Interview with Rob Cubbon from Thailand

I would like to introduce my friend Rob Cubbon who is a graphic designer, an author, an internet marketer and a website designer. He’s from London but is currently visiting Thailand and is posting some amazing pictures on Facebook. I had a set of questions about his travels to Thailand and he was kind enough to answer them.

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Rob Cubbon during the Loi krathong celebrations
Rob Cubbon during the Loi krathong celebrations

Why did you decide to visit or relocate to Thailand?

I loved the idea of setting up online businesses that make money on autopilot so that you have freedom to travel the world and do what you want.

Several entrepreneurs, bloggers and not to forget Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Work-Week introduced me to the concepts of “location independence” and “digital nomadism”.

I had been running a web-based design business for years in London. More recently, I have been making passive income from info-products and so I could have done this many years ago. But, after my marriage had failed and all my friends had settled down and moved away, it didn’t make sense for me to stay in London. Why live in one of the world’s most expensive cities when you can live anywhere in the world?

How did you plan your trip from London?

The short answer is that I started working from cafés in London.

The long answer involves cloud storage, VPNs, outsourcing, laptops, unlocked smartphones, visas and a lot of unnecessary panicking. I went into more detail here in my article How I’ll Maintain My Online Business While Abroad.

The long and the short of it is: pack your bags and go!

Amazing hills and paddy fields in Chiang Dao
Amazing hills and paddy fields in Chiang Dao

Where did you buy your tickets and how did book your hotel?

I actually bought my ticket from a travel agent in London (very last century!) because it happened to be a good deal. I spent just less than $800 on the ticket. But, amazingly, I will have spent less money in three months, even if you factor in the plane ticket and all the other moving costs, than I would have spent if I’d stayed in London.

I didn’t book a hotel or anything in Thailand. I sorted all that out when I got here.

Have you completely relocated or will you be coming back to London?

That’s a good question. I’m planning to go back to London for Christmas and New Year and return to Thailand soon after for a few months. After that, I don’t know.

Another Buddhist temple in Chiang Dao
A Buddhist temple in Chiang Dao

Do you feel there is a language barrier? Do people speak English?

They speak English in the urban and tourist areas. After decades of tourism, the Thais have developed their own almost unique pigeon English. However there is and will always be a language barrier. The way to get round that is to learn the language.

I really want to speak Thai. The alphabet is a challenge – it has 44 consonants,15 vowels that combine into at least 28 vowel forms and four tonal accents. The Thai language and alphabet have their roots in India, Shalu. 😉

What is the food like in Thailand?

It’s no secret that food is one of many amazing things about Thailand. It doesn’t matter if you eat on the street for less that $0.50 or spend a few dollars more in a nice restaurant; it’s all great to eat.

Like most people here, I don’t cook. I just go out to my favorite restaurants near where I live and work my way through the menu.

Buddhist temple in Chiang Dao
Another Buddhist temple in Chiang Dao

What places have you visited so far?

I came here as a backpacker ten years ago and visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Krabi and a few places in Laos.

This time it’s been more of a pleasure to be settled in Chiang Mai. There’s so much to see in this region that I won’t have the time to explore it fully.

Chiang Mai is a city of 300,000 people set in beautiful hills and mountains. I live about 10-15 minutes from the center in a semi-rural area. There are countless waterfalls and temples to visit just minutes from my apartment. I’m discovering them one-by-one every weekend.

I had to go to Bangkok for a conference last month and I really didn’t want to go. Chiang Mai became home really quickly.

What are the best places to visit where you are?

First of all there is Doi Suthep which is a beautiful old temple on a hill in a national park a short drive outside the city. The drive and the temple offer great views of the city and the surrounding area.

You can keep on that road further into the national park past a palace to Kun Chang Kian Mong Village – a hill tribe village. I haven’t been there yet but I really want to go.

North of the city is Chiang Dao with numerous temples, caves and waterfalls. There is Mae Taeng dam or Mae Ngat dam, a lake/reservoir you can swim in in Sri Lanna national park.

Some say that Doi Inthanon National Park, nicknamed “the roof of Thailand”, is the best national park and is south west of the city which includes the country’s highest mountain. (Apparently, it’s as cold as 5º Celsius there at the moment, so much for tropical temperatures!)

There are very interesting neighboring towns called Pai and Mae Hong Son, again, they are set in very nice scenery.

There are lots of famous “round trips” or bike rides you can do in a day or a few days. There are trekking opportunities and wildlife sanctuaries.

Honestly, I haven’t done it justice. I’ve only just got here so I don’t know about all the attractions. And, I forgot to mention, there are a lot of lively bars and restaurants in the city!

Hills and paddy fields in Chiang Dao
Hills and paddy fields in Chiang Dao

What do you think of the people?

I absolutely loved Thai people the last time I came here and this time my feelings have not changed. I don’t like to generalize about people from another country even when it’s a positive generalization but, to my eyes, Thais seem to be easy-going, fun loving, kind and friendly people.

You hardly ever see people get angry. They are incredibly honest and crime here is pretty low. I always leave my laptop out in cafes when I go to the rest room – it doesn’t matter where I leave it, it’ll always be there when I get back.

I could go on but one of the many pleasures of living in Thailand is the Thai people. Again, maybe they are more relaxed in this sleepy northern city and a bit different in other parts of Thailand.

What is the best mode of transport in Thailand?

There isn’t great public transport in Chiang Mai so a scooter or motorbike is the only option unless you live in the center of the city. I don’t always feel totally safe. A lot of people that have lived here for a while have had some sort of accident.

What are the things you miss from London?

Nothing.

Working in a cafe in Chiang Mai
Working in a cafe in Chiang Mai

Have you got plans to visit other countries in South East Asia?

Yes, next year I would like to stay longer in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and visit Bali, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Do you plan to visit India one day?

Yes, I’ve always wanted to go to India. I’ve started my Asian adventure in Thailand as it’s the “easy way”. India seems so huge and daunting in comparison. I would love to go, I just don’t know when.

About Rob Cubbon

Rob Cubbon on the balcony of his Chiang Mai appartment
Rob Cubbon on the balcony of his Chiang Mai appartment

Rob is an Amazon bestselling author, online teacher and graphic designer who wants freedom for you and success for your business. In 2006 he was wasting his life away on a string of mundane jobs. Since 2008 he’s been working from home getting paid to do what he loves and has recently relocated from London, UK, to south east Asia. Feel free to visit his website here.

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35 thoughts on “Interview with Rob Cubbon from Thailand”

  1. Thank you Rob for this interview. Its cool to be working from Thailand. I have been to London on many occasions and it is certainly not cheap but its one place people should visit. Thailand looks really. Love the pictures.

    Reply
  2. You should come to Thailand, Shalu. I think you would love it here and it would be cheap as well. If you’re thinking about it please let me know and I can make some recommendations.

    And, if any of your visitors would like to ask a question, they can do so here and I will respond. Thanks for having me on your blog, Shalu. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Always good to meet passionate travelers.

    Good to know about Rob Cubbon…and it sure is interesting to read about his experiences in Thailand… considering I was there only last month though I missed Chiang Mai

    Reply
  4. Fantastic interview and it’s awesome that it was about moving to Chiang Mai, which is something I really wanted to do but I got married and lost the opportunity.

    I still want to visit the place (I’ll figure it out) so I’m not giving up the idea.

    I’d have loved if you guys spoke a bit more about the Thai food as I’m a food fanatic and I have heard they like to make their food spicy which is something I love being a Mexican.

    Anyway, thanks again for the interview and I absolutely loved the picture, it really looks like a fantastic place!

    Sergio

    Reply
  5. good journey rob thailand is really seeming an amazing city as your have explore in this article about the transport facility, restaurants in the cities and the people they are living in the thailand i enjoyed your journey story.

    Reply
  6. Feeling adventurous while reading the journey in Thiland. I never visited there and have no immidiate plan of visiting, but reading the story make me felt my part of mind there. Fantastic to share and thanks a lot for it.

    Reply
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    Reply
  8. Its good to know about the Rob Cubbon travelling experience of Thailand. I am also planning to make a trip of Thialand with my friends. And after reading this post and Rob Cubbon interview, I got an idea about the places which I should visit.

    Thanks for the sharing Rob Cubbon interview with us 🙂

    Reply
  9. Wooh !!
    This is an amazing post , Thailand is one of my favorite place travel .
    Its a dream to buy a condo there and spend holidays with friends and family .

    This interview is really great , thanks for sharing!
    cheers 🙂

    Reply
  10. thank for sharing for your details i am truly appreciate read your online journal. Thank for sharing, your give the decent data about Thailand and London vacationer places.

    Reply
  11. Nice blog. Now I have wonderful information Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information about traveling to Thailand. It is such a great place to visit and vast culture to discover. Thank you very much!that will help when I Travel to Thailand. Great places to visit and bountiful culuture to discover. Thanks for sharing this Rob 🙂

    Reply
  12. Really good to meet passionate travelers.

    Good to know about Rob Cubbon… interesting to read about his experiences in Thailand… Thank you for sharing. Keep Sharing your Travelling Places.!!

    Reply
  13. Hello rob..my friends visit once Thailand once but they are unhappy by the bad maintenance of the trip organization this is better site plane before go and can take suggestions from visitied peaples

    Reply
  14. Thank you for that useful post.In your article not only know the interesting things about Thailand , but I also see the beauty of London when you compare London with Thailand . It’s great to someday I also have experience as you

    Reply
  15. Hello Rob,

    Great Article.. I love visiting places and exploring the local culture and food.
    I would like to visit Thailand this year .. let see.

    Thank for sharing this post

    Reply
  16. Awesome article with wonderful information. I am thinking to visit Thailand from 2 years but not getting chance. I am do something about is this year. Thanks for the article 🙂

    Reply
  17. The reason why we come to blog, either to find some specific information or to updated us with latest technologies. This kind of article is perfect to help people a lot to make their business and life easier. Gracious post. Thanks and will come back soon again for sure.

    Reply
  18. These techniques really matter. Your points helped me a lot, by the way I am thinking to visit Thailand from 2 years but not getting chance. I am do something about is this year. Thanks for sharing it.

    Reply
  19. Very helpful tips. I especially agree about keeping track of what is working so you can focus more on that and get rid of what’s not. Helps to save time and energy.

    Reply
  20. I’ve been in Thailand now for just over 2 years and loving it.. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Thanks for the read. It will help me continue to appreciate Thailand for how much the country perpetually gives me.

    Reply
  21. I’ve lived in Thailand 5 years now and it does work as a great place to base for travel in Asia. We have jumped into India once before (Kolkata and Sikkim) thanks to AirAsia but we’re long overdue. Have considered a road trip although people think this is a bit nuts.

    Reply
  22. THANK YOU for this blog post! I’ve always wanted to visit Thailand, but have been reluctant due to fears about security. This post was the inspiration I needed to start planning a visit!

    Reply

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