Thailand: Up Country

Isan: "Buriram, Ubon, Mukdahan and the New Paradigm"

Ubon Ratchatani


August 20 - September 2, 2006


Dear Family and Friends,


First, The Old Paradigm: I decide on a general itinerary; pack lightly (easier said than done); show up at the first stop and look for modest accommodations; wander around; use public transportation to sights in the area; eat wherever it looks good; decide on the next destination; repeat process above.

Vientiane and Luang Probang, Laos: "Rain"



July 29, 2002

Dear Family and Friends,

I am not feeling particularly clever or articulate at the moment. I am sad. I am leaving Southeast Asia after almost six weeks.

Cambodia - a wonderful adventure: ancient temples, unusual scenery, smiling faces and delicious food in a country struggling to regain its footing after years of war and torment.

Laos - it never stopped raining. I got so depressed I left early. I did meet several warm, helpful and soft-spoken people. I bought a beautiful golden silk shawl that I plan to drape over my piano. What I did see in Vientiane and Luang Prabang was inspiring scenery and architecture.

Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat): "Prasat Hin Phimai"

Issan. Part 1 Khorat Thailand

December 4, 2004

Dear Family and Friends,

How shall I say this? I have had a very happy two weeks.

On 22 November, after departing Bangkok by train at 05:45 and arriving at Nakhon Ratchasima, also known as Khorat, four hours later, and after a brief nap at the impressive Khorat Hotel ( A/C, TV, king-size bed, huge bathtub -- all for $14.25 per night -- a little expensive for this area),

Kao Yai National Park: "Shinola"

Issan Part 2.

Khao Yai National Park


November 25, 2004

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday I was in the jungle.

I left the Isaan Plateau and headed southwest to the mountain chain which forms the border between Thailand and Cambodia. 05:15 - 05:30...Motorbike taxi to bus station. 06:00 - 07:00...Bus to Pak Chong. 07:15 - 07:30...Khao Yai Garden Lodge picked me up.

Nang Rong: "Prasat Hin Khao Phanom Rung"

Nang Rong, Buriram


November 30, 2004


Dear Family and Friends,

When I mention to Thai people that I plan to visit Isaan, they all smile. Now the Thai smile can have many meanings: Genuine friendship, well-mannered politeness, slightly restrained affection, short-lived tolerance, and perhaps, "I smile because I know what you don't know." Take your pick.