Pongtharin Tanthasindhu – 113 countries … and travelling on a Thai passport
Pong, 28 years old, has traveled to 113 countries is hoping to complete his goal before he turns 35.
Pong has travel in his blood. He started traveling to nearby Asian countries and Europe with his parents as a kid. Pong spent a year as a thirteen year old in Bangalore, India learning English at a strict boarding school. He continued his schooling in Canada as he went to high school and university.
Instead of heading back to Thailand on summer break he ended up visiting his classmate in the middle of Russia in the Urals for two months, living like a local. During university, he took a year off, and began a backpacking trip to the Middle East which included Syria.
Owning his own business has allowed Pong a lot of flexibility in his travels. Pong shares with us why he loves South Africa and why he is not fond of the Gulf States. He takes us to current conflict zones likes Afghanistan and Venezuela. He tells us why he loves the natural beauty of DRC and the hospitality he received in Iran. And Pong shares with us the magic of travel, when he met a random South African family who drove him around showing Pong the real South Africa before dropping him off at the stadium for a World Cup match.
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Check out our friends: Chasing 193, Volume II: The Quest To Visit Every Country In The World and Large Minority. They organize international rallies around the world including: Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines and the Amazon.
More about Pongtharin Tanthasindhu:
- Born in: Thailand
- Passports from: Thailand
- Passport ranking: Thai passport ranked 108th in the world
- Favorite travel film: Into The Wild and Long Way Round
- Favorite websites: Uber, Google Maps, Google Translate, TripAdvisor
- Must carry: Laptop and headlamp
- Favorite food: Thai, Indian and Japanese
- Favorite drink: Beer and Pina Colada
- Favorite Airline: Turkish Airlines
- Map: Nomad Mania
- Facebook: Pong
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About Counting Countries
Counting Countries is the only podcast to bring you the stories from the dedicated few who’ve spent their lives on the singular quest of traveling to every country in the world. Less people have traveled to every country in the world than have been to outer space.
Theme music for this podcast is Demeter’s Dance, written, performed, and provided by Mundi.
Ric Gazarian is the host of Counting Countries. He is the author of three books: Hit The Road: India, 7000 KM To Go, and Photos From Chernobyl. He is the producer of two travel documentaries: Hit The Road: India and Hit The Road: Cambodia.
Ric is also on his own quest to visit every country in the world. You can see where he has traveled so far and keep up with his journey at GlobalGaz.com
How Many Countries Are There?
Well… that depends on who you ask!
- The United Nations states that there are 193 member states.
- The British Foreign and Commonwealth office states that there are 226 countries and territories.
- The Century Club states that there are 325 sovereign nations, territories, enclaves, and islands.
- The Most Traveled Person states that there are 875 unique parts of the world.
- The Nomad Mania states that there are 1281 unique places in the world.
- Me? My goal is the 193 countries that are recognized by the UN, but I am sure I will visit some other places along the way.
Check out our partner and sponsor: Chasing 193, Volume II: The Quest To Visit Every Country In The World.
Explore the unique stories from 20 more world-class travelers from various backgrounds and nations and from all walks of life who have tirelessly pursued visiting every country in the world and have filled their lives with a virtually endless amount of adventure.
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[…] Gareth, founder of YPT, and Shane Horan, Tour Guide Manager, will be joining Counting Countries to provide a brief overview of YPT and the tour with the interview of Pongtharin Tanthasindhu. Please listen in here or subscribe on iTunes. […]
Would like to be in Touch with this comunity. I myself have been to 154 UN countryes and plan to visit them all.
Thank for the response! Feel reach out to me on my Contact Me section. Ric
“So I mean in terms of frustration level or irritation I mean, how do you feel about that? That you know my passport allows me to go to Uruguay on the hydrofoil for the day trip from BA and just because you were born in Thailand you are not getting that same freedom or flexibility.”
“It is what it is and there’s nothing I can do.”
It is what it is???!!!!!
Is it what it is??!!!
I mean, sure, it is what it is, BUT it shouldn’t be what it is. Because what it is is the most ridiculous concept in the world that we all somehow keep on believing!
It shouldn’t be what it is. Because it’s wrong. It’s wrong as in capital letters WRONG! And capital letter wrongs need to be changed. Not accepted as they are.
But how can things be changed if even the people who are discriminated by the system do not feel there is anything wrong.
It despairs me. People’s belief in this anachronistic concept of statehood, citizenship etc.
I understand in a way, because I did not see it this way until I travelled to about 110 countries myself on a Turkish passport. We just are raised in this world to believe it is the way things are. But it shouldn’t be so.
I hate it that these “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” eat up my life. But I cannot help it. I suppose that’s why I was put on this earth for and that’s something I have to and do accept as “It is what it is,” as in “I am what I am.”
But I’m not accepting the unacceptable. And the current political structure of the world is unacceptable.
The economic structure is unacceptable too, but that is another long story.
“There is nothing I can do.” ???!!
Sure, there are things that you can do. You can at least start saying that this is UNACCEPTABLE and start banging this being unacceptable in people’s heads. At least put a question mark in that place.
At least grab the opportunity to talk about it when somebody brings it up, not brush it away with “It is what it is!”
Oooh, you can tell my frustration and irritation on this matter is danger level high!
I’m the RED ALERT 🙂
Red alert and then some!!! 🙂