Author: <span>Matthew Harris</span>


Day 315: Evening #officeoftheday with Mr 8 and egg coffee

After dinner, we decided to put in a few more hours at the laptops, but we definitely needed a boost. After walking around looking for a suitable coffee chain we settled on Mr 8 Coffee. It looked like a tiny 1 table coffee shop at first before we headed upstairs, where it looked like a slightly larger, tiny coffee shop. Big enough to set up a laptop so we were happy.

My friend convinced me to try egg coffee, which sounded like it was going to be some kind of raw egg but was actually a tasty sweetened experience more like a blended egg custard. We also spotted two names that had very funny accidental meanings in English which left us with the serious giggles.

Then I spotted another set of stairs going up and when I poked my head around the corner it turned out it wasn’t a tiny shop at all, there was a full-sized coffee shop layout, with another 10 or so tables and even a merchandise shop up on the third floor.

We found an entertaining spot that looked out onto the roundabout below and I mostly just wrote blog posts rather than getting anything done for my clients.


Day 315: Spending the day at L’Usine Le Loi #officeoftheday

My first taste of L’Usine was a literal first taste. As soon as I walked into the shop part of the business I was greeted by my friend who eagerly directed me over to a food cart. Turns out they were preparing for a new menu that day. In exchange for filling out a small form with my opinion, I was invited to sample 5 of the potential menu options. It was a delicious start to the day.

We spent the entire day there in the end, devouring coffees and smoothies before moving on to sharing cakes and a salmon bagel.

Update: Just looked it up and L’Usine means The Factory.


Day 314: The Snap Cafe #officeoftheday

This is a family-friendly cafe is in the posh area of Saigon, over in district 2. Upon arrival, we were teased between the choice of sitting over in the side with the childrens park or sitting in the quieter area. There was an attractive looking table that caught our attention in the kids area but just as we were about to set up one of the wait staff asked if we had children with us. We said no and he told us we couldn’t sit on this side then.

My friend said something in Vietnamese to him and I just had a gut feeling I knew exactly what she said. “Did you just tell him I was a big kid?”, I asked. “Yes”, she laughed, “but he still says no.”

I guess it turned out for the best as we moved to the quiet side and got an equally good quality table, near to a power socket and away from the distractions of playful children.

Daily Life

Day 314: Celebrating my digital nomad Pi day

I was going to hold off until my first year before writing another “I’ve been a nomad for X days” posts. Then I realised today was my Pi day and threw my reservations out the window.

Today is my digital nomad Pi day, which is not something I just made up, it’s totally a real celebration.

I took this screenshot and spoke about it a bit with my friends but didn’t get any further than that on the actual day. Even when I had planned to post this I was still just thinking that would be all I had to write about.

But it’s not going to be.

I went back to that day to look at my photos. This was only 5 days ago and it already feels like a lifetime ago.

I am always ready to tell people that “I’m not actually on holiday all the time, I just live there”. Taking a look back at this random day though it’s hard to deny I’m not cramming a lot of fun into life.

The day started off optimistically, with an attempt to convince you I had a healthy breakfast and a photo that was to be my “digital memory” later on:

The photo of the packets was the snacks that I had started devouring when I arrived at my hotel. I was excited to find a basket of snacks and a fridge full of beer. There was no price list anywhere so I concluded it was the same as the coffee and water; free welcome gifts. I had already chomped through three of them before I spoke to Giang (pronounced Yann), my Vietnamese friend. She told me this was a standard trick by the hotels and they would have the price list down in the reception. Don’t forget, she cautioned, I was staying in the tourist district of Saigon.

I had seen some of the snacks in the local shop so I planned to replace them before the hotel got involved. I ended up forgetting all about it though and when I arrived back that evening the snack bar was already refilled – it was too late to cover up my food crimes.

In the end, they charged me 30k a snack which I thought was good/acceptable/small enough to not care (1GBP each). And I really didn’t care, until I got to the next hotel and they had the price list in the room with a lot more reasonable 12k per snack (about 40p).

Deep breath. Breathe out and let it go Matthew. Moving on.

After that, the day was beginning. So far we had been heading to local spots on foot. Today, Giang had ideas to take me a short taxi ride away over the Saigon river, to the posher District 2. We went to The Snap Cafe, a place she had worked from regularly before when she was remotely working for a company. Desks, WiFi, smoothies were good. I also randomly ordered myself a pint of Craft Ale and got my buzz on from that for a while.

You can see from the photos that it has some nice styles to it with plenty of greenery bursting forth from every angle. All of the desks had their own style to them and it was both spread out and kind of set up as private mini-areas at the same time.

There was also a pool table that you could unwind on, and there is a kids area over on the other side. Upon arriving you are given the choice between the kids play area or the quiet area. The kids play area had some really cool looking custom built kid-sized buildings. Stuff like a shop and house, with stairs to get on the roof. I was jealous, but I was also about 25 years too old to go play.

The risotto was either awful if they intended to do it that way, or just embarrassing if they forgot to put the cream into it. Seriously, look at it in the gallery above, it was a brown oily mess, not a white creamy dish like the rest of the world knows it.

We also had a friend-of-a-friend meet up with us for lunch while we were there. We had an interesting conversation about rent, locations, startups and travel – she had previously spent two years in Chiang Mai working for a company that has a base over there.

The night before we had met some of Giangs climbing buddies. During the conversations we had agreed to meet them today at the climbing gym, so after a productive day we got in a Grab and headed over to their location. The taxi got more than a little bit lost as this gym was tucked away in an essentially hidden location but we got there in the end and spent a few hours climbing:

Conclusion: I really like climbing! After some introductory tips from a local expert, I was ready to tackle my first climb.

They have colour-coded tags at the bottom which tell you how hard each one will be. I started off with the simplest and rocked up the wall so fast I felt like a superhero. The coloured rubber bits are called holds. You have to dangle from the top hold for 3 seconds to officially complete that route, then you can come down using any hold you want. Moving left to the next wall, I was again to the top before anyone could stop me.

I’m amazing! World-class! A natural, I said to myself.

Then I got to the one in the pictures above.

The combination of some long stretches and being tipped backwards quickly and very permanently brought me back down to earth. Over the next hour, I slowly exhausted myself taking runs at this course. I wanted to do it so bad and made it a little bit higher a few times but at the end of the day, my weakling little computer arms and rapidly deteriorating grip strength were not going to see me through this challenge.

Even though I spent the next 3 days with sore arms, I’ve been through that initial period of starting a gym many times and know that would quickly fade. I would go back another time for a climbing session somewhere for sure. New hobby!

After that, the night was still just getting started. I jokingly said I could do with a beer now and Giang was like “yep” straight away. Normally I am used to being told no when want to get some random drinks so I felt a bit spoiled that she is up for this sort of thing as well as being a great daytime motivation partner!

We said bye to our climbing friends and took a taxi back to District 1. This time we went under the river through the tunnel and got dropped off at drinking spot she is particularly fond of, Pasteur Street Brewing Co.

They do a taste testing option on the menu. You get 6 drinks of your choice, and as soon as we saw it, it was ordered without hesitation. They were all quite nice except for the dragons salty nutsack or something like that – the pink one in the middle above. Not recommended.

The rest? Recommended. The spring rolls – recommended. The company? She is also recommended, but limited edition. Spending 10 minutes trying to eat the bar nuts with chopsticks? Well YMMV but I enjoyed it.

We were definitely tipsy by the time we barrelled out of this bar but also starting to feel the rumble of tummies, so the journey wasn’t over. This time we weren’t going to miss out on the food court near her hostel. It shut at a, quite frankly, unreasonable 10pm each night so we had already missed it before.

This time we were there in time to order something, and that something was the abso-fricken-lutely huge Vietnamese Pancake pictured above. It was filled with bean sprouts, vegetables, shrimp and other interesting things. Next to it, there was a huge plate of green leaves which were for two things – the large tasteless ones to use as wraps, and the others to use as seasoning. Then sweet chilli sauce on the side.

I’m typing this and realising how grateful I am to my guide, I wouldn’t have figured out so many things on this trip without having her by my side (if you read this thank youuuuu!)

Despite her going into a serious food coma after our food, the night still wasn’t over. I walked her back to her hostel to drop her off. On the way, she went really spaced out for the first part of the journey, but then she rallied at the last minute and took me up to the roof bar on the top of the hostel.

In fact, she got back into it so much that she tried to order more drinks after last orders and started brainstorming somewhere else we could go before I sent her to bed!

So here I am 314 days deep into this journey. Life is still very new and exciting most days. I am really happy that I have found this opportunity to direct my energies into.

I guess people can end up having different digital nomad experiences. There are many different types of business. Peoples skill sets are developed at different levels. Their businesses are more or less stable. They are more or less disciplined.

I have been lucky that my 314 days have been pretty smooth sailing business wise and I have been free to concentrate on the experience itself.

If you can figure out a way to, and it interests you, I would recommend trying out this lifestyle to anyone that can come up with a way to make money remotely.

Story Time

Day 314: Stay humble and soak in the culture gracefully

Don’t get cocky when you have no idea about the history of a culture. That was my lesson for today.

I’d had a few drinks, that was true, but suddenly I thought I knew better than hundreds of years of Asian history.

I was looking at some art on the wall of a local food hall of a typical historical scene.

“Why do they make it hard for themselves?” I blurted out to my Vietnamese friend, “They should just get a cart with wheels!”

I was referring to the street sellers that carried their shops around by balancing a stick on their shoulders + dangling the wares at each end like a pair of counterbalance scales.

She was calm with me but I needed to be brought down a peg or two.

Firstly, she patiently corrected, the wheeled trucks don’t come for free and not everyone has the money to invest in something like this.

We had actually been talking about homeless people a few days before and this prompted a new thought to form in her head. “I think maybe the reason that Vietnam doesn’t have such a homeless problem is to do with the culture. Here, if we get into difficulties then we can always go and stay with our families for a short period. It is common for many people to live in the same room, which makes rent very affordable. Perhaps even as cheap as 10USD per person a month.”

“In fact, it’s very common to live together with your family when you are younger, in order to save money. People live close together because of the population levels. We have a high cost of land here compared to our wages.”

“Also it is very simple to get started with a small business in Vietnam. You can just get a stick to carry some things around, or buy some small wares to attach to a push bike and you can start to make some money. I think the combination of having the support of your family and the ease of getting going with a business like this means it’s more difficult to end up homeless.”

And secondly, she concluded, the sticks are a product of their environment. Often the sellers would need to cover rough terrain. Concrete paths and tarmac like in modern cities have not existed for long and even today the rural areas are hilly; a wheel just isn’t appropriate everywhere.

“Oh yeah”, was the best I managed to reply.

So I managed to both make myself look stupid and learn some new things at the same time. The important part, I think, is to be curious but not to assume I have better ideas 5 minutes after getting into a country vs centuries of established living practices.


Day 313: #officeoftheday The Maker, Ho Chi Minh City

The first time I’ve posted two #officeoftheday shots on one day. I feel like a digital nomad lothario, getting around town like this.

The second stop of the day was The Maker which was set inside a huge block of apartments, which have since been converted to a myriad of small cafe’s, fashion shops, and other establishments. It’s a complex building, wrapping around on itself in interesting ways.

The entrance to the building is down a small non-descript alleyway. Something that really caught me by surprise to start off with but I would later realise is actually standard practice for many of the commercial buildings in Ho Chi Minh City.



Day 313: #officeoftheday at The Workshop

I’m being guided around Ho Chi Minh City by a Vietnamese girl that I met while travelling.

The first place she has brought me to is a trendy cafe called The Workshop. It’s popular with coffee snob hipsters and co-workers alike. Ordered a blend that I did not comprehend and a filter that I couldn’t discern, but I still felt very cool doing it.

The photo shows my leather bound beaker that I decanted my fancy coffee from. Also part pictured is a plug-socket friend I made who asked if he could plug into our extension cable.

If this means anything to you, I picked from the pour-over category and went for a Kalita Wave.

Daily Life

Day 301: Street market scorpion attack

Close call in the night market this evening. So far I’ve seen cockroaches, rats, soi dogs, and even snakes. It’s day 301 though, and I did not know I was supposed to be on the lookout for scorpions as well!

We were just casually browsing some of the standard clothes when this little bad boy came barrelling out from under the rails and caused quite a kerfuffle.

The photo doesn’t have any post-processing on it, we were just nervous to get to close to its little snippers! Nobody knew how dangerous it was and even the locals were exercising caution, so I snapped this one and retreated quickly.

Eventually, it was captured in a plastic bag by a stallholder and taken off at arms-length. No fatalities.

Daily Life

Day 286: Beautiful wats are all around Chiang Mai

When I first came to Thailand I was on a mission to capture everything exotic and “Thailandy”. Since I’ve returned it has not been such a focus.

It’s amazing how quickly something so beautiful can blend into the background.

Today, in between going to the hospital and renewing my sim card I took a few moments to stop off at a few of the temples scattered around the edge of Old City.

Travel Tip

Day 286: How to go to hospital in Thailand

If you spend any amount of time out of your home country then sooner or later you’re going to want some medical help. It might be for something minor or you might be unlucky enough to need some major assistance. Either way, you will be in a weakened state when it comes down to it so it can’t hurt to brush up on the etiquette before you need to do this for real.

I had to go to the hospital today. I should have done this about 4 countries ago but each time it flared up it wasn’t convenient to take the time out. I was either about to board a plane, on holiday with my parents or just generally failing to adult.

This wasn’t the first time I had ended up in a hospital on this side of the world. I’d been in for a similar thing in my first month of being a digital nomad. It was a lot worse that time I was rolling around on my bed in proper pain. I was a long long way from my mummy. Despite having made friends at the hostel I was still a long way from anyone that I could turn to as well. It was a tough time. I realised just how weak and exposed I could feel out here in the world.

This time it was more of a mild annoyance hence why I had been putting it off to just travel around and have fun instead.

But having been to a hospital in Bangkok and now in Chiang Mai, I have spotted a standard pattern for what you can expect. You may have different ideas running through your head but let me say that my experiences with the Thai medical system have been nothing short of amazement. They are super clean, super modern and super efficient. Here is what you can expect:

Your passport is required!

Before you set off: Don’t forget your passport and any other essential notes you don’t have in your memory like your Thai address, phone number, and any information about travel insurance if you have it.

I also went armed with a wedge of THB, my credit card and the medicine I had been self-medicating with up to now.

Picking your hospital

For me, this was a case of just asking somebody. Another friend at the hostel in Bangkok had been poorly the week before. She had visited two and recommended the second one to me as it was the most modern.

Here in Chiang Mai, I turned to the ever helpful MJ who owns In The City Hostel which I’m staying at right now. She directed me to Chiang Mai Ram Hospital which is just on the northeast corner of Old City. Easily within walking distance of my accommodation.


After dragging yourself to the nearest hospital you need to head for the biggest looking entrance you can see. They actually have people stood right inside the door and if you hesitate and look like you need assistance somebody will attend to you in seconds. The first step is to be taken to the new registration desk.

I actually barrelled into the place so quickly this time around that I didn’t spot these helpers on arrival. I only spotted them on the way out as they were helping the next wave of unlucky tourists to get situated.


You will find that everyone speaks great English inside the hospital which is important when you want to describe the nuances of how it hurts when you do this or how this rash wasn’t there yesterday.

Forms in various languages, red was English

The first step is to head to the new patient desk. You will be given a form and they will take a photocopy of your passport while you are filling it out:

They will want to know, in broad terms, what is wrong with you. They will also sit you down and take a quick photo.


After that, you get a ticket. Clutch on to this for the whole journey through the hospital, it is your ID. Once you have this ticket a nurse will take you to the next stage if it’s a long way away. In Bangkok, I was taken through halls and up an elevator before being told where to wait. In Chiang Mai I was told to head over to counter number 4 and give them my ticket:


After they checked I was in the right place I was asked to sit down in the rows of seats and wait. I pulled my phone straight out and set about playing my latest puzzle game du jour. The waiting time in both cases was under 20 minutes.

They had asked me a few questions and then I had replied Chi (which is yes in Thai) and then they were like oh do you speak Thai? I quickly realised I was out of my depth. This was no place for me to be acting like I was multilingual just because I’d learned the half-a-dozen most popular Thai phrases, so I sheepishly said no. After that, I stuck to my mother tongue for the rest of my visit.


The gross bit: I have an ear infection, the doctor said it is from dirty water getting into my ear. I suspect that it’s because I used those little cotton bud sticks and cleaned my ears out a little too well, exposing my ear to the ravishes of non-potable water.

Potable water means drinking water. Did you know that? I didn’t until just a couple of months ago but it seems that it’s a widely known phrase. It went into my vocabulary builder anyway so it’s not getting away twice. Not sure how I missed it all these years!

The examination both times started out with a quick chat, then they told me they were going to take a look and performed the initial examination. In my home country, this is where your journey would end, with an appointment to return some days in the future. Not here in Thailand, both times they have said yep this needs some work and moved straight onto a procedure.

Warning – additional gross-ish bit: Now I must admit, I was somewhat spoiled in Bangkok. The Dr had two mysterious flatscreen tv’s mounted up in the top corners of the room. When he started the procedure they sprang into life. It was deliciously hideous. I was both repulsed and entranced at the same time. And I could not look away. The tool he was using had a camera mounted and I could see what he saw inside my ear. It was a mess but he worked to extract the bad bits. There was no pain. He said that there were no pain receptors in there so he could get on with it no worries. The sensation when I saw him remove the bad bit was utterly unique. It was like watching one of those standard medical procedure tv shows but as he pulled it out it coincided with an enormous sense of satisfaction as my hearing came back after being lost for the past three days! I kind of wish I could have got the video.

Ok, the gross details are done with now. After that, in Bangkok, I was then quizzed by the Dr about my knowledge of the safety, living cost and university quality of varies cities back in England. He was Thai, but it turned out his child was going to be going to uni in England and he was worried about which one would be the best but safest place to send her to. In the end, he applied a sort of bubble sort to reach his decision. Manchester or Leeds? London or Leeds? Leeds or Birmingham?

I think he was happy with his advice, and after the wonderful work he had just performed on me I was more than a little bit in love and would have helped him with any questions he had whatsoever.

Wrap up

After the fun was over the nurse takes you back out to the main waiting area. They prep your details on the system, transferring the notes the Dr has just passed along, so the next stage is ready for you. The nurse then took me over to the payment desk.


Even if you have insurance you still have to pay now, claim later. They have an announcement system which reads out the numbers in Thai. I sat there silently cursing myself for still having not learned the numbers yet. But they were ready for me and when it got to my number it switched to farang mode, doing the whole announcement in English.

Waiting to pay

At the desk, I pulled out my credit card to make the payment. The prescription was printed off with the rest of the invoice paperwork and was whisked over to a window in the wall which opened through to the on-site pharmacy.

The total bill for this wondrous service? 1989THB. That comes to roughly £47. Pretty reasonable in anyone’s books! And it includes the cost of the prescription as well.

As you might be able to make out, if you squint, the first 700THB was the Dr’s fee. The prescription medication cost 1029THB and then the remaining 200-300THB is the cost of the bits, the nurse and general hospital costs.


I kind of like the way the prescriptions are presented here in Thailand. You get a little goodie bag and walk away feeling like you have just been to a children’s party:

You get a goodie bag from the pharmacy

They prescribed me Ibuprofen, which I was already taking. This costs about 10thb for a packet in a Pharmacy on the street. The ones in my goodie bag are Neurofen brand name ones. If I had realised that before I had paid I could probably have turned them down and maybe saved a few bt. Not the end of the world but I just feel compelled to try to optimise things so that sort of things niggles at me.


So I am on antibiotics for the next week, alongside ibuprofen and ear drops. The ear drops have to be done to both ears which means I can look forward to doing my best impression of Plug, from The Bash Street Kids in the coming days:

Looking like Plug from The Bash Street Kids

And that’s it. A pretty simple process, great value for money and super clean and high quality throughout. I recommend you cultivate your own medical situation as soon as possible so that you can have this experience too! (Disclaimer: If I actually have to disclaim this you are probably already a write-off).


Day 285: The Glass House, Chiang Mai, review

Nomad friendly? No.

Not every day can be a glorious winner as a digital nomad. I somehow messed my sleep up and woke up early, then went back to sleep and slept until gone 12. After that, I had my breakfast and just never really managed to get into the swing of things.

I’ve said this before, even if I get my 8 hours in, unless they are at the right time, with me waking up in the morning, they don’t seem to count. Despite knowing this I have run the worst-managed sleeping cycle that I possibly could for basically all of adult life.

After wasting most of the day I decided to at least stay true to my new plan of trying out more mid-range cafe’s. I had walked past The Glass House so many times, during my first visit to Chiang Mai and during this return trip, always peeking over the fence at it and planning it for “one day”.

It’s not hard to catch your eye as they have got a great setup with lights in the trees and stylish surroundings throughout:

Now maybe I’m not being fair on the place as I ordered beef burger and wedges. I know it’s western food and maybe they do some really tasty local dishes, but it’s one of the things they advertise outside on a specials chalkboard and they have a broad range of western food items on their menu so I think they brought this upon themselves.

It started off well, stylish table, koi friend swimming in the pond next to me, water feature gurgling away. They brought me a free little shot of something to welcome me. As soon as they delivered though I was greeted with the sadness:

The plate looks like its missing some stuff with that huge gap. The burger was basically the size of a 99p one in Burger King. The bun had a chewiness to it that betrayed the fact that it had just been defrosted in a microwave. The meat was actually quite tasty but it was one of those ones that are processed frozen meat like you would get at a fairground in the UK.

I opted for the cheese upgrade which was a good job because if I had not then it would have been a lonely burger. Inside that bun was exactly two things, a cheap patty and an unmelted cheese square. You can see it was joined by a total of about 9 wedges.

Food scoffed. Tummy rumbling. Wallet 175thb lighter.

Sample Menu Items

Didn’t get a photo of the menu, it was too dark as I was leaving. I might be able to update this with a day shot later…

Most items were in the region of 100thb to 250thb with a 350thb steak outlier.

My beef burger was 150thb, with a 25thb cheese upgrade.

They had a pork/chicken burger option for 125thb.

I remember seeing Chicken with Cashew Nuts for 165thb.

Nomad friendly?

It was a proper restaurant setting so definitely not feeling nomad friendly. They did have free WiFi though.


Not highly. It seems like it could be a good place to bring your parents if they were over visiting but for standard nomad life, I don’t think I will be returning.

I don’t know why I feel bad for it, but I kinda do. I feel like I’ve kicked a puppy. I’m sorry restaurant but you just didn’t deliver and if I’m not going to be honest then what’s the point in this?

Bonus snaps

I snapped a few scene setters to try to show off the awesome decor. There was also a huge cross-section of a tree trunk that was for groups down the middle that I didn’t get a picture of. And a little wooden swing outside.



Day 284: Lyceum Camp, Chiang Mai, review

Nomad friendly? Yes!

I came back to Thailand with a renewed determination to spend more money than I had last time. Everything is so cheap here. I use an app to track all my money and it is just so tempting to play little games with myself to get a lower and lower score. Over the last few days I spent hardly anything on my food for the day. It went 166thb, 135thb, 112thb, 60thb and then finally last night 50thb. For reference £1 is 42thb.

I was going down the rabbit hole again without even really trying to.

I had joked just the night before while messaging with my Mum that 60thb was really the lowest score I was going to get. The next day I woke up late, like lunchtime late, but the wonderful Pii Pum still cooked me my “breakfast” as part of the daily package here at In The City Hostel. That evening after stopping off at a food market for some food, I was walking back when I realised I had just spent 50thb in total for food that day.

I had to take action, so the first thing I did was buy some cakes from the 711; just to break the chain and bump the numbers up. Then I made a commitment to inject some more variety into my daily rituals. To spend more time eating at the mid-range cafe places, instead of just heading to the nearest roadside food seller. Visit spots with nice interior design, free Wi-Fi and some unique menu items.

So that’s how I ended up here today, at Lyceum Camp:

I was walking around looking for somewhere and as I went past this place I saw the menu, on a stand outside. Straight away it met my budget aims. There was something I liked the look on, right on the opening page: chicken steak with black pepper, side salad and chips for 149thb (£3.38). I decided to go in and pick something.

I had commented recently how the change over from a public to private space in Thailand is seamless. This restaurant was not an exception. The place has got some nice styles to it. To my left, stylish tables, decorated ceilings, intricate windows. To my right a few more tables and then it just changes over to a kind of office. A wall of filing cabinets and an office with people busy working on something. When I approached the counter, a lady got up from this table and came over to hand me a menu. It makes sense I guess to maximise the space but it just seems strange from an English upbringing seeing these places mingle together without any kind of partition. I saw the same in Koh Lanta in a supermarket and then later on in a coffee shop though so I wasn’t too fazed.

The whole place was laid out nicely, with a central area for casual sit down customers, a nomad / study / solo customer area to the left, a big fancy round marble table in a conservatory-style setup and also a section out front with some laid-back lounging chairs to watch the world go by. I greedily sat down at the 4 person marble table to enjoy its luxury haha. What?! There were no other customers at the time!

What I got

I spent a borderline embarrassing amount of time flicking back and forth (Thai wait staff seem to expect you to order very quickly). Originally I had set out on the walk with the notion of a burger, but I want to try new things when I could and this creamy red noodle dish had instantly caught my eye. The menu said it was a dish called Korean Noodle Kimchi Soup. I’m very glad I tried it because it was delicious. It was very spicy but just right for me.

In that bowl, there was noodles, some tofu, a scrambled egg, various greenery bits, onions and a creamy red spiiiiicy sauce.

I think it was probably too tasty to have been healthy so I just refused to look that up.

There were multiple other things on the menu that I definitely would like to try. My aim is to go to at least one new place a day now but maybe I can work around this imaginary limitation I’ve set myself. If I exploit the loophole of going back to work there for a few hours then that’s legit, right?

Sample menu items

As I left I stopped to take a few shots of the menu so you can get a feel for what’s on offer and the prices:

Lowest price: 55thb for fried rice with pork

Highest price: 149thb for a chicken/pork steak with chips + salad

Average: around 100thb for ramen bowls, spaghetti carbonara, or a chicken teriyaki, omelette and rice bowl.

Nomad friendly?

Yes, it seems to be. I didn’t have my laptop with me so I didn’t actually do any work but if you look on the picture below you can see it is set up as rows of individual / 2 people tables and each one has a power socket right at table height on the wall:

They also gave me this WiFi code which clearly stated a 1.5hr expiry. I would say that’s the maximum you should wait before either leaving or spending more money but that limit + the sockets at least set-out boundaries that are encouraging.

It was school finishing time when I arrived (I knew this because I had just passed the school which is further up the block). While I was eating, two separate school girls arrived and set their tablets up in work mode and started revising:

The place was pretty empty apart from that so if nobody else is trying to get sat I would definitely feel happy working there for an hour or so.

UPDATE: I went back a week later and worked there for a few hours, nobody batted an eyelid. I got something to eat and kept my WiFi code in my hand. Then after I’d finished eating I got a coffee, logged in (starting the countdown) and worked for the full amount. I was writing a particularly tricky quote and actually ended up overstaying a little bit.



Story Time

Day 274: He was a snakey boy, I said see ya later boy

? He was a snakey boy, I said see ya later boy, he wasn’t slithering up on me. ?

First sighting for me in Thailand. Only popped to the 7/11 for a cheeky packet of biscuits and ended up dodging 3 cockroaches, 2 rats and 1 snake.

I mean I call it dodging but they actually had zero interest in me, they just wanted to get from one place to another.

But therein lies the rub.

You see, just the other day I had found a silly little cockroach that had flipped himself over in the bathroom. Given the choice between sending him on his way or having to clean up squashed critter in my bathroom, I selected the charitable option.

But when it comes to memos it appears that cockroaches are a little behind on the times. No, it would appear for all intents and purposes that no memos whatsoever are delivered to the cockroach kingdom.

Yes, I’m quite confident about their lack of memo receiving because when I took an empty water bottle and tried to tippety-tap it over, back to the side that gravity prefers in this region, it didn’t stop to read any memos.

It disappeared.

But Matthew, I hear you say, cockroaches can’t just disappear.

And you would be right.

I first started to realise this when I felt the tickling on my arm. It turns out my brain was a lot slower than the cockroaches, because when it found that all of a sudden its many feet now had friction at their disposal the first thing it did was not flee the scene, exposing itself to a squishing, but run straight up the bottle and onto my arm.

It was so fast and so gross that, well, I’m not sure if my brain couldn’t or just wouldn’t admit to what had happened. Instead, it looked at the bottle confusedly, twisted it around a bit and wondered if I had accidentally squished it. Where did it go? Why didn’t it run away?

And then there was no more putting it off. We were all on the same page. The cockroach knew where it was. My brain knew where it was.

It was on my arm.

I let out one of those screams that start off with a clearly audible version of disbelief and work their way up the tonal scale. The bottle went clattering across the room and my arm started whipping backwards & forwards faster than Ali-G saying booyakasha.

Mr Roach was now in for his turn at being surprised as he suddenly found himself bouncing against the wall on the opposite side of the room and landing back upside down again.


There was an immediate and intensive session of soaping my hand and arm up while keeping an attentive eye on the upside down guest over the way.

This time he either finally got the memo or just applied some classic cockroach common sense because he managed to flip himself and took the wise decision to flee the scene.

I did the same and locked the door behind me.

Now, I know I gave him mixed signals by holding hands with him so quickly but I am really hoping that neither he nor any of his friends attempt to get a second date…

Daily Life

Day 271: Kittens in need

Met a kitty by the side of the road ?.

Got speaking to a nearby shop owner and turned out there was four kitties plus a mommy and they were all really hungry.

It’s a tough time for a smol kitty at the moment as it’s low season here in Koh Lanta. The ladies shop was one of the only ones open. Everywhere else had their shutters down and wouldn’t be raising them for several more months.

The nice lady had taken to feeding them in the morning, but couldn’t leave her shop until it closed at 7pm so they were all super hungry little meow boxes when we arrived on the scene.

Obviously, as soon as we heard this we turned around, went straight over the road to the supermarket and picked up a bag of kitten nibbles. It drew quite the kitty crowd. That little grey furball must have eaten about twice its weight in nibblets!

We left the lady in charge of the rest of the bag so these kitties have a few days of good eating ahead, hopefully, more kitty fans will come along to keep things going…

Bonus selfies:

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