Monday, June 25, 2012

One Night In Bangkok

Okay, actually I have 48 hours left before I catch a bus back to Phuket.

This is one of those cities that if I lived here a full year and spent my time just trying to see everything, I would only be able to scratch the surface.

It's been interesting so far to say the least. Catch my next post for a recap on what I did and saw here over the past week. Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Are You A F(focused) - A(attention) - N(now) of Life?

WVITV © 2012 Photo by: Michael J Trojak

Do you ever find yourself thinking about tomorrow and not paying attention to the here and now? How often do you reminisce about or dwell on the past? One of my favorite quotes: "If life is a gift, please tell me you kept the receipt", written by yours truly, reminds me how I just don't appreciate the present enough. 

Lucky for me I take time out to travel. It helps me focus my attention on the now and become a  F-A-N of life again. If you want to feel present and alive I highly recommend you pack a bag and hit the road!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bangkok Bound

I'm busing it to Bangkok from Phuket next Thursday. I'm both excited and frightened. I once heard both emotions trigger the same physiological responses. 

Anyway, fingers crossed everything will be fine. It seems no matter how many times I venture off somewhere new, all alone, I still get jitters. So far, I've always come back just fine and glad for the experience. If you ever have doubts about venturing off yourself, by yourself, take it from me, it's better to go and know then to sit and wonder. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Elephant Trekking & Full Circuit Training

Yesterday was my first time. Riding an elephant that is. What a ride! You really have to get up and close to one of these creatures to truly appreciate what a sizable beast this is. To ride one, or should I say hang on to one for dear life while it's moving, is pretty magnificent. It's also, one hell of a workout. While it moves slow, there is considerable rocking from side to side thrust upon the rider. It was worse for me at first because I was tense (unlike my other first time I wasn't drunk). After I got used to it and over the fear of falling off it became easier to go with the flow. Still, after 45 minutes trekking, it feels like every muscle in your body was put to use. I highly recommend the experience and report that it's one hell of a workout! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Address In Thailand - Immigration Wants To Know

Staubi Relaxing By The Pool.

Funny story,

I took the immigration entry card a bit too literal when I arrived in Phuket just a few days ago. On the card it asks for your address in Thailand. I actually don't live in Thailand so I left it blank. Of course, all they wanted was the address of my hotel or wherever I was staying. 

I knew better too. I read about the Thais sending you to the back of the line or refusing entry if you don't fill out the form entirely. Was I denied? Oh yeah! I didn't realize at first what was wrong but luckily I figured it out with a little help. Then, got back in line, after finishing the form (with my aunt & uncle's address). I also signed it like I was supposed to this time. After a couple more minutes in line, I was on my way to "my address in Thailand". 

Below, a few pic's of the house. To see more pictures inside and the neighborhood click HERE or go to the Photos tab. 

P.S. now I'm on vacation!
My Room.
The Kitchen With Breakfast Bar.

The Living Room.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Phuket Takeout Food - Duck Noodle Soup

Yesterday I experienced my first Phuket Takeout food. For the real deal here in Phuket it's a must to stop at a local roadside restaurant. Everything you order will be incredibly fresh!

To see the other photos for this little food trip go to my Photos tab under Duck Noodle Soup.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Travel Fantasy Is Like the Open A Coffee Shop Fantasy

I remember reading some time ago about the reality of opening a coffee shop compared with the fantasy. The gist was, people can't get an accurate sense of what it takes by having a cup at there favorite spot 3 times a week. To truly get a idea of what it's like it would be best to get a job at one (for starters). The same thing can be said about traveling. Sometimes when people come back from vacation they feel that they would like to travel more, perhaps even relocate to the city they were just at and having such a wonderful time there. It seems life is grand. People are friendly. The food was great. The weather was so nice, etc. I call this Travel Fantasy. 

If you want to know what it's like to travel it won't be discovered on vacation. If you think your new dream land is somewhere to move to you might be right but you won't know until your living like one of the locals, which, are not on vacation. Much like learning about a coffee shop by working in one will help you figure out if such a dream is in reality the right fit for you, take traveling seriously, make it your job. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More Stamps On My Passport - Is It Getting Easier?

I arrived in Phuket yesterday afternoon. At first I felt a little depleted from the flight but then I was replenished by a mini-family reunion. 

Then, I woke up this morning and realized I should share my thoughts...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Luxury For The Backpacker

Every backpacker knows that to keep sane it's a good idea to reclaim some personal space & creature comforts during a long trip. Translation, there comes a time to splurge for a private room and get out the hostel dorms. If you haven't spent all your money at the pub there should be something in the budget left to treat yourself.

I happen to be in luck! First, I am traveling through Asia so the hostels have lower rates then some parts of the world (Western Europe for example). Anyway, I already had a private room back at Paradiso, the hostel I chose as my first crash pad here in Kuala Lumpur due to their reasonable rates. Nevertheless, it was still a hostel and accommodations are basic (read my other post Crashing At Hostels Is Like Camping - Inside The City for details).

So, what's the recipe for luxury for the backpacker? Well, basically add one measure  of privacy, a dash of the comforts of home and roll it up with a budget price tag and you're cooking with Crisco! 

I set out to find my peace & I discovered Victory 2 Boutique Hotel where I then settled in for some pampering. Now, I've got Wifi, my own TV, air conditioning, private bath with soap & shampoo! Throw in a comfy bed with fresh linen every day and clean towels and I call this luxury. Never mind if you stand up and turn around then you've seen the entire room. Size doesn't matter, really it doesn't. Forget about the fact that this room is lacking a window. Don't fret over the fact that the shower, sink and toilet are all sharing the same space. If you are seriously minimalist like me and just appreciate simplicity then some personal space and minimal indulgence is luxury to you as it is to me. 

Check out some pictures of my digs.... 

Thailand In Two Days

In just under 48 hours I set off for Phuket Thailand. I decided it was time to give Malaysia a break so I went online today to book the flight. I went with Air Asia. The price seemed right and they had a flight leaving and returning on the schedule I desired.

I'm visiting my aunt and uncle there, which I haven't seen since 1985. Ah, partial family reunion!

I wonder what Phuket will have in store for me.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Malaysia Likes Master Card!

Quick Tip: Traveling in Malaysia I discovered something. The convenience of credit cards is not so prevalent as I would have expected. This is mainly linked to my budget lifestyle. Hostels require cash payment. When you are able to book with a credit card Visa is not the number one choice. I've also noticed the Master Card logo is much more prominent at restaurants and grocery stores than Visa. So, if you're a savvy traveler like I, and you hope for racking up points on a credit card stick with Master Card in Malaysia. Visa may just not go through. 

As they say... for everything else, there's Master Card!