Makes All Stops

Adventures by C, K, A, and M


We're back! The trip overall was a good experience: at first feeling like a long weekend trip, then a couple days of feeling like a weekend trip gone on too long, and then we settled into the rhythm of travelling and had a great time. I'll be posting photos and a trip journal of sorts in the upcoming days, but for now I've got many things to catch up on first.


Took the train down to Bangkok and spent a day there. We got a little overwhelmed with the heat and traffic and crazyness, so we decided to go to the beach a day or so early. (That's the nice thing about travelling with no fixed schedule -- you can be flexible about that kind of thing. Of course, the downside is that you're constantly planning where to go next, but it's interesting for sure.

We arrived on Ko Samui via airplane. The airport on this little island is such a typical "little tropical island " airport. It's outdoors, and there's palm trees and the signs directing you where to go are carved in wood and it's of course very touristy.

We stayed on Big Buddha beach, named for the large (12m) statue of Buddha in a temple on one side of the beach. (You can see the Big Buddha from everywhere.) Spent some nice time relaxing and swimming in the ocean and met a nice couple from Wales that we shared a drink on the beach with. Then, the island decided to remind us that it was in fact still monsoon season and a massive rainstorm swept us up. We ran with the other couple over to a restaurant 100m down the beach but still arrived soaking wet. Not to worry though, it was a warm rain and we had a great time.

The next day, we decided to take the boat up to the next island, Ko Pha-Ngan. This is the site of the famous(?) Full Moon parties where they dance the night(s) away into the next day every full moon. This not being close to the full moon, it's a little quieter here, but it's still a very happenning place. If Chiang Mai was a "foreigner's mecca", Hat Rin beach on Ko Pha-Ngan is a "backpacker's mecca". It's got even more foreigners than Chiang Mai, and this time they're largely college-age to mid-20s. (And judging by the accents you hear, they really come from all over the place.)

So ... some more relaxing on the beach is what we'll be doing the next couple days. We may take a boat trip around the island tomorrow. Then, we'll start the multi-stage journey back to Seattle, first by boat to Ko Samui, then by plane to Bangkok (with some more sight-seeing there), then by another series of planes through Taipei and on to Seattle.

Hope you're all doing well, be back home next weekend.


Spent the past few days riding bicycles around two ancient capitols of Thailand: Sukhothai and Ayuthaya. Sukhothai is a little more remote: the ancient ruins are 12km or so outside of the modern city, and as such is rather peaceful to ride around on a bike. Ayuthaya is a little more chaotic: the ruins are interspersed with the modern city, so you spend half the time dodging large trucks and the other half figuring out which turn to take. Once you get off the bike at each ruin site, though, it's nice and quiet -- you can walk around and take photos and be a tourist without having to know there's a big city just beyond the walls. Of the two, we like Sukhothai better, because it has a more park-like feel, but both offer a great chance to imagine what went on in the ancient cities so many years ago.

From here, we go further south: to Bangkok and a beach if we can find one on short notice ;-) More updates as I get a chance.

Chiang Mai

We've made it as far as Chiang Mai, and are having a great time! The food is hot and the weather is hotter! We're seeing Wat (temple) upon wat. They're really spectacular, serving both a religious and a community purpose. Monks (dressed in bright orange) live on the premises, and people gather for services, plus other things like aerobics, meetings, etc.

Chiang Mai is really a foreigner's paradise -- you can see farang (western-looking gringo-like people) everywhere, and there's always something exciting going on. From here, we head south to a few historical capitols of Thailand, eventually making our way to Bangkok and one or two beaches to relax. More later.

Off to Thailand!

Off to Thailand tomorrow! It's been a busy (but fun) summer, and now I'll get a chance to relax for a while. I've spent this week staying up later than I usually do and sleeping in later than I usually do -- all in a likely-futile effort to get a jump on adjusting to the 10 hours of time difference. So I find myself up close to 2am working on web pages...

...and trying. to. stay. awake.

Alysa and I have never been to Thailand before, so I'm sure we'll want to try to see everything. This will be part "trip" (sightseeing, trekking, running around like a tourist taking pictures of temples, statues, and other random things that are a good deal older than me), and part "vacation" (sitting around reading, enjoying the beach, and in general doing nothing.) Oh, did I mention there will be lots of Thai food? That may prove to be the best part.

You can email me at [redacted], and I'll try to check it a few times from internet cafes when I'm there. Depending on what features said internet cafes have, I may also be able to post "where are we now" updates to this page. Regardless, I'll post a trip story and photos when we get back.

That's all for now, I hope you all have a good two weeks!

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