Smiling Albino

People have been trying to save their pennies while they see the world for as long as people have been trying to see the world. Ironically, teaching people how to save money has become a multi-billion dollar business.

But what if you had the means to go the other way?


Most of us dream of spending megabucks on the vacation of a lifetime, but what if you were actually able to do it? Unsurprisingly, just like there is an art to traveling cheaply, there is an art to teaching people how to spend money while they travel. And you might be surprised to find out how difficult it is.

Traveling cheaply in Asia is relatively easy. The food and transport are very affordable, hotels are reasonable if you don’t live like a rock star, and even if you fall victim to a scam or get your wallet stolen, you’re still likely only out a few hundred bucks. Make a plan, use your head, and traveling cheaply can be pretty easy to do.

But let’s say someone plopped you down in Bangkok or Hanoi or Siem Reap and told you that you had 24 hours to spend $10,000 on valuable experiences. Obviously if you were able to do it you’d expect a pretty special vacation. But what would you do?

Through luck or hard work or providence – or all three – Smiling Albino has had the pleasure (and challenge) of putting trips together that fall under this strange directive. For instance, say you were on a really tight schedule when you landed in Bangkok, or maybe you just really hate traffic jams. Problem solved – a helicopter will pick you up at the airport and land on the roof of your hotel.

Another scenario – what if you’re a famous celebrity or simply want to enjoy a popular attraction without the throngs of tourists that sometimes come with the territory? This actually happened recently. Through connections made over long years in all levels of Thailand’s social strata, we were able to get one of Bangkok’s most popular temples all to ourselves for a few hours. It wasn’t cheap, but our guests were blown away and the temple restoration fund was topped-up.

One more? Sure – recently we had a customer who decided, on very short notice, that regular methods simply would not do for transport to his next location. A few hours later he was reclining in a private jet and ordering expensive scotch from the flight attendant. (We ordered drinks too, but it was cheap beers in a roadside pub. Still, we celebrated a job well done).

The crux of the issue here is that while money can buy most things in Asia, the one thing it can’t buy is years of experience, shortcuts through red tape, and the assurance of legality and safety that are necessities while traveling. All of those things are very hard to come by unless you know just where to look and who to ask.

Asia on the cheap? Pff, that’s easy. But on $10,000 a day, you might need a bit of help. And we know just who to call.

If you’re thinking of adding something a little special to a Southeast Asian trip, let us make some suggestions that fit your style, contact us with any inquires.