Friday, July 27, 2012

Bangkok: The Grand Palace Incident of 2012. Or, Why You Shouldn't Trust a Tuk Tuk.

What are those bright orange balls suspended in equally vibrant liquid you may ask?
 I may never know.

The first thing I see when I ride into Bangkok are the slums, enclosing Bangkok like a moat - thatched walls, wavy tin roofs, and peeling paint stacked, slapped, criss-crossed, and splayed over, under, and within each other like an Escherian labyrinth of compressed walkways and living spaces. Within poles reach of the train tracks a man in a hammock watches sports from a t.v. propped on an egg crate, the light flickering onto the teal tin wall - the only solid wall separating him from his neighbors.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Road to Bangkok Is Full of Monkeys and Ancient Cities

After a few days in the wilderness, it is no surprise that Ryan and I needed time to relax our badly blistered toes. With a morning to spare before our night train to Bangkok, we decided to go to the most obvious place for a relaxing afternoon: a spa run by the women's prison.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Oh my Buddha! Hilltribes and Tigers!

One of the hilltribes near the Myanmar border 

Before heading into the jungle for our three day hilltribe trek, the eleven of us cram ourselves into the back of the truck for our final stop in civilization: a large, rural market where we buy the necessities -sunscreen and Deet.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Swimming With Elephants and Ant Egg Omeletts at the Night Market

Elephants are not difficult to see in Thailand. There are dozens of Elephant "sanctuaries" and tourist attractions where you can see an elephant for a few dollars and get a picture sitting on their backs. Unfortunately they are paraded around everywhere in, more often than not, disturbing situations for the benefit of the tourist. While on the trip I saw Elephants on more than one occasion, made to work with limping legs, still bleeding from prod marks behind their ears, and in various states of poor health. Because of this, I put in hours looking for the right place to go and after narrowing it down to a small handful of reputable places, chose the magical haven that is Patara Elephant Farm.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Monks With Iphones and Precarious Modes of Transportation in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ridiculous beauty

Because of my newfound ability to sleep through whole 11 hour flights like a hibernating bear, the 7.5 hours to Bangkok seemed to go by in a blink. Before I knew it we were landing, the doors were opening, and my hair was recoiling into a state of frizz previously unseen.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pocari Sweat, Peaches, and Bidets in Narita Japan

Gravestones in Narita, Japan

We never intended to go to Japan this year, it was the serendipitous outcome of inflating gas prices and inconvenient airport transfers.