Asia in Retrospect – Final Post (Beijing, China)

And now, it is my last day in Beijing; I am finally ready to leave China, finally ready to go to Mongolia, to Siberia to Moscow on Trans-Siberian Railroad.  I have my tickets in my hand, my visas in my passport, and my plane tickets back to the US are already booked.  My journey across … Continue reading

To the Mekong! (Bangkok to Laos)

BKK – Simplicity – To the Mekong! One day before my 23rd birthday, I returned to my home away from home: Bangkok’s Khao San Road. When I first came to Bangkok I swore I would never return. The chaos overwhelmed me and convinced me it was a place I could only visit once. But Bangkok is the major … Continue reading

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Hard decisions – The Banana Pancake Trail – Sheep or Shepherd? – Burma on my mind – Jay and I break up – You have some homework to do We returned to Chiang Mai for a few days.  Jay decided to go trekking and riding elephants in the hills but I remained in Chiang Mai, … Continue reading

The Hippy Trail (Pai, Thailand)

Zooooooming on bikes – first signs of Pai – the town itself – the Hippy Trail – conspiracy theories – traveling by bike – an interesting form of hitchhiking The road snaked through the forests of Northern Thailand, curving up the steep mountain in tight switchbacks.  Jay and I raced through the forest on our … Continue reading

Chiang Mai oh My (Chiang Mai, Thailand)

A strange comparison – Jay and I dig Buddhism – NGOs and tales from Burma – Motorbikes are fun ============================================== Chiang Mai is a Thai version of Los Angeles. Chiang Mai sits in a small basin in the north of Thailand, surrounded by mountains and saturated in smog…so far, the comparison holds.  Traffic is wild, … Continue reading

Kanchanaburi Tales (Kanchanaburi, Thailand)

Fairytales no more – The Death Railway – Riverside bliss – Thai’s specialty – I ate dog meat – Tigers on drugs – Decisions, decisions… ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Kanchanaburi. Say it with me now, Kan-chan-a-buri.   When I first heard the name, it reminded me of a fairytale land full of dragons, knights and damsels in distress. Something like … Continue reading

Three Nights in Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand)

Khao San Road is the kind of place you hear stories about for weeks before you arrive.  I first heard echoes of this tiny backpacker’s enclave over a month ago in Singapore.  For backpackers, it’s understood: when you go to Bangkok, you stay on Khao San Road at least once.  After weeks of hype I … Continue reading

Captured by Calypso (Southern Adaman Coast, Thailand)

For a week I did absolutely nothing. From Ko Phi Phi we sailed south first to Ko Lanta and then to Ko Tarutao Marine Park on the southern border with Malaysia. Empty beaches, superb views, and no people. I swung on a hammock, I ran on the beach, and I worked on my tan. There … Continue reading

Paradise Found…and Lost (Ko Phi Phi, Thailand)

I was floating on my back in the middle of an enormous lagoon in total silence. The early morning sun crept over the cliffs and shone its first rays onto the beach and gently warmed the water. The lagoon was cloistered from the sea, surrounded on three sides by towering palisades that separated the ocean water from … Continue reading

On the Edge in Krabi (Krabi, Thailand)

Wind whipped my face as my fingers struggled to get a better hold on the steep rock face.  I was thirty-five feet up a giant stalactite holding on with everything I had while my feet slipped beneath me.   Fear gripped my heart, constantly reminding me that I was wearing no safety harnesses.  The slightest slip … Continue reading