Life according to somtam2000
I'm Somtam2000, better known as Stuart McDonald, and am the co-founder of Travelfish.org, which I founded alongside Samantha Brown who is Editor in Chief.
I've been travelling in Southeast Asia since 1993 and living in the region since 1997 with stretches in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Jakarta and Bali. I've travelled extensively in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam and continue to work on expanding my personal coverage of Malaysia and Indonesia. I've never been to Burma, the Philippines, Brunei nor Timor Leste.
Before Travelfish.org I co-authored a couple of guidebooks, worked at a foreign embassy, taught English, did a bit of freelancing and mastered the art of laying in a hammock doing nothing.
Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, USA, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, India, Nepal, UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Yugoslavia (when it was still Yugoslavia!) germany, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Turkey.
Timor Leste, Burma or the Philippines.
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Christmas 2013: Festive cheer in Penang
Published 5:43 am, 4 Dec 2013
Christmas in Malaysia can sometimes feel a little underwhelming if you are used to the three-month build-up of lights, decorations, festive jingles and the unbridled shopping that takes place elsewhere in the world. However, when you know where to go, you’ll discover that the island is definitely doing its bit to generate some good old-fashioned ... read the full post
More Phuket secret beaches
Published 9:32 pm, 1 Dec 2013
Lining the coastlines of Phuket are more than 30 beaches, so it’s easy to find a peaceful stretch of sand if you travel beyond the island’s popular west-coast beaches. We’ve already highlighted some of Phuket’s secret beaches, but we have more to reveal. So get your beach towel ready and read on … One of ... read the full post
Singapore’s Armenian heritage
Published 12:41 am, 27 Nov 2013
Armenia’s difficult physical conditions saw enterprising merchants move abroad from the 19th century, many landing in Asia, including a few in Singapore. The community here numbered merely around 100 families at its peak, but the people left a a disproportionate imprint on Singaporean culture and heritage. Here are a few of the contributions the Armenian diaspora ... read the full post
Basic shopping on Ko Tao
Published 1:07 am, 24 Nov 2013
Thankfully Ko Tao is hardly a shopping metropolis but if you’re looking for clothes, jewellery, diving equipment or groceries, we’ve got you covered — it’s always a good idea to know the best spots to buy your bananas. Or cheapest wine! Clothes and jewellery In Sairee, check out Alila and Zunami, located opposite Choppers. Alila ... read the full post
When is the best time of year to visit Ko Pha Ngan?
Published 10:01 pm, 22 Nov 2013
Ko Pha Ngan is a stunning tropical Thai island that has fantastic year-long offerings for travellers. The balmy weather is present all year round, sometimes leading to the impression that there are no seasons here. Au contraire. There are many seasons on Ko Pha Ngan. Weather-wise, there’s rainy, cold and hot season. Tourism-wise, there’s low, ... read the full post