Category Pages For: LIVING Ideas

Special events and fun things to do


Chiang Mai - CAT Motors - 17
MARCH 2020: OVERVIEW: My 2 daughters and I flew from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Chiang Mai, Thailand on AirAsia. … this is our Chiang Mai story … PLEASE NOTE: The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht (or the ‘THB’). I will refer to them as T$s. At the time of writing, the exchange rates were: US$1 EU€1 GB£1 Published Wholesale Rate T$31.47 T$35.73 T$40.73 Effective Exchange Rate T$30.21 T$34.30 T$39.10 You will not get these wholesale rates; expect to lose a minimum of 4% … and as much as 6% (see, below). Over time, these exchange rates will change. […]

Chiang Mai – Thailand – CAT Motors Motorbike Rental – Living Ideas


FEBRUARY 2020: OVERVIEW: I flew my 2 daughters out from New Zealand to join me in Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Our plan was to tour the Mekong Delta before making our way up through Cambodia to Siem Reap (picking up the best highlights along the way). This is our route: … this is our story … PLEASE NOTE: The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (or the ‘VND’). I will refer to them as V$s. At the time of writing, the exchange rates were: US$1 EU€1 GB£1 Published Wholesale Rate V$23,215 V$25,775 V$30,156 Effective Exchange Rate V$22,538 […]

Mekong Delta (Vietnam) to Siem Reap (Cambodia) – Living Ideas


2019: Click here to read our Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: This video shows you what 2 GRANDPAckers can do in 1 year on (an average of) less than US$55 / EU€50 / GB£43 per day. So, when are you going to start?! … TTFN

GRANDPAcking 2019



2018: Click here to read our Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: This video shows you what 2 GRANDPAckers can do in 1 year on (an average of) less than US$55 / EU€50 / GB£43 per day. This is, probably, my favourite year … Latin America including the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), the Salt Flats (Bolivia), Lake Titicaca (Bolivia / Peru), Machu Picchu (Peru), and Nazca (Peru): So, when are you going to start?! … TTFN

GRANDPAcking 2018


2017: Click here to read our Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: This video shows you what 2 GRANDPAckers can do in 1 year on (an average of) less than US$55 / EU€50 / GB£43 per day. Central America: So, when are you going to start?! … TTFN

GRANDPAcking 2017


2016: Click here to read our Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: This video shows you what 2 GRANDPAckers can do in 1 year on (an average of) less than US$55 / EU€50 / GB£43 per day. From The Philippines to Central America: So, when are you going to start?! … TTFN

GRANDPAcking 2016



2015: Click here to read our Retirement Reviews. OVERVIEW: This video shows you what 2 GRANDPAckers can do in 1 year on (an average of) less than US$55 / EU€50 / GB£43 per day. So, when are you going to start?! … TTFN

GRANDPAcking 2015


FEBRUARY 2020: OVERVIEW: Last year, around 8.4 million Medical Tourists travelled abroad to seek healthcare services in S. E. Asia. This number represents nearly one third of global medical consumers. Medical Tourism is well established in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. But, now, Medical Tourism is emerging strongly in Indonesia, The Philippines, and Vietnam. The Vietnamese medical sector grows by 18-20 per cent every year. The number of foreigners travelling to Vietnam for medical examinations and treatments is over 80,000 per year. The income is reaching over $1 billion. Vietnam has the advantage of political stability. This makes Vietnam a safe and […]

Hoi An – Vietnam – Dental Tourism


NOVEMBER 2019: OVERVIEW: We have just spent 3 nights in Sauraha (Chitwan National Park). We now head back to the Old Town of Patan near Kathmandu … ABOUT: Patan is the historical name for Lalitpur. It is the third largest city in Nepal after Kathmandu and Pokhara and it is located in the south-central part of Kathmandu Valley. The city received extensive damage in the 2015 earthquake. As of the 2011 census, it had a population of 226,728. The city has an area of about 15 square kilometres. It is believed that Patan was founded in the third century BC. Several historical records (including many other legends) […]

Patan – Nepal – Living Ideas



NOVEMBER 2019: OVERVIEW: We have just spent 3 nights in Lumbini (Buddha’s birth place). We now head to Sauraha for a Safari in Chitwan National Park … ABOUT: Chitwan National Park was established in 1973 and granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. It covers an area of 953 km2 (368 sq mi) and is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal. In altitude it ranges from about 100 m (330 ft) in the river valleys to 815 m (2,674 ft) in the Churia Hills. Chitwan National Park is one of Nepal’s most popular tourist destinations. There are two main entrances: Sauraha in the east […]

Sauraha – Nepal – Living Ideas


OCTOBER 2019: OVERVIEW: We have just spent 5 nights in Pokhara. We now head for Lumbini … ABOUT: Lumbinī is locate 260 kms west of Kathmandu and 165 kms southwest of Pokhara. It is a Buddhist pilgrimage site. It is the place where Buddha was born. Lumbini was made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. Lumbini is 4.8 km (3 mi) in length and 1.6 km (1.0 mi) in width. The holy site of Lumbini is bordered by a large monastic zone in which only monasteries can be built, no shops, no hotels, no restaurants. It is separated […]

Lumbini – Nepal – Living Ideas


OCTOBER 2019: OVERVIEW: We have just spent 7 nights in Kathmandu. We now head for Pokhara … ABOUT: Pokhara is located 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of Kathmandu. It is Nepal’s second largest city in terms of population and the largest in terms of area. It spans 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) from north to south and 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) from east to west but, unlike the capital Kathmandu, it still has much green space. The Annapurna Range (with three out of the ten highest mountains in the world: Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, and Manaslu) is within 24–56 kms. Pokhara is […]

Pokhara – Nepal – Living Ideas



SEPTEMBER 2019: OVERVIEW: We have just spent 3 nights in Kutaisi, Georgia. KUTAISA (QUICK NOTES): I won’t provide a full write-up of Kutaisi because, to be brutally honest, I didn’t do much. That said, Kutaisi offers many good day trip options: Gelati Monastery, Prometheus Cave, Okatse Canyon, Martvili Canyon, and Imereti to name a few. You can also take multi-day tours from Kutaisi north into Svaneti National Park. GETTING THERE: I started in Akhaltsikhe. I walked to the Central Bus Station and caught the 10:30am bus to Kutaisi. My suitcase went under the back seat. I was not charged extra […]

Mtskheta – Georgia – Living Ideas


SEPTEMBER 2019: OVERVIEW: We have just spent 3 nights in Gyumri, Armenia.  We now go to our first stop in Georgia: Akhaltsikhe. PLEASE NOTE: The currency in Georgia is the Lari (or the ‘GEL’). I will refer to them as G$s. At the time of writing: US$1 EU€1 GB£1 G$2.96 G$3.28 G$3.69 Over time, these exchange rates will change. Please check the current rates. GETTING THERE: Minibuses are the most common form of transport in this part of the World. The problem with these minibuses is that most don’t have any luggage space. If you have a big backpack or […]

Akhaltsikhe – Georgia – Living Ideas


SEPTEMBER 2019: OVERVIEW: We have just spent 6 nights in the Health Spa town of Jermuk. Being a popular Health Spa town, Jermuk is relatively expensive for Armenia. It is time for us to try out a less touristic, more remote town: Goris. The internet says that Goris is one of the ‘top 10 nicest towns in Armenia’ … so, let’s have a look … PLEASE NOTE: The currency in Armenia is the Dram (or the ‘AMD’). I will refer to them as A$s. At the time of writing: US$1 EU€1 GB£1 A$475 A$530 A$585 Over time, these exchange rates will […]

Goris – Armenia – Living Ideas