Monthly Archives: January 2010

First Night in Bangkok

Posted by on January 28, 2010

Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, Thailand

Yesterday was an extremely long day for me. I woke up at 2am in Sydney to record This Week in Travel, stayed up to follow the Apple iPad announcement (I think the iPad looks to be a great travel gadget), then flew to Melbourne, was forced by the airline to buy a ticket out of Thailand before they’d let me board the flight, then sat in the air for 10 hours. In hindsight, I probably should have flown from Fiji to Hong Kong rather than Sydney, but there is no point complaining about that now.

In the taxi drive into Bangkok, I got the same feeling I did when I was here last year. There are certain cities which just have a buzz about them. New York has it, Chicago doesn’t. Hong Kong has it, Singapore doesn’t. Bangkok has it, Kuala Lumpur doesn’t. Thailand has become a magnet for so many westerners who are looking for a place overseas to work. There must be at least half a dozen different bloggers here right now.

What the iPad Will Mean for Me and Travel

Posted by on January 27, 2010

In the few hours since the Apple iPad was announced, there has been a flurry of commentary about it, although few people have even used it yet. Here is what I think based on what I’ve seen so far, and how I see a device like this effecting me:

  • This will eliminate the need to carry books. Like many people who travel, I usually have books I carry with me. If you have ever had to carry a box of books while moving, you know they are heavy. Once you collect a few books, they become a big pain in the ass. The iPad not only eliminates the need to carry books (and probably guidebooks) but it also gives me instant, worldwide access to a giant English language bookstore, which is hard to find in many countries. Also, iBook (the new software) uses the open ePub standard, which Amazon doesn’t. In terms of competing with the Amazon Kindle, I’d say this kicks the Kindle’s ass. Most people who are pointing out the flaws are totally ignoring the use this device has an ebook reader. If you are a long term traveler, then this is a very big deal.
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    This Week in Travel – Episode 23

    Posted by on January 24, 2010

    This week’s guest is Marilyn Terrell of National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic Intelligent Travel Blog. This week I woke up at 4am in Fiji to attempt to join the Skype conversation but had the connection drop every 5 minutes. Overall, my performance on the show was rated FAIL.

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    Thoughts on Fiji: 2010 Edition

    Posted by on January 23, 2010

    Fijian boy from the island of Waya

    Fijian boy from the island of Waya

    Here are a collection of random thoughts about my current trip to Fiji:

    – The tourism industry, especially the budget tourism industry, is expanding. This time around I noticed that Base Backpackers, the big hostel chain from New Zealand, is now in Fiji. The FeeJeeExperience, which is owned by the same company which does the KiwiExperience and the OzExperience. There are skydiving and other extreme sports options now available in Fiji as well. The percentage of 20-something Europeans I met in the Yasawas this time was much larger than my 2007 trip. They even have a Hard Rock Cafe at the harbor in Nadi. Everything seems much more mature from a business perspective.

    – There are very few Americans here. I’ve met tons of Europeans but hardly any Americans. Almost all the Europeans are on a similar path where they either were just at Australia/New Zealand or are going there next. In fact, almost all the 20-somethings seem to be taking the same general trip. Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and LA. I still recommend the Yasawas as a destination, especially if you’ve never been there before, but when I return to Fiji next time, I’m going to a different part of the country.