Ban Phe to Bangkok by Bus
Wednesday November 23, 2005, 7:25 AM
I will leave Ban Phe and go to Bangkok this morning, there is nothing to do that takes more than two days on Koh Samet so I will return to Bangkok. I think I will go to Pattaya next time to see if there is a place there to stay which is more for backpackers and outside the BAR world of Thailand. I am thinking maybe there is a fringe area where I could stay. Otherwise my only quick way of going to a Island in Thailand quickly is to fly to Phuket or Koh Samui, and they are almost the same as Pattaya. Pattaya is easier to visit because I do not need an airplane. My gut says the answer is to fly to Koh Samui and take the boat to Koh Phan Ngan, but I am back to needing to plan.
Planning is a fight for me, I hate to plan where or what I am doing the next day, it remove the fun of wandering the planet. I suppose it is impossible to not plan a little, however if I knew for sure what I was doing for the next week, I would go home and forget traveling. The fun of travel is to not know what I am doing and to be spontaneous, able to see what is happening around me as it happens, and to not plan for what is to happen.
The bus will take about 5 hours to go from Ban Phe to Bangkok or Khao San Road. IF I did only jumped in a car and went it would take 2-3 hours, however by the time you factor in the getting to the bus in Ban Phe, waiting for bus, travel time, getting to the bus stop in Mohship and then taking a taxi to Khao San Road, it will be five hours.
I really wish I had a word or knew a term for this time. I could call it the travel setup time. Like my mother setting a machine up in the factory, she or the set up person needed time between jobs to set the machine up for the next job.
Well, when you leave the hotel and go to the plane, bus, train, or whatnot, you need to include the set up time into the travel time. A plane is about two hours for set-up time and is really the worst, to arrive late for plane is not a good idea unless you really just do not have manners or care about money.
A plane takes about 2.5 hours setup time.
A bus takes about ½ hour setup time or less. If you miss one, you can get the next in some places.
A train takes about 1 hour, because you need to buy the ticket, unless you are lucky.
Therefore a bus is the fastest way to travel unless you are going over 200 Kilometers and then the plane is faster. I am not sure, the train is only very good in some parts of Europe and then it is a question mark because it cost more than the Plane.
“Travel Setup Time”
“Leaving and arrival time”
Word need to be self-explanatory, even if I say this, or try to explain this time it takes to go to the plane or come from the plane or train, or bus, it is not going to be clear to people.
A persons brain for some reason cannot factor into the travel equation the proper amount of time needed to allot for travel time. I used to have five appointments per day in Indiana. I would need to drive between places. I would be very annoyed when a person that was meeting me would say,
“I am only five minutes away.”
Yes, the actual drive time was only five minutes, however they must hang up the phone, not answer another telephone call, not put on their jacket, not close or lock the door, and only put down the telephone, do nothing and walk out the door for it to be five minutes. IF they did anything, then the drive time is more.
Here I am, a very experienced traveler, I can get in and out of a place with extreme speed. What is funny as I was trying to leave the Island of Koh Samet and go to the mainland yesterday morning. I thought, we can hop a boat, get a room in Ban Phe, walk around and get one of them Ice Coffees I like, look at stores. However because the Thai girl needed set-up time, it took us 5 hours to do a 1 hour transfer, she speaks Thai and all this did is cause problems as she listened to all the idiots around the dock give use bad advice and to be considerate I need to listen or try to see if the advice was good. We ended up taking a small truck to the next city 1 hour away, to show there was no small hotels along the way. Plus what was just a walk away was really one half hours walk away.
I have no clean explanation, however traveling with a local makes traveling more complicated for me, the translation skills does not help, it make it more complicated. The translator does not know what to ask and get hooked into all the stupid conversations I have learned to avoid. Plus Thai people cannot speak English.
Outside the hotel her on the outskirts of Ban Phe is many waterside food stands. The man at one of them asked.
“What do you want?
“I want something to eat.”
He did not understand the answer… hehehe, he knew four words, I gave him a simple answer he wanted and he could not say.
“Good, I have a restaurant, come look at the menu.”
I avoided him by just honestly answering the question. Because he is not willing to shame himself and prove himself stupid, he stops. Sometimes a culture is wonderful if you know how to use it.
Thumb Drive Programs
Wednesday November 23, 2005, 6:51 AM
I am in this small Hotel just outside the city of village of Ban Phe. This is where the ferry departs or arrives from the Island of Koh Samet here in Thailand. I am with a friend and was staying in a place called the Jep Guesthouse. It is nice place, however there was a reservation and they wanted us to move rooms. My friend is a Thai girl that is studying Cancer Medicine at Khon Kaen, the sun is about worthless to her.
Nevertheless, we left the Jep because the time it takes to pack and move to another room is sufficient cause to move out of the hotel. If I have to pack, I may as well leave the Island. Koh Samet is a perfect Island for a Thai person as there is no place to lay in the sun and tan, and plenty of great trees. However we was already on the Island for two nights so even shade gets boring. The cost of the room was inordinately high for Thailand at 1000 Baht per night for two people.
Koh Samet is not a backpacker Island or maybe not what you call a mainstream backpack Island. I would say almost zero reasons to visit the place, however for me I have went to most Island and have only a few of the major ones left before I have visited all of them.
Koh Samet is not a good value for the buck, too expensive, I think for the price we could have flown with airasia.com to Koh Samui and taken the boat to Koh Pha Ngan, then stayed in a private bungalow or hut for about 400 Baht, saving the 600 Baht per night.
I was thinking about Thumb Drives when I started to type, however I am learning I think too much about readers. This is really annoying, that I even consider them. To type, I must stage or locate myself, tell people where I am at.
Well, this Hotel just outside Koh Phe is 500 Baht and 200 Baht too much for Thailand, however the price inflates quick when you are with a Thai girl as they see a mark coming.
I am typing on my Thumbdrive and will in the next day publish this to the internet by copying and pasting this into blogger.com.
I tried two times to upload five pictures from the thumb drive to the internet with the blogger.com interface. Both time after I uploaded and the blogger.com page said it was attached or uploaded, I clicked on done and the photos did NOT transfer to the page where I compose. I have no idea where they are located, however I think I just uploaded to the server and now I have five useless photos on the server taking up space. I am not sure, however the code, if I had the code would connect them up probably and I could use them. I can access the code or get the code from some old postings.
However this is about speed, I did not have the time to load in my cute FTP program on the server and upload them or publish them to my page, this is why I was using the interface with blogger.com. I sort of like the blogger.com upload feature however it does not work when I need it, and does work when I do not need it. It is faster when I want to upload under three photos, however after that it is slower. It creates thumbnail photos which have benefits.
The bottom line is this. Cute FTP program must be loaded onto the computer in the internet café, and will remain on the computer in the internet café unless I remove. This is not good, I also am always in danger of leaving the configurations in the program and even though I do not put the password in at first it still keeps or automatically keeps the passwords. I have to delete the configurations and hope there is not ever some super clever person who for some reason is super curious about what I am doing watching me, as if they were near genius they could get on my site and cause damage. I am lucky as there are few people that are both near genius and paying attention to someone beside themselves walking around. Actually I am so bored waiting on the computers in the internet café or typing on the computers inside the internet café, I find is difficult to not pay attention to what the others are doing.
The seem mesmerized that they are typing a letter to their friends at home and are very captivated with the fact they are typing. Even more interesting to me is how a person is captivated with Chatting.
Chatting to me is a thing that uses very little brainwave and is realy so slow, that I would need to chat with 10 people at the same time to keep interested. I see people doing this, however even that would be so inane as I would go crazy. I am not a chatter and really see little value, except for business reasons.
The computer hypnotizes persons and take or robs the person of their consciousness, they stop being able to think.
Well, I have the WS FTP program that runs ONLY from the thumb drive, I wish I could use CUTE the same, however it needs the operating systems of the internet café computer to work. I heard there are now programs that are only running on the thum and do not need the DLL or registry files of the computer to work. Stand alone programs, this would be a real advancement in technology.
What is needed for a person is a Thumbdrive that has all the programs the user wants or used on it, then when they plug the drive into the USB port, they now have all their files they are using, plus the programs they use all configured and set up the way they want to use them.
I presently use Foxmail for an email client like this and also WS FTP in this way, I suppose I use a program called GKW - Good Key Words also, however I would like to have Frontpage on the thumb drive and Microsoft Word or Excel also. Then I would be able to throw away my computer and use Internet café only. Presently to throw away the computer and only use the internet café, I need to load many programs onto the computer, and then when I return to the Café, I get to do again, because I would be on a different computer.
A Thumbdrive with many programs on it, that does not need the operating systems of the internet café to work would be a windfall in travel mobility.
Koh Samet Thailand
Monday November 21, 2005, 12:10 PM
I am on the Island of Koh Samet in the country of Thailand. It is maybe 150 Kilometers south of Bangkok. The cost of Internet has gone from 15 Baht in Khon Kaen, or 30 Baht in Bangkok to 120 Baht on the Island of Koh Samet.
The word Koh means in the Thai language “Island” so everything an Island has Koh in front of it.
We left from Khao San Road in Bangkok using a ticket for 225-260 Baht. 40 Baht more or less equals one dollar so this is about six dollars U.S. In the USA for the same distance between Chicago and Angola, Indiana cost me 35-40 U.S. Dollars. Therefore, as always most everything is five times cheaper. Thailand is one of the best values on the planet for most anything you wish to do; there are very few places cheaper than Thailand.
This is a photo of the corner where we got on the bus to go to Koh Samet, I always laugh in Khao San Road, you enter a Travel Agent and buy the ticket, everyone has a different price and a little different spiel, however they are all selling the same bus, so no matter what you do, it is best to buy the cheapest
I was very happy to get the large bus; a girl got of the bus and was suppose to be on the faster more comfortable mini-van. I have found these vans to be the most uncomfortable way of traveling in Thailand. They would be great if they did not over-load them and nothing works. The air is not working, the music is too loud, the driver is a nut, and I get carsick. I believe there is no question in my mind, 95 percent of the time a big bus is better anywhere in Thailand.
This is a photo of a typical ferry to Koh Samet, even though the girl got off the bus and went on the mini-van, whereby she arrived sooner, she still go got on our ferry and did not arrive faster. There are only ferries a few times and you cannot hurry up the leaving time by arriving sooner.
Here is where I get to pay 200 Baht or 5 Dollars U.S. to enter the park. I see this as a corrupt way to control development of the Island. The park if full of resorts and hotel, it is not really a protected park, other than it has the label on top of it, as I see it, they will eventually sell off all the spots in the park and then say it is not a park.
Making it a park is good excuse for the Thai government to collect money, hard to say it does provides benefits, and there are many trucks and motorcycles inside the park and no obvious benefits, other than they get richer by extracting money. Thailand is Mexico with a twist.
This is November; maybe the beach is longer or wider during some times of the years. However, for now there is no sandy dry beach.
Koh Samet is mostly a beach for people who do not wish to lay on the beach and sun bath, I guess about 10 percent of the person on a beach actually want to lay around and sun bath, most either want to shop, drink, walk around sit in the shade.
Most of the people that come to Koh Samet are Thai people it appears, I think on the weekend they come in droves and the prices rise. This is a perfect beach for Thai people as there still large trees and a lot of shade. Most of the time the locals cut down the trees for firewood, however somehow the trees have survived.
The Thai people come to leave the city, party and try to say they were on an Island. However for sure the Thai people do not like the sun and will do anything to avoid becoming tan or darker skinned.
I am looking for a beach closer to Bangkok, a beach I could go to in about 3 hours and stay easily. Pattaya is the obvious choice, however if I go to Pattaya there will always be this… “YOU are going for S E X.” Problem.
Pattaya is the Thai Prostitute Capital of Thailand. However, is also one of the closest to Bangkok and easiest to visit beaches in Thailand? I have never been to Pattaya, even though I have been to Thailand maybe 15 times. I love the beach of Koh Pha Ngan; however, the torturous bus and boat trip of 15 hours more or less is a bit hard to get to the beach. I really would like an easier solution. Phuket is more or less another S E X beach and Koh Samui is also pay-too-much to say you are a tourist beach. I am not sure what to do; I am thinking about going to a beach north of Pattaya and finding a play I can visit without saying Pattaya.
When I mention the word Pattaya, there is an instant belief you are going there to buy S E X, so on this blog it really a nutty situation. A person will search on the internet find a page with the word Pattaya and instantly think I am here looking for the same as them and start writing. They will not read or try to figure out, I just suddenly get emails from people I do not want to talk with or hear from.
The girls in the photos are lying on large rocks. The reason for this is there is no beach that is dry on Koh Samet. I am not sure, and then they probably want more money to lie on a chair to stay out of the wet sand. All in all this is terrible place to lie in the sun, more of a place for a couple to lie around in a room for the weekend and go home. I am not going to return. However, for a lover’s weekend this is the perfect place, I am sure after 4 days they would be bored to death.
There is some ancient and non-existent vision of Thailand. This is beautiful and they continue to place statues of something all over Thailand. This is the beach.
This is a wide part of the beach. Notice the wet lines, when I choose a place to lay on the beach I look for dry sand. There are fleas in wet sand and the constant moisture of wet sand makes you towel soaked. Here there is tide so you will be moving constantly. A lounge chair is the solution however, you even move a little on this beach and you will be in the shade.
I am on the Island of Koh Samet. This computer does not allow my USB Thumbdrive to work so no picture until I try another place that may work. The cost went from 15 Baht to 120 Baht per hour, a huge jump for less.
The island has no dry sand, I am probably going to go north closer to Bangkok in a couple of days, this is resort type island with no beach. Very pretty but boring after about one day. I am still on day one.
Tracking the Hippo
Friday November 18, 2005, 8:10 AM
I want to see a Hippo or Hippopotamus.
I can read about Hippos in my Encarta Encyclopedia and I can go the zoo and look at a Hippo, however I want to see where they exist in the wild.
I also am trying to track of find all the larger animals, like the Rhino, Whale, Gorilla, etc, plus a few of the cats like Jaguar. I do not know what you would call this list, it a list of animals difficult to see in the wild.
The elephants I seen in the Chitwan National Park in the south of Nepal made me want to see more large animals in, or close to a natural state. I want to see them with their nobility still connected to them, and not completely caged. I want to see these animals in their normal savage state.
I am doing well with this new way of researching; it is a tickler system of research and keeps me daily updated on many topics. I have learned that in Kerala in south India, there are many Elephants or at least for sure, the news from Kerala reports a lot of information about Elephants. India is a great place to see Animals, like monkey and such because the India people are mostly Vegetarians and this mean the animals are not eaten.
I am collecting patterns; I am learning slowly where the world is talking the most about Animals. What this is not where the animals are located, more where or when a large animal like the Hippo meets a Human. Most of the reports are about zoos; I read all of them and then just post up on the blog the ones that are closer the wild in my opinion. I have to make a judgment.
The more I do my web pages, and writing the more I learn there is a need for research.
I am not sure research is the correct word.
It says here:
“Scientific Method, term denoting the principles that guide scientific research and experimentation, and also the philosophic bases of those principles. Whereas philosophy in general is concerned with the why as well as the how of things, science occupies itself with the latter question only, but in a scrupulously rigorous manner. The era of modern science is generally considered to have begun with the Renaissance, but the rudiments of the scientific approach to knowledge can be observed throughout human history.”
I am using a scrupulously rigorous manner to find these animals, however I am not going beyond the known bounds of information.
I believe there are people studying Hippos somewhere on the planet. I hope to slowly learn where, how, and why. Then maybe I could read where they believe the Hippo is still surviving in the wild state.
What is already known?
This is the question I am always trying to answer. There is a natural arrogance of the human mind that somehow believes all that they are thinking about it unique. I personally feel I have no unique thoughts. I have or will continue to repeat of compile something I read or seen and say it again in maybe a different way.
Researchers write me.
On a regular basis, some person doing research writes me, asking a few questions then they disappear.
Waorani Indigenous persons of Ecuador.
A person recently or about two months ago wrote me asking if I seen the Waorani Indians in Ecuador when I was on the Napo River. What are the possibilities of going and visiting them and such, he was asking some good questions so I started to go further with my “Uncontacted Tribes” research and include the Waorani Indians of Ecuador in the search words.
There does seem to be a lot of interest in this tribal group, and s book or two has been written.
THIS is the roadblock, the wall if knowledge is stopped because I only have access to internet-based information. I can do hands on or I can go to the place, however to know the existing information I must find it offline. The internet is almost worthless when it come to doing research on something like the Waorani Indians. If you want to learn about Shakira, the Internet is great, if you want to go off the path than you have very little actual information available.
I am looking forward to this, when Google.com scans and digitized all the books in the Harvard Library. Then the information is on the internet, a person can then do some real research on the internet. When the next step is reached and they start to translate the research done in German, French to English then the world of knowledge will be opened. The door is starting to crack open, what a wonder.
My Research blog links on:
While I am at it, I will give you the Shakira one…
Here is one for many of you fat Americans… Diet.
I have many of these and I am adding a couple per day, not much work. However, what this does is create a haven for me of links where I can go when I want to focus and read some of the best new release or WebPages on the chosen subject. I can then compile the information into a digested database. Whala, I have information to use for a web site.
Traveling Thailand with Computer
Friday November 18, 2005, 8:10 AM
I have a good friend and my worst enemy in this computer. It causes me headaches however, both gives me a project to relieve the boredom of travel and make me enough money to travel. However if also needs constant attention like a small child.
My computer is fixed.
I ironically met a man by the name of Joe from the USA in the internet cafe, he works for the US Post Office in Florida as an Electronics Engineer. He keeps the machine with the computer controls running.
The problem was my connections were bad, he removed the RAM memory, processor and hard drive and just put back in or reset them into their bases. The processor was loose, I think it was this connection, however it is not 3 times faster than before, it is strange to me it would even work, however now it work better.
Sometimes the answers come from places you do not expect; I was amazed at the accidental meeting of this man. In Khon Kaen, there are no other foreigners; I do not see tourist, maybe one or two per week, however not in this area. Therefore, someone was looking over my shoulder to help me with this problem.
I was explaining that I do not learn much about the software or hardware of a computer.
I said, if I type
Into the computer and run, what happens if I make a terrible mistake, I cannot talk Thai and they cannot talk English. I may have to call the USA and talk for hours to reverse one stupid move on my part. I can give the Hewlett Packard Company the computer here and maybe they will fix it. I personally do not believe there are many people that can fix computers. I believe they just replace parts until the do the correct on, to actually isolated and diagnosis the problem is not easy.
I do make changes on my computer, however with extreme caution, sometimes typing or writing exactly what I did so I can reverse the process or hope I can reverse the process.
A laptop is not built the same a desktop and the parts are smaller and not interchangeable as easily.
I had a nasty email from a person saying I was racist on this blog posting.
It is interesting to me how people will instantly convert a generalization into some form of racist remark.
I believe there is presently in the world about a 80 percent correlation between.
Islamic and Terrorism.
When I hear of a Terrorist attack, I have an 80 percent chance it was done by some Islamic group that has hijacked their religion. My personal belief is this problem will disappear when the religion has had enough. They are making some enemies of their somewhat tolerant groups. Now Indonesia, Jordan and Egypt are becoming tired of the killing.
Bigotry and racism is about illogical and irrational beliefs, like a person is bad because of the color of their skin.
However much I do not like to hear the comment that Americans are fat, I have to agree they are fatter than the rest of the planet.
It is rational to see the correlation between the Islamic Religion and Terrorism. It is terror to keep our mouths shut or feel afraid if we say what we believe is true. I do not think Islamic people as a whole believe in Terrorism, however I do feel the put a blind eye to what then know and could stop.
I think this type of comment is about the same as saying I am stupid because I have bad grammar.
My computer is crashing, I am hoping to drop it off at the Hewlett Packard center in Bangkok and go to the beach and not think about it...
I have the data backed up wonderfully and no problem, I am always in an internet cafe using the locals computers, however to write a newsletter is very difficult. Blogging is easy.
I buy Hewlett Packard, formerly Compaq because they have repair place everywhere on the planet, I suppose IBM does, but they seem to have lost the Horse Race.
It is annoying, just reboots, something maybe about replacing.
nonetheless, maybe I can use the disk gave with the machine that reformats the drive and reinstalls the original software. I carry two rocks, one called a computer and two boxes of CD Roms of Software, they are presently in Bangkok at the Sawasdee Smile hotel in storage.
Just another day of being a Mobile Computer Warrior, another battle to keep the crap running. Note my first computer lasted 6 years on the road, and after that I now have purchased two more, they are not making them more durable, however guaranteed you need to buy the next.