Winter 2010 in South-East Asia

Posted by on Mar 25, 2010 in Travelling Free

Winter 2010 in South-East Asia

I spent most of the winter of 2010 in Thailand and neighboring countries since I really don’t like cold. 😉

I am writing this post as a journal for myself to remind myself later of where I have been and also to perhaps inspire and motivate all those who look to become financially free and do whatever they want to do.

New Year In Bangkok, Thailand

I arrived in Thailand on the 31st of December (flying with business class of course from Slovenia 😉 ) and spent the New Year’s Eve in Bangkok where hordes of people came to see the entertainment show in front of the Central plaza (a big shopping mall).

There was also a short fireworks show but really nothing spectacular. It’s interesting to celebrate New Year in short pants and sleeves and sweat at the same time – while most people in the Northern hemisfere wear thick jackets and gloves and maybe even enjoy some snowy conditions.

Cruising with Costa Allegra

My girlfriend and I flew to Singapore on the 6th of January (business class 😉 ) and spent a few days there before embarking on Costa Allegra ship on 9th of January.

Cruising with Costa Allegra

This was my second cruise and I got us very cheap tickets since I booked the cruise in December and Costa company has lowered the prices 50% since they were not getting enough people to book the cruise.

I paid $599 for one ticket for 14 days of cruising – and the normal price was around $1200.

The cruise took us back to Phuket, Thailand where we stayed a day and a half.

We also stopped in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), and Jakarta, Bali and Komodo islands in Indonesia.

Just a few meters from four Komodo dragons

We also stopped in a few other ports but they were not that interesting.

The Costa Allegra ship is not the biggest cruise ship – it takes around 900 passengers and there were slightly over 600 on this particular cruise.

We also met Dusty and Rebecca from USA, who currently teach English in South Korea and Tom (from Norway) and Alina (from Romania) and had a good time talking about different ways of life on this interesting planet…

The food was amazing and so was the entertainment. There were excellent singers and dancers in the evening entertainment show so we probably didn’t miss a single one.

All in all, the cruise was excellent, the only negative thing that I have to say is that some of the ports were really not well chosen (what shall I do in Jakarta traffic jams?) and the excursions were very expensive and not really worth the money. A lesson for the next time…

They should have taken us to some beaches – since most of the people came from cold European winters and would surely prefer to enjoy sunny beaches and swimming in the sea instead of bus excursions in heavy traffic jams of mega cities.

We returned to Bangkok on 23rd of January and spent some time relaxing, burning the fat 😉 by jogging and swimming in the local pool and waiting for my best friend’s arrival.

Exploring Bangkok, Pattaya and Koh Chang

My best friend Urban booked a ticket to Thailand in July 2009 since I was sure to be here in the winter and he wanted to see Thailand for the first time.

By the way, he paid 620 euros with Turkish Airlines for a return ticket Ljubljana-Istanbul-Bangkok and back – which is very affordable!

Consider Turkish Airlines if you plan to visit Thailand at some point…

Urban arrived on the 30th of January and we got to play some tennis at the hard courts of Tennis Academy of Asia.

Playing tennis at the Tennis Academy of Asia, Bangkok

We also spent a day in Bangkok, checking out some temples, the Paragon shopping mall and had some traditional pad thai (thai pasta).

Urban and me in Bangkok

After a few days we went to Pattaya (about 2 hours drive with a bus) to show Urban a typical Thai tourist place where lots of dark side (prostitution) of Thailand can be seen too.

Relaxing in Pattaya, Thailand

We spent two days in Pattaya and then took a van to Koh Chang – which took us about 5 hours all together to arrive in the Coconut resort.

Koh Chang is one of the hidden gems of Thailand. It’s the second biggest island in Thailand but fortunately it’s not so well known.

In fact, it’s not so commercialized and there’s no sign of the dark side (prostitution) here so there are much fewer tourists here.

Koh Chang beaches, Thailand

The Coconut resort is very nice looking, they have their own restaurant, their own beach and their own pool – so it’s a perfect place to relax and enjoy the summer conditions.

Coconut resort in Koh Chang, Thailand

We spent 5 days in Koh Chang (exploring the island on the bike, taking a swim in the river in the jungle, enjoying mango, papaya and other Thai delicious fruits and seafood) and then returned to Bangkok since Urban had a plane to catch on the 12th of February.

After another short period in Thailand, my girlfriend and I headed for Penang…

Exploring Penang, Malaysia

The main reason why we went to Penang was because my visa was about to expire and I had to leave Thailand and then return one more time to get another visa.

This time we opted for the cheaper ticket with which cost us only around 300 euros for both.

Airasia flight from Bangkok to Penang, Malaysia

We spent 12 days in Penang, staying 2 to 4 days in one hotel and then moving on to another. I booked most hotels with Paypal through and then just handed the printed voucher in the next hotel where we arrived.

We also met Ricky – an SBI-er – who was kind enough to show us around and in exchange I poured tons of my tips into his brain on how to get more traffic and income.

Meeting Ricky in Penang

(Ricky! I am still waiting for your success story! 😉 )

Mon and I stayed the last 3 days at a five star hotel Equatorial in Penang and it was really an incredibly comfortable and luxurios stay. Kudos to Equatorial.

Staying at Equatorial hotel in Penang

We then arrived back to Thailand on the 2nd of March and I left for Slovenia on the 16th of March.

The winter in Slovenia was very harsh this year since there was lots of snow compared to previous years and the temperatures were often below zero.

Thailand temperatures on the other hand almost never dropped below 30 degrees Celsius – and almost never below 35 degrees in March.

The Freedom Of Doing An Online Business

Having a successful online business gives you an incredible freedom. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection and you can work on your business at any time you want.

Google, Chitika, Amazon and Clickbank all allow you to put the payments on hold which is another great bonus. I had my earnings accumulate during these 2 and half months and then released them in time so that I received all checks when I returned home.

The bank clerk almost melted from kindness when I brought her 4 fat checks to cash in to my account… 😉

I hope my story increases your motivation to achieve financial freedom and live the life withot being a slave in some company and spend hours and hours staying afloat while someone else on top reaps the benefits of your hard work.

Free yourself!

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  1. Oh man you make me sick! But it’s in a good and flattering way (smile).

    Seriously though I am soooo happy for you and thanks for putting this front and center in our minds so that we can see what’s really at stake.

    As a matter of fact I’m about to go ask to leave work early…thanks for the motivation.


  2. Tomaz,

    Pls keep your motivating stories coming. That’s exactly how one should live life…on their own terms!


  3. Thanks very much for this Tomaz, very motivating to any SBI-er 🙂


  4. Man you really like em business class flights!

    Familiar places, especially that picture with the Outback steakhouse. If I remember correctly it’s right by the train in Bangkok?

    Hopefully I’m right because it makes me look cool, otherwise not so much, so please lie if I’m wrong 😉

    Good stuff Tomaz!


  5. Yes, the Outback steakhouse is near the Paragon shopping mall and yes, the Skytrain station is near too.

    The business class flight from Istanbul to Bangkok (and back) makes a huge difference in comfort – since the flight takes 10 hours and for me it’s impossible to get some sleep in the economy – but much easier in the business.

    The business class flight to Singapore was more a gift to my girlfriend so that she could once experience how it is…


  6. Hi Tomaz,
    its great to ‘see’ the man behind all the advice you give. Your success, more than any others, inspires me to keep going with SBI even though I know will be a long time coming and not as great as yours. It seems the older I get the less freedom I have, just the way of life for me, but I will get there eventually:-)


  7. Great story of your winter. I can’t have the same luxury of traveling like you even if I were financially free (three kids 4 and under). However, I do want to be able to make my own decisions about work. I’m reading a book called “What I talk about when I talk about running.” The author’s lifestyle involves writing for 3-4 hours, going for a run, then writing more if he feels like it. I am striving for that life!


  8. You visited Indonesia at last 🙂

    Sorry to hear about the traffic in Jakarta. It’s already a legendary out there.

    Do let me know when you plan to visit Indonesia in the future. I’ll show you hidden gems where no men, I mean tourists, have gone before :))


  9. Tomaz, I am always so grateful for your generosity of spirit, in the helpful ways you offer your knowledge and experience to others, and also sharing the fun!! 🙂 Thanks so much, I appreciate you and wish you much continued success. You have given so much to the SBI community and so many of us have benefited from what you have shared!!


  10. Hi From a new reader! I’m an SBIer going on 10 months now. I actually found and used your vacuum site once before I found you on SBI. I constantly find SBI sites at the top of search results when I use the Internet for personal research. Gives me a good feeling inside.

    Anyway. I lived in Bangkok for four years. Married a Thai when I was there, too. We’re back in the US for now, but plan to return this time next year for a few years. It was so fun to see your photos and read your experience there. Did you see any of the protest demonstrations?

    Thank you for sharing – not only your travels but your knowledge with us. I strive to emulate those who are successful in the line of work I wish to succeed in as well.


    Tomaz Reply:

    Hey Amy,

    Nice to meet you! I saw protests only on TV since we stayed away from the center of Bangkok. There were some soldiers guarding the airport though – just in case…


  11. Hi Tomaz,

    Your story and pictures are inspiring and I thank you for sharing them.

    Thank you also for all of your time and efforts to help me make a success of my SBI website.

    You’re the best!



  12. Damn, making me jealous – I’ve spent a bit of time in Malaysia. Wonderful country, especially when you get off the beaten track a bit.



  13. Uh Oh… You’ll soon be an expert on Se Asia and Thailand which will mean competition for me, lol.

    You can get Air Asia even cheaper most of the time, even $50 usd!

    I hope Thailand moved you as much as it did me.

    BTW, my numbers are climbing and your words are great motivation, cheers!



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