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Hanging In Bangkok

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Doug’s 45th birthday is today but he is in Chiang Mai and I am wishing I were with him to celebrate his 45th. I sing Happy Birthday when he calls in the morning. “Oh quit it!” he says. 🙂

As for me, people seem to be looking curiously at my clothes I acquired in the islands. At least I think it’s my clothes they are looking at. lol Thais are usually curious about my wild curly hair…natural as it is.

This week in Bangkok, my VX50 Guesthouse only had a room on the 3rd floor so I moved to the Imm Fusion Hotel a bit up the road on Sukhumvit near the On Nut Skytrain exit. It’s fine and has an elevator. Doug will join me for a few days here before we take off for the States. So I’ll just cool out and meet up with a couple people who live here who I met through Facebook and one I met and hung out with in Chiang Mai. And Jiraporn…my friend who teaches fisheries at Kasetsart University. And of course my Yellow Shirt friend. Oh and I can’t forget Leila from Australia who I traveled with in Lao and Thailand and then met up with again in Las Vegas several years ago.

Anxious to get Jiraporn’s take on the weird current political machinations occurring in Thailand with anti-government (but mostly anti-corruption) protesters clogging up the intersections and trying to “ShutDown Bangkok” in a bid to force the Thaksin regime out of power. Good luck with that, I say. Bangkok is a big place. But people are losing patience with seven huge 8 lane intersections closed. It is a party atmosphere. A huge stage is set up at each one with music groups playing to keep the attention of protesters in between video speeches by the leaders. Vendors abound along the “walking” streets selling everything they usually sell including Shut Down Bangkok and The People Of The King T-shirts adorned with the Thai character for the 9th Dynasty King.

The boys’ dad is still living in Pattaya Thailand. Here he is with his Bingo Bango Bongo Golf Club buddies in Pattaya. 2nd from the end on the right. We meet in Bangkok one weekend to talk taxes and kids.

Bang Rak Beach Ko Samui

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

The taxi at the airport wanted 400 baht to take me 5 minutes up the road to Bang Rak Beach. I just laughed and set out on my own down the road. Next two taxis wanted 300 baht but finally talked the third one down to 200 baht. Good grief, I could have gone clear from the airport 40 minutes to Lamai for 500 baht! They know when they have you!

The guesthouse in the Beach area Doug had found for me to stay in was full. Trudging down the road with my wheeled luggage, probably looking a little forlorn, I waved down a moto taxi driver who took me to the lonely modest but cozy Bang Rak Bungalows facing the water. Just a mattress on the floor but so what. It’s only 500 baht a night and I’m here only two nights before flying into Bangkok.

Good coffee and French Breakfast (hot croissant and French bread) at the French Bakery the next morning made my day.

Alarm went off 4am for the taxi to the airport for the flight to Bangkok. OMG! I thought I wouldn’t make it the couple of kilometers! The “boss” had left for another province so this old guy, who really didn’t know how to drive, took me in an old jeep…changing the automatic shift every 2 seconds at 10 miles an hour I think. And of course a new departures area had recently been constructed. And he had to stop and ask directions twice in spite of the fact that he had lived there for years! “It’s been 20 years since I’ve been to the airport” he said. Whew! Just made it!

Antalya Turkey

Saturday, February 9th, 2013
I left Adana by plane for Antalya.  Outside the Arrivals Hall I asked a gentleman if he spoke English. He didn't but another one with a very busy 4-year old in tow, overhearing me, asked if I needed help. The ... [Continue reading this entry]

Burma Embassy, Cows And A Guesthouse

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
Bought plane tickets a month ago to go to Burma with a Thai friend. But Air Asia won't let us cancel our tickets without losing the money. So I spent all afternoon in the embassy office with a few others ... [Continue reading this entry]

Koh Samui

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
I arrived on Samui, an island in the south of Thailand, from Bangkok on tuesday. Doug, my son and his Thai wife Luk found me a lovely quiet hotel with a pool right in the middle of Lamai but ... [Continue reading this entry]

Sukhumvit Soi 22 Bangkok

Sunday, March 30th, 2008
You hardly find a mention of Soi 22, where I usually stay in Bangkok, in the travel guides. Interesting. Not anything here for sightseers really. But good if you live here long term. The well-dressed tourists in the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Bangkok 2008

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
Last Saturday (your Friday) I flew to Bangkok...carrying on a nice conversation with a Malaysian man sitting next to me. He says Thaksin did help the rural farmers...but the system takes time to change. And he says Thaksin began ... [Continue reading this entry]

Last Days In Jinghong

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
Joe, a gregarious Dai tour guide who hangs out at the tourist haunts looking for business invited me to join him and his family and friends, including a young French couple, at the new BBQ restaurants on the road along ... [Continue reading this entry]

Almost Didn’t Make The Plane To Kunming

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Hard to believe I was in Beijing for two weeks. But you know what they say about stinking guests if they stay too long. So today I flew to Kunming in Yunnan Province in the south ... [Continue reading this entry]

Mexico City

Friday, June 8th, 2007
When Barbara and I were in Mexico City last week it almost felt as if the resistance had moved to that city. We stayed in a Quaker guesthouse about two blocks behind the Monument To The Revolution. A ... [Continue reading this entry]

Oaxaca City

Friday, June 2nd, 2006
mexico_oaxaca.gif jNdWfJItyaUf9pFqJEvFh0-2006170145612034.gif PICT0192.JPG.jpg After three weeks in Salem sorting through 40 years of pile for St. Vincent de Paul, one pile for the dump, ... [Continue reading this entry]

HI Sukhumvit Hostel

Thursday, May 4th, 2006
Just so you don't think I drowned in the Sangkren waters of Thailand, I spent the next few days in a great new 38 bed hostel called HI Sukhumvit in an upscale Bangkok neighborhood about 50 yards down Sukhumvit 38 ... [Continue reading this entry]

Luang Prabang Lao

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006
DSC00495.JPG Luang Prabang is an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its unique, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Thai Cooking School

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006
At the Smile Guesthouse I attend cooking school. A Dutch couple and a German girl and I each have our own "station" with a wok sitting on a gas burner. O (pronounced O?...the voice rising up at the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Breakfast at Smile Guesthouse

Saturday, March 25th, 2006
I have changed hotels. I am now at the brand new Bau-Tong Lodge with free WiFi that is down little soi 3 off Loi Kroh...for half the cost of the Galare Guesthouse where I was for the last three ... [Continue reading this entry]

Chiang Mai Thailand

Saturday, March 4th, 2006
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171150454826.gif Flew from Koh Samui on Bangkok Air (the only airline off the island because Bangkok Air built the airport) and then on to Chiang Mai on budget Air Asia. I guess Bob is in ... [Continue reading this entry]

International Night On Koh Samui

Saturday, February 25th, 2006
We're back on Samui and I have rented a brand new furnished one bedroom house for $12.00 a night at "Solitude Resort" on a mountainside about a mile from Doug and Luk's bungalow. The first evening we were welcomed by our ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Light In The South of Thailand

Monday, January 23rd, 2006
Visitors, to the south of Thailand, including foreigners, will soon have an opportunity to experience muslim life in a village in the province of Yala. A "Widower's Village" is being built in Rotanbu Village under a resettlement project funded by ... [Continue reading this entry]

“Taxation Without Representation”

Friday, November 4th, 2005
Taking a fast sleek train, we are visiting our country's capitol city for a few days. "Taxation Without Representation" is written at the bottom of D.C. license plates here in the District of Columbia. Don't know why DC's ... [Continue reading this entry]

Jazz In Familiar Old Quarter Hanoi

Friday, April 1st, 2005
I had to check out of Thailand...thought my visa was 90 days that I got in Kunming in December but it was only 60 days. So at the end of March I had to pay a hefty fine at ... [Continue reading this entry]

Jinghong China

Monday, December 13th, 2004
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Photos While I was in Guizhou Province, Bob headed off for Putuashan Island and then circled back to Shanghai via Hangzhou...then flew to Jinghong to meet me at the Banna Hotel. We picked ... [Continue reading this entry]

Camellia Hotel In Kunming China

Friday, December 10th, 2004
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Video Was really fun to spend time in the Camellia Hotel compound in Kunming, familiar from our 2002 visit to China, and fraternize with all the Western travelers and trade street-stories at the Mieli ... [Continue reading this entry]

Far East Youth Hostel

Friday, October 15th, 2004
East China.gif The last time I was in China it was freezing cold in January 2003. The weather is fantastic this October day in 2004. After slogging it out across Russia and Mongolia, we soak ... [Continue reading this entry]

Life in a Mongolian Ger

Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
GyTjn0QZP9l6Qu21TubskM-2006198062551304.gif Video Terelgj National Park, an hour by car outside of Ulaan Baatar, is a spectacular valley surrounded by high eroded rock formations, pine covered mountains and steppes carpeted with sheep, Mongolian horses and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Five Hours to Olkhon Island

Saturday, September 25th, 2004
7yBXvp82X2gVlMeZe25DiM-2006198051115673.gif The next morning we are picked up at our homestay in Irkutsk by a sullen driver who drives us five hours over pot-holes, through the taiga and across a bay of the beautiful blue ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ancestral Village In Poland

Tuesday, August 31st, 2004
Ancestral Poland.gif We take local electric trains three hours north from Warsaw to Ostroda where we book into the Park Hotel on a lovely lake that caters to German-speaking tourists many of whom are ... [Continue reading this entry]

Krakow Poland

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004
EHcDvLBEX5UlHHY96lAFi0-2006185062720933.gif We are out of the unusually hot and humid Czech Republic. After an all night train we are in cool Krakow Poland. We accept an offer by a young English speaking man ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, January 8th, 2003
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Bob and I said goodbye to Jana who would leave later in the day on a train to Shanghai and then home from Hong Kong. The next day we took a train to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Panda Research Base

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif An early morning one-hour ride on Sam's Guesthouse bus took us south of Chengdu to the Panda Research Base where China is trying to keep the Giant Pandas from disappearing into extinction. It ... [Continue reading this entry]

New Years in Chengdu

Tuesday, December 31st, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif The sleeper train from Kunming to Chengdu takes about 18 hours and passes through more than 200 tunnels. It took 10 years to build the railroad...mostly by political prisoners...and looking through the train ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ruili China

Saturday, December 28th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Coming down out of the mountains we were happy to see Ruili lying in the green lush valley below...a larger city than I thought...a Chinese/Burma border town with a mix of Han Chinese, minorities ... [Continue reading this entry]

Christmas At Re Hai Hot Springs 2002

Tuesday, December 24th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif We went to Re Hai Hot Springs..a short half-hour bus ride from Tengchong. The Asian and European continental shift also resulted in over 80 crystalline hot springs...grand Boiling Hot Cauldron...age-old Toad-Mout Hot Spring...Drunk Bird Hot ... [Continue reading this entry]

Volcanos in Tengchong

Saturday, December 21st, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif A young Chinese woman on the bus had struck up a conversation in English...telling us about the sights around Tengchong. We thought that maybe we could pay her to guide us to the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Domestic Fight in Baoshan

Thursday, December 19th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif The Lonely Planet description for finding Huacheng Binguan was difficult...the hotel name was the same but the street was different...two Dutch travellers sitting in the lobby with their backpacks told us we were in ... [Continue reading this entry]

Conversation With Roland

Monday, December 16th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Had a final dinner at familiar and cozy Sekura's Cafe in Old Town Lijiang...splurging on Western food...sharing our beer with Roland, a 30 year old economics teacher in a university in Singapore. (Surprisingly and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Echo & Li…Competitors

Tuesday, December 10th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Monday Dec 9 2002 In Old Town Lijiang, we are woken up by a knock at the hotel door at 8am. Two couples from Taiwan were on their way to Zhondian with a driver ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lijiang & The Naxi People

Sunday, December 8th, 2002
jWLtBzsBGHTUmbHjYHypj0-2006185073225366.gif Once in Lijiang, we dumped our luggage at the Shangira Hotel (Y80 or about $10 for a double) that was recommended by Echo. I suspect she was getting a kickback for sending tourists there ... [Continue reading this entry]

Zhondian aka Shangri-La

Thursday, December 5th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Bob took a flight south from Kunming to Mangshi and then on by bus to Ruili near the Burma border. Jana and I left Kunming on a Yunnan Airlines flight to the village of Zhongdian, ... [Continue reading this entry]

End of the Burma Road

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Sunday Dec 1-3 2002 Arrived at Kunming from Guilin after 23 hours on the train. We had gained considerable elevation throughout the night. We took a taxi to the Camellia Hotel where ... [Continue reading this entry]

Adoptions Of Chinese Children

Saturday, November 23rd, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif In Guangshou we moved to Shamian Dao Island and stayed in the Shamian Hotel...right across the street from the White Swan Hotel where Communist dignitaries used to stay. Of course we had to scope out ... [Continue reading this entry]

To Guangzhou China

Friday, November 22nd, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Friday November 22 2002 Hong Kong to Guangshou Across the street to noodle shop for breakfast. Sat with woman who worked as a buyer for a British department store & whose English was very ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hong Kong

Wednesday, November 20th, 2002
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Wednesday November 20 2002 We flew to Hong Kong from Bangkok on China Airways at 3pm...a one hour time change. We noticed the metal spoon and fork that came with our food service ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lovely Lao

Wednesday, November 20th, 2002
ySKKSpbtXBjgyhP6z8LuC0-2006217035001655.gif My favorite country so far...the people are sweet but very natural and direct. Flew from Siem Reap Cambodia to Vientiane, the Capital of Lao. The "s" was added by the French so ... [Continue reading this entry]

Siem Reap

Friday, October 25th, 2002
7VJvlOW1A5Ali2rnovusuM-2006216180228245.gif My original plan was to take a boat up the Mekong River in Cambodia to the Lao border and then on up through Laos but I kept hearing reports about the opening and closing ... [Continue reading this entry]

Cambodia Today

Thursday, October 24th, 2002
7VJvlOW1A5Ali2rnovusuM-2006216180228245.gif Pol Pot, the architect of one of the most brutal and radical revolutions that had its origins in Beijing China, was never brought to international justice. He died in 1989 from Malaria (or ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, September 25th, 2002
KtJTxGv4eiozwJxI0Lb6qM-2006216170118412.gif September 24 2002 Bob left Hanoi right away on the train for Sapa near the Chinese border to do some trekking among the colorful minority villages and then to spend three days in Halang Bay ... [Continue reading this entry]

Kalaw…British Hill Station

Thursday, August 29th, 2002
Burma.gif In a monsoon rainstorm we climbed off the train in this cool wooded hill station built during the British occupation. The locals laughed (with me) at my little paper sun umbrella I carried that ... [Continue reading this entry]

Taunggyi…Last Frontier of Burma

Wednesday, August 28th, 2002
JTOL4njiflVtj5kLlwVbAM-2006175061519331.gif Taunggyi is the official end of the line for east-bound foreigners in Burma--at least if you are travelling by road. Beyond Taunggyi lies a world of black-marketeers, ruby miners, insurgent armies and opium and methamphetamine warlords. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Poverty, Government Greed and Human Sweetness

Sunday, August 18th, 2002
JTOL4njiflVtj5kLlwVbAM-2006175061519331.gif Video August 18, 2002 Rangoon (renamed Yangon) We took Thai Air to Rangoon. Bob left his Lonely Planet Guidebook Burma (renamed Myanmar by the military junta) on the plane and of ... [Continue reading this entry]

Jaipur India

Monday, July 22nd, 2002
July 22-26 2002 The next day we discover we are the only guests in the Hotel Meghniwas and we have breakfast in the quiet restaurant downstairs. The night before Bob had a few minutes of the sweats but no fever...this ... [Continue reading this entry]