Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Reflections of 3 weeks in the Netherlands in 2014

After living almost 14 years in Thailand you start to take things in Thailand for granted, even worse you start to think life is normal here. On the other hand after living almost 14 years outside your home country in another culture you start to forget how life was and that there is another reality also.

After 3 weeks back "home" in the Netherlands my primary reaction is
"The Netherlands is a over regulated nanny state and I am actually waiting for a revolution. Well that will probably never happen as it seems that all people are brainwashed into robots for the consumption economy to fed the corporations."

After coming home in Thailand I thought
"They drive like total idiots on the road and the roads are bloody dangerous by design".

But now in more balanced way ......

Monday, 14 April 2014

Review of Garmin Zumo 340LM

The Garmin Zumo 340LM is a navigation device especially suited for using on a motorbike, although you could use it in a car also (if you have the car-mount). The Zumo 340 is technically the same as the Zumo 350, only the 350 has a bigger map of Europe. Basically the Zumo 340 & 350 are the same as the Zumo 390, only the 390 has a MP3 player and some other extra options. LM indicates that the device is sold with "Lifetime Map update" ... lifetime is of course not your life but that what Garmin thinks is the life of your GPS device.

See Garmin Zumo 340LM

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Holiday back home (Netherlands)

I am living almost 14 years in Thailand now and in the beginning I did go back "home" for a yearly reality-check and meeting family & friends. In the years passing your social circle changes and the years in between going back "home" became more & more. The last time that I did go back home to see family & friends was almost 3 years ago, so my 50th birthday was a good reason to go back "home" again. So we did book a straight flight Bangkok to Amsterdam with Eva Air. It was a comfortable but always too long flight. The flight was good but trying to travel from Schiphol to Rotterdam was a disaster as due to a "fire" in the train tunnel there were no trains leaving Schiphol. Mind you it seems that this kind "fires" are happening quit often. So although I had already bought & paid tickets (by Internet) for the train (13 Europ pp) we took a taxi home.

View over "Bergse voorplas" in Hillegersberg

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Season Five Hotel (Pattaya, Thailand)

A brand new hotel at date of March 2014, at Soi 5 of Beach Road Pattaya. The hotel is about 200 meter from the beach and has private parking, swimming pool on the 8th floor and a service's breakfast buffet at their small restaurant.

Decoration of the rooms is modern with natural tints. The room has a comfortable bed and a small couch to sit an look TV. The bathroom is big and has a bathtub. The room has a spacious balcony and of course there is airco, TV and mini-bar. The hotel has free wifi in the all hotel.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Blessing my motorbike

In Thailand it is normal to have your car or motorbike blessed by a monk. My previous motorbike was not blessed and technically a bit of a disaster so for my new motorbike it was time to go to the temple. Together with my wife I did ride to a jungle temple about 25 km out of Khon Kaen city where we did meet the "blessing monk" of the temple. After some wai's and a donation of 300 Thai baht the monk was ready to bless my motorbike. He did write something on the windscreen and did put some with talc stips on the windscreen & odo-meter. And of course a string of ropes around the ball-head.

Let the good times roll!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Review of Kawasaki Z250

After a bad experience with my Honda CB500F (and with the Honda Big Wing dealer) I bought again a Kawasaki motorcycle. My first big bike was a Kawasaki Versys 650 that I did ride for 3 years but sold it as I wanted a bit smaller bike. As I had some bad experience with the low quality DID chain that Kawasaki puts on their motorbikes I was not so happy anymore with Kawasaki. But I must say on my Honda CB500F was the same low quality DID chain (made in Thailand). So I decided to buy a Kawasaki again (well actually in this price range not much choice in Thailand). This motorbike also has a low quality DID chain (made in Thailand) but a chain is easy to replace.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

At Mind Sukhumvit 85 (Bangkok, Thailand)

Dining corner

 "At Mind" is a newly serviced apartment at Soi 85 of Sukhumvit road in Bangkok. It is only 50 meters away from Sukhumvit road and barley 5 min walking to BTS station "On Nut". It has private parking, a small restaurant and a rooftop swimming pool.The rooms are comfortable and modern decorated but a bit smallish and a bit cheaply used materials. Together with not to best maintenance and cleaning (in the small things) it makes it for me a non-return hotel.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Be careful!

The emergency exit of our hotel!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Attention ladies!

This sign was seen at "Cape Dara Resort" in Pattaya

Monday, 17 February 2014

Two days in Pattaya (Thailand)

Pattaya might be world famous for its nightlife but there are much other things to see & enjoy in the beach resort city of Pattaya along the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand. Like a walk over the beach at sunset. I would not swim in the sea there but I love the sunset view here with the little lights from the city that comes alive.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Samakki Tham Religious Centre (Nakhon Thai, Thailand)

The Gaudi style front building of the "Sammakki Tham" Religious Centre. But walk around and see what else has been build and is still in progress of being build. This is way I love travelling in Thailand ... you find such a special and sometimes weird things along your journey.

Travelling along the Thai-Lao border (Thailand)

Travelling along the Thai-Lao border to Nan we are passing "Phu Soi Dao" National Park and a bit the further a waterfall from where you can make a short hike of a 6 km thru the jungle of huge bamboo & pine trees.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Walking on top of Phu Hin Rong Khla (Thailand)

Overlooking the green jungle of Phu Hin Rong Khla National Park
 Late in the afternoon we made a walk over the "flag pole" area of Phu Hin Rong Khla, the area that was once the home of the Communist Party of Thailand. We made a short walk of about 2 to 3 km but you can make a little bit longer walk of about 5 km. It is all flat but at some point not really easy walking.

Friday, 14 February 2014

The Ancient salt pits of Bo Klua (Nan, Thailand)

I have been here a few times but never took the time to take some proper photos. Bo Klua is a small village at the eastern side of Northern Thailand, about 80 km north of Nan city. Located in the remote mountains that were once the home of people of the Nan Kingdom and later the refuge place of communist (eh ... people that were against the government at that time)  in Thailand. This area was rich because of the many place where salt could be extracted. And at Bo Klua are 2 old salt pits where you can still see how salt is extracted.

If you would like to make a tour in this area see Discovering Nan

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The remote province of Loei (Thailand)

While traveling in the remote province of Loei we had a very relaxed lunch on one of the bamboo rafts in a lake between the mountains. We enjoyed it so much that we forget we still had to go to Dan Sai.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Mountain Green Resort (Dan Sai, Thailand)

A brand new apartment style resort just outside the small city of Dan Sai. The rooms are simple but comfortable with airco, private bathroom and TV. And from your verandha you have a great sunset view over Dan Sai. There is parking and a small restaurant. If you like you can even go camping here with your own tent (or rent one). Friendly staff. They have about 12 rooms.


One day in Nakhon Phanom (Thailand)

The old governors house, now a beautiful museum
Nakhon Phanom is a small city with a cultural heritage from the colonial French of Laos & Vietnam. It is also a gate-way to Laos and Vietnam. In the past via a ferry crossing the Mekong River, but nowadays via the Friendship Bridge just north of the city. Along the river are a few restaurants and hotels. The city center as of small restaurants and some small bars is near and around the "Vietnamese Clock tower".

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Sabaaidee (Nakhon Phanom, Thailand)

A modern Thai restaurant for lunch & diner serving as Thai, Isaan and Vietnamese food. Menu is in Thai & English.

Monday, 27 January 2014

The River (Nakhon Phanom, Thailand)

A brand new hotel along the mighty Mekong River, just 1 km south of Nakhon Phanom city center.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

2013 updated "Costs of living in Thailand"

As the beginning of a new year (2014) it is time to looks back to 2013 in means of the cost of living in Thailand.