Weekend Trips From Bangkok Made Easy….

Want to get Away from the City for the Weekend?

Hi Guys!!

Firstly, I wanted to sit down this Saturday morning and wish everyone out a very happy weekend where ever you are and however you choose to spend it.  Sooooo, as you’ve noticed already, I’ve decided to start sitting down more often and start blogging again.  It’s something I’ve been kicking around in the back of my head for a little while now, and it would allow me to interact with you guys on a more frequent basis…So, I know (hoping with my fingers crossed) that you’ll just love! :)

The fact is, after a few years now of podcasting and blogging, the blog posts I wrote ages ago still receive more than twice as many hits daily than any of the podcasts I have produced.  I’ve also found that writing is much easier for me and less time consuming than podcasting, so it is really just an easier form of expression to interact with you guys that visit the site.  Therefore, and hopefully if I start writing, I’m going to be able to get on here more often to quickly jot down the random thoughts I might have on any given day. However, don’t fear as I will also continue to podcast as well of course.  So if my little idea works out, then anything I get out is basically a bonus if you are one of the few that enjoy the TIT on a regular basis.

So, what’s TIT up to this week, you may be asking yourself?  Well, It’s the first weekend in October and I’m up in Issan (Northeastern area of Thailand) spending a couple of days with my partner.  One of the best things about being back in Bangkok is the easy access one has to potential weekends away within the country.  Bangkok is the hub of all land and air travel within Thailand, so a minimum amount of planning is necessary to reach most destinations.  The proximity to bus stations, trains and the airport make getting away for a couple of days easily accessible for a weekend after work on a Friday afternoon.

Not the cheapest, but definitely reliable...

Thailand’s has several low cost airlines to choose from, so it is only a matter of doing a little research a week in advance to secure a reasonable flight to just about anywhere in Thailand.   However, this week I opted for Thai Airways to make the journey here on Friday evening, as the last flight for the other carrier I generally use was at 4PM in the afternoon.  Silly right?  Who has time to get to the airport after work on a Friday by 3 o’clock?  You’d think they would offer a later flight to attract more weekend customers, but common sense in marketing doesn’t seem to be a strong point for this particular carrier.

Anyway, so I left work on Friday to make my 6PM flight, and took a short motorbike taxi ride to the Lumphini Station of the Bangkok MRT (subway), which is the nearest station to my work.  I use the MRT daily anyway, so it was a small matter of obtaining my little red token to take a quick ride up to the Petchaburi station.  The MRT Petchaburi station is the connection station you will use if you want to transfer over to the BAT (Bangkok Airport Train) using the subway system in Bangkok.  When you reach Petchaburi station you are going to want to use the exit 3, but be prepared for quite a walk once you reach the surface.  Use the exit, take a hard left and then start walking towards the elevated train tracks in the distance on your left.  The Airport train station is NOT near the subway station, so be prepared to do a bit of walking and sweating to reach the trains.  Also, there is no cover once you exit the station so if in doubt, make sure you bring along your umbrella.  Your going to have to walk down the street, across the intersection AND train tracks, then take another left to walk down the road to the entrance to the station.

Take the Subway to Petchaburi station to link to the Airport Link Train...

Once across the train tracks, you can’t miss the station (Makkasan City Air Terminal).  It is a huge 4-story structure, accessible on the street by elevators located underneath.  You will enter the station and be greeted by a much welcome blast of cold air, as the bulky unused part of the station is air-conditioned.  It is impossible not to gawk and wonder at the vast expanse of cold empty space that exists here at this station.  It strikes me as a colossal waste of money as a result of poor planning, but that’s a whole other story completely for another post perhaps.

The next step to reaching the airport train is that you’ll need to go up to the 3rd floor via the elevator and buy another token to take you to the airport.  It is at this point you will most likely notice that the air-conditioned space abruptly ends when you approach the ticketing booth, and you are again thrust back into the sauna/steam room like environment “cleverly” created at the station. After purchasing your new token, go around the corner through the gate and take the Suvarnabhumi escalator up to the platform above.  Hopefully, you will not have to wait long for a train to come along.  Be aware that the trains currently DO NOT run frequently enough to keep patrons from melting in the heat, but the governing authority has assured the public new trains will be coming along in the near future (near meaning a few years in Thai government language) to make the wait time less painful and inconvenient for travelers.

Getting to the mostly unused Makkasan station will be a bit of a walk from the Subway...

Now you might think, as transportation options currently stand, the airport link really isn’t the most convenient means of reaching the airport given the abundance of cheap taxis available in Thailand.  However, rest assured that it certainly beats getting caught up in the legendary Bangkok traffic jams dependent on the time of the day your flight arrives or departs.  Use your best judgement given the time of day your need to make the journey out to the airport.  I left work at 4PM and the whole trip took me about 45 minutes from start to finish, which would have been impossible in a taxi at that time of the day otherwise.  So, I reached the airport with plenty of time to spare before my flight.

Then, once you arrive keep in mind that upon reaching the airport you must go up to the 4th floor for check-in, made little easier now by the escalators near the glass lift/elevator.  Please DON’T stand there and wait for the elevator/lift as it takes FOREVER to make the journey from top to bottom of the airport.  It was worth the wait previously because getting up and down on the escalators used to be like traversing a maze at Suvarnabhumi, but it seems common sense has prevailed for the time being with up and down escalators located next to each other finally.

Exit the Airport Link and make your way up to the 4th floor for check-in...

I went directly to Thai airways domestic counters to get my boarding pass printed as I’d already checked in online but you can’t print it yourself online for some reason which seems to defeat the purpose to me.  However, there were no long lines so I was quickly on my way to have a quick snack before my flight.   So here I sit enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning up in the Northeastern city of Udon Thani at the regional hospital where my partner works.  He lives at a condo block located on site at the hospital, so this usually where I spend my time with him here visiting Udon Thani.  Today we’re thinking about visiting a local dinosaur bones national park, but time will tell as the day progresses.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my little delve back into the written word, and if so please feel free to leave comments.  I do enjoy writing so hopefully (fingers crossed), I can get back into the habit.  I hope everyone is having a great weekend and fear not as I will talk to you soon!

TIT Podcast 65: A Comfortable Fit…

  • Welcome to Episode 65
  • A day late
  • Wild Friday Night’s in Bangkok
  • Bar hopping with the girls
  • Just can’t drink the way I used too
  • 2 day hangovers
  • Feels like I never left
  • Learned a lot about Thailand
  • First week of work & difference in kids
  • Morning taxi cab conversations
  • Hotter in Bangkok than elsewhere
  • Rains more here…my theory why
  • Using the iPad at school…vs. Books….whiteboard…kids attention
  • Video on blog site
  • MRT at makasan…ghost station and far from subway
  • Back to pattaya again…Russians on the bus
  • A different experience now I don’t have to live there
  • Dusit Thani pattaya…lovely!
  • I live for hotel breakfasts
  • A private van drive back and encounter with Thailands finest
  • Checking for tax stickers
  • Conan the barbarian–so so
  • Listener feedback
  • Hello to Walter, Raina, Taylor, Ash Raf
  • Bangkok podcast going off the air
  • Podcasts come and go a lot
  • Go visit the Royal Pains and my friend Damobs views
  • Closing remarks and lurve

Music on today’s show:
To Much So Much Very Much – Bird Thongchai

Download Tom in Thailand: Click HereThe Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here


TIT Podcast 63: Moving On Up!!!

(sorry for the poor sound quality….it’s been to long i guess)

  • Welcome to episode 63
  • Looooong over do for a new TIT cast
  • Rebooting my life
  • Difficult to know where to start it’s been so long…
  • The joys of moving
  • To buy or not to buy??
  • It’s been a long 2 years
  • Reflecting on rural Thai life
  • And I thought we were laid back in the American South
  • Bangkok vs. Thailand….2 completely different worlds
  • Thailand elects 1st female Prime Minister….
  • Want to be PM?  Just start riots and burn down a few buildings
  • Going home and then GOING HOME
  • Long plane rides aren’t Tom’s favorite thing
  • Trading the Big Mango for the Big Apple
  • NYC  never fails to disappoint
  • Thai consulate and Visa matters
  • What to do in NY…..Ya gotta see a Broadway show!
  • Wicked….just wow!
  • Onwards to Bama and the kin folk
  • Babies and fireworks
  • Summer Time in Alabama=Thailand hot
  • Back to Bangkok for good
  • The Big city inspires TIT
  • Off to spend Thai Mother’s Day in Udon Thani with the in-laws
  • Really want to get the podcast going regularly again
  • Check me out on the Facebook!!!
  • Lurve to my listeners!
  • Big thanks to Ernest for a lovely dinner :-)
  • The usual rambling closing remarks

Music on today’s show:

Movin’ On Up –  Ja’net Dubois and Oren Waters for Jefferson’s Intro.
For Good – Idina Menzel & Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked

Download Tom in Thailand: Click HereThe Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

T.I.T. Podcast minisode: Just Checking In…

Hey guys!!  Firstly, I should send out a big thanks to everyone for all the emails and comments I’ve received over the past month and a half while I’ve been kinda away.  I know It has been waaaaaay to long between episodes and I must apologize to everyone for being quite for so long.  So, in order to get myself kick started back in gear…..I recorded a little minisode to tide you over till i’ve the time to sit down and write up a proper episode.  Basically, i just explain where i’ve been in my audible absence and the “why” regarding the time frame it took to get myself back on the airways.  Soooo, without further ado please give it a listen.  Much love and will be speaking to you properly again soon!

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

 

Don’t worry….Tom’s still kicking!

Hello out there to all my lovely listeners!  I’ve gotten a number of emails from you guys, so i thought it easier to just do a general post and check in here to say I’m still here.  I apologize to you for not doing any podcasts for about a month, but the workload at school has doubled this year and Tom’s just literally been swamped.  Not to mention the fact that I’ve just had a really severe run of bad luck this month, and I find myself praying on a daily basis that the bad luck has run it’s course.  However, the string of unfortunate incidents should definitely make for an interesting podcast once i get myself back on the air.

I’m starting to adjust to the workload, so I’ve got it in my mind to sit down later this week and do a podcast for you guys so please stay tuned.  Again, i sincerely appreciate all the support and emails!  Talk to you soon!

Tom

T.I.T. Podcast Episode 58: A Siamese Summer!

  • Welcome to episode 58
  • A summer in Siam
  • From Siam to Thailand…a brief history
  • On enjoying the summer
  • Being in Bangkok feels like a vacation
  • Movies and more movies
  • Back to the gym!
  • Tom’s holiday insomnia
  • Have always been more nocturnal anyway
  • River cruises and costumes
  • Getting to old to greet the dawn
  • A 10 year reunion
  • The same faces with a few more lines
  • Fond memories and food
  • Thais and Japanese food
  • A culture of eating out and why?
  • Thai restaurants in the States and abroad
  • There are 2 Thai restaurants in my hometown
  • Waiting tables at the Thai House
  • Tom got a condo in Pattaya from Craiglist.com
  • Good deal for a balcony with a sea view
  • Facebook woes and thoughts
  • Sarah Palin is just a loon!
  • She’s like a squeaking dog toy or dripping faucet
  • Why she bothers Tom so very much?
  • Arrogant ignorance with a sprinkle of narcissism
  • On claiming to speak for everyone when we hate you!
  • On a brighter note…Tom finally got a new voice mail
  • A voicemail from Jens in Munich
  • Germany is on my list of must visits
  • Email from our long lost Forrest of the Lonely Ice Floe.com
  • Tom is excited that Forrest and Jay are coming to Thailand!
  • Comments from LM and Andrea
  • Mark suggests a Radish cake?  J
  • Huge shout out to Dylan…a new listener!
  • Lurve to all my listeners!
  • Tom begs for more comments
  • The usual rambling closing remarks

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

T.I.T. Podcast Episode 55: We Come in Peace!!!

  • Welcome to a very somber episode of the T.I.T. cast
  • First of all I’m Safe and a HUGE thanks for all the concern
  • Sadly to say….Tom was hugely mistaken
  • Thailand’s Darkest hour
  • The quite after the storm
  • On being speechless in the face of disaster
  • Arson and looting depicted on TV not random violence
  • Premeditated destruction
  • More like a cult than a political movement
  • Hundreds of I.D. cards found in sewers below former camp
  • Stockholm syndrome/indoctrination of hatred
  • Will try to collect some photos and put them up
  • So close to home yet so surreal…is this really happening?
  • Watching from afar and building paranoia
  • My “adventure” in getting back to Bangkok Friday the 21st
  • I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…Thai police are useless!
  • Bangkok owes the soldiers a great debt
  • Misrepresentation on CNN and BBC
  • Why not hire staff that speak Thai…understand the culture?
  • Not a battle between Rich and Poor!
  • Excellent blog article from a Thai that explains the situation
  • Huge arsenal of weapons found at the Temple next to the camp
  • Bad feeling that this is far from over…
  • The man behind the chaos
  • Spotted last Wed. traveling under different name in Paris!
  • Denials in English vs. feeding the flames in Thai
  • Leaders spent 2 months preaching hate
  • Many videos ordering followers to burn the city to the ground
  • Stores and shops in the area robbed and looted before burned
  • City still under curfew, but supposed to lift tomorrow evening
  • Property damaged extensively in my neighborhood
  • The Thai spirit is hard to beat
  • Voicemail from Sean that moved Tom to tears
  • heart warming encouragement from Facebook
  • Rambling closing remarks

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

Thailand’s Darkest Hour…

Hey guys!  I know it has been ages, but I thought I should at least sit down and write a bit down tonight and share with you…at least in writing.  The tragic events have transpired on the past few weeks culminated today with the leaders of the protest/terrorist/cult surrendering to the security forces after holding the commercial heart of Bangkok hostage for the better part of 2 months.  The Thai army initiated a massive operation this morning to take back the area rolling over the makeshift barricades with armored personnel carriers.  They engaged the militant arm of the protesters and effectively pushed them back towards the heart of the staging area, where the leaders where finally apprehended and removed from the city entirely.  Then, to put it simply….the remaining protesters then divided up into two groups.  One group seemed relieved to be liberated and the government proceeded to enable them to return to their homes in the provinces.  However, the militant/terrorist side of the group went absolutely berserk with anger and proceeded to demolish, loot, destroy and torch EVERYTHING in the surrounding area.  Firefighters were prohibited from entering the area by armed gunmen and thusly some of the fires burned uncontrollably and raged far out of control.  I just came across an excellent up close video of Central World shopping, the 2nd biggest shopping center in Asia, center as the fires just started to get out of control and thought i would share them with you.  I find it personally disturbing as our condo is just a bit down the road from here, but the reports i’m getting is that our place there is safe….thus far.  Anyway, just wanted to check in with all you guys and let you know I’m safe.  I’m extremely thankful for the first time in many months that I’m miles away from Bangkok now, but my heart and prayers are definitely with everyone i know and love there in the Big Mango.  I”m going to try my best to get my thoughts together and sit down to do a proper podcast episode in the next couple of days and in closing, if you’ve a spare moment in your day….please say a little prayer for the wounded both in body and mind.  The healing process will take a long time.

T.I.T. Podcast Episode 54: A City Under Seige

  • Welcome to episode 54
  • Bad news from the Land of Smiles
  • Red shirt protests turn violent
  • 20 dead and over 800 injured
  • Tear gas, molotov cocktails, rubber bullets, Bamboo clubs
  • Extreme violence from anti-government protestors
  • stolen riot gear and body snatching
  • They set up shop in my backyard on the 3rd
  • worst violence in high tourist areas
  • Khao San Road became a war zone
  • Tourist caught in the middle
  • Tom’s experience yesterday afternoon
  • situation started to look grim
  • BTS sky train shuts down for 1st time 10 years
  • Surprised at lack of coverage on CNN and BBC
  • Leaving the city Tuesday for Hong Kong
  • Always wanted to visit
  • Why do we buy Lonely Planet guide books?
  • Tourist sights i want to see…
  • Disney here i come….special thanks to Joe!!!
  • Computer crashed….AGAIN!
  • Why oh why didn’t I back up my files
  • shout out to Walter from Austria
  • How I podcast….
  • Moving to Pattaya update for Taylor
  • heart warming encouragement from Facebook
  • Rambling closing remarks and lurve for Joe!

Email me at tominthai@gmail.com, please go Comment on my page or call my voice line at 1-206-426-2152 and leave me a voice comment for the show!

Download Tom in Thailand: Click Here The Freak NetworkThe RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here