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February 10th 2009
Published: February 12th 2009
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Outside Mae SalongOutside Mae SalongOutside Mae Salong

Me looking good as usual. No really, the views were awesome despite the presence of smog (it's the beginning of slash and burn season; way to go Asia!!!)
Well hello everybody. We have neglected our blog for too long, so I'm going to throw up some pictures that are a hodgepodge of things we've done in the past six months.

As of now, Claire and I are in are final two months of our time in Thailand (at least this time). As I write, we have not confirmed exactly what is next, although it's looking to be a year in Taiwan. This next year will not only be for adventure but also for making and saving money. It's time that we got rid of the credit card debt we've been carrying and put a lil' somethin' in the bank so we don't have to live in my car when we go back to America.

The first few photos are of a little city near the Burmese border called Mae Salong. This is a largely Chinese village with a definite hill tribe presence as well (Akha, Lisu and others). The city was originally settled by a regiment of the KMT who fled China after the 1949 revolution. Actually they were in Burma until 61'. Then the Junta kicked em' out and they settle in the current location
Mae Salong (farmland/kick it shacks)Mae Salong (farmland/kick it shacks)Mae Salong (farmland/kick it shacks)

We don't have a great photo of all the farmland on the steep hillsides with little rest shelters scattered about, so this will have to do.
creating villages that resembled the ones they left behind in Yunnan. It's a spectacular motorbike drive to the area.

The second set is from Loy Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai. Right down the street from where we live. The festival goes on for a few days at night and involves a lot of fireworks. Ridiculous amounts of fireworks...it sounded like a war zone outside our apartment for days on end. Not that I didn't join in on occasion. It sucked having the festival during the week cause we had to work. The fireworks literally didn't stop each day until 6am. Oh, and the students at school made their own huge lanterns that were lit off in the quad with giant torches...and they had firecrackers and cherry bombs as tails...as the lanterns took off a long fuse was lit...then...the fireworks would start to go off with many of them falling and exploding near, and on, the students and teachers on the ground...safety first is not a known concept here...Amazing Thailand.

Reggae Festival happened in Pai, and we went on a moments notice. It was pretty good. Actually half of the bands weren't that great. Some were pure ska crica
Mae SalongMae SalongMae Salong

View of the town from the temple.
So Cal 1994. But it was a nice experience, and that motorbike drive to Pai is really fun. Not as pretty outside of the rainy season though. You always hear all this crap about "don't come in the rainy season", but it's just not true. It's the greenest time of year, and the air has been washed clean of the darn Asian Brown Cloud. Come here in the rainy season. Bring a raincoat.

There's a few pics of us and friends relaxing at the reservoir. This is a big lake thingy with bamboo huts around it (or on it) and people serving yummy, cheap Thai food. It really relaxing and only 20 minutes out of town.

Finally, there are a few random photos explained by caption and some Chiang Dao stuff. We went to the cave at Chiang Dao but forgot to bring the camera in...oops.

Well that's all for now. We'll try to get some more stuff up, but we'll see. The next one may be of our new home in a different country. We'll see...




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Mae Salong TempleMae Salong Temple
Mae Salong Temple

I never got the name. This happens when you see so many temples.
Mae Salong Temple 2Mae Salong Temple 2
Mae Salong Temple 2

The other part
Good luckGood luck
Good luck

It's considered good luck if you can leave a coin standing on it's side. Claire and I both did it.
ClaireClaire
Claire

She's adapted well to striking the typical Asian pose
Loy Krathong - Mae Jo UniversityLoy Krathong - Mae Jo University
Loy Krathong - Mae Jo University

About 5000 plus of these lanterns went off in a matter of minutes. Absolutely amazing...a fire marshals worst nightmare.
Some of our friendsSome of our friends
Some of our friends

At Mae Jo University Kom Loy lighting thingy ma bob
LanternLantern
Lantern

from the bottom
Me...Me...
Me...

and a backpack full of fireworks...what a holiday!
Narrawat BridgeNarrawat Bridge
Narrawat Bridge

This is where a ton of fireworks were lit off all night. It sounded like a war movie (I am not joking). They are just so not concerned with safety. Many an eight year old could be seen with his own fireworks stash.
Loy Krathong ParadeLoy Krathong Parade
Loy Krathong Parade

There's always a parade...and they last for hours...seriously
Thai studentsThai students
Thai students

lighting a Kom Loy by the iron bridge
Reggae FestivalReggae Festival
Reggae Festival

There was a Reggae Festival in the mountain town of Pai...so we went. Since Thais don't like the sun, they have their festivals starting at 8ish with the main act scheduled for 2am...and things never start on time...
Job 2 DoJob 2 Do
Job 2 Do

The most famous Reggae artist in Thailand. They really like Reggae here.
Pai CanyonPai Canyon
Pai Canyon

Claire asked this random Thai guy to take a jumping photo with her. He was confused but obliged. Thais are so nice
Pai Canyon 2Pai Canyon 2
Pai Canyon 2

I wanted to do a jumping photo here, but the group insisted I not...


16th February 2009

It's so great to receive your update!
Brian and Claire, Thanks SO MUCH for posting a new entry on your blog. It's great to catch up on what you've been experiencing - thanks for the wonderful photos. It's hard to believe you are in the final two months in Thailand - can't wait to hear if your next country is Taiwan. Wishing you continued enjoyment and safe travels - your friend, Elise

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