Thursday, June 30, 2005

So last night I was typing this great long entry about the 3 days that we spent travelling to get to Laos. It had great photos inserted at all the right spots and I was rather proud of myself and then the power went out and I lost the whole thing. I was not a happy backpacker. So here I am again and instead of doing it all again I am just going to post the photos with some captions..... This is our first view of Laos, we drove from Chaing Mai to the border on Sunday and then on Monday morning we took a boat across the river

We were packed rather tightly into a small boat on the first day

Loas still has lots of rural areas

I loved seeing all the other river traffic

Here is our overnight stop, it was an interesting place... more details eventually

The boat was bigger on day 2 but there were a lot more people on it as well.

I knit, listened to tunes, read and enjoyed all that there was to see on the banks of the river

Elephants ont he banks

Day 2 on the Mekong saw a lot of sleeping

The old and new meet on each street.

The steps to the library and school often have children on them.

Luang Prabang is a Unesco world Heritage site and I am in love with it.

Some local monks, we rode bikes around town yesterday, it was a great way to see things.

Last nights sunset on the Mekong

I can see the toll that tourism is taking on the local culture but there are moments of beauty and simplicity

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I made it to Laos in one piece but I am exhausted from spending 2 days on an overcrowded boat with little room to move about. I am in Luang Prabang and after a good nights sleep and some coffee in the morning I will fill you all in on my 2 days travelling down the Mekong river. See you in the morning.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

These are a few of my favorite foods.

Fresh fruit at the market we went shopping at before our cooking class

A million types of rice, I never knew there was so much to know about 1 grain

CJ looking stunning. She is all decked out to wander around the farm and pick some veggies and other amazing thai things

There were heaps of butterflies on the farm

Me and Bun cooking sticky rice in coconut milk, all the food was amazing

Look Lunch, made by me, I could not eat it all but it was so good and we made many of my favorite thai foods.

The farm, out the window

A farmer that we passed on our way back into town

The ride back into the city was beautiful. Cooking school was amazing and if you are ever in Thailand I would suggest you take the time to come north and spend a day or two taking a class. We went to an organic farm and it was beautiful and quiet.

Today is Saturday and our last day in Chaing Mai, tomorrow morning we are getting on a bus to go to the Laos border. We spend the night there and then on Monday we will get on boat for 2 days and travel up the Mekong river to Luang Prabang. The boat ride takes 14 hours, 7 each day and I think it will be a great way to see the country. I am hoping that it does not rain the whole time but it may. We have been lucky with the weather this far and I hope it holds. I will be in Luang Prabang on Tuesday night and then on Friday we are off to Vietnam. I'll be back as soon as I get to a computer again.

I am having a bit of trouble with haloscan but don't have time to deal with now, if I haven't answered your comments know that I have read them and glad that everyone is enjoying living vicariously through my photos.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Chaing Mai

Our zoo trip was a lot of fun we saw hippos and

pandas. There were lots of other animals as well. After the zoo we headed to the night market to do a little shopping.... my favorite activity

We got up this morning to go on a day trek. There are heaps of them here but it was hard to find that we could do without feeling like we were being careless tourists. We finally settled on elephant riding, hiking and white water rafting. On the ride to the elephant camp we encountered a school parade, they were excited to see a car full of farang (foreigners)

CJ and I on our elephant

We fed the elephants bananas

and they sucked them up with their trunks and then put them in their mouths, it was really cute

an adorable baby elephant

Our hike was good but there were a number of rather narrow logs to cross

but the waterfall and the swim at the end made it all worth it

Then we went white water rafting and got really wet.

It was super fun and a great way to spend a day. Even though the treks are touristy I am glad we went on one because it meant that we got to see some things we never would of been able to see on our own. We avoided the ones that we felt were exploitive to the animals or to the local people and this one was not to bad. Tomorrow is cooking school and probably more shopping, then Saturday is our last day here and on Sunday we head into Laos. Getting to Luang Prabang will be adventure, I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Lots of fun being had in Thailand

We went on a great boat cruise down the river in Bangkok

and got to ride in Tuk Tuk in Bangkok traffic, but not this one

The famous Kho San Road was our stop for lunch

We also stopped at Wat Po to see the giant recling buddha, I liked the cats outside

Outside in the Wat Grounds, the inside photos did not turn out so well

Then we got on the night train headed North so we could spend a few days in Chaing Mai. Here's me knitting on my top bunk

We arrived in Chaing Mai exhausted but happy to be out of the city. We wandered around for a bit and then found a rooftop bar to have a drink and watch the rain move in from the mountians, it was pretty cool

Here's the inside of the bar. Toady we are off to the zoo because I want to see the panda bears and then tomorrow we are going on elephant/hike/rafting day. Friday we are going to Thai cooking school and then on Saturday or Sunday we will head to Laos. We have got Vietnam visas and so that is our next stop after Luang Prabang. I'll be back on the weekend with more photos.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Good Morning

Last Night we went to Cabbages and Condoms, here's CJ with the hat (in true Yarn Harlot fashion) as we went in. It's a great place that serves amazing Thai food. It's operated on the premise that condoms should be a readily available as vegetables and all the profits are used to prevent the spread of HIV in Thailand

We sat outside in the "urban air" and it was lovely, there were lights and all sorts of plants. Some live music and lots of people enjoying the food. The food was good, the salad was a little spicy but that's Thai food for you. Today we are off to ride a boat down the river and site see a little. Tonight we are off to Chaing Mai on the night train, well that is if we can get tickets, otherwise we will be here unitl tomorrow. Talk to you later from Northern Thailand.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I went to the weekend market yesterday, it is amazing and I am so going back today with more money and more time.

Some puppets at the market, it really was an amazing space and very cool.

I enjoyed some fresh and cold coconut, very tasty.

A temple outside Siam Square shopping mall, they are really different than the ones I am used to seeing Taiwan

Bangkok at last

Well I arrived in Bangkok last night, it was a long day but I'm happy to be here. I've had a fairly laid back day, I went to weekend market this morning with a couple of great blokes from London and then this afternoon I hoped on the skytrain and headed into the city. I also had a lovely afternoon nap. I am about to go get some dinner and then I'll be off shortly to meet CJ at the airport. I know that she will be exhausted so tomorrow when she is sleeping in I will post some photos. I just thought that I would post so that those who worry about me when I am travelling (my parents) wouldn't worry (blogging is easier than buying a phone card), I am here, I am safe and all is well. I'll be back soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


I am sitting in a very empty bedroom thinking about the last of the things I need to get done before I leave tomorrow. I think that I am on track, I have sorted my stuff and decided what will stay and what will go. I have discussed the upcoming kennel visit with the dog, she has no idea what I am talking about but I thought I should warn her that I about to leave her for a month. I have taken some bags to school to store until I return from my adventure. I have bought some last minute treats, had supper with friends and now all I have to do is pack the laptop.


I made it, I could get really reflective and sentimental at this moment but I won't because I have to go take out the garbage and walk the dog. I'll post from Bangkok on the weekend and fill you in on the sights (and probably smells) of another country.

FYI I added Haloscan - It think it will make life easier but now someone needs to leave comment so I can enjoy writing them back from my inbox instead of finding their blog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.


The light is still dangling from the ceiling, the water is still dripping. The roofer man came over and shook his head at it for awhile but I have no indication of if it will be fixed before I leave. Regardless of that the landlord showed up last night to return the remainder of my deposit and I was surprised by the fact that I got some money back. All year he has paid all my bills and told me we would tally them up at the end of my lease. It made my life easier and so I merrily moved along through the year and then just the other day realized that I might have to give him money when all the bills where added up. Thankfully I didn't and I walked away with some of my deposit money in my pocket, lucky me.

The packing is almost done and I am just waiting for the last of the laundry to dry. The weather is not co-operating at this point and I would just like to inform the clouds above Taipei that they are not allowed to release any water today because my shirts need to dry so they can be packed.

Thanks for all the comments on the last post. The scenery while camping was spectacular and some other campers have posted some photos that I might have to steal if I have the chance. I am currently frustrated with bloggers commenting format and the inability to answer all comments from my email box, I would like to switch to haloscan but highly doubt I will get to it in the next 2 days. Please know that I do appreciate the comments even if I don't always answer, it takes so long because blogger does not give me the email address and I have to look each one up. Actually maybe I will look into haloscan now, this morning well I have time as it would make chatting while traveling so much easier.

Okay enough babbling I need to make some tea.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Not a good sign.

Look what I came home to today, they re-roofed the building last weekend

I think the roofers will be getting a phone call or two. I called the landlord but there is little he could do as we were in the midlde of a thunderstorm. I hope the light doesn't fall in the middle of the night and scare me to death while I am sleeping. I might go sleep in the spare room tonight! There are pillows placed all around the room in case the light fixtures do decide to fall off the ceiling, hopefully it will be less of a crash.