Thailand Travel Tips 2010

Here is some advice from mainly my experiences (and a couple other people who have also recently been):

  • Bargain everything – unless it’s in a department store. This includes markets, taxis/Tuk-Tuks. You can negotiate price, but it will be seen as a commitment to buy, but you just need the courage to walk away if it isn’t what you want (even if the price is right).
  • Things are cheaper in Chiang Mai than Phuket. If you see it in Chiang Mai, buy it there. The locals in Chiang Mai are also not as in your face.
  • Don’t shake anyone’s hand or hi-5 anyone. You may be physically dragged into their store – happened to a friend lol!
  • Tipping – not required, but certain places may try to pressure you to tip – especially if you’re on a tour, there are elements of the tour that involve extra charges/tips (I’ve always been a believer that receiving a tip is a priviledge and it should not be expected!)
  • Be aware of the additional 10% and 7% VAT charge which can be added on top of meals and goods (make sure you’re aware if VAT is or isn’t included).
  • Larger department stores can refund VAT, but you must spend at least 2000 baht

Vietnam Travel Tips 2010

Here are my tips from my experience in Vietnam for those who are travelling in the near future:

  • Do not consume ice or tap water. It is untreated from what I can gather, and I ran into stomach issues from consuming just lettuce that was washed with tap water. You may have a more ironclad stomach. It is advised that you carry anti-diarrhea and anti-vommit medicines.
  • As a preference, try to travel in Vinasun or Mei-ling taxis. These are metered and you shouldn’t get ripped off. Stay away from push-bike carts and people offering rides on the back of bikes – Taxis are extremely cheap.
  • Anything that doesn’t have a price marked, bargain. If you do decide to bargain in the markets, make sure you have an intention to buy the goods if the price is right. Otherwise you may cop some abusive language! Therefore, do not ask for a price on anything you have no intention of buying.
  • If you understand Vietnamese, bargain in English and listen in on their backchat.
  • Anything you want to buy, you are guaranteed that more than one person will have it. Therefore, offer an outrageous price to see how low they will go. You can walk away to test this price, as they will only let you walk away if the price is below their cost.
  • When going through Immigration, use English only to avoid any issues (think it’s been cleaned up alot lately, but in the past you may have had to fork out bribe money)

If I remember anything, I will keep adding…

My personal opinions about Vietnam

  • Food not that great in quality and taste. Way better at home (Australia).
  • The People tend to be grumpy. A smile on your face doesn’t get you anywhere (obviously there are exceptions – hotels and reputable restaurants tend to treat you well)
  • The roads are bad condition and congested. Very hard to get around without a local.
  • Most things overall are extremely cheap.

Exchange 2003 to 2010 Migration with Tips and Tricks

Now I know there are articles out there, but I wanted to write one that had enough detail for anyone attempting this to follow, but with as few steps as possible.

Obviously make sure you Exchange 2003 server is working well before moving to 2010.

  1. Check Default SMTP Virtual Server to ensure you do not have any smarthosts in there on the Exchange 2003 server (Under First Administrative Group – Servers – Servername – Protocols – SMTP). This will prevent mailflow between 2003 and 2010 servers.
  2. Install Exchange 2010 on the new server (I’m assuming single server here – not recommended by Microsoft). Plenty of articles on how to do this.
  3. Disable Linkstate on Exchange 2003 and reboot (or restart Exchange 2003 services) (Command Prompt to x:ExchSvrBin and type Regsvr32 -u xlsasink.dll)
  4. Move/create a mailbox onto the 2010 server. Connect Outlook or log into webmail on that server to conduct some tests. Test the following: Email flow between 2003 and 2010 mailboxes (both directions) and email flow from 2003 -> external and 2010 -> external
  5. If there are issues with mailflow between 2003 and 2010 delete and recreate the connectors. The connectors are setup automatically when you installed Exchange 2010.
  6. Replicate Public Folders and other instructions as per article (do everything but decommision the Exchange 2003 server): http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=822931
    Do not change Replication Schedule or Replication Priority when replicating the Public Folders. You could end up bogging down the connectors with excess traffic and grinding the Exchange servers to a halt.
  7. Move mailboxes. You will have to do this with the Exchange 2010 ESM (not the 2003).
  8. For seamless transition with Outlook 2003 clients, you need to disable the requirement for encrypted connection.
    Run this in the Exchange Powershell on the 2010 server:
    Set-RpcClientAccess –Server <servername> –EncryptionRequired $False
    Otherwise in Outlook 2003, you will need to choose the Encrypt Connection between Outlook and Exchange server option. This is not hard, however in migration scenerios, it will prevent seamless handover between legacy Exchange 2003 servers and Exchange 2010 servers when you are moving mailboxes.
  9. I would leave the Exchange 2003 server running for 2 weeks before removing to ensure there is a automatic handoff to the new Exchange 2010 servers when users connect in with Outlook for the first time. Otherwise you will be running around reconfiguring Outlook to point to the new 2010 server
  10. Rehome Receipient Update Services. Use the Exchange 2003 System Manager to do so. Point it to the other Exchange Server, and the correct Domain Controller.
  11. Remove Exchange 2003 server as per article above from Microsoft.
  12. It’s not unusual that during a process/migration like this to have errors with the Offline Address Book to Global Address List. If you are getting such errors during Sending/Receiving in Outlook, you may have to rebuild/recreate the Offline Address Book after all the above steps have been completed. Symptoms of a faulty OAB/GAL are that newly created users do not appear. A temporary workaround is to get your users to type in their full email address for the time being.