World Tourer - Travel Blog Information - January to February 2012

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22nd February 2012

I have decided where I will be moving to next year - I have bought a studio apartment in Hurghada, Egypt. The complex is under construction and is due for completion in April 2013.

Tiba Paradise - External View of Building    Tiba Paradise - Pool Area    Tiba Paradise


20th February 2012

A Day at The Races

Yesterday I went to the horse Racing in Bangkok with three local Brits - it was a good day out (even though we all lost) followed by a short bar crawl around the Nana area in Bangkok.

The horse racing exposes one of the many Thaiisms in the country - it is illegal to gamble but there is a lottery (presumably run by the government) and betting is allowed on the horse racing tracks - but apparently because gambling (in general) is illegal the Horse Racing Clubs are not allowed to advertise or promote their race meetings - this makes it quite hard to find out when and where they are on.

The main track (Patumwan Racecourse) is in the centre of Bangkok just a short walk from Siam - it is operated by the Royal Bangkok Sport Club and has race meetings every second week, alternating with the other track in Bangkok (Nanglerng) operated by The Royal Turf Club.


14th February 2012

Red Love Heart - Valentine's Day
The History of Valentine's Day
Red Love Heart - Valentine's Day


1st February 2012

My travels are going to slow a bit this year as work commitments mean that I need to concentrate on updating the coding of the City Directory sites. I have already cancelled the planned trip to Vietnam in April and am unlikely to go on the next four trips on my itinerary despite the fact that I have already booked and paid for them. I have just got so far behind with my work that I need to really apply myself for a few months.

I will still be going to Sydney in July and will probably do a local Thai trip or two (Koh Samet - Koh Chang maybe).

I am considering the purchase of a studio apartment in Hurghada, Egypt, but will probably wait to make any decision until after their election process has finished and I have made another visit.


17th January 2012

Air Asia just sent me an email to announce they are now flying to Sydney from Kuala Lumpur - they had promotional fares advertised but I actually found a cheaper fare outside their promotional period - I decided to take advantage of the cheap fare (Mr Cheap) and have booked to fly from Bangkok to Sydney return (via KL) in July this year - the total cost of the flights is $401 including seat selection and meals.


14th January 2012

My trips away were good I liked Krabi and may visit again one day. I have just created a Photo Gallery of my Krabi, Thailand trip.

My day trip to Nong Khai was a non event really apart from being one of those days when things don't go to plan - the 8.50am train I had planned to catch was running three and a half hours late so I caught the bus which took two hours to get to Nong Khai (it's fifty kilometres). Nong Khai is fairly small and just a bland Thai town. Despite the fact that it is on the Mekong River you could easily pass through the town without knowing that as the town backs onto the river with no parks or walkways along the river and very little access at all.


11th January 2012

Today I spent the day just wandering around Udon Thani - whilst I have passed through Udon Thani several times I have only ever spent one night here before and never explored the town.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived last night was how cool it was - it is several degrees cooler than Krabi and was around 17 degrees C on arrival. I checked the weather forecast and it will be between 17 and 25 degrees C each day I am here.

I was quite surprised to discover that Udon Thani is both larger and more modern than I had imagined. There is a large Central Plaza shopping centre in downtown Udon Thani that is being refurbished and enlarged so that it will soon be double the size. There is also a new shopping precinct near Udon Thani railway station that has a variety of shops (including a Tesco Lotus Supermarket) and restaurants. I came across quite a few musical instrument shops around town which is unusual for Thailand.

Tomorrow I am planning to go to Nong Khai (on the Thai border with Laos) for the day - I again have passed through there several times before on my "Visa Runs" to Vientiane in Laos but have never actually visited the town - I will probably go by train as I have not done that before.

Nong Prachak Park    Excercise Bike in Udon Thani    Udon Thani Railway Station    Water Wheel in UD Town Udon Thani    Udon Thani Fountain Roundabout


9th January 2012

Today I went on a day trip to the islands around Krabi, departing from Ao Nang Beach - it was a group trip by longtail boat visiting four islands and also snorkelling over a reef near Chicken Island - First stop was Poda Island and the sea was clear and warm and the sand clean and soft - After an hour and a half on Poda Island we moved on to Chicken Island (so called because it looks like a chicken) after boating around the island we stopped over a reef close to Chicken Island for an hour of snorkelling - then on to Tup Island which is also connected to Koh Dam Khwan by the strip of beach - it is possible to wade across between Tup Island and Chicken Island as long as it is not high tide. After an hour or so on Tup Island, which included a Thai lunch, we started the trip back to Ao Nang Beach which incuded a one hour stopover at Phranang Beach and Phranang Cave. The cliff face at Phranang Beach is quite impressive and there were several people climbing the vertical cliff next to the cave. This trip was good value and all of the locations visited were worth seeing - the trip only cost 500 Baht (about $17) which included hotel pick up and drop off and incuded entry fees and lunch.

Yesterday I spent most of the day on Ao Nang Beach which is the main beach for Krabi - I am staying in Krabi town as the hotels are cheaper (I came across one hotel in Ao Nang that charges $1,200 per night!) and it is not as touristy as Ao Nang Beach. There is nothing special about Ao Nang Beach, the beach itself is just a simple strip of tan coloured sand, although it is family friendly as the sea is calm and sheltered - the town at Ao Nang is a typical Thailand beach tourist area - it appeared to me that the bulk of the visitors to Krabi use Ao Nang as the departure point to visit the surrounding islands rather than the destination.

Tomorrow I fly back to Bangkok and then straight on to Udon Thani for a few days.

Krabi River    Ao Nang Beach    Ao Nang Beach Crowd    Ao Nang Beach Longtail Boats    Chicken Island    Tup Island Beach

Crossing From Tup Island to Chicken Island    Krabi Cliff    Poda Island    Poda Island Monkey    Phranang Beach    Phranang Cave


6th January 2012

Tomorrow I make my first trip for the year - I am going to Krabi, Thailand, for a few days and then on to Udon Thani (also Thailand) - The Udon Thani trip was initially booked as a "Visa Run" to renew my visa in Laos but as I now have a long term visa I am just going to stay in Udon Thani and have a look around.

After spending the past three years based in Thailand I am starting to get the urge to move on - during my three years living in Jomtien I have visited a lot of Asia:

All over Thailand - Bangkok, Jomtien, Pattaya, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Koh Samui, Ubon Ratchathani, Narathiwat, Udon Thani and Hua Hin

Most of Cambodia - Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) , Kampong Cham, Tuol Sleng ("Killing Fields") - Choeung Ek, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville
 Most of Vietnam - Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Dalat and Nha Trang

A lot of Laos - Vientiane, Huay Xai, Pakbeng, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Pakse

Two trips to China (China Photo Gallery) - Guangzhou, Shanghai, Qingdao, Tianjin, Beijing (Great Wall) and Xian (Terracotta Warriors)

Philippines - Manila and Boracay

Three trips to Indonesia - Bali

Several trips to Malaysia - Penang, Butterworth, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Bharu and Kota Kinabalu (in Borneo)

Sri Lanka - Colombo, Matara, Narigama, Galle

Myanmar (Burma) - Yangon (Rangoon)

I still have a year to go on the lease of my apartment but I will be moving on once that expires.

I have a few places in mind that I may go to live (in no order):

Malta - Where I lived for six months in 2008

Portugal - Where I have never visited

Vietnam - Where I have made several visits including a month long stay in Nha Trang

Cyprus - Where I lived for three years as a child

Egypt - Where I went on a group tour in 2008

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