Exploring Phu Quoc – Part 3

Long Beach Sunset, Phu Quoc

Long Beach Sunset, Phu Quoc

I came to Phu Quoc for two or three days.  Oh….I’ve been here for a week (and would happily stay longer).

I love this place, but know, this rock in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand has a fuse on it.  In two years, this place will be overrun with tourists (largely from Russia), criminals, and drug peddlers, and a whole lot of people acting badly; it will be nothing like the island I’ve fallen in love with on this journey.

Believe, me, I’d stay longer if I could.  I do love Phu Quoc. Continue reading

Time to Hit the Road

Shrimp and Mekong Grass Salad

Shrimp and Mekong Grass Salad

I am ready, my bike is mostly kitted out, and I need to put some miles on her.  My plan is to head back south as the first part of this journey was done by bus.  I want to dip the rear wheel in the Bay of Thailand before I set out to touch the front tire to Chinese soil.

Through a friend, I was put in touch with an Australian woman who lives in Ho Chi Minh who operates a Street Food Tour business and is a food blogger and writer.  Perfect.  I need to learn more about Vietnamese food and have a truckload of questions.  When I touch bases with her, it seems she is leaving the next day to head into the Mekong Delta south of the city to do some research for part of a Fodor’s travel guide she is writing.  Even more perfect.  I’ll get to accompany her while she researches, a learning opportunity with a broad professional view, I presume.  And I’m headed south too.

She invites me over to have dinner with her Vietnamese husband and meet her two children.  We’ll meet and eat this night, then head out of town the following morning.   Continue reading

Myanmar

Another Stamp For The Passport

Another Stamp For The Passport

The seven a.m. bus takes me from Chiang Mai to Mae Sai, a town that represents the northernmost point of Thailand and houses one of the few legal points of entry/exit in Thailand.  On the other side lies Myanmar and a town called Tachileik.  I am thrilled to be going to Myanmar, if only for the day.

When this adventure in Thailand began, I had planned to go to Myanmar for a grand tour ahead of my TEFL class.  A booking snafu derailed that trip, but I wasn’t put off by it…Myanmar isn’t going anywhere, nor am I, and there is so much to do in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.  So, today is the day – my greatly anticipated first visit to Myanmar.

Adorable Egg Seller

Adorable Egg Seller

Continue reading

Premier League Football – Thai Style

Jockeying For Control

Jockeying For Control

Dateline:  Chiang Rai (183km northeast of Chiang Mai, by the border of Lao and Myanmar <map>)

Quite by fortune, fate or……karma, (thank you, monks), I went to see a Thai Premier League football match!  It was awesome.  The play, the people, and the price.  Incredible.

The Fighting Scarabs...???

The Fighting Scarabs…???

Chiang Rai United……who the heck are they…….the Fighting Scarabs…..?  Maybe?  I don’t know, but there was a statue of an enormous beetle in front of the stadium, so that’s how I’ll always know them.  I was in a small restaurant after touring the Black House, enjoying what I would describe as Thai BBQ, when one of the employees was tuning the TV into the pre-game show for the local football team. Continue reading