Travel Letters

Kuala Lumpur: "The Batu Caves"

Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia 
23 April 2010
 
Dear Family and Friends,

Fifteen kilometers (nine miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves lie inside a towering limestone formation. 

Standing 42.7meters tall (140 ft) the Hindu deity, Lord Murugan welcomes the devotees and visitors to the caves and the shrines.
 
To get to the main cave, I climb the 272 steps, while the resident monkeys eye my water bottle.
 
The cave complex is filled with colorful carvings of the Hindu pantheon and scripture.  I recognize my old friends Shiva and Ganesha.

South Africa? or Shanghai?

Bangkok, Thailand

15 June 2010

Dear Friends and Sports Fans Everywhere,

Back in 1994, when the FIFA World Cup was staged in the USA, I attended two matches at Foxboro Stadium outside Boston: Bolivia v Korea and Nigeria v Greece. I had never seen a football (soccer) match before. I loved the enthusiastic national pride of the spectators and I was impressed with the athleticism and skill of the players. I enjoyed the constant “stress” of the game. I was “sold.”

Beijing: "Mountains, Markets And Music"

Beijing
China

August 7, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

From Bangkok, en route to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, I decided to stop over in Beijing.  I wanted to see my friends and to visit one or two sights I had missed two years ago.

Actually, my first stop was a return to the small village of Chuandixia.  My friend Diego, his friend Miland, and I rode the Beijing Red Line subway for almost an hour to the last stop.  Diego then negotiated with a driver and we took off for the 90km ride through the hilly green countryside west of the city.

Chanthaburi: "The Rabbit in the Moon"

Bangkok

Thailand

December 20, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

(Have any of you lunatics conjured up the connection between Chanthaburi and bunny rabbits?)

Across the waters of the Gulf of Siam, about a forty minute ferry ride from Koh Chang, lies the city of Trat.  North of Trat is the city of Chanthaburi. 

In Chanthaburi I took my usual stroll, but this time I had a destination in mind - the Holy Mary Catholic Church. The largest Catholic Church in Thailand was built by the French during their occupation of Trat and Chanthaburi Provinces from 1893 to 1905.  This area borders Cambodia - part of colonial French Indochina.

Bangkok: March Visitors

Bangkok
Thailand

26 March 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

March has been my own mad month - of visits and visitors: Ngoc Vi and Thao My; Moon and Kevin; Mai and Mark; Luisa and Dolly; DeeDee and Richard.

Ngoc Vi came to Thailand on a four-day tour with her daughter Thao My. They live near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

I met Ngoc Vi seven years ago near the cathedral in HCMC (Saigon). After a brief chat, she invited me to her sister's wedding the next day.

Ngoc Vi is a specialist in agricultural productivity. She has worked as a consultant to Vietnamese farmers. This year she left her job and is enrolled as a full-time student. She expects to earn a Master's degree in Business Administration.

Thao My is an energetic, talkative, irrepressible four-year-old girl. Her goal was to ride an elephant here in Thailand. She did just that, all alone, according to her mother, at an elephant park south of Bangkok.

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