thailand and nepal…

the beginning

the trip begins the end on may. i meet up with k and m at yvr on our way to thailand and nepal. m had travelled to both places numerous times, but as it is the first time to that part of asia for both k and i, we are both so excited!

the air canada trip from vancouver to tokyo’s narita airport is uneventful. paying a surcharge for extra leg room in the exit row is a good idea for this 10 hour leg of the trip. a friendly chat to a chap at the united airline counter at yvr also lands us some extra leg room seats on the second, 6 hour part of the journey from tokyo to bangkok… flirting never hurts…. 😉

exiting the bangkok airport is walking into a veritable sauna. it is 11:00 in the evening and a soft blanket of humid heat smothers me. i thought i’d prepared myself for this, but maybe not. if it is this warm at this hour i am wondering what heat the bright afternoon will hold…

the next day, another shuttle back to the suvarnabhumi airport for a discount air asia flight to the northern city of chiang mai. we arrive in chiang mai that afternoon and take a taxi to the lai-thai guest house, our home away from home for the next 5 days.

taxis in thailand are an interesting tension between regulation and unadulterated capitalism. taxis are metered, but that doesn’t hinder the drivers’ request that passengers pay a flat rate instead of using the meter. of course, the flat rate is far higher than a metered trip would be. and without fail, every driver we encounter tries this tactic, and without fail we have to be insistent that the meter be used instead. this leads to a few rather grumpy taxi drivers! c’est la vie…

the small room is blissfully air-conditioned and the pool a welcome respite from the unrelenting, blistering sun. the combination washroom/shower is fun, and I quickly learn to make sure the toilet paper is protected when i shower…

i feel at home at this place. it is relaxed and informal. i begin each morning in the outdoor restaurant feasting on fresh fruit. besides the incredible taste of the fruit in thailand, i am most surprised by the wonderful coffee. it is coffee for coffee lovers. however, it is also a little hard on the stomach – a fact that i keep having to relearn each day… 😉

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