Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: Chiang Mai Tha Pae Gate

(Every Tuesday, I will be featuring a photograph from a place I have gone to, a photograph which I believe will inspire others to go out and see the world for themselves. For this week, Why Travel Tuesday features the center of the center of Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai Tha Pae Gate.)

Tha Pae Gate, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tha Pae Gate in Chiang Mai Old Town during the Sunday Walking Market

Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Do a Successful Visa Run in Chiang Mai (Part 02)

Right, onto the business of that great backpacker tradition that is the visa run in northern Thailand. A couple of weeks back, I talked about how to extend your stay in Thailand with the first type of visa run in Chiang Mai. That visa run in Chiang Mai gives you 14 more days of travel time. But what if you want to stay longer? Take advantage of the cheap, and I mean cheap, cost of living in Chiang Mai? Be the hot-shot digital nomad that you are and base (or debase?) yourself in this great city in northern Thailand for a few months?

Thai Visa, Visa Run to Chiang Mai
A proper single-entry tourist visa to Thailand

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Five Travel Photos that Capture the Colour

Capture the Colour is a travel blogger photo contest sponsored by TravelSupermarket.com. I found out about the contest through a tweet by travel photographer Ken Kaminesky who is himself one of the five judges in the contest. Rest assured that his Capture the Colour post is just a sample. That's a tough act to follow.

The Capture the Colour Contest challenges travel bloggers all over the world to define what it is to "capture the colour" by posting five of their most stunning travel photos that capture the colors Blue, Green, Yellow, White, and Red. Each colour is a category and each of the winners in the five colour categories gets an iPad as prize. As for the grand prize, it's a whopping 2,000 British pounds! Interested yet?

Prizes notwithstanding, I really wanted to submit my entries as I really enjoy participating in travel blogger photo memes. Good thing Mark of Migrationology.com nominated me. Let's get started.

Blue

Capture the Colour: Blue in Calaguas, Philippines

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why Travel Tuesday: The Banana Fritter Trail

(Every Tuesday, I will be featuring a photograph from a place I have gone to, a photograph which I believe will inspire others to go out and see the world for themselves. For this week, Why Travel Tuesday features two photographs with the same subject, taken in two different countries, and equally delicious: Banana Fritters.)

Banana Fritter Trail, Southeast Asia
Banana fritters in Malaysia and in Thailand. Both crispy and sweet.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to Do a Successful Visa Run in Chiang Mai (Part 01)

So you have been traveling in Thailand for a month now. You have swam, sunbathed, dived, and partied in the islands. You still have lots to see in Thailand but your allowed travel time is up. There's still the whole business of northern Thailand which is a destination on its own. So what do you do? Easy. Go on one of the great backpacker traditions in Southeast Asia: the Visa Run.

From Chiang Mai, de facto capital of northern Thailand, there are two (2) types of visa runs. Which one to do will depend on how many more days of travel time you want. One visa run in Chiang Mai will give you 14 more days of travel time. The other visa run in Chiang Mai will give you 60 more days of travel time with the possibility to extend for another 30. Let's discuss the first type of visa run in Chiang Mai.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Everything There Is to Know about Pai in Thailand

Everybody on the tourist trail in northern Thailand seems to want to go to Pai. This small town in northern Thailand used to be a "small town" in every sense of the word, predominantly inhabited by the Shan people, with a smattering of Hui, and getting regular visits from Hmong, Lisu, Lahu, and Karen hill tribes living nearby. As a travel destination, it was only the hippie, dreadlocked kind of backpackers that came here, a secret kept from the traveling world.

Pai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand

However, in more recent years, Pai, Thailand has grown to be a veritable tourist destination. This translated to a refurbished airport, increased hotel accommodations, and more 7-11 branches. Yes, that's a measure of development around these parts. Plus, ever since two Thai rom-coms were filmed here, local Thai tourists seem to want a slice of Pai, too.

So what is in Pai, Thailand that everybody seems to have the urge to head here? Luckily, Pai is very easy to figure out. Below are everything you need to know about Pai, Thailand.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How This Backpacker Can Afford Long-Term Travel (10 Months and Counting!)

So it is August. When I started traveling October last year, I only planned to be on the road for six months, that is, until March this year. Obviously, those plans didn't pan out. For the better, of course. August will be my 11th month traveling long-term. 11th! Can you believe that? Sure, I went home a couple of times and if we were counting in weeks, my total time on the road would be closer to 8 months. Still, that's a huge feat for any Filipino backpacker. We're not exactly widely known as travelers.

Travel-Perfect Sunny Skies in Coron, Palawan

The question begs to be asked at this point. How can a Filipino backpacker, a backpacker from a third-world country raised in a middle-class family, afford long-term travel? I racked my brain out for this one. Allow me to share the things I did that allowed me to travel long-term. Hopefully, those contemplating on treading the same path may find something of use in these personal ramblings.