Category Archives: Thailand

Ko Samet, Thailand

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The last few days in Asia were pure Island vacation.  I met up with a childhood friend and we traveled to Ko Samet, Thailand, an island about 2.5 hours from Bangkok.  It’s a quieter beach, unadulterated by the throngs of Western tourists that flock to Phuket and Ko Samui.  We wandered the beaches until we found a bungalow with vacancies and spent the rest of the weekend reading on the shore and enjoying Thai massages.  I can’t think of a better way to have ended a month in SE Asia.

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Bangkok, Thailand

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The f-word: flexibility.  Asia has a way of undermining my meticulous plans and forcing me to be a little more elastic.  Bangkok is a great example.

I won’t gross you out with the details, but at some point during my last few days in Cambodia, it became alarmingly clear to me that my trip to Chiang Mai just wasn’t in the cards.  What I needed after a whirlwind 2.5 weeks of touring was a few days of R&R.  Bangkok isn’t exactly the picture of calm, but aside from the requisite trips to Khao San Road and the Grand Palace, it provided the perfect backdrop to just hang out.

Bangkok highlights were the Chatuchak weekend market and Lumphini Stadium.    The Chatuchak market has over 8,000 vendors with alleyways covering 35 acres and one can buy everything from live snakes to jade necklaces, handcrafted clothing to mass-produced souvenirs, antique masks to plastic vegetables.   Between the heat and the thousands of other shoppers, it gives a new meaning to “shop ‘til you drop.”  Lumphini is the premier stadium for Muay Thai boxing – and sitting ringside for the Saturday night match did not disappoint.

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Southeast Asia!

4 Days in Israel – just enough time to unpack and adjust to the time difference.  Now, it’s time to repack and prepare for Round 2 of jetlag.  Israel is +7 hours ahead of the USA and most of SE Asia is +12.

I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out what to pack.  Since I’ll be carrying everything on my back, the objective is light & multipurpose.

Clothing was simple: a few shirts, one sweater, one swimsuit, pants, a beach dress, and enough socks to last.  Electronics were a little more difficult.  Which camera: light, inexpensive point & shoot or magical yet bulky DSLR?  Do I bring something to connect to the internet in case I  find wi-fi?  In the end: light & multipurpose – point & shoot camera, ipod touch for music, internet where possible, and the occasional game of words with friends.  In researching traveling with electronics, I came across the following helpful article “28 Tips for Traveling with a Laptop and SLR.”

http://www.whereisjenny.com/2010/11/28-tips-for-traveling-with-laptop-slr-camera/

Off to the airport!

 

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March schedule

March travel plans are nearly finished:

  • End of February – arrive in Israel to attend my cousin’s wedding on March 1st
  • March 3 /4 – fly to/arrive in Bangkok, Thailand
  • March 5 – Hanoi, Vietnam
  • March 6-8 – trekking through the hill villages of Sapa, Vietnam (Cat Cat, Ta Van, Cua May, Su Pan)
  • March 9 – Halong Bay, Vietnam
  • March 10-11 – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • March 12-13 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • March 14-16 – Sieam Reap/Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  • March 17 – Battambang, Cambodia
  • March 18 – Bangkok, Thailand
  • March 19-20 – Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • March 21-23 – Yangon, Burma
  • March 24-27 – meet up with a childhood friend, location TBD

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