BKK->KP->SAM->PHK->BKK->HK->VAN

It has been a while since my last update… it has mainly been just because I have been busier with Elsie over in Thailand, plus I have stayed in a few hotels with not-great internet access, plus I have just been slackin… so those are my excuses.

Since I last updated, Elsie arrived in Bangkok, then we went to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party, then to Koh Samui for a few days, then we flew to Phuket, then back to Bangkok for one day, then we flew to Hong Kong for one night and I am currently writing this from the plane on the way to Vancouver with Elsie. Phew! See how my theoretically relaxing lifestyle can get a bit hectic?!

So, let me start with talking a bit about Bangkok and how it always surprises me. I went with Jane and Elsie to a place called Skybar which is on the roof of a 60 story building called the State Tower. I have never seen anything quite like it. On the top of this 60 story building is a huge staircase, dome, restaurant and bar, all beautifully designed, with an amazing 360 view of Bangkok. The cool design and development in Asia is really amazing. Here is a pic of me with Jane and Elsie at Skybar. Here is another of me and Elsie there.

Okay, so then we went to Koh Phangan. KP is a nice little island most famous for its full moon party, which is why we went there. The party was quite cool, a great vibe, with thousands of people on the beach and numerous different musical venues. You can buy a bucket with a whole bottle of either whisky or vodka, as well as a mixer of coke or red bull for about $7, so you can definitely have a good night for very cheap there. Here is a pic of me and Elsie with our buckets. Here is a pic of me on the beach the morning after.

We then spent a few days on Samui. I find Samui to be quite expensive and I am never all that happy with their hotels there, which rarely have good internet connections. I much prefer Phuket… so that is why we went to Phuket after Samui for 2 days.

Then we went back to Bangkok, and then Elsie and I flew to Hong Kong on Monday and on Tuesday (right now) I am on a flight with Elsie to Vancouver.

I will likely spend a week or so in Vancouver, maybe a bit more, then go to Edmonton. After that I am not sure, but am considering maybe making a stop in Montreal, and even possibly the Maritimes (just because I have never been there) prior to maybe going to Iceland, then on to Russia, Finland and other parts of the former Eastern bloc, prior to possibly going to France and Italy by early September. Alllllll of this is completely subject to change depending on a number of circumstances, but as of right now that is the plan.

BKK, Samui, Full Moon Party…

I am very happily back home in Bangkok, after a great trip to Malaysia, and have been spending the week as I normally do here, exercising, eating well, swimming in the sun, working most of the day and just all round enjoying things.

Elsie is on her way here on Friday… she is stopping one night in HK to recouperate from the long flight from Vancouver and then will arrive in Bangkok on Saturday afternoon. I will likely show her the town for the day and night and then on Sunday we are going to Koh Samui, and as soon as we get there, taking a boat to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party there and then will chill on that island for a few days after. This full moon party is the most famous one worldwide and so I thought it’d be fun to go to with Elsie… apparently they get about 10,000 people each month for it, all on the beach with numerous different DJ’s etc… sounds pretty cool.

Not sure what we’ll do after that… maybe hang out in Koh Samui a bit, or maybe go to Phuket… whatever Elsie feels like. Then we’ll likely head to Hong Kong on the 18th and then will fly out to Vancouver on the 20th, arriving at 10am Vancouver time on June 20th.

Not much else to report… everything is all good… well except for the Oilers start… 0-2… but I’m not sweating it… the Hurricanes have gotten a ton of breaks… it should at worst be 1-1 right now… but its ok, will be 2-1 after the next game and I am calling for the Oilers to win in 6… that means 4 in a row… no problem.

Here is a pic of me and Jane in a cab the other day just for fun

Oh, I guess the only other thing I might mention is

a) as I predicted the stock markets have began a pretty hectic collapse… down nearly 10% in the last few weeks… still more to come over the next 1-3 months… likely down another 10% and maybe a bit more

b) as I also stated, I was expecting a pullback in gold as it declined in sympathy with other markets… gold is now around $625… it won’t go much cheaper than $600… maybe $550… so now is the time, if you haven’t already, to buy gold, gold mutual funds, gold stocks (particularly junior stocks), some silver etc. Oil stocks will likely decline with the stock market over the next few months too, so I will begin to load up more on them too… try to be fully invested in gold and oil by fall to reap BIGTIME rewards over the next few years… Think 1,000%+…. minimum 200%… so it will be the best place to be for the next few years… as opposed to almost everything else which will be either falling or completelely stagnant (and because currencies are depreciating so much every year with such large inflation, stagnation means big losses).

Sawadeekrub!

Kuala Lumpurfect

I haven’t seen too much of this town but all that I have seen I really like so far. As I have been raving on about in my prior entries about Kota Kinabalu and the island of Borneo, Malaysia has really surprised me.

I had just never given that much thought about Malaysia… but now that I am aware of it, and its geographic position, more intricately, it all makes sense.

After all, I have been to Singapore before and Singapore is a great, beautiful city where you can easily get by in English… and Singapore is just an appendage at the very bottom of the peninsula of Malaysia… and above Malaysia is Thailand, which is full of great people and beautiful girls…

So, now that I think about it, it makes sense that Malaysia is a place that is eminently liveable, is very English (I went to a very large bookstore in the mall today, 90%+ of the books were English and the bookstore was full of locals) and has beautiful girls.

The people here almost seem to blend the best parts of many of their neighbors.. they are very relaxed and laid back like Thai’s, but are also very businessminded and educated, like Singaporeans and Hong Kongese. As an example of their entrepreneurship, I was walking along today thinking I could use a haircut… I passed by a place that was small and cool design but I didn’t at first know what it was because it was set up differently than a normal hair place. It was called EasyCut and it had a well designed system in which you go in a queue (if there is one), have exact change ready, then you get a haircut in 10 minutes or less… It was well designed, right down to how they clean up the hair after the haircut and everything, to be as efficient as possible. My haircut cost 12 Ringgit (less than $4 USD).

I think I will go back to Bangkok again tomorrow or Sunday, more just because I really do like my place there… I love going for a swim and workout every day… and I love all the great and convenient Thai food everywhere… plus I enjoy spending time with my gf there usually… so I think I will go and chill out for a bit before Elsie comes and then I’ll be back on the road a bit for a week, showing Elsie around Thailand.

But I am definitely going to consider coming back to KL and Malaysia in general as soon as I can… and possibly look to stay here in KL for an extended period (ie. a few months) as I’d really like to discover more about this place. I think if I had to pick a place where I had to live for the next year, right now, I’d possibly pick KL from what I have seen so far… its got some of the nightlife and beautiful, friendly girls of Bangkok but it also has great business environment and excellent environment for speaking English… the only thing I am not too sure of is costs so far… my hotel wasn’t too expensive ($65 USD) but it seems a bit more expensive than Bangkok so far…

Anyway, it’s Friday night, I am just finishing up some work and then will likely go out on the town for my last night and try to catch a plane tomorrow.

I profess my undying love for the internet

I just booked my flight, using my airmiles (so it only cost me $100 for the taxes) from Hong Kong to Vancouver, arriving Sunday June 18th at 10am in Vancouver. I called using Skype which actually offers all calls to Canada and the US as completely free now… so not only do I essentially get a free flight, but even calling them was free, and because my internet connection is so good here the call was perfect quality… ahh internet, let me count the ways….

Down with the KL

I hopped an Air Asia jet from KK to KL on Wednesday… the price of all of Air Asia’s (www.airasia.com) flights is just awesome… I think I paid something like $60 for the 2.5 hour flight from Bangkok to KK and then on Wednesday I paid about $100 for the 2.5 hour flight from KK to Kuala Lumpur. They have flights for as cheap as $25?!? I have found as I travel the world that once you are in a particular region (say Asia, Europe or North or South America) you can fly for unbelievably cheap right now thanks to a multitude of low cost air carriers that have sprung up. But when you want to travel between regions, like from Europe to Asia… or Asia to North America, there are much fewer options and many times you are still going to end up paying quite a bit.

Anyway, I arrived in KL. I am staying for now at the Corus Hotel. It’s not all that nice though so I may move tomorrow. But KL so far looks really cool. My hotel is only about a block from the Petronas Towers, the 2nd tallest buildings in the world, just behind the 101 in Taipei. At night, these buildings look just amazing… it looks like something from outer space.

The city as a whole seems really nice… my first impression was that it had a bit of a Hong Kong feel to it, but without the density and massive population. It’s so great (for me) that everyone here speaks perfectly fluent English. Its just nice to be able to pick up the phone and call pizza hut and the first language offering they offer you is English. Although when I called today she asked me if it was raining… I said yes, then she said they don’t deliver when it is raining. Ha, Bangkok’s got them beat there… my pizza boy delivered my pizza in BKK during the Water Festival and looked like he had just come out of a bathtub when he came to my door!

I went out last night. There are a bunch of pubs and discos right near my hotel. One is called the Beach Cafe… it has a live band. But it has a very Bangkok feel to it… most of the girls in there seemed to be working. I wouldn’t be surprised if many are actually from Thailand. Then I went across the street and there was a neat upstairs bar with good music, for a bit. Then I ended up at a place called Zouk (which I later found out on the internet is the hottest disco in KL right now), which was also very happening. Actually every single place I went to was completely packed… and it was only a Wednesday night. The crowd’s seem cool and fun… everyone looked to be having a great time and most people were very friendly.

I then spent all day Thursday just working in my hotel room and will stay in Thursday night. I may go walk around a bit of the city on Friday and then go out Friday night and then I think I may go back to Bangkok on Saturday or Sunday. I, once again, have semi-made up with my BKK girlfriend (its the never ending story) so I will go back there to my apartment again until Elsie comes on the 8th or 9th.

I have two big announcements for this week:

1. I ate at Kenny Rogers Roasters for the first time

2. I bought a Slingbox and Ben set it up for me at his office… it is AWESOME, if my internet connection is fast I can get full, decent quality video of Canadian TV now… just in time for the Finals, GO OILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!