I will be leaving the San Francisco Bay Area in one month and returning to Seattle. During the year I was here, I explored the hell out of the area. I saw more of San Francisco than many will see in years or decades. Two or three times a week I ventured into San Francisco […]
My only other visit to Portland, Oregon was when I drove from San Diego to Seattle in 2007. Since then the coffee scene has exploded down there. I will post a full report on INeedCoffee later. For now, I’ll post a few non-coffee related photos. Khao Muu Daeng/Muu Krob from Pok Pok Rose Test Garden […]
If you live in Seattle or plan on coming here for vacation, I highly recommend taking the Seattle Underground Tour. It is 90 minutes long and full of fun history on how the city got started. Most of my photos did not turn out, so I found some better ones from Flickr. The tour is […]
Two years ago I read the travel book Vagabonding, which I enjoyed. I was pleased to discover the author had written another book. Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer (Travelers’ Tales Guides) by Rolf Potts is a collection of travel stories. Most of the stories […]
Early in my 4 week trip to Asia, I discovered that slow upload speeds would prevent me from posting my travel blogs in a sequential timeline. Now that I have all my posts finished (finally), I can assemble them in order with links. I bolded the more important posts. At the end of the post, […]
It seems I missed a post. I posted about the cool things I did in Chiang Mai, such as the Thai cooking class, elephant training and playing with tigers, but I didn’t mention the town itself. Chiang Mai was just my speed. Even though I loved exploring Bangkok, I prefered the much smaller city of […]
This post is primarily for people who have not traveled outside the United States. When you first enter a foreign country you must present yourself to an immigration officer. They will look over your passport and if a tourist VISA is required, they will examine that too. They may ask you questions about why you are […]
As much as a bad user interface annoys me, I really enjoy discovering an excellent U/I. While in Thailand and Cambodia, I noticed a brilliant user interface. They place a second counter on traffic lights. When a light turns green or red, there is a second counter to the side of it. You know exactly […]
The long awaited video and photos to my day of elephant training are finally ready. Enjoy my gracefulness! This highlight video was made using Windows Live Movie Maker, which I just downloaded and am still learning how to use. Elephant Training in Chiang Mai, Thailand Photo Gallery For Elephant Training in Chiang Mai, Thailand
This post was moved from Coffee Hero. Even though you would never catch me going into a Starbucks inside the city limits of Seattle, I have been known to get my espresso fix on the road there. During my 4 weeks in Southeast Asia, I did go to Starbucks a few times. The shame! The […]
How did I end up in Cambodia when my original travel plans only included Thailand? It was me discovering what type of traveler I am. The thought of spending two weeks on the white sand beaches of Thailand may sound like paradise to many, but I got bored quickly at the beach. I needed a […]
This is a video clip of the elephant we saw in Ko Samui, Thailand. This is not the elephant I rode in Chiang Mai.
Here are the video clips taken by my friend when we stepped into the cage with the tigers and baby lion.
Angkor Wat is the expansive temple complex in Cambodia built over a few hundred years starting in the 10th century. It is an amazing place to visit. It far exceeded myexpectations. I spent 2 days and one evening going from temple to temple and I still didn’t see it all. Besides the food and my […]
The sad history of Cambodia involves land mines. Lots of them. I read an estimate that there may still be 2 million land mines buried in throughout the country. And no one bothered to document where they were placed. As a result, people are still being killed andmaimedtoday. While in Cambodia, I saw quite a […]
I do not carry dental insurance. I never have and never plan to. My teeth are in great shape. Back in the dot-com days I got one small cavity after going through a full tin of Altoids every day for over a year. Yeah, I was a sick puppy. That is the only dental issue […]
While in Siem Reap, we had our driver take us out to the Floating Village. Unlike our Bangkok experience, this was not a tourist trap. It was the real deal. The Floating Village was a community of mostly fishermen living on the water. Many fled Vietnam during the war and were never allowed to return […]
This was too weird and cheap not to try. Siem Reap, Cambodia has something called Angkor Dr. Fish Massage. Basically you put your feet into a tank of water filled with little fish. The fish then swarm your feet and eat off the dead skin. I think that is what they said. It is an […]
On the return flight home to Seattle, I had a 12 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. Urban hiking in 41F rain felt a lot like Seattle. Like Kuala Lumpur, Seoul has an airport which connects right into a train/subway system. I was able to get to the heart of downtown Seoul in about an […]
Yesterday I had a 12 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. Instead of hanging out at the airport, I decided to venture into the city and seek out some coffee. Before heading out, I got a good espresso from Caffe Pascucci. That provided enough fuel for me to leave the airport and make my way […]
What do you do when you have a 12 hour layover in Seoul, Korea? Hang out in the terminal or go exploring? Explore! It is time to put allthat cold weather training to use. Once I step outside the terminal (minutes from now) it will be 41 F. Good thing I dropped $2.50 on a […]
Today I journeyed to the north outskirts of Kuala Lumpur to see the Batu Caves. It was OK. Probably not worth the trip. Oh yeah, there were monkeys everywhere. Photo Gallery for Batu Caves – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The adventure continues. I arrived in Kuala Lumpur late last night. This is an awesome airport. The KLIA Ekspres hooks right into the terminal and drops you off in the center of the city, which is a 28 minute journey. Once at the center (KL Sentral) you can take a train or get a prepaid taxi. […]
For those keeping score, I left Cambodia and returned to Bangkok for a night before flying down to Malaysia. Before returning to Seattle, I will go back to Bangkok for one more night. I will get around to posting on Cambodia, but probably not until I return to Seattle. Cambodia was an amazing experience. I […]
Do I really want to spend another 5 nights in Bangkok? Nope. I’ve decided to head down to Kuala Lumpur for some urban hiking and Malaysian curry. Photo The Sky Bar in Kuala Lumpur with a view of Petronas by Stuck in Customs
After escaping the hell known as Patong Beach, I headed for the quieter beach setting of the island of Ko Samui. Although the vendors were still pushy, it was far less than Patong. If you only have a few days to spend on the beaches of Thailand, I’d go to Ko Samui instead of Phuket. […]
The prime vacation destination for Thailand is probably Phuket. That should have been a warning. I did not care for Phuket. It was loud and the vendors were beyond obnoxious. It was probably my mistake for staying at Patong Beach. Once I got away from Patong, the rest of Phuket was much better. Patong is […]
Besides riding elephants and playing with big cats, the other cool thing I did in Chiang Mai was take an all day Thai cooking class. I’ve been cooking Thai food pretty much every week for the past 18 months. Assuming I don’t get hit on the head and forget everything I’ve learned, my Thai cooking […]
My posts are getting a little out of sequence. Although I have more to say about Chiang Mai, I want to get out my photos from the Phi Phi Islands. The Phi Phi Islands are off the coast of Phuket. We got to snorkel at two different places. The water was a little murky, but […]
All those pull-ups didn’t help. My side got crushed in a tug of war match with an elephant in Ko Samui, Thailand. Video below.
For just 50 baht ($1.65), I was able to use a fishing pole to lower a chicken down to a pit of hungry crocodiles.
There are at least two ways to ride an elephant in Thailand. One is to do a trek. They put you up on a mini bench and two can ride seated side by side. That is what I planned to do when I came to Thailand. Then we discovered the elephant training option. At elephant […]
I had a chance to get inside a cage with some cats in Chiang Mai at Tiger Kingdom.
Here is a video sample of the boat ride to the Floating Market. It took 70 minutes to upload 35 seconds of video and this is the fastest connection I’ve had since arriving in Thailand.
Here is a preview of an upcoming post.
I am behind on my trip blog posts. The primary reason is the upload speeds in Thailand (to my American servers) are horrific. This means the photos are being uploaded at a painfully slow rate. Most are failing. Unless I get faster upload speeds soon, I may need to do mini-galleries here and then work […]
When it comes to face to face customer service, I use something I call the Paraguay / Circuit City scale. During my one day trip to Paraguay in 2006, I went to a market where the vendors were in your face trying to sell everything. It was the most relentless shopping experience ever. They made […]
How about 5 nights then? I was told by several people who had visited to Thailand to get out of Bangkok as soon as possible. It is dirty, loud and not representative of the real Thailand. I had low expectations for Bangkok. The only reason I scheduled 5 nights there was so I could meet up […]
I am off for a 4 week trip to Thailand (Nov 12 – Dec 10). This is my first trip to Asia. In 2006 I met a retired British school teacher in Auckland, New Zealand. For over an hour he told me how wonderful Thailand was. The food, the people, the beaches and everything else. […]
Last December, I learned that my super common name was on the “naughty list” at airports. From the post Osama MAS Laden: Guess what common American as apple pie name is now on the governments watch list? Mine. American Airlines has confirmed that my name is on the naughty list. Being on the watch list […]
Last weekend I stopped into the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie for a coffee and found a bunch of cool coffee artifacts. Vashon Island is a ferry ride southwest of Seattle. It was a good thing I had my camera on me. Below are some of the photos I took. At the end of this post […]
Writing about travel is the hardest thing for me to do. I’d rather hack out 500 words on the stupidity of Ben Bernanke. It pains me to use terms like “nice” and “beautiful” to describe a trip. That is so boring. I think that is why it has taken so long for me to get […]
Well I am finally getting around to posting on my trip to New Orleans. I arrived on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday and left Thursday afternoon. This was a great way to see the city both during the chaos of Mardi Gras and the normalcy just afterwords. From 1994-1998, I lived in the Tampa Bay […]
When I arrived at my gate at the DFW (Dallas Fort-Worth) airport, I walked past a stunningly beautiful woman. Magazine cover quality. Two minutes later, a better looking woman walked by. And then a third. My only trips to Texas have been confined to airports, so I have no idea what exists past the security […]
Whenever I fly, I check my bag in. The reason is I detest all those people who abuse the carry-on policy. One small bag became one small bag plus carry on. Then the bag got larger. Women would not count their purse as a carry on. Grab a bag of McDonalds and a 32 oz Coke. […]
Guess what common “American as apple pie” name is now on the governments watch list? Mine. American Airlines has confirmed that my name is on the naughty list. Why did my parents have to slap me with the most common baby name for 43 consecutive years on top of my surname a Smith? If my […]
Just like I did in 2007, soon I’ll be assembling my Best Books of 2008 list. I’m almost certain this one will make the list. Smile When You’re Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer by Chuck Thompson is a very funny travel book. The author trashes the travel writing industry and then tells a […]
The 4-Hour Workweek exposed me to the idea of working on road. Although I’m pretty good at working remote, more instruction was needed on the traveling part. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts is a collection of essays and tips written for those considering living on the […]
I got tired of waiting for my high school reunion planning committee to set a date for my 20th (now 21st) high school reunion. Guess I’ll catch them at the 25th. I’m heading back for a long weekend from Thursday April 17th through Tuesday April 22nd. Family, friends, Ted’s Montana Grill, Donatos Pizza, Staufs, etc. […]
On my short list of places to visit next is Japan. My first step in learning about a new country is reading the Culture Shock! book for that country. CultureShock! Japan: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Shock! Guides) by P. Sean Bramble by P. Sean Bramble is the best Culture Shock! I’ve […]
What is the best thing to read on a cold wet January day in Seattle? Maybe a book about how much cheaper and warmer life could be in Costa Rica. Moon Living Abroad in Costa Rica (Living Abroad) is by Erin Van Rheenen and she sold me on Costa Rica. Although I seriously doubt I’ll […]
Vancouver was an amazing city. Think San Diego with frostbite. Actually it’s downtown is further built out than San Diego. Despite the rain and cold temperatures, I was able to get some good photos. And I now have a new favorite coffee house: Caffe Artigiano. Great food, Clover and my new favorite drink the Americano […]
Next week I will take my first trip ever to Canada. I will visit Vancouver and Whistler during this trip. I decided it wasn’t cold enough in Seattle and that I needed to go further north.
After reading the Culture Shock! books for Chile and Cuba, I thought I’d read the one for Vancouver. My first trip to Canada is in a week. How shocking is the Vancouver culture? Judging solely by the book Culture Shock! Vancouver: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Shock! at Your Door) by Cuek-Cheng […]
I’ve noticed that people who travel tend to fall into two camps. People who go to the same places they know and like multiple times. People who always seek out a new place to visit. I’m clearly in the second group. As much as I liked Maui or Buenos Aires, I have many more places to visit before […]
Over a month ago I stumbled upon the most interesting travel book I’ve ever seen. This book isn’t about places to snorkel in Hawaii or New England bed and breakfast locations. This was a book on traveling to the most dangerous locations in the world. Robert Young Pelton’s The World’s Most Dangerous Places: 5th Edition […]
Last year before I went to South America I did minimal research. Basically I just checked to see what the weather would be like, got some vaccinations and read the travel bulletins provided by the State Department. I wasn’t prepared enough. Culture Shock! Chile: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Shock! Guides) by […]
I’m back from my 12th Guavaween. Another year, another great time. The first thing I learned once I arrived in Ybor City was that the Tampa Bay Brewing Company relocated. They left 15th St and reopened in Centro Ybor next to the 20-screen Muvico. They lost their upstairs, balcony and dart boards. They gained a […]
I’m back from my 11 day trip of New Zealand. The trip just covered the North Island. For all those people who said why didn’t you go to the South Island? The answer is it is still winter in the South Island. New Zealanders told me that the best time to see the South Island is […]
My 3 week trip in South America was hosted by Gap Adventures. The name of the tour was In Search Of Iguassu – Rio to Buenos Aires. I’m glad I took the trip and got to visit a nice section of the world. Brazil underwhelmed me, Uruguay exceeded my expectations and Buenos Aires, Argentina came […]
I always find it interesting to measure my weight and bodyfat percentage before and after a vacation. Stepping away from my standard diet and exercise routine can shock my system into either weight gain or weight loss. Usually it is more common to gain weight on vacation. After 3 weeks in South America, I could […]
Hope you missed me, I’m back in America. The last 3 weeks I was in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. And I even made a surprise unplanned trip to Paraguay. In the next 2 days, I plan to have the trip details and photo galleries completed. Why the rush? Friday I head off on a 10 […]