Holiday

 
 

The World’s Largest Golden Teak Structure – Vimanmek Teak Palace

Like something out of colonial times, although Thailand was never colonized, Vimanmek reminds me of an over-sized governor’s mansion, sitting resplendent in a tropical oasis.  However, Vimanmek was not designed for any governor.  Instead, it was originally built on the not-very-well known island of Ko Sichang, as a retreat for King Chulalongkorn (aka King Rama V).  It was subsequently dismantled and rebuilt in the Dusit Royal Gardens in Bangkok in 1901. As I suggested in the opening sentence, the design is very European, and it highlights the influence that KingRead More


The Temple of the Dawn

The name alone tantalizes the imagination, and brings out everyone’s thirst for exploring the mystic orient.  Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn, is situated just across the river from Bangkok.  It was built in the early 19th Century by the second ruler of the current ruling Dynasty (Rama II).  It has therefore been a landmark for a long time and is one of the best known Bangkok tourist attractions. Interestingly though, this famous landmark does not get anywhere near as many tourists as the attractions on the Bangkok sideRead More


The Land of “Crazy”

Thailand… land of smiles.  The culture here is very distinct from Western culture and is built around the notion of “sanuk” or enjoyment as well as conflict avoidance.  As a result, many Westerners have come here, usually on a holiday, and totally fallen in love with the country, culture and its people.  Unfortunately, the “sanuk” and face aspects of the culture can be very disarming for Westerners and the end result is that I see Westerners come to Thailand and start doing crazy things that they would never do backRead More


New Thailand Tourism Campaign Promotes Stalking

I guess the Tourism Authority of Thailand was hoping to be romantic with its latest visit Thailand tourism video.  Unfortunately, I just about fell off my chair, given that the advert clearly promotes stalking women.  Given the various negative press that Thailand has received over the last few years with respect to tourists being hassled and murdered, the pro-stalking campaign is definitely in bad taste. Okay, maybe I am being a little bit too melodramatic here, so you decide for yourself.  The video itself starts with a guy who isRead More


Tips That You Didn’t Know for Getting the Most out of Bangkok – Part Four

This one is for all you shoppers and movie lovers… where to find those hard-to-find movies in Bangkok. The old days of movies in Bangkok In the old days, everyone used to just rent pirated video tapes in Bangkok.  It only cost between 10 and 20 baht, you had the movie for a week and they even delivered your order on motorbike.  If you liked the movie, you could then pay the rental place a small extra fee (pretty much the cost of a VHS cassette) to make you a copy.  OfRead More


Tips That You Didn’t Know for Getting the Most out of Bangkok – Part Three

This week I give away my secrets for where the best toilet facilities are when you are out and about in Bangkok.  It’s all well and good to know where all the star attractions are, where to buy that hard to find shopping article, or what is the most efficient way of getting around town.  However, possibly more important than all of the above is knowing where the best places to visit are when nature is calling… and sometimes calling urgently.  This post therefore looks at the best toilet facilitiesRead More


Second Update to: Tips That You Didn’t Know for Getting the Most out of Bangkok – Part Two

This is a further update regarding police searches of foreigners in Bangkok.  From my conversations with tourists (and potential tourists) to Bangkok, this seems to be one of the big concerns on tourist minds at the moment that is putting tourists off from visiting Thailand. Unfortunately, since my last post on the topic (available here: https://petertorjesen.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/update-to-tips-that-you-didnt-know-for-getting-the-most-out-of-bangkok-part-two/), it would seem that the issue hadn’t died now completely.  There were still some reports of stop and searches (although not at the same rate as before).  The pamphlet that I spoke about inRead More


A Secret Island in the Gulf of Thailand?

When most people think of islands in Thailand, they think of Phuket, and then Ko Samui and the gorgeous limestone cliffs of Ko Phi Phi.  Party-goers will probably think of the wild all-night full moon raves on Ko Phangan, while divers will think of the crystal clear waters of Ko Tao.  Next down the list are Ko Samet, a popular retreat for Bangkok Thais, followed closely by Ko Chang, which still has idyllic charm. However, I know of an island that is only a two hour trip away from Bangkok thatRead More


Tips That You Didn’t Know for Getting the Most out of Bangkok – Part Two

How to Deal with Getting Stopped By Police Getting stopped and searched by police in Bangkok is nothing new.  It first happened to me as soon as I set foot in Thailand in the early 1980s.  I had just landed at the airport on a night flight from Singapore and I was in a taxi with my father, heading down Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road towards the Moh Chit bus station.  Suddenly, I saw the bright flashing lights of a police car behind us, signalling for our taxi to pull over, and pull overRead More


Tips That You Didn’t Know for Getting the Most out of Bangkok – Part One

For those visiting (or even recently re-located) to Bangkok, here are some tips that you will not find in any guide book (and I doubt you will find most of these tips online either).  These are some simple but useful little tips for enjoying your time in Bangkok that much more, that I picked up from living there.  Today’s post will start this series off. Tip 1 – How to get through 1.5 kilometres of shopping malls without ever stepping out onto the pavement As you can see from theRead More