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On Motorbikes and Saviors in Thailand

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There are 762 curves on the highway between Chiang Mai and Pai, Thailand, according to the postcards and stickers plastering walls of tourist shops in the sleepy valley town. Minibuses service the area daily, but as every backpacker worth his baggy fisherman pants will tell you, the best way to enjoy these hills is on […]

A Final Goodbye in Thailand

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A Final Goodbye in Thailand Forks were a luxury in a place without toilets or running water. When your daily existence depends upon the secrecy of your location, survival itself takes precedence over dirty hands. I’d been living in Mae Hong Son province for three months, used to scooping up rice with a bare hand […]

Seeking Peace in Thailand

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Seeking Peace “We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom.” Dwight D Eisenhower The water slapped against the side of my kayak as a wave rolled in from the wake of yet another speedboat carrying tourists to and from Loh Dalum Bay. I paused to redirect the kayak, cutting through the disturbances […]

Familiar Pain in Thailand

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The buzzing of vibrating metal needles characterizes the sound of a tattoo parlor. The noise is frightening, exciting, nerve-racking, and chilling, like the cold leather benches in tattoo shops that refuse to warm and comfort the body. A tattoo would not be what it is if it felt comfortable, yet comfortable was how I felt […]

Thailand: What Freedom Means in Solo Travel

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There are million ways to give a present to yourself after you graduate: shopping for anything you want, throwing a party, or travelling. I choose travelling. And since there are too many arrangements to make a group of best friends travelling together, I decide to travel alone. The idea of a solo travel sounds liberating […]

Where do you drink yours?

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The coffee is from the Taiwanese bubble tea stall. Served in a super size plastic cup, pushed forwards by the smiliest server before he retreats back into the throng of waving receipts. Twenty-four Hong Kong dollars- almost the same price as my shrimp noodle lunch. Half luxury, half necessity- I am too tired to indulge […]

Nights In? Not in Hong Kong!

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Nights In? Not in Hong Kong! I have never been a massive fan of the ‘nice night in’. Like many things, I think the idea of an evening on the sofa with the TV on is a lot nicer than the actual reality of it. Sure, when you’re exhausted or stressed or fed up of […]

Bangkok in the Raw

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There’s no real reason to explain why I lost my mind one sunny afternoon in Bangkok. Maybe it was a vitamin deficiency, a desperate plea for action, or perhaps just a deep longing to get under the tough skin of Thailand’s capital city. Much like a scabby mosquito bite, Bangkok is an itch you already […]

The Classroom in Thailand

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This morning I had a dream about being in the classroom again. I awoke to the grandfather clock that chimes every fifteen minutes throughout the house, feeling like I had seen them. In my dream, I’m standing at the head of a non-air-conditioned classroom. All ten ASEAN flags dangling from the walls. Five rows of […]

Historic City of Ayuttaya: Carefully Picking Things Up

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The challenge posed by this site is to make sense of the scattered remains of a former strong Southeast Asian empire’s capital.  The historic city of Ayutthaya gained global importance due to its strategic trading location and strong diplomatic networks that were highly prized by the Chinese, Indians, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, and even the British. […]