Thailand

Tag Archives for Thailand.

Asia Rail Experience: Journey #1 – Kuala Lumpur to the Malay/Thai Border

  KUL: Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar (border of Thailand) KTMB ETS Class 93 Platinum Scheduled Departure: 10:42  Scheduled Arrival: 15:57 5 hour 15 min  Total distance: 260 miles / 417 km  The first part of my 1,500km 900 mile  journey from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok was on Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (Malaysian Railway system) ETS “Electric Train Service“. The journey took me from the heart of the Malaysian capital to Padang Besar, on the border with Thailand. There are now only two rail services that originate in Malaysia that cross the Thai border. One is the ultra-luxury Eastern and Oriental Service and the other starts at…

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Bucket List Check: 900mi By Train from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok

Bucket list… check! A journey I have been wanting to do for over a decade! Over the last week, I travelled by rail from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) in Malaysia to Bangkok (BKK) in Thailand. I have previously ridden a sleeper train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (before Singapore closed its main train station). Six trains took me over 1,500 km (900 miles). Travel time was 25 hours 35 minutes (including delays and wait times). It cost me $US72 for a mix of travel in First, Second and Third class. If you went for the cheapest option (which…

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Now riding 900+ miles on rail through Asia

Currently riding the rails from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok about 1,500 km (930 or so miles) through Malaysia and Thailand. This is about the same distance from Boston to Atlanta or almost as far as Melbourne to Brisbane in Australia or Paris to Warsaw in Europe. A few years ago,  I travelled from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur by train. Sadly, the line into the heart of Singapore is no more. The Singaporean government closed it it 2011 after almost 80 years of operation. It has been one of my dreams to do the next stage from…

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Airlines of Thailand receive key safety rating upgrade

In March last year, Thai-registered airlines were placed under “special measures” by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This followed an ICAO audit that found concerns over the  Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s ability to manage the air operator certification process. This led to Japan,  South Korea and the USA blocking any new flights by Thai-registered airlines. Now,  Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways and Thai AirAsia are expected to have air operating certificates  re-issued in Februray, 2017 by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand. Five more airlines will get theirs by March. A further 17 Thai airlines will get…

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Tips for Thailand during Royal Mourning

Having been to Thailand at least 25 times in the last 20 years,  I have some affinity and insights into the country. Many outsiders are confounded about the very real grief being experienced across the country following the death last week of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). My thought is, imagine if you are staying with a friend and their father dies. You would expect grief and sadness. For Thais, the King has been more than a father to their country. It is only natural and right that there is such grief right now. In…

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All about Visas

Just had yet another discussion with an international traveller who was amazed that  they needed to get a visa in advance for several of the countries they are planning to visit. “I have a passport“, they said. A passport is a document issued by your home country that identifies you as a citizen of that country. A visa is essentially a permission note from the country you are visiting indicating you can enter and stay there temporally. There are many types of visa including: a tourist visa (the most common type of visa) a work visa (this means…

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Mindil Beach Sunset Markets

Whenever and wherever, I am travelling, I always try and squeeze a market in. Just enjoyed a beautiful sunset which accompanies the Dry Season Mindil Markets in the Northern Australian City of Darwin. The setting of these markets has to be one of the most spectacular in the world! There is almost every type of Asian food available, along with exotic meats like camel burgers and croc steak sandwiches, frozen bananas and local mushrooms! Lots of Aussie trouristy type stuff including didgeridoos, crocodile leather purses and wallets, stock whips and local jewellery. Tonight was the first market…

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Hip Hua Hin – Place Report

Few tourists to Thailand include Hua Hin on their agenda which is a shame. At the risk of spoiling the town with a sudden over run of tourists, this beautiful relaxing town 200 km (120 miles) south of Bangkok is well worth at least a couple of days. Far from the “excitement” of Phuek nightlife and Bangkok, Hua Hin has been enjoyed by generations of Thais for weekends and vacations. Originally known as Samore Riang  or “rows of rocks”, it was adopted by the Royal Family as their seaside resort in the 1920s. Today, it is very popular amongst Thais who come…

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Not Smiling with Thai Smile

Thailand has a number of low cost carriers (Orient Thai, Lion Air, Air Asia) plus two popular “Premium Low Cost” airlines: Bangkok Airways and Nok Air, both of whom I have flown in the last year. In 2011, THAI Airways board began THAI Smile to compete in this market. The name came from a competition with 2,229 entries. For this flight, I was keen to discover the distinguishing marks of Thai Smile? Is the brand distinctive? Booking: 8/10 THAI Smile flies to about 13 domestic and one international destinations and is reportedly planning to expand international services. Confusingly THAI Smile use both…

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Place Review: Phuket

There are a few destinations in the world that immediately spell party. These include: Bali, Ibiza, Miami and Porto Heli (Greece). The list also needs to include the small southern Thai island of Phuket which is invaded by 14 million tourists  every year.  They come to get massaged, swim, snorkel, eat, drink and dance. Many do not know why they go to Phuket, just lured by its reputation as a fun place. I first came to Phuket just after the 2004 Tsunami had ripped through. It did not capture my heart! I came back this week to…

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