My House in Chiang Mai

I got tired of looking at my fence and decided to repaint it. Two guys and a lady showed up and started by pruning my giant hedge back so the sliding gate can roll easily. Then they welded four decorative metal arrows (along the top of the gate in picture) back on. Then they painted the metal parts of the fence and gate white and gold, and painted the concrete fence–both front and side–gray, to… [Read More]

Snakes in Thailand

Snakes in Thailand: Dangerous and Timid Vern Lovic, Thailand’s snake expert, wrote me this explanation of his new book, Keep Snakes Out!: Probably no other animal that is frequently found in a home scares people as much as snakes! Here in Thailand, we have a serious snake problem. Recently my friend confronted a king cobra climbing his front door. It’s really no joke here… For ten years I have been answering questions by email, phone, and social media about… [Read More]

Soi Dogs in Thailand

I know about twenty Soi dogs in Thailand (so named because they hang out in alleys, or sois). They’re not well cared for  and, if this story moves you, sign the petition to improve their lives. If you’re in Chiang Mai you can volunteer or adopt a dog from Care for Dogs. They do heroic work caring for lost dogs who need homes. I walk two miles around my neighborhood at dawn each morning. The streets… [Read More]

Thailand Bank Accounts

Opening Thailand bank accounts is different, but easy, once you get the hang of it, but it can be tricky, which is why our Concierge service introduces you to a wonderful bank manager whose bank handles all of Thailand’s foreign exchange transactions. This video shows just how infuriating it can be: New money-laundering regulations require you to establish and prove permanent residence before you can open a Thai bank account. You can imagine the Catch-22… [Read More]

Thai Elephant Lullaby

The Thai traditional elephant lullaby goes back a long way. Elephants are very communicative with one another and have a highly-developed language. They also love listening to soothing music. Here’s the charming video of a Thai lady putting an elephant to sleep by singing her a Thai elephant lullaby: Here’s another beautiful elephant moment in Thailand: the elephant is blind: And they also make music, as you’ll learn from National Geographic.

Yoga in Chiang Mai

Yoga in Chiang Mai has a long history. When I moved to Chiang Mai I was delighted to find a hotbed of yoga teachers and students from around the world. I’d taken classes with maybe 100 yoga teachers over 45 years and had come to appreciate the difference a good teacher makes to each class, and Chiang Mai is home to some of the most gifted teachers in the world. And the beauty and tranquility… [Read More]

A Traveling Life For Me

Have you ever wondered, “Is there a possible traveling life for me”? Derek Workman did, and his quest for an answer turned into a full-time job. He gets paid to travel and stay in beautiful resorts around the world. I asked Derek if he’d give us a realistic picture of what life is like for a pro, and here it is: A Traveling Life For Me (With apologies to Jiminy Cricket for paraphrasing the title of the… [Read More]

Landlords in Thailand

Have You Heard the Thai Saying about Landlords in Thailand? “Thai landlords will suck blood from a turd”. Pungent and, as I learned last week, to the point. A dear friend (not a client) who labored long and hard to make his Thai restaurant a success (#1 on TripAdvisor – hard to pull off) was recently approached by his Thai landlord’s  son. He had noticed that the restaurant was constantly sold out. He deduced that my… [Read More]

Chiang Mai’s Best Coffee Shops

Here’s a handy list of Chiang Mai’s Best Coffee Shops. A wide variety of gourmet coffees and excellent locations and environments. Enjoy your coffee! One of Chiang Mai’s Best Coffee Shops is Sweet Gardens, located here. These are the GPS coordinates 18.82920° 99.00616°. It’s on the second ring road towards the north side of town. Easy to miss because you’re hurtling along the freeway and can easily miss it. Owned by a wealthy lady who uses it… [Read More]

Bangkok, Where Pleasure is King

Bangkok, Where Pleasure is King The mood of Bangkok is very special in Southeast Asia. Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, for example, is a whirlpool of frustration; a capital in orbit around anti-colonial slogans. Singapore is energetic, engaged in a puritanical revolution; Kuala Lumpur, in Malaya, is easygoing, a capital with Arabian Nights architecture, where the work manages to get done every day. Bangkok, though, is a rejuvenating tonic; the people seem to have found… [Read More]

Thailand Employment Salaries

What are Thailand Employment Salaries? Wages in Thailand seem low to Western visitors, but Thailand’s official unemployment rate, 0.56 percent, is among the lowest in the world, (it’s 9.4 percent in India and 6 percent in the Philippines. for example). The jobless rate in Thailand has been under 1 percent since 2011. How did it get so low? Bank of Thailand spokesman Chirathep Senivongs Na Ayudhya explains: ”Our unemployment rate has been low not because of a… [Read More]

What to Bring to Thailand

What to Bring to Thailand When You Move Bed Linens. Thai linens are pretty awful, for some reason. The towels are bearable, but the sheets are rough and uncomfortable. Even though China makes most of the world’s linens, there are no decent sheets imported to Thailand. So bring your own sheets and remember that Thai Mattress sizes are different from ours: US Standard King — 76 x 80 inches = 198 x 203 cm. Thailand King — 72 x 78 inches… [Read More]

Pythons in Thai Toilets

Pythons in Thai Toilets are Uncommon, But… Thailand is still an exotic, exciting place, as this story about a pythons in Thai toilets, demonstrates. A woman was almost killed by a python that came out of her toilet last night. The woman, Rampeung Onlamai, 57, had just finished her shower at her home north of Bangkok when a python emerged from her toilet and attempted to drag her down the drain. The snake sunk its fangs… [Read More]

Best Books About Thailand

Here are the best books about Thailand to delight and distract you: A History of Southeast Asia: Critical Crossroads  Southeast Asia can fall between the two stools of China and India, overlooked or viewed merely as a reflection of either or both of these two major historical, political and commercial entities. It is, says Anthony Reid in A History of Southeast Asia: Critical Crossroads, often seen as the awkward residue after the great civilizations of India… [Read More]

Safety and Danger in Thailand

I’m often asked about safety and danger in Thailand, so let’s look at a case study with much to teach us: By the end of the night (around 2 am) as the bar’s customers were leaving. The holidaymakers – believed to be a man in his 40s and his parents, both in their 60s – were attacked by several men earlier this month during Thai new year celebrations in Hua Hin, a coastal town about three… [Read More]

Thailand Retirement Helpers