Thailand Posts

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, […]

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 […]

Week Three Update, Chiang Mai Trip


I’ve been in Thailand now for about three weeks. So far, it’s pretty much everything I hoped it would be. Food is amazingly cheap, the people are super friendly, and in general Thailand is really laid back and accommodating. While the weather has been mostly cloudy lately, it’s still warm by North American standards, and a daily dip in the pool has become part of my routine. Back home a Pad Thai dish probably runs around $12 or $13 a plate. Some of the best Pad Thai I’ve had here costs around 50 baht ($1.66), so there’s quite a big price difference. At one place, you can pay 80 baht ($2.66) for Pad Thai and a beer, something Scott and I have done quite a few times already. Outside of that, most people here eat a lot of stir fries and coconut-milk based curries, all of which is amazingly tasty. […]

Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, Thailand


I had heard of the legendary full moon parties in Thailand before coming here, but I wasn’t entirely sure I’d get a chance to check one out. It wasn’t until I got set up in Koh Samui that I realized Koh Phangan, the island where the full moon parties take place, was literally next to us. So it seemed like a shame to be so close and to not visit it. Making Plans To save money, I was originally thinking that my friend Scott and I could head over on the day of the event, party all night, and then simply come back in the morning without sleeping. Turns out that would have been a really bad idea, since the sleep we did end up getting was definitely welcome and needed. Scott checked out before we left for Koh Samui, and we ended up paying 600 baht (about $20) […]

Tailored Clothing in Koh Samui, Thailand


A few weeks ago I stumbled across a few websites where you can order custom clothing from Asia. Since I was heading to Asia, I decided to Google around and see how easy it was to get custom tailored clothing in Thailand. Sure enough, not only is it easy, but tailors in Thailand are extremely prevalent. Unfortunately, many of the tailors here are simply around to sell you expensive fabrics. Once purchased, they are sent somewhere else along with your measurements for the actual sewing. Often you get back something decent, but there are lots of negative reviews as well from people where the process goes wrong. The part of the typical process that bothers me is that most tailor shops employ a full-time individual to stand out front and try to get customers into the store. I have a few buttoned shirts, and I find I tend to get […]

Welcome To Thailand


I made it! After nearly 18 hours of flying, I finally landed in Koh Samui a few days ago. My friends Scott and Samantha had an airport shuttle booked for me, so I simply got in the shuttle after landing and headed down to my new apartment here. The place I’m renting is about a 10 minute walk from the beach, but it’s in a new complex with a pool, internet, maid service (for $5 a pop), and air conditioning. Normally these units run for about 21,000 Baht/mo (around $700 CAD), but because we were renting two units for two months each, Scott managed to negotiate down to 18,000 Baht/mo ($600/mo), which is a great deal. It turns out that most people around here get around the island with motorized scooters. When I was in Costa Rica a few years ago we rented some for the day and it was […]