No Guarantee One Will Like Travel

January 12, 2562 BE

There is no guarantee that someone will like travel.

When I moved to California 50 years ago, I had never been west of Des Moines. I had no idea what to expect other than it was my decision and my new job. So, if it was a bad decision, I could just move back? Probably it would have not been that easy.

When I first traveled in 1972, some 84 countries and seven continents ago, I had no clue what to expect. I had never traveled out of the country, let alone on my own. In both cases, I made the right decisions for myself and have never regretted the adventures.

Last Christmas, I gave my niece, Mikaela, the gift of travel. “Anywhere you want to go,” I said to this novice, 15-year-old potential tourist. I was hoping for something easy, familiar, comfortable. She chose Thailand. Thailand? Are you sure? Yes, she was and thus, Christmas of 2018 we traveled to Thailand. It was full of surprises for the both of us.


Pattaya Beach – Pick Your Style

3-6 January 2019

Woman cannot live by culture alone.

There are various ways to get the 175 miles south from Kanchanaburi to Pattaya Beach. Trains depart for Bangkok with transfers from there. Buses and vans will accommodate. We have been there and done that. I opt for air-conditioning, a comfortable ride and guaranteed seat; a taxi service wins my day. Taxis, unlike in western countries, are fairly reasonable in Thailand. No exchanges, no transfers, just door-to-door service, for about $100. I chose convenience as we are driven south to Pattaya Beach, located on the east side of the Gulf of Thailand. (more…)

The Elephant’s World – Meeting the BIG GIRLS

2 January 2019        Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Today we stock up on little ripe bananas and drive out to visit the Big Guys and Gals of the Thai jungles.

Eco-friendly tourism is popular. Recognizing the impact that travel and tourism has on the environment, more groups are becoming ecofriendly both with the environment and the creatures struggling to live within it. Tourism can love an environment to death. So too with its animals. As an individual I may not be able to eliminate cruel practices, but I can make efforts to support more humane treatment of animals. Today, it is the elephant of Thailand who captures our attention.

Minimize impact, build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.


Kanchanaburi, Thailand – Marching to a Lurid Ditty

31 December 2018 – 2 January 2019

What does New Year’s Eve look like in Thailand? We are about to find out.

Jane, our hostel host, assisted us by arranging a direct van to transport us north to Kanchanaburi. There were several options from bus, mini van, car hire or train. Each has its positives but it is the time factor that makes up our minds as travel time can range from 2 to 6 hours. We choose the quickest transport and arrange for a van to drive us 80 miles northwest to the small city of Kanchanaburi. We have a seat to ourselves in a packed van that speeds us north for less than $5. From the bus station, we take a short tuk-tuk ride to our hotel. We are getting to be pros at this transport thingee. (more…)

Phetchaburi – The City of Diamonds?

28-30 December 2018

Welcome to Pet Buri

One reason Bangkok and Thailand are so popular is the reasonable, if not cheap, price of travel. If one doesn’t get hung up on deciphering the language, travel in Thailand is pretty great.

My niece and I are fortunate to be lodging with Nuj who is so kind as to drive us to the Bang Bamru Rail station just north of our hotel. There we board a train traveling southeast to Phetchaburi, located at the very north end of the Thai Peninsula. The train takes about 2 hours to travel the 100 miles. Our ticket cost 31 baht. That is less than a dollar! The station workers all seem to adopt us, making sure we get on the right train. And this trip, I get a seat.


Returning to Siam – I’m Not Reinventing the Wheel

23-27 December 2018

Wat Pho’s Reclining Buddha

Most every travel list of places not to miss includes Bangkok. My first visit to Thailand was in January 2015. I enjoyed myself but was not effusive with praise. This week, I revisit Bangkok and during my trip I will see this snarled, smoky and be-templed city through the eyes of my 16-year-old niece, Mikaela. The monuments and palaces have not changed but I expect my perception and experiences may, for this trip we travel solo. (more…)

Teenagers in California

TSA and teens: "Put the bunny on the belt!"

TSA and teens: “Put the bunny on the belt!”

The challenge: taking two teens, Mikaela 13 and Gabrielle 17, to California and planning excursions they will enjoy. It is a big challenge. What will they think is fun? Where to eat? Mikaela has not traveled to Italy and Spain like her big sister, so will their impressions be influenced by that? There is a big generation gap, as what I think might be fun may not be what a teenager wants to do. But, I have been there and done that with my past foreign exchange daughters, so I might pull this off. Let’s go. (more…)