Living in Bangkok with no job has been making it harder and harder to focus on any one thing. There are so many distractions here from the ten pm to five am nightlife to girls to beaches. It’s VERY easy to get distracted. I wanted to see just how long I could focus for so just for shits and giggles I decided to do a 24 hour programming challenge to see just how long I could program straight for. Probably the longest stretch I’ve ever done in one sitting has probably been around 14 hours so I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if I went 24 hours straight. (more...)
Other than some posts about my travels from out of Thailand it’s been a while since I’ve posted on what’s going on with me so I thought I would share a few updates. For the most part things have been pretty quiet as I have been taking it easy reading and working on a few side projects. I also decided to not travel this month but rather take a quick trip to Laos for a visa run. Previously I was in Thailand on arrival status only which gave me 30 days before I had to exit and reenter the country. With the double entry visa I was able to get I can now stay in Thailand for ninety days, exit once, reenter and stay for another ninety days. This gives me a total of 180 days in Thailand. I will have some time to actually travel within the country itself now which I have done little of since I have been traveling to neighboring countries once a month since I got here. (more...)
My trip to Malaysia was not very eventful so I decided to just write one larger piece rather than separate ones like I usually do. That and I’m just too lazy today. Malaysia is a really nice place but I would have to say it’s more suited for destination type trips, not so much for random wandering ones. You’re better off planning something specific to the beach, jungle trekking or scuba diving for three or four days. The high tax on liquor and majority non drinking Muslim population make for a more relaxed environment. There are plenty of restaurants and lots of quiet time as there is not much of a night life here.
Going to the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is something that has been on my bucket list for Thailand for quite some time. Since my initial travels when I first arrived to Thailand I’ve mostly kept busy within Bangkok itself visiting some clubs and restaurants but not really getting too much into the Thai culture. After a quiet July that ended with a trip to Macau and Hong Kong I decided it’s time to do a bit more travelling within the borders of Thailand.
Going to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a great little day trip to take. It’s about one hundred kilometers from Bangkok and will take about an hour to get there one way with no traffic. Make sure to arrive between 7am and 11am as that is when the market is at it’s busiest with the peak around 9am when most of the tourists arrive. Once there you can freely roam around the market checking out the wares and grabbing a bite to eat. The highlight of the trip is to buy a ticket for 150 ($5) Baht and jump on one of the boats being paddled by a ninety year old women to get a tour of the market via the canals. From the boat you can stop over to any of the markets on a boat and grab some fresh fruit, spring rolls or some overpriced souvenirs. (more...)
From the city blurs to a place even more blurry, Hong Kong is an amazing city. Hong Kong would be best described as a lab rat experiment for humans. I arrived to a cloudy sky and rain which would continue on for the remainder of my trip with only a few short breaks of sunshine. Definitely one of my more expensive trips, there are pretty much only three things to do in HK and that is to shop, eat and party. I seem to get lost in the latter making strange friends along the way. (more...)
I only have one regret about going to Macau and that was to go to Macau. If you can nearly make out the sign in my picture as the city of something blurry then you have read it right because that’s what Macau is. If Macau were a movie I’d give it 1.5 stars out of 5. Alright I’ll stop making fun of Macau now. If you’re into gambling and over priced hookers then maybe Macau is the place for you. It’s the Las Vegas of the East bringing in huge weekend crowds from China eager to give their money away to the money syphoning casinos. Very quite and not nearly as busy as Hong Kong or Thailand, the city was basically set up as a little secret getaway of guilty pleasures. (more...)
After an exhausting two days of busing to Bagan from Mandalay and checking out the temples all day on my little bicycle it was off to Yangon. I only gave myself one day in Yangon as other than seeing the city itself there didn’t seem like much to do. Most travellers I ran into who had been to Yangon told me that other than the Shwedagon Pagoda I could probably totally skip Yangon all together. So for my trek to Yangon from Bagan I opted for the more express route and took a flight which only took me about four hours in total end to end from hotel to hotel. It can be nice to view the country side taking a bus but I find with limited time it’s best to just fly as it saves you a whole day to do some exploring at your destination rather than being cooped up on a bus all day. I arrived at Yangon at my hotel by eleven and with a quick shower and lunch was out to explore the city by twelve in the afternoon. (more...)
Myanmar is a beautiful country, at least the parts they let me see as a foreigner were. For the country has a long history of civil war and human rights violations including everything from systematic rape and killing of certain ethnic groups to human slavery and sex trafficking to genocides that make reading the history section on their Wikipedia page seem like something out of an ancient Aztec movie by Mel Gibson. The country was still under military control up until 2011 when the first official elections were held. And although it’s still considered to be heavily influenced by the military regime, relations with other countries are reportedly improving and things seem to be generally moving in the right direction. Living in the west I never paid much attention to these things and thought it was just some problem out there. But the more time I spend in South East Asia the more of a reality these things are starting to become. Particularly in Myanmar you can’t help but feel like you’re not in on some big secret as everything seems just a little too pristine on the surface. (more...)
Yesterday I attended my first startup event at the Launchpad co-working space in Bangkok featuring a Q&A with Dave McClure, founder of 500 startups based out of Silicon Valley. It was an interesting little session and also included a small presentation about the startup eco-system in Bangkok. My initial take is that there is a lot of activity and potential out here in Bangkok. The biggest issue right now is capital and getting financing. Most of the activity for South East Asia is currently coming out of Singapore where most companies are setting up a local presence for the region. (more...)