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
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 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 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?)
[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.
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.