Pack Sandals Not a Sweater – Move to Thailand Instead of Canada After Trump’s Victory

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On election night 2016, as the states began to fall into Donald Trump’s column, it was reported that Canada’s immigration website crashed from the surge in traffic. If like many people you’re terrified to live in Trump’s USA and want to get out, let me tell you—Canada is not your only option. I know what I’m talking about because I’ve been in your shoes. Unlike the 99.9% of you who … Continue reading…

Black is the New Black

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With Thailand now in the middle of an official mourning period following the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej last month, tourist arrivals who haven’t been paying attention to world news may be quite surprised at what they see. Everywhere you go, people are dressed in black and white. I can’t speak for Bangkok, but here in the northern city of Chiang Mai I’d estimate that well over 90% … Continue reading…

Some DOs and DON’Ts When Visiting Thailand

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Whenever traveling to a foreign country it’s a good idea to read up on the culture, to see how it differs from your own in order to not offend the locals. Just about every guidebook for Thailand will inform travelers that you shouldn’t point your feet at a Buddha statue, but you should stand up when you hear the national anthem. You get the idea. There are many other DOs … Continue reading…

Reticulated Python on the Loose in Chiang Mai

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A typical Wednesday morning in Chaing Mai took an unexpected turn when I suddenly spotted a 4-meter long reticulated python. I have seen snakes in the city before, but never one so huge. This animal was a good 20 cm thick and I’m guessing about 4 meters in length. According to Wikipedia, the reticulated python is the longest species of snake, with some individuals growing to nearly 7 meters long. … Continue reading…

Joining an Esoteric Buddhist Initiation on Holy Mount Koya

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One of the most unique experiences you can have in Japan is to journey to Mount Koya to take part in an esoteric Buddhist ceremony granting entrance into a sacred mandala—a visual representation of enlightened mind. The event is open to the public and held twice a year at the picturesque Garan temple complex—the home of the Shingon school—which was founded in 826 by the great saint Kobo Daishi. Kobo … Continue reading…

A Pictorial Trip Through Penang’s Chinatown

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For foreigners staying in Thailand long-term, the island of Penang in Malaysia is one of the best places to make a visa run. The Thai consulate is small, casual, and efficient. There is a great variety of food available, especially Indian food. And the old Chinatown in the heart of Georgetown is one of the most interesting and authentic you’ll find anywhere. There’s no need to follow a particular walking … Continue reading…

Thai Elephants on the Attack!

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Elephants are are a national symbol of Thailand, but lately these beloved animals have been generating some negative press. In the past few weeks, there have been numerous reports of wild elephants running amok in national parks, attacking cars and shops. In recent months there were also a couple cases of domesticated elephants turning on their mahouts. In one such incident, a large bull elephant trampled its handler to death … Continue reading…