Today’s roundup: Travel edition.

City Settles Flour-Filled Condom Lawsuit

(AP) PHILADELPHIA A woman who was arrested and jailed for three weeks on drug charges for what turned out to be flour-filled condoms has settled a lawsuit against the city for $180,000.

Scorpion bites man repeatedly on plane to Vermont

A scorpion bit David Sullivan on the back of his right leg, just below the knee, then crawled up and down his left leg, he thinks, before getting him again in the shin.

From various posts on Flyertalk. And one extra, from elsewhere:
Australia-bound tourist ends up in Montana

German man mistakenly books plane ticket to small oil town of Sidney

BERLIN – A 21-year-old German tourist who wanted to visit his girlfriend in the Australian metropolis Sydney landed more than 8,000 miles away near Sidney, Montana, after mistyping his destination on a flight booking Web site.

Thailand in the economic news

No idea what to make of this, but in case it’s of interest to any of my readers:

Thailand Abandons Limits on Foreign Stock Investments (Update6)

By Suttinee Yuvejwattana and Margo Towie

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) — Thailand scrapped currency controls on international stock investors one day after their imposition by the central bank prompted the biggest stock market plunge in 16 years.

The government lifted a requirement that banks lock up 30 percent of new foreign-currency deposits for a year for funds earmarked for stocks, Finance Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula said in Bangkok. The rule, intended to slow a 16 percent gain in the Thai currency this year that threatened exports and economic growth, sparked investor selling that wiped out $23 billion of market value in Thai stocks.

Back to normal in Thailand

Belated coverage here on CH, but…

Thailand to lift post-coup ban

POSTED: 9:38 p.m. EST, November 9, 2006

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly agreed to ease a restriction imposed after September’s coup d’etat, voting unanimously to lift a ban on public gatherings of more than five people, the head of the body said.

Assembly President Meechai Ruchupan on Thursday announced the decision of the military-appointed assembly, which becomes effective when it is published in the Royal Gazette, a pro-forma action expected to take place soon.

The ban was issued when the military seized power in the Sep. 19 coup against elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. It later handed over administrative control to a civilian prime minister who is supposed to head an interim government for a year until a general election can be held.

In Today’s News: Thailand?

Plenty of news out of Thailand, none of what is making it to the states agreeing with each other about what is exactly happening. There is a state of emergency, and rumors of a possible coup attempt.

The web sites for Bangkok’s two English-language papers, the Bangkok Post and the Nation have been nearly uselessly slow this morning.

Interesting times!

And on a much more serious note…

My congratulations and best wishes to King Bhumibol Adulyadej and to the Thai people on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his ascension to the throne.

(I’d meant to post this earlier; as I write, it’s already the 10th in Thailand, but it’s still the 9th here.)

See also the congratulatory resolution passed by the US House of Representatives.

Headed home…

And that’s the end of Marie and my trip abroad… I am headed home in a few hours, although it’s going to be a long trip (especially in steerage on a non-OneWorld airline.. we’ll see if the seats are OK or not). In any event, sorry for the lack of updates/pictures… I’ll let you all know when the pictures are up on sandbox or my gallery, and maybe fill in a travel story or two here.

Til then, be well.

Happy New Years…

My vacation has been very enjoyable so far; after the obligatory family time, I’ve enjoyed my traveling quite a lot. New Years Eve in Singapore is interesting – the noise level since midnight has been constant and very high (it’s 12:45AM here on 1/1; I’m 16 hours ahead of California time right now here) and I suspect if I wasn’t still recovering from jet lag it would keep me up. As it stands, it’s sort of a non-issue since I am dead tired and will be back up in about 3 hours to fly to Thailand anyway.

I have taken some photos, including this one Me, looking silly. of me in front of a statue of some legendary Chinese warrior (which is in turn in front of the Singapore Hilton.) Not as many as I’d have liked – my battery ran out halfway through the Singapore Zoo. Also unfortunately the little camera I’m traveling with doesn’t zoom in nearly as far as I’d have liked for some of the zoo shots – ah well! it’s better, for these parts, than the DSLR just on size and not-getting-mugged counts (OK, the latter is not an issue here in Singapore, but it IS is the less nice bits of other places.)

Overall, I’m quite impressed with Singapore, although with only two full days on the ground(*) it’s hard to really get a sense of the place, a problem I still have with Hong Kong as well. I’ll enjoy it if I ever make it back, and I do hope to.

(* and fighting jetlag, sore feet, and a sore back/shoulders from overhard bed – the latter being nearly universal in hotels – at least from my perspective, although it seems worse in Asia.)

Pattaya, “The People’s Paradise” in Time

Not a perfect article, but evocative of Pattaya and rather amusing… the author, as usual, overplays the seedy side. It’s a lot of fun for other reasons, and incredibly inexpensive by US standards. Brief clip after the break, or better still check out the full article at their site.

From Time Magazine: The People’s Paradise
Love it or loathe it, Pattaya is where Asia’s mass tourism started
Continue reading “Pattaya, “The People’s Paradise” in Time”

I actually SAW one for once…

…rather than just reading about it afterwards. I’m referring to a
fare pricing error, this time on USAir.

About $38-40 post tax for fares from pretty much anywhere into Lebanon, NH (and according to the news story, a few other cities… those I didn’t see.) LEB is the airport nearest Hanover, NH which is where my undergrad college was, and guys from my fraternity heard about the deal and distributed the news via our house mailing list. I saw it, nearly booked two tickets for 4th of July weekend, but Marie wanted to check her class schedule to make sure she could go, and wanted to go back to sleep first.

Ah well. Not like I need the USAir miles, but of course AA doesn’t fly to LEB, and being able to visit my family over the summer would have been fun.

Los Angeles to Fiji $50 R/T

I guess I’m a guest blogger on this site. I went to high school with Nate and still keep in touch. I’m a computer geek who lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Nate asked me to post travel deals and other sites of interest I find, so here’s the first one. Unfortunately it’s no longer bookable, but the amazing part is that people are getting their tickets; usually deals like these are cancelled by the airline.

Los Angeles to Fiji – $50 roundtrip, including taxes and fees

Looked like it was a $0 base fare with the taxes and fees accounting for the $50.

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