I’m right now in Thailand and I’ve been here for a little more than a week. I’m currently staying in Chaweng which is the major area/beach here on Koh Samui. It’s a little bit too much touristy for my taste (it’s quite similar to Kuta Beach on Bali where I went 2009). Fortunately I’m staying at the quieter and more relaxed southern part of Chaweng, about 15-20 minutes away from the main ‘tourist ghetto’.
The mission with this trip is not to see how many buckets of Red Bull & Vodka I can drink before I become insanely drunk (even though I will dedicate 1-2 days to empirically study this phenomenon) but rather to work remotely from here. In Sweden the weather was about -10 to -5 degrees celsius when I left, and it’s +25 to +30 degrees celsius here in Thailand. Suffice to say, it pretty much was a no-brainer going here.
I do really enjoy myself here, and I love hitting the beach for a few hours, having a swim, and just plainly relax. After my usual early stay at the beach I’ll usually head to my adopted office (the guest house’s café/restaurant) where I’ll do a few hours of work. It is a lot more comfortable working from an office back in Sweden, but adding in the weather and atmosphere here, Thailand wins hands down.
Another major and very prominent reason for heading to Thailand is that I’ll be a part of something called Paradise Business Camp. Paradise Business Camp is very similar to Project Getaway and the idea is that a few entrepreneurs meet up at some exotic location and work remotely from there. Everyone works on their own projects, but we’ll help each other out, share ideas and generally have a super awesome and inspiring time together.
I’ll meet up with the Paradise Business Camp (PBC) guys (and girls) somewhen between the 24th to 29th of January. We’ll probably be staying in Hua Hin or Koh Chang, the final location hasn’t been set yet. I’ll mainly work on Hemmalivs (the e-commerce store selling groceries online) while occasionally working on improving RoboBlogger and launching quite a few sites/blogs using this plugin.
The return flight home is booked the 6th of March, but if I really enjoy myself here (which I’ve done so far) I’ll probably extend my visa another month, re-book my flight and have another month of awesomeness.
If you happen to be around Hua Hin or Koh Chang in February, March, or April — drop me a comment or e-mail and I’ll gladly meet up for a beer or something.
So I’m back from my adventures on Bali. It really feels good leaving 30+ degrees Celsius of constant heat for 15ish degrees Celsius with rain and wind in Sydney. I KID!
So what is there to say about Bali? Bali was massive fun, especially since I had 3 friends from Sweden coming over and meeting me up. Bali, or more specific Kuta Beach where we stayed at, is a good spot if you’re in your early twenties or thirties and are into surfing, chilling on the beach and hitting the night club scene.
Most Balinese people are a-okay. They’re really dependent on tourism so at times they can be really keen on getting your attention to buy their stuff, or if you find yourself drunk in a weird alley in the middle of the night, sexual services.
The Balinese make about 1,000,000 rupees per month in average (about 725 SEK, $100 USD, $125 AUD) and this income is highly dependent on the tourists so it’s basically no wonder why they’re so keen on selling their stuff and services.
When I first arrived on Bali which was like 1 AM in the night or something me and my mate went for a walk around Kuta beach up to Legian street (the party street). I can’t recall how many times prostitutes on mopeds followed us, jumped off and tried to solicit us to buy sexual services from them. Needless to say, after this I felt that Bali was really, really dodgy.
After moving from IDA hotel (which sucked) to Pesona Beach Inn (awesome place) on Poppy’s Lane 1 my perspective gradually changed.
There was this one guy at the hotel (can’t remember his name) who was super friendly. When my mate got ill in the middle of the night he drove him to the nearest open medical center on his moped free of charge. That guy was also down right a really nice person. Major kudos to him.
The Indonese/Balinese cuisine’s most famous dish is probably Satay which is chicken on skewers with peanut sauce and rice. It’s a-okay to eat for a while, but I got pretty bored of this (just like Nasi Goreng) after a while.
When I first arrived on Bali I was determined to try to continue doing my cyclical keterogenic diet (cut down on carbs in general, eat loads of green veggies, good fat and protein and reload with carbs one day a week only) so initially I just ate steak with veggies – which was all right. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to keep this up for long.
If you’re a steak person, here’s Seb’s official list of culinary steak experiences:
- Hard Rock Café – I had my best steak here, a rib-eye with some mashed potatoes and veggies. All I can say is oral orgasm.
- Oceans27 – This place located just on the back side of the Discovery Shopping Mall facing the ocean was pretty chill. I had my second best steak here, guess it was rib-eye again with some veggies and some potato stuff.
- This place (can’t remember the name) along Legian street just before the first entry to Kuta Beach – Ate here a few times and mostly the steak with the butter sauce was awesome.
The beaches over there aren’t quite what I expected them to be. I went there with the expectation that the beaches would have proper white sand and crystal clear water.
The sand looks a bit dirty (apparently it’s volcanic sand or something) and the water is all but crystal clear due to the massive waves. So if you’re looking for über nice beaches Kuta Beach and a few of the surrounding beaches probably aren’t your cup of tea.
Kuta beach was quite good for surfing though (Well, don’t take my word too seriously on this, I never surfed before I went there) but at times it could get really crowded there. I guess the more seasoned surfers hit the other beaches, but if you’re new to surfing Kuta beach is all right and there are also heaps of surfing schools and instructors there.
The night life
The night life on Bali is pretty sweet to say the least. We usually went to these places:
The Green Box
The Green Box is a little bar located on a tiny little square on the same side of the road just before Bounty and Paddy’s.
This place attracts a quite a few people since the drinks are insanely cheap here. 20 shots of Arrak for 50,000 rupees (about 35 SEK, $5 USD, $6 AUD) anyone?
Eikon was a place we usually went to around 11-12ish to have a few drinks. This place is usually packed with Scandinavian people and they occasionally play Swedish, Norwegian and Danish music.
Paddy’s is a pretty sweet place located directly next to Bounty. Pretty packed on the weekends and quite okay drinks. This was my usual stop before heading into Bounty.
Bounty is the place everyone eventually ends up at. They’re open the longest and man, do I love those slushyish drinks served in vases. That was some epic stuff.
I had my best night out here as well. I dressed up in a sarong/sari and a rice hat, got heaps drunk and invented the rice hat dance which like 20 people participated in doing. Happy times!
The place is dirt cheap. Here are a few examples:
- Average hotel room per night: 100,000 – 400,000 rupees (about 70 – 300 SEK, $10-40 USD, $12 – 50 AUD).
- Average meal: 20,000 – 40,000 rupees (about 15-30 SEK, $2-4 USD, $3-5 AUD).
- Bottle of liquor: 30,000 – 50,000 rupees (about 20 – 35 SEK, $3-5 USD, $4 – 6 AUD)
- Average taxi ride: 10,000 – 30,000 rupees (about 7.5 – 20 SEK, $1 – 3 USD, $1.5 – 4 AUD)
- All day tour (for the entire group) around the most of Bali: 400,000 rupees (about 300 SEK, $40 USD, $50 AUD)
- River rafting (per person, including transport and meal): 200,000 rupees (about 150 SEK, $20 USD, $25 AUD)
- Hiring a surf board on the beach: 5,000 – 10,000 rupees per person and hour (about 7.5 – 15 SEK, $0.5 – 1 USD, $0.75 – 1.5 AUD)
- A pair of highly authentic (according to the vendor) sun glasses: 15,000 – 30,000 rupees (about 10 – 20 SEK, $1.5 – 3 USD, $2 – 4 AUD)
- 100% original quality (according to the vendor) baseball cap: 15,000 – 30,000 rupees (about 10 – 20 SEK, $1.5 – 3 USD, $2 – 4 AUD)
The things that are good to know if you’re traveling to Bali
Indonesia is pretty strict on visa-related stuff so if you’re from any of the 63 countries that are eligible for Visa on Arrival (VoA) you’ll have to pay $10 USD for a seven day visa or $25 USD for a thirty day visa. The visas are non-extendible so you’ll have to leave the country and get back in order to extend your stay.
You can pay the VoA-fee in other currencies than USD, but if you do not have the exact amount there’s a chance that they’ll give you back less money because they choose a exchange rate they see fit.
Another important thing is the departure tax of 150,000 rupees which you have to pay on the airport when you’re about to depart.
Money, credit and debit cards and stuff
If you’re heading out to the clubs and stuff, I would try to keep the money you bring with you to a minimum just for the night and to leave the VISA/Mastercard/Whatever-card at home. I overheard quite a few people saying they lost their wallets with cash and cards and a few Balinese people told me to look after your stuff as well as pocket theft wasn’t that uncommon. I didn’t lose anything though.
A good thing is to tell your bank that you’re heading to Bali. My VISA-card got banned for 5 days straight because I withdrew too much money during a certain amount of time. Good thing I traveled with friends so that I could borrow money, but if you’re going by yourself do some research about these limits with the help of your bank or VISA or Mastercard or whatever.
So my little two week getaway to Western Australia is coming to its end. I’ve had a blast here and I’ve seen heaps of cool stuff.
I went to Rottnest yesterday, and it was a really cool place. On Rottnest there’s a very special animal called Quokka and those guys are basically bigger and cuter versions of rats. They’re pretty curious and one of them almost got away with my pack of Mentos (don’t think he would’ve liked them though).
In about 4 hours I’ll be on my way to Bali where I’ll meet up with a mate from Sweden.
All rightie, guess I should have posted this earlier – but I’m lazy.
I spent the last weekend celebrating Easter with a friend and her family and it was without any hesitation one of the most fun Easters ever.
So without further ado, here’s the lowdown on the Aussie Easter:
- Rent a house somewhere on the south coast.
- Add people.
- Add meat.
- Add beer/vodka/whatever.
- Get drunk.
- Hit the beach.
- All in all, have a friggin’ awesome time.
Oh, and there’s also something called ‘Good Friday‘ which I’ve never heard of. Apparently you shouldn’t eat meat, drink alcohol etc. on this day and a majority of all shops are closed as well. Weird!
And yeah, Borat’s my best mate. High fiiive!
So I guess I haven’t really jotted down my general thoughts of my experience in Australia – so here we go. A bit of a warning though, this might turn into some deep stuff.
I’ve been here almost two months now and I can’t seriously remember the last time I felt so happy and excited about life. Doing this journey and traveling by myself is hands down the best learning experience I’ve had in my life so far.
What I’ve realized is that by traveling by yourself you’re automatically forced to be outgoing, sociable and keen on meeting new people. Since I came here I’ve become a lot more social and a lot more confident compared to what I used to be.
Basically, this little journey has forced me to take care of a lot of shit I didn’t like about myself, stuff I needed to improve upon in order to become a better person.
For those thinking about going by themselves somewhere, just do it. It’s the best possible way to learn a new language (or improve an existing one), get to experience a new culture and meet a lot of awesome people. And yeah, you’ll also be able to get to know yourself in a way you won’t normally be able to.
And regarding Sydney… all I can say is it’s abso-fucking-lutely fantastic. Yeah sure, you can see pictures of the place and get a hint of what it’s like but Sydney is as much about atmosphere as it’s about awesome scenery. There’s always something going on, always people on the go. One minute you can run around in the central business district and be surrounded by high rises and a few minutes later you can chill with the fruit bats (by the way, they’re kinda ugly) in the Botanical Gardens.
Well yeah, going from a town with a population of 40,000 to a city with a population of 4,5 million people can also be a part of why I’m so fascinated. But just slightly though :).
To all of those I’ve met here, thanks for making my stay here extremely awesome. I really appreciate it.
All right, time for another awesome update!
Yesterday it was time for some touristy stuff again. It all started out with taking the tourist bus around Sydney. Gotta say that the driver was awesome, it felt like he just got his license (alternatively: just stole the bus) and at times the tour was little bit like a roller coaster. But hey, I survived.
After that me and Karen headed over to Manly, which hands down, is abso-fucking-lutely awesome! Nice beach, a good vibe to it and eye catching nature surrounding it.
All right, so today I wanted to do something touristy again. This time I headed to the Australian Museum to see what cool things they had to offer.
To be honest, it was okay, but that was it. The dinosaur skeletons and the regular skeletons probably were the coolest things they had to showcase.
Tomorrow I’ll probably do the most touristy thing one can do: hop on the tourist bus for a tour around Sydney. Awesome!
So alright, I seriously suck at writing new posts about what I’m up to. High five!
Monday last week I went to the Sydney Wildlife Park. It sucked compared to Taronga Zoo, but it was still fun to walk around there a bit. After that I met up with Karen and we went for dinner or something (all I know is that it must have involved Darling Harbour and wine, I seriously don’t know why we always end up there with a bottle of wine in front of us).
I don’t remember exactly what I did on the Tuesday, but on the Wednesday I almost got my arm bitten off (well, let’s just say that for the dramatic side of things) by an enormous cockatoo. No, but seriously, you should pay attention while you’re hand feeding these guys. I looked away for a second and he grabbed my hand with his claw and it started bleeding and stuff. Way uncool dude!
Thursday and Friday I guess I was hanging out in the city somewhere (best guess: Darling Harbour). On the Saturday I was running around in the Botanical Gardens feeding half its population with bread. Too bad I got stung by mosquitoes or ants or whatever the hell it was, those buggers completely owned my leg. Aaargh!
On the Sunday I went to Australia’s capital Canberra. The Parliament was cool and all, but the city in itself just felt lame compared to Sydney. The shopping center downtown was a bit cool though, but it still isn’t Sydney. Man, I love Sydney.
And yeah, check out the new photos:
Hey. For those wondering, I’m well. I’ve just been busy with a lot of activities going on.
I’ll be posting updates on what I’ve been doing the past few days shortly.
Apparently, it wasn’t just food poisoning (or whatever it was) that I caught about a week ago.
After running around yesterday (I had an awesome time though) I felt like shit again this morning when I woke up. This has been going on back and forth since it all started. Some days I’ve been okay, while other days I’ve just felt like shit just like today.
It initially just felt like a regular cold, but when I started having massive and intensive headaches and a completely clogged up nose with yellowish/brownish mucus it was time to re-evaluate this stuff.
Since I was pretty bored of this I went to the medical center today and got myself examined. It turns out that I’ve got a case of sinusitis (swedish: Bihåleinflammation).
So now I’m supposed to eat my fun little green pills three times a day for a week or something.
- Issue using Chosen with Jammit for Ruby on Rails
- 150 Google+ invites to give away
- I don’t give a chainsaw about anythin’
- New Design + Update
- Thailand and Paradise Business Camp
- RoboBlogger is looking for additional beta testers
- What I’ve been up to the past year
- Things to come
- A Brief Guide to World Domination
- Matt is awesome