Blogs from Tak, North-West Thailand, Thailand, Asia

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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Tak December 30th 2012

It is ironic in that my recent two week plus trip, spent mostly in and around national parks, wildlife reserves and mountains, began in Thailand's infamous urban jungle, Bangkok. About a month ago, I had just finished spending about three weeks gardening and rice farming on the outskirts of Chiangmai. I had yet to secure an apartment for myself and was missing my friends in Bangkok. So I decided to head there by scooter, as usual, while passing through some new terrain, taking photos along the way. Thailand has so much to offer when traveling this way. My first night I traveled about 300km from Chiangmai in the North to Nakon Sawan at the northernmost part of Thailand's central provinces. Nakon Sawan is the meeting place of the two largest rivers in Northern Thailand, the Nan ... read more
Surreal aspect of travel in Bangkok
Straddling the old and the new
Weapons Factory in Lopburi

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Tak December 11th 2011

My girlfriend Naitt was almost crying when we arrived at Thi Lo Su Waterfall. Last time she went there, it had taken two days of rafting and trekking, and was like discovering a new secret place with just four frineds. This time, there were hundreds of tourists. But the next waterfalls were awesome. Heading in to Thi Lo Su From our awesome hillside bungalow, we headed towards Mae Sot and took the turnoff towards Thi Lo Su on the "road of 1,000 bends". Apparently someone counted them one time, and there were around 1,219 in total. It's a pretty nice drive, if you are used to driving in mountains. But Bangkokers simply aren't. The only bends in Bangkok are the few off the expressways. I took over most of the driving because with so many Sunday ... read more
The road in
The bottom of Thi Ro Su -- very peaceful because we were on a fenced path, so no swimming here
Thi Ro Su Waterfall

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Tak September 13th 2010

So here I am, done with teaching. Crazy! This morning when I arrived at school P'Nid invited me to sit in the same makeshift, removable van seat couch in the main office of the school that we sat in four months ago when we first met. As our conversation carried on the reality of how much has happened really began to set in. This past Friday night she had James, Karen and I over to her house for an early farewell dinner. At one point in the evening she asked us what we had learned during our semester at Phadungpanya. I said learning to let go of control. From day 1 to today I'm constantly reminded of how little I control in my world here. I chuckled a few days gto when, during my last class, ... read more
Thanking the Monks
Blessed Water
Dance Competition!

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Tak August 22nd 2010

Trajectory, as wiki says, "is the path a moving object follows through space as a function of time." The word has been seriously innundating my world for the last two weeks. Popping up in dreams, conversations, pulling and pushing me toward what will probably result in me sequestering myself off in my room studying more about control theory. Nomad is the other word that's coming around a lot too. James and I were discussing the similarities and differences between nomad and vagabond. I'm a nomad. James is a nomad. I love being a nomad. What is it with trajectory and the percieved control we have upon it. What does influence or direct it? Do we, ultimately, if we're in tune with our soul...our deepest wants and desires direct it? If each of us is on a ... read more
Rainy Season
Taksin Maharat National Park
Super Big

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Tak August 4th 2010

Today I laughed so hard at my students. They never cease to amuse me! Imagine a room full of 13 year olds staring at a long rational expression addition problem and listening to me explain everything IN English. It's quiet for a moment, then breaking the silence you hear one emphatic Oh My God! Laughter broke out followed by more Oh My God's and many kids just simply saying O.M.G. Speaking of Oh My God, let me take a moment to back up two weeks. That was the day I like to call The Beginning. The Beginning was the first day that I got sick. Now, I got sick a few times on Apo Island and most people didn't even know. In other words, it wasn't that bad. Yes, it was traveler's diarrhea, but my immune ... read more
I'll know this...
Wai for the monks
Monk visit at school

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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Tak July 20th 2010

All week the students had midterms. Thankfully that meant a break from teaching, but that also meant proctoring exams. Monday and Tuesday I co-proctored with none other than our landlady (she's an English teacher). I don't know what changed or shifted but the Thai teachers seemed more relaxed. Perhaps it was my blundering hula hoop display that broke down some walls. I'll have you know that P'Nid (my new aunt here) and I were both hooping with the best of them by midweek! It was so much fun to see them lower their guards and play. Wednesday rolled around and I was stuck proctoring outside for half the day. That was less than fun as I was pretty sure the flies were going to eat me alive. All of a sudden it was Thursday! That night ... read more
Mmm good
You make what with those leaves?
Call me Miss Grace

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Tak May 23rd 2010

For two days now I've been trying to formulate a blog entry. What I've ended up with are sentences jotted down in random places, of random events, emotions and fleeting thoughts. My desire was to explain the last month, to summarize my experiences. As I've said before I usually don't write about things. So, my struggles to convey a months worth of living in SE Asia is as real as my struggle to speak the language here. Then it hit me this morning! Living here is all about appreciating the little things and welcoming the blissful, if not frustrating and refreshing, constant change. This may sound obvious and coming from me even a bit redundant, but allow me to elaborate. I arrived here in Tak, Thailand 10 days ago. I had just finished an eye opening ... read more
Bangkok Panorama
Temple and Flowers
Don't question the hand written #

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Tak December 16th 2006

Which of these things does not belong? Mae Sot is a strange place. It seems like an ordinary, run-of-the-mill, forgotten town, with a couple of dozen streets woven together haphazardly just a few km east of the Burma border. There are a couple of Buddhist temples, a main street lined with mundane shops, and a busy market heaped with vegetables, fruit, fly-buzzed meat, and fishy fish. One item for sale that I hadn't seen before were buckets heaped with a fetid grey paste - after some research, I learned that it's fermented fish paste, a staple of the diet of the Karen people (pronounced kuh-REN). Natives of Northeast Burma, tens of thousands of Karen are in refugee camps this area of Thailand, having fled political persecution and a gruesome, bloody rebellion against the SPDC (formerly SLORC), ... read more
Mae Moei
Monks
Shwe Muay Wan




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