Escape Bangkok

Step-By-Step Koh Samet Guide

Is the BTS crush giving you a headache? Are you tired of traffic? Sick of your schedule? Then it might be time to run away for a few days. Instead of wasting time in transit or fussing around with airports and delayed flights, try closer to home and look no further than the white sands of Koh Samet. Only 3 hours from Bangkok to the beach, you can be sipping from a fresh coconut overlooking turquoise waters before midday. With this guide, you get the experience of someone who has been to Koh Samet three times in one year to help you plan the easiest, most relaxing mini-break.

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Travel Writing Success Tips

We all want to get paid to share our stories and pictures, it is the ultimate dream. I know that my blog is just a silly, little thing, but I still love sharing information with people. Recently, Writers Agency contacted me to ask me to share some tips with other writers. I have written 5 stories for Writers Agency (Callala, Qingdao, Buddina, Guns in Beijing, and Sydney to Gold Coast Road Trip) and they have all been pretty successful. Each article I write makes me a bit of cash and I like doing it. Click here to read my tips for getting your travel articles read by more people. And if you would like to work for Writers Agency, click this link to see how you can sign up and start getting your work published.

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Learning Thai – Study Tips Part 1

Thai Consonant Classes – High and Mid

Reshaping My Brain

After almost 16 years (give or take a year here or there) in China, speaking Mandarin every day, learning the tones, the characters, the bad words, the Beijing slang, and generally being pretty Chinese, I have had to turn off that part of my brain. Every day, I have to try to silence the little part of me that is desperate to communicate with locals in Chinese. The language I have spent so long trying to figure out is useless now, but my idiot brain is having a hard time realising that, and when English fails, it automatically wants to use the other language it knows to get the point across. I find myself constructing sentences with taxi drivers here in Bangkok, and while all the key vocabulary is in Thai, the conjunctions, articles, particles, and pronouns all slip out in Chinese before I can stop myself.

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Getting an ED Student Visa for Thailand

I moved to Thailand! This has been a fantastic adventure and I am not ready to settle into the workforce just yet. I plan to spend my time studying and exploring. In order to do those things, however, I do need a visa. There are people who live in Thailand for years by exiting the country every 30 days and coming back in on a new tourist visa, but that sounds exhausting. Below is my guide to getting a student visa for the Land of Smiles.

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Artisan Cheese Making – Feta at Home

Feta Cheese Classes

Bangkok is such a cool, diverse, and fascinating city. It is a place where an expat can easily fill every day with a new experience, from fruit carving to Muay Thai, tattoo schools to photography classes. This city attracts the artistic, the adventurous, and the weirdos, and many of those choose to share their experiences with others.

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A Secret Paradise – Callala Beach, Jervis Bay

My friend Carolyn and her lovely family recommended this spot to me as the perfect easy, laid-back holiday destination. Then I remembered that my mum used to take us to Jervis Bay as kids to stay in the caravan park. I soon realised there was so much to offer on the NSW south coast and I just had to share this magical destination. It seems that the more time I spend outside of my beautiful country, the more I appreciate just how lucky I am to be Australian.

The kind people at Tropicalist picked up my article and published it for you to read at this link.

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Chinese Hospital Guide – Chaoyang Hospital

Hospital Visits, A Necessary Evil

Hospitals suck. Over the past 17 years, I have been to every hospital you can name in Beijing for my spine and various other things, ranging from motorcycle accidents to lady business. I wanted to share this guide with you to make the process less intimidating.

This article was picked up by Beijing Kids and published on their website. Thanks, gang!

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Qingdao – The Beer is Here!

Qingdao

Qingdao is one of those cities that just feels good as soon as you arrive. It has a vibe, a warmth, a breeziness, a friendliness. The people there are chill compared to the perpetually grumpy Beijingers. Though I do love a grumpy Beijinger, I myself am definitely firmly in that category of human, it is nice to escape the big, mean city sometimes and hit up the coast.

Travelicious Article

I recently wrote a little travel guide to Qingdao, which gives you lots of helpful travel hints and advice. Forget Qingdao Airport, it is all about the bullet train! It’s almost summer now, and the weather is perfect to see where the beer comes from and drink loads of it on the beach at dusk. Read my article on Travelicious at this link. 

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Road Trip! Sydney to the Gold Coast

Australia’s Pacific Coast is just stunning. I grew up driving up and down it with my mum, and little brother. Listening to a soundtrack of Patsy Cline, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. We spent every holiday in a caravan park in Arrawarra, we went to the Pet Porpoise Pool in Coffs each time we drove through. We regularly visited friends in Dorrigo and Belingen, and for a few years when I was young, I went to Currumbin Primary School. My brother and I were both born in Sydney, but we were central coast kids at heart. Recently I wrote an article detailing the perfect road trip from Sydney to the Gold Coast and it was published on Tropicalist. Click here to read it, but be warned, it might inspire you to get in the car and start driving. 

 

Watching The Whales – Visiting Buddina

Last year, I took Tyler to Australia for the second time. Tyler’s favourite book is Moby Dick, and he has a mild whale obsession. I planned a trip the gorgeous Sunshine Coast to visit another friend, see some whales, and just escape Sydney a little bit.

Buddina is a tiny town, full of charm and natural beauty. I wrote about our trip and the awesome people at Tropicalist picked up my article. You can read my guide to visiting this part of Australia here. 

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Travel Guide – Quick, Cheap, Easy Philippines

Matabungkay Beach

The Location

Our first trip to the Philippines was incredible. We spent 3 weeks on Palawan Island, visiting El Nido, Port Barton, and Puerto Princesa. We loved the people, the beaches, and the country and really wanted to go back. For our second trip to the Philippines, we didn’t have a whole lot of time and we were looking for a vacation which just included lots of swimming, eating, and relaxing. After some online research, we decided on Matabungkay in the Batangas Region.

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Guns and Fun

Beijing’s suburbs provide endless entertainment, even if it is hard to find sometimes.

For Tyler’s birthday last May, I rented a bus to take us and 12 of our friends out to the mountains around Changping to stay in a nongjia hotel and then visit a shooting range to blow stuff up. We had a blast (pun intended) and I wrote a bit of a story/guide to getting out of Beijing for this kind of adventure. Today I learned that Travelicious have published my story!

Read all about it here. 

DIY Mooncakes – They’re Edible, It’s Lunacy!

No one likes mooncakes. This is a simple fact of life in China. Every year I am gifted several boxes by employers and business associates (jk, I don’t have those). Every year, I re-gift them to my ayi and my mechanic. Every year, I get the distinct feeling that they are going to pass them on to distant relatives. It is the cycle of the mooncake. I am quite certain that—in the history of mooncakes—no one has ever eaten one, ever. Continue reading “DIY Mooncakes – They’re Edible, It’s Lunacy!”