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 came back with an intestinal illness that put me in the hospital for three days, I got lost in the jungle, and I got attacked by a bat while caving and had to get rabies shots. 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 all the things that happened, I loved Costa Rica […]

A Locals 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 as he pointed at the light up parade floats that littered the park. “Huh? These are parade floats.” “No, they are lanterns.” He said firmly. Clearly, he and I had a different opinion as to what a lantern was. Or maybe it was my cultural expectation that has a clear difference. In Thailand, they have Loy Kratong- a lantern festival that is sort of like Thailand’s version […]

What Living in Bangkok Taught Me

I’ve been living in Bangkok on and off for two years now. It has 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 […]

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. However, on a big trip through the region, a trip into Singapore can elicit sticker shock, and it can turn people away if they are trying to do the area on the cheap. However, for those still wanting to […]

Seven Reasons to Visit Thailand Now!

The political trouble in Thailand has brought Thailand 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 a […]

The Low Down on the Trouble in Thailand

I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails lately about the situation over in Bangkok (I live here). 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 is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. I have always heard great things about the park, but, despite living in Thailand for a few years, have never managed to get there. When I played tour guide a few weeks ago to a friend from Boston, I used that as my […]

Beijing Night Life

If you are planning to visit the amazing city of Beijing for the Olympics this year, you will be happy to discover that there is no lack of places to eat, dance, and watch live entertainment each night. There are also many great places to sit back and relax while enjoying food, drink, music, or film. In addition, Beijing is known for its discos and karaoke. Therefore, the most difficult part of enjoying your nights in Beijing will be deciding […]