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Travel List Thursday: Bangkok

Posted by Heliocentrism on November 17, 2016

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Job 4: BFITS

Posted by Heliocentrism on May 15, 2015

December 2009 – May 2010

We’re poor, but we can still afford our own pool.

Working for the government through a company

I already have an entry on the basics of how I got my job in Thailand. So, let me give you a brief re-cap here. Mark and I got to Thailand and sent out lots of emails answering job ads. Neither of us got any replies, though.

There was one particular job that I found in the classifies of a Bangkok newspaper. I really wanted the job and it seemed like they needed someone right away. But still, no one replied to my email.

The ad in the newspaper gave the company’s address and it was a couple blocks from our hostel. So, Mark and I put on our business attire, took our resumes, reference letters, copies of our diplomas, and other documents and knocked on BFITS‘ door.

This is how we got to work some days.

We sat in the office of a guy ready to interview us. “Mr. Boss” seemed very happy to see us. A math teacher had just quit a few days earlier and an English teacher was on the verge of quitting. He had been trying to call the Human Resources department to get them to put an ad in the paper for a new math teacher, but they had yet to reply to any of the messages he left them.

Clearly, they had put the ad for a math teacher in the paper, because that was the ad I saw. But, HR either didn’t know how to answer emails or they just didn’t care. They never answered a single email while I worked there. If I needed anything, I had to call the person I needed help from on their private cell phone. (If you are lucky enough to get the private cell phone number of someone who works in HR at BFITS, don’t loose it, or abuse it!)

There’s very little desk space left on my desk.

Long story short, I got the job and started that Friday. Mark’s job, at the same company but a different school, started 2 weeks later. We got a nice apartment and settled into our new lives in Bangkok.

The job itself was okay. It was just a lot of work, for not that much pay. I was working 10 times as hard as I did when I worked at a high school in Korea. If I were making more money while working harder, it would not have been so bad. But jobs in Thailand generally don’t pay that much.

(I lived quite well while I was in Thailand, because in baht I made decent money. I made half of what I did in Korea when comparing both the baht and the won to the US dollar. In Korea I made enough money to live well and send money home to pay off student loans. In Thailand I just made enough money to live well.)

I taught 7th through 9th grade math; two 9th grade classes, three 8th grade classes, and three 7th grade classes. I taught each class 4 times a week. After each lesson I gave homework, after which I graded and handed back the next day. Every two weeks or so, there was a test, after which I graded and handed back during the next time class.

I went from teaching 1 lesson 20~24 times a week to teaching 12 lessons 2~3 times a week. But it was just middle school math; no biggie. The hard part was the endless grading. Just look at my desk in the photo above. There are 4 towers of homework and tests to grade!

Ain’t no party like a BFITS party!

But I was still willing to do this tiring job for a lot less pay for at least a year, just to live in Thailand for a while. I liked the company. (Just look at the band they hired for their year end party!)

The problems started after my first test. Parents complained when their kids’ failed.

It was not a lot of kids that failed; just the students that did no homework. What no one bothered to tell me, was that the last teacher, the one who had quit, used to grade on a curve. These students were used to doing nothing and passing their test anyway.

First off, I’ve never heard of grading on a curve in middle school. That sort of thing should only start in college when the coursework actually gets hard. If you start grading on a curve for pre-algebra, you’re just setting these kids up to fail in life.

No one wants to get a phone call from their supervisor on the weekend.

I first heard about the complaints when my supervisor called me one weekend. Mr. Supervisor told me that I just cannot fail any of my students. I liked Mr. Supervisor. I feel like under different circumstances we would have been very good friends. But during this phone call he seriously contradicted himself and left me confused.

I was told not to just hand out grades. I had to give good tests and lots of homework and give the students the scored they earned. My tests could not be too easy but, I was to never ever, never ever ever, fail a student.

I was told that on Monday Mr. Boss was going to come to my school to deal with me. He was going to fix the problem I made. I had angered rich parents and that was a big no-no.

On Monday Mr. Boss looked through my lessons which were in a Power Point file. And he saw all the homework I gave the kids. There was nothing on the test that was not covered in the lessons and practiced in the homework.

In fact there were a few questions on the test that were straight out of the homework. There were a couple problems that we worked out together as a class, and I thought I would just throw 2 of them on the test as a confidence booster. Mr. Boss seemed to really like that.

Seeing that I did my job well and exactly like how he thought I should, Mr. Boss then met with the parents. He defended me and my teaching methods to them, telling them to get used to it or find some other English program for their kids to join.

I needed to relax in my pool after such a stressful day at work.

He stuck around after the meeting to tell me to not change a thing. Then he proceeded to go through my co-workers lessons, tests, and exams. Most of them were applauded for doing good jobs, but a few were given warnings that their tests were too easy or they should give more homework.

A few days later I got another call from Mr. Supervisor. He told me about the heaps of praise I got from Mr. Boss and that I should continue to do what I was doing before. But he warned that this should never happen again. Then for some “unrelated reason” he asked for my teacher pass-code. He needed to check something concerning my students’ scores.

He never came out and said it, but I had a feeling that he was just going to straight up give some kids a passing grade since I would not. We played this game many times. But I was never certain exactly what Mr. Supervisor had done.

How could they have even eked out a D?

It wasn’t until the school year ended and we had a meeting down at the BFITS headquarters, that I found out that all my students had passed. I sat there wondering how could that be possible. I had a few students that never turned in any homework, never passed a single test, and flunked the exam. How could they have passed?

Even with all this, I still liked my job. I worked hard, got paid little, and had parents complaining that I didn’t just pass their kids, but I still liked my job.

In the end, I left for a number of reasons. I had a non-grade-related disagreement with Mr. Supervisor. I needed to do what was best for me and he needed to do what was best for his job. Since what was best for him wasn’t anything near to being what was best for me, I quit.

The view from our kitchen

Besides, Bangkok was in political turmoil at the time. Just about everyday some building was going up in smoke. I never felt unsafe, as long as I stayed away from the protests, but I wanted to get out of Thailand just the same.

I would still recommend BFITS to anyone thinking about moving to Thailand if he or she didn’t have a job in mind already. But I would also give this advice. “Don’t work in Thailand if you need to send money home for any reason.”


Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

Posted in Bangkok, Thailand | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Dawn on the Last Day

Posted by Heliocentrism on May 27, 2010

May 26, 2010

All Pictures

Holding up the temple

A Day Along the River

For our last full day in Thailand Mark and I decided to get all our packing done and head out to see the Temple of Dawn. When you climb up to the top of the temple you get a great view of the river and surrounding temples. But, other than that, it’s just another temple.

The street omelets are the best things ever! It’s called khai jiaw (ไข่เจียว).

We then walked along the river to see Bangkok on an average day. We will miss Thailand, but not so much Bangkok. Bangkok was okay, but it’s a very dirty city that has way too much traffic and a not so good public transportation system. Bangkok has its pluses, but I’m just not the Bangkok type.

We will spend most of Friday in Tokyo. I’m excited! I love Japan. Mark wants to see Akihabara and to play pachinko. I want to eat ramen at a real Japanese ramen shop.

I have a crazy love for ramen. I eat ramen for breakfast about 5 days a week. If I’m hungry during the day and want a snack, it’s ramen to the rescue! The ramen you have in the states or the UK is nothing compared to the ramen options in Asia.

Then Mark and I will be in Chicago for most of Friday evening. Yes, we get two Fridays!

taking pictures of angels

We will end up at Mark’s family’s place sometime on Saturday, then eventually make it down to Miami where my people are.

I’m excited by, and scared of going back to the US. I’m excited to see my family and my country. What has changed since I’ve been gone? It always seems different when I come home between trips.

But I’m worried that something will happen and I would end up staying. What if I don’t find another job outside the US? What if I find a really great job in the US that I would be crazy not to take, that spells the end of adventures? In the end I will move back to the states, but not now. Maybe in a year, or two, or a decade. Maybe…

All Pictures


Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

The Temple of Dawn
Wat Arun
(วัดอรุณ)

How to get there:

  • 13°44’36.8″N 100°29’14.4″E

By Bus –

Take bus number 19, 57 or 83

By Other Public Transportation –

  • Take the BST to Saphan Taksin.
  • From there you can walk to CEN Sathon (Taksin Bridge/ Central) pier. (Any pier will do, but Central pier is the only one that is very close to a BTS station.)
  • Once at a pier make sure to get on a boat that will take you to N8 Tha Tien dock.
    • Don’t get a long-tailed boat. You want the one that all the Thai people are taking.
  • From Central pier the ride will cost 14THB/person.
  • Make sure to read the signs at the docks you pass so you know where you are.
    • The ticket lady will be too busy to tell you where your stop is.
  • Move towards the back of the boat when you’re near N8. The boat doesn’t stop for too long.
  • There are 2 types of ferriesatN8 Tha Tien; the ferries that go up and down the river and the one that crosses the river.
    • Once you get to this pier you will take a ferry across the river.
  • You will either have to hurry or wait a long time, because once this ferry has a sufficient amount of passengers the ferry will get going. This boat will cost 3THB and runs from 6:00 – 22:00.

Address:

No. 34, Arun Amarin Road
Kwang Wat Arun
Khet Bangkok Yai, Bangkok

Website

Cost:

Notes:

There is a dress code. You are not supposed to wear shorts or short sleeve shirts, even though I just walked right in with shorts and a T-shirt and no one said anything. There are some clothes you can rent if someone does stop you.

Map:

Posted in Bangkok, Thailand | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

ลาก่อน

Posted by Heliocentrism on May 22, 2010

May 22, 2010 – May 27, 2010

Wai-ing with Ronald

Once again, I must say goodbye

I did a “Top 10 Things I will miss about Korea” so I thought it would be nice if I did one for Thailand too. I was in Korea for two years and I think I have gotten to know Korea and its people very well. It’s been only 6 months since I moved to Bangkok; I don’t think that I know Thailand and the Thais very well. I don’t think I will feel homesick for Bangkok like I did for Korea, but there are still some things that I will miss about life in Thailand.

Some of the things I like about Thailand are great only when you are a backpacker. When you work here, things that benefit tourists annoy you. Overall I think that Thailand is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here.

Thai Taxi

10. You can take a taxi anywhere.

Most cabs have a little sign hanging over the front passenger seat with a list of destinations and prices. At first I thought it was a rough estimate of fares in Bangkok. But, upon closer inspection I noticed places like Chaing Mai and Krabi on there. So if taking a long distance bus seems like too much of a hassle for you, take a taxi!

Of course it will cost way more than taking a bus and you might have to schedule your trip in advance. I doubt you can just hop on a cab in downtown Bangkok and say, “Take me to Nong Khai!” Though, that’s exactly what they seem to do on The Amazing Race.

Street Shops

9. The sidewalks are filled with crap

This is one of the things that is great when you’re a tourist, not so great when you work here. It makes it hard to walk down the street. Everyone and their mom are selling trinkets, baubles, and curios. It’s mostly the stuff you buy the not-so-close friends and co-workers back home so they can feel jealous of you every time they look at it.

When you are just a tourist, you want to stroll and explore. The sidewalk shops add character to the city. But when you are on your way to work, these street vendors are just obstacles that make your getting to the bus stop more difficult.

Of course this applies mainly to the cities. The streets out in the country side don’t have as much stuff on them.

We make your food right here on the street.

8. Street food

In Thailand street food is mostly chicken rice and sauce (ข้าวมันไก่)  or fish ball soup. But I have seen all types of street food here from fried chicken, to sushi, and roaches.

Not even slightly curious.

They are mostly delicious, though I was never brave enough to try the roaches.

I should have worn a tank-top too.

7. It is very hot

Anyone who knows me, knows I hate the cold. When I’m not out in the world, I’m in Florida and around Christmas time, I’m known to complain how cold it is in Miami. Yes. I think in December, Miami is too cold. It gets all the way down 45°F/7°C sometimes! So let’s establish the fact that I love warm weather.

But this is a level of warmth that can drive even me crazy. Look at me in the picture above! I’m a sweaty mess.

But it was my fault. I’ve known for sometime that in climates like this, it is better to wear sports gear made with CoolMax or some equivalent. It makes a huge difference. But that day I wanted to show off the fact that I had been to Guam…

This is another thing this is great for tourists, not so great for people working here. I can’t wear CoolMax to work. Work clothes can be made out of CoolMax type material, but no one does it. All my sports clothes look like sports clothes. So, I’m stuck with cotton for work which makes me look like I do in the picture above when I get home from work.

my pool

6. The Baht

Things are cheap here. CHEAP! I barely make any money, yet I live in a high-rise apartment with a doorman and a gym and pool on the roof. It’s really spectacular, especially at night.

There is no way I could afford this back in the states. On the money I make here, I would be living in subsidized housing and using food stamps back home.

The only time in my life that  I made this little was in college and I was working less than part-time. In other countries like Korea and Japan, you don’t make as much as you would in the states. But when you consider that you don’t pay rent, taxes, car insurance, and the list goes on, you actually find that you can save more money.

In Thailand I make a lot less than I did in Japan or Korea. This job does not come with an apartment. I have to pay my own rent and key money (apartment deposit). I make enough money to live well here, but not enough to send money home.

That is a big problem for me. I have student loans that I need to pay back and since I got to Thailand I haven’t sent any money home. And, I had to use the money I saved while living in Korea.

Would I advise people to work in Thailand?

Sure, if they aren’t paying off loans and don’t need to send money home. You will make enough money to live and travel in Thailand, but you will not be padding your bank account back home like you would in Korea or Japan.

(Just go when there is less political tension.)

FRUIT!!!!

5. Fruit

I will miss the fruit here.  Even though I could not afford the eat the more exotic fruits like mangosteens and grapes regularly, because they were imported. I enjoyed the ones grown locally like mangoes, durians, and champoo. I will also miss the street fruit venders. For about 10THB you can get a bag of sliced fruit.

air conditioning in a bag

4. Iced Coffee in a bag

It seems odd, but on a very hot day, ice and iced coffee in a bag is just the best thing. It’s like a wake-you-up bag of ice. Now it’s not the most convenient way to carry liquid around when you’re on a bus or driving. But when walking around in the heat it can’t be beat.

…and no, my bag and never got torn.

motorbike taxi to work

3. Cheap taxis

Tuk-tuks in Bangkok are a big rip off. I would only ride in one for the novelty of riding in one. It is always cheaper to take a metered taxi. Taxis here are ridiculously cheap. In fact, if you are traveling with 3 or more people, 2 people and you have to transfer from the BTS to the MRT, or you have to do a BST/MRT and bus combo, it might be cheaper to just take a taxi.

When you take a cab, remember to ask for the meter before the cabbie starts driving. If the driver tells you that he wants a flat rate, like 400THB for the trip or that his meter is broken, get out. There are way more cabs than people needing cabs in Bangkok. 200THB is usually more than enough to get anywhere from anywhere in Bangkok, with exceptions of the airport and through toll roads.

There will be an additional charge of 50THB when you get a cab at the airport. You are also expected to pay all toll fees at the toll booths. If you don’t want to pay tolls you need to tell the driver before you get into the car. Many cabbies will not take you during rush hour unless you want to get on the expressway and pay the toll. They only make money when the car is moving, so they don’t want to be stuck in traffic. Bangkok traffic can be very congested, so unless you are flat broke, you will not want to be stuck in it either.

If you are not in Bangkok there might be a scarcity of taxis. In such a case, it might be better to just pay what the driver asks than to walk or wait for a potentially non-existent bus. Don’t forget to ask if any songtows operate in the area though.

Motorbike taxis are great when there is a lot of traffic or in situations where a car would be slower or awkward. They tend to be cheaper in more suburban areas. They are not as safe as everyone around would like to think, but sometimes there are no other options.

There are times when a tuk-tuk is a good option, like in Ayutthaya. It just depends on the concentration of foreign tourists in the area. When the tourist are mostly Thai, tuk-tuks are less of a scam.

Camping in nature

2. National Parks to camp in

In Korea most camp sites are more like Astroturf carpeted parking lots than a clearing in the woods. But Thailand is filled with national parks which have actual camp sites. Some of the campsites have leeches, but whatever…

Beach sunset

1. The Beaches

Thailand has some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. I loved every minute I spent at the beach. Some beaches are more for swimming others are better for snorkeling. And others are more for sitting around with friends watching the sun set.

ลาก่อน!

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Getting out of Thailand

Posted by Heliocentrism on May 21, 2010

Explosions from downtown

Time to Say Goodbye

I think it is time for Mark and me to leave Thailand. Things here are getting a little out of hand. It might not be dangerous for people who do not go near the protest areas, but I still want to go home.

Mark and I are going to try to head back to the US next week, but we have one small problem to deal with first. Our company finally got around to working on our visas. They gave me back my passport, but the company still has Mark’s.

This explosion is a 15 minute walk away from our apartment.

Yesterday, Mark called up the lady in charge of getting the visas processed and she told him that the office is closed and so is the building the office is in. The company’s headquarters is on the outskirts of the protest area.

We might have to get Mark a new emergency passport from the US Embassy. This will bring about a lot more complications.

1. The US Embassy is right in the middle of the protest area. But there is a temporary new location that is open from 8:00 to noon. We would have to make an appointment online before going down there.

2. Mark needs proof of citizenship. Something like a … passport? A birth certificate will do, but Mark was born in Korea. I hope that he has his naturalization papers here in Thailand. He’s still looking for them.

3. He might need to get a new Thai visa or have some other unforeseen problem(s).

Basically it would be a whole hell of a lot easier if we could just get into the building and get Mark’s current passport.

The building below is near the Siam Center that was bombed.

The explosion from the top photo was of this building.

Posted in Thailand | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Last Camping Trip in Thailand

Posted by Heliocentrism on May 21, 2010

May 15-17, 2010

All Pictures

Our very own beach… when the tide comes in.

Hey there, lonely beach

Last week I planned another camping trip not knowing that it would be the last camping trip Mark and I would take in Thailand. From reading other people’s travel blogs, I saw that we would most likely be the only people camping there, the bungalows are expensive, and transportation might be a hassle.

I decided the best camping spot for us was Laem Sala Beach since it was near a restaurant and a cave. There was also another cave within walking distance and a small village between the beach and the other cave where you can get a ride back to Pranburi.

John told the cab driver where we wanted to go, but the driver just did his own damn thing and dropped us off where he felt like. We were there for about 4 hours before we realized that we weren’t where we thought we were.

We asked the park workers for directions. We were really confused when they said the cave, that was supposed to be right there, was 17 km away. We were actually at Sam Phraya Beach, which also has a restaurant but not much else.

This park, whose name translates to 300 peak mountain, has hundreds of caves, or at least that is what the people at the park said. I became a little suspicious of their definition of the word “cave” when I came across a tiny indent in some rocks on the beach that they claimed was the cave on this beach. Well, I guess it was a cave, just not a very spectacular one; not worth coming all the way from Bangkok for.

The tide is out

The Tide is High

Since there were no real caves near our beach to explore we went for a walk around to see what it did have. We walked to the next beach, the one in the picture above. In the photo the tide is out leaving mud that had been drying all day making it easy to walk on. By the time we passed this way again to get back to our camp, the tide was up to my knees and the hard surface turned into sinking mud which made it very difficult to walk.

I almost lost my shoe a couple of times in the mud. When you watch the video below that Mark made, there is a part where I’m bending over. I look like I’m playing in the water, but I’m actually pulling my foot out of the mud so I can take the next step.

The tide came in very quickly. I’m used to the tide coming in subtly so that you don’t even notice. But it rushed in. You can see it in the video when John does his “Moses” thing. Okay, it’s not like a tidal wave; more like filling a bath tub with water.

Not Another Scooter!

The next day we were able to talk the park workers into renting us their scooters for way more than the bikes were worth. Now you might remember my vow in Laos never to get on one of these two-wheeled devils again. But hitchhiking was not an option here. There are very few cars driving around the park; it’s 80% scooters.

John and Mark talked me into getting a scooter. I calmed myself down and was ready to get on Satan’s bicycle when John said, “They are all manual gear. Is that okay?”

Mark and John trying out their bikes

“NO! I just want to worry about not falling off, again. I can’t change gears too…”

I tried it out anyway. I got on and started the thing up and off I went. But when I squeezed the breaks, the scooter would not stop. I wasn’t going very fast and just stopped the bike by dragging my feet on the ground. I got off and made up my mind that I would not get back on.

Then one of the ladies offered to take me to the cave and pick me up again at 4:00pm. I was cool with that; she seemed to know what she was doing, and her kid who also rode along with us on the same bike, seemed to trust her.

…by the way. It turned out that the real breaks was in the form of a foot pedal. But I just knew that I would have confused it with either the foot rest or the other foot-pedal used to change gears.

I still think the key to conquering the world is automatic transmission. Americans have it. What’s wrong with you, rest of the world?

broken down

We’ll just wait here, I guess…

It turned out that it was a good thing I was such a baby. The scooter I was being driven on, ran out of gas. At the time I didn’t know why we stopped. I looked to John to do some translating but he wasn’t there. He had stopped several meters back because his tire was completely flat.

We waited on the side of the road for about an hour for the lady to get gas and change the tire. I’m sure, had we been on our own, we would have figured something out. But it is always easier to have someone else do things for you than to do it yourself.

Finally!

A Few Kilometers in Just 2 Hours

We did make it to the Laem Sala Beach, the beach I wanted to be in the first place. It was nice; almost as lonely as our camp. It would have been isolated, but the cave attracted visitors. I imagine that by night the tourists would have all gone home.

We climbed up to Phraya Nakhon cave and back down again. This cave is best seen on a sunny day. There was a sinkhole that fell through the cave allowing light to shine in. There is a shrine to some king of Thailand who visited the cave a few times, though I have a hard time believing that a king climbed that mountain. Maybe he was carried on a sedan chair.

King What’s-his-face visited here once.

After this cave, Mark and John went to see Sai Cave. I couldn’t go because I was a baby and refused to drive a non-automatic scooter (of death). I waited for the nice lady to come back to the cave while the boys drove off. I ate a bowl of soup while waiting for my ride and thought about how great it was to go on a trip in a third world country and not have a scooter accident.

Fire and Salt Water

We decided to stay another night. Things in Bangkok were getting a little crazy with rioting and staying just seemed like a better idea. Besides, Mark wanted to make a bigger fire than the one we made the night before. I wanted to do some night swimming. I LOVE night swimming!

The night swimming was great. There isn’t a lot of light, but there isn’t a lot of water either. Okay, there was no swimming. It was more like 3 adults sitting in a large non-hot, salty, hot tub with waves and stars. Can life get any better?

All Pictures


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
(เขาสามร้อยยอด)

How to get there:

  • 12°11’56.7″N 99°57’03.2″E

From Bangkok –

Take a taxi to Southern Bus Terminal and buy tickets for Pranburi (ปราณบุรี).

There is also a van that goes between Victory Monument and Pranburi, but I hate vans. Van drivers drive like demons and I would rather not die with insufficient leg room.

Once in Pranburi –

There is supposed to be a songtow that will take you to the village of Ban Bang Pu inside the park. According to The Lonely Planet the songtow will cost 100THB per person.

After you get to the village you can walk, up one side and then down the other side of a rugged hill, to the beach and camp site of Laem Sala. It’s not an easy walk when carrying tons of camping gear. There is another option of paying 250THB for a boat ride  around the hill.

There are many campsites, but unless you have a car or a scooter, most of them are hard to reach. We took a cab to Sam Phraya Beach, but I recommend Laem Sala Beach for those with no transportation of their own.

Address:

Khao Sam Yot National Park
Khao Daeng Sub-District, Kui Buri District
Prachuap Khiri Khan 77150

Phone:

  • 0-3282-1568

Website

Download:

e-mail: reserve@dnp.go.th

Cost:

  • This park is cheaper than most parks in Thailand. It’s 200THB for foreign adults.

Notes:

  • Camping: It costs 30THB per night per person if anyone actually gets around to charging you.
  • Bungalows: There are bungalows to rent. You can check the park’s website or call for more information.
  • Though there isn’t much in the way of transportation inside the park, you might be able to talk some of the park staff at your camp into renting you their scooters.
  • Be aware that their personal scooters will mostly likely be switch manual scooters. You will have to know when to change gears.

Map:

Posted in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Pranburi, Thailand | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Too Hot for Free Bikes

Posted by Heliocentrism on May 3, 2010

May 1, 2010

All Pictures

Remember the last episode of ANTM cycle 6?

Old Stuff Pretending to be Really Old Stuff*

We started off on the free bikes. I was overjoyed when I saw the bikes and then to find out that they were free just made my day! On Friday a friend of ours, who still lives in Seoul, put an invite on his Facebook status to go biking in Nowon. I loved biking in Seoul with him. I miss all the friends I’ve made in Seoul. So, getting some free bikes, brought all those good memories back.

Just leave the bikes here.

Of course these free bikes were in no way as nice or as new, as the ones in Seoul, but they got the job done. The bad thing about the bikes were not the bike’s fault at all. It’s just too hot. Mark and I were biking around, looking for something to drink when a trolley past us.

The trolley is free, by the way. So, we ditched the bikes and hopped on the next trolley. No, we didn’t go back for the bikes. I assume that the workers eventually retrieved them… hopefully.

The trolley was a lot more fun to ride than the bikes. You can get on and off whenever you like. It goes very slowly so you don’t really need to get off to take photos. Most stuff aren’t worth anything more than a passing snap shot anyway.

A kitchen on a little row-boat

Ice Coffee Lady, row me to heaven!

The highlight of the day was the floating market. You can dine at any of the many restaurants around the small lake. But, the more interesting thing to do is to first find a nice place to sit. If you patiently wait, a lady in a row-boat will come your way and she will make some delicious soup for you.

There is also a Coffee & Tea lady, but when we were there she had so many customers that she couldn’t row around. We had to walk over to her boat and stand in line.

Great Coffee… if only it came in a bag.

I would just like to use this time to rant about my love of Thai iced coffee. Let me first explain that I love everything about coffee, but the taste. Let’s be honest, coffee is bitter and yucky. But it is not without some redeeming qualities. It is just as good cold as it is hot. You can also add fists full of sugar and creamer to cover up its horrible taste. Okay, that’s what I really love, sugar and creamer!

I personally like to add condensed milk to my coffee. It’s a one step coffee de-yucky-fier. Out side of Thailand, people make fun of me when I put spoonfuls of this sweet dairy product in my coffee. But in Thailand, I feel quite justified that there is a whole culture that makes its coffee just like I do.

Here, in Thailand, they make coffee fresh,  really strong, and really sweet, then add it to a cup, or most times a bag, filled with crushed iced. The result is perfection chilled. All this for about 8-20THB (25-63 US cents).

The soup is great too!

Here’s another great video by Mark:

*Actually, I have no idea how old Ancient City is. I just thought this made a nice and snappy title.

All Pictures


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

Ancient Siam
(Ancient City)
(เมืองโบราณ)
(Mueang Boran)

How to get there:

  • 13°32’21.9″N 100°37’22.8″E

By Bus –

If you are lucky enough to live near bus 511’s route, then you can use it and take the bus to the end of its line. But your journey isn’t over yet! Hop on the mini-van with the hard to read number 36 on it. Don’t take a nap in the van; you don’t want to pass your stop.

Taxi –

You’re better off taking a taxi on this one. I find that, when using public transportation in Bangkok, if there is more than one traveler or if there is a transfer, then taking a cab is not only cheaper, but easier. You see, the bus system, the BTS (elevated rail), the MRT (underground rail), and thousand minivan routes, are all run by different companies. So, just print out or take a picture of the map in the link below and show some taxi driver. Good Luck!

Address:

296/1 Sukhumvit Road
Bangpoo, Samut Prakan, 10280

Phone:

  • 0-2709-1644-8

Website: The Website brought up a warning on my computer.

e-mail: info@ancientsiam.com

Cost:

Bike and cart rental

The website is a bit confusing on the topic of bike rental. The bikes are free with admission and so is the tram. I’m not sure if they used to charge extra for the bikes, but they didn’t when Mark and I went.

Hours:

  • 8:00 – 17:oo

Notes:

Map: map to show your taxi driver

Posted in Samut Prakan, Thailand | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Cobras Are the Least of Your Worries

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 26, 2010

April 24-25, 2010

All Pictures

What!?

I think we should head back now

Mark organized a meetup trip to Khao Yai National Park. There were some new “weekenders” this time. We all met up at the Mochit bus terminal then got on the next bus to Pak Chong.

From Pak Chong we took a songtow to an entrance to the park. The fee to enter is 40THB, if you are Thai or have a work permit.  Other wise the cost is 400THB.

Since my company is not really on the ball when it comes to doing paperwork in a timely fashion, neither Mark nor I have work permits yet. We are still in the “process stage” of being legal workers in Thailand. I’m just a few tedious steps from getting health insurance. Mark is a couple of steps behind me, since he changed schools. I might be employed in Japan by the time I get my work permit for Thailand.

From the gate we started to walk toward the campsite. We could have rented a private songtow to take us in, but we  didn’t know. We took a public songtow to the entrance instead. Public transportation vehicles are not allowed to enter the park, only privately hired vehicles. If we called for a car, truck, or whatever to come pick us up, there is no telling how long we would have had to wait. Besides, this was a great opportunity for John to fulfill his life long dream of hitchhiking on every meetup trip.

On our way up we passed a sign that said, “Beware, Cobra cross.” Don’t worry. We didn’t see any cobras. Though John did hear an elephant. I doubt anything out there can kill you. Though some of the stuff out there can kill you, you are mostly likely not going to see any of them. Maybe…

tents up!

After we set up our tents we went for a walk along the road towards some waterfalls. It was a cobra-free, yet leech infested walk. We didn’t realize it at the time, but we had almost walked to the nearest waterfall. There were monkeys relaxing on the side of the road and they stole our attention. Within seconds we all forgot or lost interest in the waterfalls.

Later, after the sun had set, boredom took hold of us. There was really not much to do. We were under the impression that fires were not allowed at the campsite, though no one could say where this idea came from.

Our plan of action was to get some flashlights and head off in the jungle to see what the waterfall looked like in the pitch dark of night. I think it was John that suggested it and no one really protested too much, at first. The protests came after we were deep in the jungle and when they popped up, they were ignored until the vote to head back became unanimous.

a tiny hungry leech

Welcome to the jungle

As you’ve probably guest, I was leeched upon. We all were. Those tiny blood suckers where everywhere! For reference if you find a leech sucking your blood, the leech entry on wikipedia.org recommends picking them off with your nails, pinching at the head of the leech. Make sure to clean the wound, put on a band-aide, and don’t worry, for most people leech bites are far from serious.

Salt, for a leech that is on you and sucking your blood, is not a good idea. According to wikipedia.org, it just makes them vomit. You don’t want a leech that is attached to you to vomit into your wound.

Everyone in leech socks

Everyone stop for a leech check!

The next day we did one more trek into the jungle to see some water falls. It took a long time to get there. After the previous night’s leech attacks we stopped every 15 minutes to do a “leech check”.

These inspections, which required a leech buddy to look at your feet and ankles, did not prevent bites. In fact they probably gave the leeches extra time to attach themselves onto stationary socks and shoes. One even got inside John shoe with his foot still in it. Those leeches are sneaky little bastards!

Is it safe to jump this month?

The falls that Leo did jump

We did manage to see the waterfall that was used in the Beach. The movie itself was filmed on Maya Beach on Phi Phi Leh, but there is a scene where people have to jump off a waterfall to enter the pot haven. Of course it doesn’t look like the waterfall in the movie or any kind of waterfall because it was the dry season. But, I assure you, this is the spot.

hitchhiking in Thailand

Maybe we should tap on the roof…

To get back to Pak Chong, we hitchhiked. We got into one truck that took us a few kilometers in the direction we were heading. Then we got into the back of another truck.

The second truck driver was supposed to take us to the gate, but he never stopped. We thought that he was just being kind and was going to take us all the way to Pak Chong, but then we got on the highway heading towards Bangkok. He forgot that we were in the back of his pick-up!

We tapped on his roof, which probably surprised him. “Oh my god! There are a bunch of foreigners in the back of my truck. How did they…. oh right…”  He dropped us off at the nearest stop for buses heading to Bangkok.

Mark made a video for this trip:

All Pictures


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

Pak Chong
(ปากช่อง)

How to get there:

  • 14°42’17.2″N 101°24’38.2″E

From Mochit Bus Terminal

Go to the second floor counter 86 and buy tickets (108THB). The ride is about 2.5 to 3 hours long.

Cost:

Hours:

  • The ride is about 2.5 to 3 hours long.

Notes:

  • Be sure to ask the bus driver to tell you when the bus has reached Pak Chong. There is no bus terminal at Pak Chong, just a bus stop.
  • There is a stop about an hour or so into the trip where you can get off and use the bathroom. Just make sure that the driver knows you have gotten off so he will wait for you to get back on the bus.
  • The bus stop is not on the map below because I don’t know where it is. I’ve been there, but I can’t find it on the map.

Khao Yai National Park
(เขาใหญ่)

How to get there:

  • 14°24’05.4″N 101°22’11.1″E

There are many ways to get to Khao Yai National Park. It is a very big park that spans many provinces. One way, the way we took, is by first going to Pak Chang.

From Pak Chang –

Once you get off the bus from Bangkok, you should head down the street (a left turn after getting off the bus), pass the pedestrian bridge. Take one of the blue songtows to the park. The ride costs about 45THB.

Address:

Khao Yai National Park
PO Box No. 9
Pak Chong District
Nakhon Ratchasima Province, 30130

Phone:

  • 081-877-3127
  • 086-092-6531
  • For emergencies 086-092-6527

Website:

  • For all Thai national parks: here

Cost:

Notes:

Watch out for monkeys, deer, leeches, cobras, porcupines, elephants, and alligators. Though, I didn’t see any elephants, alligators, or cobras. Mark almost walked into a porcupine though. Monkeys tried to steal stuff from John’s tent. We all got bitten by leeches. And there were deer everywhere!

To move around in the park, if you aren’t bringing in your own transportation, there are three options.

1. Walk. Just remember this is the second largest national park in Thailand and it spans several provinces.

2. Rent a scooter. I saw a guy rent a scooter at the entrance. It cost him about 300THB. Call one of the numbers above for more information.

3. Hitchhike. This is the method that we chose. Make sure you are able to communicate where you want to go before you stop a vehicle. Use a map or have someone write the name of the place in Thai before hand. You are more likely to get a ride from pickup truck drivers than from sedans, especially if you have a large group.

4. You could also hire a taxi or songtow to drop you off and come back in a couple of days to pick you up again and take you to the bus stop or train station.

  • Camping:

There are at least 2 campsites that I know of, in this park. There were little shops and restaurants near both camp grounds. The ones near our campsite opened at 7:00 and closed at 19:00, but the tent rental place closed at 21:00.

There is a camping fee is 30THB to camp whether you bring your own tent or not.

Make sure all your food is properly sealed and put away when you leave your tent so that it doesn’t get taken by monkeys, deer, or ants.

Map:

Posted in Khao Yai National Park, Nakhon Ratchasima, Pak Chong, Thailand | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Much Baby on the Road

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 17, 2010

April 13, 2010

All Pictures

Songkran Water Festival

Around Krabi Town

To be honest, there isn’t anything to do in Krabi Town. It is basically a halfway place to everywhere else. Our bus back to Bangkok didn’t leave until 17:30 so we wanted to see some of the sights around Krabi. We narrowed it down to just 2 things, the Emerald Pool (Sra Morakot) and the The Hot Springs.

It was the first day of the Songkran Water Festival and there were many kids standing on the side of the road waiting to throw water and colored stuff on people. They seemed to only wet people who wanted to be wet. Our driver didn’t want to be wet, so he kept the windows of his car rolled up.

The kids would flag down scooters which would slow down to be squirted with Super Soakers. Several children would stand in the road to wave down drivers. This caused our driver to worry a bit. “There are much baby on the road. They don’t look for car. Not safe.”

Emerald Pool / Sra Morakot

Solitary, but not on Holidays

The Emerald Pool, which is in the Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve, was our first stop. It cost 20THB to get in. It’s usually not as crowded as you see it in this picture, but we happened to go on the first day of a national holiday that was also a water festival. The water is not very deep. If you’re taller than 5’4″ you’ll be fine. Watch out for the occasional rock in the water. Getting in and back out again out can be tricky. Use the wooden walkway if you need to.

Klong Tom Hot Spring

Should I just jump in like she did?

Next we went to Klong Thom to the hot spring. This one cost 100THB to enter. If you go, make sure to go to the top of the mini waterfall. Don’t swim in the river. It’s a death trap!

We saw kids jumping in and around in the water. So we thought it was safe to jump in too.

There was no obvious way to get into the water other than to jump. I stood on a platform looking for a way in, when the lady standing next to me jumped in. It looked like a high jump, but if she could do it…

Mark and I jumped in. Mark hit his shin on a rock. I slammed my heel on a concrete slab. Once in the water I kept stubbing my toes on sharp rocks. Every turn in this water was potential trip to the hospital. Plus the water was very cold (for Thailand).

We got out of the water and walked a little further up the path. There was a natural hot tub with a crowd of people sitting in it. Because the water is hot, people can’t stay in it for too long. We waited for about a minute for some folks to get out and then we took their places. It was great!

free wi-fi at the dock

Free Wi-fi!!

Once we were done soaking up some warmth, Mr. Deen drove us to the Krabi Sea Port. This was where we would get a ride to the bus station and then head on to Bangkok, with a short stop in Suratthani. I was surprised to find free wi-fi at the sea port in Krabi, but there you go. Free wi-fi in the middle of nowhere.

We also found a shower in the handicapped bathroom. I’m not sure if it was for anyone to use, but with the choice being between taking a long bus ride while being unwashed or quickly taking a shower and hoping that we don’t get caught, we took the shower. Mark stood watch while I showered. Then I stood watch for him. To our delight, there was hot water.

All Pictures


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

Mr. Deen

We found this guy through the Good Dream Guesthouse where we stayed. He charged us 1,600THB to drive us around for one day. He was very happy and loved listening to the Eagles and Country & Western music.

Phone:

  • 089 587 8120

e-mail: thawatchai_dee@hotmail.com

Cost:

  • Negotiable

Hours:

  • Negotiable

Notes:

  • We were introduced to Mr. Deen through the Dream Guesthouse

Emerald Pool
(Sra Morakot)

inside

Khao Pra – Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary
(เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่าเขาประ – บางคราม)

How to get there:

  • 7°55’16.3″N 99°15’04.8″E Khai Pra
  • 7°55’24.2″N 99°15’35.4″E Emerald Pool

There isn’t any way to get there by public transportation that I know of. You will have to either take a taxi, rent a scooter, or join a tour group.

By car –

Take Highway No. 4 to Khlong Thom District and turn left to Route No. 4038 to Lam Hap Sub-district.

Address:

Kok Thai Sub-district.Sri Mahosot District
About 23 kms from city center Krabi Town
Thailand

Cost:

There is an park entrance fee of 20 Baht, but if you are with a tour group this fee would be included in the tour package.

Hours:

I think it closes at 17:00 or 18:00, but I’m not sure.

Notes:

  • Bring your own towel, swim suit, and sun block.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the park, but there are several restaurants at the gate.
  • Be careful. The pool has some rocks and dips in it that you cannot see.
  • If you exit you have to pay to re-enter, unless you are a smooth talker.

Klong Tom Hot Spring
Namtok Ron Khlong Thom
(น้ำตกร้อนคลองท่อม)

How to get there:

  • 7°56’01.6″N 99°12’12.5″E

By car –

Go to Ban Bang Khram. Go about 45 kilometres from town to Amphoe Khlong Thom, then take Sukhaphiban 2 Road for 12 kilometers.

Cost:

Hours:

  • I think this place closes at 17:00 or 18:00.

Notes:

Be careful when swimming in the river below the hot spring. You might think it looks safe because there are many children jumping in and out and around the river. But these children have very bad parents, who don’t care about their health. There are many sharp, jagged, and poky things that will cut you a leave you needing stitches.

Just stay out of the river.

Map:

Posted in Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve, Khlong Thom, Krabi, Krabi Town, Thailand | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

6 More People

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 17, 2010

April 12, 2010

All Pictures

Railay Beach

It’s Amazing

Railay Beach is known more for rock climbing, like what the guy in the picture above is doing, than for its beaches. But this beach was featured in seasons 1 of The Amazing Race and The Amazing Race: Asia, so I had to see it.

We didn’t climb with King Climbers, the company used in The Amazing Race. Mark wanted to, but I’m afraid of heights and was only interested in swimming. Besides, by the time we got to Railay Beach everything was closing up.

Getting a boat

Big Cigarette Time

We walked to the dock that was a block away from our hostel. Before we even got a boat or asked about boat prices, I did something that would save us from a lot of pain later on. I took a picture of a sign that has the name of our dock in English and in Thai.

We were approached by one of the guys that were hanging out by the dock. He said that we could get a boat soon to Railay Beach, but we would have to wait for 6 more people. I thought that the 6 other people were on their way, but after waiting for half an hour, I realized that there were no such people. We where waiting for any 6 people and this could take forever.

The dock guy started making small talk with us. Most of what he said didn’t make much sense, but he seemed quite happy about whatever his topic of conversation was. In the middle of one of his nonsensical ramblings he took out some leaves and started to roll a cigarette.

“What are you doing?” Mark asked.

“Do you know BIG cigarette? I like BIG cigarettes. I like marijuana, but no money. BIG cigarettes and big marijuana is good time!” He then proceeded to roll a ciggy with way too much tobacco in it to be closed.

Just when I was beginning to worry that Mr. BIG cigarette was our driver to be, another guy told us that we could go now, if we paid 15,000THB. This was way too much. I told him that I would be willing to pay 700THB but nothing more.

“Oh no! You are trying to rob me. I will meet you halfway, 12,000THB.”

“That’s not half way,” I said. I began to think that maybe this guy also liked BIG cigarettes with marijuana and this was how he was able to afford them. Or maybe he said 12-thousand when he meant to say 12-hundred. Either way 7-hundred was all I planned to pay.

A lady overhearing our conversation, turned to me and said, “You know, you can take a bus to Railay beach.”

“Really? how?”

Suddenly Mr. Halfway said, “How about 700THB? Does that sound good?”

Railay Beach near sunset

More Monkeys, yeah… – said sarcastically

The boat dropped us off at Railay Beach East. Then we walked to Phra Nang beach. Along the way we past a group of monkeys doing their thing. Soon after Mark found a banana salesman and got a bunch of bananas for the monkeys. They appreciated it very much.

The rest of the afternoon was spent swimming and taking pictures. This beach was supposed to be a “secret”, but there were many people there. It wasn’t crowded, but it was no secret. It was a nice beach though; very nice.

We were looking at the romantic sunset, when we notice all the boats leaving. We were able to get into the very last boat which was heading to Ao Nang (Nang Beach). This ride cost us 80THB each and got us very wet.

We had dinner in Ao Nang and took a crazy motor bike ride back to our dock. I had a hard time explaining which dock we wanted. But then I remembered that I had taken a picture of it. I showed the driver the picture. Then he knew exactly where to take us.

All Pictures.


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

Good Dream Guesthouse

How to get there:

  • 8°03’45.3″N 98°55’04.8″E

From the Krabi Sea Port –

  • Take a cab.
    • It will cost 200THB even though it’s a 20 minute ride.
    • It’s a  flat rate of 200THB to anywhere in Krabi Town.
  • Give the taxi driver the address below.

This is the Good Dream Guesthouse where we stayed. There is another one.

Address:

Krabi Good Dream Guesthouse
83 Uttarakit Road
Muang, Krabi, 81000, Thailand

Phone:

  • 075-622993
  • 075-629059

Website

e-mail: krabidream@gmail.com

Cost:

  • 520 – 650 THB per night depending on the type of accommodations and length of stay.

Notes:

  • There are 2 Good Dream Guesthouses. If one is full, just ask about the other one.

Map


East or West Railay Beach
(อ่าวไร่เลย์)

How to get there:

  • 8°00’19.5″N 98°50’21.0″E (West Railay Beach)
  • 8°00’27.0″N 98°50’28.0″E (East Railay Beach)

From the Krabi Sea Port –

  • Getting here will cost 200THB. Just ask any of the people standing behind any desk.

From Krabi Town –

  • Just walk down to any of the docks (there are many) and begin exercising your negotiating skills.
  • Normally it will cost you 150THB per person if you have about 6 people. If you have less, your skills will be put to the test.
  • Just remember what dock you left from so you know which one to return to.
  • There are also buses, but I don’t have information about them.
    • Just from looking at the map, the bus might take a long time depending on where you are.

Notes:

  • There will be many places to buy hot food and cold drinks.

Map


Phra Nang Beach

How to get there:

  • 8°00’44.8″N 98°50’12.3″E

From the Krabi Sea Port –

  • Getting here will cost 200THB. Just ask any of the people standing behind any desk.

From Krabi Town –

  • Just walk down to any of the dock (there are many) and begin exercising your negotiating skills.
  • Normally it will cost you 150THB per person if you have about 6 people. If you have less, your skills will be put to the test.

From Railay Beach (East or West) –

  • Find a path heading south and it will lead you right to Phra Nang Beach.
  • If you can’t find the path, just walk into some resort.
    • If you look like you don’t belong in any of the really expensive resorts in this area, someone will be sure to come along and “guide” you away from the premises while pointing you in the right direction.

Notes:

  • There is a really sketchy looking path that you can climb up to get a scenic view. If you continue on the path and head down you will see a lagoon, though I’m not sure if you are allowed to swim in it. From what I know about it, which isn’t much, the lagoon isn’t worth the tedious effort it takes to see it.
  • There are a lot of monkeys that are not too shy around humans. They will steal from you. Keep shiny and delicious things inside your closed backpack or purse.
  • If you are not staying on this island, make sure that you leave when all the boats do, or you will be stuck there.

Map:


Posted in Ao Nang, Krabi, Krabi Town, Phra Nang beach, Thailand | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

 
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