Bangkok, Thailand


Wat Phra Kaew วัดพระแก้ว, Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand — April 2004

The gold spire on the right is named Phra Sri Rattana Chedi; the ornate middle structure is Phra Mondop or the library; the traditional Thai building on the left is Prasat Phra Thep Bidon or The Royal Pantheon.


Novice monks near Viseschaisri Gate, Grand Palace พระบรมมหาราชวัง, Bangkok, Thailand — April 2004


Rama VIII Bridge Bridge สะพานพระราม 8, Bangkok, Thailand


Buddha images, Wat Arun วัดอรุณ, Bangkok, Thailand


Selling rambutans, lychees and mangosteens, Damnoen Saduak, Thailand — April 2004


Giant reclining Buddha, Wat Pho วัดโพธิ์, Bangkok, Thailand


Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) วัดอรุณ at sunset, Bangkok, Thailand


Muay Thai boxing มวยไทย, Bangkok, Thailand — April 2004


Lopburi influenced Buddha, Jim Thompson’s house, Bangkok, Thailand


View of Wat Chana Songkhram วัดชนะสงครามราชวรมหาวิหาร from My Guesthouse #601 — Bangkok, Thailand — April 2004


Wat Phra Kaew วัดพระแก้ว, Bangkok, Thailand — April 2004


Brian and elephants, Wat Arun วัดอรุณ, Bangkok, Thailand


Statue of a kinnara, Wat Phra Kaew วัดพระแก้ว, Bangkok, Thailand — April 2004


Selling bananas, Damnoen Saduak floating market, Ratchaburi, Thailand — April 2004


Yam wunsen ยำวุ้นเส้น is a favorite, Siam Square, Bangkok, Thailand


Novice monks, Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand — April 2004


Thai goblet drums at the Kamthieng House Museum, Bangkok, Thailand


Damnoen Saduak, Thailand — April 2004


Wat Phra Kaew วัดพระแก้ว, Bangkok, Thailand — April 2004

The gold spire on the left is named Phra Sri Rattana Chedi; the ornate middle structure is Phra Mondop or the library; the traditional Thai building on the right is Prasat Phra Thep Bidon or The Royal Pantheon.


Playing the khim, Bangkok, Thailand — February 2005


Dusit Palace พระราชวังดุสิต, Bangkok, Thailand


Bengal tiger at the Dusit Zoo สวนสัตว์ดุสิต, Bangkok, Thailand


State Tower, Bangkok, Thailand

The State Tower is the largest building in Southeast Asia with 3,200,000 sq ft of floor area.


Buddha images, Wat Arun วัดอรุณ, Bangkok, Thailand


Elephants, Wat Phra Kaew วัดพระแก้ว, Bangkok, Thailand — April 2004


The Peninsula Bangkok, Thailand — April 2004


Construction at Siam Square สยามสแควร์, Bangkok, Thailand — March 2005


Krazy Khao San Road ถนนข้าวสาร, Bangkok, Thailand


Unknown, Thailand — April 2004


North-eastern Bus Terminal (Moh Chit), Kampaengphet 2 Road, Bangkok, Thailand — October 2004

2004–2005 Thailand Journal

Friday, 2 April — Bangkok

My true love and I were reunited once again after five years ราชอาณาจักรไทย. Yes, Thailand offered everything that was promised. What made it even better was that part of the time I was with my good friend Dr. Chris from Los Angeles. He flew out for a few weeks having just finished medical school. Chris said that the liver healed fast from alcohol, so was partied under the Siam sky like no tomorrow. I was also introduced to Fon, a Thai friend of the family, and she helped unlock the door to true Thai food and culture, something that isn’t always available to the hordes of faranges (foreigners) on vacation there. Thank you Fon! I also met many locals and ex-Pats and had many sweet, fun filled evenings. I will forever miss Thailand, but know that I will go there many times again in my life. After spending four months there in total, I feel like Thailand is my home away from home (although I am sure the locals think differently.)

To sum it all up, I turned 32 on KO Tao, partied under the full-moon on KO Pha-Ngan, chilled out and loved on KO Samui. I hightailed it down for a week in Malaysia to renew my visa and then returned full-force dancing, rocking, swimming, eating, drinking, tanning, diving, climbing. I didn’t deserve it, so I left with a broken heart and flew Biman Bangladeshi Airlines to the Indian subcontinent with a brief (25 day) layover in Myanmar (Burma.) Miss you Thailand!

One final Thai note: I visited my old haunt of Krabi, in South Thailand, and was stunned to see that what was once my peaceful one-bungalow beach was now teeming with 10 bungalow complexes, 7 Internet cafes, and 8 mini-marts The place where the Czechs used to sleep in the bushes is now beach cafes blaring the latest techno-pop and B. Marley. It was Back-to-the-Future in only five years. Thailand is changing fast, but still beautiful as ever. Be one of the 6,000,000 next year and visit there too!

Tuesday, 18 May — Sleeper train

Indian RailwaysI buy a ticket for State Railways of Thailand train 172, car 5, seat 5, for ฿557. We depart Su-ngai Kolok railway station at 11:30pm on 18พ.ค.47 and head north toward Bangkok. We arrrive to Bangkok Hua Lomphong Railway Station several hours passed the planned arrival time of 8:00am the next morning. This is the train where I met the mysterious Eric Mansfield.


Sunday, Sep 19 — Bangkok

Yep, back home again for another month. This time it starts out a bit different. In the international Airport, I sneak past the medical guys at customs and go straight to the hospital. I am tested for many weird things and finally the doc states: “Typhoid." I am shot and pilled-up with antibiotics, anti-diarrheals, vitamins and who knows what else. Three days later I emerge with a nice bill and an emaciated, skeletal body that weighs about the same that it did in high school. No problem. Thai food to the rescue. Within days, after sampling some of the freshest seafood on the planet, the weight moderately returns-- but not that Brian belly. I feel good again.

I tour an area in Northeastern Thailand known as Isan. Famous for friendly locals and beautiful landscape, Isan is a mixture of both Thai and Lao influence. It is also way off the beaten track and I meet no faranges (foreigners.) During this time I visit restored Angkor ruins and ride humming motorbikes past water buffalos and shimmering green rice fields. It is so serene that I instantly write a song on guitar.

The remainder of my time is spent in Bangkok and taking weekend trips to beach towns like infamous Pattaya and royal Hua Hin (where the King lives.) My friend of the family, Fon, puts me up in her beautiful home and I stay in the heart of thriving Bangkok in an old-style Thai-colonial home. The vibe is good and everyday I explore the growing metropolis. Everything you have heard about Bangkok is dated. Let me tell you. This place screams “cool." There are clubs, bars, museums, shops, groovy restaurants and smiles everywhere. Excitement is rife and I am never bored. It is difficult to sleep, though.

The days tick by and I meet lots of nice people, but soon my visa will expire and I have to make a decision. I throw darts at a map of the world and one lands in China. The Lonely Planet says this is the best time of year to go, and I can’t resist. But you know me: Getting there is half the fun. I do plan on China, but with the help of a clever travel agent on Khao San Road, I create several layovers…

Tuesday, Dec 21 — Bangkok

To: Mom & Dad
Subject: in Thailand

hi! I am safe and sound in Bangkok now. Nice flight from Kathmandu. What an amazing place. I have to say that I am quite proud of myself for this last leg. Once I reached Mt. Everest, it was sorta like the pinacle. I felt that it was “all downhill from here” and that 1 could actually return home.

So what i will do is relax in Thailand for a bit and then head home. I will give Fon a call in a couple of days. I really would like to go to Africa and visit Todd, but it is the rainy season now until February and I just don't know if I want to be in the rain. At the same time, I feel like I should go. Anyhow, for now, I am staying here and relaxing. I actually haven’t relaxed this whole year, I have been very busy. I went to every country in East, SE, and South Asia (except for Mongolia, Bhutan, Philippines, and Indonesia!)

Wednesday, Mar 9 — Bangkok

To: Mom & Dad
Subject: Re: And where are you?

HI! So I have paid for a ticket (my gosh) and, if all goes as planned, I should arrive LAX 14 MAR 1840. Or in layperson terms, that is China Airlines arriving Los Angeles Intl at 6:40PM on March 14. If you could pick me up that doud be great, and picase bring a bagel, lox and cream chese to the airport. IF not, that is ok.

I will not layover in Taipei. The taxes and additionals for stopover were cost prohibitive. I mean I would think the airline would want people to stop in Taiwan and spend hard currency there, but their screwed pricing systems tells me otherwise. Their loss.

I think it would be nice to go to the desert on 1007MAR, but let's see how I am doing.



King Bhumibol & Queen Sirikit
A brief Thai history
Palaces of
the King

7th and 11th centuries AD — Dvaravati
(Land of Buddhism) refers to the kingdom situated in the The Chao Phraya River basin between the 7th and 11th centuries AD.

11th to 13th centuries AD — Lopburi
The culture was centered in the city of Lopburi and was much influenced by Khmer art and culture as it spread through Northeast Thailand. Lopburi art is similar to the Khmer art of Cambodia.

11th to 18th centuries AD — Chiang Saen-Lanna
This period sees many northern walled-city capitals including Chiang Saen, Chiang Mai, Nan, Chiang Rai, Kentung, and Chiang Kong.

14th to 17th century AD — Sukhothai
King Sri Indrathit declared Sukhothai’s liberation from the Khmer and adopted a form of Buddhism based on the Sri Lankan School.

15th to 18th century AD — Ayutthaya
The Ayuthaya period began when King Ramathibodi I (King U Thong) established Ayuthaya as a capital city in the 15th century AD. The city survived until its second defeat in 18th century AD at the hands of the Burmese.

18th century to current — Rattanakosin (Bangkok)
The current era, known as the Rattanakosin period began when King Rama I established Bangkok as the capital in 18th century AD.