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Archive for the ‘Thailand’ Category

My leg is furiously shaking in an Elvis like manner and my left finger tips dig into the rock while my right hand frantically grabs for anything that can work as my next hold. Panic is written all over this desperate scene. I am half way up a 30m sea-cliff climb and about 1.5 meters above my last safety. If I can’t figure out my next move I will fall at least three meters, with rope drag probably five.

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KA-POW!

Check out our updated route map! By clicking on a location marker, you can find out more details about our journey.

A less appetising choice of cuisine.

The best and the worst of travel is often found in the food. I’ve been surprised and put off by a deep-fried baby chicken -beak and all- on my breakfast plate and humored by the delight found by others indulging in offal barbecue. Thai food on the other hand, is a consistent display of food genius, opposite to both the disasters and consistently good, yet mundane.

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Great marketing job and I have to admit, the view was stunning indeed.

It’s all about predictability, regularity and consistency – with bowel movements that is. What might seem like a rather crude topic to those of you sitting behind your work PC, steaming morning coffee in hand, is a regular agenda item for backpackers. Especially when the predictability is affected, the stakes in the daily treasure hunt for the right toilet at the right time become immeasurably high.

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Our time on the island of Ko Pha Ngan off the southern gulf coast of Thailand was extremely educational. It taught us many, many things. Lessons learned were mostly on…ahem…what doesn’t move you. Laying on the white sandy beach, feeling the ocean breeze, listening to the waves come in, soaking in the sun; I was tempted to never move again…

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Through a good friend of mine, we recently had the privilege of spending some time with the Free Burma Rangers. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with this spirited and inspiring group of individuals, who work in a unique way to counter the Myanmar army and its influence throughout Burma. The team leaders challenged us to a game of soccer/football and proved their work keeps them in better shape than we are. The food was delicious, conversation enlightening and the new baby monkey, recently rescued from Burma, just too adorable.

To find out more about who they are and what they do, please take a look at these video links. The videos are narrated eloquently by the daughter of the primary architect of the organization. (more…)

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This was written in mid-January, when I first arrived in Bangkok from Kolkata, before flying to Burma.

Preparing myself mentally for Bangkok, I thought: I am not ready for the hyper-modern critique that this place will demand. To go from India and Bangladesh to Bangkok is too big a leap, too many eons of wealth, technologies, too big of a shift of position vis a vis Western culture.

Now I am here, and I am overwhelmingly preoccupied with the food. New flavors lurk everywhere, and so far they enthrall me. Noodle and lemongrass soups with fish sauce, chillies and sugar, squid on a stick with spicy and tangy sauces, fruit with sugar and chillies on top, Thai coffee, condensed milk in a good way, seafood a delight. Here is an adventure of unfamiliarity. (more…)

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A friend tells me it’s like the ‘wild west’ – the Thai outpost of Mae Sot, a small city situated along the border with Burma’s Karen state. In 2008 the General Secretary of the Karen National Union (KNU) was assassinated here while perched upon the balcony of his residence. Burmese spies, representatives from various ethnic factions, illegal immigrants, and a wealth of western NGO workers and Human Rights activists populate this town. A simple desire to view this ‘NGO’ town (and more) takes us here. NGO workers were drawn to Mae Sot over 25 years ago following an influx of Burmese refugees as a result of Myanmar military offensives against the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). There is certainly an NGO industry here.

Mae Sot

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