Monthly Archives: March 2014

Siam times 4

So an old Lufthansa 747 flight from Saigon to Bangkok, thinking about the missing Malaysian plane…. nice to be on a real airline for a change…got a half veg sandwich, a glass of white wine and a cup of coffee. These are little things but many asian airlines charge for everything,  even a sip of water.

Took the train to my hostel and it was a little depressing to be back at a hostel. Here is your blanket, take your shoes off and lug your luggage up 4 flights of stairs.

I have 3 days to handle Bangkok. First off to the electronic mall to get a sim card so I always have web access. I was surprised to find a new Samsung Note smartphone for less than $200. These cost alot more at home…maybe get one if I have an money left when I get back to Bangkok.

One day I walked around the Bangkok red light district during the day. Patpong is harmless looking in the daytime. I came across the USA Embassy and the ambassadors residence, an opulent display of colonial extravagant wealth. I took this picture at the Dutch Ambassadors residence.

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Fake Cows

My bags are stuffed with too many clothes, so I really could not buy anything. Gonna need to give some of my stuff away, or get bigger baggage. I did most of the tourist stuff in this city so I was not really interested in doing it again. I was surprised to see plenty of military checkpoints at major intersections. I never take military pictures, their guns are big and they are super sensitive about pixs. Just keep my head down and walk past them without eye contact.

I got a tuk-tuk ride to the central train station and took an overnight train to Chaing Mai. Can not say I was as excited to do this like I was the first time.

A $1.40 red truck ride to the White House Hotel. It was so nice to see my old friend BJ again. He has been busy…they have had son number 2. Two beautiful babies with beautiful Thai eyes.

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BP with son #2


I am keeping busy with walking the old city. It is hot now, over 90º in the afternoon. There is also smoke from agricultural burns. I am still happy to be here. I have made some new friends here. We all went out for a Korean BBQ and my fish and squid were cooked for me at our table. I have also gone clubbing… there are many bars with live music and it is excellent.

I am hanging out during the afternoon in my hotel room, I just have a fan, but the air comes through 2 windows and it is okay. My room is only $10/night. BJ got better wifi here so I am emjoying life without cable. I have been downloading House of Cards and enjoying this show very much.

I have had some nice fruit salads at the market. This one is so good, so much better than the syrupy fruit salad from a can.

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Can you ID these fruits?


My days here are slow but happy… here is one of the many temples here in Chaing Mae.
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Karma is Real

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Goodbye HCMC

30 days went fast…. I am leaving with a bit of sadness.  Everyday here in this great city was excellent. Hot and no rain. I met so many people here and look forward to returning next year.

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Probably time to leave


One night we visited my friend John from Seattle. He is working here in the IT field. He just moved into a new highrise which is beautiful.
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John's new home


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Home sweet home with a great view


On my last night in Saigon Lee took me for a grand tour of the city. First we had clams and crab on the street. Then we went to the river and got a ride on a tourist junk. A great night watching the city’s skyline.
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Times Square

The boat had some traditional music and dancers. The music was excellent
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The next stop was on top of a 27 story building. We just went up to the rooftop bar, looked out at the city and left without buying a drink.

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Saigon on a Monday night

Then off to Catwalk, a karaoke bar in the best hotel in the city. We sang a couple of songs and then went up to one of my favorite places. A little street place with soy yogurt. We have had yogurt there many times. The lady who runs it always has a nice smile for me.

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Yogurt Lady

So back to the Greensuites Hotel for my last night. I have slept so good here and will miss my morning breakfasts up on the roof.

Tonight I fly to Bangkok, after a few nights there I will take an overnight train to Chiang Mai. Home in 2 months. It seems my round the world trips go so fast. I know how lucky I am to live this life.

My thanks to Lee and Cuong for your hospitality and all those rides through Saigon traffic.