Thailand workcation

Beautiful beaches….
Sunshine……
Perfect weather……..
“What’s the password to the wifi?!”

That’s how most of this trip I took with Noah went.

We took a two week “workcation” to Thailand.  Basically the idea was: Sit on a beach, do work.  

I’ve done it before and it’s a great way to work!

The only problem is you have to go with people who are ALSO under the impression they’re going on the trip mainly to work.  Otherwise they’ll drag you into traveling around all day (total 1st world problem).

Here was our trip Itinerary:

  • Flew from Austin to Houston to Japan (had AWESOME sushi), then into Bangkok for two days.
  • Took flight into Ko Samui and ended up staying there for a night (I loved the vibe of that island).
  • Took a ferry ride into Ko Tao, it was a backpacker kind of town.  Did some awesome scuba diving there (apparently it’s famous for that).
  • Took a long boat ride + bus to Krabi to hang out with Edmund (who we met through AppSumo).
  • We got setup with scooters, a secluded beach resort, a bungalow on the beach, and all the food & drinks we could order (all for $93 for 3 nights for BOTH people)!!  This part of the trip was so awesome.
  • Flew back to Bangkok for a few days.
  • (I’ll elaborate more with recommendations later when I’m not half-delirious writing this).

So anyhow, here’s a summary of the trip in pictures:

The first day on the beach on the Ko Samui island I made my goals so I could clearly work on a set number of things and not get too distracted:
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In Bangkok we totally randomly met up with Nomadic Matt.  In case you don’t know Matt’s site, he travels around the world and gives advice on where to eat/stay/travel.  In fact, every time I researched an island to stay on, I would Google the island with his website after it in order to get his recommendations, like:  “Ko Tao Nomadic Matt”.

Here’s Me, Matt, and Noah having a beer in a very westernized area of Bangkok:
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Thassalotaflights!  Something like 32 hours of travel time each way:
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We were greeted by a hologram in Japan:
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There were lots of stray dogs I played with…..good thing I’m fully vaccinated against rabies!
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Relaxing on Koh San Road (where all the backpackers hangout), waiting to get my foot massage:
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Know those “riots” going on in Bangkok?  We went to them, and they were very very peaceful.  It was more like a market or festival than a “riot”:
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To avoid the jet lag getting me the first night, I downed a couple of these “real” Red Bulls.  They’ve got some kick to them!
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ASIAN FOOD EVERYWHERE:thailand

 

This was us at 5:30am catching the SuperBowl at a nice hotel in Bangkok that had the game playing.  It was full of Americans (the very few other Americans we saw on the entire trip):
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Noah working diligently during the SuperBowl:
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Drinking custom-made fruit smoothies for about a dollar a piece:
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One of the “rioters” :-P
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Meow meow meow:
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Coconuts…..my FAVORITE:
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Ordering food on the beach while working in perfect weather:
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I REALLLLLLYYYY liked the vibe of Ko Samui.  Next I come to Thailand I’m going back.  It was touristy enough to where there were a lot of nice hotels and restaurants and things to do, but NOT so touristy it ruined the mood.  The water was so perfect and calm, you could walk in the water over a 100 meters and still stand up till your waist:
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Ko Samui:
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I had to put this in there so I remembered…..
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The guy who drove us to the airport had the sickest bus I’d ever seen!  It had huge subwoofers in the back, it was pimped out with gold mirrors and rims, and that sound system inside sounded amazing:
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Relaxing in the pimp bus:
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Headed out on a ferry to Ko Tao Island:
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Perfect breeze and weather for a ferry ride.  It was 100% foreigners:
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Cool scenery:
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Noah wore that Taco Shirt LITERALLY the whole trip except the last day!
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Lol…..Noah was messing with the hotel in Ko Tao when he booked, and said it was our “anniversary” so this is how we found our hotel room!!  Hahahahahah
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Lol….I walk in the hotel room to find Noah working from a bed of roses:
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In Ko Tao we met up with an AppSumo fan Edmund who owned a bunch of business in nearby Krabi (hotel, hostel, restaurant, travel agency), and he showed us around:
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Ko Tao was cool……but most of it was foreigners.  So you’d see scooters zipping everywhere, but it was all white people on them:
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Edmund scoring us some kebab skewers for a snack…..LOVED the cheap road-side food in Thailand.  Actually much prefer it to the nicer restaurants:
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Discovered a random Mui Thai gym in Ko Tao….it was all foreigners:
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Crossfit??!?!? In Koh Tao?!??!  Very random:
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This is how I woke up to work:
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Working early morning (still getting up at weird times with jet lag):
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THIS is what a workcation is supposed to be!!  Beach, good food, maybe beer, fast wifi, perfect weather.  It got even better later on into the trip because we weren’t even at a resort:
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All three of us working for a few hours:
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In Ko Tao there was this RANDOM ASS taco shop we stopped by, and it ended up having the BEST tacos I’ve ever had!  HIGHLY recommended:
https://www.facebook.com/kohtaotacothailand

 

We ended up making friends with the owner, he was actually American!
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Of course you gotta get an off-road scooter:
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Scooter trip around the island:
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Parked and walked down some steps:
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….and found this random beach for locals:
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I brought my Martin Backpacker guitar and we played a few tunes on the beach (Edmund was formerly a rockstar the band Red Jumpsuit Apparatus):
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Great views that pictures don’t quite translate:
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Chilling and working:
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Working from a restaurant thingy on a cliff:
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View from the resort balcony where we were working:
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Dasch meow??
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Took a ferry outta Ko Tao:
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Sat in the “VIP” section of the bus there which no one knew about…..so for the same price as everyone else, we road in style in our own section of the bus!
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Arrive in Krabi…..this is the road we’d drive on everyday with those cool Avatar-looking mountains in the background:
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Here were the scooters we rented for our entire stay in Krabi…..TWO of them for less than $18 total.  Mine was the sky-blue one with random logos all over it.  Fortunately both me and Noah have our motorcycle licenses AND both have scooters back in Ausin, so we’re experienced.  But it doesn’t really matter over there, they’d give you a scooter in two seconds without asking if you know how to ride one!

Scooter crashes by tourists are so common, they call the road rash you get a “Thai Tattoo”:
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More coconuts for me!
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One of Edmunds businesses in Krabi was a hostel with a really cool vibe to it….so we spent time working from there:
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Noah took over job as bartender:
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Scooterizing:
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Lol…..this random poster on the wall of the hostel always cracked me up!
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This is at our bungalow on the beach in Krabi where we stayed a few days (which was AWESOME by the way).  One day I was shaving my beard, and decided to see what a goatee on me looks like:
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Scuba diving in Koh Tao:
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Doing a quick re-fresher of how to not die in the ocean before going scuba’ing in some world-famous waters:
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One of our dive locations:
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Before taking the plunge:
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IMMA SCUBA DIVER!
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Workcation scenes: Me working from a beach:
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Hammock’ing:
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Hammock and the “restaurant” area for the bungalows we stayed at.  There were just 4 locals who lived at the resort and did all the work/cooking.  So peaceful.  One day we saw a total of only 9 human beings:
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Chillaxing.  That weather was utterly perfect:
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Photos we HAD to take before leaving this beautiful location.  Me relaxing by the ocean:
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Noah chilling by the ocean.  The water was so warm and mild and non-wavy you could sit there comfortably:
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Aaaannddd of course I have to end off the album with a couple of Handstand pics!!
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By the way, the reason I do these “I just took a vacation, here are my photos posts” is for my own memory.  I forget EVERYTHING, but if I see a picture of the event I can recall it perfectly.

So this is my way of keeping this memory alive!

Hope you enjoyed the pics and got a sense of the workcation.

If you want to do your own workcation, based on our experience (of this trip and others), we know there’s some factors that affect this:

  • Have solid goals of what you want to get done during the trip, and tell others so you’re accountable.
  • Other people you go with should be on the same page of wanting to work at least 4-6 hours a day.
  • Don’t be moving so much….it disrupts the whole working and “resetting” process.
  • The goal of the trip is NOT to travel around and be a tourist….it’s to work. Of course there’s a mix of touristy stuff and sightseeing thrown in, but it needs to be a good balance.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol or party too late except on designated days.  This throws off the whole work schedule.
  • Having a perfect breeze, comfortable accommodations, fast internet, good local food, and preferably a beach nearby is optimal.

In the future we might do a workcation where we take a bunch of other people along with us.  Whatchya think?

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    Blog posted on: February 17, 2014

    28 comments on “Thailand workcation

      1. Neville Post author

        Wasn’t REALLY tempted to go there. A lot of the islands definitely reminded me of it through!

        One of the key distinctions was that this was a workcation, so we weren’t keen on constantly traveling more than we did! Ya been there?

        Reply
    1. Paul

      Great Stuff, Nev. Glad to hear the trip was amazing!

      I’m excited about my own version of a workcation I’ll be taking soon for about 12 months – traveling around the country – staying in different cities for 2-4 weeks at a time.

      If you can work from anywhere, why would you choose to work from the same place every single day?

      I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes:
      “I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth. Then I ask myself the same question.”

      Reply
      1. Neville Post author

        Hey Paul!

        Well…Yes it’s cool to go around and travel and work.

        HOWEVER…….after a while it does get tiring and “ho hum”. That’s why I always like returning home. There I have long-lasting close friendships and family to go back on.

        So I totally see why birds fly around, but then come home :)

        Reply
      1. Neville Post author

        Thanks Jonathan! Those were difficult handstands because I kept sinking into the sand which REALLY throws of the accurate balance needed for a still handstand:

        Reply
    2. Doug

      Thanks for the Helen Keller’s cat photo. I snorted out loud and almost spit coffee on my screen.
      Looked like loads of fun. I’m not sure how it would work with my wife and kids constantly interrupting, but I would still like to try.

      Reply
      1. Neville Post author

        Lol…..still makes me laugh :)

        You could actually still go. Just be clear you might need a few hours a day to yourself.

        The kids could play at the beach, and there are a lot of beaches in Thailand with basically ZERO wave action, and the water is insanely shallow for hundreds of meters. Probably the safest beaches to let kids play at!

        Did I mention some of these places are crazy cheap??

        Reply
    3. Will

      I like it. I’ll be headed there late summer, thanks for posting your thoughts on the locations. I’ve actually got a client lined up in Ko Samui. Glad to hear you liked it there

      Reply
    4. Leo Tabibzadegan

      Epic!

      You’re going to look back a year from now and be like… MAN, those were the days! Thailand is truly amazing. I’m impressed you guys actually did work though.. the heat and awesome made it impossible for me haha.

      I highly recommend putting together some video footage of your adventure tied in with some good music that you heard while you were there, so you guys can look back and remember the awesome times whenever you feel a bit bored or down on life… :)

      Here’s the one I made of me and my friends in Thailand :D

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb5JIPFkozE&

      I actually love putting video highlights like this together, I should really look into doing this as a profession haha

      Reply
    5. Ar

      that looks awesome! I’ve tried to “workation” but most of the time i just shy away from doing the actual work…i guess having an accountability partner and set schedule helps.

      real good job guys! I am next :)

      Reply
    6. Thomas

      Hi Neville,
      Very nice pictures! I live your Blog Posteingang for two years now. The Cuba Trip Description is also very good. :)
      And coincident? Just now, Reading your Blog I am with My Family on Ko samui. :) we travelled twelf days through the Country and now we are trying to relax here. Which Beach You were here?

      At Kao San Road I was Able to be a Student again. You might have Seen the sellers? You can be a Journalist too in some Minits. ;)

      Love to here more from you,

      Thomas from Berlin, Germany

      Reply
    7. Thomas

      Sorry, the iPhone automatic translator was Doing some Crazy Things.

      First Sentence is: i live your Blog for two Year now.

      Thomas from Berlin, Germany

      Reply
    8. Francois Paul Lambert

      Awesome! Man, I can’t believe I actually read the whole thing and went through all the pictures of your Bromanceworkcation! LoL

      Koh Samui def rocks! Been there in 2012 for my Bro’s wedding and some lifestyleDesign office experiment and I loved it! I totally get it that you loved it as well. I’m even thinking of having a permanent base over there (we should discuss about it!)

      And those Red Bulls…. Ahahaha!

      Loved this post.

      Take care,

      FP

      Reply
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