America, You’re Doing it Wrong – Why Tipping in Restaurants is Stupid

tipping in restaurants is stupid

It’s pretty common for expats in Asia to bitch and complain about silly little things like road safety and breathable air, and while it might be unreasonable to expect people in every country to use turn signals and not burn down the forests, there are some things that Asian countries do get right that my homeland America gets totally wrong. At the top of this list is tipping—or rather the … Continue reading…

Sky Gods Take Pity on Northern Thailand

vishnu with garuda Thai painting

My fellow human beings don’t seem to have enough common sense to refrain from setting alight thousands of fires in the forests and fields of Northern Thailand each dry season. Every year, around March, the skies over Chiang Mai turn into a thick, choking smog—leaving the citizens with burning eyes, sore throats, chest pain, and asthma. The toxic particles in the air become too much for some of the elderly … Continue reading…

The Problem with Dual Pricing in Thailand

dual pricing in thailand

Thailand is a tropical country blessed with much natural beauty, but there are more than a few long-term foreign residents and regular visitors who refuse to go to any of the national parks. Why? It’s because they feel discriminated against when they’re charged 4 to 5 times more than a Thai person for entry. Many attractions in Thailand operate under a dual pricing policy, where Thai people will be charged … Continue reading…

How to Get a Thai Driver’s License – And Why You Should

thai drivers license

There have been many reports recently of traffic police in Chiang Mai targeting foreign motorists for not having a Thai driver’s license. In the past, the traffic cops would usually only stop motorbike riders not wearing helmets in order to line their pockets with cash “fines” paid on the spot. But it seems they’ve now realized that foreigners are easy pickings when it comes to lacking the proper documents to … Continue reading…

Top 10 Bad Habits of Thai Drivers – How to Survive Traffic in Thailand

tuk-tuk

If you live in any Thai city other than Bangkok, the easiest way to get around is with your own set of wheels. Motorbikes are particularly well-suited to Thailand’s climate and an urban lifestyle. But riding a bike always comes with a higher risk of injury in an accident. Unfortunately, your chances of getting in an accident are increased by the bad habits of all the other drivers on the … Continue reading…

Smoke Pollution Makes March the Worst Month to Visit Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand

smoke-air-pollution-in-chiang-mai

You would have to be crazy to intentionally plan a trip to Chiang Mai during the month of March. Your chances for having your trip ruined by hazardous levels of air pollution are significantly increased. In general, I would not recommend anyone plan to visit Northern Thailand during the two month period from the middle of February to the middle of April. Your chances of encountering unbreathable air are just … Continue reading…

How (and Why) to Register a Motorbike or Car in Your Own Name in Thailand

Thai-vehicle-registration-bookl

If you are going to be living in Thailand for any great length of time you’ll naturally want to have your own vehicle to get around. It just makes life so much easier. When buying a new or used car or motorbike, you may be tempted to go the easy route and simply register the vehicle under the name of your wife, girlfriend, or partner. This is a huge mistake … Continue reading…