Bangkok Low Cost Carriers
Sunday October 16, 2005, 1:53 AM
I walked over to talk to Nat Tour and Travels and had a long conversation yesterday with Nat, although I am learning this must be his nickname. As best I understand he is from the Netherlands also called Holland and is married to a Thai Woman.
A Map of a Few Major Travel Agents in Khao San Road Area..
Khao San Road is about a three block street of mass people and people setting up business on the sidewalk. As normal in the world the sidewalks are for venders to sell and the road is a place to walk.
Nonetheless, I had a long conversation with Nat, he is a good person, dry and to the point, not a lot of inflection in the conversation. Mostly right to the point on most conversations. I was joking with him try to explain that he has one of the worst client bases on the planet. A bunch of people who have too many tattoos, too many dreads, and probably are going to be on the dole most of their lives, trying there best to create an image that is unemployable in the world.
He has a tough group to sell to, mostly trying to spend nothing and do not want to pay a fair price for anything.
He sold me a set a ticket from the internet, if I would have known all the airlines I could have purchased on the internet and maybe saved more money. I personally do like travel agents and for sure I ask as many questions as possible when I find a good one. The trouble with a travel agent is normally they will give you a test price and if they think you are willing to buy on the spot, you do not get the best deal. You really do have to price out a ticket at about 5-10 places and then buy.
Nat is an expert in a constructed set of locations.
Like going from Bangkok to Jordan, Israel then to Egypt and off to England. He knows many cheap or low cost carrier paths. This is what is valuable with a travel agent. Finding the path of least cost on a city to city-to-city airplane trip.
My comment was to him is this,
“Many travel agents know one city flight away from their city; you know two, three or four flights or levels away.”
Most travel agents are not too smart, they only know one way, the type in the routes and tell you a price the computer creates. Nat or Mr. Joe or many agents in the Khao San Road area can create that funky list of cities and tell you or sell you ticket to all of the cities you wish to visit.
LCC, I think is the term Nat used for airlines like airasia.com or in Europe it would be like Easyjet.com etc. These are the airlines off the list of publish fares or IATA list of airlines. They are the cheapies I am always trying to discover and log into my list of airline paths.
Nat is fully aware and said something to the effect that in five years there will be no need to buy a plane ticket from a travel agent. I did learn the other day that by 2007 or something all airlines must use E-tickets. Then the need for a travel agent will be almost down to zero. However as I tried to explain to Nat to me a travel agent can save me hundreds of dollars in travel frustration. If I route out my path I will run into many obstacles that cost me money.
1. Hotel Cost
I will stop in a city on the wrong day and not find a hotel and pay a lot.
(Nat told me to stop in Macau or Fly into Macau from Sunday to Wednesday or the other days the Hotels are full and cost a lot.)
2. Airport Tax
(I was going to fly out of Manila however, he instructed me that the Airport Tax is high and better fly into Manila and fly out of Clark and I will save on airport tax, however pay for the bus, but visit a different city.)
3. Visa Cost
(He created a way or told me that I could visit and get a visa quickly to China easy in Macau or Hong Kong, and then enter into China.)
4. Baggage Cost
(He told me which flights would only allow 15 kilos, and therefore I will leave about 15 kilos in storage in Bangkok for the next month.)
5. Fly from the same city.
(Nat can tell you where a land trip between cities is good, and you do not repeat or come back on the same land path.)
A good travel agent will help you find all the small pitfalls along travel paths and help keep your life comfortable.
I can hear the rambling of people saying to themselves,
“My travel agent does this.”
Yes, there are thousands of agents that help you find and easy and simple route of flights from a city-to-city and hotel to hotel and after you are done, you will say or think the trip was very easy.
However only about on in a hundred can tell you how to do the same trip on a Hobo budget. Nat and probably a few others on Khao San Road area can sell you a ticket for one-third the cost of the agent that sold you that comfortable trip.
Bottom line you can normally travel anywhere on the planet, stop at a couple of places along the way for less than 700 Dollars USA. Any ticket that cost more than 700 Dollars one-way is starting to make me nervous. The around the world tickets do not work, they have too many problems. I would only buy one for a daughter to make sure she came back and did not marry the worthless men she sleeps with along the way, keeping her on the plane path so she does not fall in love with the “Ellos sin futures” those without a future.
However other than that you can fly from place to place if you have the time and always buy the tickets along the way. My discussion with Nat was about my every present project to find a few strategic GATES on the planet where I can fly into, then take the discount airlines around the area and then make the big jump with full weight of my 37 Kilos or 80 pounds of backpack crap.
I am trying to collect all the:
1. IATA Airlines in a database.
2. All LCC - Low Cost Airlines in a Database.
3. All the Airports on the planet.
FOUR the big problem
4. The bases or routes they take.
I think what I am trying to do, I will only know after I am done is to collect all the Airports of the planet or cities with the Airports. Then somehow tell all the Airlines and approximate cost to leave from this city to another city one level away.
Nat is the kind of person that would know how to do this, there are books written about this type of information, and for sure, Johnnyjet.com my friend in the USA collects this type of data.
My goal is to find these Nats all around the planet that can keep me on the cheaper path and keep me from making expensive mistakes.
I am getting better, we have the technology, we can make the best travel agent on the planet. Hehehe…
I can make the bionic man or woman of travel agents, a combination of travel agent and internet page… Fun.
Travel Agents can work a lot with a person by email and never sell the ticket, most people are just plane rude, they will ask many questions and when a person tells them the same price, they do not go back to the person that spent time writing them emails.
The essential problem is a travel agent needs to have a form that asks every question possible for the person to buy the ticket. Then they must negotiate the problem away, decide on a price, and then the agent must have the person pay with a credit card that makes it impossible for them to back out of the deal or contract. Most of this comes down to having some very good Credit card processing and an ironclad way of communication with the travel agent so that both parties can review the conversations and see what was said. An archive of all the emails in one spot that they can see, read, review and make sure or help them remember what they said. I am trying with techies to create this communication by online emails where a person has to give an agent enough information to help the person.
The average travel agent cannot afford to make a page that is on the level of some discount airlines, this is bottom line. They need a site that would cost as much as a discount airlines site. My guess is the price for a normal discount airline is around 20,000 U.S. dollars minimum and is junk, until they do it the second time.
I am sure many pay up to 100,000 dollars for a web site to process plane ticket and some I know they pay more. I am trying to figure out how to give this technology to a travel agent for free. I figure if I can help myself to buy tickets from Nat over the internet, I can help others. I never write a travel agent for prices. This is an almost worthless use of time.
Here is an interesting comment from Nat, he said,
“I know how to fly around the planet with LCC all except for one flight.”
This means you probably could get on the internet and book all the flights as you went and never pay much for a ticket. Now if I can translate this abundance of knowledge into something possible to understand for anyone. I am amazed now how many people are being totally fleeced by internet pages. Mostly the big ones you hear about all the time, same as the travel agent that makes it easy for three times the cost of Nat. Any travel agent in a backpacker area will be cheaper than the ones hanging around near the Sheraton or Hiltons.
This is where I collect information on Airplanes.
What is this Icon
Sunday October 16, 2005, 3:13 AM
I think this little guy is working against me, he is really irritating me, and makes many internet cafes worthless of highly junk.
There are programs that are now standard on a computer and if you go into the one in a hundred that is really good they will have set of many programs on the computer ready to use.
1. Hotmail Messenger
2. Yahoo Messenger
3. Adobe PDF reader
4. Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.
I want to use some of these and try to download onto the computer, then I get it set up and when I come back to the computer the program is missing or gone. I think it is little guy. I am not annoyed at the guy, I am annoyed at the internet caf้ that cannot seem to do the minimums provide the normal programs and set ups, configurations and all standard.
Making money is easy, make the same things, give a person all the ask for and repeat this. I am under the impression that a restaurant is the easiest business on the planet. Find some foods that people like to eat, put them on the menu and never change them. People will come back over and over and never stop coming until you remove their favorite foods. An internet caf้ is the same, give them all the stuff people want and they will return every day. There is probably 100 places to use the internet in the Khao San Road area and only two are systematic or even close. Of course this is Thailand and people do not speak English good. However for sure the internet cafes are 10 times better than the too clever Germans or Americans who only make it impossible to use and give you nothing, making sure you cannot use the computers for all the virus, stop this and stop that systems, Guaranteed to make a computer of no value.
I just walked here to the 24 hour, laundry machine, coin operated internet cafe. They have they ingenious coin machines that use coins and turns off the Monitor when the time is up, a really great system of paying for the internet.
On the way I ran into a friend from India I met, trying to drag a girl from Canada home. We had this conversation about India Internet. The Internet in India is some of the worst on the planet, from all the junk machines to the just I do not care to help you problems. He kept telling me about all these great access points in Mumbai... They are believing what the press says, trust me the internet is terrible in India. I get knocked off when chatting with Andrew all the time for this reason.
The electricity goes off in the city.
I am off to the Philippines where I think the techie situation could be much better than India, he was also asking me about their IT people.
"Well, you hope they would have some good ones, they have one billion people to pull from."
This is like having 10 times the brains of Germany, Germany has some brilliant IT people, and if they had 10 times the people, they would have 10 times the techies. India is only three times bigger than the USA.
It is ratio of brains per population, what is really good is they have the natural born brain power and aptitudes in this area, plus their culture encourages the studying of engineering. While the USA and Europe are all studying how to become liberals and save the planet, when they cannot save themselves. India is great, they all want to work... in the USA, there goes the brains, as always they breed them, we buy them.
Bangkok to Singapore to Manila to Macau to Hong Kong
Saturday October 15, 2005, 8:18 AM
The plane ticket route I purchased yesterday.
I have purchase an interesting trip for the next 30 day; it will end in Bangkok when I am done. However mostly I will spend a couple of weeks in the Philippines.
Unfortunately, this trip is mostly a business trip; however, I hope to get to the beach in the Philippines. Singapore, Macau, and Hong Kong are not high on my want to visit places on the planet, so I am in and out quickly. However, I am looking for more bases of travel where I can explore more place from and return. To really travel the world in pleasure I feel I need to sometimes travel very light, however to really enjoy my trip I need to have a lot of weight. So I need both a lot and a little with me at the same time, this is a puzzle, how do you have a lot of weight about 40 kilos or 80 pounds and then travel with only about 15 Kilos or about 30 pounds some of the time?
The way you travel very light, but have a lot of weight in luggage is to have a base camp. A starting and ending point, fly into the base camp, as is Bangkok presently here for me, then fly to other locations from there and then return with a light bag.
I am looking for base camps in this area, it could maybe be Bali or Jakarta or who know for sure in the Islands areas, it could be Darwin in Australia, I am sure this is obvious to someone. The problem with a base camp is I want two things; I want a cheap and easy place to live like Bangkok however, I also want to be able to purchase tickets CHEAP and easy with lots of competition for the sale of Air Tickets.
I do not know how a country does it, however most of the countries on the planets stop free competition of airlines. They seem to somehow create an environment where everyone agrees to only sell round-trip ticket or return tickets in the English way of talking. Some countries are just plain obnoxious in the way they control plane tickets, therefore killing the majority of their possible tourism business. Two prime examples is the Philippines and Brazil, these are two of the best places on the plane for tourist to visit and they have successfully stopped most of the tourism, they are probably only getting one-third the percentage of tourist that should be in the countries.
A combination of difficult Visas, bad plane competitions and some a governmental controls that seem crazy to me. I am not going to say it is crazy, just seems crazy, I do not think that country should encourage tourism, I think it should be easy for a person to visit, I do not think the government should have more than about 5 percent of any income for the country from tourism.
I was walking by the Chabab House near Khao San Road and looked over to the doorway, there is this person checking backpacks for bombs. The Chabab house is some form of extreme Israel Hotel or Hostel for the extreme level of Jewish person. I am not sure how it works and really do not care, they at time push up there with the Islamic religion and really are the same in many ways with their too much or too much religious crap.
Nonetheless the do ask for problem sometimes and the Chabab House is a perfect target for an Islamic Bomb in the Khao San Road area. This is like an inevitable event, there will be a bomb on Khao San Road, and the question is where and when. I think they will choose one of a couple, probably one of the clubs, Sunset, or Gulliver’s, there is another however I do not know the name.
Nonetheless for a year when they do this or on Koh Samui the country of Thailand will be an economic disaster zone. This is because I would guess that more than 5 percent of the economic wealth of Thailand comes direct or indirectly from Tourism.
I have a minimum chance of being involved in one of these bombs because I do not live in an Israel Hostel, or go to the clubs involved, I also have no use for the island of Koh Samui.
What I am looking for primarily is a way to explore the Indonesia or Micronesia Island areas easily with a minimum amount of travel stupidity.
Defined as when you have too difficult plane tickets, gouging of hotels, and transportation that is overpriced.
My guess is Singapore is one of these places, a place where they want to be like Europe and try to maneuver the prices to go along with this. Singapore is surrounded by countries that are very cheap, and there is very little to look at in Singapore except some big buildings, so why would I want to pay a lot to stay in a big city. Many people need to do this I was in New-York-or-Los-Angeles mentality. Singapore is I was in a big city bragging rights type travel.
There is a marginal difference between any big city and another, they all are terrible stressful, expensive and over-priced. However for sure there are some exceptions like Bangkok or Quito Ecuador or maybe Riga, Latvia. These are the best base camp cities as you can make some serious financial choice mistakes and not lose the bank. One wrong move in Amsterdam and you pocket has 100 dollars less in it, this is a very annoying thing to happen.
Yes most travelers or tourist avoid this by an extreme amount of planning, however if I have to live planning this hard, I will stop traveling and go home and forget this travel. Nothing is more stressful than places like Amsterdam or maybe… New York, City.
How can a person go to New York City for less than having 100-200 Dollars per day in my pocket? This is not a vacation; this is work, or selling of my soul to visit a city. I am not saying I do not think they are not full of places to see or must see, I am saying the whole planet has this type of must see crap and in the end nobody cares, except for me, I am not a city boy so who wants to go listen and feel a bunch of aggressive city people with no manners. I have that in Bangkok and it only cost me 6 dollars per night for a Hotel.
I could though get to Singapore and find it is very easy…. I doubt it or all the backpackers would have it on their list. Bali is on all the backpackers list, not Singapore.
HoboTraveler.com has passed or is over the 2.5 GIG mark in size now, I had to up the purchased space to 3.5 Gigs so I could publish the blog.
That is a lot of typing and photos.
Slow in Bangkok
Friday October 14, 2005, 7:37 AM
I am going slow in Bangkok, trying to clear up what I call the gobblygoop factor in my brain. This is when the brain has inserted too much stimulation and needs time to categorize all the thoughts until it reaches clarity.
Slow is an interesting world in Bangkok, because as a person wonders around Bangkok you are able to see or encounter many accidental stories. If I look slowly at what is passing me or what is sitting around looking I can see that Bangkok is only for the world of crazy people. This is the perfect world for a person to write a book about lost love, desperation, and search for sanity in a world with no explanations. Give it an overlay of the Vietnam war or a man running away from Love where he or she skips from one confusing continent to another confusing continent and ends up in Bangkok. Of course the person would need to dream of good times in Paris or England, like a Casablanca movie.
Most of the travelers that come and stay a short while in Bangkok have no story and no future. However this makes them interesting, they are not going to tell you some clear path like,
“I am in University studying to be Lawyer, I will graduate in one year and find a Flat in London.”
You are more likely to hear,
“I took off a year before UNI and went to India stayed in an Ashram where I did not talk for 10 days.”
There are dead end in conversations and some I just cannot be bothered to follow. One man stopped me and asked me for Legal advice on how to divorce his wife; she is from Israel, living in England while he is from England and now is in Bangkok. If he divorces her, she will have to leave the country. I gave him a few bottom lines, he want to end it early; however, what he wants is to stop thinking. Thailand is a great place, nobody really thinks here and when you do, you can say anything because nobody will think you crazy, because they have the same story.
I needed time to buy things, time to collect small things that make my home more comfortable. I purchased a new computer bag that is a top loader or end loader, it is also a backpack. I can place on my back in the airport for more comfort in walking. I think all long-term travelers need a computer bag to carry on the plane; a computer bag is like a woman purse, they will not stop you for having a computer bag. It is like the purse for men, a way to carry more than you fair share on to the plane. If you have you carryon and a small backpack they will not like this, however you 14 x 9 x 22 carryon and then a computer bag and life is easy. Get a bag that says Duty-Free on it and you can carry a big plastic bag also.
I also have been catching up on small things, slurpees from 7-11, a few extra books, a guidebook here and there, Q-tips and small items. All of these items could be purchased in Wal-Mart in one hour; however, in Thailand it will take 2-4 days of looking around, they hide all these small items all over the city. I come to Bangkok because it is easier here than most cities on the planet.
There are many tourist travelers buying many souvenirs, these items are changing. They have started to sell the India or Nepal souvenir T-shirts that says,
There is an “Anarchy” T-shirt that has now spread through Thailand souvenirs, I had to purchase a couple “Same Same but Different” T-shirts.
Most of the souvenirs have nothing to do with Thailand other than the person saw the items in Thailand and they will forever remind them of Thailand. Sadly, the products will now forever be stamped on the Thai culture as something of or from Thailand.
What is interesting about culture is any product that is mass-produced in a factory, anything that has packaging, probably did not exist 100 years ago. I would have loved to be a traveler 100 years ago before they started to mass produce culture.
Research and Travel
Wednesday October 12, 2005, 6:24 AM
I am a researcher at heart, I find I am constantly collecting data, most of it useless and I will never use, however some of it I do use. If nothing else it a way to learn about the world. The more information I collect the more I understand the planet.
What spurs me on sometimes is the over abundance of DANGEROUS information on the internet.
Just the other day I met a very nice Canadian couple in the internet caf้, this is also a place to buy bus tickets as is normal in Thailand. They just purchased a round trip bus ticket from Bangkok, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia the location of Angkor Wat. They were having this annoyingly confused conversation with the person from Thailand that was selling the tickets. They wished to know about the Visa back into Thailand, or if their 30 day Thailand Visa would work for them to enter again.
NOW… The problem is the word Visa; this word elicits an idea that you received some type of special permission. They received a 30-day Visa to enter Thailand as they entered the Airport. It sounds like it was issued for 30 days and they control this.
It is just a 30-day permission I told them.
If you enter again, you start again and get another 30 days.
If you want to stay in Thailand for years, you just need to cross a border once every 30 days.
Burma cost 5 dollars last time I crossed, and Malaysia is Free, Cambodia and Lao are difficult and expensive. However, you can get the Cambodia, Permission to enter at the border.
The couple was genuine, wanted to find answers, however they was asking the wrong people. Just because they sell Visas does not mean they know what they are selling. Moreover, the Thailand people cannot speak English normally well enough to explain or understand anything more than yes or no, and you always have to suspect what they say.
Crossing a border is probably the most complicated and hard to explain procedure on the planet. Being there are about 312 countries on the planet, there is also 312 types of passports, so there could be 312 separate types of rules for each country on the planet. The possible answers are crazy for most people. It comes down though to those in the … “WESTERN” world, which is a confusing word also. However mostly means Europe, USA. Australia and New Zealand maybe should include Japan.
I think literally it mean the WEST, as if England is the center of the planet and it was for most Sailors starting to explore the planet.
All of this is confusing; however, I am doing research so I am trying to figure out the bottom line references. I have decided to collect all the borders crossing of the world. I already have all of the countries that have borders and know of many of the problems. For example if a person leaves by boat and goes to another country, is that a border crossing? Is all of the countries on the Mediterranean Sea bordered on the other countries, you can leave one and enter the other.
You could get on a boat and find you cannot enter one country however, everyone else on the boat can, and this is a big problem for Sea Captains.
What I need now is this.
An extremely good, not just good, however an extremely good, the best world Atlas possible to buy with all the cities on each side of a border down to the names of the road, numbers on highways, I need to know distances. There is essentially a city on each side of all borders. These are the cities that I need to know to help people cross a border.
Research or curiosity is needed to travel all the time all your life.
Happy Birthday Dad
Tuesday October 11, 2005, 9:07 AM
My father has a birthday soon, however he is very happy and it is called the…
CHICAGO WHITE SOX!
Happy Birthday Dad
The Chicago Whites Sox professional Baseball Team is doing very well in the playoffs that lead up to the World Series. I think as best I can understand from reading very bad explanations on the internet is the White Sox is about to win the American League and I hope or think they will be in the World Series playoffs to be the National Champion of the United States of America.
What is the Chicago White Sox?
“Chicago White Sox, professional baseball team, one of five teams in the Central Division of the American League (AL). Originally called the White Stockings, the team plays at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois.” (2)
What is the WORLD SERIES?
“World Series, major league baseball's annual championship series, played between the winners of the National League (NL) and the American League (AL) playoffs.” (2)
My father is one of the best baseball players I have ever seen in my life. We used to play in these Church Softball Teams or on some form or Family Reunion or any type of Baseball or Softball pick up game.
Some people can remember their Father hitting a home run…
I cannot remember a time when he did not hit a Home Run; he always hit at least one or two or when he got his turn to bat. As the story, I understand goes he did not try out for the Major Leagues, as there was this local Pitcher that tried out and did not make it, this was maybe a mistake. I believe my father played short stop, and he was a heavy hitter.
Nonetheless, a more interesting thing is his loyalty to the Chicago White Sox Professional Baseball Team.
I am not sure how long; my guess is in the early 1950’s.
It is annoying to the Europeans that we call this the World Series as it is in reality only the USA, however there is nothing more American to me than Baseball, it is Red White and Blue, a true Americanism.
WORLD SERIES RECORD for White Sox
1906 Defeated Chicago Cubs, 4 games to 2
1917 Defeated New York Giants, 4 games to 2
1919 Lost to Cincinnati Reds, 5 games to 3
1959 Lost to Los Angeles Dodgers, 4 games to 2
WHITE SOX RESEARCH
My mother wrote me tell me the White Sox were winning and that Dad was in Seventh Heaven, however as always I do not pay attention to Baseball or Sports enough to understand what is happening. I was not sure if they made it the World Series or has just one their Division. I started to do these searches in Google.com for White Sox news and such, however they all star talking.
They ASSUME I understand, that I know how it works, that I know the background. Hard to figure out when they leave out the subject. I really do not like writing that does not set up the story. I tried my best to explain above what is happening or what is the World Series? Not easy for me to explain because I really do not understand completely.
I do understand though this. This is my Fathers Team, it is the team he has been watching for 50 years, he is loyal, he did not change with the wind, and he did not abandon or change. This is his team, he is loyal, and I think he took my Mother on their Honeymoon to a Chicago White Sox game. To say the least, my father is a Baseball Fan.
He is not unreasonable, he is not crazy, he just is loyal, so this is great. I am a Fan of the USA, hard for me to see anything bad about the USA, I have to really work to make sure I do not make an excuse or turn something the USA does into a benefit. I just love the USA; I think it is the best place and people on the planet.
Loyalty my Mother and Father have been married for over 50 years, there is a stability in my life that most people can never understand.
My Mother and Father.
My Fathers Loyalty to the White Sox.
My Father going to the coffee shop in the morning.
A newspaper being on the table when I eat breakfast at my parent’s home.
My father always woke up before me and probably always will, it is hard to get in front of my father, he is the best.
The Good Gods looked down on my Family and for that, I am grateful. I am my Mother and Fathers Son; nothing makes me more happy to say.
What about them “White Sox!”
Happy Birthday Dad