last resort

April 5, 2007

last look at Sheraton Krabi

So this is it for a bit.  The conference is over, my talk went well, and tonight is the banquet.  Tomorrow I get my massage and then I’m of to Bangkok for the night, after which I plan to head to Cambodia.  I shall try hard to not get scammed, and to take lots of pictures.

I’ll try to update everyone when I can, but I doubt that will be before I’m back from my Cambodian excursion.

See all y’all soon!

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caving in

April 1, 2007

cave drawing of people by people

Today was pretty fun! We had another excursion, this time to do some kayaking along these rivers, some of which led through caves with some spectacular formations. One of them had some 3000-year-old drawings, one of which is up at the top of this post. Here’s another cave pic:

one of the many caves we paddled through

After, we were fed probably the best lunch I’ve had since we got here. We then went to a freshwater hole for a dip, and were treated to a rendition of “Dust in the Wind” by the Scorpions in the van ride over at a nice and loud volume…

Probably will take it easy tonight, work on the talk… unless some of the folks here want to twist my rubber arm to check out happy hour at the lounge here… 2 for 1 cocktails!

Till next time…

One of many island beaches around Krabi

So the weekend arrived and we are free to enjoy the surroundings to our hearts’ content. Today we were hoping to go to the legendary Ko Phi Phi island but missed the ferry this morning (not for lack of waking up early!) and so we had to “settle” for this cute little island beach, about a half hour motorized boat ride from the resort. Got some swimming in. The water was completely see-through! These little jellyfish or fish thingies kept nibbling on me though, so I had to get out before it got overly annoying.

I had my first experience hanging out with the locals, though. I was walking down the beach and a family from Srat Thani, north of Krabi, were doing some BBQ there, waiting for the farangs (Thai for gringo or gaijin) that they were looking after to be ready to leave. They offered me some food and a beer so what could I do? I sat down and chatted them up! It was really fun, they were so much nicer and more genuine than some of the stuffy rich people at this resort: asked me what I was doing, where I’m from, where I am going next after Krabi, etc. I had some squid, some pineapple, some chicken Indian-style… it was probably the funnest experience so far, and made me look forward to after the conference even more. Well, then we had to go so I said bye to my new friends and we were off.

We got back to the resort and I realized that ouch! I got the SWEETEST sunburn on my back. It should be ok… but I’m going out again tomorrow so hopefully it won’t feel worse. I’m gonna go now to slap some after-burn lotion on my back. Thankfully I almost always sleep on my side.

Otherwise, the conference is going well and meeting lots of people. Talk is on Tuesday, and should go okay. I hope. Right now, I have to concentrate on curing this damned sunburn soon so I can get one of those Thai massages… only 250 bhat (like 10 bucks) for an hour! A steal! Also, I have to get out of earshot of the cheesy lounge music next to here. Which means I have to leave the wireless area. So ciao for now!

follow the Khao San road

March 29, 2007

Kao San Road

So I spent the night in Bangkok and yesterday walked around for the couple of hours I had before I had to leave for the airport. It was really HOT to say the least. Hot and smoggy and sweaty. Bought myself a t-shirt, even haggled for it.

This is the famous Khao San road, the tourist-backpacker hub of Bangkok. It’s packed. The people are insistent on giving you rides and toursand it’s a bit of work to say no. But they are generally pretty nice people. Aggressive but nice.

Now I’m in Krabi and its NICE here.

Talks are starting now so I’ll check in later!

chasing the sun

March 27, 2007

Flying from Van City to Hong Kong

So that was a really long flight.

Also, it turns out that the only Airbus 340 without power outlets for the laptop and without individual movie screens was — yup — the one I got stuck with. I know, I know, boo hoo. But 14 hours is just reason for my initial disappointment. It worked out though cause I got free beer and wine.

Anyway, at Hong Kong airport now. Definitely more serene and quiet than I imagined:

Hong Kong airport

I ordered an egg tart and the lady thought I was weird for not ordering two at once… I tried to explain that I wasn’t that hungry but it’s 5 am for me and the words didn’t come together. Oh and I went on the automatic human conveyor belt in the wrong direction. Nice.

Anyway, looks like the Bangkok flight is boarding. Later!

ready for the long haul

March 26, 2007

waiting for flight at YVR to Hong Kong

Well, boarding is in 15 minutes… 14 hours is a ridiculous amount of time to be confined to an airplane, but I am looking forward to seeing if my stereotype of Hong Kong airport as being insane comes true.

Hopefully the movie choices will be OK. If not, I’ve got some “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” to look forward to (plus the latest Battlestar Galactica episode). And if all else fails, me and my good friend Gravol will join forces and cut a few hours off the flight.

Until later…!