Iskanderkul

Iskanderkul – Lake Alexander

Sughd Province

Gissar Range

Fann Mountains

Tajikistan

August 16, 2019

Sunny and Hot

Hello,

The guidebook says that at midnight, Alexander the Great rides Bucephalus across the inky black lake.  (Iskander in Tajik is Alexander. Kul is lake.)

During the day, the Iskanderkul is an intensely bright shade of turquoise.

The outflow maintains the same fluorescent hue as it crashes downstream to form the Iskander Darya and then over a 40m high (131 feet) waterfall.

Two Lovely Weekends

Bangkok

Thailand

Monday

August 5, 2019

Hello,

Last month, my friend Gary and his partner Pat invited me to spend the weekend with them at their second home in Ban Chang, a small town in Rayong Province, a two hour’s drive south of Bangkok.

I met Gary ten years ago in my condominium building.  He is a retired American expat from Seattle.  Pat, a Thai citizen, is an executive at a Thai corporation.

Gary and I meet frequently for lunch in Bangkok.  We discuss our personal concerns as well as the issues of the day, both here and abroad.  The rules for the Thai Retirement Visa seen to change by the hour.  We share our pleasant memories and our dismay at current events “back home.”

Gary and Pat are “bikers” … the unmotorized kind.  Gary just got back from a ten-day ride in Laos and Thailand.  We agree that in Southeast Asia, as well as many other places in the world, especially in the rural areas, and despite the language barrier, most folks are curious, hospitable and kind.

The highlight of our weekend together is the visit to the Golden Mangrove Field.  We stroll along the “boardwalk” through the mangrove forest adjacent to the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand.  Lots of photo opportunities for the dense, exotic scenery and the smiling Thai visitors.

Marty Israel: One Man Show

Bangkok

Thailand

June 25, 2019

My friend and classmate Martin (Marty) Israel applies his artistic sensibility and his computer skills to design alternative one-of-a kind images for the photographs I post on this website.

Most recently, Marty has created several "Themes and Variations."

Just as a musician composes a Theme and Variations, Marty begins with the original image and, step by step, develops the "melody" from the simple to the complex, from the recognizable to the fanciful.  The variations are colorful, challenging and surprising. 

Rock Sculpture

Tenasserim Hills

Kanchanaburi Province

Thailand - Myanmar Border

April 7, 2019

Older than the Himalayas, the Tenasserim Hills are a mountain chain that begins in Northern Thailand.  They provide a long line of demarcation between Thailand and Myanmar.  They form a spine on the Malay Peninsula, and end in the south near Singapore. 

The hills are covered with evergreen jungle forests.  A large variety of jungle creatures call the hills home.

Apparently, the hills also contain coal, tin and tungsten.  And logs.

On the north-south road running parallel to the Tenasserim Hills, Jenjira and I stop at the “rock shops” that feature huge creative carvings and “modern” sculptures.

The Park and The Bridge

Tenasserim Hills

Kanchanaburi Province

Thailand

April 6, 2019

 

On a holiday weekend, the Erawan National Park is a favorite for Thai families and groups of friends. (Erawan is the Thai word that refers to the Hindu myth Airavata or Airawana in Sanskrit.)

Children of all ages swim in the natural pools beneath the many waterfalls, young adults climb the seven levels of the steep walkways to the top of the mountain, and family groups relax and spread out their picnic lunch.

In this life I tried for the third level.  Unfortunately, after two and a half, I received signals from my right knee that “enough is enough.”   Perhaps in my next life I’ll make it up the seven.

In comparison, it was an easy climb from the parking lot up the steel staircase to the trestle of The Bridge

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