Monday, August 29, 2005


Okay, for those of you who don't know (which is probably everyone
except Liz), Chiang Mai is in Northern Thailand, not to far from the
beautiful lands of Burma (where they gas their people and force them
to live in Poverty, weee!), and Laos (where I'm headed next and they
don't gas their people, but it is the most bombed country on earth
thanks to that little Vietnam Conflict a few years back).
Chaing Mai is AWESOME! It's so much more laid back than bangkok.
There is far less hustling (the Tuk Tuks don't offer the Sucky Sucky
here), but fear not my friends, there are still plenty of rather
unhappy yet attractive looking Thai girls who want to know where I'm
staying. I'm just not sure what all this is about.

And on top of that, who IS this BUDDHA dude? I mean REALLY, there
are so many houses for him, and images in gold, and jade, lying and
standing and sitting, it's almost like a national obsession. He's
bigger than Tom Cruise AND Brad Pitt.

I left BangKok on Thursday, took a nite bus and met a couple
traveling companions: Brent from South Africa, and Fabiola from
Switzerland. Both are very nice and we've hung out since then. The
all nite bus trip was filled up with the 3 of us and everyone else on
the roster was from Israel. They sure like to travel.

In Chiang Mai we checked into Nat guest house, which is a little
sketchy in the cleanliness and quality department, but you can't
argue with the awesome friendly staff who is full of great info and
help and the fact that the womans name is Jane.

We saw a MUI THAI match (I didn't go in Bangkok, i'm not that big a
fan!), it was great, noisy, music playing (traditional,with drums and
flutes (wooden ones, not metal ones)) and there was betting (not that
I could figure out how it worked, so I just took pics and watched the
whole thing. Very enjoyable). There was even a very tall American
who fought a little Thai Guy and lost.

Then we went on a 3 day jungle trek to the mountain tribes of the
Karen people. The Karen women wear white shirts if they are
single... but they don't offer the sucky sucky, I guess that's just a
city thing.

The people were very nice, and our guide Tony "Montana", (say hello
to my little friend!) was funny. We swam in waterfalls and pools,
walked in hot sticky jungle, saw a few bugs, and slept in a hut with
a leaf roof and bamboo mats. It was pretty sweet. At nite we played
a little frisbee, and some Thai games. We all drank some local
whisky and had a grand old time. There was about 10 people with us:
3 Japanese folks, an American and a Thai family. Quite fun.

Two more days of trekking with just me, brent and Tony let us to more
villages, high up on mountains with views for miles of Green, greend
GREEN! We played Taklao with some hilltribe folks. It's like
Volleyball, but you use a bamboo ball and can NOT use hands or arms,
but can use everything else. It's sorta like hacky-sack with a net.
It's fun. I got a ball for $2, so we're bringing it to the states!
We also rode elephants and bamboo rafts down the river. Very fun.

And last nite, went out to a bar with a Thai band that played fun
covers as well. "You Give Love, a bad name!" (yep, again!) and
"Enter Sandman". Brent and I met up with this whole crew of...
Americans! First I've seen, some were teachers, another 4 girls play
rugby in New York (yep, they could kick my ass). But we danced, it
was fun.

Tomorrow I take a mini-bus and a slow boat for 2 days to Luang
Prabang in Laos for some shift of cultures. Then on to caving, rock
climbing, vietnam, hanoi hiltons, scuba diving, big temples, killing
fields and beach parties... whew!

It's go go go, and 5 weeks is simply NOT enough time (I bet 5 months
wouldn't be either), but in all honestly, I'm still having down time
as well, so it's good. All good.

Let me know what you're up to, and I'll tell you as soon as I figure
out this whole Buddha thing. Oh, and don't make fun of the king of
thailands ears...

Rock on

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Okay, so now you know where I'm at.

It's been a bit of a shock, but honestly not as much as I was
expecting. After the lunacy (in a good way) that was Cusco and
especially La Paz Bolivia, this seems pretty normal. (then again,
I've only been to Bangkok :)

The TUK-TUK drivers are annoying. They are the guys who drive those
3 wheeled taxis around that you see in all the movies. They always
tell you your destination's closed and want to take you to the
Standing Buddha (40 feet tall, largest standing buddha in the world.
Visit him for luck in Thailand!) I did it once, rode in teh TUK-TUK,
which was fun, and then they took me to a tourist place to sell
trips. I've been offered that at LEAST a dozen times alredy.

The foods great. The citie's lively. There are backpackers all over
the Khao San road (thom, this is where you'll come stay when you get
here, but everything will be closed. Of course you'll be approached
by all sorts of nice TUK-TUK drivers who want to take you to see
"thai ladies", "thai message", "sucky sucky" (no Im not making this
up:) and of course your supply of very friendly very forward and
rather unhappy looking Thai Ladies...hmmm, not sure what they were
asking. They kept wanting to know where I was staying.)

I saw the Temple of the Reclining Buddha yesterday (yep, largest
reclining Buddha in the world, 150 feet long! It's HUGE!) and the
temple complex is MASSIVE, sprawling spires and row after row after
row after row of gold buddhas of various size, shape and orientation.
It's like there is some sort of thing with this Buddha dude, I'm not
sure what it is but I'm going to get to the bottom of it!

Tonite I'm going to the Arena for a Thai-Boxing match all nite. 4
hours of fun, people kicking the shit out of each other, should be an
interesting cultural experience.

Haven't really met anyone yet. But i'm taking a tour in Chiang Mai
(northern Thailand) with elephant riding (go thom!), bamboo boats,
treks to hill tribes. So I'll be with a crew of like 8 for a few
days, that'll be fun.

And finally, last nite there was an AWESOME thai band covering all
yuor favorite hits, like Hollaback Girl, Sweet Child of Mine, and
Don't Phunk with My Heart. It was hilarious, and full of fun and
energy. A good time!


That's all for now. Hope all is well there. I've made it safetly
and am having a good time.