Chris Hughes

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What Is It Like Staying At The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore?

Where do I even start with this?

Seriously, this place is unbelievable.

My girlfriend and I were going to be in Singapore during our Anniversary while we were in between Visa renewals from Thailand and I had always seen the Marina Bay Sands pool and knew I had to see it in person.

This past month I had the opportunity to do it and wow am I sure glad that I booked the stay!

Chris Hughes Digital Nomad

Here’s a shot of me working from our room there (in board shorts and tank top of course)

****side note: I really need to make sure I remember to get pictures of my “offices” around the world. I’m so grateful to be able to build businesses that allow me to do this *****

Okay, so here’s a few shots of our suite in the Marina Bay Sands…

visiting the Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands suite bathroom

bedroom view Marina Bay Sands

and one of the most caring things I feel that they did for us for our Anniversary, was they surprised us with a bottle of wine and a chocolate mousse cake. (They called to find out when we would be in our room because they wanted to give us a “gift” as a thank you for staying with them)

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Wow, wow, wow. I love it when companies actually give a shit about their customers.

It seems like many companies ignore the fact that their customers are people and like to be appreciated, the Marina Bay Sands understands that and does a great job with it.

They even included a little note and a personal concierge for anything we needed throughout our stay.

This truly was a great example of how to build an extremely loyal customer for life, as I’ll be staying there again in the future when I’m in Singapore for sure.

Okay, so let me tell you about what my favorite part of the whole experience was…and that was the pool.

Chris Hughes digital entrepreneur, Island company

Yes, of course I’m wearing my favorite tank top…that says “Quit Your Job, Buy A Ticket, Get A Tan, Fall In Love, Never Return”….because that’s exactly what I did a few years back when I moved to Panama to pursue my online business full-time.

This is one of the top pools in the world, and for great reason.

Playing around in the pool and looking over the edge is just amazing. While it does have its safety precautions in place, you still feel like the edge just drops off.

One of the major reasons I wanted to visit Singapore was so that I could simply see the view from the top of the pool to see the city.

I’ve read a lot of people’s reviews and had heard stories of people “sneaking in” to the pool. In my opinion, if something is good enough for people to write tutorials about sneaking into something, it’s going to be worth it to just go ahead and book the place.

….and damn was I right.

Marina Bay Sands Chris Hughes 1937371_10208548883220307_2365377095283160106_n

Sam and I at “the edge” of the infinity pool.

As you might expect, being 57 floors up on a roof can be quite windy. The wind was pretty strong, but it felt good with being in the direct sunlight. The pool was a little cooler than I am used to (a lot of Costa Rica pools), but it felt good after getting warm in the sun.

Sam does a lot of journaling for her experience and shared her experience with me and one of the best quotes from her stuff is…

“This is the greatest hotel of all time.”

The rooftop at night

Okay, so this was another amazing experience that I highly recommend when you stay here..

head up to the roof and simply just enjoy the view. It truly is breath-taking seeing Singapore at night, all the lights and the light show. It’s a little weird being in the actual building that the light show is based around, as you don’t have the view that most people would be visiting.

Marina Bay Sands night time

Chris Hughes vagabond Entrepreneur IMG_4780 IMG_4777 IMG_4764

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to have stayed at the Marina Bay Sands and am extremely impressed with their ability to please their customers.

It truly is a great example for me, as I run a few different businesses and am always looking for ways to improve my customer’s experience.

I’d just like to thank the staff at the Marina Bay Sands once again, for an unforgettable experience.

Learning to Cook in Thailand with the Thai Farm Cooking School

February 24, 2016
Location: sitting on the balcony in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Time: 12:18pm

 

Yesterday Sam and I went to the Thai Farm Cooking School to learn how to cook some Thai food. Here’s a picture of our teacher, Yummy. Yes his name is yummy and the food he helped us create was pretty damn good.

Thai Farm Cooking School

Yummy teaching us about eggplant, although the baby eggplant that we put in soup is an absolutely terrible taste in my opinion.

We started off in the morning getting picked up from our condo and then being driven to a little market to learn about where to buy some of the ingredients that we would be using during our cooking lesson.

 

Chiang Mai thailand market

Some of the things you can buy at a Thai market place.

When we first got to the farm, we sat down and had some fresh lemon herb tea and some water in preparation for our lesson. We started off by walking around a little bit and seeing how some of the ingredients were grown and what the plants look like before we turn them into food.

It was pretty cool to see some of the plants and to be able to smell and eat some of the freshest ingredients possible. You pull the plant out of the ground and can taste it and smell it, no pesticides needed!

Alright let’s get to the good part….eating!

Sam and I decided to split up who cooked what so that we would both learn something and we could share what we made to see what we liked best.

Here’s what my work station looked like:

Thai cooking school work station

Pretty simple, right? There was a little stove to the right where we cooked everything..

Some of the things I cooked were:

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Tom yam kung, tom yam with shrimp

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poh piah tod: springrolls

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In action shot10367194_10208502561462292_428131228702811629_n

Red Curry, sweet and sour chicken and jasmine rice with a Chang beer

and for dessert….

Kluay Bod Chii: aka Bananas in Coconut Milk

Kluay Bod Chii: aka Bananas in Coconut Milk

 

What did Sam make? 

Alright, I admit I was too busy eating and making my own stuff to get all of the pictures of what Sam made and she doesn’t share as much as I do with stuff I’m doing, so here’s a few action shots I did get.

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All in all, I had a great time and Sam did as well. We met some cool people as our group had a mother and daughter from Northern China, a couple from Germany, a solo girl from Germany, a girl from Bulgaria and her boyfriend and boyfriends mother and Sam and I.

It was fun to chat and share an experience with people from all over the world and see where everyone else was traveling to and where they had been. That’s always the best way to find out where I want to visit next…if enough people I meet tell me about a place that is a “must visit”, I tack it onto my to visit list!

Sure, we aren’t the best chefs in the world, but we now have a few other recipes that we can make when we have the ingredients. The only downside is that you need a lot of ingredients for the majority of these dishes that we don’t always have at the places we rent.

When we settle down and have a set house we live in, I’m sure the kitchen will be stocked with all of the spices and foods we’ll need and we’ll be able to re-create these recipes!

UPDATE: Sam’s pictures!

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February 16, 2016

A Motorbike Adventure from Chiang Mai to Pai – Thailand Adventures

The other day my friend Kyle, who I grew up with in the valley, came to visit me in Chiang Mai where I am currently living. Kyle’s currently living in Vietnam and teaching over there and had a break so decided to visit.

We spent a few days exploring Chiang Mai, eating street food, wandering around looking for cool photo spots and even hit up the Night Bazaar.

One thing that we were told is a must do is to head up to the Northern town of Pai….so we rented scooters and took the trip.

Chris Hughes motorbike from chiang mai to pai

Chris Hughes hopping back on the Motorbike after a quick break on the trip to Pai, Thailand

The night before while eating at a food truck and chatting with some people who were there, the people we met were surprised that we were planning on taking motorbikes up to Pai instead of driving. (These were locals to Chiang Mai)

We had been told by a few other people to just drive slow and keep an eye out for the potholes that used to take over the entire road there.

That didn’t impact our decision at all and the next day we were off to Pai. From my condo it appeared that we only needed to make 3 or 4 turns and follow the signs to get out of Chiang Mai and onto the road to Pai….sometimes I’m not the best with directions, so Kyle and I ended up driving around Chiang Mai for about 30 minutes before we realized that we missed a turn.

That led to some laughs and us having to back-track a bit, but after a little more driving we found the turn that we were supposed to take and ended up on the road to Pai.

From everything that I read about the trip and the road we were expecting that it would take a few hours to get there because of having to drive so slowly to avoid potholes.

We didn’t expect that the road would be in absolutely perfect condition. For the majority of the ride, the roads were in perfect condition. I’m talking about them having just paved one side of the road and were paving the other side for portions of the road, while other long parts of the road were in better condition than roads I’ve driven on in the USA.

There were a few times where one side of the road was closed and we were supposed to wait along with all the other cars so 1 side of the road could go at a time…however the beauty of motorbikes is that you can just go along the side of the cars and avoid a lot of the waits.

After about 3.5 hours of driving through absolutely beautiful hills we arrived in Pai.

I personally thought the best part of going to Pai was driving through the fresh mountain air and just stopping and overlooking the views. There were a few different times where Kyle and I stopped and we just laughed because it really reminded us of the views you would see driving to our friend Colin’s dad’s house in upstate NY when we were in high school.

It felt like being back at home with my bro, but instead of being in cars or walking the street we were on motorbikes.

After getting to Pai we drove around a while to find the hotel we were staying in. That was quick and easy since the town is so small.

Our first order of business upon arrival was to find a good place to get a massage. Sitting in one position for a few hours is pretty rough on the body and certain parts towards the end of the road weren’t fully paved and we were bouncing around a bit on the motorbikes.

We walked around town for about 10 minutes (it’s a tiny town) and were looking for a massage place that had a bunch of flip flops/shoes outside so that we could see it was a good place. In Thailand it is customary to take off your shoes before entering a building.

We found one place and ended up getting an amazing 1 hour Thai massage where they stretch you like crazy. I’m talking about finding that point of stretching and pain and just playing around the with line to get the best stretch possible.

There were a few times where I thought I was going to cry a bit in pain, but then she released the stretch. After this I felt like a million bucks, actually I felt a little high. If you’ve ever gotten a great massage where you feel super super relaxed, you’ll know the feeling.

We then wandered around town for the night and did some bar hopping and street vendor hopping seeing who had the best foods.

Here’s a few of the places we stopped.

Grandma’s Pancakes: we found this place at the end of the night and it was this old woman serving pancakes cooked right in front of you. We chose to get 4 of the pancake sausage combos and honestly I wish we would have gotten about 40 of these. They were so good.

– Ting Tong’s the Living Room: place with the cool lounge chairs

Sabai Bar: we ended up hanging here to listen to some live music and play some chess. Very laid back feel to it.

– Fine Rice: this is where we had our main dinner. It was referred to Kyle as a great place and the food was pretty good, nothing too spectacular especially compared with most of the street food there.

 

 

On the ride back, we decided to stop and see one of the landmarks called “The Landsplit” and it was just that. In 2008 the land split.

Kyle and I weren’t really sure what had gone on but it seemed like it was run by a bunch of ex-pat 20-30 somethings with 2-3 local Thai people hanging out as well.

Chris Hughes The CPA Surfer in Pai Thailand

The Landsplit Pai Thailand

It wasn’t too much to look at, but the best part was that they brought out food and a rosella tea that was delicious. You basically just pay what you want and that’s how they run the attraction.

You also can write in one of their visitor books and we both chose to do that. I put a funny little message in the book with my thoughts so if you can find it you’ll get a kick…

here’s a hint: “been here 3 days, still haven’t found it…”

We were also planning on stopping to visit the #1 tripadvisor spot the Pai Canyon, although we ended up driving past it on our bikes and didn’t realize until about 20 minutes later and thought it wouldn’t be worth back-tracking.

Kyle and I have both seen a bunch of canyon’s so it wasn’t like we were missing much from what it seemed like from reading.

All in all, the trip was fun and it was great to breath some clean mountain air after being in Chiang Mai for the last month or so.

I’d say the best parts of the trip to Pai were simply stopping and just breathing and looking out over the hills and appreciating nature for what it is.

If you are thinking about visiting there, I’d do it. There are a lot of other nature based things to do up there when you arrive but Kyle and I were on a schedule since he needed to head back to Vietnam soon.

Have you been to Pai?

 

Why I Believe Being Rich Is Your Right

Who is Chris Hughes

January 17, 2016
Location: my condo in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Time: 4:28pm

 

I’m currently reading the book, How Rich People Think, by Steve Siebold and wanted to document some of my thoughts and view points on being rich and creating wealth.

For those of you that know me and grew up with me, you know that I didn’t grow up rich, and I didn’t grow up poor. We had everything we needed and a little more. I’m extremely grateful for that. The good thing was that my home town was extremely cheap to live in, so money went a lot further there than it would in many other places.

But, growing up this way I had always been told all of the typical things about money that you probably have heard throughout your life.

Things like….

  • money doesn’t grow on trees
  • save all your money
  • you have to work hard to earn money
  • the name brand things are the same stuff as the store brand
  • go to school, get a job and work hard

If you were born in the USA, you probably grew up hearing similar viewpoints. For those of you outside of the USA, I can’t speak for your family because it may have been different than what I grew up with.

Think to yourself for a second, how many times did your parents, teachers and others in your life tell you things about money that you just blindly listened to and followed because they were older and therefore knew more than you?

I know for me, it has been difficult to realize that a lot of what I was told when I was younger didn’t have to be my reality.

Who is Chris Hughes

For example, the idea of working hard for money.

While I do believe working hard is one of the most important things you can do, and I thoroughly believe that you absolutely must work your ass off to develop skill-sets that bring in money, you don’t always need to work hard to earn money.

When it comes to marketing, I have worked my ass off. I’m constantly learning, reading, hiring coaches and mentors and testing and tweaking different campaigns I run and products I’m selling.

You know why?

It takes hard work to learn and implement the stuff that produces money.

What isn’t hard is taking what has been proven to work from your tests and then turning it into more money.

In particular I’m talking about finding a need in a market and providing a solution to their problem(s) and either eliminating the pain that they were experiencing, or providing more pleasure to their life by solving the problem(s).

Once you figure out how to solve a particular problem, you can use advertising to get more exposure to something that has been proven to work.

What that proves to me, and should prove to you is that…

Making money is easy. 

Once you develop a skill set that can produce money, doing it over and over again can be done with minimal effort. In fact, you can hire people to do the exact steps you were doing to produce that money.

It’s not rocket science.

Although, it is hard work up front.

Okay, so back to the point of this blog post and where this idea came from..

Here is an excerpt from the book.

“The average person believes being rich is a privilege awards only to lucky people. World-class thinkers know in a capitalist country they have the right to be rich if they’re willing to create massive value for others.

This distinction in thinking leads the middle class to the lottery and the world class to work. While the masses are waiting to pick the right numbers and praying for prosperity, the great ones are solving problems.

They believe if they make life better or easier for others, it’s their right to be rich.

They’re always thinking of new ways to build a better mousetrap, and are often scorned by the masses for being materialistic, self absorbed and greedy.

While the masses are watching television and surfing the web, champions are thinking,working and dreaming of a better life.”

The funny thing is that the lottery was just at 1.5 Billion dollars. A lot of my Facebook news feed was full of people hoping and praying that they hit the jackpot and then never have to work another day in their life.

I don’t play the lottery because I don’t believe in getting something for nothing. The whole idea of just being given an enormous amount of money without providing massive value doesn’t add up to me and it doesn’t resonate with my core beliefs.

Sure, I would take the $1.5 Billion if I won. I know exactly what I would do with it as well. 70% of it would be re-invested in boring and safe things that provide me with a safe return every year. 10% would be given to charities, 10% would be to buy a few apartment complexes and the other 10% would be re-invested in new businesses and hiring teams to run the new businesses.

However, I didn’t enter to win it so there was no chance for that to happen.

Why Being Rich Is Your Right

Bill Gates said it best, ““If you are born poor its not your mistake, But if you die poor its your mistake.”

You can’t help the situation you are born into, it simply happens.

However, you can choose how you react to it and the knowledge you learn along the way and most importantly the people you surround yourself with.

Is your current friend group holding you back from becoming great? It may be time to get rid of some of them.

Head to local meetup groups and conferences where you have the opportunity to meet people who are doing what you want to do. Find people who have the lifestyle you want and do whatever you can to learn from them.

Do work for free for them in exchange for mentoring. Be their errand boy/girl and go get them coffee. Do the little things to stay in front of their minds and they’ll do what they can to help you out in return.

At first, it sucks. After a while, you’ll start to notice that you’re thinking differently.

You’ll notice that the way you talk to others is different. The thoughts you have in your own mind are different. You start to believe that, “yeah, making $10,000 a month is actually pretty easy” and you build a business to do that.

Pretty soon you’ll be around people who are doing $100,000 a month and you will realize that it is possible.

The sky really is the limit.

You are in charge

Now I know you’re probably thinking, yeah yeah, Chris, you are already making good money with your business, of course you believe this shit.

…and you’re absolutely right. Don’t believe me.

However, here’s some blog posts I wrote about years ago that you may resonate more with.

Okay, so as you can see this shit is real. It’s currently January 17, 2016 and I’m chilling in Chiang Mai, Thailand with my girlfriend writing this post.

It’s been years since I started implementing the stuff I’m sharing with you now and it just goes to show that you can become rich if you choose to be.

I honestly believe anyone with the right mindset and work ethic can become rich. It’s just up to them to actually go through with it. Some days are going to flat out suck, others are going to kick so much ass you’re going to just sit back and think “how the hell did I get so lucky?”

Over the last few years, I’ve had my fair share of both of these days and I 100% believe that it was my mindset and my belief that I will do whatever it takes to make this whole internet marketing thing work for me.

The beauty of this is that I’m able to live my absolute dream life because of these beliefs and if you want to become rich (whatever that means to you), you have the right to do it.

You just gotta surround yourself with the right people, learn from your mentors and work your ass off until you can duplicate yourself.

Visiting Bangkok Thailand

Time: 4:05pm
Date: Sunday January 4,2016
Location: Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, Thailand

Chris Hughes,Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, ThailandChris Hughes,Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, ThailandOn New Years Eve we flew out of Chicago and flew to Dubai on business class with Emirates, which was an amazing experience. Spending 13 1/2 hours on that plane was quite the treat compared to normal flying.

When we arrived in Bangkok, Samantha got online and read through some reviews of what we should do in Bangkok while we were here. She stumbled across the Thai Tour Guide company and found some great reviews of their service so we booked a 9am-4pm day tour with the company and it was a great idea.

Here’s what we did according to their itinerary and below this you’ll see some pictures and my thoughts about each place.

The Royal Grand Palace & The Royal Temple are the perfect introduction to Thailand’s Architecture, Culture and Tradition, You will visit the highlight attractions around this complex such as

The Royal Temple (Wat Phra Kaew, The Temple of the Emerald Buddha), The Golden Chedi, Pantheon of the Chakri’s Kings, A miniature replica of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Coronation Throne Hall and Royal Reception Hall

Wat Pho (The Temple of The Reclining Buddha) is one of the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok and still an important center for Traditional Thai Medicine and Traditional Thai Massages School

Canal Tour, Take a long tail boat along the bustling Chao Phraya River and quiet Klongs (canals) Passing picturesque scenes of Thai River Life.

By the river see Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) is an important landmark located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The main shrine, decorated with glazed ornaments and ceramics, rises 67 meters towards the heavens. Built during the beginning of King Taksin era, the magnificent temple reflects the glory of the Thai culture. The highest Prang in Thailand symbolizing Hindu-Buddhist cosmology

Pak Klong Talad (Flowers & Vegetables Market), It is known mostly as a wholesale flower market serving everyone from flower vendors to florists, but it also has a good selection of fresh vegetables, which are bought in the pre-dawn hours to be transported to neighborhood markets around Bangkok for sale in the morning.

Pak Klong Talad is the most important flowers & Vegetables wholesale market in town

My thoughts

We started off with visiting The Royal Grand Palace & The Royal Temple.

The Royal Grand Palace & The Royal Temple Bangkok IMG_4124 IMG_4128 IMG_4132 IMG_4135 IMG_4139 IMG_4140

 

This place was unreal. In fact, all of the temples that we’ve seen so far are just so detailed it’s insane to think about how much time it actually took to build and touch up everything. We were told that the whole thing took only 3 years to design but with how much was put into it, it’s almost impossible to imagine it only taking 3 years.

One thing that was pretty interesting is where the inspiration for a lot of these came. Many of the designs have a Cambodian style mixed with some Thai and Chinese influences.

Looking at the pictures right now it’s a shame that the camera can’t capture what it’s really like as good as I wish it could.

Every color just POPS and the gold shines so bright it’s unbelievable. I honestly wonder how it doesn’t all get tarnished.

We did go on a Sunday, so it was extremely busy and the fact that it’s immediately after a New Year made it even busier than usual according to our guide, Tao. He did a great job with a lot of the pictures and snapped them with a minimal amount of people in them, which was great.

Next up we went out on the Canal Tour. We took a long tail boat along the bustling Chao Phraya River and quiet Klongs (canals) Passing picturesque scenes of Thai River Life.

canal tour bangkok

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A lot of the little kids who were out on their docks with their parents waved to us when we went by them, which was great. Seeing kids from around the world is one of my favorite things. Seeing the joy that simple things can bring into their life helps me to be grateful and appreciate what I see even more. 

After the tour we wandered around a bit and ended up walking through Pak Klong Talad (Flowers & Vegetables Market), It is known mostly as a wholesale flower market serving everyone from flower vendors to florists, but it also has a good selection of fresh vegetables, which are bought in the pre-dawn hours to be transported to neighborhood markets around Bangkok for sale in the morning.

Pak Klong Talad is the most important flowers & Vegetables wholesale market in town and holy damn is it enormous. It had more flowers in one spot than I have ever seen and for insanely cheap prices. Sam must have taken 30 pictures of just the orchids and the pricing for them. 

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The current conversion rate is  1 U.S. dollar = 35.9350295 Thai baht

That means the picture with all of those roses that was 60 baht costs about $2 USD…. insane, right?

Next up was visiting Wat Pho (The Temple of The Reclining Buddha) is one of the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok and still an important center for Traditional Thai Medicine and Traditional Thai Massages School

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The third largest buddha in Thailand… our guide said it was about 42 meters long! Sadly, the symbol of Buddha laying down meant ill health and was said to be a representation of the end of life. IMG_4293 IMG_4297 IMG_4301 IMG_4306 IMG_4308

The details on this were unbelievable. IMG_4313

Massage students use to have to study these pictures, but after passing their tests they were able to practice anywhere in the world. Luckily now, they have an actual school teaching them! IMG_4319

Random facts we learned:

  • The halo on the top of Buddha’s head is shown as a way of separating Buddha from man. The images of Buddha with a bald head are actually the monk-version of him
  • The things on the top shelf Buddha’s sitting on are all pointing up to show that Buddha is sitting on elevated ground and the ground moves up to support the Buddha.
  • Buddha is made to be both female and maleIMG_4321 IMG_4329 IMG_4331 IMG_4332

Surprisingly we were allowed to take pictures in here, although you can’t point your feet directly at Buddha so whenever you sit/kneel, you must place your feet in a direction other than directly at Buddha.

 

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