Guam, where America’s day begins.

Holy crap, how time flies. It seems like only yesterday I was galavanting in Thailand and having a blast blogging about it. Fast forward 5 months…yes…5 months since my last post. Anyways …

I’ve since relocated to Guam (from Singapore). The whole month of February was dealing with the move. It was such a pain to move here from Singapore. So I landed in Guam, end of February, weeks before covid-19 hit the island. I’m one of the fortunate ones who is still employed even during the full “lock down.” So this is a travel blog right? Yup, I don’t know of where else in the world, I can step out of a client’s office or walk a couple blocks from my office and see this scenes like this . . .

If you love sand and beaches that are pretty much deserted, Guam is your place!!! Crystal clear waters all around the island! Here’s another shot …

So just what the heck am I doing here? Well, I’m an IT Consultant for a well established company here. What about my photography? Glad you asked …

Here’s my corner office. Ooops I mean my space in the corner of the office. I do most of my work here even pre lockdown.

So not much travel pics in this post, I haven’t gotten out to take any yet. Some advice about Guam, if you’re a beer fan. The Guam beer ISN’T made in Guam. It’s brewed and bottled in Monroe, WI, USA. Yeah, I felt ripped off. Oh, imo it doesn’t taste that great either.

Some travel tips. I can also advise you that in Guam, you can experience earthquakes and typhoons, if that’s your thing. Guam’s population is around 260k and about 1/2 of those people are US Military (there’s a naval and airforce base here). The economy is almost totally reliant on tourism, mainly from Japan and Korea so it really sucks here right now (with no tourism flights coming in) unless you like being the only one on the tourist strip, literally. Cost of living is a bit high but not as bad as Hawaii. Everything is shipped in here so a bit more expensive than mainland USA. We do have a 24hour KMart here as well as most of the big fast food franchises.

That’s it for now, I’ll be back with better Guam travel posts, I promise. Oh, in case you’re wondering, I LOVE GUAM!!!!

Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details.

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I finally got to Ayutthaya, not according to plan at all. Ended up on a Klook Tour.

A couple of months ago, I had planned to go to Ayutthaya and Sukhothai for a few days (by myself in each city) but those plans went up in smoke when my back gave out but it wasn’t all bad, I guess. I posted about that HERE. My original plan was to take the bus to Ayutthaya, disembark at the bus station, hop on the ferry to cross the river and rent a bike to ride at any venue that offered bikes. Then grab/tuk tuk in between venues. I was told that it was better to rent bikes after taking the ferry because you have to pay extra to bring a bike onboard.

Whilst planning my 2 day trip I was wishing I had more time to explore Ayutthaya but alas as luck/fate would have it, my plan now included my family and since my kid couldn’t get any time off work that week, we only get one day in Ayutthaya. Well, since one of kids can’t cycle and the other one is ok but rather ‘green’ we decided biking was out of the question (since I couldn’t find any info on the availability of tandem bikes). For some reason, I couldn’t book bus tickets online from Singapore, either there were no tickets or the payment page wouldn’t work. At this point I’m just purely frustrated so I just booked a tour package.

I booked the one day Ayutthaya tour from Klook, I’ve booked tours (in Japan) before and the tours were well organized and on time, but really, really rushed. So that’s what we were expecting. Our tour included these places: Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, Wat Chaiwatthanarm, and Wat Yai Chai Mongkol with Night Market at a cost of $48 SGD per person. The drop off point was Icon Siam mall (different from the pickup point) which none of has had been to so that was a bonus, I guess.

The meeting point was easy to find (Siam Paragon Mall) and the instructions given on the website were precise. Departure time was accurate and the bus was large and spacious (2 seats on either side). Having said that, they don’t allow large bags/suitcases, so for those who didn’t know, there are lockers around the corner for people to lock up their luggage. Backpacks are ok though but you’ll have to sacrifice some leg room which isn’t a problem as there’s plenty. I had my backpack and waist pouch (that fits 2 dslrs) on the floor and still had plenty of leg room.

The bus was an older one with lumpy seats but the aircon worked well, some people had to put on jackets while others closed the aircon vent. The seats looked clean and overall the entire bus looked well kept. Oh, there isn’t a toilet on board and no scheduled toilet breaks (although the trip is only an hour or so). Included in the tour was a complimentary bottle of water and a bun with some sort of filling (assorted flavors).

The tour had two guides, one did all the talking and spoke in both English and Mandarin. The two guides did great in making sure everyone was taken care of both in getting photos at all the venues as well as making sure everyone was able to order their lunch. The lunch venue was a strip of local “mom and pop” style restaurants outside one of the venues. Although we were free to choose where we wanted to eat, the one they recommended was really, really good! I had TWO portions of whatever it was, I think it was pork. I’m not in the habit of taking food photos, so yeah, regrettably I have none.

If you’re travelling by yourself (as in not part of a tour), you really should take into account transport because the venues we were taken to are pretty far apart. Although, if you knew where you were going, I suppose you could bike it but I wouldn’t want to (I carry a buncha camera gear, lol), plus a lot of the biking would be done on the roads, not so great for little ones or those not fully confident riding in traffic.

Overall, this tour and our guides were awesome! We weren’t rushed at all and my family and I found that although we could have spent way more time at each venue, we did have enough time to get the images we wanted in the allotted time. This included me setting up the tripod for family shots at each venue which is rare when we are on a tour. Although tips weren’t mandatory, we unanimously agreed that our guides and driver deserved it. Plus at the drop off point, Icon Siam mall, they got us an envelope full of discount coupons, not sure where they got them from but it was nice.

Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details.

Consider following me for updates to find not only my other (usually travel) bloopers, blunders and shenanigans but also photography related news/reviews and the occasional contest entry. I might even post a rant or two when I just can’t help myself, haha.

PS. If you want to check out my other ‘works’, you can find them here:

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How to get to Rot Fai Night Train Market Ratchada

Don’t confuse this Rot Fai Train Night Market with the other Rot Fai Train Night Market. This one is in the Ratchada area and just off of Ratchadaphisek Road close to the Thailand Cultural Center. This one is also known as the new Rot Fai Train Night Market. The other Rot Fai Train Night Market is on Srinakarin Street and behind Seacon Square (a shopping mall, my post about that HERE). Directions to Rot Fai Srinakarin is detailed in my post HERE.

To get to Ratchada Train Market by BTS train, you will need to get to the MRT Station named Thailand Cultural Center (Blue line). If you’re on the Sukhumvit BTS line (light green) you will need to change trains at Mo Chit station or Asok station depending on where you are on the Sukhumvit Line. If you’re on the Dark green line (Silom line) you will need to change trains at Silom Station.

After you get off the train at Thailand Cultural Center, find exit 3 and head that way. If you see a bunch of Chinese people standing in groups, most likely blocking the way, you’re heading in the right direction, haha. When you exit the station go left if you’re facing the street. Most likely you won’t have a chance to go anywhere else but with the flow of people. It’s ok, y’all are going to the same place.

On the off chance there isn’t a crowd when you exit the station, walk towards the Esplanade shopping mall in the same direction that the cars are going. Just before the Esplanade Mall is a road you’ll have to cross to get to the mall. Don’t cross it, instead turn left and follow the winding road. Don’t worry, it’s pretty short. DO worry if you have smaller kids because further up the road (near the entrance to Rot Fai Train Night Market) the sidewalk runs parallel to a big canal and there’s no guard rail between the sidewalk and the ditch. So please watch your kids especially when there are a bunch of tour groups jamming up the sidewalk. It’s only a short distance but better safe than sorry, right? The canal is in between the hedges and the pink building in the photo below.

Anyways, when you reach the sign in the photo at the top of the post, you’ve arrived. Turn left and weave your way through the tour groups (towards the buildings) and you’ll be at the start of the Rot Fai Ratchada Train Night Market. I’ve been there once at 6:30 pm on a weekday and the way was not crowded at all. Info on the market will be upcoming, stay tuned. . .

Have fun! Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details.

Consider following me for updates to find not only my other (usually travel) bloopers, blunders and shenanigans but also photography related news/reviews and the occasional contest entry. I might even post a rant or two when I just can’t help myself, haha.

PS. If you want to check out my other ‘works’, you can find them here:

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Luggage Repair Service in Sg, hope you don’t need it but if you do…

OK so after 20+ years of travel my trusty travel companion decided to burst at the seams. Though not a big burst it’s still big enough to worry about it catching something and tearing even more. Call me crazy or sentimental (maybe both?) but I don’t wanna ditch my travel buddy. I had no problems getting rid of other luggage with broken wheels or broken trolley handles, but this bag, I love this bag!

Since this bag is mostly canvas, I sought out a seamstress at a hawker center just down the street from where I’m staying who in turn told me about luggage repair shops. Well, now I feel pretty stupid. I didn’t even think to Google that because I didn’t think there was such a thing, haha. Anyways, I Google’d and found a shop, Chiang Kong Luggage Services, which evidently has 2 locations. Now I regret throwing away the luggage with broken handles and wheels.

I picked the location closest to me, which was still kinda far but hey, Singapore’s an island how far can anything be, right? The shop I went to was the one in Geylang. It’s actually right across the street from Aljunied MRT station, which is on the green line. Once you get off the train and head down the escalators and out the gantry, you want to take the exit on right. Once outside, go left and all the way to the end where you’ll meet the street. Take the stairs (or elevator) up to the overhead bridge and cross it. You should be able to see the signage of the shop (on the right) when you’re half way across.

So after taking a look at my luggage, they advised that they can’t stitch up the bag because on end of the tear was at the bottom “plate” with no fabric and that any fix would be temporary as they would have to use glue and reinforcement tape. I asked how much and a rough estimate on durability. The repair cost was $25 SGD and should last a trip or two but who knows. OK fine. I also had them fix the outer zipper on my North Face backpack/duffel which kept bursting open as well as replace the zipper that fell off the interior pocket. No wonder the bag was on sale, lol. Repairs on that cost $25 SGD as well and payment was collected on the spot, which kind of surprised me but understandable. Roughly 2 weeks later, I get a call to pick up my bags.

Well, the repairs look ok and passed my tug tests but I guess time will tell. I’ll probably reinforce the luggage with some gaff tape just for some added peace of mind. Oh, coincidentally I had my laptop with me when I picked up my luggage. One of the zippers on my laptop’s case wouldn’t zip shut the case anymore so I asked if they could fix it and they said sure let’s see. Five minutes later they gave it back all fixed. I asked how much and they said, “don’t worry about it.” BONUS! I’ll be heading off to Thailand next month so I can test out the repairs but as it stands now I’m pretty happy with the service and thus recommending them to y’all if you ever need their service (I hope you won’t need it though, haha).

Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details.

Consider following me for updates to find not only my other (usually travel) bloopers, blunders and shenanigans but also photography related news/reviews and the occasional contest entry. I might even post a rant or two when I just can’t help myself, haha.

PS. If you want to check out my other ‘works’, you can find them here:

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Talad Rod Fai Night Market behind Seacon Square, a haven for vintage stuff

Other names for this “Train Night Market” are Old Rot Fai, and Srinakarin Road Night Market and pretty much any combination of those words (and small spelling changes like Talat or Rot).  Why does this matter? Well because the “New” Rot Fai Train Market is located at Ratchadal. I’ll post about the Ratchada one shortly but I have to say, I like this one a lot better!

Once we got to the market, I understood why my daughter wanted me to check this place out. It’s full of vintage / used stuff. I found it absolutely amazing because I love looking at old/history stuff and I collect certain things (currently I’m looking for a Scottie Pippen Dream Team jersey and a Richard Brodeur ‘V’ Jersey, at affordable prices lol). Anyways, I was quite impressed as I found quite a lot of pro sports jerseys (NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB). There are big shops with a lot of really old things in them. Walking through some of them made me feel like a “picker,” you know from the TV show, “American Pickers,” haha.

Vintage vehicles are cool too. These are spread out all over the place, I’m not even sure I saw them all as, I got turned around (ie lost) a few times. Although not too crowded, it was lively and comfortable to walk around, shop and eat.

Aside from the antiques, the other unique thing I found in this night market are the pet stalls. These aren’t the SPCA baby animals on display asking for donations booths, but stalls actually selling kittens, puppies, bunnies and even hedgehogs!

There were two things that I saw in this night market that I’ve never seen (live and up close) anywhere else in the world, a scooter with training wheels.This little guy zipped by so quickly, I only got off 2 shots, this is the better of the two. I was too tired to get up and go get a better shot.

Anyways the second amazing first for me at Rot Fai Train Night Market was this . . .

WTF is that?! I couldn’t get a good picture because it was scampering around trying to avoid the kid that was trying to pet it. Then when it could find a spot to hide, the owner just dragged it back out, sometimes using his foot to move it. I felt kinda bad for it and moved closer to try to get a picture of it (because I still had no idea what it was at that point but it looked cool). As soon as I squatted down it ran over to me and stood up trying to climb up, I think? Or maybe it was asking me to pick it up, I don’t know. I put my hand down and it grabbed my hand with its’ two little paws and just stood there looking around. It was so cute! So I petted it for a while. Its’ fur was kind of rough except the belly, that was really soft. Then the kid came back and this rodent looking creature positioned itself so that my hand was between it and the kid, lol. Anyways, I stood up to leave and had to ask the owner what it was that I was petting and he said “prairie dog.” I walked away thinking how the !%@$@# did he get a prairie dog? I was greeted by my scowling kid and wife both trying to squirt hand sanitizer on my hands and legs. Apparently they didn’t think the prairie dog looked that healthy because it had some bald spots, most noticeably on its’ hind quarters. Other than that I thought it look healthy, felt bad for its’ situation though but what can you do? The owner is openly “walking” it through a busy night market, so it must be ok, right? I thought prairie dogs were indigenous to the Canadian Prairies so it’s not like I could swipe the thing and let it go in Bangkok, right?

Anyways, if you’re into vintage stuff you’ll want to come check out this night market, there’s lots of the usual things to see and eat but if you’re hunting for vintage stuff you’ll spend at least a whole night looking through racks and racks of stuff! Here’s some pics:

I think it’s best if you find something you like, not to show too much interest when asking for the price, as some of the shop keepers were very heavy handed in naming their price. A lot of the things we were interested in did not have a price tag and some shop keepers would not budge on their price. For example, my daughter wanted this wind breaker type jacket with a crocodile logo on it (I don’t know what brand it was but she did apparently) The shop keeper wanted $2000 BHT for it, I reluctantly offered $1200 (my daughter really, really liked the jacket…sigh) and the shop keep just said, “no.” My wife inquired about some other articles of clothing and still no budging on the prices. So we left. An aisle or two later my kid found a another jacket, as did I, and the price on the sign was $300 BHT, the lady dropped the price to $200 BHT when she saw we had a few items in our hands. We didn’t even have to ask which made my kid happy and instantly forget about that other jacket, lol.

Oh, I found a two story shop selling anime figures too, prices were relatively the same as in the Mega Plaza (my post about Mega Plaza, HERE).

Anyways, lotsa cool stuff with a wide spectrum of prices at Rot Fai Night Train Market, so look around before committing to something a bit too pricey. Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details.

Consider following me for updates to find not only my other (usually travel) bloopers, blunders and shenanigans but also photography related news/reviews and the occasional contest entry. I might even post a rant or two when I just can’t help myself, haha.

PS. If you want to check out my other ‘works’, you can find them here:

Let’s hear about YOUR travel adventures. Click the banner to join me on Travel Feed !
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