• CategoriesExpat Life

    A Busy Chinese New Year: Part 2

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    In Part 1 of my account of my unusually busy Chinese New Year holiday, I told of my previous experiences with working in food retail, and how they helped me to prepare for my role of general dogsbody and dish washer at my girlfriend’s Chinese restaurant. I also mentioned that I had a scrap of paper in my pocket with the Chinese phrase “Happy New Year” written in an anglicised form, ready for me to use to help the customers feel welcomed and happy. Well, this is where things start going a little awry…

  • CategoriesExpat Life

    A Busy Chinese New Year: Part 1

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    This last week has been quite a busy one for me. Not only did it contain Valentine’s Day, but also Chinese New Year. As my girlfriend is Chinese, there was quite a lot for me to do. Said girlfriend owns and runs a Chinese restaurant in Patong called Anita’s Kitchen, so it struck me that the most romantic and meaningful gift I could give was time – that most valuable and irreplaceable of commodities. Specifically, my holiday time as Friday 16th February 2018 was a national holiday in Thailand.

  • CategoriesFood · Review

    Ta Khai Restaurant

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    Finding a Thai restaurant in Phuket is very easy. Finding a good Thai restaurant in Phuket is less so. I don’t mean that there are a lot of bad places, but there are relatively few which really stand out; that are really remarkable. Ta Khai Restaurant is one place which does.

  • CategoriesPhotography

    7-Day Black & White Photography Challenge

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    I was recently set a challenge by my friend and colleague, Stephan Audiger. Ordinarily, I don’t partake in these kinds of Facebook activities. They’re essentially the same as those old chain emails from the early days of the internet, where you have to send it on to a set number of people in order to secure good luck or prevent being murdered by a vengeful spirit. It was only really the photography aspect which made it interesting to me.

  • CategoriesHotel · Review

    Casa Marocc Hotel by Andacura

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    In recent weeks, I’ve been up and down Thailand from end to end twice. My first trip up to Chiang Mai was to see Loy Krathong, which I wrote about in my last piece. The second time, I was going to attend my friend’s wedding. On the first trip, I stayed in a little hostel in the Old City part of Chiang Mai, which was comfortable enough, but predominantly unremarkable. For the second trip, I arranged a stay at Casa Marocc Boutique Hotel by Andacura Hotels & Resorts.

  • CategoriesTravel

    Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai

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    Those of you following me on Instagram will know that I was recently celebrating Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai. What is already quite a magical festival – Thailand’s own ‘festival of light’ – was made that much more amazing simply by the fact that it was taking place in the capital of the north. Quite frankly, everything is better in Chiang Mai and it is undoubtedly my favourite part of the country.

  • CategoriesHotel · Review

    Pimalai Resort & Spa

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    Over the last weekend – a long one, thanks to a national holiday on Monday – I had a little getaway with my girlfriend; an unrivalled opportunity to relax and unwind. It was an opportunity to explore a tropical island destination in Thailand which is slowly growing in popularity, and enjoy the hospitality of what is, at the moment, the only five-star hotel there: Pimalai Resort & Spa on Koh Lanta. Such are the perks of working in the travel industry!

  • CategoriesExpat Life · Travel

    Getting Screwed by Taxis

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    Regular readers, who have been following the ongoing Adventures of Lady Macbeth, will perhaps be wondering why I decided to buy a car in the first place. I alluded to one of the reasons in the first post on the subject, when I said that Oman has pretty much no public transport. The nearest equivalents were minibuses, which followed seemingly random routes, were often overloaded and were not especially safe or comfortable. Extremely cheap, they were known as ‘Baisa buses’, after the sub-unit of the Omani rial. I used them maybe twice, if that.

  • CategoriesOp-Ed

    Op-Ed: Does Popularity Ruin a Destination?

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    Working in the travel industry, and particularly living in Phuket, I frequently see people sharing their opinions of the popular destinations around me. A common opinion of some of the beautiful islands near Phuket is that they have been “ruined” by crowds of people. While I can sympathise with this viewpoint, I also find it extremely selfish.

  • CategoriesTravel

    Riding the Death Railway

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    One of the most moving solo travel experiences of my life occurred in 2012, when I decided to visit Kanchanaburi, Thailand for the rather incongruously named “Light & Sound Festival”. This remarkable event is actually the commemoration of the day in 1945 when the Kanchanaburi Rail Bridge – popularly and inaccurately known as “the Bridge on the River Kwai” – was severely damaged by US Army Air Force bombers, knocking out two spans of the eight-span structure built entirely by slave labour, including locals and Allied POWs.