Pongpet Mekloy is the Bangkok Post's travel editor and a mountain bike freak.
With the constant evolution of the internet and digital technology, the world has changed furiously fast. Many aspects of life are no longer the same. At the age of 51, I know full well if I want to survive another decade I've got to learn a new skill. So I took up aikido.
Apart from giving rise to keyboard warriors and other nuisances, the digital age also has a good side. One thing I love most about today's world is that it has given me easy access to tons of photographs from the distant past. And that, at least to me, is almost like time travel.
It's no secret that a large number of new-generation Thais have poor attitudes toward their homeland. Scornful posts and non-constructive comments are rampant on the internet. The causes of their resentment are numerous: politics, traffic, laws, the economy, culture, social values, cost of living -- you name it.
The other evening I had a meetup with friends. As some of us had never been to the izakaya where we planned to meet and thus had no idea where it is situated, the location of the Japanese pub/restaurant was then shared and everybody easily made their way to the meeting place. Yes, this is nothing new. Everybody does this nowadays. Exactly!
Almost three decades ago when I was a university student, I occasionally had to travel to Don Mueang airport for a part-time job. Back then, it was Bangkok's only airport, and, with the tollway not yet in existence, was considered very far from the city centre. There, my task was to ask departing tourists to fill in questionnaires for the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), which wanted to know what they liked or disliked, as well as their spending behaviour, during their visits.
I get to know people when I travel for work, but I rarely see them again in person because each time I travel, I go to someplace different. Earlier this year, however, as I was about to leave a tourism fair, I bumped into the owner of a resort on Koh Mak, the island of Trat province famous for its efforts to become a "low-carbon destination".
Have you ever been in a situation like this? You're at a BTS station, and as you approach the turnstile to catch your train, you realise there is not enough credit for the ride on your Rabbit card. The queues at the ticket booths are too long and you hate waiting.