Recently in In my opinion ......... Category

The Vietnam War was one of the most pointless and evil conflicts of the last century and still the slaughter of the innocents continues today around the world. I heard mention the other day that a certain Western country still carries stocks of napalm.

Every so often, without any obvious stimulus, I get angry all over again about the atrocities committed on innocent civilians during that war. Perhaps I'd be able to let it go if I thought that the warmongers cared a damn and the rest of us found a way to prevent them from repeating their crimes.

We have all seen the still photos of the incident below but have you seen this video? Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the girl given water by the reporters, survived with severe burns as most people know. The baby with his skin hanging off died from his burns.

Here are some other of the costs of this tragedy with comments:

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Eva Air

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Eva Air has been popular with travellers between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and London Heathrow for several years now. Their low fares and new planes attracted business away from the likes of Thai Airways with its aging fleet and increasing fares. My only complaint was the uncomfortable seats that have me bracing my feet on the seat legs in front of me and easing my behind off the cushion to relieve the aching that came not long after take off.

I flew Eva Air last month and was disappointed. The fare was cheap after discarding offers from airlines that I won't even consider. Something has changed and I think that it can be summed up as lack of customer care on board. These are the things that I noticed:

1. Never a word from the Captain on the outward journey to his passengers until I commented on that to the Cabin Director. I was told that it wasn't deemed necessary because I could find flight information on my personal interactive screen. On the return journey we heard nothing at all from him.

2. Most passengers know that a meal is served about two hours before landing and more than a few like to freshen up in the toilets before it arrives. I waited outside one for about fifteen minutes and then walked up the plane to wait outside another. Watching the first one, I saw a stewardess emerge, freshened up and in a change of uniform. Then another came out of the second toilet. I was third in the queue and returned to the first, only to be beaten to it by yet another stewardess. It was thirty minutes before I got into a toilet. Them first and passengers last!

3. The cabin crew were generally inattentive and unfriendly. They forgot drinks orders, poured tea when coffee was requested. Don't have the tea, it's awful. They asked which meal I wanted and served the alternative. There was no second run of the drinks trolley - just an offer of more tea and coffee. And boy you had to be quick to respond otherwise the pots were way up the aisle.

4. The planes are already showing their age or lack of care in that minor faults are not corrected in the cabin. On the return flight, my reading light was blinding the lady across the aisle and I had to lean out of my seat to catch the beam on my book.

5. On both flights there was rubbish still stuffed in my seat pocket.

I don't expect perfection and, individually, these are not major problems but, together, they suggest that Eva Air doesn't care about its passengers once they are on board. I'll be looking for alternatives the next time I make this journey.

UK Economy

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English: Eastern view from High Street in Dork...

East from Dorking High Street. Image via Wikipedia

Listening to news broadcasts and the opinions of expats. in Thailand, one might draw the conclusion that the UK is on its knees and may never recover. The published economy statistics tend to support this view, or, at least, the analyses of these have done that. More recently, some experts have taken a slightly more optimistic view.

I've just returned home after a couple of weeks in the Midlands and South of England and have found the picture on the ground, so to speak, mixed but different from what I expected. Around London, the streets, tube trains, tour buses and river boats were busy with tourists, despite cold, biting winds. A few retail businesses were closed down but I'm not sure that there were more than one might expect in normal circumstances. During a recession, luxury businesses tend to suffer more than, say, food shops, but the number of coffee shops and restaurants was surprisingly high and most were very busy. There was no sign of an economic downturn on the streets. A friend who lives in Surrey said that there was no recession there and, despite the closure of a few businesses in Dorking's antique shop street and a few other empty premises, I have to agree.

The picture in the Midlands is not quite so rosy but still there was nothing to suggest that the area was an economic wasteland. The roads were busy with cars dodging between the many speed cameras that must have cost the taxpayers a fortune to install. Shops were thriving. Only restaurants were quiet but that may have been due to the winter weather.

Derbyshire, a walkers' and tourists' mecca, was also quiet during weekdays and hotels had plenty of vacancies. Yet again, one might expect that during the winter. I did notice quite a few closed down businesses and the country clothing shops, rather excessive in number. were offering big discounts.

The most noticeable chnage was in Hitchin where the market has lost traders, quite a few shops have closed down and restaurants were short of customers. The coffee shops were thriving and numerous.

My general impression is that England is carrying on much as usual, at least at the retail end. I understand that the job market is poor but I still saw little evidence of this. Perhaps price inflation is outstripping wage inflation but people still had their mortgaged homes, cars and home comforts.

Anyone over there who feels that their world has collapsed should sample some of the permanent living conditions of country people in Thailand. They may just find that their view of the Western materialistic world experiences some adjustment.

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Pak Thong Chai, Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) was hit by the worst floods in fifty years this week. Exceptionally heavy rain at the end of the wet season caused minor flooding in this rice growing area but the authorities have been forced to release excess water from the main reservoir in the mountains. This was the last straw and now Pak Thong Chai and the village of Ban Han are cut off by standing and fast flowing water up to two metres deep.

We attempted three routes to Pak Tong Chai and Ban Han yesterday. Only 1 kilometre from our home, the road to Ban Han was closed by the flood. That's about two kilometres from Ban Han. Some of our neighbours were rescuing relatives and their furniture just beyond that point. Many people here have little as it is and to see their few sticks of furniture soaked in water was very sad.

There was nothing we could do there so we drove to the road into Pak Thong Chai from the north side. From about half a kilometre out of town the road became impassable even on foot because of the force of flowing water, The road leads downhill to town and stories of two metre depths in the busy and densely populated market area were emerging.

The few soldiers who were there did their best but, at the time they had only one tin boat. Where were the inflatables with motors and the helicopters? Where were the police, always out at the roadside with their hands out for fines? I wondered who in authority in this country cared about these people with no food or water and no homes or possessions other than their friends, family and the local government, itself almost out of commission.

We later went to the Pak Thong Chai bypass in an attempt to reach family whose electrical store in the market area was flooded.  The southbound bypass from home was at a standstill so we followed an army truck down the other carriageway as far as we could and parked at a friend's house. Then we waded across the dual carriageway  and were taken by tin boat to the shop. While we were in town I saw people wading with baskets of possessions  in water up to the their midriffs and chests. One man told me on the return boat that he had seen water to a depth of two metres and the 7/11 store windows caved in.

Electricity supplies to town and water supplies to the whole area have been cut off. More areas may lose electricity soon. Shops are out of food and bottled water. Apart from the army ferry service, and I thanks the lads for their efforts, and some half hearted attempts at handing out food, the authorities seem to have done nothing to help people. This country has a very active military when it comes to politics but where are they now? People in Isaan were already comparing the efforts to save the miners in Chile with the don't care attitude of their own government before this disaster struck. They might have more to say come the next election.

The better news this morning is that there was no overnight rain or release from the dam and the water in town is done by about 100cm.

Furniture being retrieved at the point where the Ban Han road was closed near our home:

Blog- Furniture Rescue.JPGThis is the road into Pak Thong Chai heading south:

Blog - Southbound To Pak Thong Chai.jpg

This is how people were rescued. At this time there was just the one boat on this side of town:

Blog - Rescue By Boat.JPG
These people got out dry:

Blog - Escaping Pak Thong Chai.JPG

People in Ban Han were not so lucky:

Blog - Road to Ban Han.JPG
The amazing thing is that everyone we met was cheerful. Perhaps they should complain more about the poor official rescue activity.

Korat Immigration HQ Opening

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Blog - Group Photo - 2.jpg

The Immigration Authorities went to a great deal of effort to make the official opening of Isaan's new HQ in Korat a memorable and enjoyable one. Senior officers from the whole Isaan region attended, monks offered their blessings to the new building, a few short speeches were made and, to close the proceedings, lunch was provided.

Most people would not hesitate to agree that the highlight of the whole event was the attendance of Luong Por Khun. His intention had been to offer a single blessing to the gathering and leave. However, this amazing old man, despite obvious infirmity, blessed each person present as we filed past him. Some village people, delighted to have an opportunity to receive their own blessing from such a famous monk, entered the grounds. After blessing everyone who asked, Luong Por Khun was taken to a village shop at his own request where he continued to bless people who came to him.

Thanks are due to the Immigration Authorities for inviting foreigners to their opening ceremony. A very special thank you to Luong Por Khun.

Blog - Luong Por Khun - 3.JPG
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Thai Village Homes

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Old Thai Village Home.jpg

Thailand's village homes are not all smart varnished teak or steel and concrete palaces. Many poor families still live in ramshackle old timber structures with virtually no modern conveniences.

The cluster of homes in the image is typical of what can still be seen today. The camera was upright; it's the buildings that are leaning over. The families living in those houses have no running water. Poor quality piped water comes to the houses but the families use mainly rain water from the roofs for washing, cooking and drinking. The electrical systems are basic and dangerous. The families cook outdoors on gas bottle fed hobs. The lavatories are those ground level French style things with no flushing system. Apart from the toilet and washing area, each house has two rooms - one downstairs and one upstairs. They are lucky if the tin roofs keep out the rain but there is no chance that the walls will keep out the mosquitoes.

Isaan village people are generally very poor, work for low wages and often rely on casual labouring work, are poorly educated and have no State welfare system other than a basic hospital service.

Village people don't choose to live like this. They simply have not enough money to do better, even if you took away the men's alcohol ration. Most will always smile and great you though.

Stupid Lazy Isaan People

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It's often said, mostly by Thais and foreigners in Thailand who have been more fortunate, that Isaan people are stupid and lazy.  It cannot be denied that there are people who fit that description but there are many examples to the contrary. It must be very difficult to break the family out of the poverty trap in which so many live.

I recently heard a story about an Isaan family that touched my heart and I want to share it. A typical poor Isaan lady had a young son and daughter but no husband. I don't know whether he had died or left the family. The lady wanted something better for her children than the typical life of deprivation and hard work in the fields. She got a job selling tickets to ride on the buses and lived as sparsely as she possibly could, saving much of her measly wage. She used her money to keep her son and daughter at school and then on to university. Her son won a scholarship to a university in the US. Now both offspring are hospital doctors.

Neither lazy nor stupid! Just give the kids a chance and they can do as well as those in any other country.

Thailand Confidential - Jerry Hopkins

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Thailand Confidential, a book by Jerry Hopkins, may from the title and front cover graphic appear to be another volume using the bar girl trade as a cheap way to attract sales. It is not. Jerry has put together a book from his previous writings that shows great insight into life in Thailand for the foreigner. Expat. readers living in the Kingdom will smile to themselves as Jerry reveals his experiences that are so similar to their own. Visitors will gain some insight that may help them to accept some of the things that seem so illogically different in Thailand.

The book manages to describe the peculiarities of the country and its people through farang eyes without malice or complaint. Those who sit in Thailand's bars complaining to each other about the country's ways would benefit from reading Thailand Confidential. By all means exchange notes, have a moan, see if others have the same experiences as yourselves but do it with a smile and respect for those who provide the backcloth to your new way of life. Put down your beers and join in is, perhaps, his message to you.

Buy the book:

Khorat Fossil Museum, Kok Kruat

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Khorat Old Fossil
The Khorat Fossil Museum combines a Petrified Wood Museum, an Ancient Elephant Museum and a Dinosaur Museum in three separate impressive buildings.

It's a disappointment, I have to say. I remember the days when museums were packed like Aladdin's caves with all manner of curios right under my fascinated gaze, separated from me by only glass and a few inches of space. The Khorat Fossil Museum is nothing like that. An architect, an interior designer and a marketeer must have spent many hours trying to make so much of their egos and so little of the exhibits. Vast empty subtly lit spaces surround either replicas that you can touch or small exhibits metres away behind barriers that you can barely see. The design committee must also have paid a visit to Disney World because the three building are connected by dark tunnels in which strange animal noises bellow at visitors. Second rate stuff. It might whet the appetites of 6 year olds and it's worth seeing if you happen to be passing but as a real learning experience it's poor.

If you decide to visit, concentrate on the two worthwhile attractions - the real fossil wood and the ice cream cart in the car park. Farang with Thai driver's licenses should use them to claim the same entry fee as natives; yes, it's one of those places that discriminates against the very people who might otherwise spend a good deal of money there.

The website is even less exciting than the museum but your Thai companion might be able to glean something worthwhile from it.

Find the museum complex on the road between Kok Kruat Nurseries and Korat Zoo, south of Korat city and just next to Suranaree University of Technology.

Lady of Isan, Michael Schemmann

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Lady of Isan by Michael Schemmann is refreshingly different from most books that I have read about Thai/farang relationships.

Michael has written honestly and from the heart about his own experiences without bitterness, hate or blame. Too many foreign men who make mistakes in Thailand blame the ladies entirely for their losses and hurt. Michael takes the responsibility for his problems onto his own shoulders and, in doing so, shows us very clearly the task facing two people from very different cultures.

Many readers drawn to this book may empathise with Michael's emotional roller coaster ride through his relationship. Others who are planning to have a successful relationship with a Thai woman should read this book now!

A thoroughly recommendable book.

Flights to Bangkok, Thailand

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Bangkok, Thailand, is a popular flight destination for travellers from around the world. Suvarnabhumi Airport can rightly claim to be a major 'hub', as the linguistically fashionable might put it. But which airline would you choose? My flights to and from Bangkok usually have Heathrow, London at the other end and I have by no means sampled all of the flight offerings on that route. I always fly economy because the fares for the other classes are too high for just a few hours' extra comfort.

Here are my experiences so far in case they help someone choose:

1. Thai Airways, Thailand's national airline, seems to have lost its way. I used them so often that I built up useful points with Star Alliance but they never appear in the low fare range now. The aircraft are old and the legroom is not the best on offer. I hear that they still manage to fill the seats with passengers but I don't know anyone who uses them nowadays.

2. EVA offers newer aircraft than Thai and are much cheaper. This is one of the most popular airlines on this route. Each seat has its own dvd screen from which you can make your own choice of movie or watch the flight's progress on a map. The food is quite acceptable too. The legroom is better than on Thai. One drawback of EVA is that flights from Bangkok start from Taiwan and so even an early check in might fail to get you your favourite seat.

3. Qatar Airways' flights are also cheap. There's a short stop-over at Doha which some passengers might find welcome. It's a small airport but you can buy a coffee and snack or pick up some duty frees. The aircraft are, like EVA's, quite new and passenger have individual dvd screens.The food is acceptable but Arabic food is not my favourite and airlines do like to offer versions of their national cuisine, don't they?

4. Emirates has been suggested to me for some time as an excellent airline and, having now used them, I can agree. The fares are low, the food, though Arabic, is good and the cutlery is metal (in economy!). Legroom is good. The aircraft are newer than those of the other fleets and they look it. There's a stop-over in Dubai, a new and comfortable airport.

The cabin crew on all of these flights are satisfactory but not perfect. There seems to be not quite enough of them on a full flight and service can be slow.

Good luck with your own flights!

Suvarnabhumi Airport Scams

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Two organised scams are being practised at Thailand's main airport near to Bangkok.

One involves arresting foreign passengers on suspicion of stealing from the duty free shop. They are threatened with imprisonment, kept in a nearby hotel and forced to pay a huge 'fine' for their release.

The second scam is this. Arriving passengers, couples and groups presumably, leaving their planes are advised to put their duty free purchases in one bag. After the customs check, they are stopped and their bags opened. They are told that they have too much in duty free goods. The goods are confiscated and they are fined.

This is an evil scam aimed at vulnerable tourists and transit passengers who have no idea about the law in Thailand and no idea where to seek help. It's a disgrace that it has taken foreign news reporters to expose this and force a response from the government. Don't be reassured, by the way, that this will be stopped any time soon.

My advice is that travellers should stay out of the airport shops. If you are bringing in duty free goods from another country, make sure that you are not over the limit and keep your purchases separate from those of other people, even your companion's.

Here's some more information:


Andrew Drummond

Vientiane, Laos

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First impressions don't always count. The drive from the border into town revealed nothing worth attention to someone who lives in Thailand. Streets and buildings were drab and very ordinary for this part of Asia but it did dawn on me that the traffic was comfortably more sparse than in, say, Korat. The hotel that had been recommended was full and we checked into the Mina Hotel. It was expensive at THB8,000 considering the state of the rooms and lack of facilities.

The evening showed more promise when we settled into Bor Phen Nyang on the riverside road. It's a rooftop bar and restaurant popular with farang and Thai alike.

The next morning found us at the Victory Monument, a drab concrete unfinished monstrousity that was intended to resemble the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It affords views over Vientiane if you don't mind climbing the flights of stairs to stand close to the crumbling old wall on top.

A tuk tuk ride took us to a famous temple that looks specatular and well kept from a distance but has nothing of beauty or interest once the visitor has paid to go inside the walls. There is no admission to the inside of the main building.

My conclusion is that the place to be based is the riverside area. It has a good range of farang bars and restaurants and some Laos eateries where you can lie on mats and relax with the river below. Also along the riverside are some decent looking hotels from which one can walk to all of the evening entertainment spots.

Tuk tuks are expensive and one really must haggle and be prepared to walk away from a greedy driver. Hotels, too, are expensive. Food and drink, however, are reasonably priced, even when compared with Thailand's prices. The hords of tourists are easy pickings for the traders but I imagine that the many backpackers in Vientiane have learned how to avoid the rip-offs.

If Vientiane is on your tour route or you want to relax for a few days during a visa run, then I recommend it. I have to say, though, that I probably wouldn't travel just with the purpose of visiting this city.
How To Buy Land And Build A House In Thailand by Philip Bryce is an absolute must for any farang tempted to buy land or buy or build a home in Thailand. It will almost certainly pay for itself by helping the determined farang to avoid the pitfalls.

Thailand has several different types of land deed still in use. Some offer good title and the right to build and some do not. I know of a case where a foreigner was set to buy for his partner a plot with two properties for THB1.4m until he learned from this book that the title was a vague form of agricultural one that did not permit building.

The present law denies most foreigners the right to own land. In fact, a farang husband is required to sign in the Land Office a declaration that the purchase money is his wife's and that he has no right over the land. Fortunately, there are ways for him to protect his interest and the book explains them.

In addition to excellent advice on purchasing, the book gives detailed information about Thai building materials and construction methods. Thais are wizards with steel and concrete structures but haven't fully adopted the Western eye for aesthetic detail and accuracy in the finish. Grounded electrical circuits are becoming the norm in new buildings but the owner will need to ensure that his own amounts to more than short lengths of grounding wire behind the wall sockets and an unconnected ground spike. The chapters on construction and images may lead to many interesting conversations with the builder. There's even a chart showing how long the builder should wait for concrete to cure properly.

If you are contemplating buying or building, you really must buy this book first!

Nancy Chandler's Map Of Bangkok

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Nancy Chandler's Map Of Bangkok and it's supporting booklet are the best guide to Bangkok that I have found. It's detailed, factual and packed with stuff that the visitor wants to know. There is no glossy prose or any of the other nonsense that more conventional guides offer - just straightforward and concise information and support from the Nancy Chandler office in Bangkok.

I have read so much inaccurate rubbish in guide books to Bangkok and Thailand that it was a real treat to find this little treasure!

Make sure that you buy the latest edition. Much of the shopping information is so detailed that it soon gets out of date.

John Burdett's novel, Bangkok Eight makes pleasurable reading. It's main fascination for me is the information that he reveals about the world of bars, bar girls, katoeys, police and the background to farang hangouts in Bangkok. Burdett manages to reveal a wealth of information about the murkier side of Bangkok life without overwhelming the story line.

Any visitor, or even expat resident, who wants a taste of what lurks behind the facade presented by the city would do well to read this novel. An enjoyable way to gain some knowledge!

The Thai government has published accident statistics for the 2009 New Year holiday period which lasted from 30 Dec to 4 January. It seems that there were 3,540 accidents, resulting in 335 deaths and 3,810 injuries. Drink or speeding are blamed for about half the accidents and 81% involved motorcycles. 'Most of the victims' were aged under 25. Police managed to stop in road blocks 778,185 vehicles but, despite the alleged causes of death and injury, only licence and helmet offences (the every day favourites) have been made public.

This appalling charade of quoting statistics and blaming drunks and motorcyclists is repeated in Thailand after every public holiday and it's dreadful that nothing effective is done. Driving standards are, without doubt, quite the worst I have seen in any country that I have visited and every journey seems to involve avoiding drivers or riders who are selfish, stupid or without road sense. But the roads too are a disgrace to Thailand and nothing seems ever to be said about that. If the authorities are serious about reducing the accident rate rather than collecting fines for petty offences, they could start with two things:

1. Refuse licences to or ban drivers who cannot drive safely. That means the authorities first have to learn the art themselves - what example is it when a policeman rides his motorcycle the wrong way up a dual carriageway using a mobile 'phone?

2. Fix the road surfaces, junction geometry and markings, erect more warning and mandatory instruction signs and enforce the law of the road in an effective way.

Think about that and, if you know Thailand, you will realise that they would be mammoth tasks even for a government that knew how things should be. Sad to say, I see no likelihood of improvement in the near future.

Thai Ladies, Bar Girls and Bitches

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The subject of bar girls had to come up at some time, I suppose. Everyone has his or her view, usually through eyes conditioned by Western attitudes. Although not an expert like some, I have my own views on the subject, including a comparison of bar girls with 'good' girls.

Bar girls are prostitutes. There's no escaping that fact. Prostitution is illegal in Thailand but it brings money into the country and solicitation goes on openly in many bars. Westerners often look down on prostitutes but, although they are far from exalted by Thais, a more pragmatic view is taken. Thais tend not to voice criticism as easily as do Westerners, so they will not offer comment very freely. Also, a bar girl will take herself away from the family to earn her money and often support a relative or two, including any of her own children who, like her, were abandoned by the father. It's not unknown for a work shy husband or boyfriend to step aside while the lady entertains a visiting farang boyfriend who has returned to his loved one for another holiday.

Judge bar girls harshly if you will but they are often women from poor backgrounds whose only other option is to spend their lives chopping at raw papaya and hoping to have enough money to pay the next bill. To them, farang visitors are wealthy beyond measure and willing to pay for a few drinks, company and sex. There's always the chance of finding a husband and many bar girls have settled down to married life with a farang and turned their backs on the old profession.

But there's a nasty twist to this that catches out many wife-seeking farang. There are 'good' girls who 'Look for good man take care me'. They will say, 'He take care me, I take care him. I not want money'. In many cases that's piffle. They want money and, perhaps, a caring and apparently wealthy husband as much as any bar girl. But they are deceitful. The short sighted Thai view of life will lead them into soaking a well-meaning farang until, surprise, he has none left. Then he's out. Not for them the short contract, good bye, see you next time and on to the next. They will go for the kill.

So, bar girls are more honest but don't mistake the sudden closeness for Western romance. She's only in love with you until the party's over. She's selling you what you want on the day or for a few days. The dishonest bitch, on the other hand, is offering marriage and happiness forever but can see only your wallet.

Be careful and keep the head on your shoulders working. It takes time to learn how to identify a lady who really does want what you would regard as a normal, happy marriage.

As grumpyexpat grows and develops, I'll add pieces about small businesses that may be of interest to expats and other farang. Most of those businesses will probably be in and around Korat because that's where I like to be. If I express a personal opinion about an establishment it will be based on my own experience of the place. If I repeat someone else's opinion, I'll say so.

One thing needs to be clear, I think. I do not take money in return for any entry other than paid advertisements and affiliate connections. Also, I have no intention of damaging any small business in Thailand through this blog. If I don't like a place at all, I'll probably say nothing about it.

Mobile broadband to go!

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Mobile broadband is taking off in Korat and it's heaven sent for the traveller and expat. Internet access where and when you want it. There's no need now to hunt for internet cafes or to pay hotel rates for access. Residents in Thailand no longer have to wait months for the installation of a telephone line to their rural home. You can pick up and send emails and Skype your family and friends just about anywhere.

Today in Thailand, you can easily buy new and used wifi mobile 'phones and mobile broadband modems at very reasonable prices and there is already a good range of service packages available.

But I'm no technical expert. Take a look at these two websites to get objective, knowledgeable advice on mobile broadband and anything to do with mobile 'phones:

Don't come to Thailand!

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'I want to live and work in Thailand!'

Young people, usually males, post on expat. forums asking about work or business opportunities in Thailand. They've been here on vacation and dream of making a life for themselves in the Land of Smiles.

STOP RIGHT THERE! Face some facts before you do any more.

Jobs here are reserved for Thais except for work that they cannot do. Could you face a lifetime teaching English in return for a moderate wage, gradually losing any chance of getting a job back home? Unless you are very lucky, that's all you'll get. Those guys who say they own bars do not; their wives or girlfriends own them. Are you willing to put all of your savings into someone else's hands? What would you do if you lost it all?

Living in Thailand is for the retired, the wealthy, mobile contractors such as oil rig workers and, for a few years, the stupid. I applaud your aim but, if you don't fit any of those, wait until either you have enough money or continuing income somewhere else.

In the meantime, enjoy vacations here and find out about Thailand beyond the bars and beaches. Learn about the lifestyle that you will eventually enjoy. Find out about the visa regulations.


A source of information and anecdotes for Thailand's expat. residents and visitors that, perhaps, you won't find in the guide books... click here to read more


Welcome. I've retired, in a way, to live with my wife in Thailand. I like it here! After more than 40 years of working to business schedules and deadlines... click here to read more


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Thai Dating, Singles and Personals


  • Thailand's Orchids
  • Phi Mai Festival 2009
  • Hua Hin, Thailand
  • Pak Thong Chai Hand Made Silk
  • Yamo (Suranaree) Festival, Pak Thong Chai, Korat - 2009
  • Visa Run - Vientiane, Laos
  • Koh Chang, Thailand
  • Rooks Korat Club & Golf, Korat
  • Raya Grand Hotel, Korat
  • Chay Ka Restaurant, Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok
  • Carabao Concert in Korat - October 2008
  • Korat Cat
  • Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) Airport

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the In my opinion ......... category.

Hotels and Resorts is the previous category.

Islands is the next category.

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