This is Part II of my visit to Pai Hot Springs and Chiang Mai. I posted mostly photographs of my Pai visit in Part I. As I indicated earlier, my camera isn’t working due to my lagoon water accident. I keep hoping that it will miraculously come to life, but it is looking doubtful. I almost left it at my Pai Hot Springs resort hotel, but changed my mind at the last-minute. I am looking at it right now and wondering again, if I should leave it here in Chiang Mai or bring it with me to Bangkok later today. An old grade and high school friend of mine, Tom Hopkins, owned a late 1950s Ford Thunderbird, where he had a sticker on the glove compartment that read, “ASS, GRASS, OR CASH . . . NO ONE RIDES FOR FREE.” Quite appropriate back in the early 1970’s while we were in high school, since the oil crisis was in full swing. Consequently, as I look at my camera, I am about to kick the “freeloader” to the curb, unless it begins to take photos again. Ha.
So, while I decide my camera’s fate, I am extremely pleased to report that my trip to the Northern mountains of Thailand have been quite interesting and enjoyable. Even the mountain trek excursion, while not fun, was beneficial insofar as learning about how the Thai mountain people go about their day-to-day business of living. Their culture is fascinating. I didn’t mention this in my last post, but I hired a personal driver when I took the one day tour of Pai and the surrounding area. His name was Songdach Dejsuwan or “Mr. Jane” as he prefers to be called. Grin. He was quite informative about all the places we visited, especially the Buddhist temples. I told him he would be in my blog and he was quite happy about that. I also loved Mr. Jane’s vehicle, a new SUV with awesome air conditioning.
I have told my friend, Paul Sorenson, that I will almost definitely be back to visit him next year. However, I want to visit his home in Vietnam and perhaps stay for an extended time in the Southeast Asia region, exploring Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and also, coming back to Thailand. Paul and I belong to a San Francisco Giants baseball blog, run by our mutual friend, Craig,, also known as “Flav, Flavor, or Big Flavor.” Flav’s baseball blog has a couple of dozen regulars and many, many, many visitors from all over the world.
Paul and I have been discussing a Flapalooza being held in Southeast Asia, which I am down with. If we can convince some or all of the Flap regulars (doubtful, especially for the married Flapsters) to attend, that would be fantastic . . . and outrageous good fun! We are sort of crazy Giants fanatics and Thailand might be equal to the task of taming us (grin). We have had 3 Flapaloozas that I am aware of. I attended the one in the SF bay area late last year. Not too many Flapsters attended that one, but it was a blast nevertheless. It was great being able to see Ted, Willie, Ewisco (Eric), and Flav (I know I am missing someone else who attended). We also Skyped with Bozo, Pawlie and I think Ed from jolly Great Britain joined in as well. Anywho, both Paul and I will meet again next year and hopefully, other Flapsters will be able to make the trip. If not we will Skype with some of them.
I am also going to attend the Flapalooza scheduled for a Giants game in San Francisco in early September. That one will be well attended, since most Flapsters live in the bay area. I am really looking forward to that event, as the SF Giants defend their 2012 World Series Championship this year.
OK, I know all this baseball talk is a bit congruent with Thailand, but that’s how I roll. I still haven’t found a Thai local or even a foreign tourist with a San Francisco Giants baseball hat or other memorabilia gear. However, I have been able to spot quite a few Thai people with Dallas Cowboy hats. What’s up with that? The Dallas Cowboys have been irrelevant for years. Grrrrrrrrr . . .
In a few hours, I will catch a plane to Bangkok. Almost packed and ready to leave. These are some more photographs of my visit to Pai and Chiang Mai. Enjoy!