Newsletter: Lashings Of Green Tea With Bide And Friends ( Issue 4)
Welcome to issue 4 of the newsletter from Engaging Thailand called ”Lashings Of Green Tea With Bide And Friends”
In the previous issue our main theme was all about ” Life design choices”’
Today the focus changes to ”travel” and I mean proper travel.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one’s you did do……..Explore, Dream, Discover……….. Mark Twain
2) Recommended Article
Rolf Potts is the author of Vagabonding and in this article talks to CNN Money about the art of long term world travel and how to take two month vacations using the habit of simplicity and keeping expenses low.
Great article from Rolf Potts. I certainly agree with this and carry out similar strategies to my Thailand jaunts
3) My 6 Top Travel Tips
Forgoing the posh hotels for the adequate, basic, but plenty comfortable enough guest houses – I have never quite got my head around why the need for expensive hotel rooms, I only want to rest up the night not live in there.
Forgoing the posh and fashionable restaurants for a superb roadside / market feast or a cozy cafe that does superb dishes as you desire.
Creating memorable experiences going where the fewest go. Through using a guest house over a period of time in Chiang Mai we were befriended and invited to attend a full Northern Thailand family meal by the owners. You won’t get dinner with the management at the high class hotels.
Northern Thai Cuisine From Friends
I sit on the fence with regards to having a plan and being spontaneous. Starting out with a plan or knowing what you want to do with your days for me is critical. Once you have designed what you want to do then you can embrace flexibility and spontaneity as such.
Now you can work from where ever you want in the world with the advantages of creating an online income. The key point is to decide what you want to do with your days and then work out the funds required to support that lifestyle. Afterwards just find the way through your own skills and services to provide it.
There can be nothing more fulfilling than having days filled with your personal preferences. There is certainly no contest between the creation of memories and experiences as opposed to material possessions.
4) Looking West: Travel To Explore And Discover
Whenever I am in Thailand I will stop off at a new place whether town, city or village and take my early morning wandering. If I am in the same place for a week I will just set off in a different direction each day. I have done this for as far back as I can remember, leaving around 6-30am on foot and returning mid morning. I need no guide-book, no direction and no plan and take what ever turnings my intuition tells me to take.
However the main purpose of travel for me is all about ”the difference” observing how others do things differently, learning different things that are of interest to you, tasting different food, meeting different people, learning some of the language, staying a while and moving on. Keeping it fresh and varied as it were.
I never understand the people who go abroad and stay in the five-star accommodation, to meet the people and taste the food from their home land. However on the other hand if that is what makes someone happy, and there is nothing they would rather do, then that is their prerogative. Of course though traveling and tourism are two totally different things.
Two Great Travel Proverbs With A Western Touch
Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going……. Paul Theroux
One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things……… Henry Miller
Great Piece On Travel From A Recent Interview With Mark Stephens.
I recently did an interview with Mark Stephens former traveler and now Freelance Writer and Editor living in Hua Hin, Thailand. Mark was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, but traveled the globe from an early age.
During the interview I got a chance to ask Mark just what proper travel was to him.
Well mate, like you I always remember the back-packing days rather than the company trips away to plush hotels. I’ve done both in my life but the moments that stick with me are not the cocktails in the swanky hotel bar with a bunch of suits.
It’s the standing on the train for a 10-hour journey northwards in Mexico or meeting wild Orang utan in Sumatra… the days you and me always reminisce about when you’re over here; the arriving in Australia with $5oo to my name and having to get down from Darwin to Sydney overland to find work; the first time you set eyes on the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho in Bangkok or discovering the white sands of Koh Samui 20 years ago in the days before they cut all the coconut palms down and you slept in bungalows for 50 baht a night… memorable moments, memorable days forever etched in the memory, mate.
It was all about discovering places of beauty, meeting people from all nations around the world (in the early 1990′s that was still a novelty), learning about local culture, living cheaply and simply from day-to-day, not worrying too much about what the next day would bring. living in the moment, enjoyment, writing the journal, playing music…. it just feels like living…. while all the suckers back at home worked in their 9-5 for…. money, car, house, things. Which didn’t matter at all. Travelling, you didn’t even know what day it was, let alone what time it was (9 or 5)
That was pretty much my philosophy. I do have hankerings to do that again but I knew at the time it’s the sort of thing that’s best done when you’re young, adaptable and you’re strong and don’t mind the odd dirty floor or cockroach or two!
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5) Looking East – Simple Travel Pleasures In Thailand
Don’t you just love it , when your sat in a small side street restaurant under a galvanised roof with the rain beating down. The rain hitting the roof is making a crescendo of a noise, but you just watch without a care in the world. Whilst observing the rain you are drinking an ice-cold Singha beer and eating a delicious noodle and the dog is chasing the chickens around.
Don’t you just love it, when you jump in to a taxi in Bangkok and watch life through a travelling taxi window. So much to see, so many people going about their business and so many stories both happy and sad i’ve no doubt. I just don’t want to get out of the taxi as I just love watching life in action.
Life In Bangkok
Don’t you just love it, when you arrive in any new town or any new city in Thailand or where ever and you just walk. No map and no concern of where you are heading, just pure discovery. Discovering the character of the town and people, discovering that delicious side street restaurant or food vendor and getting a feel for the place. It’s so great to discover.
Don’t you just love it, that whilst in the land of smiles, what ever time of the day it is, or where ever you are, some one is going to give you a beautiful beaming smile. Isn’t that one of life’s most treasured pleasures.
Two Great Travel Proverbs With An Eastern Touch
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step …… Confucius
Its better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books ….. Confucius
The importance of living has been a classic for over sixty years. The classic bestseller that introduced millions to the noble art of leaving things undone. The book is an entertaining invitation to savour life’s beauty, its endless fascination and it’s slow, sure, simple pleasures.
6) Out And About
The Park, Nakhon Sawan
If you are in Nakhon Sawan for a few days or even longer then make sure you get down to visit the Uthayan Sawan public park. The park is quite frankly one of the best I have ever been to.
On the energetic side of things you can do Aerobic dance, Jogging, Football, Basket ball, volly ball and the Thai game Ta- kraew. Ta-kraew is a clever game where Thais play keepy up with a ratten woven ball over a net. This is actually very skillful and I love watching it.
You can combine the romantic with the nature and take a wander round the rose garden, waterfall, fountain, lawns, gardens ambling along at your own pace. When feeling tired stretch out and take a nap on the bank in the shade….. Ahhhh the simple pleasures of life and far from worries.
For mind-body and soul there is Tai Chi for health benefits and finally if you are hungry take a stroll around the snack places in the park or the vendors sat just outside the entrance points to the park. A fine place to spend some time.
7) Thai Learning
The conversational ability of Nick had improved, but his real goal was to learn to read and write Thai. Waan decided to teach Nick from the letters and e mails she had received from friends during her working trips abroad.
All future lessons for Nick are based on learning Thai through receiving and responding to letters and messages on various subjects.
8) Thailand Travel Tips
Inside Wat Phra That Haripunchai Temple, Lamphun
If you are on a visit to the North of Thailand taking in the sights of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai or Mae Hong Son then spare a day to drop in on the enchanting town of Lamphun a few kilometers outside of Chiang Mai. A town full of culture, history and ” Somebody also once said that Lamphun was famous for its beautiful women and tasty longans ” and this is still absolutely true. Make sure you drop by and check out this delightful town. Read all about it below in an article I did after a visit this year.
Wat Phra That Haripunchai Temple, Lamphun
9) Guest Interview
This weeks guest interview comes from a conversation carried out with Khun Kitiya from Udon Thani in the North East of Thailand. Khun Kitiya gave us very helpful insights about food and travel in Udon Thani , food and travel around Thailand in general and advice for living in Thailand.
First Part Of Interview
10) Recommended Product
by China Williams
For more information, articles and stories about Thailand travel, food and all things Thai related, please visit the website