Friday, July 30, 2010

Kanchanaburi















































Had a couple of days off and visited Kanchanburi which is about 2 hours to the west of Bangkok. This town is famous for being the home of the Bridge of the River Kwai. The bridge is great and all but it was not the highlight of the trip.

Elephant trekking through the forest was amazing. I had a very feisty little teenager all to myself and he got very playful when we went down and bathed in the water together - I never left his back and he managed to get me soaked. I even got a big sloppy kiss from his trunk at the end of the day. It was raining as we started out so I took my small bag and stuck it under my shirt - so if I look a bit deformed in the pics - thats why. (In other words - does this elephant make me look fat?) It is amazing how high you sit and then going up and down steep hills in the forest - well, that was the thrill of a lifetime.

Speaking of thrills of a lifetime - the tiger temple. The tigers are raised in captivity and are very tame and playful - many people think they are drugged. I don't have much experience in this area but the seemed alert to me. They are chained in the pictures - but that is only during the picture taking - later in the day as you walk through the canyon with the bigger cats they are free and walk with you. Being so close to these magnificent animals was such a thrill.

I also had the opportunity to swim in the Erawan falls for about three hours and took a bamboo raft and swam along side it as it floating down the river. Also the train ride to the Bridge offer great views of the river. I stayed right around the bend from the bridge in a room that was on a floating raft. Anytime a boat went by by bed and indeed the whole room would sway from side to side - all in all - great little getaway.

Songkran











Songkran is the Thai New Year and a great party all over the city. The entire city turns into one big water fight. The best action is at Silom where I hung out for about three days. one of the best times I ever had. Not only do you get sprayed with water but you also get clay smeared all over your face for good luck in the coming year. Looks like I will have lots of good luck.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Red Shirts
















These photos were taken at the red shirt rally just about a month ago. This was before things took a violent turn. I was in Bangkok and I decided to walk through the encampment to get to where I needed to go instead of walking all the way around. I found the protesters to be kind, friendly and generous. (They even offered me food.) Basically they positioned themselves in several key places around the city next to large government agencies. They have been there for over two months now. They do not leave. They are there day and night. The leaders of the group (officially called National United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship) provide the protesters with food. There is much discussion about what should be done. Many Thai believe that they should be removed. Others believe it is their right to protest. Many come from outside Bangkok yet I do have red shirts living across the street and in my neighborhood. The biggest demand seems the removal of the prime minister. My opinion is this - It's their country.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Love this Class

What can I say - but I love this class. Monday and Wednesday nights from six thirty to eight thirty. They are such a geat help in my discovering Bangkok. Lots of great tips of where to go - what to do and of course - where to eat!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Birthday Party











My private student's cousin had a Birthday party, and it was a typical Thai affair. Food. Kareoke. Whiskey. And more food. We had a great time and it lasted into the wee hours. Teacher was very tired at morning class.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

End of Two Week Intensive




The two week intensive for government employees came to an end and the students invited me to their big party at the hotel where they were staying. The surprised me with a wonderful gift. A Hugo Boss dress shirt with a matching tie. Such taste! Aren't I lucky? They were a great class and I think they got a lot out of it. And they seemed to have fun while they were learning which is most important to me.
It was a great party that went late into the evening with wonderful food and lots of dancing and of course - Karaoke! Teacher did his best with Hotel California and Dancing Queen. All video tapes have been destroyed for public safety.