus. So that’s what I ended up doing. The ferry was late getting back to Koh Samui, and even though I had pre-booked a taxi and had him waiting for me, I was probably about 30 seconds away from missing my flight when I hit the airport. In fact, they originally told me I couldn’t get on, but I begged and pleaded and pointed out that I didn’t have any luggage to check, so they […]

My Visit To Koh Tao, Thailand


I left Koh Samui in the afternoon on Friday and made my way down to the Maenom ferry dock. I booked a high speed catamaran with Lomprayah. They actually had a deal going on where they would include a pick-up at your hotel, so that worked out great. They give you a 20 minute window where you need to wait in front of your hotel, and eventually a shuttlebus picks you up and takes you down to the ferry. We actually were there with plenty of time to spare, but I suspect that’s deliberate since they have their own restaurant and store there, and there’s not much else to do. The ferry to Koh Tao took around two hours, with a brief stop over in Koh Phangan. I whipped out my laptop for most of the trip and did some work, but they actually had a small TV at the […]

Upcoming Backpacking Trip


By the time this year is over, I will have spent nearly eight months away from home and on the road. I’ve been to South America, Europe, back to North America, over to Asia, and will soon be heading down to Oceania. I’ll have close to 100,000 kilometers of flying under my belt by the time it’s over, and will hopefully have my silver elite status. And yet despite all the traveling I have done though, I haven’t really done much backpacking, other than the odd weekend trip. Usually when I go see something new, I branch out from my home-base on a weekend and simply grab a hotel or a hostel for a few days. But something I’ve always wanted to do is to pack up my laptop into my backpack and simply hit the open road for a period of time. In fact, that was the whole reason […]

One Month In Thailand


My phone gave me a warning last night that my Internet package was about to expire. That means I’ve officially been in Thailand one month now. I still have to do a write-up about my adventures in Chiang Mai, but I’m just waiting for a few of my photos to go up, as well as some Scott took with his point and shoot (I didn’t take my SLR out around the elephants as it was a bit too dirty and wet for my liking). But hopefully this week I’ll write a big post about my adventures up there, as it was a really good time. I have only four weeks left in Thailand. Yesterday I decided to go for a drive on my scooter and see some of the north part of the island. Once I got there, I decided to keep going until I hit the west part of […]