Monday, September 5, 2011

What to do in Tokyo...

I am starting to make a list of things to do for my trip to Japan. One thing is for sure, I want to ride the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. I have never been on one before, so that will be interesting. In Toyko itself though, there seems to be so much to do. I have made a list of five things I have to do.

1. Watch a Sumo wrestling match.
2. Go to Yoyogi Park.
3. Get lost in Tokyo and try and find my hotel.
4. Try my hand at Japanese national passtime, Karaoke.
5. Visit the Ghibili Museum

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trip to Japan

It has been a while since my last past. I decided to go to Sydney and I have been doing this contract job for the past few month. The contract is up in a few months, so it's time for another trip. A few friends that I made in Sydney are heading Japan in December. So, I thought I would start my trip with them and carry on to South Korea and China.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm back...

Hi Guys

Sorry I neglected the blog for a while. I have been trying to make an important life decision. I think I have come to a cross-roads and I have no idea what to do.  I am currently trying to complete my thesis to get my Master of Business (Marketing). It will take around 10 months to finish up.

I have also been offered the perfect job in Sydney, Australia. I don't think I will be able to finish my thesis overseas as my research is based in New Zealand. So, I can move over to Sydney and gain experience in a field where I desperately need it or finish my thesis and hope a company will take a chance on me next year.

I seriously don't know what to do.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Protip - Cheaper flights

Here is a trick to get cheaper fares when looking for flights online. Always browse in private mode, for firefox press and hold ctrl + shift + P. This means carrier websites can't read your browsers cookies and change their pricing according to what you have previously looked at.

This is a major problem in the airline industry and is borderline price fixing.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thailand 101 - Koh Phangan, part one

Koh Phangan. Home of the legendary full moon party. Once a month, Haad Rin beach on the island is invaded by 30,000 tourists looking for a good time. A week long party leading up to the main even. There is quite a lot to keep up busy during the while waiting for the nightlife to start, but not much to do before 11am as most people on the island are up all night, including the locals.

There are two options for getting to the island. Take the local ferry, which costs 200baht and takes about an hour or take the private carter speedboat, which costs 800baht but it only takes 15 minutes. Now our airplane arrived late, so we had to take the charter boat. It was my group of 6 and another group of 4 Canadians. We had to take a taxi to the charter jetti, but once we were dropped off, the taxi left and there was no boat. fifteen minutes passes, what now? an hour passes, um... what's going on. It was then that we decided to visit the local store and stock up on beers. We bought all the beer they had for sale in the shop, which was only about 40 beers. And proceeded to have an impromptu dock party, with someones ipod and speaker cranked. It was pretty awesome.

Eventually, the boat arrived two and a half hours late. And we got to the island, dropped of our bags at the accommodation and  went to the bar. This is where we were introduced to "The F***king Bucket" which is it's name on the menu. Basically it is a one litre (30 ounce) bucket, that is filled halfway with the spirit of your choice and topped up with the mixer of your choice. I got a jagermeister, redbull and coke mix. The reason the top up the redbull with coke is because the local redbull is six times stronger that the western redbull drinks. It was a great night.

This is a great island to explore by scooter, our group of six basically had the roads to ourselves, only every few miles, coming across another few tourists on bikes. We hire a four cliff side bungalows to house our group and it was the most spectacular view I had ever seen and at US$10 a night, it was a bargain. There was a 5 night minimum stay, which was fine. We got there 3 days before the party and had a day of rest after it.

In the next post I will give a bit more information about the activities available on the island and of course the Full Moon Party.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thailand 101 - Koh Samui

Next stop are the islands Samui and Phangan. I took a flight on Bangkok airways from Phuket to Koh Samui on one of their prop planes. The flight took about twice as long as a 737 but was 5 times less expensive. I think I paid US$10 for the flight. 

The flight took around an hour and a half, we even got an in flight meal. Once we got to Koh Samui, I took a bus to the local mall, just to check out where the locals shopped. It was essentially like any western mall, except with different chain stores. Although, in saying that, they did have a FKC with an unusual offering, a corn sundae. I was intrigued. I purchased a corn sundae and well... it delivered. It was a sundae with creamed corn. I must say that this is probably not a good buy.

After wandering around the mall for a while, I headed out to see the local sites, of which there were few. Samui is more of a relaxing stop before you head over to Koh Phangan and the legendary full moon parties. In my next post I will tell you a story of an expensive speedboat ride into Koh Pahngan, that led to one crazy night.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Airbnb - Lap of Luxury in Phuket

Just because you are backpacking, doesn't mean you have to slum it. If you can gather a big enough group of people, either friends that come with you on your journey or other trustworthy backpackers. Then there are short term rental houses available in most parts of Thailand. I have linked an example of one that actually was down the road from where I stayed in Phuket. I was staying in a hotel with 7 others. If we had pooled our money, we could have stayed here for US$350, which would have worked out US$10 cheaper per night each.

A beautiful 4 bedroom villa, that sleeps eight, with your own pool!