Off the tourist track in Laos

Just one man, a motorcycle and the open road

About a year ago, I spent two weeks driving a motorbike through the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos. I can honestly say it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in Southeast Asia


Thais and speaking English

Steve

In Thailand they have a genuine disinterest to talk and communicate with foreigners. They're generally not eager to learn about other cultures. They are closed. Why? who knows. Maybe its because its a big country that houses everything that you'll ever need in your lifetime.


The last exit

A group of teachers wanted to make a last visa run to Laos extra special

Teachers combined business and pleasure to experience a most memorable night in Vientiane. As one teacher said, "When I go to Laos, I shoot two birds with one stone. I get my visa and have a good time as well"


Information on the Laos visa run

Name withheld

Overall it appears that the Thai embassy is trying to become a bit more farang-friendly They actually have a separate bathroom for men and women and they've even put a new Canon photo copier right near the windows where you submit your application. I think this is a long overdue but a welcome change.


Views from Laos

Stephen Thomas in Laos

There should be no surprise to foreign nationals that the Thai Ministry of Education from an educational perspective is trying to improve matters in relation to hiring foreign personnel. I read a recent Yahoo survey which claimed that 40% of foreign teachers in Taipei, Taiwan, hold some false documentation, notably fake degree certificates that they bought in Bangkok.


Land of a million elephants

A recent trip to landlocked Laos

Contrary to visiting Thailand, which is only a package tour away for most international tourists, holidaying in Laos takes some more time and planning. Also, it isn’t (and will hopefully never be) the ideal destination for tourists seeking to stay exclusively in four or five star hotels.


Songkhran getaways

Escaping the heat and the madness

Songkran officially lasts for three days, from April 13 (Friday) to April 15 (Sunday), although many people start celebrating early and finish late. If throwing water and being doused several times a day is not your cup of tea, it might be a good idea to flee Thailand for a week or so. Here are some ideas on where to go.


Skeletons splitting the sky

Alternative tours around Ayutthaya

I was given my present class on tour planning and management. It was a good opportunity to try something different. There are some decent day excursion that can be done from Ayutthaya, however hotels and travel agencies are reluctant to offer anything new. Therefore, I assigned my students several unique tours to see if they could be made affordable.


The visa run

One man and his trip to Penang

Going to Laos or Cambodia by bus might have been a bit cheaper, but unfortunately one needs a visa to enter those countries. Not so for Malaysia. Anyway, I heard from a few colleagues that the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane is staffed by frequently obnoxious personnel (however another colleague told me he didn’t have any problem at all there).

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