Mister Wood's & Madame's
Xmas in Thailand

ALA-BKK XX December 2007 KC 931

BKK-ALA YY December 2007 KC 932




Buy a new chip for your mobile phone in Thailand and SMS your folks at home (after writing their numbers down first before you take out the old chip). Or give people the mobile number of a friend in Thailand “Michael”
  +66 8-616-89-174

Internet Cafes are everywhere – if you want to ruin your holidays (comes from Holy Days)


To pack to go:

  • US and KZ passports (No Thai visa for EU, CAN, AUS, US among others required up to 30-day visit. Visa is for KZ issued on arrival at the booth to the left just before going to Immigration: 1,000 Thai Baht - US$30. BRING 2-3 PASSPORT-SIZE PHOTOS similar to the one in the PP to go on Thai Visa application form.)
  • Scanned copies of each page (I mean EACH including the inside cover and every “visa” page blank or not blank) on a portable “flash” drive
  • Photocopies of your passports' picture pages only. Carry a couple, they always ask for them at the banks...
  • Photocopies of your birth certificates
  • National ID (US State I.D. card; KZ national I.D.)
  • Scanned copies of your airline tickets
  • Photocopies of your airline tickets
  • VISA credit card (call the bank before you lease and tell them you go to Thailand, otherwise they stop the card if you don’t answer their alarmed email instantly. Use ONLY at ATMs. Never give to a merchant, except at superstores such as Big-C or Tesco Lotus. Write down the card number – reversing the last two digits - and phone number to call to cancel the card if misplaced.)
  • Some US cash (mix of 20s, 50s and a few 100s)
  • Because prices are low, you are under the illusion that your money goes a long, long way. Also, the time is “here and now”… you’re not going to be back in Paradise soon… Surprise: most people do! Ten million + every year, mostly repeat visitors and long-term residents.
  • Expect to spend:
    • $   600 for rooms
    • $1,000 to shop
    • $   400 for food & drink           



  • Color copy laminated driver’s license, front and back (just in case, although dangerous to drive on left-hand side of the road if you’re not used to it). I never give the cops an original when they stop me. They give you a ticket if you don't pay, to pay at the cop shop, but I never go.
  • 2 toothbrushes
  • 2 disposable shavers
  • 1 travel toothpaste
  • 2 swimming suits
  • UV-protected sun glasses (if you have, otherwise buy good inexpensive in Th)
  • Camera and/or video camera (buy in Thailand if you don’t already have one)
  • Plus the clothes you wear, e.g., jeans, winter jackets (but not heavy) + woolen caps for to and from the Almaty airport (not Thailand).
    • Don’t’s: Better get lost in your wife’s blue eyes or whatever else turns you two on…



    than bringing a laptop along to catch up on your DBA or work.


    Left: Bamboo Island near Phi Phi Island, Phuket


    Floating Market in Bangkok. Bangkok  was called the “Venice of Asia”.

    Didn’t have roads but a network of canals that were filled-in to make roads for cars.

    You can still travel through Bangkok on canals by regular speedboats.



    To shop for take-home

    2 good-sized suitcases, may be a third one to your excess luggage

    2 carry-on bags according to specification (cannot weigh more than 5 kgs, but rule is usually not enforced).


    = limits your shopping from the start (excess baggage at Air Astana costs you $5 per kilogram at check-in in Bangkok – have your secretary email Air Astana so that you have a record on you when you check in. I just have a hunch that you will be soooo overweight because shopping in Thailand is a dreeeaammm come true.)

    Picture is actually from Vietnam


    Men’s shopping in Pattaya and on the beaches of Koh Samed:

    • UV 30 sun lotion (two packs) – Pattaya 711 stores
    • 4 “rose scented” mosquito repellants - Pattaya 711 stores
    • 2 pairs of shorts – Mike’s Supermarket
    • 1 pair of quality sandals (plastic one’s everyone wears are $2-5 a pair and quite good, too. Give to us on departure if you don't want to chuck.)
    • 2 tailored men’s suits (1 woolen, 1 Thai silk)  – takes a day or two to make, about $200 each if bargained (one full-price, second half-price)
    • 2 pairs of men’s dress shoes
    • 2 XXL silk shirts
    • 5 XXL T-shirts
    • Thai wrap-around your waist – beautiful designs, buy on Koh Samed beach
    • Dozen men’s socks (cheap)
    • A perfectly copied oil painting, e.g., the impressionist masters: Gaugin, Van Gogh, Renoir; or modern stuff @ $100-150 depending on size, plus frame, all packed to take on board the airliner. (They will do your family portrait(s) in oil in a day or two, if you bring them a color print or CD-ROM to copy from).
    • Jewelry gold and silver (buy on Walking Street in Pattaya) for wife and mother for looking after the kids
    • Toys for the kids – cheap, but better buy in Almaty if bulky)
    • 3 live Thai orchid plants for your home (packed for taking on board the airplane)
    • Sweet memories of an orchid girl:



    Orchid Girl in deep thought:

     Life is good…








    MS 06 October 2007