Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taiwan-Thailand 2012


That's always good, if slightly ungrammatical, advice.

Regular visitors in the Seoul Patch surely know that I am dedicated to my teaching; I work hard to create and improve lessons to help my students feel more confident and fluent in speaking English. Still, I know I won't live in Korea indefinitely, so it has become important to me to use my proximity to east Asian points of interest for travel. Sure, it costs money to galavant around, but not nearly as much as it would if I was coming from the States--I'm not saving money, but I'm making memories.

To wit, I just returned from eighteen days in Taipei and Thailand. Even though I stayed in Taipei for only four nights, there was lots to see, including Taipei 101, for some years the world's tallest building ...


... the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, which houses two of his specially-built Cadillacs ...


... and some of the most awesome street food I've had to date (and that's saying something). These are steamed/fried buns with delicious fillings, like pork, cabbage or chives:


After arrival at Suwarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, I made my way via the new Airport train to Praya Thai and thence via a 57 Baht taxi ride to Hualamphong train station for the 7:30 night train to Surat Thani. A bus ride, a ferry and a taxi later, I am ensconced at my bungalow.

I make no claim to be a photographer, but I have to justify spending lots of money on a serious digital SLR (Nikon D5100) somehow, so I think I got a pretty good shot of the full moon ...


... and a good pic of a Thai shrimping sampan with Koh Phangan in the background:


Most mornings, I claimed my sunbed at 7:30 AM, swam and laid in the gentle sun to read a book; after breakfast around 9:30 I would return to sunbathe for a couple hours until lunch. A new application of suncream and a return to the chaise lounge from 2 to 3:30 would generally complete my regimen. Yes, I turned red as a lobster, but I did not peel!

The latter part of the day was usually relaxing with a frosty beverage at the Chill Out Cafe, a twenty second amble from my sunbed.

Buddy Kevin arrived at the midpoint of my stay in Maenam, which only increased my enjoyment. We did stuff, like cultural stuff. For example, we visited the "Big Buddha" at Bophut:


After several days of enjoying this amazing beach, we made our way back to Bangkok for a couple of days of sightseeing in Krung Thep. More on that, and more on my visit to Taipei, coming soon.


조안나 said...

Love that photo with the boat, framed with the leaves. Really nice.

I was thinking of you as I hear about all my SMOE friends getting removed from their cushy high school jobs down to elementary and middle schools. Do you get to stay in your school or are you affected by the budget cuts too?

Tanner Brown said...

Steve, I hope you ate some street food in Taipei. Please give food report.