travel

A mad dash to the border

A mad dash to the border

I could see the writing on the wall as borders across the globe started closing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I hold what’s known as a Non-O Multi-Entry visa, which is renewed every 12 months and provides a 90-day entry which can be extended by a further 60 days by visiting the immigration offices at Chaeng Wattana in Bangkok. When applying for an extension my wife also has to be in attendance, and there’s the rub – no way did I want her to have to be around that many people in her current condition. That was the right…

Back to sleepy Savanakhet

Back to sleepy Savanakhet

I swore I wouldn’t come back here – never say never, right? The last two times I’ve undertaken this journey I’ve been sick, as if some curse has been placed on me. Maybe a jilted bar-girl cast a little black magic, who knows? Unfortunately, I have few options when it comes to renewing my Non-O Thai visa and popping over the border is still a little easier than venturing to HCMC Vietnam. Unable to put it off any longer, in mid-January, I readied myself for another jaunt to Laos. Looking online, Nok Air wanted to extort over 9K THB for…

A taste of Issan

A taste of Issan

With my ‘permission to stay’ date fast approaching, it was time again to head to the other side of the Thai border for a while. This time around, I decided to catch an AirAsia flight to Vientiane, Laos and stayed the night before heading south to visit a few places I hadn’t seen before in Thailand’s Issan region. I didn’t bother doing any sightseeing as I’ve done that a few times before – just grabbed a cab from the airport to the hotel and soaked up some of the local Beer Laos (cheap as piss!) while sitting outside a small…

Penang, remembered

Penang, remembered

A few months back we got a chance to escape to Penang, Malaysia for a few days. Been wanting to get there for a while but the stars hadn’t aligned, so to speak. It’s likely our only ‘out of country’ getaway this year so we made the most of it. We chose to stay at Doubletree Hilton Resort (Batu Ferringhi), as we were after the “resort experience” and this proved to have pros and cons. RM 1300 for four nights + 500 deposit which we blew through during our stay. 👍 Good pool, nice view from balcony with a glimpse…

Road trip to Kanchanaburi

It was that time again (boy it rolls around quickly!) to head to the border and collect another 90 days – so under dark skies, we headed out of Bangkok on early Friday afternoon and made our way to Kanchanaburi, located near the border with Myanmar. The process has changed slightly from last time I was there. You now need to visit a ‘border agent’, pay your 960 THB before exiting the Thai side and are then herded into a minivan for the crossing, where you wait outside a makeshift duty-free store while all the passports are taken into the…

Long Gone – Remembering Oz

Long Gone – Remembering Oz

Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God. Wow – four years have passed since I was last in Australia. With some cash in my pocket (how times have changed!) I took my new bride Down Under to visit my homeland. It was a long (5 weeks) and expensive trip, but she got to see a fair bit in her first visit. Our overall itinerary went something like this: Bangkok to Darwin via Singapore.  SQ975 and SQ5203. (Arrived 28 June, 2018). Stayed 2 nights at The Cav and 4 nights at Palm City Resort Darwin to Sydney (3 July, 2014)…

Beer porn: A pilgrimage to Plzeň

Beer porn: A pilgrimage to Plzeň

There’s an old Czech joke which goes something like this: A kid walks into a bar and asks for a beer. The bartender says “wouldn’t you rather have a lemonade?” “Yeah”, the kid replies, “but I’m three crowns short” Welcome to the Czech Republic – the country where beer costs less than water.  A few months back I needed to get out of Thailand for a while. The heat, the wife, and the bad beer had all conspired to plunge me into the depths of despair – it was time to escape long enough to clear my head. Being a…

Praise the Lord – A weekend escape to Ban Chang

Praise the Lord – A weekend escape to Ban Chang

The only upside to us now having a car is weekend getaways have become a thing. A good thing. Last weekend we headed to Ban Chang, a few hours drive south-east of Bangkok. Having booked into the Lord Nelson Hotel, we wasted no time in heading for the bar after checking-in. It’s a great little hotel, with a beaut ocean-front bar. Somehow the beers taste a little better when looking out at the ocean on a sunny afternoon. I’m not sure why. Probably because relaxation had taken hold. After a kick-ass English breakfast on Saturday morning, we headed to Khao…

Soaking up the last few days in the Czech Republic

Soaking up the last few days in the Czech Republic

Back in Bangkok for a week, I’ve had some time to reflect on my time away. It was a good trip, nice to escape the heat of Thailand but I’m glad to be home, and I really missed the wife. More than I thought I would. Item THB EUR Flights 37,500 1,002 Travel Insurance 970 26 Trains & Buses 1,084 29 Food & Drink 22,400 600 Accommodation 11,855 317 Total THB 73,809 EUR 1,974 I managed to keep costs under control and came back with € 175 which was converted to much needed Thai Baht. All up I spent just…

Pitstop in Františkovy Lázně, Czech Republic

Pitstop in Františkovy Lázně, Czech Republic

If you’ve got a few years of travel under your belt you will understand this maxim: When the travel gods take something away from you they give you something amazing in return. I remember it happening in Europe with wife 1.0 when ,unable to find a hotel room in Bologne, Italy we put ourselves back on a train to Milan, where a wonderful taxi driver helped us find a room at midnight and restored my faith in humanity. The next day we traveled to Lake Como and had an amazing time. We had never intended to go there. This time…

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