Archive for the ‘Fahrin’s Side’ Category

The Next Chapter…Several Chapters Later

When we left this story, Stu and I were biking around Ubud, Indonesia four years ago. That trip didn’t end with the bike trip, but our camera died not long after, and so did the will to blog. After that month in Indonesia, we spent another four weeks in Thailand, living in a tiny little town of Thong Nai Pan Yai, on the northeast corner of the island of Koh Phangan.  We spent 28 days in a Dreamland, dipping into the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand, swimming in the beautiful freshwater pool, relaxing in the hot tub surrounded by frangipani trees, or hooping on the white sands of a beach so private, that if there were more than 10 other people there it felt like a crowd.  It looked like this, pretty much all day, every day.

Dreamland Beach

It was paradise.

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Bali Bikes

While we were in Ubud, we decided to do a one-day bicycle tour.  Richard Van Camp (who we saw at Cafe Luna) suggested we take the tour with Bali Bikes.  Locally owned and operated (instead of being run by those damn Aussies), Richard said the scenery was beautiful, the owners were lovely and the lunch was good.  Done.

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Man vs. Monkey

After surfing and lounging around Kuta for a couple of weeks, we decided to check out Ubud for a while.  For those of you who have read Eat Pray Love, Ubud is where Elizabeth lives while she’s in Indonesia.

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Battered and Bruised

After leaving Cambodia, we arrived back in Thailand to find that not much had changed after a month away.  The government’s attention to spelling was as strong as ever.

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Angkor What??

Ok, the joke is old, but I had to.

So anyway, Angkor Wat.

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Chocolate Lingams In Scambodia

After hanging out in Laos way longer than we thought we would, we finally made our way into Scambodia (a term Stu coined, which aptly describes so many of our experiences there.  You wouldn’t believe some of the crap we heard in that country.)

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Damn Damn Mosquitos

After Vang Vieng, we spent the rest of our time in two small towns in southern Laos.  First, we went to Pakse, then to Don Det in Si Phan Don.

Pakse is a small town known mostly for its eco-tours in the area, and a few things that are easily seen on a one-day organized trip around town. We bought a new camera on our first trip in Pakse (after losing our old one to a faulty wet bag while tubing in Vang Vieng), and on our second day, we took a whirlwind tour through what the town and surrounding area had to offer.

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A Brave Soldier

We had heard a lot about Vang Vieng before going there.  It’s a town known for three things:

1) its party atmosphere, particularly tubing down the river

2) the endless loop of Friends or Family Guy playing at any number of eating establishments in town

3) its “Special Menu” items, also found at many eating establishments in town

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Best. Waterfall. Ever.

After a brief but eventful stay in Nong Khiaw, we boarded a slow boat for Luang Prabang.  There were a few options to get down to LP, including a much faster bus ride.  But we had heard nice things about the ride down the Nam Ou, and we managed to find a few other people who were going the same way, so we were able to charter a private boat with 8 people on it for just slightly more than the public boat that had over 20, plus gear.

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Cave 1. Fahrin 0.

Our second stop in northern Laos landed us in Nong Khiaw.  Even smaller than Luang Nam Tha, but a beautiful town nestled along the Nam Ou, in a valley between two mountains.

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Village Balloons

When we got to Luang Nam Tha, we check out the signs in front of all the eco-tour companies and quickly decided that the one we wanted to do was the tour that included 1 day of kayaking down the Nam Ou, an overnight stay at a local village, and one day of jungle trekking. Continue reading

Little Warriors

After our stopover at The White Temple, Stu and I made our way to the Thai-Laos border, where you have to cross by boat into Huey Xai. Continue reading

The White Temple

After four and a half weeks in Pai, we finally got out of that lovely, sleepy small town.  We lounged for a couple of days in Chiang Mai and then boarded a bus to make our way to Laos.  On the way to the border, we made a stop in Chiang Rai, at the Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple).  Funnily enough, during our couple of days in Chiang Mai, we met a guy from Los Angeles who only had a couple of weeks left in Thailand, and who was intent on seeing he White Temple in Chiang Rai.  I tried to convince him to spend his time in Pai instead.  I mean temples (Wats) are nice and all, but this is Southeast Asia.  You can’t spit six feet without hitting another temple.  I got Watted out pretty fast when we got here.  And while all these Wats are beautiful, I found them to be fairly similar.  Gold.  Red.  Buddha.  We got it.   Continue reading

Ink

I love tattoos.  Love love love tattoos.  I have three small ones myself, but being in Thailand is making me itch for more. Continue reading

18 Years Later…It Smells Just As Sweet…

Back in 1993, I took a summer trip that included a couple of months inDar-es-Salaam Tanzania.  There, I fell in love with frangipanis.

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Fried Egg On Whaaa???

There is place we like to eat in Pai called Home.  It’s a nice little restaurant that appears to be run by a woman and her teenage daughter.  Her younger daughter is often there doing her homework, as is an older lady who may be the owner’s mother.  They don’t speak much English, but the food is good and cheap, they have a travel Connect Four game for patrons to play, and there is one outdoor table surrounded by trees that is great to sit at if you can get it.

We’ve been there for dinner several times, and went there a few days ago for breakfast, when I noticed this on the breakfast menu:

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The World’s First Ferris Wheel and My First Waterafall

You can only sit around and look at the river for so long, so last week, we decided to get out of town and see what the surrounding area had to offer.

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The Life of Pai

Last weekend we were back in the city in Chiang Mai, down from the mountains and ready to party hardy with Alam and his crew.  Turns out I still have a bit of party left in me (for one night, but not two), and we ended up having a really great weekend.  Last Monday, we made our way down to Pai for a few days, which has now turned into a week and counting…

The ride up here was spectacular.  Up a winding mountain road where the scenery never got dull and the twists and turns never seemed to end.  And then, all of a sudden, we were here.

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Unpretty

There is just no way around it:  I’m not pretty in Thailand.  There is a definite standard of beauty in this country, and I just don’t meet it.

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“She’s Gonna Go Jurassic Park On This Place.”

I haven’t been to the zoo in so many years, that I don’t even remember the last time I went to the zoo.  I feel so sorry for the animals, and though it would be exciting to see them, my guilty conscience about being part of the species that keeps them locked up has kept me away.  But a couple of days ago, Alam suggested we visit the Night Safari in Chiang Mai, and we went.  Bad idea.

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