The US$280 (plus S$10) Singapore Haircut

Ever since my first barbershop haircut at Jack’s in Vernon, Texas, when I was just a wee Midwestern tyke, I have had allergic reactions to the kinds of places I have to go to get a decent haircut in Bali. In fact, I haven’t yet had a decent haircut in Bali. I’ll accept that maybe […]

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Singapore Hotels, A Short List

Singapore is by far the most convenient place for a visa run. Tickets to and from Singapore (Garuda price about US$230) usually cost less than fares to Bangkok, visa processing is slicker than in Kuala Lumpur, food is inexpensive at most hawker stalls and food courts, and public transport, like everything else in Singapore, is […]

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Singapore Backpacker Hostels, The Second List

Staying in Singapore on a budget no longer means a seedy two-star hotel with no character and charm. Last time I reviewed backpacker hostels I had given the once-over, eyeball test. Now I’ve pulled backpacker hostels off the Internet, pleased by their name, their location, their prices, some intangible aspect of their Web presence. Call […]

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Singapore Backpacker Hostels, First of Two Lists

A recent development in Singapore – if you will allow ‘recent’ to stretch back three years – has been a range of inexpensive, tidy, and cozy accommodations for the budget traveler. In 2004, they were popping up at the rate of one a month, according to a Straits Times report. Now there are as many […]

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The ‘Home Leave’ Visa

The best advice on getting Indonesian visas in America or Europe is, “Don’t do it.” Arrange your travel so that you pass through Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, or Singapore, where it is the usual three-day, no-muss-no-fuss, in-and-out (one day if you pay the ‘express fee’ in Bangkok and Singapore). Not to say there can’t be complications […]

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Some of Singapore’s Best

In the interest of assisting with any resolutions to make 2007 visa runs more productive or just plain fun, here is a list of annual events on in Singapore through August of next year: December 31, 2006, New Year’s Eve at Singapore’s Esplanade – Even Singapore’s smallest pubs hold tickets-only affairs the last night of […]

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A River Runs Through It – Bangkok, Part Four

Every time I go to Bangkok, I get a dreamy longing to live in a house on a canal, my boat tucked out of the weather under a falling down pier. Even the meanest waterside shed sparks envy, although I appreciate, too, the mansions and trim gardens behind personal stone quays.   “How much for […]

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In Penang, Visit the Dead Folk — Penang, Part Two

They stopped burying bodies at Penang’s old protestant Christian cemetery in 1892, so if you like bone yards crumbling and romantic, visit this burial ground on Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah. It’s one of the best haunts in Southeast Asia for ghouls favoring the colonial era.   The Penang cemetery holds the grave of Sir […]

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And Now a Few Highlights from Thailand and Malaysia?

As a follow-up to November’s Border Run, here are a few activities to watch for on any visa runs to Malaysia and Thailand in 2007: January-February, 2007, Bangkok International Film Festival – Who doesn’t have a film festival these days? Bangkok now has two. This one opens January 26, and the World Film Festival runs […]

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The Atlanta – Bangkok, Part Two

If sleaze is the disease in Bangkok, then the Atlanta is the hotel with the cure. A sign out front states “Sex Tourists Not Welcome,” and postings inside remind guests of “ZERO TOLERANCE for sex tourists, trouble-makers, possessors and users of drugs, and for all illegal and nefarious activities.” Next door is Bangkok’s Calvary Baptist […]

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