Apr 09 2014

Burning season in Chiang Mai

Published by under Health & safety

The haze on a good day.

Burning season is once again engulfing Chiang Mai in a worrying haze. In recent years the heat, dust and smog have grown bad enough to merit the question: should you even visit Chiang Mai over the months burning hits its peak — usually February through to April? The answer really depends on what it is … read the full post

Feb 27 2014

Bangkok protest update, 27 February 2014

Published by under Practicalities

Marching on.

Update, 21:30, 28 February: Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has just announced that anti-government protesters will end their occupation of all intersections starting Monday, March 3. The demonstrations will instead be confined to “inside” Lumpini Park. This is a major development — stay tuned for more info. This past week was a tragic one for Thailand, … read the full post

Feb 25 2014

Obtaining a Chinese visa in Chiang Mai

Published by under Practicalities

Rice terraces, Yunnan

Need a Chinese visa in Chiang Mai? There is a Chinese consulate plus attached visa section in the city and while it used to be very straightforward when we last applied a couple of years back, it seems to have got a bit more complicated recently. Here’s what to do. First you need to go … read the full post

Feb 20 2014

Bangkok protest update, 20 February 2014

Published by under Practicalities

The Thailand T-shirt vendors aren't going anywhere.

The dust has settled in Bangkok after a violent clash between police and anti-government protesters left five dead and over 60 injured on Tuesday (February 18). It was the first serious attempt to disperse protesters who have for months occupied government offices and key intersections as part of their “Bangkok Shutdown” campaign. What does this … read the full post

Feb 10 2014

How long should you spend on Phuket?

Published by under Phuket

Nai Thon beach. Who said Phuket was crowded?

Phuket is a big island with plenty to do beyond its beaches. As one of Thailand’s pricier destinations, your budget will be a big factor in deciding how long to stay here, but if you’re interested to explore the island’s off-the-beach attractions, stay in a hostel or cheap guesthouse and eat at local food shops, … read the full post

Feb 10 2014

Bangkok protest update

Published by under Practicalities

The few soldiers in Bangkok have done little so far.

This is hilarious, I thought, while strolling from one anti-government protest site in Bangkok’s shopping district to the other, this past Saturday afternoon. Bursting with street food and clothing stalls, this normally traffic-choked stretch of Rama I Road is now among the city’s most vibrant street markets. With far more casual shoppers around than protesters, … read the full post

Feb 09 2014

How to stay safe on Ko Pha Ngan

Published by under Ko Pha Ngan

kpn1

Ko Pha Ngan gets a bad rap. Forever known as the home of the Full Moon Party, a hedonistic monthly gathering of maybe 50,000 people on popular Haad Rin beach, it’s not surprising that alcohol-fuelled accidents, thefts, and worse, sometimes occur. But it’s unfair to call Ko Pha Ngan unsafe. It isn’t. Keep your wits … read the full post

Jan 26 2014

How to do a Mae Sai visa run

Published by under Practicalities

maesai2

If your tourist visa is about to expire and you’re in Northern Thailand,  the quickest and easiest solution to staying longer is to cross into Burma for a couple of hours and receive a 15-day or 30-day visa-free stay (depending on nationality) upon your return back into Thailand. The closest, most accessible border crossing from … read the full post

Jan 18 2014

Bangkok protests take their toll

Published by under Practicalities

Demonstrators sit on Sukhumvit Road and listen to a speech from leader Suthep.

As the so-called “Bangkok Shutdown” enters a sixth day on Saturday, anti-government protests are beginning to take their toll. While the city has not been shut down and the vast majority of it remains safe, the situation is tense, fluid and unpredictable. Friday saw a marked escalation of violence, most notably when an explosive was … read the full post

Jan 16 2014

What exactly is shut down in Bangkok?

Published by under Practicalities

Even the largest gatherings at Pathumwan haven't stopped the sky train.

The catchphrase “Bangkok Shutdown” worked well to drum up hype for the latest wave of anti-government protests, and it continues to convince many foreign travellers to cancel trips to the Thai capital. Yet all public transport (save a few public buses), all vital utilities and most businesses are operating as normal. So what exactly has … read the full post

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