A Travellerspoint blog

Shwedagon Paya

2000 years old, 326' tall, over 7000 diamonds and rubies, topped with a 76 carat diamond, and covered in 60 tons of gold.

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My friend Marilyn from South Africa
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The story of the Buddha's life
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The 23 ton Maha Ghanda Bell. The British tried to ship the bell to London but dropped it in the river. After weeks of trying to raise it, they finally gave up, and told the Burmese if they could raise it they could have it back. The locals raised it using bamboo
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As the sun set the colors were incredible!
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Something I will always remember, watching the sun set on Shwedagon Paya
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Posted by ikombazana 15:59 Archived in Myanmar Tagged myanmar Comments (0)

The Road to Mandalay

Waitin' for my train for the 14 hour overnight ride to Mandalay
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Rural Myanmar
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Dining Car, don't have the chicken and rice.....
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The soccer hooligans(kids) were everywhere
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Royal Palace wall and moat
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Priorities!
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Local handicrafts
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Rice For Sale
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Tourists!
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Entrance to Mandalay Hill
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The Temple at the top of Mandalay Hill
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Someone To Watch Over Me
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729 stupas, each containing a tablet. Considered the World's Largest Book. Basically the Buddhist bible.
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One of the tablets
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Studying
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Posted by ikombazana 15:59 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

Amurapura and U Bein's Bridge

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The longest, and oldest working teak bridge in the world. 1200 meters end to end
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Traffic on the bridge
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View from half way across
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Local transportation
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Beautiful, peaceful, and serene
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When water levels are down, the restaurants pop up
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Dinner?
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The surrounding landscape was amazing
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Local schoolgirls on their way home, checking out the fishing
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Posted by ikombazana 15:59 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

Mahamuni Paya to Sagaing

500 Temples and Monasteries, 5,000 Monks and Nuns.

The Mahamuni Image. One of only five images of the Buddha cast during his lifetime. Around 546 BC. Solid bronze, 13 foot high, 6.5 tons, covered in 2000 years of gold leaf, 6 inches thick.
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Applying gold leaf to the entire temple
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He didn't look happy
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Wish I could do that!
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The local hospital
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Sagaing Hill was incredible
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Beautful tile work was everywhere
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Something you don't see every day
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Even the water supply for the many monasteries was ornate
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View from the top
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The Golden Land
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Posted by ikombazana 15:58 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

Bagan

From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 4000 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.

Local Transportation
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Shwezagon Paya
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The pile of busted marble statues
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Locals
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Not sure....Was in the most remote place down near the river
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Local kids followed me around for hours, and took me places I would have never found on my own.
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The view from my balcony
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In the heat of the day, this was heaven
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Once I realized the enormity of Bagan, there was only one thing left to do...Rent a mountain bike! $1.50 a day
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Inside almost every temple were 1000 year old murals and Buddha images
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Even the gates were beautiful
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4000 temples in a valley the size of Monterey Bay
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Most were more than a thousand years old
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On top of Shwesandaw Paya, looking towards Dhammayangyi Paya
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Time for re-gilding
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Miles of trails, thousands of temples, and no one there but me
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Along a bend in the Ayerwaddy River
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I told them I was checking out, I came back to this
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On my way to the beach
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Posted by ikombazana 15:55 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

Ngapali Beach, Bay of Bengal, West Coast of Myanmar

Heaven on Earth!

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This was tough duty
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Local fruit stand
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The only place I saw Tabasco!
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The air was 90, the water was 80, perfect!
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Watching over the bay and a guide for the East India Company ships to come in
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Typical squid boat set up
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Squid Lights On The Horizon
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Tied Up For Bad Weather
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My favorite restaurant
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Amazing how they get these heavy wooden boats around with no motor
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Hmmmmmmmmmmm........
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Drying the days catch
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Mmmmmmmmm, more squid than you could possibly eat!
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They used the oxen to pull the boats up onto the beach for repair and unloading, and then back in.large_ThailandBurma_2443.jpg
Who needs a Travelift when you have these?
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She came running out so I would take a picture of the baby. Most of the women her age chew Bettlenut. Over time it rots the teeth, and turns your mouth red. Even the monks use it. Supposedly medicinal....and a nice buzz
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Your upscale Myanmar Fishermans house
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The food was cheap, delicious, and you can't beat the view!
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The sunsets were amazing. Looking over the Bay of Bengal towards India
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I had lunch here, 6 out of 9 days! About two hours walk down the beach from my bungalow
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More local transportation
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The Burmese Beach Boys. They had no idea who the Beatles or the Rolling Stones were, Zhaw, with the other guitar, was the only one who spoke english, but they knew all their chords, played all original songs, and had never seen anyone flatpick before. We got along great!
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The daily grind
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After three nights of this, Zhaw's mom, who ran the place and was the cook, refused to take my money for the lobster and prawns. I still had to buy the Burmese wine..Good Though!
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This is why I was booked for three days, which turned into four, and then into six, and then nine...etc.
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Coconut Whiskey. There's a reason it's still full.
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Free Breakfast Buffet, brought to your bungalow.
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Local temple with Stupa
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Ngapali Beach, and the people of Lin Thar Village left an impression on me like that of the people and area around Luang Prabang, Lao. One of the most special places on this planet. I will definately be back.
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Posted by ikombazana 15:55 Archived in Myanmar Tagged myanmar Comments (0)

Thailand November 2010

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The monks I met, trying to cover up their gazillion dollar camera equipment! Made mine look like a toy
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8500' Doi Inthanon
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Posted by ikombazana 15:55 Comments (0)

Loy Krathong 2010

Float the Grudges, Defilements, and Anger Away!

All the temples were beautifully decorated for the festival.large_IMG_4738.jpglarge_ThailandBurma_904.jpg
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The parade that night
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At the monastery north of Chiang Mailarge_ThailandBurma_797.jpg
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Trully Incredible!

Posted by ikombazana 08:53 Comments (0)

Dec 4 2010

Hi All tried to email from here in Myanmar but it won't work, just lettin' everyone know all is good, havin' a great time. see ya around Christmas!

Posted by ikombazana 20:10 Archived in Myanmar Comments (2)

My Favorite Restaurant

sunny 91 °F

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Bo, Kent, Eli and I gettin' a little downtime after Ted and Nattaya's wedding

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Haad Chiang Rai

The 'Small River Shrimp' on the menu turned out to be REALLY Fresh!

I ordered 'em, I ate 'em.

Posted by ikombazana 19:54 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

The Beautiful Diversity of Thailand

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Wat near Chiang Saen. 160 Buddhas

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Downtown Mae Sai, Myanmar Border

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Remains of 12th Century Temple, Chiang Mai

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Every Temple Was Guarded By Nagas, Chiang Mai

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Golden Buddhas, Grand Palace, Bangkok

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Wat Chet Yot at sunrise, across the street from my guesthouse, Chiang Rai

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Carved Teak Elephant, Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai

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Local Critter, Tha Ton
This thing was the size of your hand with a long proboscus

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Longtail Boat Trip, Kok River
From Tha Ton near the Myanmar border, downstream to Chiang Rai

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Hand Carved Stone Elephants, Buddhist Monastery, Tha Ton

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Real Elephants, Ban Ruam Mit, Kok River

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I stuck out my hand and he put his trunk in it. I scratched him behind his ears, he lowered his head and rubbed up against my shoulder. Just like a big happy dog.

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Haad Kruad Beach, Koh Phangan Island. Absolute Serenity.

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Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Center, Chiang Rai

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Koh Tao Island

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Giant Buddha, Wat Plai Laem, Koh Samui Island

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Another View Of The Giant Buddha

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Another Very Large Buddha

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Koh Samui Yacht Club

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Mexico? Koh Samui Island

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Yum! Market at Mae Sai, Myanmar Border

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Keepin' The Neighbors Out, Mae Sai, Myanmar Border

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The Monk Who Blessed Me With Long Life and Happiness

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My Favorite Restaurant, Haad Chiang Rai

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Bob's Big Buddha, Tha Ton, Northern Thailand

Posted by ikombazana 16:34 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

I'm in Heaven.....

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Arriving Koh Tao

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Local Accomodations

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Dive Fleet, Koh Tao Island

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Local Transportation

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More Longtail Boats

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Morning Walk

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Where I stayed, Koh Tao

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Ao Mae Haad. The place on the far left is where I had breakfast every morning.

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Movie Night?

So I'm sittin' here on Sairee Beach, Koh Tao Island, and it is truly amazing! As Zeke told me how much cooler Koh Phangan is than Koh Samui, and Zeke Johnson was right, Koh Tao just blows you away! It's a half hour ferry ride to Phangan from Samui and then another 1.5 hours out on a high speed catamaran to Koh Tao. Tropical paradise, I reccomend it highly! Been here since monday afternoon and gonna stay until I catch the ferry back to Samui for the flight to Bangkok saturday night. Fishin', divin, kayak fishin' which was unbelievable yesterday, and the snorkeling is absoulutely beautiful with marine life like Hanauma Bay in Hawaii. The kicker was last night at around 10 o'clock a tropical storm blew through and it just poured for an hour and a half. 98 degrees and commin' down in buckets! Sittin' in the Apnea Bar (Ha!) with a bunch of Aussies watchin' rugby and drinkin' Singha while it just dumped. Everything was just wet and sticky when we woke up this morning. Right now it's a little overcast and has kinda cooled down. Thank goodness, I'm too used to Monterey Bay weather. Rented a Hobie 16 and went sailin' this morning in the leftover storm winds. When it's not stormin' it blows maybe 4 kts this time of year, not really sailin' weather, but Dan at the rental place told me the storm should bring good easterlies...and it did!. Tonight is movie night at one of the local pubs on the beach, they spread out a bunch of lawn chairs, hang a sheet between a couple palm trees on the beach, and project on to that. It's The Mummy Returns tonight. Ha! Don't know, just gonna walk down the little cobblestone path that runs the length of Sairee, about a mile, and see what turns up. Nothin' but bungalows, restaurants, bars, and watersports shops. Like I said....Heaven.

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Posted by ikombazana 23:32 Comments (2)

Haad Kruad Beach

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Quiet and Reflective

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My Bungalow

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Evening On The Beach

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Morning On The Beach

This is one of the most relaxed places I've been. Just got finished with an early set at Hadd Gruad, right next door to the place you told me about Zeke. Hans, the guy that owns the place is a big Beatles fan, and has a house guitar. You can imagine where that went after the spicy Thai soup and Chang beer! Good Day Sunshine! Gonna head over to the Dragon Hut tomorrow for a day, and then on to Koh Tao island for the fishin' and divin. I'm gonna be scooter trash again tomorrow, 'round the island, and then some down time on the beach. Hey Martin, how does that UFO song go? I've never been around so many un-smiling German tourists in my life. Hey , In My Life.....another for the next set!

So...anybody check my girl? I heard the tsunami made it up there.

Posted by ikombazana 05:47 Comments (10)

Nothin' Like The Tropics

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Flyin' In

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Just Sounds Nasty

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At first I thought it might be Rum.
Turned out to be gasoline.

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As far from the water as you can get on Koh Samui island

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Ahhh..Back to the Beach

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View from my balcony, Bo Phut, Koh Samui

Stepped off the plane here in Koh Samui about two hours ago, got hit by that wall I used to get hit with every time we flew back to Hawaii! Whew, nuthin' like humidity. Good though, makes 94 feel like 84.......I think. Took an hour to get out of the grass hut they call an airport, into the minibus and got dropped off in Bo Phut, otherwise known as Fishermans Village. Sounded good, got a bungalow on the water with a swim up bar, and four star restaurant on the beach for 25 US. Yeah, a bit pricey, but I just got here and didn't want to stress. Didn't want to head to Chaweng (Schwing!?), the party central part of town cuz apparently the drink of choice is a kids sand bucket filled with ice, a can of coke, a can of Red Bull, and a bottle of whiskey. Looks like it's for the younger crowd. Oh, and Rave music till dawn. I think not! Really nice here, lots of sailboats goin' by, gonna rent a motorbike tomorrow and tour the island. Thanks for hookin' me up with yer buddy Zeke, I'm headin' out to Koh Phangan monday for a little down time and some fishin'. I asked how the fishin' was and somebody asked me 'how big fish you wanna catch?'.

Sounds good to me.

Posted by ikombazana 03:04 Comments (2)

Decisions....

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Sittin' on the balcony outside my room, in Luang Prabang, Laos, havin' a Beerlao, and checkin' out the map to try to figure out where to go next. Nothin' better!

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$10.00 a night for the room, got my laundry done for $1.50.

Posted by ikombazana 10:45 Comments (0)

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