Showing posts from October, 2009

Destination Profile: Koh Si Chang

Ko Si Chang is a verdant, scenic island in the Gulf of Thailand which is only a 2 hour journey from Bangkok or a 30 minute drive from the resort of Pattaya.

Situated in the province of Chonburi, it is accessible by ferry, from Siracha pier (sometimes written Sri Racha). A journey of 12km which takes about 45 minutes and costs 40 baht!!!! The ferries run every hour from 7am to 7pm but as this is Thailand they don't always stick to the scheduled departure times!!!

Despite the fact that it features in a plethora of travel guides, it is off the main tourist trail and thankfully, you won't find the usual tourist hordes that you associate with many other Thai islands, like Koh Samui or Phuket.

I only saw 4 other foreign tourists on the day of my visit, in mid-October 2009. The majority of visitors are locals, which explains why the prices for food, drink and hotels are very reasonable.

Although its beaches may not rival those in Koh Samet or Koh Tao. I think it is a great destination fo…

Celebrity Interview Number 2: Frank Bough

Thank you for reading the next installment of Penfold's celebrity interviews.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to our next guest.....the broadcasting legend that is, Mr Frank Bough.

Frank enjoyed a successful career in television and is best known for being a trail blazer in the development of the breakfast TV show.

His distinguished career won him many admirers but, as with many celebrities, his penchant for drugs and sado-masochistic sex caused a spectacular fall from grace!!! Behind the the facade of the loveable old man in the "grandad-style" sweaters lay a coke-raddled old pervert!!!

However, despite his many misdemeanours has agreed to come out of retirement to give us this exclusive interview!!!!

So Frank, How are you enjoying your retirement?

I'm certainly enjoying life out of the limelight, It means I can travel to Thailand to enjoy the "nightlife", without the risk of a picture of me, spanking the bare bottoms of 18 year old go-go dancers while wea…

Only in Thailand......

Where would you find a picture of one of the world's worst genocidal maniacs being used to advertise a newly-opening tourist attraction? Thailand of course!!!!

This is one many examples of the lack of cultural awareness or just downright stupidity that is displayed in thailand on a daily basis!!!!

It is understandable that the majority of Thai citizens, who have only completed a basic level of education and have not had the opportunity to travel abroad, would lack a certain level of cultural awareness and might make the odd social faux-pas.

But the number of supposedly educated Thais, who display the cultural sensitvity of their farming cousins, is mind boggling.

This was demonstrated perfectly this month by Khun Somporn Naksuetrong, managing director of Louis Tussaud's Waxworks museum in Pattaya who thought it would be acceptable to use the poster displayed above to advertise his soon-to-be opening attraction in the holiday resort of Pattaya.

It wasn't until over 100 …

Top scams in Thailand

Most countries have their fair share of con-artists and swindlers but Thailand has a particularly bad reputation. Despite the growing number of complaints from duped farangs, the Government and Police have refused act. This is often because they are directly involved in the scams!!!!

The aim of this post is to give you a run down of the top scams you are likely to encounter and how to avoid getting ripped off.

There are charlatans, confidence tricksters and petty crooks around every corner trying to seperate gullible tourists from their hard-earned, so travellers beware!!!!

The scams will start as soon as you disembark at Suvarnabhumi airport, so it is imperative that you keep your wits about you and don't fall prey to these vultures!!!

1) Airport Taxi Scam - Official looking representatives (who are normally touts working for the mafia or a local criminal gang) will pretend that they are metered taxis and tell you that it is 500-1000 baht to go to central Bangkok.

My advice is......ig…

Thailand Travellers..who are they?: Part 2

This is following on from a post I published in September 2009 about the types of people you're likely to encounter in Thailand.......

Thailand is full of weird and (sometimes not-so) wonderful people!!!! So here is my expose on some of the groups who you maybe (mis)fortunate enough to bump into........I will apply a star rating to each group, so you know who you can safely have a beer with and who to dodge when you see them coming. The star rating is a follows: 5* = fun/enjoyable company to 1* = avoid like the plague/do not approach under any circumstances.

1) Missionaries/Religious workers:

Missionary. The very name conjours up images be-spectacled, sackcloth wearing Victorians trudging through the darkest heart of Africa, waving a bible and trying to convert the local "savages" but instead, ending up in the cooking pot and being served as a canape!!!

I'm not sure how a missionary would taste, as most of them that I have met, turn incredibly sour when you question the …