We was having a Visa Run talk yesterday and it was quite enlightening to me that people refuse to spend time in other places. There were two people that want to get their Visas renewed. One woman had just returned from Ranong, Thailand or crossing the border into Burma / Myanmar.
I have crossed the border at Ranong a couple of times. It is an easy border crossing for the most part.
What happens here in Koh Pha Ngan is that people pay 1700 Baht to go for a quick run to Burma. But really it is a very slow run. They spend the night on the all night boat to Surat Thani and then wait for until sunrise or the bus arrives. The fat lady took a small van as arranged to the local bus and they went to Ranong. They then went by Songtau or Truck Taxi to the Fish Pier, crossed by small boat and they returned. It was not that simple, but that is more or less.
I did basically the same on time, but・
Ranong is maybe 6 hours away:
1. I took the morning boat to Surat Thani.
2. Stayed the night in Surat Thani
3. Took a little Van for 150 the next morning to Ranong.
4. Got a Room for 100-150 in the Spring Guest House.
5. Crossed the border one time at the Casino, and crossed another time just down the road from the Spring Guesthouse at the Fish Pier.
6. Went and visited the great Agro-tourism, beach, scuba diving, and a more or less German colony island of Koh Chang.
7. Took the small bus back to Surat Thani.
WHY DO PEOPLE AVOID LIVING IN CITIES?
I cannot understand why people avoid staying in cities like Surat Thani or Ranong. The fat lady did everything in her power to avoid this, and in the end was telling me I did not understand the Thai Culture, but I can guarantee I just stop in all the small cities if possible, and stays. That is a must if you want to learn the 途eal・culture of a country.
The other guy is trying or going to take a bus all the way to Panang or Georgetown Malaysia to stay on a beach he knows, then come back. It is cheap from here because there is package for 550 Baht. Even though it is closer to go to Ranong, the cost is about the same. I do not know about the return cost.
But in the end, they both are spending a lot of time avoiding the normal cities of Thailand.
I am going to Had Yai this week and I have already spent a couple of night there, I do not really think the city is interesting, but nonetheless, I may find something this time that I did not find the time before. Going back to a city is no big deal, just another place to hang my hat for the night. I am meeting a friend there that is going to a medical convention.
THURSDAY 2:42 AM
I am going to bed too early. I am waking up way to early.
There are lots of people coming home from the bars and they wake me, not that I am sleeping very sound, but the sounds are sufficient to wake me or more correctly make me think it is morning and time to wake up, by the time I check the time I do not feel like going back to bed.
Take a look then subscribe to get in your E-mail box.
Just too easy.
I am going to Had Yai on about the 29th of March to meet a friend. I was in the city for 1 night or something like that a year ago to stage a visa run to Malaysia, but I will be there for a few day soon.
I have no idea what to look at in Had Yai, but it is suppose to be a very clean city, and is a more or less normal city in Thailand if that is possible in a compared to the world sense.
GOSSIP - VIETNAM IS GETTING RID OF KARAOKE
I heard some gossip that Vietnam has outlawed or somehow stopped Karaoke bars. This is an Asian place for people to meet, select, and rent a prostitute so now what will the Karaoke singers do?
I have no idea if this is true, but it would make sense. I have been getting the feeling that Vietnam is trying to come a bigger player in the tourism world, but they must be careful or they will become the next sex-tourism country like Thailand, Cuba, or maybe the city of Rio.
I do pay attention good, so do not pay attention much to my opinions on this trade.
BELGIUM - Gossip - Wants to steal business from Amsterdam.
I heard some gossip a couple of years ago that Belgium was going to legalize smoking marijuana so they could get the business from Amsterdam on the druggie business, or at least try to. What a way to make a living for a city? How stupid.
THE CHANGING OF TRADITIONAL CLOTHING
There is a pair of pants called,
They are sort of a easy to put on, one size fits all cotton slip on pants that are good for fishing I suppose or for the beach. The travelers of Thailand and India have adopted these pants as a typical hippie travel pants and have changed the design.
There is this basic standard very wide design that I think is authentic or typical. I purchased a couple of pair last time in Thailand. The are perfect for lounging around in the hut or around the Hostels.
But・This year I needed a new pair and they are shorting the material. They used to be very wide and now they make them just big enough to go around you, and this is terrible, they do not fit. I am not saying that all of the pants are this way now, but the ones I purchased are this way. It is sad, because these are probably culturally actually Thailand or Asian pants and now they are changing or making them worse to earn more money. This is normal under-developed nation mentality of giving less service than is needed and not more than needed. It is huge problem with doing business. I saw the same pants in India and laughed, but then all the pants in India are too small, they do not appear to make any of them correct.
But I suppose I will have to go now to place where there are no foreigners and buy the pants. What a shame that something good and typical changes for the worse.
It is similar to the Thai Massage. I am not sure there is really a Thai Massage or typical Thai Massage when you dilute it by having every girl that has hands doing a massage, plus half are just a front for the extras they wish to sell.
IN MY ROOM
Wednesday morning 3:30 AM
I guess I could not sleep or more correctly I thought it was time to wake up and just got up and started my day, then I looked at my alarm clock and realized it was very early. But I was already up, drinking coffee, and typing on my computer, so why not just keep at it?
I have a one-room bungalow, hut, or various other names for this type of building in the world. There is a fan and three window that fold open or swing open. The place has a large built in bed, mosquito net and a small table. This is more rustic than a lot of them, but still is basic and good standard living in Thailand. I have a porch on the front with a built in bench chair, a hammock, and a clothes line. This room of my has everything but the shower and toilet for 150 Baht per night or about 3.50 U.S. I could have the toilet for 50 Baht more or for another dollar per night. I am so accustomed to the shared or common toilet I almost do not think about the other choice.
What does seem silly here in Thailand is the number of 2 men or 2 women that share a bungalow. This place is just too small for 2 people that are not in love. I would never share this type of room to save money, but it half the price for 2 people because they do not rate the price by the number or people.
Here is a photo from Koh Tao, but is the same, but on the side of a hil and not on level ground.
There is now a restaurant diagonally across from Chicken Corner. The milk shake corner is gone. Chicken corner restaurant a great place for just a piece of chicken in still there.
I am having tons of small problems with using the Internet in Koh Pha Ngan, Had Rin Beach Thailand. My Laptop or Notebook cannot be connected or at least I have not found a place. The high speed connection is slow. The pages flip and do not send or initiate correctly.
I NEED TO COPY OF COPY AND PASTE TO NOT LOSE MESSAGE!
I always highlight and copy before I will click on send.
ARRIVED IN KOH PHA NGAN
Sunday Morning 4:53 AM
Koh means Island in Thai, so I am on an Island close to another Island called Koh Samui the famous tourist resort island.
I took a bus from the Peachy Guesthouse just off of Khao San Road or behind the Temple a couple of blocks to Koh Phangan Island. The cost was 300 Baht and we left at 6:00 PM and arrived in Koh Pha Ngan about noon the next day. I went by bus and they coordinated all the transfers and boats, etc, to arrive with no hassles. The cost of the taxi truck from the pier to the Had Rin beach or full moon beach was 50 Baht. So for 350 Baht I can leave Khao San Road and arrive on the full moon beach.
This is one of my favorite beaches in the world, because of a few factors, mostly to do with movies. I can sit on a beach full of western girls with very small bikinis and some with smaller yet, and the waves and sun, and topography is perfect for a cove or Bay of water and sun. Then at night I can walk around and choose from about 20 places that have movies and watch one or up to 4 movies during the night in different restaurants. I have to probably purchase a drink or some food, but the cost is small and I can sit and enjoy the most current movie that people can copy and steal from the big studios and catch up on movie watching.
There are plenty of people from all over the world to talk to, a minimal amount of various debauchery that Thailand is known for, and almost no tourist in the typical camera toting or photo taking type, but more of the young wanna party types. They are young, and full of tattoos, piercing, and other fashions, but they behave and life is good.
There are almost no Thai people as this place is claimed by the Western world and the Thais just are here to sell, more or less.
My room in the Black and White cost me 150 Baht for a private bungalow with a share shower. They rent motorbikes for around 150-250 Baht per day or about 3-6 Dollar U.S.
Live is real easy here, and more or less a resort for the young on 6 dollars a day. The Internet is ok here, and a little expensive, but I can manage.
I met or talked with Steve from England. He is a guy that I had met on this beach and again on Palolem Beach in India. He is very good at finding the best beaches on the planet, or mostly I suppose in the Asia Theatre, but he is nonetheless a great pointer for beaches. I have taken some note, and will follow-up on them in the future.
EXCELLENT READER ADVICE ON MANILA
I planning on going to Manila so this person has written me and gave some excellent information. I have omitted his name and personal information, but as always I try to be respectful of wishes, and will fix, alter, or edit as a person wants or does not want credits. I am not sure why business owners do not see that they could get in the newsletter or blog if they gave me good, authentic, and personal information, I normally give them a link up…
Hi, Andy, .....
There is a lot to see and do in the Philippines. However, Manila
is overcrowded, somewhat expensive in comparison, and slightly
dangerous. I lived in the Philippines for 15 consecutive years, in
Angeles City, about 50 KM north of Manila.
… (omitted info)
After base closure, I remained in the Philippines for an additional
four years. I still return to the Philippines two or three times a
year, and sometimes I go to Bangkok for a few weeks. Although you
travel more or less as a backpacker, I am probably considered a
I would recommend that if you go to the Philippines, you spend
three to five days in Manila, and a week or so in Angeles City. Then
maybe a side trip to Baguio, high up in the mountains, and then another side trip to Boracay Island. I would recommend you avoid Mindanao as it is a Muslim stronghold and there are fairly constant conflicts in that area. I think that when a Muslim boy, there, turns about age 14 or so, they have a big party and give him his own M-16 or an AK-47.
There are some 7,100 islands in the Philippines and believe it or
not, generally speaking, each island has its own language.
Although Tagalog is considered the National Language, more people speak Cebuano and Waray. At least in Manila, they speak Tagalog.
In Cebu and the lower half of Leyte, the people speak Cebuano. In Samar and the upper half of Leyte, they speak Waray. Many Filipino words are of Spanish origin, and generally speaking, the average person living there does speak English. 95% of the population is Catholic. Secondary religion, population-wise are Inglasha Ne Christo (Chirch of Christ) and, of course on Mindanao it is about 50% Muslim.
The American Embassy is located on Roxas Blvd, in Manila's Ermita district. Believe it or not, there are some Professional Line Standers who are free lance. There job is to report early morning to the main entrance of the Consular Section and stand in line. Then, when someone wants to go to the head of the line, they "Sell" their place in the line. Most of the "Foreigner" bars in Manila are located in Pasay City and in Makati. The former "Tourist Belt" in Ermita was "Cleaned up" when General Lim, retired Police General, was elected Mayor of Manila. He basically raised the price of the Mayor's Permit (License) for Foreigner oriented bars to some 100,000 Pesos and of course that put most clubs out of business in Manila. Actually, Metro Manila is made up of 23 towns and cities.
The American WWII Cemetary is located on the grounds of Fort
Bonificio and is a "tourist" destination. Intromuros, the old Spanish
Fort area of Manila is also a "tourist" destination. Rizal Park, with
its monument to the Philippines National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, is a good photo spot, but beware of the "touts" who might offer you a "Young woman." Please do not ask one of the bystanders to take your photo using your expensive camera. He will keep stepping back to "focus" and will run away with the camera.
Forbes Park is the area of Manila were the "Rich" Filipinos and
wealthy foreigners usually live. It is a "Gated Community."
I intend to go to Angeles City in the next few weeks and stay about three weeks. Hotels in Angeles range from 3 Star to half a star. I usually stay at the Orchid Inn Hotel and if fully booked I stay at the Clarkton. Room rate at both hotel for a standard air conditioned room is $25.00 a night. Other hotels are available for as cheap as $12.00 a night. I have also stayed at the Phoenix Hotel and the America Hotel for $25.00 a night. I do try to avoid Filipino oriented bars and beer houses. When a group of Filipino men get to drinking, it sometimes gets a bit roudy and dangerous.
However, generally speaking, the Filipinos are a happy, fun-loving,
and friendly people.
The equivelent to Soi Cowboy or Nana Plaza is Fields Avenue. A
bottle of beer in one of the Foreigner oriented clubs is 55 to 80 Pesos
(current exchange rate is about 56 Pesos to one US Dollar.) As for
"Take Out" service by a "Tour Guide" or "Guest Relations Officer," it is
similar to Thailand, except you are expected to pay the club 1,000 Pesos inclusive, plus a small tip of 100 - 500 Pesos, depending upon
performance, the following morning. No other extra charges apply.
A round trip flight on Thai Airways is about $300.00 in Bangkok.
However, Bangkok is a discount ticket area, so I recommend you not buy the tickets from the Airline, but from one of the many Travel Agents there. I usually use Sawadee Travel, located between Soi 6 and 8, Sukumvit, or the travel desk at the Nana Hotel, Sukumvit Soi 4. The Nana Hotel is located directly across the street from the famous (or infamous) Nana Entertainment Plaza. If in that neighborthood, you mightwant to check out the Angelwitch bar on the 2nd Level. If in the Soi Cowboy area, I would recommend a visit around 7:00 PM to the Long Gun Saloon and the New Doll House. The "Hello Girls" at the Doll House usually hold a sign that says: "Welcome to the New Doll House, home of 98 beautiful girls and two ugly ones" I can not recall ever seeing the two ugly ones.
“Omitted Credits unless he give me permission.”
I am here on the Island of Koh PhaNgan. Will go to the beach in about one hour. I have walked around for the last hour looking for an internet cafe to connect. No luck so far. Hard to explain the mentality, but Thailand culture is not the real helping kind unless it is obvious how, or involves women.
Well, I have lived without it for years, I can live a week without it.
I have not found any techie types.
The Island has changed and they are building lots of room here. The prices are about the same.
I will copy more to the computer later.