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Southeast Asia Play by Play

 

 

Day 1 Ė July 10, 2008

I Woke up before the alarm went off at 5:30 AM, ate breakfast, showered, and packed the last few items.I found out later that Cathryn ditched half of my underwear and shorts.

The driver showed up early at 6:15 AM.I gave Q a last pat on the head and left.We arrived at Sky Harbor.Our Southwest flight to LAX was running late.We got an earlier flight to insure weíd make our LAX connection.We were in the C boarding group so we had to sit in different rows.We landed early at LAX.We walked from terminal 1 to the Tom Bradley International terminal.It was an easy board.The ANA agents are very friendly.We left at 12:50 pm PDT.First time on a 777-300.Nicest plane Iíve ever been on.Each seat has an entertainment system with movies, television, and video games.Best flight attendants Iíve ever had.The flight was very long, 11 Ĺ hours.Highlight of the flight was the movie 21 and my first time crossing the international dateline.

Day 2 Ė 7/11

Landed in Tokyo the next day at 4:00 PM.†† It was the nicest most orderly airport Iíve been too.

We boarded our flight to Bangkok at 6:00 PM on a 777-200.It wasnít quite as nice as the 777-300.It was a 6 hour and 4 minute flight.† Quite a bit longer than I expected.  At least I was able to sleep for several hours.We arrived in Bangkok at 10:00 PM.We went through customs and negotiated a taxi from the airport to our hotel for 800 Bat  which is roughly $24.The expressways are much nicer than I anticipated.There were several tolls along the way.Traffic is left handed.It was a 45 minute drive.Our female cab driver got lost.She kept calling someone on a cell phone.Traffic was a zoo.We arrived at New World Lodge.It had a very nice lobby and a not so nice room.Reminds me of something I have stayed at in San Carlos, Mexico.The AC is a window unit that works pretty well.† You need to plug your room key into the wall to get the power to come on.  The hallways are not cooled at all.

This part of Bangkok is somewhat reminiscent of Mexico or New Orleans.It was very humid and 90 degrees.We showered, put on fresh clothes, and went to check out our surroundings.We bought some noodles from a street vendor.We got pulled into a karaoke bar from the owner.One Thai couple kept trying to talk to me.We were the only westerners there.I signed up for Your Eyes.I thought it was the Peter Gabriel song.It wasnít.It was some English sung Thai song.We fell on our faces trying to sing it, but no one seemed to care.Exhausted, we headed back to our hotel and went to bed.

 

Day 3 Ė 7/12

We had a buffet breakfast at the room.It was ok.They had a mix of American food and less than fair Thai food.The tea was really good.We hopped in a Tuk Tuk after breakfast to go sightseeing.A Tuk Tuk is a 3 wheeled, 2 stroke, open taxicab.If one were to get in an accident, Iíd guess youíd be getting pretty badly hurt.Our first big highlight was the Wat Arun Temple.

We walked to another temple.We then grabbed another tuk tuk to go to the Grand Palace for 100 Bat.We started to walk around and got stopped on the street by a Thai man.He told us we paid too much for our tuk tuk.He showed us some places to visit on our map of Bangkok.He told us to go to the TAT office to plan our trip.He found a tuk tuk that would drive us around all day for only 40 Bat.It seemed like a good deal at the time.We got dropped off at the TAT office first.We came up with an itinerary.He wanted $1800 U.S. from us.We passed.The tuk tuk driver asked us if we would go to his sponsor with him for 10 minutes.He said he would get his gas paid for by the sponsor if we did.I told him no.He asked why.I said I didnít want to go.He seemed to develop an attitude after that.

The next stop was the History Temple.It was beautiful inside.A Thai man was meditating when we arrived.He got up and began to talk to us.He seemed very nice.He said he was a pilot for Thai airlines.He said he flew a 777.I asked him what engine configuration his aircraft had.He said they were Rolls Royce.It was a very pleasant conversation.He offered to help us with our sightseeing tour.He showed us some spots we hadnít thought about.Then he said, ďYou want a good investment?Go to the Export Center and buy some gemstones.ĒThis is one of the places on the map the first guy told us to go.I also had read before our trip not to buy any jewelry in Thailand.There are also warnings in the city about people peddling jewelry.My hackles went up.I told him maybe on our next trip.

The tuk tuk driver dropped us off at the infamous Export Center next.† ††It was a jewelry store on the first floor and a suit store on the second floor. A salesman followed us upstairs.He tried to tell me what a good deal the suits were.He asked me what I wanted to pay.I told I couldnít get a suit.Iíd have no place to put it.I told him free would be too much because I would have no way to bring it back home.He left me alone after that and we made a quick departure.

The tuk tuk driver took us back to the Grand Palace.I told him that we were done with his services.He got really upset.I gave him 60 Bat and told him we were done.He looked shocked and said, ďno , we have more places to goĒ.We left without saying anything else.I realized that the whole thing was a scheme to get money out of us.The guy on the street, the tuk tuk driver, and the ďpilotĒ at the temple were all in on it together.

As soon as we headed towards the Grand Palace someone else stopped us on the street and told us we couldnít enter the palace wearing shorts.He said that I needed pants and Cathryn needed a skirt.Cathryn believed him.I told him no.We had already heard that you needed pants to enter and had bought some cheap pants earlier in the day.As we were heading towards the entrance we found out that the Grand Palace was closing in 10 minutes for the day.We had been lied to by the guy on the street.We bought our tickets and headed towards the entrance.We were stopped by a security guard on the way in.He told us we both needed to wear pants.We slipped on our pants and entered.The Grand Palace was very nice but not quite what we had built up in our minds.

Grand Palace

 

We ate a t a little street side corner restaurant afterwards.It was good but mild.We were the only patrons there.

That night we watched live Thai boxing at our hotel.The first fight was between two 10 year olds.It was essentially a WWE match, but somewhat entertaining.They kicked fast but it was all for show.A couple adults were next.The exhibition was another fake.They practiced kicks on a pad the instructor was holding next.A 10 year old buy, a 16 year old girl, and a 20 year old guy were all incredibly impressive with their kicks.Then they asked me if I wanted to be a volunteer.I agreed.They had me throw some round houses, punches, and elbows at the instructorís pads.I had a blast.

 

My best roundhouse kick at age 40

We bought tickets for the Calypso Cabaret for the night.This was the lady boy show that Cathryn was dying to see.It was slightly better than I expected although I got bored about 20 minutes into it.It reminded me of a Vegas show.Cathryn was in heaven.She took more pictures of the show than anything else on the whole trip.I took a few pictures of her next to the lady boys after the show.She tried to get me to take a picture next to them.I declined.  I also have no interest in soiling this travel journal with them.  There are plenty of pics online of the Bangkok lady boys.

 

Day 4 Ė 7/13

We signed up for a bus tour of the Tiger Temple, Bridge over River Kwai, and the floating market.The tour van picked us up at 7:00 AM.The tour guide asked me if Cathryn was my daughter.We drove for about an hour to the floating market.We hopped in a boat that was to traverse the canals to the market.The boat was long and thin.It sat 12 people along with the driver.The driver kept telling us to move to certain spots in our seats so we wouldnít capsize the boat.Ii was fast for what it was.Iíd guess we hit about 30 knots.The canals were long and narrow.There were lots of waves from other boats.We hit one wave that drenched me.We arrived at the floating market.This place is insane.The canals are packed with boats.The tour guide tried to get us to rent a paddle boat.We passed.Iím glad we did.A French couple on our van was stuck in boat traffic for over an hour.They were late getting back to the van.We went to an outdoor wood carving store next.The carvings were impressive, but we were shopped out.

 

Floating Market

 

Our van drove another hour and a half to the Tiger Temple in Kanchanabury.It was the coolest wild animal park Iíve been too.  I had a tigerís head on my lap.  They took pictures of us with five other tigers.  Cathryn was pretty freaked out.  I was a little nervous holding a 600 pound tigerís head in my lap with my fingers by his mouth.  We saw a tiger cub in his cage that we were able to pet.  Cute kitty!  I fed a deer on the way out of the park. 

 

Our last stop was the bridge over River Kwai.Thailand was an ally of Japanís during WWII.The Japanese were building rails to deliver supplies to the west so they could invade India.The US bombed the bridge three different times and the Japanese kept rebuilding it with predominantly U.S. POWs.The scene was incredibly picturesque.There was a museum with the bones of POWs in a glass case.Iíve never seen that in a museum before.The bridge had no guard rails.There we lots of openings where someone could easily fall through.I was paranoid that Cathryn was going to trip and fall into the Kwai.Iím glad we walked across.It was the most beautiful rail scene Iíve ever seen in person.We drove back to Bangkok.We shared a ride during our tour with a gay Slovenian couple, a French couple from Versailles, a heavy set guy from Sri Lanka who went to Washington State University and his girlfriend.That night we ate at Aquatini back in Bangkok.It was the best meal weíd had yet and a great setting.It was situated outdoors overlooking the skyline along the Chao Phraya River.I had red curry shrimp.

 

River Kwai

 

 

 

Day 5 - 7/14

We went to the bus terminal and got tickets for a bus to take us to the Million Year Stone Park in Pattaya.The bus station was nicer than a lot of U.S. airports.We didnít see a sign for our destination.I asked a lady where the ticket counter for Pattaya was.She didnít speak any English so I just said, ďPattayaShe still didnít understand me.Cathryn repeated it.She understood but she started laughing.She took us over to the correct counter.I didnít understand what was so funny until we overheard her talking to the lady at the next ticket counter.She thought I had said Pad Thai.She was beside herself laughing.I guess my Thai pronunciation leaves a bit to be desired.

 

We arrived in town 2 Ĺ hours later.We ate lunch and took an open truck to the park.It was beautifully lush inside with all kinds of tropical looking plants.The first stop on the tour was the crocs.There were thousands of them.One guy was feeding them with a fishing pole and some meat dangling from the end of it.The crocs were leaping out of the water trying to get the meat.The next stop was the elephants.There were six different elephants.Four of them were open to the public.They each had one leg chained, but you could go up to them, pet them, and feed them bananas. The other two were behind a small 3 foot two bar fence.It was a mother and a baby.We patted the baby elephant.He kept sticking his trunk through the bars and tried to wrap it around Cathrynís leg.She was a little scared at first until we figured out what he was trying to do.He was trying to move her foot closer to him so he could untie her shoe laces.It was amazing to watch.We went on an elephant ride after that.It seemed a little foreboding.The elephantís back was over 10 feet high.The ride was a little jerky, but Cathryn thoroughly enjoyed it.I liked it too.There was also a bear, a toucan, and tigers.All that separated us from the animals was a chain linked fence.

 

 

We took an airport bus back to the Bangkok airport and flew to Phuket.We arrived around 11:00 PM with no room reserved.We found a tourist counter when we arrived and booked a place across the street from the ocean for $50/night in Karon.A monsoon hit as we rode on the shuttle to the room.

 

Day 6 Ė 7/15

I woke up at 8:00 AM.I saw the beach for the first time.Itís fantastic.I walked on the beach while Cathryn slept.We ate breakfast at the hotel and started walking around.We found a street where a lot of locals seemed to hang out.We found a roadside travel agent.She was an incredibly energetic and friendly lady.She found us a half day snorkeling trip to Kai Island.† A van took us to the marina.A boat picked us up.We made really good time.Iím guessing the boat hit 70 knots.We went to three different islands.It was really tropical.The water was very clear.I had up to 50 feet of visibility in some spots.I snorkeled for 2 hours.The last island Cathryn and I split a banana daiquiri and a blue Hawaiian while looking at the surf.It was a great setting.While snorkeling, I saw the biggest ruby red Rass, Angel fish, poisonous rock fish, ribbon fish and giant clams embedded in the reef.The purple meat of the clams would quickly retreat into its shell each time Iíd swim by.Drained from all the snorkeling, we boated back.I got lots of great pics while at sea.We came back and ate near the hotel.I had the best Thai meal yet and one of the best Iíve ever had.While we were sitting at our roadside restaurant, a truck drove by with a large platform and three Thai fighters standing on it.The driver was blasting over a loud PA, ďTonight!Tonight!Super real Thai boxing!Bangala Stadium!ĒEvery so often one Thai fighter would slap his gloves together for effect.

We booked a flight back to Bangkok with the intent of taking a rail with a sleeper car to Chiang Mai tomorrow night.
 

Island near Phuket we snorkeled and split a banana daiquiri

 

Day 7 Ė 7/16

We went horseback riding through the ďjungleĒ after breakfast.I guess it was once a jungle but the area is basically a sub division with some open lots left as remnants of the jungle.Two guides walked next to us while we rode.My guide taught me how to gallop.Itís a lot harder than I thought.I can see how someone could fall off.I had a hard time holding on a few times. We talked our taxi driver into waiting for us and then drive us to the airport when we were done.  He asked us if he could pick up his wife on the way.  We agreed.  We had a little time to kill so we had him drive us to the top of the mountain in Phuket City.  Spectacular views. 

 

View of Phuket City

We arrived at the Phuket airport and ate there.  Arrived in Bangkok and took a taxi to the train station situated in Chinatown.  All trains to Chiang Mai were booked.  Bummer!  We went to regroup.  Ate at Hong Kong Noodle.  We elected to stay in Bangkok in the business district at a motel named the Wendy House.  It was a small but nice place.  We booked a flight to Kuala Lumpur.  We decided to explore the business district and got lost that night.  We grabbed a Tuk Tuk to Siam Square.  Between the language barrier and our bad directions, the driver got frustrated.  We got out and found cab that helped us.  Success!

Day 8, 7/17

We ate breakfast at the hotel.  We bought Sky train passes which is essentially an elevated train but far nicer and more modern than the elevated trains in Chicago.  The train was spotless, air conditioned, and equipped with monitors displaying Pepsi commercials.  We met a family from Mesa while on the train. 

We found a museum with no one in it and it was free to boot.  We shopped a little at a Nesco which looks like Wal-Mart.  We went to a salon.  Cathryn got her nails done.  I had my ingrown toenail worked on.  The woman used a lot of alcohol on the area and went to town on me.  I thought I was going to rip the rail off the chair.  After about 45 minutes of digging and a half pint of blood loss later, the deed was done.  As we explore this part of town, the people are noticeably different.  They are taller, wealthier, and better looking. 

We took a taxi to the airport and flew to Kuala Lumpur.  The first impressions of KL were negative.  People were pushy and seemingly rude.  As we tried to make our way through the Malaysian customs line, Cathryn got so frustrated with people cutting in front of us she started hopping over the line barriers. 

It was after 2:00 AM when we found a shuttle to take us to a hotel.  There were lots of roundabouts.  The ride was over an hour.  The whole time the bus driver was playing heavy metal Malaysian music.  We hardly heard it due to being so exhausted from the dayís events.  We finally got to downtown KL.  The driver tried to turn down a narrow street where a taxi was double parked.  The bus couldnít move.  We were stuck for 20 minutes!  The driver tried to navigate the best he could but hit a parked car.  Good times!  Arrived at our hotel.  Incredibly nice with 5 star service and only a 20 minute walk to the KLL Towers.   

Day 9, 7/18

Slept until 9:30.  Signed up for a private tour with a taxi for 150 Ringets.  I love the name of their currency!  Nicest cab driver yet.  The tour consisted of observing a pewter factory and a park with the largest Ferris wheel in the world that we rode.  KLL is much nicer than Bangkok.  The roads are better.  Next we were taken to a camp in the jungle.  This is how I pictured southeast Asia.  There was a very lush river with lots of fruit trees around including mango and Rabutan. We ate dragon fruit from the trees.  Cathryn spoke to one of the vacationers.  It was a really laid back scene.  Stopped briefly to see the rubber trees alongside the road.  Went to the zoo, fed a camel, and saw a tiger swimming.  Last stop was the Petronas (KLL) Towers.  Visited the mall that adjoined the two towers.  It was incredibly modern and very expensive.  It reminded me of the WTC but more modern.  However, the buildings and complex are narrower than the WTC.  A very diverse group people are here, Asians, Arabs, Indians, Europeans, and Africans.  Had some really good ice cream inside.

KLL Towers

Malaysian Zoo

Ate at a good Indian Restaurant for dinner.  I had the spiciest curry Iíve experienced.  We really liked the people in KL.  They are bit less friendly than the people in Thailand but still great.  I felt as though I could easily live here for a while.  We took a 1 KM cab ride back to the hotel.  It took an hour.  It was the worst traffic I have ever been in.  We slept almost the entire ride.

We went to the Batu Caves.  There are 272 steps leading up to the caves in the side of a mountain.  The caves have bats and small monkeys.  I was winded by the time we got to the top.  Outside of a Stairmaster, Iím not sure Iíve traversed that many flights of stairs before.   There are some holes in the cave that let sunlight in.  Itís a beautiful setting.  The top of the cave is about 200 feet high.  The monkeys roam free in the cave and come up to the visitors.  Cathryn had brought snacks and was feeding them.  They eat out of your hand.  A bigger/fatter monkey was trying to hoard the snacks and was hitting the smaller monkeys.  Cathryn cut him off. 

Day 10, 7/19

Awoke at 5:00AM.  The desk clerk got us checked out, a cab, and breakfast to go in 2 minutes. 

Iím not sure what happens in this country when you get to the airport but these friendly people become pushy again.  We flew directly to Chiang Mai.  We struck up a conversation with some Swiss children that live in KL.  This 6 year old blond girl is so cute but a little bratty.  She reminds me of Katie.  Cathryn tells her that she is going to buy her.  She gives an inquisitive look like she contemplating it.  Her father overhears the conversation and tell us we can have her for free.

As we land, we meet a Canadian couple from Calgary.  We arrive with no place to stay again.  We find a place and get a cab.  I like Chiang Mai.  Itís a mid-sized city that is much cleaner than Bangkok.  We check into our hotel which is another nice place for cheap.  We rent mopeds and drive around town.  Iím so glad we got the wheels.  Only $5 for the day.  We see so much more than we would have walking.  We stop at one temple where a young monk stops us.  He is asking us for help with his English homework.  We talk to him for about half an hour.  John, the monk, is a nice guy.  He likes telling us his philosophy.  We leave John and visit several other temples.  Every one of them are fantastic.  We spent so much time riding around today I got sunburned.  I think Iím starting to get used to the left handed traffic.  That evening we shop at the night bizarre.  This place is huge.  I cut it short.  Iím hot, sweaty, and tired from all the sightseeing. 

John and I

Day 11, 7/20

We rent a car and headed to Sukothai, the Ancient City.  The driving takes a little getting used to but it is so worth it.  The scenery is unlike any road trip Iíve ever been on.  The street signs have English conversions on them.  We got a little lost in a town named Lam Phun.  There was a detour and we never saw a sign telling us how to get back on the highway.  We stopped at a Big C in Lam Pang for lunch.  Itís a little like Tesco.  I ate some green curry in the food court.  Not too bad.  As far as I can tell, we are the only tourists here.  I never did get any looks from people though.  We get back on the road and drive into torrential rains.  We lose a wiper blade.  We make it to Sukothai 20 minutes before they close.  We drive around the park.  These are the most amazing temples of the trip.  Iím taken aback by the structures. 

Sukothai - the pictures don't do it justice

Our Hotel is really posh.  We go swimming in their titanic decagon pool.  It's got to be as wide as an Olympic sized pool.

 

Day 12, 7/21

We ate breakfast at Hotel Sukothai.  Drove north to Chiang Rai.  I still canít get over the landscape.  There are lush mountains, jungles, and the most amazing clouds.  We almost got killed by a tractor trailer while looking for gas.  I took a right and looked left first.  I looked right and the truck was a split second away from T-boning me.  I guess I'm not entirely used to driving on the left as I had thought. 

Thai Terrain

 

We made it to Chiang Rai a little earlier than expected.  This is a small friendly town.  It feels very comfortable.  We drove around and found the hotel district.  We stayed at Wangcome.  Nice place, very high tech room and elevator.  Ate Lebanese food for dinner.  Wonderful.  We are eating like royalty on this trip.  Walked around town and went shopping at Chiang Raiís night bizarre.  This is a lot more manageable.  This is town is my favorite of the Thai cities.  We did Karaoke at our hotel that night.  Hilarious DJ!  Every time you tip him he wails ďCapcun Kaaí!Ē which is thank you in Thai.  He waves the tip in front of the cocktail waitresses as if to brag.  One time I gave him 100 Bat and he starts examining it as though he canít believe itís real. 

 

View from our hotel in Chiang Rai

Day 13, 7/22

Ate at hotel, got in the car, and headed for the Golden Triangle.  We went to the town Mai Sai which borders Myanmar(Burma).  This border had military strife between the two nations as late as 2006.  That had shelled each other.  We are uneasy heading over.  We walk into the immigration office.  Itís dark and there are 3 officers armed with machine guns.  One officer asks for our passports.  He is writing down our information on a day visa.  They give us the visas and keep our passports.  Iím very uneasy now. 

We walk through and are immediately hounded by tuk tuk drivers trying to sell us tours, beggars, and other peddlers.  Everyone is super aggressive.  Itís far worse than any Mexican border town Iíve experienced.  No one smiles here like they do on the other side of the border.  The streets, sidewalks, and buildings are all dilapidated.  There is garbage and filth everywhere.  We cross a bridge over some small river.  It is muddy and has garbage floating in it.  This is the nastiest place Iíve ever been. 

The whole time we are walking I have my best donít F with me scowl.  I believe it would have worked better had I been alone.  They take one look at her and see a target.  One monk boy about 8 years old follows us about 200 yards after we cross the border with a church like offering plate.  I told him No!  He wonít take no for an answer.  He is literally walking 18 inches behind Cathryn with is empty offering tray looking thing.  I suspect these kids arenít even monks. 

We see a temple and are think, ďok, something noteworthy to seeĒ.  No!  A stray dog is roaming freely inside.  I was thinking I would like to sample some Burmese cuisine beforehand.  There is no way in hell Iím ingesting anything here.  Cathryn has to use the restroom.  I canít believe it.  I ask her to try to hold it.  She canít.  I see nothing that resembles a restroom anywhere.  Alas I see their version of a Customs House.  We ask to use the restroom.  They agree.  We walk inside.  Oh, what a sh1thole!  The toilets are a hole in the ground.  The stench is almost more than human should be asked to bear.  Now I realize why the immigration office was dark.  The Customs House is dark too.  I realize that everything is dark.  The obvious dawns on me, oh yeah, Iím in a communist country.  They are so Fíd up that they canít keep the damn grid up.  Cathryn is whining from the toilet.  She is in tears.  There are big spiders scrabbling toward her as sheís squatting. 

Making it out in one piece covered in sweat from the nerve racking experience, we head back.  As we get closer to the border the monk boys start approaching us again.  I make the fatal error of giving one of them money.  About dozen start running our way.  I yell loud at them to go away.

Burma

 

 

 

Day 13

We walk one block past the road taking you back to the border which perpendicular to the main drag.  I peer down the street and see more of the same.  Uncle!  Iíve had enough.  We had back to the border.  We get our passports back without any issue and cross back into Thailand.  There have been times in where I have crossed to the U.S. border from Mexico and have been happy to be back.  This doesnít come close to the elation I feel to be back in Thailand.  Never say never, but Iím NEVER going back to Burma!

We get back in the car and head down a highway that parallels the Burma/Laos border.  We make it to the Golden Triangle.  This is the point where the borders of the three countries meet.  The Thai border points out like triangle that borders and is separated from Laos and Burma by the Ruak and Mekong rivers.  There is a tourist looking temple at the point of the triangle.  From here, you can view the rivers along with the lush mountains of the two countries in the distance.  Itís an amazing sight to behold.  I would never have guessed people lived in such squalor on the other side of the river if I hadnít have seen it with my own eyes.

We tried to cross into Laos but the only way to the other side was by ferry.  The ferry schedule was difficult to ascertain from the locals and I didnít feel like getting stuck on the Laotian side of the border for the night.  We ate lunch at a roadside noodle stand near the Golden Triangle.  Itís located in the parking lot of a temple.  There are very few patrons here.  We are the only ones at one point.  A really nice lady serves us.  I had awesome fried rice.  She made it in front of me.  Cathryn loved the noodles.  Afterward we drove up a narrow mountain single lane road to the temple.  The jungle was thick and there were a lot of dead man turn on this road.

 

 Tending the rice paddies

Opium Museum

 

We headed back towards Chiang Rai thinking we would stop and visit the tribe museum.  Weíve been seeing signs for waterfalls on our drive and we pass another.  We decide to follow the signs.  It takes a lot longer to get there than we thought.  Weíre driving down surface streets for about 30 minutes until we hit a ranger station at the entrance to the park.  The hike is about 3 miles round trip.  Iím amazed.  We are hiking through the thickest jungle I have seen.  There is a makeshift path with handmade bamboo bridges crossing the river.  There is some insect in the jungle making this hideously loud howling noise.  Between the jungle covered path that blots out the sun and the howling, Cathryn is pretty freaked out.  I push us onward.  We make it to the waterfall in about 20 minutes.  There is it is!  Itís about 70 feet high and 12 feet wide.  The cool water from the waterfall creates its own weather pattern.  It blows air about 25 degrees cooler than our surroundings.  Great piece of nature and it was just some random fall we decide to see.

We had the best Indian Iíve had in Chiang Rai for dinner.

We had the karaoke bar all to ourselves that night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 14, 7/25

Day 14

We had waffles with ice cream and chocolate for breakfast.  We flew to Bangkok.  We stayed at a hotel 15 minutes from the airport.  We walked around the corner searching for food.  We found a place with an English translation on the menu.  We were chatting with the 60 year old British owner.  Heís been living in Thailand for 25 years.  He started the restaurant with his Thai wife.  I can tell that he is craving to speak to westerners in English.

 

Day 15, 7/24

Woke up at 5:30, breakfast at 6:00.  The waiter jogs back and forth to get our food for us.  We hop on our hotel taxi to the airport for our flight to Tokyo and then back to the United States.