Marissa and I followed a man wearing a winter beanie and dark sunglasses from the sands of Sai Ree Beach and into the warm island waters surrounding Koh Tao. We boarded his colorful sampan. He lit a cigarette and then started the engine. The engine barked up smoke. We were headed straight for the remote, unpopulated island of Nang Yuan, which is three separate islands that, over time, had joined together by a white-sand isthmus and formed Thailand’s most beautiful beach.
Sometimes it’s good to plan ahead of time when you travel. For example, when my wife and I took the bus to Sulat Thani, a port city on the Gulf of Thailand, we just assumed boats serviced the island of Koh Tao as much as it did Koh Samui. They did not. The Samui boats left regularly. But there was only one nine-hour night boat to Koh Tao, which departed at 11pm.
One of the worst experiences as a film-goer is to watch a character eat something delicious–take the Katz’s Deli scene in When Harry Met Sally, where everyone is enjoying their pastrami sandwiches in the background (and I don’t even like Katz’s)–and then you reach down for the soggy popcorn in your lap. But now there’s a solution for audiences that want to feast like the subjects on the screen. It’s an event called the Food Film Festival, which was cooked up when filmmaker George Motz paired his documentary Hamburger America with Harry Hawk’s hamburger joint. Forget watch what you eat, it’s eat what you watch.
The other week, I attended a travel event and someone in the audience asked the panel of travelers to recommend the best airlines in Southeast Asia. Specific airlines were not recommended, so I felt a review of six airlines servicing Southeast Asia was in order. Read more
I held onto the ladder at the back of the boat. Only my head was above the ocean’s surface. The first mate carried over a seventy-pound Seawalker helmet–which looks like a cross between an astronaut’s helmet and a miniature submarine–and placed it on my head. The weight pushed me under. Below, the heavy headgear lost its weight and oxygen flowed into the globe. The water climbed into the helmet, but stopped at my chin, speaking truth to the Seawalker advertisement–You can wear your glasses or make-up underwater (so long as you keep your head straight). Read more