Monday, January 31, 2005


Monday January 31st, 2005 11:25AM Chicago, IL

Well, here it is the last day of January. Here in Chicago, I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as winter is concerned. I only spend 16 more days in Chicago until I go back to Bangkok and 90 degree temperatures and get back with one day left in the month and then its March.

The weather still stinks and its cold, but there's the NCAA Basketball tournament and St. Patricks Day (which should be the first day of the NCAA tourney).

I've been thinking about what I want to do this time in Thailand and have a few ideas. Since my first trip last year, I've become fascinated with early Khmer architecture and saw the ultimate at Angkor Wat.

Here's where I'm thinking about going:

Lopburi - Has a few Khmer brick ruins and monkeys (just a note, I had seen monkeys walking around wild in Cambodia and avioded them like the plague; I'll do the same here, but will try to get a couple shots of them). Lopburi is only 154 KM (roughly 92 miles for us Westerners) from Bangkok, so it would make a nice day trip (planes, trains, and automobiles part 2)

Kanchanaburi - Kanchanaburi is another day trip that I'm considering making. I think I'll probably go the first weekend I get to Thailand. Its 130 KM (78 miles for us Westerners) so I can get there pretty quickly via train or bus. Kanchanaburi sits along the river Khwae (pronounced "Kwai"), yes that river Khwae. Although from my reading, its not too impressive, I plan to see the bridge on the river (which was bombed several times during WWII and was subsequently rebuilt after the war) and then out in the country to see some of the waterfalls in the area.

I'll post a few photos later today when I get home. Coming up in 16 days Live From Thailand.

Saturday, January 29, 2005


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Here are a few more photos from Ayuthaya. This is a Buddha head that had a tree grow around it. This was one of the sites that I wanted to see when I went to Ayuthaya. The head itself isn't terribly big, but another example of nature taking over the works of man.

I'll try to be better about getting a photo of the day up. I had a garbage week. Only wish that I could get the hell out and find something that I want to do when I grow up. Anyway, enjoy the photos, 18 days till I go back. Where did the time go?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Photo of the Day - Ayuthaya

I took these photos on my first trip to Thailand in February 2004. These are from the city of Ayuthaya which was the Siamese royal capital from 1350 to 1767.

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This was taken at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. The structure is known as a 'chedi' which is used to house Buddhist relics and ancient texts. I remember that taking the stairs up to the top left me a bit out of breath, but I had a great view of the surrounding countryside and some of the other temples in the area. I especially remember a large number of stone Buddha images draped in saffron sashes seated around the perimeter of the chedi.

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This Buddha image was taken at Wat Phanan Choeng. The Buddha image is 19m high (approximately 57 feet high) and was probably one of my favorite Buddha images next to the reclining Buddha at Wat Po in Bangkok. The temple is located on Mae Nam Chao Phraya (the river that runs to the Gulf of Thailand and is a main transportation artery in Bangkok)

28 days to go...can't wait.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Friday, January 07, 2005

Friday's Photo of the Day - A Bayon Extravaganza

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This photo is the front of the Bayon. This structure is most famous for the faces on the pillars (on the upper floor) that face in the four cardinal directions. I read somewhere that is was an image of the king and symbolized his ability to see the kingdom in all directions.

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These are pillars on the lower floor that sometime ago would have held up a roof of some sorts. Obviously, the roof has long collapsed or rotted away.

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This was taken on one of the outer walls. These bas reliefs are fairly well preserved as are the ones at Angkor, but these depict more everyday life.

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A better close-up of a bas relief that shows everyday Khmer life.

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This was taken at the top floor of the Bayon. Here are the faces in greater detail.

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Another shot of one of the towers with the faces.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Photo of the Day:

The gate to Angkor Thom Posted by Hello

I'm sick as a dog today, but wanted to post something. I'm finally able to load photos, so I'll put one down from my last trip as often as possible. The photo is the gate to Angkor Thom. If you look close enough, you can see the face on the top.

Angkor Thom Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

An ounce of prevention...

Wednesday, January 5th, 2005 10:40AM - Chicago, Il

Monday I went to the Northwestern Hospital Travel and Immunization Center to get my booster shots for Hepatitis A and B.

Aside from a couple sore shoulders, I really didn't feel so bad, but by the end of today I felt a few cold symptoms. Probably got it from one of the patients lurking around the office. Thanks a lot.

I did inquire if there were any additional immunizations that I would need if I ever chose to stay in Bangkok on a more permanent basis. The nurse, who has been giving me my shots for the past year now, suggested that I should look into immunizations against rabies and Japanese Encephalitis. Both are a series of three shots which is par for the course as they help to build the anti-bodies necessary to fight the diesase if ever infected. The interesting statement that the nurse said was with the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, I would have to wait roughly 30 minutes after each shot to make sure there were no adverse reactions. A little chilling to say the least. For now, I'll hold off. It wasn't really the chance of adverse reactions that scared me off, but the cost. I think the entire series of both shots would cost in the neighborhood of $900. Not a neighborhood I can afford to go to right now.

Coming up - A new feature until I can think of something more interesting to write: Photo (or photos) of the day...