Some DOs and DON’Ts When Visiting Thailand

bangkok grand palace crowds

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…

A Pictorial Trip Through Penang’s Chinatown

painted_door_penang_chinatown

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…

DOs and DON’Ts for Your First Trip to Bali

Bisakih Temple

Bali is one of the most tourist-friendly destinations that I’ve traveled to in Asia. Usually, when traveling it helps to expect things to go wrong—that way you are better prepared to handle the situation when something does inevitably go not as planned. When planning a rough itinerary for a week in Bali, I jokingly added “visit hospital to take care of monkey bite” as a way to keep this in … 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…

Get Your OM On at the Ganesha Museum

ganesha statue and pagoda

Who doesn’t love Ganesha? The chubby, elephant-headed Hindu god has been gaining popularity in Thailand in recent years. And one Thai man adores Phra Phi-kha-net (as he’s known in Thai) so much that he built a private museum dedicated to him just south of Chiang Mai. The Ganesh Himal Museum is easy enough to get to if you have your own wheels. Just head south on Hwy 108 past Hang … Continue reading…

Northern Thailand’s Own Sakura Cherry Blossoms

beautiful_sakura_blossom__khun_chang_khian_chiang_mai_thailand

Living in Japan for seven years, one seasonal event that I always looked forward to was the brief, but spectacular blooming of the sakura, or cherry flowers. So naturally, I was excited to find out that Northern Thailand has its own variety of wild cherry that grows in the mountains and creates fabulous pink blossoms each winter. The variety of sakura growing in Thailand is the Wild Himalayan cherry (Prunus … Continue reading…

Koh Lanta – Thai Muslims, Jellyfish, and Magic Mushroom Shakes

empty beach at bamboo bay koh lanta thailand

The island of Koh Lanta is kind of a strange place. It’s the sort of place where Swedish families build sandcastles next to beach bars that serve up psychedelic milkshakes for customers who party all night and won’t fall asleep until after the neighborhood mosque has announced the dawn call to prayer. Coming from the north of Thailand, it really is quite a change up to see the majority of … Continue reading…