Where I’m At: January, 2012 – Singapore and Myanmar

Where I'm At: A visa run to Singapore

Greetings from Singapore and another edition of Where I’m At; a monthly update of what I’ve been up to and general site news.

New Country Day: Myanmar

Myanmar Visa

Date: 19 November 2011

Myanmar (or the artist formerly known as Burma) has long been on my to visit list. Over 10 years ago one of my good travel friends described the temples of Bagan to me in such a way that I have wanted to go ever since.

For western travellers there is an ethical debate over whether to visit Myanmar(PDF file), and on top of that the restricted internet makes for challenging travel for digital nomads like myself. I arrived there though at a time when things might be changing.

While the internet here is painfully slow, many restrictions have recently been lifted (such as you can now view Facebook). Then the day before I arrived Obama announced he was going to send Hillary Clinton to Myanmar.

A visa run to Singapore

I am spending a few months in Thailand on a basic tourist visa, which means that after one month I have to leave and re-enter to start a new visa. The Myanmar trip was part of a visa run. This time around I had not planned for a new country visit, so a short trip to a familiar destination was ok for me.

In Thailand there is the option of doing a minivan day trip to the nearest border, but I prefer to make a mini break out of this situation, so I do one of my favourite travel pastimes and start playing with the destination maps on airline websites.

AirAsia flights from Bangkok
[AirAsia destinations from Bangkok]

In the end I chose Singapore on the strength of a super cheap flight sale on Tiger Airways on top of a craving for good Indian food.

Indian would have to be in my top 5 foods, so I tend to find myself in Little India every day I stay in Singapore. Little India is also an interesting place to wander, though every time I go there the sound of loud Bollywood music and the smell of spices makes me want to go back to India proper.

Masala Dosa
[Masala Dosa feast in Little India – Singapore]

While walking around Singapore I realised that there is a serious lack of bubble tea merchants in Chiang Mai. Bubble tea is everywhere here so I was happy to be back on the bubbles (if you can say such a thing?)

Bubble Tea
[Things I love about Asia: Bubble tea and peace sign photo posing.]

Another reason I came to Singapore was to meet up with one of my friends who lives here. I found out after booking my flight that he was working in London this month. No problem. I got on the Twitter to see if anyone was going to be around, and I saw that Dan from Tropical MBA was passing through Singapore as well.

Dan is a fellow nomad who I have been following online for a while, so we arranged to meet up for lunch and a cafe/internet session.

Dan @Tropicalmba
[Dan @Tropicalmba.]

Travel is large chunk of my business life, and one of the joys of travel for me is to be able to meet up with like minded people that I may not have met otherwise. I realised afterwards that I had way more fun hanging out in a cafe with wifi talking shop and swapping ideas than I would have had walking around seeing the sites.

So I now go back to Chiang Mai, ready to tackle some online projects with my wanderlust sated for another month. After that I will be heading off to my first new country of the year: the Philippines.

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  1. Oh well James in KL also you can find a lot an of Indian Restaurant  (24hours open) which also very cheap than Singapore price and most of this restaurant have free wifi too and Bubble tea shop at the shopping mall. The spelling for Thosei is not Dosa (sound as Sin in Malay word lol) Good luck on your new venture in Philippines and be safe 😉

  2. Brock Groombridge says

    Sounds like a fun mini-vacation from Chiang Mai! I’m glad you got your fill of tasty snacks you’ve been missing

  3. Great to meet you James, looking forward to meeting up in the Fils later this year. Cheers. 

  4. I thought it was only a 15 day visa on land border entries?

  5. So, if I’m reading this correctly, you have 30 days within the country before you get the boot?

  6. I think this is best for only 15 days visa on land border
    entries. Because without visa you can’t visit to foreign country. And this is
    better for land crossing. Thanks!!

  7. Hello Singaporeans! I think he is entirely right. I don’t
    know well about the western countries but I heard it is impossible to go there
    and get a job. I think Singapore is very expensive and diverse country in the
    world. I think this is best for land crossings.

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