Vacations are luxury that I can rarely afford. This time was different though: Wisa won flight tickets for two to Tokyo at her company’s Christmas lucky draw, so I had no excuses to take time off.
While having traveled in South East Asia quite extensively, I had previously missed out Japan completely. I used to live in a Japanese populated area in Bangkok for few years, so I wasn’t entirely off guard what to expect, but was still blown away – positively so. Unfortunately we didn’t have a tour guide, but still we managed just fine.
Being such a huge city (13 million population), Tokyo is incredibly organized. Everything works, I mean everything really works. The airport reminded me of Hong Kong in some ways: it was easy to get from the airport to the center by train/metro. 60 km was done in about 40 minutes and boom, we were right in the middle of the action.
The hotel we stayed in was in a walking distance from the Tokyo station, and after a few broken English consultations we found it quite easily. The hotel, Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo Kyobashi, was quite new and very clean. The room was really small, but served it’s purpose for us as the base during the 4 nights stay.›› continue reading
Songkran only comes once a year (thank god) and it’s the time for all the kids and child minded to roll up their sleeves and dig out their super soakers. Songkran is a new year festival celebrated in Thailand, and some other South East Asian cultures. In Thailand it’s celebrated normally from April 13-15, with few exceptions such as Chiang Mai where the party goes on for 6 days. Songkran has a long history and traditions of which relate to purifying by throwing water upon others.
Personally I have had my Songkran fun over the years, and these days I just prefer to go somewhere quiet and hope being isolated enough to escape the – sometimes fierce – water war. Usually I fail, which was the case again this year.
My holiday travels are quite limited to Wisa’s Thai labor law holidays, but Songkran is one of the few times in a year when we can escape Bangkok for longer than 3 days. This year we chose Ko Kut hoping to stay dry.
Ko Kut (or Koh Kood) is a prestige island located in south east Thailand near the Cambodian border. It’s also Thailand’s smallest province with population of 4000. The pier Laem Ngop located in Trat province is about 6 hour bus ride from Bangkok following a 1.5 hour boat ride to the island.›› continue reading
Happy New Year 2014!
Exercise in some form has been in my life as long as I can remember. But it became a vital part of my every day life when I became an entrepreneur. Having the history of a competing athlete I have really had hard time learning away from measuring all the results and competing with yesterday’s me. Exercise in my life today has one purpose and one purpose only: give me the morning boost for the day and feeling great. It has become part of my morning routine, and it really has made me significantly more productive. As a matter of fact, I am at my most productive state in the morning after the exercise.
I learned the secret of starting the day energetic in college, when I did my morning training and went to classes filled with energy, while my friends still had their eyes half closed and were sipping their coffee. Of course I was too much in an adrenaline high to be able to pay any attention during the class. But I learned how to kickstart the day.
In addition to morning exercise, I have another routine that I am following daily basis. Having a healthy first meal.›› continue reading
I like having guests. Living in Bangkok doesn’t unfortunately allow that too often, because of the holidays in the west, so everyone tend to time their Thailand holidays towards the dark and cold autumn/winter period. The past week has been quite hectic on the guest storefront. First, my younger sister and her husband came for their honeymoon (Congratulations!) after cleverly avoiding the wedding ceremony and reception back home. Smart move, I have to admit. They stayed for a day and headed down South to Koh Lipe before returning via Bangkok back to Finland. Then an old childhood friend of mine and his girlfriend arrived in Bangkok to start a 3-months Asia tour, which to be quite frank I am jealous of. And finally, my parents landed on Thursday to add to the soup. So, I transformed myself into a Bangkok tour guide for the past week.
This is what we went through:
I introduced my friends to MBK – one of the busiest shopping centers in Bangkok, since their hotel was nearby and it was their first visit to Bangkok – to start with something easy ;). The usual Phad Thai noodle joint in the food court had sadly pumped up the price, again.›› continue reading