Photo: Wong's Bar, Bangkok.

Idle banter forum


Posted by billytheliar on 7/6/2013 at 06:15

Last year I did my first SEA trip (4 weeks, mostly Laos and a bit of northern Thailand). When I think back, I realize that the only thing I felt uncomfortable about was, well, encounters with some dogs. In Nan, Thailand, and Vientiane (riverfront at midnight!) I had aggresive dogs barking at me, a couple of times I had to bow and pretend picking up a stone to stop them from attacking me. It's not that I'm cynophobic or something, (although admittedly a cat-lover) but I came across various rema ...

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Viewed 2,600 times, with 5 replies. Last reply by antoniamitchell on 8/6/2013 at 15:02

Worst bus/train trips

Posted by Thaiman on 17/8/2009 at 15:23

We've had the most scenic trips in SE Asia[different section] but what about the worst.Most people have a pretty good time when travelling but occasionally a public transport trip just turns ordinary.For me one of the worst we've had was a bus trip from Udon Thani to Phitsanalok.Got the bus from the terminal[can't remember what company]but the bus had come from somewhere else so the thing was already full-standing room only. The A/C was only just working and the wife became sick.Fortunately so ...

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Viewed 8,879 times, with 41 replies. Last reply by rledez1990 on 5/6/2013 at 08:27

Do blondes get more attention?

Posted by aepowers on 11/5/2009 at 22:51

I'm planning a trip throughout the whole of southeast Asia this fall. My question may sound silly, but I am legitimately concerned about this. I am a very tall woman (almost 6') with VERY light blond hair. I receive a lot of attention at home in the USA...I'm wondering if I should expect to receive any extra attention (good or bad) due to my appearance. Has anyone with a similar look gone backpacking and had any issues? Should I consider covering my hair, wearing hats, etc., so I don't stic ...

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Viewed 9,469 times, with 19 replies. Last reply by sayadian on 16/5/2013 at 03:46

Music suitable for videos

Posted by TassieWombat on 11/5/2013 at 22:18

Does anyone know where to download some suitable music to background in videos about SEA countries.(or other). I have looked around, found some noisy, irritating, terrible stuff that people have created and put out therefor download, but when I watch other peoples videos I go "green" with envy at the fabulous music they have found. Any thoughts please? ...

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Viewed 4,481 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by TassieWombat on 13/5/2013 at 17:35

What can go wrong when you lose your bag

Posted by busylizzy on 4/12/2012 at 03:02

This is one guy's story about what happend when his bag containing a wallet, passport, etc was snatched. "If I'd known what lay ahead, I might've thrown a rock at the head of the teenager who ran off with the bag containing my passport, driver's licence, credit card and cash. But I wasn't to know then that losing your identity in Thailand starts a downward spiral that could end in temporary insanity, if you let it." ...

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Viewed 3,003 times, with 8 replies. Last reply by busylizzy on 12/5/2013 at 06:04

A quick thanks for all the contributions to the forum

Posted by somtam2000 on 7/5/2013 at 19:40

Hey everyone, I just wanted to say a quick thanks for all the great suggestions and helpful posts that have been piling into the forum recently -- both from the longtime regulars and some new members. I've been on back to back travel recently (and will be for the next few months) and have barely had time to scratch between writing up the research and getting it onto the site -- answering questions on the forum has fallen by the wayside unfortunately. So a big thanks to you all and whenever yo ...

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Viewed 3,630 times, with 6 replies. Last reply by swag on 8/5/2013 at 21:02


Posted by chinarocks on 3/5/2013 at 07:43

A few stories and blogs I've read on Asia this week (not all on this website) have alluded to rats and their prevalence in the region. I must admit that when I travelled there I didn't see such creatures a whole lot, maybe twice in 3 months. But if I was to go back I feel I would notice a lot more based on what I've read. Are they literally everywhere? Does it affect food hygiene etc? Is it necessary to keep a hungry cat in your back garden? ...

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Viewed 2,276 times, with 14 replies. Last reply by boaby on 5/5/2013 at 09:30

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 ...

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Viewed 3,918 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by heart92 on 2/5/2013 at 03:13

The Most Dangerous Countries for Tourists, In Maps (The Atlantic)

Posted by caseyprich on 3/4/2013 at 01:32

A link from The Atlantic, I just like maps. I thought it was interesting from my experience that Vietnam, Laos and China are grade two - and Thailand as well as Cambodia have avoid some areas (a imagine for Thailand the focus here is in the South). If you want to talk about, "exercise high degree of caution" and "avoid some areas" I recommend you keep Chicago and Detroit in mind . . . and the stories I've heard from both travelers and locals out of Guatemala and Honduras te ...

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Viewed 5,884 times, with 19 replies. Last reply by chinarocks on 8/4/2013 at 08:17

Top 50 restaurants in Asia

Posted by somtam2000 on 26/2/2013 at 08:20

So The Wall Street Journal has the wrap on Asia's top 50 restaurants. Here's the list: 1. Narisawa, Tokyo 2. Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo 3. Nahm, Bangkok 4. Amber, Hong Kong 5. Restaurant Andre, Singapore 6. 8 ½ Otto E Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong 7. Mr. & Mrs. Bund, Shanghai 8. Ultraviolet, Shanghai 9. Iggy's, Singapore 10. Gaggan, Bangkok 11. Waku Ghin, Singapore 12. Caprice, Hong Kong 13. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong 14. Les Amis, Singapore 15. Bo Innovation, Hong Kong 16. Quintessence, Tokyo 17. ...

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Viewed 4,834 times, with 8 replies. Last reply by somtam2000 on 2/3/2013 at 17:59

Southeast Asian low-cost airlines: The good, the bad and the ugly

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/2/2013 at 19:03

You may already have heard about how Qantas-offshoot Jetstar recently refused to allow the grieving mother of a New Zealand man killed in a shark attack to change her flight on compassionate grounds (if you haven't you can read all about it here) -- and while we've long been non-fans of Jetstar in particular, it seems all the low-cost carriers can behave idiotically with disturbing frequency. We've had our fair share of manic, or, well, unusual moments with low-cost carriers (like the photo a ...

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Viewed 5,256 times, with 5 replies. Last reply by mooball on 1/3/2013 at 22:34

Getting there cheap

Posted by Brute on 18/2/2013 at 14:21

Hi everyone, long time reader writing here and am looking for a bit of advice. Currently, Im looking into flying back to SEA in january of 2014. Prices now seem much higher than i remember when i flew a few years ago, so heres where travelfish community comes in. Im looking to fly out of edmonton alberta, and hopefully into indonesia or philppines. Does anybody have a cheap way that they have used to get here (Say fly into shanghai then a cheap flight on air asia) or a website that has been cons ...

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Viewed 2,113 times, with 2 replies. Last reply by destidations on 18/2/2013 at 23:44

Chinese New Year and Cambodia disintegrates

Posted by sayadian on 9/2/2013 at 20:08

First day of the holiday and already it's become a stress-fest. I really don't know how I am going to cope. I'm sure you people out there understand what it's like but this was a reach for the valium time. No sausages! And all because it's New Year. What next no muesli for the hippies, no burgers for the Yanks? Does anyone else have these profoundly gloomy problems during local holidays? ...

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Viewed 2,358 times, with 3 replies. Last reply by caseyprich on 13/2/2013 at 07:05

SPAM from

Posted by Xircal on 24/1/2013 at 04:02

I received a personal invitation from somebody called "Stephen" this morning which like all emails, loads in an application called Mailwasher Pro which I have installed. That allows me to read the contents straight off my ISP's mailserver without having to download it first to my own machine. There's also a freebie version called Mailwasher Free incidentally. Since I don't know anybody by that name, I checked out the headers which can also be displayed in Mailwasher and found the name ...

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Viewed 3,926 times, with no replies.

Felt Great

Posted by DSawyer on 19/1/2013 at 13:30

Deleting my LP account ...they could not bother,so I'm done. I will now make it my mission every time I'm in a book store, to put one of their books in the FICTION section...where their mission statement fits in... ...

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Viewed 1,662 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by somtam2000 on 19/1/2013 at 22:21

Skinky motorbike adventure

Posted by somtam2000 on 17/1/2013 at 07:49

"Interesting" approach to travel... "Adventure motorcycle barging. 20,000 km. 8 countries. 5½ months. Never paid to sleep. Never washed white-T/jeans. Never shaved. No meat. No hotels. No bullshit. The duo also lived by a set of strict rules referred to as The 10 Commandments, which included never paying for a hotel or hostel, abstaining from eating meat completely and never, ever wasting a drop of beer." You can read the full story here on TNT Magazine - worth a look j ...

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Viewed 4,706 times, with 4 replies. Last reply by somtam2000 on 18/1/2013 at 01:55

Lonely Planet forums back on the agenda

Posted by Xircal on 15/1/2013 at 05:13

It appears that Lonely Planet forums are up and running again. They've put a number of filters in place apparently and have updated their guidelines. I won't bother to link to it though since I'm sure everybody knows where to find their forums. ...

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Viewed 2,034 times, with 1 reply. Last reply by freiburger on 15/1/2013 at 05:49

Hitching and couchsurfing across Afghanistan

Posted by somtam2000 on 11/1/2013 at 23:25

Matador has a pretty interesting story about a guy who more or less overlanded from Serbia to China. What is most interesting is he couchsurfed and hitched through Afghanistan on which he says, in part: "Before setting out, he reviewed each of the three main overland routes through Afghanistan. Hitchhiking through the south and central parts of the country was out of the question, though a bus trip was not much safer due to the possibility that he would be kidnapped and held for ransom. Ad ...

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Viewed 2,753 times, with 9 replies. Last reply by DSawyer on 13/1/2013 at 22:33

Korean backpacker beaten up by Greek police

Posted by Xircal on 10/1/2013 at 03:44

There's a report on the BBC News site this morning about a Korean backpacker who was apparently mistaken for a migrant and subsequently beaten up by the Greek police. Here's the link: It's sad when racism takes hold in a country like that. ...

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Viewed 2,781 times, with 7 replies. Last reply by MADMAC on 10/1/2013 at 21:23

Has anyone else noticed this?

Posted by MADMAC on 27/9/2012 at 23:41

I have noticed that the word "Trek" or "Trekking" is used almost exclusively here, while the word "hiking" is never used, even though they have different meanings and it would seem for the most part people coming out here are going to hike vice trek. Anyone know the reason for this? I find these linguistic developments interesting. ...

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Viewed 2,126 times, with 16 replies. Last reply by MADMAC on 27/11/2012 at 11:19

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