I’ve got a class coming up in Singapore. It’s marked in red down near the bottom of the image. (Click for bigger.)
It’s a five-day class but it takes more than one to get there and I need another day to get semi-adjusted to the local time before I teach, and then about the same coming home. So all in all, it’s a nine or ten day effort.
My employer has also set us a goal, a formal goal redeemable in cash (if we make enough profit that quarter), of burning down banked vacation time. And I’ve got plenty of that.
So I’m thinking of taking some vacation time in Asia.
Where should I go? Singapore itself is interesting, albeit only a relatively small island but, still, there’s plenty to do. And Kuala Lumpur is just up the road — the train takes 6-7 hours but is cheap if you buy the ticket remotely rather than from a Singaporean source. And Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo are all along the line going home so there are many possibilities.
But in each case, I’ll need a place to sleep and that can get expensive.
Except wait, I’ve got a cousin in Mueang Chiang Mai Thailand! (Also marked in red in the above image, up near the top and deep in the forest primeval!)
I’ve always wanted to see Thailand, and this would be out where the locals actually live, not the touristy, catering to Americans and their money sort of place.
A little checking on the web and, yes, this might work. Train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur for $50 round trip — I’d let the company spring for the US/Singapore round trip so I’d go back there after visiting Cousin Mike — and then $250 round trip air to Bangkok and, finally, $50 round trip train between Bangkok and Mueang Chiang Mai.
That’s $350 total for Thailand transportation. Throw in a couple of snacks along the way and taxi cabs between airports and rail stations and we’re up to, what, $400 or so.
I can do that.
Only one problem.
Politically, Mike is about as far left as I am far right. I de-friended him on Facebook months ago, partly because of his political statements but, more so, because of his even more extreme and out-spoken friends. I’m sure that de-friending was as much to his relief as it was to mine.
But I did de-friend him. Maybe he’s got a grudge now.
But hey, what’s a little apology and some deep groveling in the dirt?
I can de-base myself. I’ve done it plenty of times in Slow Fire.
Hey, I wonder if they shoot Bullseye over there?
This thread I found is a little old but probably still mostly accurate – hotel accomodations in Thailand can be very affordable depending on location –
Good link, thanks Ted.
This morning I have “Yes” answers from the customer in Singapore and the cousin in Thailand so it is “game on.”
Time to start writin’ down the details and makin’ some travel reservations.
Here is a google map I keep my “neat places” on. It has some interesting spots in Japan on it. I wouldn’t go to Japan just for the spots on this map, but if you find yourself in or near Tokyo it might fill in some time with some interesting stuff.
Japan is very high on my alternatives list since there’s a good chance of a stop-over on the flight from/to the US. I’ve been there a couple of times and, yes, there’s plenty to see and do. Looking through your list, the Godzilla statue would be a “must” on mine. And I’ve always wanted to go up north and look around Hokaido.
Hong Kong is another alternative — it’s my #1 favorite place to go in the world other than home.
But, alas, both can be very expensive.
Getting to and from Thailand from Singapore doesn’t look too bad — $400 and a few hours by air. I checked the trains and while they are much, much cheaper (less than $100, probably way less), it’s well over 24 hours in transit to get to Chiang Mai. I don’t want to burn vacation time on a train.
Regardless, thanks to everyone for the pointers.