Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Notes from Prachuap Khiri Khan

In response to some people's questioning, yes, I have been bicycling in Thailand these last few weeks. Granted I've been relaxing as well, but I can report that I have cycled exactly 923 km over 8 days of cycling. I've been in Thailand about 19 days now, so it's not been too much like work. Those are THE STATS. I considered, for about 2 seconds, posting daily stats under headings like TOTAL DISTANCE, AVERAGE SPEED, DAILY KILOMETERS, ELEVATION GAIN, WIND DIRECTION, AVE CADENCE, because that would be really cool. Right? Oh, no. Boring.

At the end of the day, I tend to be tired and I've been going to bed early. Blogging has not been high on my list of priorities. But, today is different.

I realized that pictures of Thai architecture have been lacking... so here's one remedy for that.

I've also realized that a lot of my pictures idealize the Thai landscape, essentially reflecting my own vision of what I wish Thailand was like. What I mean is, it doesn't all look like this (quiet, empty, rural...). But, a lot does. I will try to start taking more representative pictures.

In that vain, here's a great pic.

As well, here are some pics from my interesting visa run into Myanmar. Here we are crossing the mouth of the river in our charted boat (we being a nice Norwegian guy and his Thai father in-law I met in immigration), with our destination straight ahead. As for the boy... I'm not sure what he was doing on the boat.

And here is the greatest immigration checkpoint I have ever been through. It was a little wooden house on stilts on the first island in Myanmar territory. All boats had to stop, and we jumped off and showed our passports. The five dollars American I paid helped smooth the whole process as well (in this case, not a bribe... a "fee" for two day visa free entry). Note the Myanmar flag flying proudly, if not free. Surprisingly similar to Taiwan's flag... hmmm. What's the connection?

You might think I was trying to get a picture of this beautiful temple, but in fact my original intention was to get a good picture of the Myanmar Lager signs you can see below outside the restaurant where I imbibed in said lager. Then WHOA big temple. Ok, nice pic anyway.

And finally, here's an actual pic of Kawthoung, a town where I got a nice stamp, a nice pair of fisherman's shorts, a nice Burmese longyi (also called a "lungi" in India, a "sarong" in Thailand, or a "skirt" Canada), and a nice glass of lager.

I was also offered cigarettes, whiskey, and viagra, at very competitive prices. I'll be taking orders next time. I'll let you know.

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