Tag: Thailand

Chiang Mai to Bangkok: Flight of the Visaless Valkyrie

Written by Travel

Posted from: Los Angeles

There’s a very good reason that I ended up back here in Los Angeles several months too early, and without so much as a by-your-leave. It was a peaceful Monday morning like any other. I had sweat out 50% of my body fluids in my sleep and mutant, tropical bugs were waiting in my bathroom to send me yelping and mincing out of the shower – revenge for swallowing their compatriots in the night. (more…)

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Chiang Mai: Reluctant Rock Climbing

Written by Travel

Posted from: Chiang Mai, Thailand

So it’s rock climbing tomorrow.

Lydia and I signed up for a one day rock-climbing and rappelling course, both of us with very different motives. She, because she’d like to possess some basic knowledge of climbing in order to potentially pursue it for leisure when she’s back home. Me, because it’s so James fucking Bond. (more…)

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Obiter Dictums, Thailand

Written by Travel

Posted from: Chiang Mai, Thailand

I’ve been away from this blog for far too long, mainly due to lack of inspiration. Just because I’m writing again should not lead you to the conclusion that I am now inspired, however. Guilt, and a dedication to filling up my journal made of actual paper (to which I will print and paste this, sad as that is), sits me at the keyboard today. (more…)

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The Bug Eating Saga

Written by Travel

Posted from: Chiang Mai, Thailand

The bug-eating saga continues, as this evening found me in a Yunnanese restaurant eating a plateful of grubs. By myself. When traveling, I find that this sort of behavior is acceptable as long as you’re with a friend and going for the gross-out factor, or the two of you are vying for More-Culturally-harmonious-Than-Thou, but when you’re dining alone and you order (and finish) an entire plate of fried caterpillars, it’s time to write your soul mate, Ted Kaczynski, and ask him to support you while you battle your inner daemons. (more…)

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Songkran Festival

Written by Travel

Posted from: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is Me Stew. In the midst of the steamy, humid air, I bob and simmer like so many diced vegetables. The weather is heating up day by day as I get a preview of global warming run amok. We seem to be barrelling towards some kind of Pomeiian apocolypse and I am exhausted easily with less expended effort. (more…)

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Mr. Monk and the Nuk Nuks

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Chiang Mai, Thailand

For the second time I gave my butt over to the less than tender mercies of Nuk’s motorbike and took the 10 minute trip to the suburb of Maerim for Mr. Monk’s Micky-Moused Acme Herbal Sauna and Health Retreat, Northern Thailand’s middle finger response to the pomp and swank of L.A. spas. (more…)

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Stopover in Ayuthaya

Written by Travel

Posted from: Ayuthaya, Thailand

The ruins at Ayuthaya were like nothing I’d ever seen. Wat Si Sanphet, the largest of the templates, boasting three towering stone chedis, was used by 14th-century kings. I’ve read that it “once contained a 16m-high standing Buddha covered with 250 kgs of gold which was melted down by Burmese conqueror.” (more…)

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New Years in Hua Hin

Written by Travel

Posted from: Hua Hin, Thailand

Happy New Years. Dec. 31, 2003 found me on Hua Hin beach sharing a tatami with a group of Thais who I’d just met, and who didn’t speak more than a word or two of English. Perfect. Ideological Anonymity seems to be my prescription these days. Anyway, fire-crackers, distant yelling and those odd paraffin and plastic hot air balloons rang in the New Year, and I filed home alone. (more…)

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Preparations for Christmas in Malaysia

Written by Travel

Posted from: Hua Hin, Thailand

Christmas approaches, and I hardly notice its coming. This is my second year blissfully removed from the commercialization that is the western holidays. The only real run ins I’ve had with the X-mas spirit have consisted of a decorated tree at the Hua Hin Hilton and a wince-inducing tape of some Thai girl band singing Christmas carols over the loudspeaker of the local grocery store. (more…)

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First Month in HuaHin

Written by Travel

Posted from: Hua Hin, Thailand

Thailand has taken me, as I felt that it would, as it has so many others.

Nights here are far superior to days, I think; residential streets are swampy and dully silent, wet silent. When the air seems so close to your skin temperature and the wind is dead, you may as well be walking on the bottom of an aquarium.

I’ve recently discovered the night markets – a hundred vendors or so all crammed together selling their wares under strings of mustardy lightbulbs that attract so many bugs out of the humid air that you have to keep your mouth closed and your eyes squinty. (more…)

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