Fun days in & around Chiang Mai

Lanna, as the political entity that the region of Chiang Mai is formerly known, was an independent Kingdom until the late 1700s. Well, specifically Chiang Mai was Lanna’s capital.

If you dig a little deeper into history, you will know that Lanna was known as the land of a million ricefields. A million? Yep, that’s what they claim. But you see, this is where linguistics come into play. So we’ve got to be careful with translations. They are sometimes lost… Realistically anyway, how do you count rice fields? Perhaps by the plots? Anyway we digressed again.

Come here to see rice fields you ask? Not really, though that could be one of the activities. Did you also know that the notorious golden triangle of drug production and trafficking is said to be nearby? Won’t this make your heart flutter a little? Sounds dangerous doesn’t it?

And adventure we had both within the city and outside of it. Not only did we veered close to the supposed land of drug kingpins, we mingled with hilltribes too! Phew not head hunting ones, but ones with long neck.

Read more here about our adventures in Chiang Mai itself.

There is so much to do. Better yet, find out more about what you can see outside of the city. Will this egg you to make a journey to northern Thailand?

So ends our Thai series at this time. We do plan to go to our Hua Hin timeshare later this year, so look out for it!

The island’s name is Bond, shaken not stirred

James Bond would be proud. Because his name is used to name an island. We are so ashamed….that we mixed up the movies which led to the fame of this island. You see, we had this image of Ursula Andress emerging from the sea in a white bikini and a gun diving knife strapped on her you know where. And we thought – ah this must be it in Phuket. You see we had some confirmation bias – because we saw some tourists (ladies) posing knee deep in the clear waters, seductive pose not withstanding.

Nooooooo! Ursula starred in “Dr No”. Did you know that the white bikini she wore in that movie was sold at an auction for more than £41,000 in 2011? Sorry we digressed again.

The movie that actually inspired folks to name this island after Ian Fleming’s written character is “The Man with the Golden Gun”. You see the island in the story of the movie was the hideout of the villain Scaramanga. That island is supposedly in ‘Red China’, which in the 1970s was still out-of-bounds least of all to film producers of the west (this film was released in 1974). An alternative had to be found and it fell to Ko Khao Phing Kan.

So….no bikini clad lady emerging from the sea here!

Ok, what then is there to see here then? Read it all in our little story!

PS: Did you folks heard of Bangkok’s plan to “clean” up street food vendors? Seems like they are doing it in the name of ‘reclaiming’ the side walk. In the process, many vendors will likely not have space to operate… Oh no! On the other hand, they could be housed like food centers that look familiar with what we have here in the little red dot!

Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea

Snorkeling is such a fun way to interact with the fishes and corals in the sea. We mean, you see but don’t touch. Interact we hear your puzzling response. How does one interact with fishes and corals? By the way, all you sea lovers out there remember not to touch and take anything from the waters ok? Look, can. Touch, take or damage – a big NO NO.

So begins our short Thailand series.

Well, you don’t. Interact with the fishes that is. But that first paragraph was to introduce you to fun ways you can enjoy yourself when in Krabi. That is, being in the water and not just on land.

We had found this really good deal that included flights and 3 nights’ stay at the Sofitel in Krabi. Not one to pass up on a deal, we found the nearest long weekend and flew away…only to discover that it was the wet season! Sigh. That’s why it was so cheap…though the good thing is – there were hardly any other visitors staying at the hotel. Why? Because it was raining torrents for much during those days!

Well, that was also what we expected when we signed up on a snorkeling tour to the islands. Islands devoid of tourists. But hell no! There were soooo many people on the boat (and so many boats too) jostling for a piece of the ocean. Now, September is the shoulder season and the waters can be churning a little making it murky. Not quite the Maldives! Fortunately for us the day was not rainy, merely cloudy – so it was not a total loss.

Take a look at this essay and re-live the days we spent with the denizens of the sea. Do you enjoy snorkeling?

The Long Journey Q2-17

Salutations to all ex-colleagues and friends,

Time flies when you are having fun, someone said. Don’t know who did, but that person sure was a genius who said it. Because it’s true. You know there are days that seem so long that the seconds feel like hours? Well, the exact opposite is true when you are on the move!

In the last three months, we’ve gone on a culinary overload in Thailand and a mini road trip along the northern coast of Japan. On both journeys we were blessed with good weather and smooth travel. For five consecutive months since last October we had been on the move each month. Time to recuperate. LOL!

We are still trying to finalize when we can touch Petra and how…It’s coming soon to summer and all advisers we sought recommend not being there when it is at the height of the heat. Sigh. How now brown cow? Watch this space! On the other hand it seems Cuba could be coming closer than we originally thought! Well, never give up! Persevere and we shall prevail.

In any case here’s our latest newsletter: The Long Journey Q2-2017. Until next time,

Good Health

Safe Travels

Stay Positive!

Our Bangkok getaway, a journalog

Finally! We managed to pull together the pictures and story of our recent culinary and history filled journey to Bangkok over the lunar new year holidays. Oh how time flies! That was more than a month ago!

You know the thing about not cherishing what’s around you?

Well, perhaps Bangkok was one such place that we have “neglected” all this time. Because we have been focused on the journeys that take us afar – that is across the other sides of the planet. And so this city of Angels was not on the radar. It was only there because of the price!

Now there will be many many posts about Bangkok. From how to find the cheapest and best hostel stays to the experience of boozing all around the city, one might experience information overload. Ours will focus on the slightly ‘glitzier’ side of Bangkok, that is the malls, the shopping and the restaurants. Nope. Not quite nomadic and that’s not the intention!

What do we think you missed in Bangkok? Take a quick look at the journalogs we’ve prepared. Our story begins with part I – here.

Dumb Travel luck

Oops it happened to us again! Sigh.

What was that we hear you ask?

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Not as spacious as SIA but good enough!

On our way up to Bangkok, we had been upgraded to premium economy which to be terribly honest wasn’t much except that it was in the front of the airplane.

We got upgraded again!! This time on our return flight from Bangkok to Singapore. And guess what? Cathay They offered us to take Thai airways as an alternative initially. Because they were well overbooked. You see, this flight originates from Hong Kong with this stopover in Bangkok to pick up passengers like us.

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Elegant way to end the journey!

On this occasion however, we were upgraded – to business class! Yep you read that right. Business class with inflight service (meals etc). Could not get into the lounge though…heheh we tried. The alternative they offered would had been a 4pm flight. And we weren’t enamoured to sit around at the airport for 6 hours…so we persisted and the airline was kind enough to accommodate us.

It certainly was a great flight home and we were not the only ones. Seems they upgraded quite a few because the flight was full with tour groups coming in from China via Hong Kong.

Btw, we tested the free airport Wifi in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. You see, many had complained that you would be sent your login username and password to your registered email account. What most fail to realize is that when that page is shown, you just need to click “login” and start surfing. The email is for future use, so that you do not need to register again…duh.