• Keeping Things Fresh in Chiang Mai

    December 26, 2017

    In a recent blog we wrote about how we keep our trips fresh and exciting when it’s oh-so-easy to just kind of let them get… old. Lived in. Worn out. We said: Once a trip/route/itinerary is set, it’s quite easy to just keep things rolling along, coasting off of the momentum built up in its creation. But there’s a problem

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  • Meet Legendary Pilot Nguyen Hong My

    December 13, 2017

    One of the things that Smiling Albino values highly is also something that’s hard to define: character. A location can have it in spades, as well as lack any trace of it. Character can also be maddeningly vague: Shakespeare wrote this character to be a real character. For more musings on the term, see our most recent newsletter… but you

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  • Bangkok’s Newest Living Museum – Lhong 1919 is a Trip Back to 1850s Siam

    November 9, 2017

    Bangkok is a fascinating place, but back in 1850 – when it was the capital of Siam, as Thailand was then known – it was even moreso. Despite being an exotic, far-flung city that was slowly opening up to the modern world, Bangkok was still fairly insular in its trade policies, with heavy taxes on any foreign goods. That is,

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  • Fair Tourism

    November 1, 2017

    Reading a study from a large international organizations is a bit like reading a travel brochure – a cursory examination will give you a basic idea of what’s going on, but if you take time to dig into the details, you’ll find a world of nuance. Okay, that’s a pretty awful metaphor, but bear with us here. We just got

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  • To Go or Not to Go: Assessing Travel Advisories

    September 27, 2017

    Most trips can be summed up – very roughly – as follows: buy a ticket, pack your bags, land in The Place, and head off to explore. And usually it’s all well and good, as it should be. Unfortunately, the world went and got itself complicated, and there are some countries dealing with issues that don’t make themselves very amenable

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