New Food at Starbucks in Thailand

Filed Under (Bangkok) by Farang on 07-03-2014

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Starbucks provides a welcome respite from the unforgiving climate of Thailand for many expats and Thais. The comfy sofas, familiar menu, and icy air-con all combine to create a habitat that is hard to resist.

The only downside of Starbucks in Thailand is that the food menu can be a bit lacking at times. They do rotate their offerings on a regular basis, which is great for variety, but can also be a pain if your new favourite snack suddenly disappears.

Starbucks Bangkok Bagel

This week Starbucks in Bangkok, and probably the rest of Thailand, has added a few new items to their food menu. So far these seems to be:

  • Beef and Mustard Sandwich
  • Roasted Vegetable Wrap
  • Pumpkin and Duck Wrap
  • Salmon Bagel
  • Chicken Teriyaki Ciabatta

I’ve tried a few of these so far and can confirm they are pretty good!

Starbucks are also now running a reward card scheme in Thailand. By topping up your card and using it for payments, you can earn a free tall size drink for every 12 drinks you purchase, in exchange for your personal details and detailed data on you coffee-drinking habits.

What’s your favourite Starbucks snack?

How to Top Up AIS One-2-Call Prepaid Balance

Filed Under (Thailand) by Farang on 07-02-2013

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If you are only in Thailand for a short time or don’t fancy the hassle of setting up a post-pay mobile phone account, pre-pay or pay as you go is a great option.

You can pick up a SIM card at 7-Eleven or from one of the many mobile phone network shops around the country for less than 100 baht. They sometimes even give them away free at the airport.

True seems to be the most used mobile network out here but they aren’t necessarily the best. Aftlr being with True for a few years, I switched to AIS when I lost my phone and needed a replacement SIM card.

The only problem with a pre-pay arrangement is that if you run out of credit you don’t have many options but to go down to your nearest 7-Eleven and hand over some cash for a refill. Thankfully there are more 7-Elevens in Thailand than any country in the world bar the USA and Japan and with over 3,000 in Bangkok alone, you aren’t ever going to be far from one.

However it can still be a hassle having to go out and get credit despite the shops being open 24/7.  But if you dig around a bit on the AIS website there is away to top up your mobile phone balance online.

How to Top Up Your AIS Pre-Pay Balance Online

If you go to the AIS E-service web page you can choose to refill your AIS SIM card by using your debit card or credit card. They take cards from around the world so you should be ok if you don’t have a Thai bank account yet.

Visit this webpage to get started with refilling the credit on your AIS SIM card online:

Despite the website having an English version, as is the norm in Thai, the English is somewhat questionable and doesn’t really make much sense for the most part. However, as we are just looking to add some money to our mobile phone balance from the comfort of our own homes, it isn’t too much of a problem.

 

 

Christmas Dinner in Bangkok

Filed Under (Bangkok) by Farang on 10-12-2012

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Bangkok Christmas LunchIf you are spending Christmas in town this year, one of the great things about living in Bangkok is the access to world class buffets at affordable prices. Whatever you fancy eating for lunch or dinner on December 25th will be on offer in Bangkok ranging from classic Thai to a full English roast Turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

Most of the pubs that do a Sunday lunch in Bangkok are offering a Christmas version of the roast dinner on December 25th. Places like Molly Malone’s, Durty Nelly’s, The Robin Hood and The Londoner on Sukhumvit all have festive feasts on the big day.

If you want to really splash out you can head off to one of the five star hotels in Bangkok for a Christmas lunch buffet. These usually have all the Christmas day staples plus food from all over the world. This is a great option is you want a traditional Turkey dinner while your partner might want something less stodgy.

Check out places like the Anantara Riverside, The Oriental, The Sheraton, Four Seasons and the Marriott hotels in Bangkok to see what is on offer. Prices usually start around 2,500 baht with free flow soft drinks. For wine and beer you will probably need to budget an extra 1000 baht for free flow booze.

If you want to cook your own Christmas dinner in Bangkok this year you can probably pick up a decent bird at Villa, Gourmet Market or Foodland. But with so much on offer to eat out for Christmas lunch, at great prices, why go to all the trouble of cooking?

Elvis Presley in Bangkok

Filed Under (Bangkok) by Farang on 25-11-2012

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Dean & Deluca in Bangkok keeps going from strength to strength, since the opening of its first branch a couple of years ago. There are now multiple locations around the city, and the first branch that opened near Silom in Bangkok is still full to capacity at lunch and dinner times.

Each time you go in there, there are new items on the menu, which keeps expanding on an almost weekly basis. On the last trip there we noticed every table of Thais had a massive sandwich on their table. As they left, defeated, half eaten sandwiches were left. You couldn’t blame them though, this thing was massive! It was hard to tell exactly what type of sandwich Dean & Deluca were serving up but after a look around it turned out to be the Elvis Presley sandwich.  This sandwich consists of “grilled house made brioche, crispy bacon, caramelized banana and 100% pure Vermont maple syrup”.

Dean & Deluca Elvis Sandwich

When you take a look at it, it isn’t hard to see why the King passed away at only 42.

I’m not sure I fancy this meal but it seems to appeal to Thai sensibilities with its sweet filling and sugar coating. It must’ve been profiled in a Thai hype magazine or website as every table with Thais on had at least one of these Dean & Deluca Elvis sandwiches on.

Have you tried the Elvis Presley Sandwich at Dean & Deluca, Bangkok?

Playtime for Kids in Bangkok

Filed Under (Bangkok) by Farang on 25-11-2012

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Kids Car Ride in BangkokFunarium has got to be the best indoor play option for kids in Bangkok, but there is also another indoor activity centre for kids which is a bit less well known. That place is called Playitime and is located on Ekamai (Opposite Ekamai Soi 2). Making it pretty close to Funarium which is on Sukhumvit soi 26.

From the website Playtime looks pretty good and although reports from other parents in Bangkok state it is not as good as Funarium in terms of size and facilities it is still work going when you want a bit of variety. Facilities include:

  • Indoor Ice Skating Rink for Kids
  • Climbing Wall (one of only a few in Bangkok)
  • Electric Bikes and Cars on their own Track
  • Activity Classes like Art and Cooking
  • Holiday Celebrations (Christmas, Halloween etc)

Bangkok Climbing Wall

If you prefer the more Thai-style, hands off approach to parenting you can let your nanny do the grunt work and play with the kids while you have a relaxing foot massage on the premises. There is also an indoor climbing wall for kids which is a nice idea. There don’t seem to be many climbing walls in Bangkok.

Get a foot massage while your kids play

Despite the number of kids in Bangkok and the oppressively hot and humid weather, which makes playing outside not possible, there are hardly any indoor kids play areas in the city. There is definitely a gap in the market for someone to set one of these places up. It seems like a license to print money, if you get it right. Even the big malls like Paragon and Central World (once the larges in Asia) don’t have decent play areas for kids.

Are there any other indoor kids play areas I might have missed?

Contact Details for Playtime Bangkok:

Where to Train Krav Maga in Bangkok?

Filed Under (Bangkok) by Farang on 18-11-2012

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Learn Krav Maga in BangkokKrav Maga is a fighting style and self-defence system that originates from Israel, and takes elements from lots of different fighting styles to bring you a practical fighting style that is perfect for use on the streets and in self-defence situations, when you are in danger from physical attack.

It sounds pretty good and is something lots of people in Bangkok seem interested in judging from the number of queries about where to train Krav Maga in Bangkok, posted on the web.

Although there was talk of it being once taught at the Boxer Rebellion gym in Bangkok this appears to no longer be the case according to their website.

While there are lots of places to train Muay Thai in Bangkok, as you would expect, there is definitely a gap in the market for an experienced Krav Maga expert to come to Thailand and take some classes in Bangkok.

There appears to be classes offered in Pattaya according to this website but currently there is nothing in Bangkok.

If anyone knows otherwise, please leave a comment below of join the conversation on Facebook.

Kettlebells in Bangkok

Filed Under (Thailand) by Farang on 01-11-2012

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If you enjoy keeping fit but your condo doesn’t have a very good gym and you don’t fancy risking your money with a gym that is likely to go bust (like California Wow) then one good option is to workout at home. Contrary to popular belief you can get a pretty good workout in at home that can work towards getting you fit, losing weight and putting on a bit of muscle.

If you are already a seasoned gym goer with high levels of fitness or strength then working out at home might not be the best solution to your needs. However if you are just starting out or want to reach or maintain an average level of fitness and muscle tone then it is a great option that shouldn’t be overlooked.

What Equipment do I need to Shape up at Home?

Get in shape in ThailandThis is the best part really. Despite all the gym equipment you will see on sale in the Sports World shops in Central malls around Bangkok and the rest of Thailand you really don’t need to splash out on all that fancy gear. You can in fact get away with very little equipment which should suit those on a limited budget or people who simply don’t want to clutter up their Bangkok city apartment with large amounts of fitness equipment.

Personally I make do with a very modest amount of equipment. Just a jump rope and a set of kettlebells is enough for me to keep my fitness levels high, my fat levels low and my muscular development reasonably impressive. I’m no hulk my any means but I look toned when lounging around the pool and when visiting the beach.

Where to Shop for Kettlebells in Thailand?

Picking up a jump rope of skipping rope is pretty easy. You can find them in most Central Malls in the sports section and they cost about 200 baht. Much better value than a 50,000 baht running machine I’m sure you will agree. But what about kettlebells? These can be harder to track down. Some Central malls have a good selection of free weights such as barbells and dumbbells but these are often less versatile than kettlebells and take up a lot more space.

Where I did manage to pick up some kettlebells from was Phuket Health Store. Despite living in Bangkok they offer very reasonable rates of delivery so I wasn’t penalised for living so far from the store. They have a pretty good range of weights so you should be able to find something to help get you started and with kettlebell prices starting from 1,200 baht they cost a lot less than one month’s gym membership!

The best thing about kettlebell training is that the number of exercises you can do with just one weight is massive. You can workout all areas of your body including your biceps, chest and abs but you can also increase your fitness and burn off fat with them.

So if the Thai life is starting to take its toll on your fitness levels and waist line it might be time to start working out at home.

 

How to Make Money Online in Thailand

Filed Under (Thailand) by Farang on 07-05-2012

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If you have dreams of moving to Thailand before you retire or perhaps you are already living in the Land of Smiles and are sick of your day job or want to earn a bit of extra cash on the side then you might find this post useful.

Due to the tough emplotment regulations that apply to foerigners wanting to work in Thailand Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL or TESL) is about the only option that is open to everybody (as long as you have a degree). Sure you can get great jobs out here like bar manager, chef, accountant or engineer but unlike your home country these jobs are not often openly advertised and finding them involves a lot of networking or getting a transfer from the company you work for back home. Anyway, I’m sure you are aware of the tight restrictions that apply to us here in Thailand and perhaps that is why you managed to find this post on how to make money online in Thailand.

From my personal experience the best way to make money online anywhere in the world, not just Thailand is internet marketing or affiliate marketing as it is sometimes known. Basically you make a website, people visit it and depdning on the site they either click on adverts or click on a link to a retailer like amazon and then whatever they buy you get a percentage of.

There are many great reasons why this approach to making money online is perfect for those wanting to live in Thailand full time and here are just some of them:

  • Easy to get started
  • Very small start up costs
  • Get paid in your local currency into your home bank account
  • Can become a passive form of income
  • Can be done from anywhere at any time
  • No need to deal with customers
  • Be your own boss

Now there is one slight downside to this approach to earning some money in Thailand and that is you won’t get a work permit to do it and this means you cannot officially do it while in Thailand. The good news is that no one need know and it is very hard, almost impossible for anyone to find out. The websites you will be making will be targeting either the United States or a country in Europe and you will get paid into a bank account from your home country. Unless you tell someone know one will know you are doing it!

So how do you get started in internet marketing in Thailand? Well there are many ways and if you do a google search on “make money online” you will find 1,000s of blogs and website claiming to teach you how to get rich overnight.

Well I’m sorry to tell you that it just isn’t that easy. It might’ve been in quite simple to earn money at the touch of a button in 2000 but now there is more competition and tighter rules which you have to follow to get your site up and running.

But it can be done!

If you are prepared to put in the time and effort and approach this like you would a proper job then the rewards can be great. If you worked at this 9-5 like you would a regular job, at least in the start, then you could be earning real money within six months. Once things are up and running you can take your foot off the pedal a bit. Many people are probably leaving right now as they were expecting to get rich overnight but that is good because it redues the amount of copetition you will be up against.

Now I hate to be one of those guys that is claiming to  sell you a dream or a scheme of how to make money online but if you are really serious about this and are willing to put in 60 mintues per day every day for the forseeable future then you can succeed in this game.

If you are willing to work your proverbial off for a solid hour a day, each and every day then you can make money online in Thailand or anywhere else.

But that is a solid hour of work. Not 10 minutes writing then 5 minutes on Facebook, then a bit of your favourtie sports website then 20 more minutes of writing.

No you will have to write solidly for 60 minutes.

Can you do that?

If so and you are prepared to hand over about $20 for a solid course that, provided you put in the work can get you earning $100 a day on average after a few hard months of work then congratulations.

The course is called 60 Minutes to $100 Days and can be found on this website.

The course is pretty much 100% video so you don’t even have to read anything!

If you have any questions about this topic feel free to leave a comment or get in touch via twitter.

Whey Protein in Thailand

Filed Under (Thailand) by Farang on 12-01-2012

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Thai supplements
If you are into any sports and live in Thailand it probably won’t have escaped your notice that whey protein and other fitness and bodybuilding supplements are hard to come by and when you do find some the quality usually isn’t that great and prices are way higher than what you would pay back home.

Sports Supplements in Thailand

As far as I know the reason for the lack of products and the high prices is due to the rules for selling this sort of stuff in Thailand. Some sort of medical type permit is need as far as I can gather which makes producing and importing things like whey protein in and into Thailand quite expensive.

After looking around for a while I finally found a site that seems to have what I need with a great selection of whey protein and other bodybuilding supplements. Although they are based in Phuket they offer free delivery to anywhere in Thailand no matter how much or little you order which is great. They also take paypal which is handy for those of use without credit cards registered in Thailand.

I’ve ordered the 1kg Dymatize Whey Protein which I’ve had before from another supplier and at the Phuket Health Shop it retails for a very reasonable 1300 baht including free shipping to Bangkok or anywhere else in Thailand. You can visit their website by clicking on the link below:

If you know of any other places to get sports supplements in Thailand please leave a comment below.

Punched in the Phi Phi

Filed Under (Bangkok) by Farang on 30-03-2011

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Ko Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Police ‘Beat Up Tourists,’ says Phuket Expat

I read a story on another Thailand blog from an expat who says he witnessed a brutal police bashing on the party island of Koh Phi Phi. He is keen to get in touch with the people who got bashed as they were taken away by the police never to be seen or heard from again.

You can read the report here and its coverage on a Phuket website here.

Phi Phi does have a pretty lively party scene with lots of annoying farangs working as bar touts (especially that guy who stands on the corner asking you if you know where you are going). I wish the police would check their work permits rather than bashing people.

Did you hear anything about this incident? Even been on the end of some rough justice Thai-style?