Two Lovely Weekends

Bangkok

Thailand

Monday

August 5, 2019

Hello,

Last month, my friend Gary and his partner Pat invited me to spend the weekend with them at their second home in Ban Chang, a small town in Rayong Province, a two hour’s drive south of Bangkok.

I met Gary ten years ago in my condominium building.  He is a retired American expat from Seattle.  Pat, a Thai citizen, is an executive at a Thai corporation.

Gary and I meet frequently for lunch in Bangkok.  We discuss our personal concerns as well as the issues of the day, both here and abroad.  The rules for the Thai Retirement Visa seen to change by the hour.  We share our pleasant memories and our dismay at current events “back home.”

Gary and Pat are “bikers” … the unmotorized kind.  Gary just got back from a ten-day ride in Laos and Thailand.  We agree that in Southeast Asia, as well as many other places in the world, especially in the rural areas, and despite the language barrier, most folks are curious, hospitable and kind.

The highlight of our weekend together is the visit to the Golden Mangrove Field.  We stroll along the “boardwalk” through the mangrove forest adjacent to the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand.  Lots of photo opportunities for the dense, exotic scenery and the smiling Thai visitors.

Retirement Announcement

Bangkok

Thailand

Monday 

April 1, 2019 

My Dear Friends: 

An important announcement: 

I have decided to retire from my career in International Travel.  

I have traveled to more than seventy sovereign countries on five continents.  Alas, I have never visited Madagascar or the Maldives or Micronesia. I plan to donate my Frequent Flier Miles to the Travelers Aid Society. 

Please do not be alarmed.  For a man of my age, I am in satisfactory health, thank Heavens. 

To replace my addiction to international travel, I will resurrect my love for Teaching and Education.

I am pleased to announce the formation of "Universidad Completada."

Rock Sculpture

Tenasserim Hills

Kanchanaburi Province

Thailand - Myanmar Border

April 7, 2019

Older than the Himalayas, the Tenasserim Hills are a mountain chain that begins in Northern Thailand.  They provide a long line of demarcation between Thailand and Myanmar.  They form a spine on the Malay Peninsula, and end in the south near Singapore. 

The hills are covered with evergreen jungle forests.  A large variety of jungle creatures call the hills home.

Apparently, the hills also contain coal, tin and tungsten.  And logs.

On the north-south road running parallel to the Tenasserim Hills, Jenjira and I stop at the “rock shops” that feature huge creative carvings and “modern” sculptures.

The Park and The Bridge

Tenasserim Hills

Kanchanaburi Province

Thailand

April 6, 2019

 

On a holiday weekend, the Erawan National Park is a favorite for Thai families and groups of friends. (Erawan is the Thai word that refers to the Hindu myth Airavata or Airawana in Sanskrit.)

Children of all ages swim in the natural pools beneath the many waterfalls, young adults climb the seven levels of the steep walkways to the top of the mountain, and family groups relax and spread out their picnic lunch.

In this life I tried for the third level.  Unfortunately, after two and a half, I received signals from my right knee that “enough is enough.”   Perhaps in my next life I’ll make it up the seven.

In comparison, it was an easy climb from the parking lot up the steel staircase to the trestle of The Bridge

The Chedi and The Cap

Nakhon Pathom (50 km west of Bangkok)

Nakhon Pathom Province

Thailand

April 25, 2019

Hello,

My girlfriend Jenjira (Ooy) and I climb the steps to pay our respects to a tall standing Buddha inside the Pathom Ma Chedi.  At 120 meters (394 feet), the bell-shaped Chedi or stupa is the tallest stupa in Thailand. 

Thai people are here to pray.  Young couples pray for fertility.  Lovely aromas of lotus flowers and burning incense fill the air.

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