Idle banter forum

Idle banter forum

Brushing Teeth with Tap Water

Posted by exacto on 4/9/2022 at 08:56

I've caught a little grief from travel companions this trip about using filtered water to brush my teeth. They tell me they use tap water for brushing and that it is perfectly safe and never caused them any problems. What do the rest of you do? Am I overly cautious and outdated in my thinking using filtered water only? Let me know. Cheers.


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Skip the free hotel breakfast?

Posted by exacto on 17/3/2022 at 15:25

In the past, I would usually avoid hotels which offered a free breakfast because experience proved it typically isn't very good and because eating a mediocre free breakfast at the hotel prevented me from eating an awesome,  even if more expensive breakfast at any number of cafes nearly everywhere. Two exceptions might be if the hotel is isolated and other options are limited, or if it is a small breakfast of coffee and fruit or similar, which can be a perfect setup for a second breakfast out la ...

Viewed 3,273 times, with 3 replies.

Lonely Planet Thorn Tree temporarily closed

Posted by somsai on 25/12/2012 at 21:21

and no one noticed.... would it ever have existed? ...

Viewed 45,082 times, with 108 replies.

The Year That Was

Posted by tezza on 31/12/2018 at 05:53

SAME SAME - NOT MUCH DIFFERENCE JANUARY1 – KO PHANGAN: newlyarrived ragers declareHad Rin New Year Party “SO LAST YEAR”. FEBRAURY8 - PAI: Northern tree cobra dies of alcoholic poisoning after bitingScot tourist. Thai animal rights activists campaign for ban on Scotvisitors. MARCH30- KO NGAI: New mark in conspicuous non-consumption set byThai-Chinese middle class family of 4 who order 18 plates of food ata popular dinner site, leave 11 untouched - and consume an average 5%of the others. A ...

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Best Bowl of Noodles!

Posted by exacto on 22/12/2018 at 02:05

The picture of a bowl of noodles gracing the home page lately is killing me. It seems that no matter where I go here in the states, I can't get a bowl of noodles like I can get in Southeast Asia. Interestingly enough, the best bowl of noodles I ever had was in Tokyo, in the book store district. It was relatively expensive, at roughly $6, but it was excellent. What about you? Are noodles your thing, and if so, where is the best you've ever had? ...

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The first trip...

Posted by somtam2000 on 4/12/2017 at 21:04

From this week’s newsletter: “That first time, be you 18 or 80, when you do the hugs and kisses by the wall just before immigration. You let go, wander towards the officials. Hand over your passport. They wave you through. You step forward, around the corner, into some kind of walkway, and leave your life behind. Over the years I've done this dozens of times. Hugged friends, family, lovers and yes, even the odd taxi driver. But the first time was in the early 90s and I remember it like it w ...

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SE Asia: Buy tours online before departure or at destination?

Posted by WEBLACKBURN on 1/12/2017 at 07:48

My wife and I will be leaving for SE Asia and the Philippines the end of January 2018 for 6 weeks. I have researched tours/excursions via the internet for weeks, and now wonder if it is best to wait until I arrive to book. Some of the web sites I have used: Travel fish Tours by Locals Backstreet Academy Tuk Tuk Safari Tours Trip Advisor Cruise Critic GoAsia We start in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia and pick up a cruise in Hong Kong for the last two weeks of the journey. I would appreciat ...

Viewed 4,486 times, with 1 reply.

Authentic travel

Posted by somtam2000 on 7/10/2017 at 19:37

Interesting piece from a 2012 conference on the “place of authentic travel in a post-authentic world”. Striving for “authentic travel” (whatever that actually means) is a bit like the “adventure” and “eco” travel terms which predated it, and, have largely been taken over and watered down to meaning little by brands and marketing. The whole “eat like-” and “travel like a local” are similar streams of thought/marketing, but they never seem to feature McDonalds, which is al ...

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Rough Guides sold. Some thoughts.

Posted by somtam2000 on 3/10/2017 at 07:48

Bit of inside baseball here, but if of interest, news today of Rough Guides being sold by DK to APA. APA are known for their glossy style guides under the Berlitz and Insight titles—think semi soft colours, lots of colour pics maps and so on. The Bookseller (an industry press title) pumps up what sounds like a fairly gloomy-sounding story. “The division has seen steady sales for the last five years, up 5% in 2014 and with boosts of 2-3% over the last couple of years. However, 2017 has seen ...

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Posted by exacto on 21/7/2017 at 19:05

I read a few articles recently about the increasing problem of backpackers in Southeast Asia making their way along by asking for cash. They are called beg-packers. I've experienced it to some extent now and again over the last quarter century, but the articles made it sound like the problem has grown dramatically, particularly in Thailand, with rumors that border checks now include proof of 20,000 baht cash before they'll let you in. What gives? I definitely encountered a few in Munich on my ...

Viewed 6,362 times, with 3 replies.

Backpacking in one's 40s or 50s

Posted by chinarocks on 5/4/2012 at 04:15

So I've done the backpacking thing in my 20s (South America, NZ, Oz ands Asia). Now that I'm back home with a family on the horizon I wonder when I'll get the chance to get away for an extended time again (holidays are great but they are not quite the same). Do people think it's feasible to hit the road again in your late 40s/early 50s when the kids are reared? ...

Viewed 71,189 times, with 75 replies.

Getting all provincial

Posted by somtam2000 on 9/5/2017 at 15:40

From this week's newsletter (don't get it? You can sign up here) Getting all provincial You'll come across these towns throughout the region: the Ban Phes, Surat Thanis, Trats, Trangs, Satuns, Pak Chongs, Rach Gias, Padang Bais, Gorontalos and Kuala Besuts of the world. They're all leaping off points for places that are often (fairly) considered to be considerably more "worthy" of your attention. To many travellers, they're little more than a bus station, bed, street stall and ferry ...

Viewed 4,526 times, with 2 replies.

Travelfish and World Nomads: A question

Posted by HungryMan on 9/5/2017 at 19:22

Hello Travelfish people, I'm a longtime reader - at least five years now (thankyou) but only joined the site today to post this question. Yesterday I was sent a video on Facebook that was made by your partner World nomads and, to say it is a pile of conceited garbage that I found to be profoundly offensive is an understatement. The video is here Now of course world nomads can make whatever they choose to, but I'd like your take on ...

Viewed 4,907 times, with 3 replies.

The end of the road for overland adventures?

Posted by somtam2000 on 6/5/2017 at 17:51

While not Southeast Asian specific, this is an interesting piece on changing desires & demands for overland travel. "Surprisingly, given the time he has spent in trouble spots, Hann says he has suffered only one really bad experience, which occurred last summer when he was leading a tour of western Afghanistan. His group was travelling through Herat under the protection of Afghan government troops when they came under attack from Taliban fighters. Several people in his party were hit b ...

Viewed 5,109 times, with 3 replies.

What you don't know about Trip Advisor

Posted by somtam2000 on 27/2/2016 at 07:01

Interesting (very long) piece highlighting some of the perceived flaws with TripAdvisor. I'm not sure I agree with all the conclusions, but absolutely agree with many of the flaws! I hadn't noticed just how prominent the Viator stuff is on TA -- often very very overpriced fare for the traveller. Anyway, worth a read perhaps. ...

Viewed 5,656 times, with 2 replies.

Backpacking comedy novel

Posted by spoonz on 15/4/2017 at 08:30

This is a funny read, obviously written by an old school traveller. It's quite rude, so not for the easily offended. The humour is like a cross between South Park and The Inbetweeners. Long time backpackers to South East Asia might recognise themselves as the butt of a few jokes. Good read for that hammock time. The book is called 'Escape from Pleasure Island' and it's on kindle on Amazon. ...

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Where to go in August

Posted by travelinchen on 27/2/2012 at 15:47

Hi everyone, My boyfriend and I are planning our yearly holidays and they will, again, take place in August -- not our fav. month for this but it can't be helped. Anyways, my boyfriend were thinking of going toCentral America/ South America, but ended up wanting to go to Asia once again -- it's simply our dream destination We're on a rather tight, but not super tight budget of around 100 USD a day(excluding flights) between the two of us and we'd like to go for approx. 4 weeks. Since we've bee ...

Viewed 9,485 times, with 4 replies.

Say whatever you like

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 3/9/2013 at 10:08

Talk about anything you like. No set topic. ...

Viewed 30,358 times, with 84 replies.

Hi from Belgium!

Posted by stannis on 6/5/2016 at 07:55

Heyeveryone, My name IsCliff. I’m currently living in Belgium and I’m 26. In my early twenties I hadthe opportunity to travel a lot. Some of the places I’ve visited are China,Russia, Vietnam, South Africa, Many countries in Europe, the US… These were alwaysroad trips, hiking vacations etc. However, two years ago I started working a joband soon after started my own little business, moved out of my parents’ house…Which basically meant I haven’t been able to go for a real travel since ...

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Should travel be rationed?

Posted by somtam2000 on 15/4/2016 at 16:34

Interesting piece regarding getting tourism under control. I don't agree the Bhutan model transfers well, but the piece is worth a read. In particular: "What is the logical endpoint of this? Sitting here in Bhutan, I can tell you. We will go back to the past, when the best foreign travel was reserved entirely for the lucky, the wealthy and Prince William. In the future, enjoying a summer holiday in Tuscany might be like having Centre Court tickets for Wimbledon." You can read the ful ...

Viewed 5,653 times, with 2 replies.

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