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Trip Report: Thailand & Singapore Round 2

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep near Chiang Mai

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep near Chiang Mai

Here’s a short little summary of a recent trip I did with my brother and friends, the route was: 
Bangkok > Krabi town > Ao Nang > Koh Phi Phi > Bangkok > Chiang Mai > Phuket > Singapore > Bangkok

In late April-mid May, my brother and 4 of his friends (who I know as well) came to Thailand for travel for a bit, and it was lots of good fun.

In late April, 2 of his friends from university, who I also knew then, came to Bangkok, and immediately flew down to Phuket to catch a ferry to Koh Phi Phi.  My friend Richard and I decided to head down a couple days early to explore Krabi, then meet them in Phi Phi before return to Bangkok to meetup with my brother the night he arrived.  So we flew down to Krabi on April 26th, explored Krabi Town and Ao Nang for a couple days, then headed to Koh Phi Phi for a couple nights. It was a very nice experience, and lots of partying and nice sunsets.  Ao Nang was surprising in the fact that most people we saw were couples. Phi Phi was also not what was expected, in that the only a small part of the island is accessible. We thought we’d need to take a taxi to get around, but in fact the entire area from ferry port to the opposite beach is walkable in about 15 minutes.  The entire area is just a massive party at night, and in the daytime is quite relaxing. It is completely made for tourists, but good fun nonetheless. We spent 1 day doing a booze cruise, which was basically a day out exploring different sites and cliff jumping, and during the trip you get to have unlimited amounts of beer.  It was a day to remember.

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi

Once back in Bangkok, we met up with my brother and showed them the city.  It is a big city, but explored a few of the parts that I spend most of our time at. On the last day before we caught a night train to Chiang Mai, I helped them get a taxi to Grand Palace while I went home to pack.  Unfortunately, they got hit by the Grand Palace is Closed Scam and did not get to see Grand Palace or Wat Arun. I had heard about that scam before, but forgot to tell them.  It is sad to see that the government doesn’t do anything about that, since many people get scammed by it everyday.  The saddest part was it was their last day in Bangkok and as a result of the scam, they didn’t get to see Grand Palace or Wat Arun. I was just talking to some other tourists the other day (2 months later), and they got hit by the same scam. Such a shame.

In the evening we went to Hua Lampong Train Station in Bangkok, and got on a sleeper train for 12 hours north to Chiang Mai.  We ate dinner on the train, had a few drinks, and played card games before getting a few hours of sleep.  We arrived in Chiang Mai in the morning, had a bite to eat, and then went to meet our other 2 friends who were flying in from Bangkok.

Art in Paradise 3D art gallery in Chiang Mai

Art in Paradise 3D art gallery in Chiang Mai

In the couple days we had in Chiang Mai, we drove up into Doi Suthep and saw the famous temple and pagota there, went to an elephant sanctuary where people could ride elephants, saw an elephant show, and explored central Chiang Mai.  We ended up finding a bar one night that had beer pong, which was exciting.

After Chiang Mai, we flew down to Phuket. A few of us stayed at a hostel while the rest of the crowd stayed at a nice resort nearby.  We stayed near Patong Beach, which is basically just a big party area.  The beaches themselves aren’t anything spectular, but the view from the beach to watch the sunset is excellent. There was a market nearby which served excellent food and cheap drinks, so we spent a fair bit of time there. On the last day in Phuket we went zorbing, where you basically sit inside of a big clear ball (that has some water in it) and they roll it down the mountain. Fun stuff, but a bit pricey (900 baht for 2 rolls, 1800 baht for 5).

Zorbing in Phuket

Zorbing in Phuket

From Phuket, we flew to Singapore. We decided we’d spend 2 nights in Singapore, one in a hostel and one in Marina Bay Sands (the worlds most expensive building at $4.7B).  Since we had 6 people, we needed to get 2 rooms so we could all access the sky pool.  The first day we toured a bit of the city, and in the evening we had dinner at Brewerks (small brewery in central Singapore).  I had one of the best burgers of my life, which cost $25, and we split a 4 liter tower of beer which was $92. The next day we went and checked in to Marina Bay Sands, then explored it, the garden, and the casino.  We ended up staying up most of the night so didn’t even get to sleep in the room, but we had a great time nonetheless.  At 6am when the pool opened, we headed up to the jazuzzi and watched the sun rise.  It was fantastic.

Marina Bay Sands sky pool

Marina Bay Sands sky pool

It was my 2nd time in Singapore, but unique in so many ways.  It was my first glimpse into the fascinating casino world, which is the 2nd biggest (in terms of money) in the world.  They love Baccarat (similar to Macau), but most other games I didn’t recognize. Once you stroll the casino floor, you realize why there is so much money in it – table minimums are $50+, but probably $150 on average, and the casino was absolutely packed. Lots of people with lots of money.

In the evening we flew back to Bangkok. My brother and a few of his friends stayed at my place, and we explored a few new parts of the city for their last couple days.

Like all good trips, they’re over before you know it.  Another excellent trip in the books.

A small part of the group

A small part of the group

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Jul 27th, 2014 | Filed under Adventures, Thailand

Halfway Through 2014 – Good Reads

June will be over before I know it, and over half of 2014 is done. Where it all went, I’ll never know but much of this year has been good fun.  Today I moved to a new place,  and tomorrow a couple friends and I will travel more of Thailand for a few weeks. My friend from Romania is in Asia for a month so we will make the most of it.

In early July my roommate moves out to travel Europe, and my Romanian friend will stay in Thailand until the middle of July.  After that, the plan is to work on improving in a lot of ways (mentally, physically, emotionally), and use what I’ve learned this year to become a better person (and I hope to write about it). I look forward to what the rest of the year has to offer.

Good and interesting reads/videos:

Follow me on twitter @pjkmedia or on Facebook here. More to come soon.

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Jun 23rd, 2014 | Filed under Other, Thailand

Virtual Reality will overtake Real Reality

virtual reality

Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

Virtual reality is coming, and it’s coming quick. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, especially after watching a couple talks by the Second Life creator, Philip Rosedale, and then more after Facebook bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion.  After watching an interview recently with the CEO of Oculus Rift, I’ve been enlightened to a few fascinating things:

  • Virtual reality emotions will eventually be “better” than real emotions. Right now with Oculus Rift you can feel like you’re standing on the end of the cliff, looking over.  But it is very very hard to actually step off it, even though you know you’re in a virtual reality. Now imagine spending many hours a day in this reality, you’ll likely forget you’re even there.
  • People will be falling in love in virtual reality. Crazy idea to think about, but it is going to happen, and happen very fast. Think about that idea: people falling in love in a virtual reality.
  • If virtual reality can give us tons of new experiences we otherwise couldn’t experience, and give us emotions we otherwise couldn’t feel, why wouldn’t we try it? Porn right now is one of the biggest addictions in the world, and it is currently 2D on a computer screen.  Now imagine how much bigger that addiction will be with virtual reality? It is baffling to think about. Imagine being able to put on the headset and then be sitting front row of any concert or sporting event you can think of.  You can then sell millions of “tickets” to the game from 1 seat, and the experience would be better than sitting in the upper back of the venue.
  • Gaming is also a huge addiction, now imagine the addiction in virtual reality?

It is only a matter of time before virtual reality becomes a huge part of humanity. Get ready for it, it is coming fast. The opportunities are endless. There are certainly lots of benefits, but also tons of big time side effects.  It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

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May 19th, 2014 | Filed under Other

25% into 2014 – Reading, Life, and Work


March is over in a day and I’m yet to finish my Philippines trip report from late last year.  It is long overdue, but nonetheless I’m still working on it and will finish it soon. I’m currently working on writing up several posts about language, life, sugar, and work.  All unique, yet interesting topics.

This year has been relatively relaxed.  I’ve been focusing a lot on my hobbies outside of “work”, reading a fair amount, and spending more time with local friends since I’ve been in Bangkok.  It is nice to stay in 1 spot for more than a couple months, but it also builds more drive to explore more places.  I think it is important to sit back at home and reflect every so often.  Otherwise you’ll become overwhelmed and unable to truly accept the experiences that you’ve had, often without even knowing it.

Good reads/videos for the month:

Follow me on Twitter @pjkmedia and like my Facebook page: facebook.com/pjkdirect

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Mar 31st, 2014 | Filed under Adventures