Ripman

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Ripman




Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai June 30th 2016

So we have been derelict in our blogging duties since we arrived in Chiang Mai! Our apologies. There is simply *so much good food* and so little time to eat it in that we have been too busy to catch up. Anyway, here's the short summary of our longest stay in Thailand: Chiang Mai is a sprawling university town / cultural capitol of ~1,000,000 residents, with over three hundred temples and some of the most beautiful forest-in-the-city landscapes we have seen this trip. It is located in the North, near the border to Myanmar and Laos. Located on a wide, verdant plain, the city is laced with murky waterways and ancient stone walls that have been perfectly preserved. It sits in a bowl between the mountains, and at night you can see the twinkling lights of ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Hua Hin June 11th 2016

It's been over since we last posted, and a lot has happened since. So I thought I'd fill you all in. Seth and I spent a week in the city of Hua Hin. We stayed at a “cozy” hotel in the center of the city, down the street from the Night Market. At this point, we've seen many, many markets. Local markets where mountains of curry pastes are sold alongside row after row of fish on ice. We've goggled at the hundreds of kinds of fish, squid, eels, crabs, cockles, prawns, lobster, rays, and even horseshoe crabs being sold. We've passed tottering Jenga piles of coconuts 20 feet high. We (meaning Seth), have sampled chili pastes of all kinds. We've strolled through night markets and ambled down day markets with foods unlike we'd ever seen before ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » Western Thailand » Hua Hin May 30th 2016

Back at it again with these white vans! Seth and I are on the road to Hua Hin. By the time you read this, we will have already arrived. But for now, we are sitting in a van on a 5 hour road trip. We just returned from lunch, which came free with our tickets. Lunch consisted of fried pork ears, sour chicken soup, yellow curry, a plate of limp veggies, another plate of veggies that I couldn't identify, a plate of steamed veggies, watermelon slices, and of course white rice. It was served on a lazy susan and was surprisingly good. While I've never been a particularly picky vegetarian, Thailand has certainly bent those boundaries further. Most broths, including those of vegetable soups, are chicken or pork based. Many foods are simply unidentifiable pastes. And ... read more
Bamboo Ferry
Construction of the new bridge
Rainy Hotel

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta May 24th 2016

Well, we've left the cozy jungles and lazy beach bars of Koh Lanta for the crowded jungles and packed beach bars of Ao Nang. Packing up at the abysmally early hour of 10 AM, we piled onto a songthaew and then watched as one, two, and eventually eight other backpackers tried to cram themselves and their massive luggages onto the tiny benches bolted onto the truck's bed. New friends, German and Dutch and French and English, accompanied us all the way to our hotels in Ao Nang. The familiar complaints about sketchy travel agencies, higher prices for farangs, and the difficulty of finding a language we all could comprehend provided an easy basis for casual conversation. We left the songthaew, clambered onto a battered ferry crewed entirely by fifteen year olds, and began put-putting for four ... read more
Ferry to Krabi
Ao Nang Beach
Low Tide

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta May 20th 2016

With only two more days on Lanta, Seth and I are trying to fit in all the remaining sights and activities of the island in before we leave. We've snorkeled, spent days at the beach jumping into waves and failing, crashing, and washing up to shore onto white sand (our scraped up knees are a testament to the strength of these waves). We've hiked the trails and seen the sights at daybreak and sunset. We've kayaked through the mangrove forests and have been assaulted time after time by hungry apes. We've made friends, tourist and Thai, failed at learning the language, and enjoyed cheap meals at countless restaurants and booths. We've gone through 6 bottles of sunscreen. We've explored the deep residential roads of packed red clay (which I'm sure you are all very familiar with). ... read more
Lanta Night Market at Sunset
The Floating House
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand May 18th 2016

Seth and I are sitting outside by the pool, waiting while our room is cleaned by hotel staff, so I figured I might as well use this time to write a blog post. For the first time I've forgotten to put on sunscreen before we left our room (the cleaning team arrived earlier than normal so we were caught unprepared). While Seth sits and finalizes details for the next step of our trip, I hide in the ever-shrinking spot of shade. After about 3 ½ weeks of island living, we are preparing to move off to our next location, Krabi. We passed through the town on our way to Koh Lanta, as the island is a part of the Krabi Province. Krabi itself is on the mainland, and is home to national forests, hot springs, and ... read more

Asia May 14th 2016

It has been pointed out to us that it has been awhile since we last posted. We've fallen into a very comfortable routine here, and as such our days have grown rather uneventful. We wake up, get breakfast at one of the great places that we've come to know and love, and then go to the beach to read, write, draw, and watch Muay Thai that seems to always be playing in the bars. In the evening Seth goes to the Lanta Muay Thai Gym, and I edit pictures, scratchboard, or occasionally volunteer at the local animal shelter taking pictures of their animals that are up for adoption (and playing with puppies). Sometimes we do something different, like go get Thai Massages, go hiking through the national forests, or go snorkeling in pristine coral reefs. Okay, ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta May 8th 2016

While Kendall spends her days in the shade, drawing and scratching and painting all the beautiful wildlife and vegetation of Koh Lanta, I have been getting my ass kicked once a day at the Lanta Muay Thai Gym. Owned by Mr. Williams who was once a stadium champion, the gym is a corrugated metal roof over two large rings and a long hall filled with bags of every flavor. Little children run around while shriveled old thai men observe the young fighters in training. The smell of weed and thai liniment oil is everywhere, and at 4 pm, the temperature sits at 98 degrees with 80% humidity. The metal roof turns the whole matted area into a giant sauna. I have never been so hot in my life! But there is an upside - when the ... read more

Asia May 4th 2016

King is in town! We didn't realize it until a procession of flashing royal vehicles and police cars brought everyone around us to their feet in a deep wai, but apparently HM is on vacation in Koh Lanta. It was a very special and great honor to catch a glimpse of the most important person in Thailand, right outside our front door! He is the soul of the country, and all the Thai people feel a deep respect towards him. His photograph can be found on the inside of every restaurant, shop, and store in the country. Luck is smiling on us :) We've been here in Lanta for two weeks now, and the place is really beginning to feel like home. Seth has grown into driving around on our little yellow moped, which we use ... read more
Kiss of Death
Boy Snake Master
Sizzling Meat on a Stick

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Lanta April 30th 2016

So we didn't end up finding those fights. As the season changes, the tourist money dries up, restaurants and inns close, and the local Muay Thai stadiums shut down. Instead we walked along the beach at night and found a bar with a fire-dancing amateur hour. We sat and drank cocktails by the ocean watching drunk foreigners scorch themselves with spinning balls of fire. A delightful end to our night. Since we last wrote, Seth and I have been going around and more fully exploring the island. There are several beaches here, each more beautiful than the last. Our first week here we stayed at Banana Beach Resort on Klong Dao beach, where the resorts cater to Swedish / northern European families instead of backpackers and beach bums like us. The next beach over is Long ... read more
Muay Thai on the Beach
Orchid Nursery
Orchids at Lanta Orchid Nursery




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