Archive for the “Asia” Category

Visiting Taipei 101

I’m scared of heights. It’s not so much being high up that scares me, it’s more the fear of falling. Hike with me up a mountain and watch me stay far away from any edge. I once went hiking with a girlfriend and made her get away from the edge because it freaked me out too much. Driving along winding mountain roads also freaks me out. I can’t sit on the road side of the car. I only got over […]

My Time in Taiwan

When I took my first trip overseas alone, I got lost in the jungle, got attacked by a bat while caving, had to get rabies shots, and came back with an intestinal illness that put me in the hospital for three days. My mother said to me “I bet you’ll never want to travel again.” I told her I couldn’t wait to get back on the road. Despite everything that happened, I loved Costa Rica and fell in love with […]

A Local’s Guide to Bangkok

This article was last updated in December 2011. It seems that everyone is going to Thailand right now. I have friends thinking about going, friends going, and friends here already. I figured now would be a good time to post about its capital, Bangkok, which is one of my favorite cities in the world. Bangkok, one of Asia’s largest cities, usually leaves travelers unimpressed. The pollution, the traffic, the lack of tourist attractions. I recently played tour guide to a […]

Taiwan Lantern Festival

“Where are the lanterns?” I asked. “These are the lanterns,” my friend said, pointing at the lit-up parade floats that littered the park. “Huh? These are parade floats.” “No, they are lanterns.” Clearly, he and I had different opinions as to what lanterns are. Or maybe it was my cultural expectation that differed. In Thailand, they have Loy Kratong—a lantern festival that’s sort of like Thailand’s version of Valentine’s Day. Moreover, every month during the full moon, people light paper […]

What Living in Bangkok Taught Me

I’ve been living in Bangkok on and off for two years now. It’s become my base of operations, the place I return to when I am out of money and need to work. I’ve developed a network of friends, business contacts, learned the language, and mastered the city. But now this chapter in my life is over. I first came here with my friend Scott in 2005. We were on holiday from work, and upon landing in Bangkok, decided the […]

Cheap Things to Do in Singapore

Singapore is an expensive place to visit. There’s no way around it. The small city state is priced relative to the United States, which is a lot more expensive than its neighbors! On a small stop-over trip, this isn’t a problem. But on a big trip through the region, a trip into Singapore can elicit sticker shock, and it can turn people away if they’re trying to do the area on the cheap. If you still want to visit this […]

Seven Reasons to Visit Thailand Now!

The political trouble in Thailand has brought the country into the news a lot lately. Because of the trouble, tourists are fleeing the country and not coming back, despite all the great reasons to visit Thailand. Tourist bookings are way down, with some hotels reporting an occupancy rate as low as 20%. December is normally one of the busiest months in Thailand because of the holidays. Yet even the backpacker area of Khao San Road was deserted this weekend during […]

The Low Down on the Trouble in Thailand

I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately about the situation over in Bangkok, where I live. Many people I know are stuck here or have had their travel plans disrupted because of the recent airport seizures. I’ve been in Thailand since the 2006 coup, and I’ve never seen the political situation this bad. Usually, Thais go out of the way to avoid hurting the economically important tourist industry or inconveniencing foreigners. Moreover, they always try to keep a good […]

Khao Yai National Park

Khao Yai National Park is located about 2.5 hours north of Bangkok and is one of Thailand’s best national parks. Established in 1962, it was Thailand’s first national park, and it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site. I’d always heard great things about the park, but despite living in Thailand for several years, had never managed to get there. When I played tour guide a few weeks ago to a friend from Boston, I used that as my excuse to […]

Beijing Night Life

This is a guest post by Jennifer Gregory of the On the Go Travel Blog. If you’re planning to visit Beijing for the Olympics this year, you’ll be happy to discover that there’s no lack of places to eat, dance, drink, and enjoy live entertainment, music, and films every night of the week. Plus, Beijing is known for its fun discos and karaoke. With so much to do here, the hardest part of enjoying your nights out will be deciding […]