Tag Archives: suggest

Traveling to Thailand

27 Dec
Flag of thailand

Flag of thailand

I have been to Thailand before (in 2003), so I kept my Thailand guidebooks till the end – hoping that it will be somehow the same (I don’t even recognize my village anymore, so probably a rapidly developing country will have developed in 5 years…

)

  • Anyway, if you have been there recently and have some suggestions do add them in the comments below!
  • I am spending one night in Bangkok on 29 December before flying on to Phnom Penh. It’s only after Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos that I’ll be back in Thailand (March/April) going over the symbolic Lao-Thai friendship bridge– and then take it as a base to move around the area eg Malaysia.

Timing is running out before my departure Sunday 28 Dec 08 (am typing this in the train back from christmas in the countryside as we speak) so I’ll only have time to give some bullet points from the Guidebook. Many of the South East Asian cultural elements also come back in Thailand Continue reading

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Punny Philippines

26 Dec

1707 Pilipino Islands

1707 Pilipino Islands

There’s no F sound in Tagalog, the main Pilipino language (they pronounce F like a P) so that will be pun ;-) And the nickname for the people there are ‘PinoY’ (like the big bird in Sesame street – at least in the Dutch version of it – or is Sesame Street globalised?) – apparently with Y at the end (someone pointed out to me – lol)

  • Any more travel suggestions? – let me know, add it in a comment below!

The guidebook says that “the Philippines have Asian roots, but have spent 300 years in church (Spanish domination) and 50 years in Hollywood (American influence)”.

A Pino friend of mine told me that indeed, you can still notice this mix of influences. The Pilipino core is definitely (South-East) Asian (e.g. rice, harmony, face, hierarchy, family, tan,…) but did get a Spanish coating (e.g. Catholicism, machismo, fiesta, mañana,…) and a little touch of American influence (e.g. freedom of speech, expressing themselves, English, shopping,…).

It’s intriguing to find behind Continue reading

Short Singapore Plans

19 Dec
Singapore city (= country)

Singapore city (= country)

  • Any travel suggestions? Let me know – add them below in the comments!
  • Foreseen travel to Singapore during my Malaysia trip probably March/April

Singapore says my guidebook – is Asia for beginners. You have the authentic Asia style with Eastern values, traditions and ‘face’, but combined with western innovation and efficiency and English is spoken as the main working language. The country is different enough to get a culture shock, but it wouldn’t be shocking much: for people from the East there’s enough familiar Asian elements they can relate to, and for the people from the West, there’s enough Western influence to make you feel at home.

Many nick-names circulate for the city-state Continue reading

Mesmerising about Malaysia

17 Dec
  • If you have any more suggestions of things to do, taste, see, experience – please leave your comments below
  • I’ll most likely be in Malaysia in March/April
Malaysia...

Malaysia...

For some reason I have bumped into the last few months into quite some people from Malaysia, and they all agreed that the food in Malaysia is the best in Asia (even though i read that in guidebooks about other countries as well ;-). So I definitely have to sample the Malay cuisine (yummy yummy).

  • some freshly cooked noodles with seafood for breakfast with a mug of coffee?
  • or rather rice with spicey curry sauce (also breakfast)
  • Malaysia is the home of the Satay with peanut sauce – one of my all-time favourites – mmm (I’ll gain wait)
  • Depending on what type of food, you’ll eat it differently: Chinese food with chopsticks and square spoon, Malay food is eaten with the hands (except they eat rice with a spoon), washing hands is part of a restaurant visit,…
  • And depending on the group, they eat or not certain things: Continue reading

What will I miss…

15 Dec
Will miss cheese...

Will miss cheese...

I have pondering a long time whether i should go on a World Trip or not, because it is a jump into the unknown. Next question would be: how long should I stay? Should I just do a quick tour of a month or two and come back quickly to be a good boy, or take advantage of the situation (my sabbatical year) and stretch my adventure over there to the max…

But from having been to Thailand, China & Sri Lanka before, I can vaguely imagine that I’ll miss certain things…

What did you miss when you were travelling in Asia before? (add in the comments)

  • I will definitely miss my friends. Only yesterday we had a lovely goodbye dinner – refined French style – with the Brussels gang. Starting with bubbles, moving on to foie gras (apologies to all the animal protectionists) with onion jam and gelatine, smoothed down the stomach with some sweet Sauterne wine, and a main course of oven patato-dice with chicken and wild mushrooms, with lovely red wine, ending with some fruit and of course the Buche (ice-cream tree-trunk, traditional for Xmas). Mmmmm – divine.
    And what was most divine was the company: my best friends from Brussels, fuelled with a trickle of wine (4 bottles) leading to stomach aches of laughter, tears of joy and rolling over the floor…
  • And today I got my first New Year card, so all of a sudden it dawned to me that I’ll miss the New Year celebrations with my friends… but I will Continue reading

Longing for Laos

11 Dec
Carst mountains rising from the plains

Carst mountains rising from the plains

If Thailand, Vietnam and Laos were tuk-tuk-drivers (three-wheeler taxi), the Thai driver would take you to your destination via a silk shop, the Vietnamese would almost run you over for your custom, while in Laos you’d probably have to go and find a driver, wake him up and persuade him to come out to work” (Lonely Planet – South East Asia)

So Laos seems to be the most relaxed country of the region, the most laid back, but this also means the ‘least developed’. The guidebooks advice to think twice before going off the beaten tracks – or rent a tractor instead of a tuk-tuk or taxi. When checking the MasterCard website for the location of ATMs (cash machines) it indicates – none… I requested a Visa for February and got one for January to March instead for the same price…

Continue reading

Travel-prep is a full time job

30 Oct

Guidebooks, Passport & Visas

If you think that going on an Asia trip is pure leisure and relaxation, you are WRONG. As soon as I had booked my ticket, it dawned to me that it involves lots of hard work! I all of a sudden realised that I had to do quite some planning and (the most difficult part) deciding.
  • Info: I didn’t have a clue where to go and what to do.
  • So I started ordering all kinds of guidebooks (LP South East Asia on a shoestring), phrasebooks (in case English is not as widely spread as I would like) and country guides (Culture Smart, Culture Shock books). Another thing is to find time to read those books…
  • I also hooked up with friends that have been to South-East Asia to pick their ideas, and then have lots of pages full of ideas, on top of hundreds of pages of guidebooks. (Thanx to you all) Continue reading
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