Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Agro-Tourism Thailand - Why I was robbed
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Agro-Tourism Thailand - Why I was robbed

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ISSUE:  076
DATE:  July 17, 2002
TITLE:  Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Agro-Tourism Thailand - Why I was robbed
TIP:  Why I was robbed
LOCATION:  Koh Chang, Thailand - Near Ranong or Burma



Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Agro-Tourism Thailand - Why I was robbed
Issue 76 Hobotraveler.com - July 17, 2002
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 5


~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)
        Location of Hobo and opinions
The trip from confusion to clarity.
~   Hoboguide.com GO THIS WAY!
Koh Chang Island
          Agro-Tourism, Solitude and Eagles
          A story of a good place to visit.
           Dennis & Scott Bike Around World
~   TODAY’S TIP FROM THE - “Peanut Gallery”
~   HOBO GOSSIP and/or Jaded Remarks

~   HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)



I am in Thailand Hotel. The owner does
not speak a word of English, but loves to listen to
the classic old American songs.
I had to laugh out loud when the song,
“It Never Rains In Southern California”
started to play.
A cloud here in Thailand just poured a bucket of water
on us, and water flows like a river.
The rain starts very fast, and stop equally fast.
Appropriately when it the song broke into the chorus,
“In never rains, in California... IT POURS.”
This must be what they call.
MonnnnnnnnSooooonnn Monsoons
We look out the door at the rain. Eyes frozen, and staring.
Pinned to the place where we stand. Unable to move
anywhere until it stops, and it allows to life continue.

I went to the Island of Koh Chang last week.
Located about one hour away from Ranong by slow
long-tail boat. Probably the correct move, and helped,
and maybe forced me to get my brain on a better channel.
Be careful if you look it up on the map. There are two
Koh Changs in Thailand. One is close to Cambodia
and the other close to Burma. I went to the one close
to Burma, and is more unusual.

People responded to my last letter. Concerned or bored, when
I returned island after only 2 nights, and I had received
159 e-mails in my box when I returned.
(Mostly junk, but it still takes time to clean.)
I sort of wrote the last newsletter and ran to Koh Chang.
There is very little electricity and no internet
on the island. I am getting good at reading by
candle light.

In the prior newsletter I said that I was
GENERALLY TRYING to NOT be overwhelmed.

Travel has many sides. I try to show both a side of
myself, and the world. A little bit of the good and
a little bit of the bad. All of this can overwhelm my mind
with questions. I am not always in a good mood.
I do not like everything I see and feel. Most time life
is great, but some of you, can tell when I am frustrated.
My goal is enjoy life, and give a true and accurate story of
the places I visit, and my thoughts.

Like I told you before I am trying to not be
overwhelmed. I will attempt to explain. I look for
clarity in my thoughts, and actions. I try to keep my
life simple in a world that can be chaotic. If I only think
about simple concepts like,
“What type of big bird are on Koh Chang?
An Eagle? A Falcon? Or what?”
Life is simple.... and so would my newsletters.
(I will explain in next section about Koh Chang)

On the other hand, if I try to understand culture
and explain how I feel, and my feelings about
people I always find myself deep in thought
and confused. I like to be confused,
but not so confused that I am overwhelmed,
and feel lost. The enjoyment in adventure is
getting close to the edge.
No risk, no rush.

I have four sections to the newsletter.
1. Confusion (HOBO STEW)
2. Clarity (Go this way)
3. Advice (Hobo Tips)
4. Answers to questions so I can
give the readers clarity.

I try to open the big can of worms in the first section.
Throw them out on the table, and see which way they crawl.
My thoughts unedited, and as honest as I can be.
There are dark, and light sides of my brain.
So my “HOBO STEW” section or the first section is a dialogue
of me entering a country. Feelings, thoughts, opinions, and
speculation on lots of subjects with the journey of my mind from
confusion to clarity.

I just entered Thailand,
so I am definitely more on the confused side of life.
I cannot talk their language. The think in backward
sentences. and they leave out the
prepositions (Market want)
If you stay with me, you will see what happens.
I guarantee I will become a different person,
and will not leave Asia the same man.

How to communicate in another language and culture
is a recurring problem of travel in Thailand for me
and makes life confusing and difficult to explain.
Generally trying my best to understand.

I do not always keep these newsletters simple.
I start on subjects. Do not finish the story. Change my
mind on where I am going, and then start something
and not finish. You know what I mean.
Humanity, humility, and normal life.

I always feel a little guilty after my newsletters have
been sent. I know that I was too happy, too sad, too
confused, or made the biggest errors of all.
There was misspelled words, and/ or broken links.
I know for sure that these are unforgivable sins
and I will go to hell.
Do not pass go.
Do not collect 200 dollars.

I sincerely hope you will give me the benefit.
I am trying to tell a true story.
I do not know the ending.
I do not know which chapter I am on.
It is just a story written in a small room, in my mind,
in a place that is very different.

I do want to apologize if it seems like I dismiss or
diminish any culture. All cultures are the same in
the end. I just point my finger at the differences
and say what I think.

I do draw lines in the sand though.
What I consider acceptable behavior for the
world citizens, and what is unacceptable.
And like any line in the sand. The line moves.
The levels of acceptability changes.

I read a lots of books. I just read.
“A Beautiful Mind”,
The Biography of John Nash Jr.
He won a Nobel Prize for economics.
A math genius and his journey form clarity to
confusion as he developed the mental disease of
Schizophrenia. It was written by Sylvia Nasar and
also was made into a movie that starred
the actor Russell Crowe.

I am not crazy. At least I hope not today.
hehehe... Maybe tomorrow.
I think long-term travel is similar to being crazy.
Not everyone goes on long-term trips.
Not everyone wants to do it.
Most people get a grip,
and stop the irrational behavior.
Lots of travelers hide. Using alcohol, sex, drugs,
or spend their whole time in the woods trekking.
In the end they like being home more than they like
traveling, so they go home.

I found the book on the hotel shelf at the perfect time.

I want to tell you something.
A friend here in the Hotel
told me NOT TO.
“Do not tell them, it is not good.”
He gave me ugly look, when he said it.
Like I am suppose to have secrets.
I feel he was trying to tell me
Whatever you do. Do not be truthful.
Keep some secrets.

The guy is very intelligent but made me promise
to not use his name, or the name another friend
in this letter. I said,
“No problem.” I was thinking,
“Do not worry, you guys are not that important
in the whole scheme of things, and either am I”
He then said,
“Joe (Fictitious Name) is respected here.”
They have a secret....
Not very well hidden in my opinion.

This was the second time that a friend wanted me
to NOT say something. When I was in Iquitos, Peru
they have this drug. “Ayuhausca”
It is a hallucinogenic drug, and I did not do it.
This ask me if I did it? I said no, and explained why.
But that I was thinking about writing a story the plant
Ayuhausca. I was collecting lot of information, and talking
to people.
She wrote me,
“Maybe you should not, because you are against the drug.”
(She calls it a medicinal plant, I call it a drug)
Again...Keep a secret.
Like I was not qualified to talk about drugs.
Or I would come up with the wrong conclusions.


The recovering type. This in proper lingo means
the disease is in remission, and has been in remission
for over 15 years.

I do not smoke cigarettes, and I do
drink a lot of coffee. We can debate this later.

My two friends here in Ranong, Thailand
are very heavy drinkers of alcohol.
My other friend. She liked Ayahausca.

This whole conversation came up after
I ask my friends here to read some emails I have
receive lately. Trying to see if they could understand
the letter. They are smart.
A reader wants me...?
Truthfully. I have no idea what he wants.
But I feel reasonable sure, he wants me
to explain a little clearer the hedonistic
side of Thailand.

Hey, I thought I was going a little over the edge
talking about the topless beach. Leave some
things to the imagination, and a reason to either
come here, or stay away.

I could care less that I am a recovering alcoholic.
It is a real advantage for me traveling.
You cannot believe how much money I save.

The more I think about it though.
Traveling reminds me a lot of my trip
to the bottom, and back up with alcohol.
Lots of similar feelings, and thoughts.
Confusion. Overwhelmed. Frustration,
Anger and slowly over time clarity, acceptance
and serenity. Life is good.

I do not talk about my alcoholism unless it
comes up naturally in conversation, or there
seems a need. Seems like a good time right now
to tell you, so why not. No big deal.

The book I read, and my friends here.
Make it clear. I should stay the course
and tell the truth as I see it. Lots of readers do
not want to hear about the ugly parts of a country.
I still take pictures, and talk about it. Even though
I know a lots of you do not want to hear. Like I am
going to lose this newsletter if I tell the truth.

I will leave you with a quote from the book.
“A Beautiful Mind”
It explains how to travel. Become sane, or
even to diet and lose weight.

“Nash has compared rationality to dieting,
implying a constant, conscious struggle.
It is a matter of policing one’s thoughts,
he has said, trying to recognize paranoid ideas
and rejecting them, just the way somebody who
wants to lose weight has to decide consciously
to avoid fats or sweets.”
Page 434 of the book “A Beautiful Mind”

I can tell how healthy I am by the number
of secrets I have, and how much work
I do to protect them.
Truth is an obligation to myself.

I am always amazed at the power of the world,
and how trivial I am in comparison.

For the next actual location of my BODY.
I will go to Island of Koh Phi Phi. This is another
Island further South and on the West Coast or Andaman
Sea side of Thailand. Still going to “The Beach.”
I will leave on Tuesday after I send this letter.
Another hit and run.

Read about Koh Chang in next section.
(Koh means Island in Thai language)
LOTS of Photos... 150 plus
Agro-Tourism, Eagles, Rubber, Cashews etc.

Read about me getting robbed in this weeks

FOR those of you with nothing to do
Read the e-mails and explain them to me.
Here is a link to the letter to me from the
reader who to wants me to explain a little
clearer the hedonistic (My word not his)
side of Thailand.

Just another day in Paradise!
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 5 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.


~   Hoboguide.com GO THIS WAY!

Agro-Tourism, Solitude and Eagles

I started my journey to Koh Chang from Ranong, Thailand.
There is a bus(Songtaew) or small truck with seats that leaves
from the central market. About 10 minutes and you will
arrive at the entrance to the Sapan Pla or Fish Pier.

Koh Chang is an Island located one hour travel time
South of Ranong by long tail motor boat. In the Andaman Sea
and in a cultural transition area, because it is more or less on
the water border of Myanmar and Thailand. Having about 12-20
businesses that rent bungalow, a few military to help reinforce
and protect the border, a few Buddhist monks, and in high
tourist season. A few thousand “Farang” or Foreigner. The
quiet nature of the Island attracts year returning of like-minded
travelers. It is an Island that is trying to decide its classification
as a
tourist destination. It has all the correct ingredients. It could
become a place of choice for various asundry reasons.
None of these reasons clear or dominate.

Traveling towards my destination of Koh Chang.
I kept saying the words,
“Koh Chang.”
Hoping I pronounced the words close enough to correct
in this tonal language that I was just talking confusion.
I was lucky, and made my way to an alley.
Oops.... I think to myself. They are dropping me off
at the alley. I want to go to big organized dock, with small
boats and fares to Koh Change. There must be a mistake.

They point in the normal manner of Thailand.
Go that way, and stop asking or trying to ask questions.
Always trust us, we always understand what you want,
even though neither of us speak a word of the other language.
In this instance, they did understand and I was on the correct

Walking like a small Elephant. I have 2 backpacks.
Over 35 kilos of in my mind necessary travel crap.
The people look at me,
“Hmmm big heavy bag on that Farang.”

As I stop at my first check point.
A couple looking at me with curiosity.
I am never sure if I am the tourist looking at the
sites or they are the tourist looking at me.
But since they are looking a me, I lead in the
repetition of the words.
“Koh Chang”
They say,
“Noow booat, bieeg waves.”
Everyone has been telling me this for
the last week. I know that, but I do not believe you.
My bullshit meter says there is a boat
and for some reason everyone is in collusion to
talk about big waves.

Two of the staff at the small hotel in Ranong
said they wanted to go with me, in fact they made
me promise that I would go.
“Yoou Proomise, yooou Goe Wesney.”
I said clearly,
“Yes I promise, I go Wednesday.”

On Tuesday they started making funny noises.
Something about waves.
Something about problem with boats.
Talking at the wall. Not looking a me.
They ask me,
“What do you do?
Do you go to Koh Chang?”
I said.
“I promised you I was going to Koh Chang.”

Wednesday morning and they are not to be
found. But
Koh Chang. I go.

No walking down an alley. Feeling that there
is water on the other side of the building somewhere.
I keep saying,
“Koh Chang,”
Now people are pointing.
I assume they figure he is not giving up
so we might as well help.

A couple hopeful turns later, I plod
my way to a coffee shop.
That is what the sign says, but I think
in reality it is a small mini mart with
a bunch of people discussing the morning.

The all look at me.
I decide if I cannot talk with them, I might
as well eat with them. I enter the small store.
Find a local snack. Raise 5 fingers.
The lady nods her head, and I have food.

A person in the next building hears me
say the words again.
“Koh Chang.”
She answers,
“You go. Koh Chang?”
“Yes, Koh Chang.”
I say

Making progress... I feel maybe
there is hope and walking around with
35 kilos of traveler backpack has a meaning
for me, and I have left home to see something.

I say in my most clearly articulated English,
She answers,
I make hand signals for 11 fingers.
I hold up 10, and then 1.
“Yes.” Giving me that look again that says.
Quit asking so many questions.

I have food in my mouth, standing like
a tired elephant hoping for a drink of water.
People have been telling me the last few days
that there is no boat. I feel they are trying to
demonstrate and unkind, but somewhat true term
“Thai Lie.”
A lot of the save face concept, and
the insurance that everyone is happy.
Is about telling the proper white lie,
or creating a story that make the world
in harmonious. Real or unreal.

My “Bullshit Meter.” works in universal mode
and does not care what language they are
speaking. Its accuracy is very high and can
read bullshit at 10 meters distance.
If they holler... Farther.

So I have gone with my instincts, and I am
on the way to a beach. An Island the hope
of sun, surf, and beautiful scenery.

Sitting down with a group of 6 ladies.
They are plucking what seems to be an overgrown
pea out of an overgrown pod. I take a few pictures.
I have seen this before.
What is it?
“Sa Taw”

Little did I know, but I had just seen one of the
best reasons to go to Koh Chang.

The stupid part, but normal is that
what seems to be their biggest and most common
Agriculture product is not on the list.
“Sa Taw.” this pod that grows on trees is mundane
and considered boring, so not on the official list of
products for a tourist to observe.
Rubber, Herbs, and Cashews are on the list,
But the official plants do not all grow year round nor
are they staple product of the community,
More on the level of large cash crop, and not plants
available to be harvested by normal people that need
the benefits of Agro-Tourism.
(Note: My friend Corrine wants me to tell you that
the vegetable or fruit “Sa Taw” give you very bad

Agro-Tourism is rare, and most time minimized
and considered too mundane by the locals and
the tourist. Agro-tourism is an idea similar to

In poorer regions of the world.
The locals need to earn more money.
An alternative to destroying the local ecology.
is to take tourists to look at the unspoiled nature
and earn money. This way they will preserve the
ecological balance of nature, and save the world.
We can stop destroying trees, and planting crops
for food. Because we have another source of income.
( I believe that Eco-Tourism is destroying the world
ecology, and Agro-tourism better. Is understandable by the
local people that need the help, and achieves
the same goals.)

Agro-Tourism in my opinion is a spin off of this
idea. But instead of stopping them from growing
products. Help them to earn more money, by making
the agricultural product a tourist attraction. They need
less land to earn the same amount of money ,
and therefore destroy fewer trees. Preserving the world.

Koh Chang is at the cutting edge of Agro-Tourism.

I go to an island planning to lay on the beach and look at women.
I discover one of the best examples of Agro-Tourism
I have encountered in 5 years of world travel.

Back to the story....

Now if they made this a tour.
It would cost 20 dollars USA.
But since it is what we call a normal
“Milk Run.” or
a trip that they make daily
The trip to Koh Chang only cost 2.50 USA.
or 100 Baht in Thailand money.

At about 11:30 in “Thai Time” they
start to load the boat. They want me to get
on quickly, but then they take another half hour
of working, and walking over me load the boat.
I am a big boy, and decide to help them
load in the motor scooter, and a couple
of big tanks of gas. In reality. I insured they
did not drop them on my backpack and
break my computer, and camera.

I adjust, re-adjust my backpacks. Move
it a couple of times. Try to assist them from
dripping water all over the it as they
climb, on, over, and around my backpack.

They are loading onto the boat food supplies.
Frozen food, and blocks of ice.
A few tanks of Propane. A blue motor scooter.
Bottled water and last but not least.
The normal staple of
all places in the world.... beer and tobacco.
They seem to roll their own on the island.
Both normal and wacky.

OK...Sounds a little uncomfortable.
Lots of stuff. Not your idea of tourism.
I came to Thailand to see Thailand.
That is what I am doing.
“I am seeing Thailand.”

This trip is better than sharing a boat with
the universally clueless, but all knowing
traveler carrying the burden of all the right

Yes on the trip to the island.
There were big waves. It is the start of the
monsoon season, and is NOT the tourist season.
If I would come back at a more appropriate time
there would be calmer seas, and better
weather, and life would be perfect for a tourist...
but I want to see Thailand.
Normal and real; full octane, no additives.

The captain of the boat understands the sea.
I lay on the front bow of the boat. Wanting to tan in the
sun, and bobbing up and down. Must have been
1-2 meter waves. They only splashed over the front
3 time on the 1 hour journey. Just a little salt
water, and I did not get sea sick. Soaked yes, but
sick no. As I enjoyed the 2.50 boat tour. I saw all of the fishing
port, and loading docks. Mangroves along the edge
of the river. A small community of houses built on the
rivers edge, sitting on with long poles in the water
like stilts.

On the trip we never completely left land.
There was always another island on the left, or right.
Sort of a purple haze in the air. Misty and cloudy.
The islands were not clear. Close but seemed
distant because of their fog-like appearance. The wave
did not help. Hard to be that easy going Hobo, enjoying life
picture taking tourist when you are holding on with
both hands to the boat, so you are not thrown overboard.

Like any good tour boat. They had one life preserver
per person, and an inflatable raft, prepared in the
event the boat overturns....
If you believe that last sentence.
I have some land on Koh Chang to sell you...
There was no life preservers.
There was no inflatable boat.
But I can swim, and the boat was made of wood.
It would float good. Upside down.
I would only have to worry about big fish nibbling
or biting at my feet, and keep an eye open for random dorsal
fins moving my directions.

The trip to the island was great.
Probably one of the best roller coaster rides on
the ocean I have ever taken.
Up...Down...Side to side... and we even splashed
through the water, and screamed. An amusement
park composed of wind, surf, and sun.

Long long long pier.
I am slow, but start to understand.
The trips have everything to do with the tides.
The leave and enter at high tide.
They need water for the boat to float

I see this long pier as we approach Koh Chang.
I say to myself,
“Self... That is a long walk on creaky, gray boards
with 35 kilos of travel crap on your back.
I hope the board are strong”

A local Thai lady. Gives me another order.
I am getting accustomed to taking orders.
“You stay.”
Something to do with that they will go get a motor
scooter and come back for me. I sit down and
watch them unload the boat. Soon a motor scooter
comes roaring down the pier. I have been looking
over the planks of the pier. They are in the need of repair.
But the motor scooter is going too fast to fall in or
break the boards.
The woman hops on with her husband.
I receive another order.
“End - You walk.”
So I put on all my gear, and start the trip.
Looking over my belly, and a green front pack.
Choosing boards that look healthy.
I make my way to shore.
Life is good. I make it. But where are the bungalows?
I am hoping it will be a beautiful beach.
Bungalows, beach, and view of the water.
Beautiful people walking around offering me
pineapple to eat.

The guy returns shortly with the scooter.
“Bag - me give.”
He knows big bag is more than normal Farang heavy
and wants to make a special trip with the bag.
I give him my bag, and know I have now rented a room
at his bungalows. Sight unseen. I have made
the commitment. Signed and sealed.
The emotional and physical cost of changing
will exceed the cost of accepting.
150 Baht for an ocean-front bungalow.
3.50 USA dollars.

The main beach, and bungalows located 3-5 kilometers
away on the opposite side of the island.
There are 12-20 different resorts as they call them.
I would call them groups of bungalows with
names.... Eden, Bumble Bee, Paradise,
Hornbill, Natures View, etc.. Cashew.
(I love Cashews, but too rich for my blood.)
Hobo me, Peanut be I...
I am learning the Thai way of talking and thinking

There are no cars on the island, but there are
a very good sidewalks. Used for pedestrian and
scooters... and soldiers, and monks.
The guy with the scooter has
my backpack and tell me to walk.
I start walking. With my front bag now on my bag.
Computer and digital camera inside.
Tired. Boat bounced. Hot and salty.
Some guy that does not speak English, but
has a bungalow. Has my bag. I take off walking.

It is a beautiful path. Mangroves, various jungle
trees, and plants. Shaded and pleasant. Small
rolling hills. An easy walk. I know he has decided to eat
and so by the time he returns I have walked a couple of
kilometers in jungle paradise.

This was luck, and by accident. But here were my
first clues to Agro-Tourism. Along the path were areas
where there were rows of trees. Obviously planted for
a reason, in clear farm organization. At this juncture I did not
know what type of trees, and being as the tour did not
include guides. I was left alone to discover.

I have walked though jungles of Costa Rica, and
the Amazon basin. Not my favorite thing to do.
Normally lots of exercise and work.
Because they did not have roads. This sidewalk
was a perfect path through the jungle. I have often
found that walking on a road though a jungle is much
easier than paths. Not as glamorous. But much easier
and you get to see the same trees, and fauna.

But to get the feel of a jungle. You need to have the
trees over your head, and the canopy of green.
This place was “Full On.” if I am using my
British slang correctly.

In the end. He returns with the bike, and we make
a journey past many bungalows to the outer
edge of bungalows. I have arrived at my new home.
My backpack is already inside, and they are making
the bed. Arranging the mosquito net, and telling
me there will be water later in the day. Electricity
is only between 6 and 8... Or probably when they
want it to be.. OK, been there, done that.
I know the story. Reading by candlelight.
I make a mental note.
“Buy more candles. Thailand is a carry your own
and need candles country.”

Koh Chang or Island of Elephants.
It no longer has Elephants, but it does have a
unique combination other things of interest.

I went on a walk later in the day.
The beach is long, and curves around and
on each ends with rocky outbreaks
of mountains of stone with green planty makeup.
In the center of the beach is a Buddhist Monastery
with signs.
“Silence Want.”

There is a small military base, and you will see
green fatigues, but I never did see the actual
base. The island is about a 2 weeker. It would
take at least 2 weeks of walking to see and
explore all of it. There are 3 or 4 small rivers
that come down from the small mountains, and
in places form waterfalls. Then the rivers meet
the ocean a the central points. You will often cross the
river on bridges in the path.

It is slow tourist season, and maybe monsoon.
I was the only Farang or Foreigner on the
island. Solitude is something that is not
in short supply for traveler like me, so this
was not my desire. I kept telling the lady
owner of my bungalows.
“I crazy.”
I will go crazy on this island.
She is trying to tell me. How lucky I am
to live on a place, so quiet, and peaceful.
I try to tell her.
“I do not like talking to myself.”
People will think I am...

She never did understand, and I really was in
paradise. I sort of felt like Robinson Crusoe
with servants. Castaway in Paradise
with people that want to make me fried
rice and squid.

There was an invisible hand that touched
this island. A master plan. I found a map of the Island
posted in front of the Monastery. A few rules, and
requests. Then details on where, and how to look
at the Cashews, Rubber, and Herbs that grow on
the Island. The invisible hand has even called it
by name. “Agro-Tourism.”
A simple, easy, and great way learn.

There is a processing plant for the cashews.
And every night at 1:00 as the hearsay goes
the people come out to collect the rubber that
is dripping into collecting cups on the edge
of the tress. The then dry the liquid that forms
cream colored sheets that resemble
car floor mats and are ready to transport
the mainland.

Met a nice girl.
“Where you go?”
I told her,
She wanted to know where?
And she is ready and willing to help.
This situation is difficult.
I have read lots of poster or advertisement
on the walls of my Hotel in Ranong.
The only say.....
“Come to my Bungalows.”
I know nothing about the “WHY”
The talk about their bungalows like they are
a tourist attractions but fail to explain the benefits
of coming to the Island of Koh Chang.
So her simple questions is difficult to answer.
I have no idea where I am going.
I came here with faith.
I have complete faith.
I have faith there is a reason to travel.

She want to know where I go.
I do not have that reason.
I will find it.
She tells me.
“You track me.”
She means.. I should follow her.
She is cute, and talks a fun form of English
I will track or follow her. Sounds good either way.
I find a friend and free guide, and we walk the island.

The Gods look down on me, and maybe
Buddha in this instant leads me to the
home of her friend and another Agro-Tour of
the pod plant called SA TAW.

I am extremely happy. They are boiling and
cooking SA TAW. Plucking the seeds
out of the pods. They have Burmese workers.
They work for 100 Baht a day, and not 200 like
the Thailand people .This is a border region
and there are a lot of workers that cross the border.
They are illegal workers as opinion, maybe fact tells me.
But that status has many interpretations
when the country border, and street people economics
come into play.

I am putting together the SA TAW puzzle.
It is very difficult to see anything from A-Z
It is very difficult to see the whole picture.
But I got to see them pull the pods out of the
trees. Gather into bunches, and carry to
the boats, to transport to sell on the mainland.
I even saw them displayed where this plant is
sold in the markets of Ranong.

This is Agro-Tourism. I paid money, and
they earned a little money, directly or indirectly.
The have more money, and life is better.
Because I was interested enough in how they live,
and the provide for their families with the plants
they grow and harvest.

Mundane. Normal, and Simple.
Life on lifes terms.
I am seeing Thailand.
There are many paths to Koh Chang.

Walking the beach at sunrise.
Walking the beach as sunset.
I am lucky, and just before sunset.
I see these large birds.

Floating, soaring, rising and falling in
the breeze. The winds blow as the cooler
air of the ocean rises as it reaches land.
I cannot see them properly. They are high above me,
as I crane my neck. Looking straight up.
I take pictures.
What is it? I think it looks like an

I am alone. No simple answers.
The questions are sometime bigger
than the available answers.
I searched for an hour on the internet
trying to learn the name of these birds.
In the end. I believe they are

There is also another famous bird on this
island called the Hornbill. It has a very large
beak. I did not see this bird.

The wonder is not learning the names.
It is accepting, that I do not know
all the answers and never will.
I have complete faith.
I do not have all the answers.
But there is always a reason to walk the path.

Start of Trip from Ronong to Koh Chang Thailand
Boat Trip to Koh Chang Thailand
Dock at Koh Chang - Walk across. Bungalows Beach
Koh Chang and Starting to Leave, Rubber
Loading Rubber, Boat trip Koh Chang to Ranong Thailand
Sea Eagles, Rubber Trees, Cooker Bungalow, Organizer
Monkey - Paradise and Nature View Bungalows

Just another day in Paradise!
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 5 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.



and solution.

A good answer is found
in a well defined question.

Why I was robbed?

First the Joke Answer.
Thailand made a decision to remove my
best claim to fame. 4 years of travel and
not robbed. It is a conspiracy... (Joke)

Are Thailand people thieves?
Am I stupid?
Did I make a mistake?
Was I in the wrong spot and the wrong time?
Why did I have my money in the backpack?
Why was I not able to anticipate this and
prevent me getting robbed.
Was I robbed?

When - What - Where
Who and Why?

July 2nd, more less. 2002

About 75 United States Dollars.
They left the ATM cards. Credit Card,
and Passport. They even left 1000 Baht
The may have taken 1000 Baht. The Baht
is the name of Thailand Currency.

On the car, and/or bus ferry or boat.
Traveling from the Island of Koh Samui to
the mainland and the city of Surat Thani.

Who robbed me?
That is the ugly feeling of getting robbed.
Who is to blame? Should I blame someone?
In the end, blame does not do much good.
But in this TIP I will try to break down the blame
and possible answers to the question of
Who robbed me?

I do not know who robbed me?
This is only speculation to help me and you
not get robbed again or in the future. I will try
to give some explanations to help prevent and
show why this happened.

I may have lost the money.
I am still hoping to find it in some strange corner of
my pack. I would rather have the money.
There will always be a guilty party,
and a person in every country that want to rob me.
I lost the money permanently.

Some people are gloating, and saying.
“He thinks he is an experienced traveler,
He is not so smart. He got robbed.”
Ergo... Just another idiot American,

Now. Those are the ideas and thoughts of a person
that gets robbed a lot. If you believe you are smart.
Too smart for this to happen to you, then your are too
smart and should stay at home. No perfect world,
perfect country, or perfect traveler exist. I have a dream
of the perfect woman, but I heard she was looking for the
perfect man. So I am out of luck.

A perfect being or person is a Buddha or a God.
I am positive I am not God.

Get the point yet.
Getting robbed is normal.
Not getting robbed is abnormal.
So lets be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Think Andy? What happened? Why?
I am mentally walking myself through some of my ways of
doing things, that may have lead up to this happening.

I have systems or rules I follow.
Some of you know the saying,
“A place for everything and everything in its place.”

That is a guide, or rule of thumb.
I recommend that, and hopefully one day....
Over the rainbow. I will learn to put all things in its proper place.

1. Money neck bag goes around neck when traveling
from one location to another.
2. When not around neck. It is located in either
A. Green front pack.
B. Top zippered sections of large backpack.
3. Do not hide the money neck bag.
(I will forget it and leave it behind, or forget where I hid it)
4. Do not give my money bag to anyone, for any reason.
I do not give my bag to the Hotel Owners to hold and protect.
5. Watch where they load your backpack in a bus.
6. Sit on the side of the bus, that is above the compartment
where the backpack is store. (So you can see if leave...hehehe)
7. Never leave a bus, without taking your backpack.
8. Credit cards go on one side of billfold (Wallet),
money on other. This is so I count it quickly.
9. One credit card or ATM in Billfold (Wallet for you Europeans).
Other in money bag.
10. Carry credit cards in separate locations.
Carry credit cards and passport in separate locations.
11. Carry your billfold in secret pocket.

1, 7, 8, 10, 11

1 2, 8, 10

A good rule for yourself Is followed,
accepted and not violated.
If there is always an exception to the rule.
Either you need to accept that the rule is flawed a little
and there are lots of exceptions. Or if you can,
adopt a new rule that is easier, and clear. And does
not cause you the temptation to be violated.

Rules I violate on a regular basis, are against my
basic human nature. Not your basic human nature.
MY human nature. Or things that are comfortable for me.
The saying,
“A place for everything and everything in its place.”
Is impossible for me to do.
I did not say hard to do, It is IMPOSSIBLE that I will
put things back in their place. I can pay people to do this.
But if you think I am capable of putting things away
all the time. IMPOSSIBLE... It will not happen.
Some people can do this easily with no problem.
It is part of their nature.
Not mine.

Some people hate rules.
I think I am one of them.
But over time, and with maturity.
I have accepted that rules are good.
Laws are good. They keep people from hurting
each other, and abusing each others.
OF COURSE there are rules, and laws that are bad.
That is why they are always trying to make
new ones or change them.
To make them better.

If you are a person that hates rules,
and you find yourself breaking your own
rules or guideline... GET therapy.
NO... Joke
Try asking yourself in a kinder way.
Saying something like,
“I will TRY to put everything away.”
You may find cooperation with yourself.
And NOT a rebellion toward your FATHER,
Mother, Church, School Teacher, Wife or
Husband. These are people
that normally make rules, and people have
learned to reject anything that resembles
them or sounds like their words.

The other thing I might say is three step program.
1. Listen up.
2. Shut Up,
3. Grow Up.

Do as you may. All this is for fun and help.
Opinions to guide. The people that say,
“The guidebook is always wrong.”
I worry about. There is a problem in this
comment. The guidebook is full of opinions
and is generally correct. And one exception
is not a reason to throw it away.
I often say little things that irritate people.
Sort in fun, and to try to let people know.
I am human, fallible, and like to joke.
I like to talk about Peanut Butter. It just totally
irritates lots of countries. Because there are
trendy and fashionable opinions about
people that eat peanut butter, or countries that
have peanut butter. Like somehow peanut butter
is an indication of intelligence. Seem real real stupid
to me...What does peanuts have to do with intelligence?
Deriving these types of ideas are the height of
fashion, and not of critical thinking.

So why would I talk about peanut butter?
People that do not like me for this reason.
And unsubscribe to this newsletter for being
annoyed by this, should unsubscribe.
I do not want them sitting around making
a list of reason why I am an idiot.
I am absolutely positive. I say stupid things.
It does not do them any good to dwell on this.
They need to find another person, they respect
and think is intelligent to GUIDE them and
tell them.
Listen up, Shut up, Grow up... hehehe
Get a grip on the rules.
The will never end.


1. Money neck bag goes around neck when traveling
from one location to another.

The day I got robbed, was hot, sticky, and a day
where taking showers, and less clothing is better.
A day where any excuse to take off a few clothes
will be used. I had on light shorts and a T-shirt.
Sandals. I did not even want to wear my gym shoes.
I was only going for a 1-2 hour boat ride. I was not
going to be on the boat for 10 hours.

A money belt or neck pouch is not natural.
A pocket is natural. That is why I sell secret

But there are reason why a money belt
and neck pouch are good. They keep all
of your things in one place. Tickets, money,
and other valuables. The words MONEY BELT
makes a person remember. This is important.
A pocket is normal and hard to be taken serious.

I do not like to wear my neck pouch also,
because it make me feel fat. It grows full of
miscellaneous papers, and gets bigger.
Wearing it make my shirt bulge out, and
if really heavy makes my neck hurt.

MY excuse...I also was only going for short
trip, and did not call it traveling. I had ALL my
stuff. But a two hour boat trip, made me relax
and not be so serious.

All these excuses got me robbed.

11. Carry your billfold in secret pocket.

This day. I had on these nylon lightweight shorts.
I put my billfold in the pocket to leave.
It was so heavy. It made my pants fall down.
Stuck out in this soft material. I use these shorts
for casual wear, and for the beach. I carry cash
and my keys in the secret pocket. Not a billfold.
Not good shorts for a heavy billfold. Kick Boxing and the
beach, but are not formal clothes.

I therefore put the billfold or wallet back into
the neck pouch. Then everything was together.
I put the neck pouch back into the top of the large
backpack as rule number 2 permits for myself.
I consider this better than the small backpack.
If someone is strong enough to grab my big
backpack and run away quickly. They deserve
the headache... The little one is easier. I keep
a foot constantly in that one, or hooked to me.

8. Credit cards go on one side of billfold, money on other.

I was lazy. I did not separate my credit
card from the money when I put it back in the
small two fold wallet. This save me though.
Because money was on both sides.
All the credit cards, and ATM cards on
the other. But the person stole the money
that was not enmeshed in the cards.
Left the cards, and did not take all the money.
Just 95 percent... hehehe

This rule is to help me check how much money
I have easily. A large wallet is easier. But is
even more likely to be carried in a bad spot.
Because of the size. I carry a small bi-fold holder.
A wallet is not necessary. Women do not always
have one....

10. Carry credit cards in separate locations.
Carry credit cards and passport in separate locations.

I did not have the money separated from
the passport for the above reason of wearing
these red lightweight shorts.
I did not have the credit cards separated because
in reality. I often do not have enough secret pockets.
In the past. I only put pocket in my pants. I am not
adopting a new system, and you will read further
down in the solutions.

7. Never leave a bus, without taking your backpack.

This normally applies to my small front pack.
I did carry this with me. If I would have put
the neck pouch into this bag, and not the
large bag. I would not have been writing this
newsletter on this theft.

When riding a bus. We stop at rest stops
for a short time. We stop at immigration for
a short time. We get off the bus, and almost
immediately get back on the bus. I can almost
count the time when I got off a bus, and left
for a long period of time. In a prior newsletter
I complained about the company Ormeno in
South America. We was off the bus for over
an hour at the immigration office between
Bolivia and Peru. This was OK, in lots of way.
But they allowed vendors to get on the bus
to ride, and did not allow the passengers.
There was no way to protect my bag.
I had my bag with me, and was safe.
But a lot of people left valuables on that bus.

This bus was not normal to Surat Thani from Koh Samui.
It was a bus that loaded onto a Ferry.
I thought we was getting on the bus.
Sitting in the bus, and crossing the river.
We got in the bus. Got on the Ferry,
the when on the water. We all got off the bus
and went to the top deck.

I was talking with another foreigner.
Was feeling happy, and comfortable.
Was not thinking about money. Enjoying
the trip, and did not check.
The big backpack was available to anyone
on the bus that sat in the back. This was
a weird bus. The loaded the bag in the very
rear of the bus. But it was also accessible from
the upper part of the bus, if you wanted to reach
down and grab it. This was good in a way,
because I was sitting in the back of the bus
and could watch it the whole way across the

BUT, when we unloaded from the bus
and went up on the deck to ride while the
boat made the trip. All the rules changed.
I did not anticipate this happening.

The bus driver. The people that collect money.
The whole bus was open. Anyone on the
boat that could enter the bus, could get to
my bag. On hindsight I knew this, and did
not think, or take proper care.

I instantly checked my money when I took
the bag off the bus, at the end of the trip.
I thought it was a little different than packed
because my shower bag was in front of the
money pouch. But the wallet, passport and
such was there....THEY did NOT steal
the wallet. They just took the money.
If they would have taken the wallet.
I would have been screaming at this point.

This is the method of Maids or Cleaning
people in your Hotel. They do not take
anything big. You can have 10 separate
bills or local currency in your wallet or
money belt. They do not take it all.
The only take one or two bills.
They are depending on you not knowing
how much money you have exactly.

This crime was done in this fashion.
They left some Baht or normal money of Thailand,
but took all the USA bills. If there was a dispute
or I discovered the theft. Everyone could
say.... Ah... he just does not remember how
much he had, he has some money. Look.
Same type and methodology as a cleaning
person in a room.

Smart thieves. Probably do it all the time.
THE FERRY between Koh Samui and
Surat Thani. Think this is cruel. If they are
not doing it good. If they are. Then people
will just be extra careful.
Being too cautious is better then being

If you travel. If you go to strange places.
If you do thing adventurous. You will have
unanticipated things happen. I love the spontaneity
of my life, and this is just a minor headache.
If they would have stolen my computer and
camera I would had more problem. I was carrying
that with me, I placed more value on that than
my money or passport. Those can be replaced
and have not real sentimental value.

My computer and camera are more
difficult, and often the computer has large
amounts of information that has not been
sent to the internet or published.
Not backed up, as they would say.

In the end. Comfort is an enemy.
When you do not think you are in danger.
This is when you are most likely to be robbed.
Make your rules always apply.
Safe country or dangerous.

Here in Thailand, there is a different
saying going around by the travelers.
“You are more likely to get robbed by
another traveler, then a person from Thailand.”
This is a generalization, and is good to
remember. The converse is maybe true
in Mexico, Central, and South America.
But in reality. People are people.
There are thefts in all countries.

Here is a link to help other avoid your
mistakes. Submit a theft explanation.

Plan to be robbed.
Make preparation for when you are robbed.

After you accept that you will be robbed
you will look at things and plan accordingly.
I have said many times in the past.
It not whether my computer and camera
will be robbed, It is when?
I guarantee I will have all my things stolen
and I will get to write about that also in the future.
I hope when I happens. I have more money
and could afford the pain.

Some people learn from their mistakes.
Some people learn from other peoples mistakes.
Some people just do not learn.

I am going to learn from my mistakes this time.
The newsletter is so you can learn from my mistakes
and I can help give you tips to avoid them.
I here comments,
“Thailand is safe,
Europe is safer.”
aaaagh... ack... give me a break”
In my opinion more people get robbed of
a lot more money in Europe because they
think they are safe.

Somewhere in your mind needs
do be a little bird that is always thinking
and vigilant. Anticipating every possible
problem, and situations. So you can prevent
the problem. In the end. We do learn from
our mistakes, and try to not repeat them.

Experience is a good teacher.
I always am reading, and asking questions.
Lots of other travelers think I am stupid.
“He do not know anything, he ask so many question.”

I have talked about taking people on custom
tours. Being your guide, and having fun.
A lot of the story above, and a lot of the solutions
I am talking about can be applied and
use to help you choose a guide or
a tour company. If everything seem to good.
If everything seem too safe. Maybe they will not
let you out of the RESORT.

Someone wrote me and said,
“Andy, you tell me things, my travel
agent will not tell me. They always say,
whatever you do,
Do not leave the resort.”
She went on to say,
“I want to leave the resort.”

Ask questions of your agent?
Ask questions of your guide?
Do they understand the nature of getting
Do they anticipate, and plan on getting
Or it only American Express Traveler
checks that know.
You will be robbed. Their whole business
is planned on the idea of your being robbed.
Everytime a person gets robbed,
they get more customers.
I carry an ATM card.

I am still looking for people to take people
with me to the really exotic and wild places.
Deep into Africa.
On the Amazon.
Climb or get to the top of a mountain.
Everything is possible.
Dream of adventure.

The solution is to step back and see
what changes I need to make.
I am not going to say I made a mistake.
I am going to focus on the solution.
Nobody that gets robbed makes a mistake.
It just happened. They did not plan it.

I have some HOLES in my rules.
I need to accept some things,
I am in denial....
Of a lot of issue, but lets focus on the
solution at hand.
I am trying to pretend. I like this money
pouch. I do like it more than a money belt.
But the reality is. I do not like it.
I do not like having anything around my neck.
(I could make a lot of joke here.)

I do like my SECRET POCKETS more
than my neck pouch. But they are not the
whole solution. I do not want to have 2-4
extra pockets in my lightweight beach gear.

So, I am thinking.
Dangerous for me, and the world.

1. Always wear the same pants to travel.
2. Use the secret pockets.
3. Put the Passport in a Ziplock bag.
4. Check the money.

1. Always wear the same pants to travel.
I am going to designate 2 pairs of pants.
MY Travel Pants.
One pair of shorts, and one pair of long pants.
I will prepare them for BEAR.
I will have all the gadgets, and pockets
and thinks I need in them.
I wish I could just buy them, but I find the
travel pants I see. Just that. Travel pants.
Look at me. I have travel pants, and I am
a foreigner. These cost money so rob me.


2. Use more than one secret pockets.

I took my secret pockets and had lots of them
sown into the 2 designated travel pants.

3. Put the Passport in a Ziplock bag.
Should have been doing this all along.
So far I am lucky, but there is a lot of
water in Thailand. Time to get serious.
Plus if I am going to put my passport in
a different location. It is can get wet easier.

NEW - Maybe
4. Check the money.
I will vow to check my money more.
Make sure, how much, where is it.
Especially when I am carrying all my things.
I am sure I will not do this as good as I should
but at least I will feel guilty, and do it a little better
than before.

I think this is part of the
Grow up, or third step in my
3 step self help program.

Life is an adventure, and every place
I go, a different story. Everyone like
to hear a wild and exotic story. Something
to laugh about, remember and tell your
friends. Some real laugh out loud stories.

I have friends write and say,
“Andy, that story was good,
now I know you, there is more to the story,
tell me the complete story.”

This is the edited version folks.
For the full on version.
You need to come visit, and
we can make some memories.
That place that now,
only exist only in your dreams.

Just another day in Paradise!
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 5 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.



In Europe somewhere


“Peanut Gallery”
Fun tips - Here's a little tip from me, to you,
as an experienced traveler.

Do not loan umbrellas.
Most people are not smarter than the umbrella.
They will break it.




Am new to the newsletter,
would like to know how old you are.
Have traveled and am travelling extensively,
Thailand twice. How's it going?
Re: spitting--Wait 'til you go to China!
Have fun,

Why don’t you just beat around the bush?
Get right to the point don’t you?
Aaagh.... You are not going to improve
my fan mail....or those inquisitive mails.
I am 46
Look 36
Act 26
Born 1955, Scorpio
Never married. Ask a lot of women.
Like the honeymoons.
How old did you think?
Thanks Andy

Subject: Mosquitoes/Dengue Fever

Hi. Many thanks for latest news on your travels.
Question for you: Skeeters love me. How do you keep
them off you, esp. in places with Dengue fever, malaria, etc.
I use "Cactus Juice" lotion, no chemicals, smells ok.
But oh boy if I forget, I sure am sorry. Have you
found anything? Or do they naturally avoid you?
Thanks, Lisa Jean

I always carry a mosquito net.
It is worth carrying, if you only use it once per year.
Because when you need it. You need it.
I did not take it to Europe. Needed it.
The do not have screens in all countries.

This is the topic of a future newsletter tip.
But the short answer is I use normal RUB on
mosquito repellant. Like OFF. I am not really picky
about the brand, in fact two bottle were given to
me about 2 years ago in Costa Rica and I am still
carrying these bottles around. 3 zip-lock baggers.
Nasty stuff.

There are tons and tons of natural, and home-type
ways to stop mosquitoes.

The most effective way is wind or a fan.
If I am worried about Malaria, or Dengue.
I read the newspapers, and do not go to the
areas. They sort of have this under control.
But there are outbreaks, but can easily avoid
the problem. I have more problems with the
No See Ums. I use repellant.
I will write my extensive extensive drawn out
tip on Mosquitoes soon. I have collected way too much
information on these skeeters.
Thanks Andy

~   HOBO GOSSIP and/or Jaded Remarks

TRAVEL WRITER - I sign in at the hotel. They ask
me my profession. I put down Travel Writer.
1 time in 5 years got special attention.

RIGHT AWAY - In South America cars had right away

STUDYING BUDDHISM - A person that would no
more think about studying the religion of their own
country. Will study Buddhism in Thailand.
I not complaining. I am sure it will help them.,

SARCASTIC REMARKS - I was thinking about
making a sarcastic remark. It was a going to be
about the fondness of the British for sarcasm.
Seems silly.

WORK SHOES - Almost all the people in Thailand
where sandals all the time. I wonder how they work,
then I remembered. I always wore sandals to work
in the USA. But I am a little strange.


"Thank you, Lord, for thinkin'
'bout me. I'm alive and doin' fine."
I’m alive and doing fine.‘
Song by: Five Man Electrical Band



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