Monday, 23 November 2015

Istanbul Food Tour

When I flew from Thailand to Ireland this Easter to play in the Irish Open I broke up the journey with a stopover in Istanbul, Turkey. One night on the way there and another two on the way home.

At the time I booked the trip I didn't know much about Istanbul or even what I actually wanted to do there, other than eating my weight in Turkish Delight. My main motivation for this itinerary was to save myself a lot of money. However I'm always glad for the opportunity to visit somewhere I've never been before.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Irish Open (Dublin) - Trip Report

From Bangkok, Thailand to Dublin, Ireland. I made that long journey to play in this year's Paddy Power Irish Open and end my 10 month hiatus from live poker tournaments.

The venue for the Irish Open was the Hilton Doubletree hotel, who got my stay off to a sweet start. When I was checking in I was handed a large, fresh, warm and extremely delicious chocolate-chip cookie along with my room key.

I think more hotels should do this kind of thing. The financial cost is small compared to the resulting customer satisfaction level. Maybe I love cookies too much, but if I'm a customer of yours and you unexpectedly hand me a delicious freshly baked cookie, chances are I'll write good things about your business on the internet. (Contact me for postal address to send all cookie bribes.)

Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Maldives - Trip Report

This trip report from my visit to The Maldives in December will be rather different to most other Maldives trip reports you will read online.

It will also be difficult for me to write. If you read until the end you'll see why. But I won't let that get in the way of me documenting my travels.

Last year I got into what I'd call my first serious relationship in as long as I can possibly remember. I was happier than I ever had been in my life. Life was awesome. Except for one problem. My girlfriend had to leave Bangkok for 4 and a half months to do an internship at a hotel resort island in The Maldives.

I knew it was going to be be difficult because we had spent every single day together up until then. I promised that I would fly over to visit her halfway through, to make the temporary distance-relationship easier to handle.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Returning to live poker at the Irish Open

It's been 9 months since I played my last live poker event. I lost a coinflip on day 2 of the UKIPT Marbella main event and proceeded to get involved in a bit of football related light banter later that day (Oh sorry, did that celebration offend you?).

To be honest, I never was much of a live poker player. I much prefer clicking buttons on a laptop where I can happily play poker in my underwear without people complaining. I decided after what went on in Marbella that I'd only play live poker from then on if the event is held somewhere that I actually want to travel to and that I know a lot of my poker friends will be attending.

As I've mentioned before on my blog, my favourite place in the world to play poker, other than "the internet", is Ireland, and the largest Irish event of the year is coming up soon. The €3,500 buyin Paddy Power Irish Open.

My plan is to make the long journey from my home in Bangkok all the way to Dublin to participate in the Irish Open this coming Easter weekend (Friday 3rd April - Monday 6th April).

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Penang, Malaysia - Trip Report

As every foreigner who stays in Thailand for a while knows, you have to get your foreign ass out of the country every now and again when your visa expires.

For some that is a major hassle, but for me it's a good opportunity to visit some cool places. Penang in Malaysia is my favourite place to do my Thai "visa runs".

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Chiang Mai, Thailand - Trip Report

After my poker trip to Marbella I returned home to Bangkok with far fewer commitments and much more free time.

I used that free time productively - by dating pretty girls. Eventually I met a pretty girl that actually had a personality and that I actually enjoyed spending time with. Like me, she had a lot of free time on her hands, as she wasn't due to start at university for another month. I suggested that we make the most of our freedom by taking a short vacation to Chiang Mai together.

Friday, 5 September 2014

UKIPT Marbella - Trip Report

Marbella is a coastal resort in the massive tourist trap of the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain.

Beaches, hotels, bars, drunk Brits, drunk Germans - and not a whole lot else. It's not type of place that I generally visit as I believe there are far more fun, interesting and culturally rich places on earth but I travelled to Marbella primarily to play the UK and Ireland Poker tour event.

Yes, that well known part of the UK in the south of Spain. Actually, Marbella is only 50 miles up the road from the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, so I guess that's close enough.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Helsinki, Finland - Trip Report

I was sitting at my laptop looking to book a flight ticket from Bangkok to Marbella to play in the UKIPT. The best I could find was a journey with Finnair that was a 10.5 hour flight to Helsinki, followed by an 11.5 hour wait in the airport before a 4 hour flight to Spain. Screw, that!

Whenever a long haul flight has a connection it's generally no more expensive to book it as two separate legs on the same ticket and enjoy a few days stopover in the connection city, so that's what I did. I did the exact same thing last year with an Emirates flight between Glasgow and Bangkok that had a connection in Dubai.

The way I look at stopping over on connections is that it's like taking an extra vacation somewhere but not having to pay for the flights. I surely would have taken trips to Dubai and Helsinki at some point anyway, but this way I did it without the expense of the flights.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Hong Kong - Trip Report

After a week of fun in Korea I flew back to Thailand, but not before stopping by Hong Kong on the way. My plan was to spend 3 days there hiking in the rural areas. Yes, apparently Hong Kong has rural areas!

I'd visited Hong Kong before and didn't think much of the place. My experience was one of being surrounded by massive buildings and millions of people. Hong Kong is incredibly overpopulated and it seemed like no area of land was undeveloped.

It was only after reading the blogs of my fellow travellers that I learned there's a lot more to Hong Kong than I'd previously experienced. I learned about the many isolated beaches, incredible forests and mountains with breathtaking views that Hong Kong has to offer. So I returned with the intention of exploring these areas and experiencing a totally different side to Hong Kong.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Seoul, Korea - Trip Report

Back in February I was in Dublin, Ireland to play a bit of poker. It was a trip that resulted in me losing money but gaining an awesome new Korean friend. That's a net win in my opinion.

Just a couple of weeks later my new friend, Yujin, flew over to Edinburgh visit me for my last weekend in Scotland before moving back to Thailand.

It was a fun opportunity to play tour guide for someone visiting my country for the first time, as well as spend time with someone that I really enjoyed spending time with. I'd been having a fairly miserable Scottish wintertime up until then so it was nice to enjoy my final weekend there.