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Month One highlights, lowlights, & the days between


  • Myanmar (Burma)
    – Everything about the trip far exceeded expectations. The people, the golden pagodas, a discordant roar of change. A country’s newly found freedom of speech and expression. High hopes for the future and signs of the ancient past everywhere.
  • Pai, Thailand
    – Meeting a small group of Americans, Brits, and Germans in Chiang Mai and making an unplanned motorcycle voyage up into the mountains. The Darling View hostel was fantastic.


  • FINALLY getting Filipino dual citizenship and the passport that goes with it
  • First visit to Bambike HQ in Tarlac


  • Songkran in Bangkok
  • Buddhism

Monks in Mandalay


  • Anything in Celsius with a 3- or 4- handle
    It was so hot in Bagan it made my skeleton ache
  • Digestive issues (more specifically, projectile vomit in a non-western outhouse) brought on by “fresh” shrimp, which turned out to be “live” shrimp and didn’t sit well in Chiang Mai

'Fresh' shrimp

  • Pink eye
  • The ‘grey’ market money changers in Myanmar
    – At some point they’ll just have to start accepting $USD that has even a slight crease in it
  • Poverty beside the palaces in Mandalay
Some of the the good and bad between:
  • The number of Western travelers in Thailand (-)
    • Most of their tattoos
    • Overhearing in the pool in Pai about the girl who just got the “C*NT” tattoo on her abdomen covered up with a lotus
    • Overhearing on the way back into the hostel in Bangkok: “Did you catch the Muay Thai fight?” “It was sick”
  • 7 Eleven (+/-)
  • Discovering Bangkok to be cleaner and have much more civilized traffic than Manila (+/-)
  • Having to leave your passport in order to rent a motorcycle in Thailand (-)
  • Daily brownouts in Myanmar (-)
  • Tech that is changing travel: Kindle, iPhone, Google Maps, (++)
  • Taking out time for blogging (+/–)
  • Being offered the ‘happy ending’ (-300 baht)
  • Gotye, Somebody That I Used To Know (+/-)
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Hemmingway (++)
After all the good and the not as good, still feeling like pure gold. Up next, a few days in Phnom Penh followed by a week at a beach bungalow in Sihanoukville to explore Cambodia’s southern coast. Working furiously to get my photos from Burma up onto Facebook soon.

Sule Pagoda, Yangon

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Kim #

    I believe I was with you in SF along the bay path when you saw a more horrific tat, you remember? (hint, target) The shrimp pic forced me into to a ‘happy place’ … ughhhh. But, otherwise, beautiful pics and words. Keep up with the good, the bad, and the in between … it’s the essence of travel. And we all want to live vicariously through you!

    May 14, 2012

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