Off the south west coast of Thailand, in the province of Trang, the largest underwater ceremony recorded in the Guinness book of world records takes place on valentine’s day every year. The couples put on their scuba diving equipment, and in the presence of the local district officer, make their vows among the fish and coral reef.
Istanbul was the first stop on my sabbatical trip as it was the furthest Easyjet would take me from London towards my eventual intended destination – New Zealand for my cousin’s wedding in February. I had been warned that the weather would be crap in December, that the taxi drivers would rip you off, and about the various scams, including the one where the unsuspecting traveller is lured by the offer of friendship, booze & company of hot women; which had all made me slightly anxious. However, as I found out, there was nothing to worry about… apart from the undercover police we ran away from (more on that later).
Seeing as my sabbatical departure day is approaching, I booked myself for a dental checkup in London recently. The clinic I went to just next to Covent Garden had an impressive setup – Italian opera playing in the background, attractive eastern European assistants.. and matching prices too! I was told I needed 900 pounds worth of work done on 6 fillings..
After some research however it turns out that I will probably be better off having dental work out in Thailand which has a reputation for high quality dentistry for prices that amount to a fraction of what we pay over here. There are a range of Thai clinics that specialize in operations for overseas patients, some even arranging pickup and transport from the airport for people coming over with the express primary purpose of having their teeth done. According to a doctor friend of mine, the practice of medical tourism is rife these days, with people traveling to have top-notch cheap boob jobs in Colombia, getting heart surgery in India or seeing a shrink in Buenos Aires.