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Huay Xai: Crossing the Mekong

The border between Thailand’s Chiang Khong and Laos’ Huay Xai was the most relaxed border I have ever seen. It’s actually harder to get out of Thailand than it is to get into Laos. Chiang Khong itself is a ways from the nearest decent-sized city of Chiang Rai, but the ride is quite a nice…

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Phrae Muang Phi: Phrae’s Ghost City

  Sticking with the theme of random whims and legends, I headed north from Bangkok to the town of Phrae. Overall, it was mostly un-noteworthy except for a scene from a fringed postcard I came across in the back alleys of Bangkok one night. It showed what appeared to be artificial constructs, but like nothing…

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Phrae and the Temple of the Industrial Buddha

On the outskirts of the Northern Thailand town of Phrae are a number of fairly remote and beautiful temples dotting the countryside. One in particular stood out though, not because it was overly attractive, but because its scale stood out over the surrounding fields. But, it strangely seemed as if had simply been walked away…

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Koh Phayam: The Deserted Island Dream

Legends you hear in passing without knowing anything about seem to be some of the most fruitful discoveries when you track them down yourself. While travelling through Isan in 2011, I was told of an island near the Andaman coast of Thailand. The speaker of this legend told me of an island without cars, intermittent…

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Death Railway’s End and the H.I.V Staircase

The official name for the Death Railway was the Thailand-Burma Railway when it was being constructed. It was going to be used to move supplies from Japanese-occupied Thailand to Myanmar, one of the many British territories conquered by Japan in WW2. I wasn’t certain if the rail was ever completed, though I did find it…

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The Death Railway: Just Along for the Ride

It was a legendary railroad, but a late start leaving everyone else behind in Kanchanaburi. The Thailand-Burma Railway, more commonly called the Death Railway because of the harsh conditions and prisoner/slave labor used to construct it, was a train track built to move Japanese troops and supplies from Bangkok to Yangon during their occupation of…

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Kamphaeng Phet and the Aranyik Forest Temples

Fresh from the dry plains of Old Sukhothai, the riverside town of Kamphaeng Phet made for a picturesque and pleasant change. Still, the reason I was here was the same. Like other neighboring towns such as Si Satchalanai and Phisanulok, Kamphaeng Phet also has a number of Sukhothai-era ruins, however it is much less visited…

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Sukhothai: Dawn of Happiness, Dawn of Thailand

Local legends tell of a Golden Age that once existed in the histories of Thailand. After throwing off the shackles of the Khmer Empire, one Thai kingdom stood strong, independent, and united. Its name was Sukhothai, the “Dawn of Happiness” and it is credited as being the beginning of true Thai history. Of course, like…

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Lopburi: A Town Travel Guide

    Lopburi is a much bigger town than most foreigners will ever see or realize, since most of the sights worth seeing are within the bounds of the Old City. This is fine with me, and with most visitors, who would likely rather avoid the multi-lane, highway commercial strips and just relax in Lopburi’s…