You Want Opium?

Laos is a fascinating little country located smack dab in the middle of Southeast Asia, wedged firmly between Thailand, China, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Once known as the Land of a Million Elephants, the official emblem of its power was the rare albino elephant, a mascot recently re-adopted by the communist government in Vientiane. Laotians are…

Slow Boat to Nowhere

Our time in Chiang Mai was a delight. Our hotel had everything we needed to be happy–in-room internet access, room service, free breakfast, an elevator, and daily cleaning service (not all hotels do!). Best of all it sat right next to a local outdoor market that offered all the cheap food and goods we could…

Can You Ride This Elephant?

While in Chiang Mai, we visited the Mae Ping Elephant Camp. Kieran had been waiting to ride the big beasts ever since we got to Southeast Asia, so he was really excited. He wasn’t disappointed by Mae Ping. The elephants there are trained to have people ride them and do shows. In the shows, they…

Garry Betty, you will be missed!

I am currently shedding tears in an internet cafe in Laos. I have had no internet access for the last 2 days as we floated down the Mekong in a slow boat. When I logged on tonight, I was shocked to learn that one of the finest men I have had the privilege of knoing…

Long Live The King

Coming out of China and Vietnam where all the bills have pictures of Mao and Ho Chi Minh, I just thought he was another past dictator…. In movie theaters before every movie there is a brief film that plays during which you MUST stand up, pay your respects to His Majesty, and watch images from the 70s of the king working to benefit Thailand…. Twice a day a call goes out over loudspeakers and all people must stand at attention while a tribute to the king plays…. He has won the respect of all his people, but all I can say is I don’t want to have to stand up at another movie theatre and I don’t want to have to listen to any more tributes.