Yes, I realize that the title of this post sounds wrong in so very many ways. Anyone who’s seen the sprawling metropolis of Bangkok won’t be able to imagine a farm anywhere near the dense clusters of alternating skyscrapers and tin-roofed shantytowns that spread for miles. Oh, and what’s this about snakes, you say? The …
Ayutthaya is a quick and inexpensive side trip from Bangkok.
Ayutthaya was a capital city from 1350 to 1767, when it was sacked by the Burmese.
During a recent trip to Cambodia we visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh. It was educational, but the most solemn part of our trip. The museum is on the grounds of the S-21 prison that was run by the Khmer Rouge during their four year reign of terror. Before the complex of buildings was a prison, it was –of all things– a school.
The city remains a beauty and the beast affair. Wealth and poverty mingle in what Westerners would find a space too close for comfort. One second you may be passing an intercity junkyard with rusty parts piled into greasy-smelling mechanistic scree-slopes, and the next you are staring up at a glinting golden temple.
Mae Wang is the name of a river that is about an hour southwest of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. On a recent trip to Chiang Mai, I visited an elephant camp located there. Below are some of the lessons that I learned, submitted as helpful tips to readers.
1.) There’s no debate about who has the right-of-way when you’re driving an elephant.
Lop Buri is a town about a hundred miles north of Bangkok. It’s located on the train line to Chiang Mai; thus making it an easy side-trip for travelers headed north. While it’s a nice little town with more wealth than average (and thus less depressing than many of the more impoverished Thai towns) and a few substantial historical sites, the main attraction of Lop Buri is pure-D monkey. I’m not going to lie.
In 1552 the Ottoman Turks besieged a town in the north of Hungary called Eger. After six weeks, the massive empire remained unsuccessful and was forced to move on. The photos below are of the town as it was on a nasty, rainy day in mid-winter of 1999. They are digitized from old-fashioned film photos, …
Amantani Island is a jut of rock that rises out of the azure blue Titicaca. There are no hotels on the island, and yet it gets plenty of visitors. Many families maintain a sort of B&B, putting up guests overnight for a modest fee. This gives one a unique insight into the lives of these people who have minimal electricity (solar-powered) and what might be called quasi-indoor plumbing.
Saint Simons is beautiful and historic, but also a good bargain destination. It offers a public beach with free parking, historic sites like Fort Frederica (see earlier post), good food, and all that touristy nonsense.