Thailand Travel Stories, Page 2

Doctor Thailand Orthopedic

Doctor Thailand Orthopedic
Today I went to a Thailand Doctor who specializes in Orthopedic problems, and he is now sending me down the line to a nerve Doctor. As best I understand, and I do not speak Thai, I have “mild” degeneration of my bones, all looks great from an Orthopedic Bone Doctor point of view. However, “same same, but different” here in Thailand as in the USA, he is wanting me to talk to another Doctor specialist or neural surgeon, he used words like MRI, Neural, Tumor, Biopsy, etc, and we are stumbling down the Doctors path.



The Thailand Orthopedic Doctor say he studied in Minnesota and somehow gets the word “Mild” and “Wild” confused in English.

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Thammasat University
Rangsit Campus,
Thailand, Southeast Asia
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

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I as best I know, I am paying 50 Baht for the meeting with the Orthopedic Doctor here in Thailand. The 50 Baht included the first consultation and then again him looking at the three X-rays that were taken.

I had three X-rays taken today and they cost 450 Baht.

50 Baht for Doctor
450 Baht for three X-rays.

Total 500 Baht

At about 34 Baht to the dollar, I am paying 14.50 U.S. dollars today.



A girl who works as a Pharmacist helped in the navigation of the Hospital. She said,
“Thammasat is one of the few Hospitals that does not change the price for foreigners.”

In the end, there needs to be a meeting of the minds between the doctor and the patient. I truly believe the language problems of Thailand are hazardous to my health. I believe a Thailand Doctor has a better brain than an India Doctor, better conditions, cleaner, etc, however I would be able to talk with an India Doctor better. I am sure I could have a good meeting of the minds with a Philippines Doctor, however not as strict in their standards as a Thailand Doctor, not as clean.

I think it is possible to go to Koh Samui or some large Private Hospital for Farangs here in Bangkok or Chang Mai and pay the same as the USA and miss the boat all together on the "why" of going to a doctor overseas…

I went to the Orthopedic Doctor today in the Thammasat University Campus Hospital here just north of Rangsit, Thailand. It is roughly one hour from the center of Bangkok or maybe about 500 Baht in a Taxi from Khao San Road.

I was extremely happy to be carrying my BlackBerry Storm from Verizon in my pocket. I was able to surf, read my Mobi Books, check out CNN, try to not read about Michael Jackson and play. A BlackBerry often is a better play toy than a business tool, and a great asset in a long lines waiting for a doctor to rush you through.



As best I can tell, these words are what the Orthopedic Doctor here in Thailand wants me to have checked by a neural surgeon, he wrote the words in English on the side of the X-rays, I took a photo with my cell phone.

Health, - Medical Tourism

Doctor Thailand Orthopedic


Back Pain Relief in Thailand

Back Pain Relief in Thailand
I am in Thailand hoping to solve my back pain problem; my sciatic nerve has been hurting now for at least six months. A doctor told me in Lima, Peru I have a nodule.

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Thammasat University
Rangsit Campus,
Thailand, Southeast Asia
Monday, June 29, 2009

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This is the location of the lump or nodule, although the pain has decreased over the last six months. If I walk too long, carry too much weight or even just lie in bed wrong it hurts. It is continuous with various degrees of pain.

There are two reasons to go to a doctor overseas.

1. You have no choice.
2. Cheaper

I am using the cheaper option however Thailand is in many ways horrible expensive for medical work. A person has to truly know what the price should be or you can easily pay the same as the USA.

How much does is cost to remove a Nodule in the USA, this is a good question. I am hoping to pay 200-300 Baht today to talk with an orthopedic doctor. If this were critical or scary type of medical work, I would return to the USA, at the end of the day, Thailand people do not speak English and are not intuitive to the Western Mind.

I took a 450 Baht 8-11 hour overnight bus from Chiang Mai and luckily they dropped me off directly in front of Thammasat University just north of Rangsit, Thailand.



This is roughly, where I am located; trust me you do not want to depend on maps in Thailand. When I go to a place, I have a trusted person write the location in the Thailand language. If possible, I show the paper to a normal car Taxi and hope he reads. I almost never use a Tuk Tuk because they cost more than normal Taxis.

I expect the doctors here in Thailand to do the same as the USA, they will experiment around and after many trial and error methods, and they will stumble on the solution. The stumbling action I hope is radically cheaper. It is the cost of talking to the doctor that should be cheaper.

It is incredible how bad the Thailand people are in English, in a way I think I should have done this in Lima, Peru when talked with a Doctor there on the problem.

I do not have health insurance; therefore, I am screwed for USA medical services. I am hoping Obama helps give me free medical in the USA… hehehe, maybe I can nationalize in England or Canada and get them to pay… hehehe

Can you empathize or imagine how much fine print there is in a health insurance policy that would say they not need to pay for places like Africa or Asia?

Health, - Medical Tourism

Back Pain Relief in Thailand


Cheap Swimming Pool Travel Tip

Cheap Swimming Pool Travel Tip
It is often possible to enjoy the swimming pool, sauna, bar and other resort benefits without paying for the expensive room. I enjoy a swimming pool; however, when a Hotel has this feature it often double or triples the price of the Hotel room.

I have paid to visit many Swimming Pools in my 11 years of perpetual travel.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand
Southeast Asia
Sunday, June 28, 2009

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Example:

I am staying in the ThaPae Gate Lodging across from the Top North Guesthouse here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.



Swimming Pool at Top North Guesthouse in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I pay 150 Baht for a fan room, with Skype fast WIFI in my room. I walk across to the Top North Guesthouse and pay 100 Baht to use their swimming pool.

The minimum cost to stay in the Top North Guesthouse is 300 Baht for a fan room with no WIFI Internet.

Hotels have “Bundles of Benefits,” as I find my travelers nest, I try to Bundle all the Benefits in the same area, and I normally do not want them all in the same Hotel. For example, I like a restaurant, however I do not like a restaurant at my hotel, I like it across the street or down the block, and restaurants are noisy and often full of drunks.

I rate a swimming pool by the number of Bikinis, not by how clean it is, no Bikinis and a zero rating, I do not care how nice the pool is…

Cheap Swimming Pool Travel Tip


TripAdvisor.com Gamed

TripAdvisor.com Gamed
Hotels manipulate Hotel Booking sites; they will post good reviews about their Hotel, and bad reviews about their competition.

Boy Genius from India, my partner in HoboHideOut.com sent me a link yesterday.

Is Trip Advisor One Big Joke

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Chiang Mai, Thailand
Southeast Asia
Saturday, June 27, 2009

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Is TripAdvisor.com one big joke?

I would say no, however I could give you a never-ending list of websites, travel writers, newspapers, and television blah blah blah that are a joke, in fact, my guessitmate is 99 percent.

How do I know a Travel Writers is lying?
Their mouth is moving.

Do I recommend you get on TripAdvisor.com, I normally do not recommend anything, however I do recommend everything. Take a lick, a taste of everything, but do not bite.

I do not make reservations, it always seems like the best way to guarantee I live in the worst Hotel and pay the most amount of money. If I get a reservation it is for one night, then I walk around that day to all the Hotels in the area and give them a personal review, then move if needed. I move 80 percent of the time.

I continually move or upgrade.

Hmm Chiang Mai,
Started at Top North Guesthouse at 500 Baht.
Went to P.S. Guest House around the corner at 200 Baht, thinking the WIFI was ok, it was not.
I am now paying 150 Baht or five U.S. Dollars and have unlimited WIFI in my room and I pay to swim in the Top North Guesthouse. I will not tell you where, however hope to put on HoboHideOut.com.

TripAdvisor.com is ok, not so bad, they are trying to do a good job, and the people writing the reviews are always giving them a top rating, because people who write reviews like to send people to read their reviews. (Read that sentence again it is the secret of the internet.)

Never trust anyone in the travel industry, including me, sometimes I make mistakes.

I know one thing, the less I pay for a room, the less I worry about whether I got a good deal, there is a point where I know I did, and the majority of tourist and travelers are in a constant state or worry or trying to check.

300 plus Diggs, I think they game it...Twitter, Facebook, it is all a game, it is not real life.

TripAdvisor.com Gamed


Thailand Overdeveloped Humanity

Thailand Overdeveloped Humanity
I found this man hand feeding a few birds in a cage; I was impressed by his patience and pension for detail.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand
Southeast Asia
Friday, June 26, 2009

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On a side street, behind a few building, inside a small restaurant, in a place where I had no reason to walk I found this man feeding birds.



He was taking these small chopsticks and placing small portions of food into the beaks of birds.

There is always a humane side to cultures, it always exist, it always shows itself, even when surrounded by great cruelty. Do not misunderstand, I do not think Thailand has an overdeveloped sense of humanity, I think this person was temporarily focused, he for sure did not say hello to me when I entered the door.

Thailand Overdeveloped Humanity


Empowerment Worries Me

Empowerment Worries Me
I am worried about the empowerment of the people, the information age has given birth to a world that knows they know, there are no Indians, and everyone is a chief. I am losing my confidence, I am not sure I am entitled to have an opinion, I am feeling surrounded.

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Chiang Mai, Thailand
Southeast Asia
Thursday, June 25, 2009

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A few men here in Chiang Mai were quizzing me on what I do for a living; I tried my best to avoid the conversation. However, I finally admitted I have an internet page and a Travel Blog. Unfortunately, they were too old and truly did not understand what a Blog was, it became a big hassle.

I said, I give a daily report on the internet of where I am and what I am doing. The one drunk says,
“You explain tourist locations.”
I said,
“No, I just make comments, I give opinions.”
“I gossip.”
“Anecdotic comments.”
“Like a columnist.”
Nobody was listening, they all knew already.

I wanted to give up, however in their drunken haze they continued, in one last effort for clarity I gave an example.

“I wrote yesterday that I believe corruption in Thailand is increasing.”

A man says,
“You are absolutely wrong, you know nothing about Thailand.”
I said,
“That is possible, it was just my opinion.”
He said,
“It is my hobby to study the politics of Thailand, ask me any question.”

He sat there waiting for me to ask a question. I sat for a few uncomfortable minutes, knowing in negotiations the first one to talk loses. He finally said,
“You are not going to ask a question?”
I continued to say nothing, knowing I wanted to pull away from the table and not negotiate.

There is a catch 22 of writing, it is impossible to be a listener when I am writing, I am doing the talking. However, I am 100 percent aware, I am here, and you are there. How in the world could you know about here, when you are there, it is baffling.

We all read too much, we all watch TV too much, we somehow have become empowered. People there will tell me they know about here, I am missing something, and maybe I do not understand them.

I can feel something, I am being surrounded, I think you call it.
“Rage.”

10 years ago, I was sitting with other travelers who came to a country; they were excited, energetic and all full of curiosity. I am not sure, however somewhere along the path, these same people read too much, watch too much travel TV and everyone is giving me a lecture on what I am seeing, I am tired of talking with them.

It is an observation people, I did not see it on television, and I did not read about it, I am looking at it… why would I study something to learn about something I am looking at?

The truth is this; learning is highly over-valued, what is the point in becoming a know-it-all?

Empowerment Worries Me


Hello Chiang Mai Thailand

Hello Chiang Mai Thailand
Goodbye Khao San Road, and hello Chiang Mai, Thailand, I am filing for divorce from Khao San Road on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

I just do not fit in there, I tend to avoid people, and it is time to move on, the Farang are too different from me.

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Bangkok, Thailand
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Southeast Asia
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

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I use Thailand as my airport base; I return here, buy the next ticket and take off somewhere. I will continue to do this, however I am going to avoid Khao San Road.

I took an 8:00 PM bus from MoeShipt to Chang Mai for about 500 Baht; they are nice buses, bigger than the tourist buses, there are only three seats across and they feed you food. I arrived at 5:00 AM in the morning, a little too early, but refreshing to change the channel.



Chiang Mai is nice; it has a big square moat around the city and many Buddhist Temples, somewhat quaint in a modern way. There are many expatriates hanging around the city with their toll along girlfriend or wife. Many men get married to Thailand girls and settle down in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

A Philippines girl told me Thai girls are good housekeepers, you a house and they keep it.

Nonetheless, a different type of crazy here and another channel in the history of my life.

Thailand has everything here, it is a cheap modern country, it really hit me this time, I can buy anything in this country, same as the USA at 1/10 the price.

Hello Chiang Mai Thailand


Thailand Foreigners Take Our Smile

Thailand Foreigners Take Our Smile
The 1000 smiles from Thailand have been removed, I used to blame it on the Thai people, however a Thailand girl explained,
“Foreigners take our smile.”

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Bangkok, Thailand
Khao San Road - Center of Backpacker Universe
Southeast Asia
Monday, June 22, 2009
Hotels on Khao San Road
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The Foreigners “Take the smile”

There is a saying about Thailand that originated many years ago,
“The land of a 1000 smiles.”

I have said,
“The land of a 1000 frowns.”

I do not see the people from Thailand as quick to smile, they are quickly becoming the like the stone-faced Chinese.

HOW WAS THE SMILE REMOVED?

I was talking to a long-term Thailand girl who knows me well last night, I had been complaining the other day about the cold-hearted staff of the Hotel where I am staying, and how they do not care. It is very late at night and the Hotel is sleeping, about 5-10 people from England enter the Hotel and are talking very loud.

Now, this is common in Hotels, normally the noise subsides in about 5-10 minutes and people sleeping are relieved of the problem. However, this went on for about one hour and never stopped, they never once considered that people were sleeping, hollering down the halls of the hotel in their drunken manner.

The Thailand girls says,
“Foreigners are junk.”

This is a generalization or a stereotype held by the Thailand people and I believe it is correct. The foreigners in Thailand are junk. Most foreigners leave Thailand thinking Thai people like them, they call us Farang for a reason, and it is not because they like us.

I am foreigners, therefore I am junk.

What can I say, when you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

Jeroen my travel agent here on Khao San Road has often asked,
“Why don’t you wear the Thailand clothes like other Farang?”

“You just came back from Africa, why don’t you have on African clothing?

“Look at the people here in Thailand who just came from India, you can easily see they came from India.”

I said,
“I am Andy; I do not visit countries to become a different person, I like who I am.”

Thailand is one the most convenient countries on the planet, I can live, eat, and buy anything cheap here. I have been here at least 20-50 times, I can buy Airplane Tickets here cheaper than anywhere on the planet.

How many email addresses do I have from Thailand?
One.
How many do I have from Uganda?
Two - I spent a month in Uganda.

Thailand Foreigners Take Our Smile