Fly Manila to Honolulu, Hawaii on Hawaiian Air – $728

I got a notice from a travel company about west coast USA flights to Hawaii and so I started looking through HawaiianAir.com to see what other flights were available from southeast Asia to Hawaii.

It didn’t take long to find a $364 fare from Manila to Honolulu – one way. That is really cheap. At least to me it is, I don’t ever scan these trips to see what the cheapest rate I can find is – but that has to be a good rate. 21,630 THB round-trip.

I checked Bangkok to Honolulu and the prices were much higher. I couldn’t find anything better than $900 USD each way.

In the past I’ve checked China Air and they had some cheap flights to Honolulu from Bangkok even – I think. Been a while since I looked, I hope I’m remembering that correctly.

So, if you have time to travel from Thailand to Honolulu the flights from BKK to Philippines are not expensive at all – you could probably do the whole trip for $1,000 USD.

 

 

Is Thailand Safe (Feb 2010) for Visitors?

Again – the question.

I have same answer as always… Thailand as a country – is safe. Come and visit and ignore the craziness going on – if there is any.

Bangkok is probably not safe at this time – as 2 embassies – AUS and CA (That’s Canada… lol) have issued statements that Bangkok might not be a good place to be in the near future.

Tourists are not being targeted. Have they EVER been? Not from my understanding of it all.

Stay away from Bangkok and the southernmost 3 provinces and you’ll likely be fine. Things are coming to a head soon because Thaksin Shinawatra, ex PM is set to lose about 2 billion US Dollars. Of course he doesn’t want that to happen. He has millions of followers, mostly in the northeast of Thailand – the red shirt country.

Look for some excitement in the next few weeks… or a total non-issue.

What’s the Maximum Passenger Limit on Longtail Boat?

I just saw on Channel 39 a longtail with 16 passengers (at least – I couldn’t count them all as fast as I needed to) and 2 staff.

It was a segment about whether the red shirt rally was going to affect tourism.

Does anyone know – how many passengers on a longtail? Are there different size longtails with different passenger limits?

Just wondering… I’ve always been told no more than 6 passengers I think it is.

ThaiPulse Travel Blog Network: Do you write about Thailand?

Announcing… “ThaiPulse Travel Blog Network” .

If you write well and can write consistently (daily or at least 5 times per week), we want to talk to you about joining the ThaiPulse blogging network.

This is an easy way for you to get started blogging AND earn money, AND without more technical know-how than sending an email. No blogging software to learn… you just send us email and we’ll format your post in a readable format AND post for you at your blog at www.ThaiPulse.com.

What is purpose of the ThaiPulse Blog Network?

1. We want to build a blog network focused on travel in Thailand that provides well-written articles of personal experience by those that live here or have traveled here extensively.
2. Help excellent writers that don’t know how to publish and optimize their blogs for high-traffic and making money by doing it FOR THEM for FREE. In effect, they’ll be making more money than they could get on their own without a blog network.

What do I need to do to get a blog with ThaiPulse Blog Network?

  • We will send out invitations to some writers that we’re already aware of.
  • We will also accept applications from writers that want to author a blog on our Network. We have some topics for you to choose from, or, if you want to suggest a category, feel free to do so.


Once I’m chosen as a writer for a particular blog what is the process to blog at ThaiPulse?

  • You just write the 5-20 blog posts per week for your blog. (5 is fine).
  • Send each one to us us by email, including any photos or links you want to be part of your blog post.
  • We format and post your blog articles for you at your blog, including optimizing the Google Adsense ads and other ads.
  • You make ALL the money that your blog makes. We don’t make anything from visitors clicking ads on YOUR blog.


We don’t need to ask you for a commission from what your blog earns because we’ll make money from the ads on the rest of the site. We will earn some money when visitors to your blog are finished reading your blog and go to the common areas of the site. BUT, we won’t earn YOUR money.

You control everything on your blog – you can ask us to add your personal profile, links (within reason), photos, links to videos, links to other posts on other sites, anything…

We control the placement of the ads and the look and feel of the ads – but YOU control your user name and password to the Google Adsense program. We don’t need it.

That’s it.


Why did you start this network?

A couple months back I spent a few frustrating emails attempting to get a VERY gifted writer about Thailand to blog on his own. I just hate to see someone that could make money on their own giving away money to someone else. It reminds me of myself I guess. I dislike making other people money unless I’m making more!

Anyway, this writer has been writing incredible stories about Thailand for years. He is a wonderfully gifted writer – and yet has almost zero online skills. I was unsuccessful getting him to blog on his own. The last I heard he was blogging on a forum. Forums are dead-ends for bloggers because they have no real focus. It is impossible to control the content of a forum enough that it will consistently do well in Google for the best search terms. Impossible. Blogs get ranked better and will continue to do well for years into the future.

Blogs have everything the search engine wants. Daily, dynamic and frequently updated content that is NOW. It’s focused on a niche and yet it’s full of diverse information. A blog network of this type has exceptional value in the eyes of the search engines.

The main goal is that ThaiPulse becomes a small network of Thailand travel blogs that are all focused on helping travelers and long or short-term residents enjoy Thailand more.

That’s why ThaiPulse Blog Network was created.

So, join us as an author!

Why should you consider authoring a blog in this network?


1. You’ll get all the money possible from your blog advertisements.
2. You don’t even need to format your post well – we can do it for you, up to you.
3. You are in control of your content, links, photos, videos, etc.
4. If you need a photo or 2 added to your post – we can optimize the dimensions and file size for you.
5. We handle all Google Adsense and search engine traffic optimization for you.
6. You will benefit being part of the network because as a person reads other blogs or visits one of the sites in our network – they will see a link to your site. You’ll gain visitors quickly.
7. Your visitors will be able to subscribe to RSS feeds (ATOM/RSS). Many web-savvy readers use “Readers” to see blog content. If you don’t have RSS setup properly you lose readers that otherwise would read your blog. We set it up FOR YOU and it’s optimized for easy reading, Web 2.0, and Google ads where appropriate.
8. It’s FREE for you. You only receive money, not give us any money.
9. You retain the rights to your content after you leave! *

I think, there are so many gifted writers in Thailand that want to blog – and could make money from blogging, but the blogging technology and know-how that is needed to do it correctly and make money from it is overwhelming for many.

Now, you just need to compose an email and send it to us. We’ll put it up at your blog. You will make all the money from your own blog.

We will send you optimization tips so you can learn more about how to make great posts that attract readers and make you more money over the long-term.

In fact, we will not even know HOW MUCH money you are making because the blog will be setup with your own Google Adsense account and only you will have the password for it.

More about joining as a blog author…

Categories available:

  • Islands: Patong Beach – Ko Samui – Ko Pha-ngan – Ko Tao – Ko Chang
  • Cities: Bangkok – Pattaya – Chiang Mai – Isaan – ?
  • Nightlife: Patong Beach – Pattaya – Patpong – Isaan?
  • Thailand Travel Tips (very general – lots of things to include)
  • Tourist Cautions
  • Thailand WIRED (technology, wifi, phone service, deals, etc)
  • Isaan Living (Northeast)
  • Teaching
  • Katoey and Gay Scene (ladyboys, gay men and women)
  • Things to Do (Things you can’t miss and regular things to do)
  • Farang Food (availability in different cities, best restaurants, etc)
  • Thai Wildlife (show Thailand‘s unique wildlife: bugs, reptiles, geckos, monitors, ?)
  • Thai People


Open to ideas for blogs but they must focus on Thailand and be interesting to a large group of people. Ideally the blog would be a tool visitors or expats can use to make their trip or stay more enjoyable.

Sorry, politics and visa topics won’t be covered. There are excellent sites in existence for those topics and they don’t really fit with the theme. If you want to cover a little bit of these topics within your blog as “part” of it – yes, no problem. But we won’t have a whole blog about them unless someone can convince me why we should.

HOW TO APPLY?

If you wish to author one of these blogs or an existing blog you already have, or a blog on a topic you suggest please send links to your writing samples about Thailand. The content does not need to be in the same category you wish to write for. The focus of your writing sample can be anything remotely related to the category you’d like to author, but should definitely be about Thailand.

Let us know the blog topic you’d like to write for and approximately how many articles (300+ words) you think, realistically you would write in an average week.


The two primary factors for acceptance as an author are:

1. You can write well. You have an easy to read style of writing that delivers information in a way that makes readers feel as if they are listening to a friend.
2. You have a real interest in the blog topic. You can provide 5-20 written posts weekly consisting of 300+ words per post on your topic. (5-7 posts per week is fine).

Can I cover adult material?

Sorry, no. Even the Katoey / Gay and Nightlife blogs are going to be written in a “PG” ratings style. We’re not prudes, but the search engines ranking us as high as possible is a major concern for us.


Do you OWN the material I submit for my blog?

What happens if I want to LEAVE the ThaiPulse Blog Network after a couple months? Other sites claim to OWN the author’s content, do you have the same policy?

* No.

If you want to leave the network you can leave anytime you choose. After you notify us by email we will replace your Google Adsense codes with ours. For 45 days we will get paid from your blog instead of you. During that 45 days we’ll be changing your blog posts extensively so that essentially, in Google’s eyes, they are not the same posts. This is very important because Google does not allow “duplicate content”. If duplicate content – the same blog posts, are found on our site and your new site we will both risk receiving lower search engine rankings. We retain the right to change your article so completely that Google doesn’t consider it a duplicate and so neither of us is penalized. However, your content may still resemble your original writing in it’s overall theme and outline – even the text – some of the sentences will be unchanged. At the end of 45 days we’ll remove all your original posts from our network and put up the revised copies that we created. At that time you’re free to post your original articles anywhere you wish and Google will love us both! How’s that?

This could easily become the strongest network of Thailand travel sites in a very short time. Over a year or so the goal is to OWN the travel market in Thailand. Blogs have a lot of pulling power. If the network is pulling in a million visitors per year, or even per month or week – your blog will see it’s share of readers and you’ll do OK with your ads as well. Oh – you can add your own products to your blog also – however you choose to monetize your site is OK – we’ll help you if you need it, if not, great!

Blogging in a network will mean your work is noticed and you’ll make more money than you could possibly make on your own.

If you write about Thailand everyday
and others have told you
they like your style,
consider

JOINING US!

ThaiPulse Travel Blog Network >

Clarification: ThaiPulse Travel Blog Network

I’ve had a few email exchanges with writers that weren’t clear about the process of blogging with the network.

I’ll try to make it really simple here. We’ll start with the assumption that you’ve been accepted to author one of the blogs.

1. We will review with you what types of subtopics you could/should/would want to cover for your daily posts. There are MANY subtopics under each blog so you won’t run out of ideas. You can blog about whatever you want under the topic – within the limits of decency and language.

2. You can start sending us posts quickly.

3. When you send us an email post we will look it over, format it if necessary – including your photo(s) or video or links to photos, etc. We will post it to the blog.

4. The blogs in the network will all reside on the domain: www.thaipulse.com. Each blog will be under a subdomain. Here is the Ko Samui blog address with the network:

http://kosamui.thaipulse.com.

If you were authoring the Patong Beach blog that subdomain may look like this:

http://patongbeach.thaipulse.com.

5. If you want to link to or from these new blogs in the network – you can do so. There might be a limit as to how many times per week you can put links in the blog that point away from the network or which sites you point to – as this all has repercussions in Google’s eyes.

6. The writing material you submit is yours. You own it. The photos are yours as well, but you’ll need to agree to let us use them for the life of the blog as the photos are an integral part of the content of a blog post. If you leave you can use the photos elsewhere. We will keep a copy on our servers to use to keep the continuity of the blog and to keep links valid that other sites may have created.

If you choose to leave the blog network – you do not own the subdomain. We will continue the blog after you leave by replacing you with another author. That author may choose to keep the format of the blog or change it a bit.

7. All you ever have to do – if you choose – is send us email with your new posts. At some point you’ll need to sign up with Google Adsense – if you wish to make money with your blog by placing clickable ads on the blog pages.

8. That’s it.

I hope that clarifies it more.

Oh, one more thing – the blogs you author at ThaiPulse cannot be an extension of any other blogs you have. Meaning, you cannot post blog articles in the ThaiPulse Travel Blog Network – AND somewhere else. You cannot publish the articles anywhere else as it can hurt us in Google’s eyes with what is known as “duplicate content”. Google needs unique content.

Ok, that’s it.

Any questions at all – please write!

~ ~ ThaiPulse ~ gmail~ ~ com~

re: ThaiPulse Travel Blog Network (I forgot…)

I forgot to mention….

I have a lot of server space… 300 gigabytes.  That you can use for movies and photos, podcasts, etc. if you join the network.

The site is hosted by godaddy.com in the USA. It has great servers and I have 3 terabytes of bandwidth available each month. I'm thinking that should about cover anybody that decided to join the network – even the great STICK!

:)

Vern

Travelling in Isaan Thailand (Northeast)

Isaan is the coolest place in Thailand.  It's got the best atmosphere of anywhere I've been.

First off foreigners are gawked at. I don't mind… at least SOMEONE is looking at me, you know?  Girls in their teens are flirting with me -and for what reason? I haven't the slightest idea. Someone must have told them that all farangs are good looking. It's far from true, but as long as the Thai girls are believing it – I'm all for it.

I know if I'M getting flirted with then anyone is getting flirted with. It defies explanation really. What is going on here? Would some analysis shed some light?

I doubt it – some things in Thailand DON'T make western sense and won't. Nor will westerners really understand what is going on. Somettimes one must just accept it and forget about any further questioning, it's not even worth it.

I drove over 215 kilometers today through the highways of Isaan. Saw 3 big cities and all of them were cool enough to live in – or to live in the shadow of – in the outskirts so to speak.  It was cooler since a low-pressure system moved in from China and we were supposed to have these horrible storms starting today (Sunday), complete with HAIL.  I was looking forward to that since I haven't seen hail in quite a long time. I think I was 12 or so.

No hail, but awefully cold at 100km per hour on the motorbike. I had a long sleeve shirt and two short-sleeved shirts under that. I had undies, shorts and then pants (jeans) on top. I had cotton athletic socks and nike running shoes. By all improbability there is no way I could be cold in the summer in Isaan. But, I was shivering and my teeth chattering for a good 30 minutes before my mind started to get fuzzy and I recognized it as hypothermia – from lifeguard training… and man, who would have thought THAT was possible in Thailand?  It may have had something to do with my physical state of health… example given:  I had a horrible "business" that morning that was likely a result of eating out every meal since I left Surat Thani 4 days before.  

I call a dookie – "business".

It's more professional.

So I stop and eat some VERY hot soup – I swallow it hot – hoping it will warm me up a bit. I slide into the restroom and exchange baggy shorts for bicycling shorts with the pad in the crotch for bicycle riding to keep everything from chaffing down there as I ride. These shorts are tighter and maybe warmer. I notice that they sag in the stomach area – which is very odd – considering lycra shorts are supposed to be tight EVERYWHERE.  

I have lost quite a bit of fat since last year when I had these shorts on last. I lost 10 kilograms without hardly trying.  That's another post.

So – after an hour of sitting – I start to feel almost normal. I can think straight again. I'm still dizzy though.  Not like I was, but dizzy enough to know things aren't "right".

I decide to go for it.  It's 11:30 and I've got to make it another 100 kilometers to get where I'm going.  

I get going – and it's all smooth from there – the sun came out and warmed me up. I was able to do 80-100 per hour on average and I didn't feel all that cold.

Arriving at Ubon Ratchathani was nice. I remember everything, having spent about a year and a half here when I first arrived in Thailand.  I know the roads, the bumps in the road, the traffic signals, the shortcuts, and how people drive. It was nice to feel good about a place again. Surat didn't really do it for me. Kids drove like racers on the motorbikes, endangering everyone and often dying.  In Ubon it's more civilized.  

The best reason for making a stop here – I know all the great places to eat – and there are MANY.  I've already planned out the next 6 meals.  Isaan food is very different than the rest of the country… there are more spices that they use – and they use more of them. Salt, chili peppers, garlic, fermented fish, limes, I love it all – and in the same dish is great too.

I've already hit 7-11 where they stock a local bakery's banana bread roll which was what I subsisted on for over a year for breakfast.  It is awesome stuff. You must try it if you come to Ubon Ratchathani.  

School is out and the kids are away. There is very little traffic and it's almost deserted here. The town limits of Ubon Ratchathani usually holds in excess of 100,000 people I'm guessing.  The census figures are wrong for all of Thailand as there has been some serious migration toward the cities.  

Jobs are everywhere in Isaan for teaching – there's nobody that couldn't get one if they wanted. With diploma or without. Being native speaker or not. Being able to teach or not.  There are Germans teaching here that nobody can understand, but they are getting paid to teach English. In Isaan the schools will take whatever they can get.

There are some things to do here. "THE ROCK" is a large nightclub in the bottom of the NEVADA hotel – pronounced by Thais' as "Neh wah dah".  There are nightly ladyboy danceshows and real ladies too – they alternate.  The shows start about 9 pm and keep going until 11 or so when it's just dance music over the speakers, and usually the same tunes – but everyone feels comfortable dancing to them – and things get rocking after 12:30 or so.  The club also FILLS UP after about midnight as other smaller clubs start to close.  No ID is needed, nor will they frisk you for weapons, but the Thais' need ID and a frisk.

If you take care of the bouncer type guys there with 20-40 baht everytime you see them you'll get royal treatment and they'll probably stop a fight that breaks out if you're involved – unless you really deserve it.  I've not seen any fights inside The Rock, but I've heard of a couple. Be careful.  There are Thai guys there that are used to being Numero UNO, if you come in with your western posse and suddenly you are the one being looked at and talked about – you are now number 1 and they guy or guys may not appreciate it and start something.

One time I was mildly buzzed and pointed to some guy's plate of food and was incredulous that he could get Gai Pad King in the club – I didn't even know they served it as nobody else is ever eating in there.  The guy got extremely pissed – probably thinking I'm calling his food shite or something – and my Thai friend had to intervene and Kartold krup about 9 times as the guy cooled off a little with each one.

So – when you're drunk you might do something similar that might seem innocuous, but that leads to you getting beat to death by 15 guys.

It's quarter to five on Saturday and I'll likely not get this out today. I'll try to send it tomorrow before I head off to a nearby town.

You should visit Isaan – Ubon, Amnat Charoen, Mahasarakham, whatever – just to get a different feel for Thailand. It's what I think Thailand is really about… many people giving food to the monks in the early morning… dancers in the street following pickup trucks with speakers playing music from a wired-in guitar like instrument that goes really fast like Indian music… Forest wats… great food – spicy maak maa…  reasonable traffic… beautiful people…  good parties and Songkran…  and hotter than hell in the summer – don't come until Winter – you'll appreciate it more!