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Yi Peng – The Beauty of the Floating Lantern Festival

Posted by on November 10th, 2012 in Asia, Destinations, Photos, Thailand | 29 comments

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha We were at the Yi Peng festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, also known as the Floating Lantern Festival. And while Yi Peng festival occurs at the same time as the better known Loi Krathong festival, it is a different festival with roots in the ancient Lanna kingdom. It was already quite late and dark, but as we lighted the torches surrounding us, the night grew brighter with the flames and everything felt warmer. We all sat down; the sea of orange flames stretching on indefinitely to each direction and we settled down for mediation, which, I do admit, is probably not that exciting if you haven’t really done any mediation before. I...

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To Pai and Back, the Long Way

Posted by on November 24th, 2011 in Asia, Photos, Thailand | 9 comments

Our group with bikes for the first part of the trip If a road trip includes at least one crashed bike, betting on some local fights, face drawn up as a cat with bright red marker and a night spent in a town you don’t even know the name of; then you know it’s been a good road trip. One early morning in Chiang Mai, as the city was still waking up (alright, alright, at 10am, so the town had probably already been wake for about four hours); we walked over to the bike rental shop to get us some motorbikes. Or scooters, as a certain girl was keen to point out to me later; something to do with the size of the engine or something like that. I don’t know, it has two wheels and a motor,  aka....

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Getting my Hands Dirty with Thai Cooking

Posted by on November 16th, 2011 in Asia, Food, Photos, Thailand | 20 comments

I’ve always loved Thai food and especially the Thai curries, whether they are green, red or even yellow. And I know that I can cook a pretty decent curry! However I felt like I owned it to myself to learn a bit more about the Thai cooking now that I was spending more time in Chiang Mai. Khao Soy or Chiang Mai noodles So here I was, at a cooking school, taking my small basket as we headed to the local market to get our ingredients for the day. I have been to Thai markets quite a few times, but it does help to have a local guide. For example, we learned that there isn’t just one eggplant in Thailand; there are actually eight of those things. One of these other mystery eggplants was the pea eggplant, which unsurprisingly...

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Why Thailand Hates Backpackers, or Why I Visited Burma

Posted by on November 9th, 2011 in Asia, Burma, Photos, Thailand | 24 comments

Mae Sai, Thailand Something about this doesn’t just seem right. Here I am in Chiang Mai in Thailand, a supposedly tourist friendly country, jumping in a minivan to do a visa run to Burma, a country ruled by a military junta, which isn’t exactly famed for its tourist friendliness. So why am doing this? It is illegal to bring in or take out of Thailand counterfeit and pirated goods - They do put up some funny signs on the border Thailand got over 15 million visitors last year. That is a lot of people, but still somehow the more I am reading into visas for Thailand the more I get the feeling that Thailand doesn’t actually want backpackers. Let me explain a bit. If you arrive to Thailand by land, you will receive a stamp that allows you to...

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Breaking News: Central Bangkok not flooded

Posted by on November 3rd, 2011 in Asia, Photos, Thailand | 7 comments

Well maybe it isn’t exactly breaking news, but there seems to be a lot of questions about the flooding in Thailand and especially in Bangkok.  And since I just arrived here yesterday from Chiang Mai in the north (buses running normally again), I figured that I’ll post photos of what it is actually like in central Bangkok right now.  These photos were taken yesterday 2nd of November and the situation is as described at least right now on the 3rd of November (that is today). This seriously has to be the most up-to-date post I’ve ever written. Khao San Road yesterday, business as usual Lot of places have actually opted to build an actual wall to protect them Some have opted for an option that is slightly cheaper and easier to tear down Some use both the wall and...

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