Whats up Escapees?

Howdy Escapees. I think that is what I’m going to call you all from now on. You follow me you’re an escapee.

I’ve been away for a few months, obviously. There have been a few things have been happening that kept me busy and time just got away from me. The new goal may be to make 1 or maybe 2 posts a month here on the site.I’m fairly busy lately and the next month is proving to be even busier so I will do the best I can.

With the above said I actually did recently go back to Thailand. It was not for the reasons I had wanted and it hurt the savings a little bit but it was worth every penny. I’ll be writing a post about my experience going back a second time in the days/weeks that follow.

Until then Escapees I gotta hit the sack I gotta work in the morning.

 

 

 

 

 

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Back to Thailand

After almost 2 years for reasons that were undesirable I went back to Thailand.

I won’t go into the reasons for why I went but I am happy to recount my experiences with you.

Air China

I did alot of checking online for tickets using sites like Kayak, Priceline and a few others before going.

My first choice for an airline was EVA. Their ticket prices were not the lowest but they had great reviews online which swayed me very heavily toward them.

Ultimately though I did not end up going with EVA. I instead got a package from Travelocity that cost me about $800 total. For this price I got a China Airlines roundtrip plane ticket, hotel in Bangkok for the entirety of my stay and a private taxi from and to the airport.

I was not excited about the airline as its reviews were not stellar when it comes to customer satisfaction but luckily I did not encounter any of the issues I have read about.

Appearently China Air had acquired a few Boeing 777s in their fleet. The plane was large, the seating was pretty spacious in economy and looked more so further up, everyone had a nice touchscreen and the attendants were fairly nice in my opinion. This made the the voyage to my layover destination pretty enjoyable.

Unfortunately we were switched over to an older Boeing 747 upon getting to our layover destination and things were much less enjoyable. The seating was cramped, their were televisions in the seats but they were remote operated and much as you would expect from a remote with years of service under its belt it barely worked.

The positive? The food was good on both the Boeing 747 and 777, the movie selections were for recent movies such as Warcraft or Finding Dory.

The Hotel

 You may be wondering what kind of hotel Travelocity got me for my package. Nothing great. I stayed at the Buddy Mansion in Ramkhamhaeng.

There is nothing wrong with the this hotel if your not picky and understand its just a place to sleep while you go adventuring.

They offer washing machines, wifi, televisions and American style toilets.

The problems with this hotel are entirely due to its location. Its not located near the BTS station. Meaning you can’t just walk down the street and catch the BTS to any major tourist spots such as Wat Pho, Asiatic or even MBK.

Due to this your stuck relying on taxis and tuk tuks. While getting a taxi out of Ramkhamhaeng was easy it was often expensive. Generally between 300-500 baht (it was about 34 baht to a dollar when I was there).

Making matters worse most taxi drivers don’t turn on their meter. If you want them to do so then prepare to argue. I’m not good at that so I just paid….

Getting a taxi back to the hotel was a challenge each day. Nearly every taxi driver was unfamiliar with this hotel/area. Even after giving them a Thai business card with the address we got lost several times and one taxi driver openly complained to me about how far Ramkhamhaeng was from MBK for the duration of my ride even though he was already getting paid double what he should have.

Ultimately I ended up checking out of Buddy Mansion early and opted to stay at a hotel closer to the BTS and MBK that was only around $20 USD per night. Getting around town became much easier after this.

Tip: If you are good at haggling with people and can convince the driver to turn on their meter or just plain luck in to hailing a taxi that uses the meter you can expect to pay much lower rates.

Was the package worth it?

Ultimately I don’t feel this package was worthwhile. Why? I am solely basing this on the hotel and taxis.

The hotel was much too far from anything fun and exciting. So far that I probably spent a few thousand baht in 2 days (that’s right a few thousand )  just getting around to the MBK area and back to my hotel.

Additionally the “private” car that Travelocity got me cost a total of $60 usd. This is way more expensive than it should be.  The hotel I decided to stay at was actually further from the airport than Buddy Mansion was  however on my way back to the states I just got a random taxi and was only charged $15 to go from my hotel to the airport.

Live and learn right? So the lessons from this post? China Air is okay. Ramkhamhaeng is far away from touristy fun. And Taxis are expensive.

Lake Skinner

  Theres nothing quite as refreshing as getting away from it all and just hanging out with mother nature. I recently decided to do some camping and went out to Lake Skinner in Wine Country Temecula. 

 I haven’t been to this lake since childhood and it’s definitely not what I remeber but I had a lot of fun and thought I would bring you an honest review of the lake in case your thinking of visiting.

 Lake skinner is a popular camping spot in Southern California. The lake is fairly large compared to others in the area and is close to town but hidden in an area remote enought that you don’t feel like your 15 minutes from a large city.

 I traveled here for a weekend of camping and relaxation. Admittedly I should have paid more attention to the weather forecast that weekend because it was 111 degrees!!

Parking Space Style Camping

 Upon pulling into the campground I was disappointed to find that my camping space was little more than two parking spaces wide. There was barely enough room on my space for my tent and my car.

 The space had a picnic table and a firepit however these were both literally right next to each other. However it was a joy to know that this particular campground allowed for wood burning fires. I know that Lake Cuyamaca only allows for coal fires; which presents difficulties when making Smores.

 The last issue I had with my site was that there was no distance between my site and my neighbors. While my neighbors were quite pleasant it would have been nice to have some distance between us.

The Campground Store

 I moved about a year prior to this trip and during that move gave up all my tools. Yeah I don’t have any tools except for a couple screw drivers and a swiss army knife.

 The day of the camping trip I realized I was going to need a hammer to drive my stakes in the ground. So I stopped at Walmart and picked up a rubber end mallet on my way to the lake.

The issue was that the ground is so hard that hammering my stakes into the ground literally made the rubber hammer start chipping. 

 I decided to check and see if I could purchase a real hammer from the campground store. I was surprised to find that they actually only sell small plastic mallets that look like something you would give a child. 

I ended up having to use my rubber tipped mallet until it was little more than a nub. 

If your looking for something other than a hammer the campgroundstore has everything you need including firewood, water and even air mattress repair kits. 

Bathrooms are Dirty

I decided to hit the showers around 9pm. Unfortunately several other people had this idea as well so there was a long line. 

A contributing factor to the wait was that my sites bathroom only had two showers, one of which was broken.

Another thing sites bathrooms suffer from is being extremely dirty. It was so dirty in the restroom I thought to myself that it must not have been cleaned all week. Do not expect to find a clean restroom at this lake.

The Lake 

 I usually camp at Lake Cuyamaca. Its closer for me and I like how close Julian is to it. But Cuyamacas major drawback is the lake is so small. Well that and I do not believe there are any fish there because I haven’t caught anything in my last 3 trips there but I digress.

 Lake Skinner is huge compared to Lake Cuyamaca. A boat can be rented for $28 dollars for 2 hours and then something like $6 for each additional hour.

 The lake has its own store which deals with boat and equipment rentals.  They also sell bait and a few things like water and candy bars. 

 I purchased my fishing license at the main campground store but it was explained to me the permits can be purchased at the lake store as well.

 Should You Camp Here 

It depends. Are you the type of person that enjoys waking up and not having neighbors nearby? If so this is not the campground for you. 

Personally I can deal with dirty bathrooms. It’s a public campground I didn’t expect anything fancy. Are you ok with neighbors being close by?  If so then this place shouldn’t bother you.

Back from Colorado

 I’m back from Colorado! Well in truth I’ve been back a while. Just kinda hit one of those poits in life where I’ve been pretty busy. There are some articles in works that will include recent camping trips and my trip to power morphicon.

  The trip to Colorado was interesting for me. Unfortunately I didn’t get to do much exploring. I was visiting a sick relative and mostly out near 11 Mile State Park (beautiful by the way), which is just out in the middle of nowhere.

Here are some interesting points about this trip.

Denver International Airport Conspiracy.

 While waiting in the terminal for my plane to arrive I was texted a link about the conspiracy theories surrounding this airport and after looking into I kinda believe some of them. This place is massive and its in the middle of nowhere! 

The conspiracy theories are vast but if you get the opportunity to look into them it’s some interesting reading. Heres just a small sample:

-Secret underground military bunkers. 5 buildings were built in the wrong spot so what did the builders do? Bury them.Thats right there are five buildings under the airport.

-A meteor almost hit earth. So they flew Obama to Denver to hang out in the underground bunkers.

– Who paid for the airport?  The New World Airport Comission. Oh wait they don’t exist.

-Crazy paintings depicting nuclear holocaust everywhere! 

It’s the only conspiracy plot I’ve ever bought into.

 Theres so much free space!

  The State of Colorado owes me money.

I enjoy fishing whenever I can and my relative’s home is fairly close to 11 Mile State Park. So close I could see the lake clearly from her home.

So we decided to head to the lake and do some fishing. Unfortunately I had no gear and no permit. 

After driving around the lake we finally found the State run facility which provides fishing permits. I was easily able to by the fishing permit however they did not rent fishing poles or sell bait. They instead referred me to the bait shop directly next to the lake which is also appearently a State run facility.

 This is where things tried my patience. I eager entered the facility picked out some fishing tools and walked to the counter. I set all my items down on the counter and informed the attendant behind the counter I needed to rent a fishing pole. 

A different attendant choose that moment to walk behind the counter and informed me they were not renting boats today. Thats right… I asked for a pole and was instead told they weren’t renting boats.

Thinking she may have misheard my inquiry I again asked to rent a pole and was again told they arent renting boats.

On the third attempt I clearly said that I was not interested in renting a boat and just wanted a pole. The attendant seemed as if she had never heard such a thing. She consulted a third passing by employee and came back with “We arent renting boats today”.. .

After several minutes of insisting I just needed a pole they eventually told me they can only rent poles with boats but it was too windy on the lake so there were no pole rentals.

I ended up having to goto the building where i got my permit and explaining that their sister site refused me a rental pole much to everyones confusion. I was told I had to file a dispute and that it could be weeks before I saw my money returned.

Returning on Frontier Airlines 

 My homecoming on Frontier Airlines was a bit more of a hassle than my flight to Colorado it did however work out in my favor.

 The relative that was supposed to take me to the airport got stuck doing some things the day I was supposed to leave. So I had to borrow her car,  pick up another relative and then drive myself through Colorado to Denver Airport. I arrived 3 hours early. I mostly killed time by PokemonGo hunting.

 Once Frontier began accepting check-ins I was informed by the flight attendant that not only was my plane an hour late but there was a seating error and my seat had now been moved. Much to my horror I was now to be in the middle seat as opposed to the aisle seat that I originally booked.

 Thoughts of being crammed between two strangers and my knees painfully driven into the seat in front of me immediately came to mind. Luckily I found the error was in my favor as I was actually bumped up to the very first row where I had plenty of leg room and I was not as squished between my fellow passengers as I thought I would be.

 Conspiracy theories, fishing nonsense,  and late plane arrivals aside. I loved Colorado’s wide open spaces and beautiful landscape I would love to do some camping there and explore so more.

The San Diego Cat Cafe

  Some people may read the headline and say to themselves “Whats a Cat Café ” others who are cat lovers may read the headline and say “OMG Cat Café  in San Diego!?” 

 I’ve heard of Cat Cafes but they were always in Asia. I recently learned someone took the initiative and brought one to America’s Finest City. Being a local who enjoys playing with cats I had to go check it out.

  For those who are unfamiliar with them, a Cat Café is a generally a coffee shop where you hang out with your friends, enjoy a beverage and play with cats!!!

San Diego’s Cat Café is pretty much the same. It consists of two seperate areas. When you first walk in the door you are greeted by a friendly staff  memember that escorts you to the Café area. The purchase of a beverage, I enjoyed the mocha frap very much, serves as your admission to the cats hang out area. They also have merchandise you can purchase.

 Once you have your beverage in hand you are ready to enter the cats lounge area. Please note the Cat Café tries to promote a stress free environment for the cats so only 20 people are allowed in this area at a time. 

 The lounge area has coffee tables, benches, lots of cat toys and cats!

 While in the lounge area your free to play with the cats, pet them and just hang out.

 While hanging out with the cats proved to be quite an enjoyable morning I was also happy to find out that the Cat Café also serves as an adoption center for the cats in the lounge area as well. So you can get to know your potential feline friend and find out if you are a good match for each other. It warmed my heart to overhear the owner state that they have found homes for  approximately 175 cats.

 If your a local or just hanging out in San Diego for the weekend I definitely recommend stopping by the Cat Café located in downtown San Diego on Third Avenue. Even if you can’t adopt a cat you can certainly help support this great business.

Why I signed up for a Capital One Venture card

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As some of my friends, family and returning readers know I am searching for a way to leave my job and start traveling a bit. This site is really about what I am doing to get out of my current job and start traveling. I do alot of reading about the digital nomad life style. Upon reading other travel blogs I learned about travel credit cards. I guess I knew of their existence but never really paid them much attention until I started day dreaming about traveling. While alot of people I read about seem to sign up for multiple travel cards for the big sign on bonuses I just can’t see myself doing that.

After doing a lot of looking around I finally decided on signing up a for a Capital One Venture card. I do want to note that I honestly thought that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card was the better card but only opted against getting it because I thought trying to get the sign on bonus would be a bit too difficult for me.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card requires you spend $4,000 in 3 months in order to qualify for the sign on bonus which would equal out to around $625 in travel credit. The Capital One Venture card requires that you spend $3000 on their card in 3 months in order to qualify for a sign on bonus of 40,000 miles. Now don’t get excited by the numbers. That does not mean you can hop on a plane and travel 40,000 miles to anywhere you want. The reality is that every 10,000 miles is equal to 100 dollars in travel. So the bonus Capital One is offering is really $400 in travel credit. In my case while I won’t be able to pay for 1 round trip plane ticket to Thailand with this sign on bonus it will get me a nice little discount on the tickets for my Fiancee and I.

Initially I was worried that I would not be able to spend the $3000 minimum in 3 months to get the sign on bonus but to date I have accrued 4,900 reward miles. That’s pretty close to $2500 and I only been using the card since April 13. I don’t like to carry cash so I usually use my debit card anyway. Once I got my Venture card I just used it for all my daily purchases instead of my debit card. Also I pay 90% of my balance every week.

If you are thinking about getting a Capital One card here are some things you may want to know:

  • You earn 2 “miles” for every dollar spent. (every mile is essentially worth a penny)
  • Your first year is free after that there is a $59 dollar annual fee
  • It takes a few days for the miles you have “earned” to show up in your online account

 

How many miles do you need to accumulate to pay for a trip?

Capital One makes this pretty easy to figure out.  Multiply the cost of your travel by 100. If your travel costs $500 than use this an example 500 x 100 = 50,000 “miles”. So you would need 50,000 points. Which is pretty doable if you get the 40,000 point sign on bonus. If you don’t get the sign on bonus you’re not going to be happy. It would look more like this:

Every $1000 spent = 2000 miles. You would then need to spend $25, 000 for a $500 credit.

When shown in this perspective the capital one card does not seem like a worthwhile card  after getting the sign on bonus. If you just use this card in place of your debit card, make ALL your purchases on it and are good about paying your monthly balance on time then I guess you could keep using it every year. Personally I don’t think I will continue with this card after my first year.

How do I redeem my miles for travel.

There are 2 ways.

1 – You can book through any website or travel agent you want using your Capital One card.  Then goto capitalone.com or call them directly and use their Purchase Eraser tool to redeem your miles, after this you will receive a credit for your travel costs.

2 – You Can book directly through Capital Ones website. Log into your account via their website click “Accounts >> Reward Summary >> Book a Trip”

 

With all the above said I would recommend really looking into all your options when applying for a travel card. As I said I found the Chase Sapphire Preferred card more attractive but stuck with the Capital One Venture card because I thought spending $3000 on this card in 3 months was more easily done. If you find you can spend more then maybe the Chase card is for you.

Journeying in the Magic Kingdom

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If you know me you know I am a Disney fan boy. I love going to the Magic Kingdom on the regular, being an annual passholder helps cost wise with that. I’d say I got about 15 trips out of my first annual pass.

  During my time as a passholder I have learned a few things that I will pass on to you and hopefully you will find these tips helpful.

  1. Fastpasses

A friend of mine recently went to Disney and I was quite surprised because he called me from Disney to ask about fast passes. Fast passes are ways for you to get through a ride quicker.

Essentially goto a ride with a fastpass designated area. Insert your ticket/pass into the machine and it will give you a ticket that will let you come back at a later time and skip 90 percent of the line. These tickets are especially useful for the big rides like Indian Jones or Space mountain which can have lines up to 90 minutes long!

If you have a multipark ticket that lets you visit California adventure and Disneyland on the same day I recommend getting a fastpass from both parks and then waiting in line for a different ride.

The Cars ride at California Adventure is incredibly popular and wait times can average 70+ minutes. The fast pass for this is located between the “A Bugs Life” land and the Grizzly River Run ride. I’ve seen them run out of fast passes for this ride as early as Noon so get them as soon as you can!

It should be noted that not every ride has a fast pass.

2. Grab a locker

I know going to Disney can be expensive and you probably don’t want to spend another $15 on a locker. I’ve felt the same way. But after walking around for 5 hours with a heavy backpack full of water bottles and snacks that you brought in to save money your back will be sore and this is going to impact your mood. Plus it sucks trying to tuck a heavy backpack between your legs every time you get on a ride.

Grabbing a locker may cost you a little bit more but hey its less stuff you have to lug around. Plus you can shove your purchases from throughout the day in there or even bring a change of clothes for after those wet rides like splash mountain.

3.My Favorite Places to Eat

I don’t like making meals for the park, and carrying them around or leaving them in a hot locker all day. I also do not like expensive yet terrible food. That being said my top places to eat in Disney are:

Carnation Cafe

This is right on Main Street across from the Starbucks. You dont usually need a reservation to eat here and their breakfasts and lunches are actually pretty affordable if your a small party.

I usually come here and have burger and a vanilla malt. Which will run in the $12-15 dollar range.

The French Market

I’ve eaten here a few times and its quickly becoming a favorite. Its inexpensive, has outdoor seating and periodically throughout the day will have live music.

I usually get the jambalaya here along with a coke. As with Carnation Cafe the price is usually around $12-$15 per plate.

Blue Bayou

For those who are not on a budget Blue Bayou is a GREAT place to eat. This restaurant is inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It makes you feel like you are eating on the deck of a house in the bayou.  The ambiance is really fantastic. Sometimes you get lucky and can walk in but usually you will need a reservation to eat at this delicious place.

The meals here run between $30 and $50 per plate but the ambiance and service are top notch. I usually have  the Surf and Turf with a Louisiana Lemonade and I do not ever regret a meal here.

 

The Tijuana Cultural Center

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One of the advantages of living in San Diego is that I can rather quickly go to Mexico; if I’m inclined to.

Rather recently I have had the opportunity to go to Mexico twice. Both times after work for a total of around 10 hours. Obviously not the most time but I got to see some things.

The picture above is of the San Ysidro walk in entrance to Tijuana, Mexico. Once you walk in to the processing building you are immediately aware you are no longer in the United States.

On both days I was advised by my significant other to look as natural as possible when entering the processing building pictured above. Both times I was immediately stopped and sent to a line consistenting of 1 or 2 other people. A officer then stamped my passport and sent me on my way.

After walking a block or two you will be greated by a horde of people trying to shuffle you into a taxi. Only 1 of the 4 or 5 taxis I was in had seat belts. I am a seat belt person and they make me feel slightly more comfortable when driving through what I can only describe as crazy Tijuana traffic.

Aside from the feeling I was walking in to a prison and the anxiety of driving in craziness I actually had a pretty positive experience.

I had some great steak at a lovely Aregentinian place.

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And my personal favorite experience of my mini adventure was exploring the Tijuana Cultural Center.

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The cultural center is actually really cool. It is the only IMAX theater in Tijuana. They currently have a Journey  (the rock band) lazer show that plays inside the dome. I am disappointed I did not get to see it.

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Additionally the building behind the dome structure is actually a museum complete with botanical garden. The Botanical is small but free and has some cool statues you can view

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The museum itself is about $1.25 usd to enter. You appearently have the option to view either the Tijuana rock museum which from what i could discern has replica guitars of famous TJ rock bands or take a trip through the history of Baja California.

The museum would not allow me to take picturesof the displays inside but you’ll see replicas of Spanish ships, sword, chapels, and even a small section on dinosaurs.

If you get the chance i would recommed stopping by this museum watching the Journey show (I love Journey) and checking out the Cultural Center.
 

Places I plan to visit when I go back to Bangkok

During my last trip to Thailand I feel I did not get to explore enough. Which is kind of a crazy thing for me to say because I am very much a stay indoors and fire up the playstation type of guy.

In Thailand though I was out pounding pavement everyday. I was out riding the BTS, riding the water ferry,  seeing Wats (temples) and hanging out eating delicious food in the night markets. That being said here are the things I want to see most when I get back to the Bangkok area.

 

THE GRAND PALACE

Grand Palace

(Note: The above is a picture I took outside the of Palace. While not the most flattering it is one that I took and I’d prefer to use as many of my own pics as possible.)

I think I mentioned in my last post that while in Bangkok I had planned to visit the Grand Palace and Wat Pho on the same day. Long story short the Grand Palace was closed to the public when I got there and so now this is the place I want to see most in Bangkok. Not getting to see this amazing place is regret of mine.

Some interesting things you may not know about the Grand Palace:

-King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) doesn’t actually live here. The Royal family hasn’t really lived on the grounds since 1925.

– It was initially built entirely out of wood.

-There was an Inner Court where the King would house his harem. It’s no longer in use.

-The famed Emerald Buddah is kept here.

  • Emerald Buddah is actually not made of Emerald. Emerald just refers to the color.
  • Has 3 seasonal outfits that only the King or Crown Prince can change.

 

Ayutthaya Historical Park

I REALLY REALLY wanted to come here while in Thailand but did not get the chance to. Chances are if you are a Martial arts movie /video game nerd you have seen this place and may not know it. Remember the old 80’s movie Kickboxer where Van Damme is training in the ruins of what looks to be an old temple. That is a part Ayutthaya.  Sagat’s stage  from Street Fighter with the statue of Buddah lying on his side. Thats Ayutthaya.

While its not really in Bangkok its not crazy far either. So I would not mind grabbing a taxi and heading out there. Something about this place really draws me to it. Its number 2 on my list!

Interesting facts

– The capital of the Ayuthaya Kingdom aka Siam

-In 1767, the Burmese attacked and conquered Ayuthaya. This is when the capital was moved to Bangkok.

-It had not 1 not 2 but 3 palaces

  • Grand Palace – This was the King’s residence. It was destroyed during the Burmese invasion of 1767.
  • Chandra Kasem Palace – Royal residence of the crown prince.
  • The Rear Palace  – Built by King Maha Thammarachathirat  for one of his sons.

 

Floating Market

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Pictured above is the sign for the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. I tried coming here with a few family members and ended up not going due the amount they wanted to charge us (about $64.50 USD per person. They charge over double for foreigners)  and the fact they wanted to put us in like 3 different boats. I was very surprised they did not want budge on the price. Next time I will be looking for a different market.

Otherwise I think the idea of climbing in a boat for an afternoon and doing all your shopping by paddling  around is an amazing idea. There are many different floating markets around. I would suggest doing some research online before trying to goto one that way you don’t get surprised like I did.

This is number 3 on my list!

Things I wish I knew before going to Thailand

Wat Phra That Phanom 1

I went to Thailand within the last few years. I can’t really give specifics as I don’t want anyone from work finding this blog and finding out I plan to escape.. I had a amazing time. So here are some tips that may help you when you go.

1) Get comfortable. That plane ride is LONG if your coming from the States. I was on the plane for about 21 hours. When I landed in Bangkok my bottom hurt and I still had to take a bus 12 hours to get where I was going. Bring a pillow for the plane. If you’re a giant like I am (about 6ft tall) airplane seats are not your best friend. My knees were constantly shoved into the seat in front of me. Sometimes you’re lucky and once the plane is actually in the air you’ll be allowed to move to an empty seat area.

2) Do you really need an electronics converter? I am a guy who always needs to be “connected”. I need internet! I did a ton of reading online before I went to Thailand about what power converter I needed to buy for traveling and while I did in fact buy one to be safe I actually found out that alot of devices now such as laptop and cell phone chargers are able to compensate for the voltage differences. I did not even end up using the power converter I bought. So you may want to do a google search before you end up buying a converter.

3) Tipping is not the norm.  I am used to tipping my servers in restaurants here in the States. In Thailand this is not a normal practice as far as restaurants. I did make a few exceptions and left a tip for some of my usual servers.

4) Dress appropriately when visiting a temple (wat). When I went to Wat Phra That Phanom (awe inspiring btw) one of our female companions came in shorts and was promptly denied entrance. This is not appropriate dress for a temple and is considered disrespectful. Luckily most of the temples, including this one, I saw do offer rental clothing. She was able to rent a Sarong ( a long skirt) for something like 5 baht and enter the temple.

5) Tourist Maps. In Bangkok free tourist maps are available at the BTS stations (ie a trolley station). They are very basic and just say what stop to use to get where. I used one of these maps and road the BTS to alot of places. That being said I found that they aren’t perfect. I planned to visit  Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha) and the Grand Palace on the same day. I spent a lot of the day at Wat Pho. Once I was ready to leave and see the Grand Palace I checked the map and found I needed to leave Wat Pho go back to the River boat station and ride the River boat up one stop. Well I took the maps advice and road the river boat up one station. By the time i got to the Grand Palace it was closed to the public. This was not the maps fault. So I decided to at the very least walk around the Grand Palace walls, after reaching a certain point I found that things looked familiar and that the Grand Palace is actually right next to Wat Pho. So if you grab a free map try to plan accordingly.

Well thats all for now guys. I hope you find these tips helpful for your own trip!