A Travellerspoint blog

Still playing catch up

Chiang Rai

After Bangkok, I visited Ali in Chiang Rai before heading back to Ubon. Have a look.

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The symbol of Chiang Rai

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Cabbages and Condoms. They donate a portion of their profit to population and community development in rural Thailand. www.cabbagesandcondoms.com

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condom santa.

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The White Temple. It was incredible.

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Even the fish were white.

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Gold nearby.

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Then we had lunch in Burma.

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Burma is conveniently located near the northern tip of Thailand.

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The End.

Posted by decuirrl 21:00 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Calm

sunny 95 °F

Things seemed to have reached a certain calm, even if it is an eerie one. The curfew should be lifted by Monday and next weekend I should be able to go into the city. To celebrate what is (hopefully) an end in the violence, have some pictures from our brief return to Bangkok.

First up, calming photos of the beach to escape the craziness that was (is?) Bangkok.

Koh Samed

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I got up silly early to watch the sunrise.

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These monks must have the coolest place to doing their morning rounds.

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Beach Bum

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When I saw this bird, I thought it was a toucan. Then I corrected my assumptions to calling it a hornbill. I still am not sure what it was, but he was cool, if a little camera-shy.

Unhappily sunburned, we returned to the city for a week of study visits. A sample:

At the Thailand Department of the Ten Crafts:

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Carving.

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This is the glass that makes all the wats sparkle.

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Mother of pearl inlay.

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After trying to explain to this man that I did not understand how he could place those itty bitty black pieces on the masks with such dexterity, he decided that I should try. Not a career for me.

At the Royal Chitralada Agricultural Projects

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The King.

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These black logs are fuel made of rice husks. Nifty, no?

Art and Cultural Center--my favorite building in Bangkok
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A photo of a Thai man holding the deed to his land... and standing where that land should be. Look familiar?

Hope that all is as well as it can be wherever you are. Just finished with the first week of class. That combined with a distinct lack of riots bodes well for the second half.

Posted by decuirrl 23:53 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Things have gotten ugly.

and it doesn't look like there's an easy way out.

I'm sure that most of you have seen at least some news coverage of the events in Thailand. The red shirts have been protesting for about six weeks now and we've been supplementing our meager understanding of Thai news with all the English we can find. The ten teachers were reunited in our old neighborhood of Bangkok for our refresher with TUSEF late April. Things were starting to get sticky right around then. One of the nights Kelly and I ventured out for dinner. When we tried to return home, however, our skytrain station was closed and taxis were refusing to bring us home. On the verge of tears (at least I was, as well as on the verge of calling P'Kee to save us), a cab driver finally agreed. We found out later that night that grenades had been thrown near a skytrain station, hence the closures. It shook me up a little bit.

These are some photos that I took from the overhead walkway, about 15 minutes from where we lived, back in April.

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Besides the eerie feeling of those few weeks--seeing places you know look like war zone-- I was still (naively) hopeful that something would work out. But the events of this week have shown just how difficult a return to normal is going to be. As of now, the army stormed the protest site this morning, the leaders of the protesters have surrendered...and things seem to have slipped into chaos.

(photos from various news agencies)

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The city, in many ways, is burning. TV stations, stores, theaters.

Even in Ubon, the unrest is taking hold. The rumored news (since there is little English news of the area) reports several people dead and the provincial hall being set on fire.

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I am safe in my gated campus, kilometers away from town and an hour from Ubon city. And TUSEF is checking on us left and right, making sure we are okay. But all of this is still unsettling.

So the question is, "Where do we go from here?"

If you have any spare good thoughts or well wishes, please send them to Thailand. They are desperately needed.

Posted by decuirrl 03:07 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

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