Category Archives: sabbatical

13 months and Indochina

I’ve posted a big backlog of pics to the gallery including Belle’s pics from last month and probably too many from a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.

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Saigon and a Mekong Delta Cruise:

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Siem Riep:

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New favorite city

We had a fantastic trip to Tokyo a couple of weeks ago.


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Tokyo is my new favorite city.  I’m not sure what I expected,  but  the architecture, trains, and fashion of the people on the street all made an impression.  Huge thanks are due to our our hosts, Henry and Diana who showed us their favorite spots, translated, and fed us some amazing food.   We got an unexpected treat when they took us to the American government club where we celebrated Oktoberfest with Japanese Beer Tent Cover band and real German food (which we inhaled).  But I had probably best meal of my life at an Izakaya joint around the corner from their apartment and learned that sake is not supposed to taste terrible.

There are also a few pics from the beach BBQ we went to for  the Mid Autumn festival earlier in the week in Taiwan.

Thailand Day 2-3

We’ve spent the last couple days at Ao Nang, a touristy beach town near Krabi.

The room at Ao Nang beah

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We arrived in the late afternoon.  It was even hotter than Bangkok.  Checked in, had a drink at the beachside bar at sunset , shopped around the fake goods street and had Tex-Mex for dinner.   The rest of our group of 5 has been in Thailand for weeks and is sick of the food.    They also don’t eat seafood  I’d be sick of 2 weeks of Pad Thai too.   Yesterday was much more pleasant weather wise, swe took a speedboat trip island hopping with stops at 4 small island beaches and a snorkeling spot.  All the beaches had much finer sand than Ao Nang, and the snorkeling was pretty good – not much reef but many fish.  My mask and snorkel were a bit uncomfortable but I made due.

The guide suggested a dinner spot and all six of us loaded up in a tuk tuk to get there.  It was a seafood places so people were scared to each conch (delicious, just don’t eat the bony foot) and terrified of a whole grilled fish.  Since Cyn and I are now Asia veterans, we filleted it with aplbomb and dug right in.   This isn’t much of a partying group, so we retreated to our rooms at 7:30 or so . . . they have wireless internet so we watched the Winter Olympics on Slingbox.  Cynthia and I did stop at the dive shop to invest in some better snorkeling gear (mask and tube <$30 for the set) . . . I’m excited to try out the new mask that actually fits and a snorkel with a splash resistant top and a valve for clearing water.

Right now, we’re riding in the van to heading on a two hour ride to Trang Province where we’ll say goodbye to air conditioning for a few days and meet our beach bungalow.  Thailand really reminds me of Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic – same constructions techniques and similar farming and vegetation, just different writing on the signs and everybody drives on the left side of the road.  It still “feels”” the same.