Going from A to B within Thailand : Taking the bus

Are you going on holiday in Thailand but do not know yet how to go from place A to place B? Well there are many options. Of course there is the train, bus, car, motorbike and you can fly from almost all main places in Thailand.

If there is no airport or train-station another option is to take the bus.

And believe there are busses going from/to almost every place in Thailand. It is really amazing. Some weird long haul connections that can be made from all the way in South Thailand to the border with Myanmar in North Thailand.

Personally I am not a bus lover. Yes it is cheap, but flights can be cheap also. So I would not take a bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai but the train or airplane. But going to Bueng Kan in North-East Thailand you will have no other choice as at least a part by bus.

While traveling by bus you should consider safety and comfort. In my personal opinion ... long haul trips with the bus lacks both of them. Especially when taking the bus at night. It is much safer to travel in day-time.

My favourite bus company is "Nakhon Chai Air" because they drive safe and have a very low accident count. Due to the air-condition in the bus I would recommend to take some warm cloths with you. And I would recommend to keep all your real valuables near to you (on your body). Personally I would never take a bus like on the photo, this are most time charted busses for schools or companies. They drive like crazy and most times have very loud music inside.

Finally the start of the Green Season?

After a very long and very dry & hot "dry season" with for about 2 months temperatures of about 41℃ and no rain for about 6 months it finally started to rain last night in Khon Kaen, North-East Thailand.

I love the smell of rain!

Everything will look a bit more green again and the sky will be clear again. But for the farmers and for the water-reservoirs it needs to rain more and more. Personally for me it can stop now for the moment (and start raining in the night again).  I have to out today and I am very happy I have a comfortable car. Although I am sure the main-roads nearby our house will be flooded and look like a river.

What to do and where to go in Krabi, South Thailand?

About Krabi
Krabi is the capital city of a province in Southern Thailand along the Andaman coast. It is along a stunning coast line of limestone mountains and mangrove forrest with many beaches and islands within reach. One of the most popular beach destinations of Thailand!

How to get there?
Airplane : Krabi has it own airport (KBV) and can be reached domestic from Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui. And international from Singapore, Malaysia and China.

Train : The nearest major train-station is Surat Thani and from there you can take the bus. 
Bus : You can take the bus to Krabi from example Bangkok, Hat Yai, Phuket, Hua Hin.

Ao Nang beach

A day-trip to Hong Islands at Krabi, South Thailand

Our captain
We did stay 4 nights / 5 days at Tub Kaek beach and we made a half-day boat trip to the Hong Islands. This are limestone islands in the Andaman sea. We took a wooden long-tail boat straight from the beach in front of our hotel and we were provided with a picknick box and towels of the hotel. It takes a 30min boat-ride to the first island ... Hong Island or actually Koh Lao Bi Le.

The name of the island (Hong) means room, because at the back-side of the island is a lagoon that is like a room almost closed of from the sea. The island group consists of about 10 islands, some of the islands have beaches. Be aware that this islands are part of a National Park so non-Thai have the privilege to pay 5 times as much as any Thai. For Thai it is 60 Thai baht entrance fee (yes also for the Thai guy driving a BMW) and for non-Thai it is 300 Thai baht. Some tours include this at the tour price.

So our tour started at Hong Island where is a small bay where you can swimming in crystal clear water and see many fish swimming around you. From there we went to the lagoon on the other side. The boat goes thru the small opening between the high limestone mountains and and moors somewhere in the lagoon so you can dive straight from the boat into the water. Be careful it is not deep!

After that the boat took us via a 20min boat ride between many small island to another island with a small beach. At one side there is again a bay with crystal clear water and many coloured fish. At low tide there is a small sandbar to an small island in front of the beach.

Here we had a nice lunch on a old tree under the mangrove trees at the beach. And before you know it is time to go back to the mainland and back to your hotel.

I would recommend the go as early as possible ... we left at 7:30 and because of that we were at the islands just before more people came.

One of the tour companies doing day-trips on the sea is "Ao Nang Orchid Speedboat".

Hong Island

A long weekend at Tub Kaek beach at Krabi, South Thailand

This is really "on holiday in your home country". Although I have been almost all over Thailand in the past 30 years, I have never been in Krabi. Somehow I always managed to pass it. Although I have been to Phuket and some the famous islands. And actually it must be more as 10 years ago that I did go more south as Hua Hin. Living in the heart of North-East Thailand we first took a Air Asia flight to Don Muang Airport (Bangkok) and then a Thai Lion Air flight to Krabi Airport. From there we took a taxi to our hotel at Tub Kaek beach.

The beach is along an dead-end road and has only 4 resorts and 1 restaurant. And the all beach is a bit upscale in prices. And be aware that there is nothing nearby. No 7/11, no other restaurants, no other hotels, no public transport. But for us that was wisely chosen for exactly that reason.

We did stay at "Tub Kaek Sunset Beach Resort", for a review of this resort have a look HERE. The 3 other resorts are "Amari Vogue" (with a great restaurant "Belinni"), "The Tub Kaek Boutique Resort" (with our favourite restaurant) and "Anyavee Tub Kaek Beach Resort".

We loved the beach and our resort. We had a few time lunch or diner at "Tub Kaek Seafood Restaurant" and at the restaurant of "Tub Kaek Boutique Resort". We made a half-day boat trip to the islands and made a afternoon/evening trip to Ao Nang where we had diner at "Wang Sai Seafood Restaurant" (very good!).

As said Tub Kaek Beach is not a cheap area to stay. The resorts are not cheap, the food is expensive (for Thai standards) and to go anywhere you will need taxi or your own transport. And if you are looking for nightlife ... forget it at Tub Kaek Beach!

How to get there?
There is no public transport, so your will need your own transport or a taxi. The beach is 45km from Krabi airport and a normal taxi costs 800 Thai baht one-way for max. 3 people with luggage. A mini-van for max. 8 people with luggage costs 1.200 Thai baht. A taxi to Ao Nang beach costs 600 Thai baht one-way.

Flying with Thai Lion Air to Krabi in Southern Thailand

Arrival at Krabi Airport
Thai Lion Air is a sister-company of Lion Air that was started in 2000 in Indonesia. Thai Lion Air flies from Don Muang Airport (Bangkok) in Thailand to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Krabi, Nakhon Si Tammarat, Phuket, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani. And international to Jakarta (Indonesia), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Singapore.

As we were going to Krabi from the heart of North-East Thailand we did fly with Air Asia to/from Bangkok. But due to the very long stop-over time at Don Muang Airport with Air Asia I did choose to fly Don Muang to Krabi with Thai Lion Air. I booked the ticket via their own web-site. For a review of booking my flight ticket have a look HERE.

So now the most important thing .... how was my flight?

Well very simple it was a smooth and well taken care of flight from the check-in until arriving at Krabi Airport. Check-in did go quick, flight was smooth and the in-flight service was friendly. We were service a small snack, what I personally think is a waste of effort on such a short flight of only 1hr and 20min. Good timing and no delay. I would fly Thai Lion Air again next time!

Web-site : Thai Lion Air

Sunset in Krabi, South Thailand

A wonderful set at Tub Kaek beach in Krabi, Southern Thailand

A cartoon a day keeps the doctor away in Bangkok, Central Thailand

Koen Olie, a famous Dutch cartoonist living in Bangkok, will have a small exposition of his colourful cartoons at "OVERGROUND BAR & CAFE" on Soi 22 of Sukhumvit road from 28 April 2016 until 20 May 2016. The "Overground Bar" is open from 18:00 until 02:00.

So if you are in the neighbourhood, drop in have a drink and a look his wonderful and colourful cartoons.

I love his daily cartoons ... sometime a bit too colourful for me but always funny. And sometimes very recognisable about living in Thailand.

About Koen :
I'm originally from Holland, but have been living and working in Bangkok since the late 1980s. During the 1990s my illustrations and cartoons appeared in local Thai magazines and newspapers. I also illustrated books for local publishers and presented my work in several large exhibitions. At the end of the 1990s my production slowed down and I concentrated on other business ventures, but never gave up art altogether. I started drawing again in early 2012, but this time just for fun, usually a few drawings per week. Since then I made several post cards and T-shirt designs.

For more about Koen the artist and his colourful cartoons have a look at Facebook page ART58 Koen or ART58 Koen

Living in Thailand and staying here legally

One of the yearly returning things about living in Thailand as a foreigner is that you will need to legally arrange you permit to stay here.

Yes, although I am more or less living here for more as 15 years I still every year have to arrange a new "Visa" or "Extension of Stay". In the beginning I would return to my home country every year and get a "1-year Non-Immigrant "O" visum" at the local consulate. Since I am married to a Thai national I can applied for an "Extension of Stay based on Marriage" at the local immigration office. And since I am older as 50 I can apply for an "Extension of Stay based on Retirement". And the latter is what I did last week in the place where I live in the North-East of Thailand.

It all went very smooth and easy. The immigration office here is very well organised and works fast, friendly and fair. Very well done sir!

Going from A to B within Thailand : Taking the train

Are you going on holiday in Thailand but do not know yet how to go from place A to place B? Well there are many options. Of course there is the train, bus, car, motorbike and you can fly from almost all main places in Thailand.

So if you like adventure and meeting locals just take the train!

The main train station for almost all Thailand is Hua Lumphon in Bangkok. From here there are basically 4 train-lines leaving in all directions of Thailand. But there is also a second train station Thonburi, located along the Chao Phraya River (other side) for the Western Line (Nam Tok & Kanchanaburi).

Trains travel both at day-time as at night. At night there are sleeping couches with First, Second and Third class. First and second class is air-conditined. In day-time there is also First, Second and Third class. Again first and second class is air-conditioned, and it is like traveling in an air-plane with a hostess for in-train service. All trains have toilets and long-haul trains also have a restaurant. For more information about the train service see Railway Thailand

The Northern Line with end-destination Chiang Mai. Traveling thru the beautiful mountains of North Thailand. This line is passing Ayuthaya, Phitsanulok, Uttaradit and Lampang.

The North-East Line with 2 different end-destinations. First the line to Nong Khai as transit point to Vientiane in Laos. And secondly to Ubon Ratchathani as transit point to Pakse in Laos.

Going from A to B within Thailand : Domestic flights

Are you going on holiday in Thailand but do not know yet how to go from place A to place B? Well there are many options. Of course there is the train, bus, car, motorbike and you can fly from almost all main places in Thailand.

So if you have limited time just take a smooth flight to almost anywhere in Thailand.

As of 17 April 2016 there are 7 airlines flying domestic routes in Thailand from/to the following places.

Thai Airways is the national carrier of Thailand and flying from Survarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok) and Don Muang Airport (Bangkok), although I think the flights from DMK are all Thai Smile, to Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phuket, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Surat Thani, Hat Yai and Narathiwat.

Songkran 2016 : Sawadee Phi Mai

Songkran in Pattaya in 2011
Sorry a bit late .... but 13 April was Thai New Year (although the year will not change).

Despite the fact that it is bloody hot (42℃) and that it is the driest period since 20 years in Thailand, worlds biggest water festival has been celebrated in the past 3 days (13, 14 and 15 April). Well and at some place it will continue a bit longer like in Pattaya and a bit further along the Eastern Seaboard.

I hope you all enjoyed the party and that you did stay safe. The latter is because it is also the most deadly week in road accidents in Thailand due to drunk driving, fast driving and other stupidities.

Kafka in Thailand (updated at 19 April)

Due to reasons of signal I want to move from my mobile telephone provider Dtac to AIS. As in Thailand there is a law of "Number Portability" it should be possible to keep using my old telephone number from Dtac when I move to AIS. That all worked smooth when my wife did move from Dtac to AIS last year. So I had never thought of the following (never ending) story ......

8 April at AIS & Dtac shop : I go to AIS to apply for Number Portability from Dtac to AIS. I am accepted and given a new sim-card. Now I have to go to Dtac to tell them that I want to move out. The lady checks all and says it is fine. So the all process is started. I will have to wait until I get a SMS from AIS that I can switch sim-card. This should take 3 - 6 working days.

8 April SMS from AIS : About 3 hours after applying I receive a SMS that the porting of my number is in process and that I will have to wait for a next SMS.

Until now it did go all to plan. As 8 April was a Friday and Saturday / Sunday are not working days (except if you want to buy something) I was not expecting anything in the weekend.

A walk in the park in Bangkok, Central Thailand

A nice cool morning in Bangkok. So after breakfast I made a walk & relaxed at "Benjasiri Park" (next to Emporium Shopping Mall). Open from 5:00 am to 21:00. In the early morning older Thai-Chinese are doing Tai-Chi and younger people are running the track around the park. While some other people use the fitness in the park. And although you are in the middle of the city you really feel like you are in the nature of a forrest. I love it!

Contrast along the Chao Phraya in Bangkok, Central Thailand

From "River City" I took the ferry to the other side and just started to walk. I love Bangkok (for 1 day)!