Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Here's a photo blog from our 2017 holiday. . . three weeks in Thailand.

We biked around for five days, flew around the country on cheap airlines, motor-biked on a remote island, and tuk-tuk'd almost everywhere else. As for planning, we did very little. Monet booked our first night in a hotel somewhere in depths of Bangkok ("It's near a park"), but that was it.

First, the little family at the Singapore airport. Here's Mark and Leaf's arms:

Here's Monet and Leaf celebrating Monet's unusually large bag. We couldn't show you the bag because the gravitational waves blurred all attempts at photography.

Singapore Layover

"Wow, it's like Tomorrowland!"
"But we went over the international dateline. . .it's the Day-After-Tomorrowland."
"But since we made it here, it should be Todayland!"

Monet took this panorama which would have been perfect if some dork didn't jump in at the end

Lumpini Park

Bangkok was busy, noisy and grimy. . . nothing like our home in Flagstaff (nor Tomorrowland). We found solace by stumbling into the nearby park (Lumpini Park). In a jet-lagged haze, we munched on street-vendor donuts, watched a bunch of old ladies do Tai Chi, and avoided giant lizards.

Monet and Leaf preparing for our bicycle tour. They didn't realize these bikes don't move.

Monitor lizard at Lumpini Park

Wat Pho and Mo

After the park, we looked at our hotel tourist map and picked some places to visit. Of course, our first choice was this incredible sounding theme park. . .

But after some soul-searching, we decided to head for the temples. Getting there involved the subway, a tuk tuk, and a a boat. Here is us tuk tuking. . .

Thai people like things on a stick (chicken-on-a-stick, pork-on-a-stick, weird-thing-on-a-stick). The boats on the Chao Phraya River have engines-on-a-stick!

Leaf. . . our man in Bangkok.

Mango smoothy please. . . shaken, not stirred.

We managed to visit two temples (Wat Arun and Wat Pho). One thing we noticed right away. . . there's a butt-load of Buddhas in Thailand. . . can I say that?






"Excuse me sir, is there any place in the temple without giant golden Buddhas?"
"Let me think . . maybe downstairs in the basement? No wait, there's a Buddha down there too. Krap."

Another thing that you quickly notice about Thailand is they like to put fancy portraits of people everywhere. We are not sure who they are. Maybe the employees of the month?

Okay, so that was our big day in Bangkok. . . tomorrow, onto the Monkey Village. We'll leave you with our first sighting of an elephant in Thailand.


Lopburi, the monkey village, and temples at Ayutthaya

The next day, we paid a taxi driver 3000 Baht (about $100) to escape Bangkok. First we visited Lopburi, a town north of Bangkok where some parts of the city are controlled entirely by monkeys. Now nothing against the monkeys, but they have really let the place go to hell. The infrastructure is crumbling, law and order is absent, and the citizens crap wherever they please.

Buddhist Monkeys

Monkeys have taken over the dilapidated buildings in the background. They control the sidewalks, interiors and the roofs.

Here the monkeys took over a public fountain. They kept jumping into the water, making enormous splashes. . . while the ones around the sides enjoyed taking a spritz. . .

The monkeys even created their own gold statue of Buddha. . .


On the way back to Bangkok, we visited the ancient palaces in Ayutthaya, a long-ago kingdom that was sacked by the Burmese. During the sacking, many Buddhas had their heads purposely misplaced.

Monet Buddha

Leaf Buddha

Cool Old Surviving Buddha

Old Buddha with Cell Tower

I call this one, "Temples with Rainbow Umbrellas" Nice photo, right? You want to buy? Cheap cheap!

Puppets watching a motorbike go past. . . "Hey Frank, what's you doing?" "Just hanging around."

Okay, folks. That was our big day in the outskirts of Bangkok. Tomorrow we get out of Dodge. . . I'll leave you with another elephant sighting. This one a pink elephant. No, we weren't drunk. We actually think that they painted the poor thing. . . or perhaps this is the rarely seen white elephant? Eh, I don't thinks so. . . . Ugh.



On day three, the jet lag wore off and we suddenly realized that we were in Bangkok. Holy Krap! How'd we get here?? No wonder it was so hot and humid and smoggy and bangkocky. Without delay we taxi'd to the airport and bought tickets to fly to the much cooler (and calmer) northern city of Chiang Mai.

At the airport, Leaf and Mark find a Krispy Kreme and experienced a Happy Moment!

It was night by the time we arrived and we headed to the trendy downtown area. Here is a giant tree over a Buddhist temple. . .

Here is a cool old teak temple. The sign says, "Pancake Breakfast Tomorrow at 8:30"

We were lucky to sneak up on some monks chanting.

Our hotel was a teak paradise and we slept and ate like kings. Check out this excellent Phad Thai.

In the morning, Leaf rode a white swan, like the people of the Beltane. . . Wear your hair long, babe you can't go wrong. . . Anybody get the reference? Any electric warriors out there?

Doi Inthanon National Park

Our first full day in Chiangmai, we visited a national park. Now this was more our style. Soon we reached the highest point of Thailand. . . Woo hoo!

Two interesting things about the highest point in Thailand.
  1. It was very popular.
  2. It was not the highest point in Thailand.  . . on the hill above was a Buddhist shrine.

Once inside the park we decided to do a "nature hike." To take the hike, everybody had to wait 45 minutes in a long line, sign their names in a book, pay somebody 200 Baht, and follow around an official guide. Still, it was very beautiful.

The park had an overlook that was inhabited by a giant permanent cloud. The cloud just refused to leave. So instead of getting a picture of yourself in front of some great natural wonder, you got a picture of yourself in front of nothing (well, nothing but white fuzz). At least nobody could complain your shot was out of focus.

White Fuzz. . .

Mark's favorite photo. He calls it, "Man trying to find himself in nature." You want to buy? Cheap cheap!

In the hills below were the king's and queens stuppas.

And below that, a cool waterfall. Here a couple of goofy tourists contemplate the "No Swimming" sign.

Leaf getting his Buddha on.
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Leaf getting his Reclining Buddha on.

Okay. . .that was our big day in Chiang Mai. Tomorrow we were to begin our epic bike tour. . . HOLY KRAP!! We were so scared!!!

I'll leave you with a mossy elephant. . .