Ten years ago I arrived in Bangkok at the Thai Hotel, plunked down into Asia for the first time, a bit bewildered by all I saw. I wandered all over the old part of the city, around the wats and temples and Koh San Road, I took the river bus. I got lost behind the hotel as I meandered down the path beside a little klong.
I came back a year later, in 1998, but then didn't travel again to Thailand until February 2007. Again, I
made my reservation at the Thai Hotel, now called the Hotel de Moc. With only a couple of days to
recuperate from jet lag, I revisited the Grand Palace, via river bus of course, and crossed the Chao Praya to
Wat Arun, which had been under wraps the last time I was in Bangkok. I was impressed to see how much more
prosperous the little neighborhood by the hotel looked now - indeed how prosperous Bangkok seemed to be. I
rode the skytrain - new since my last visit - to incredible malls at MBK and Siam Square, and took a taxi to
the weekend market called JJ's - Chatuchak Market.
Phi Mai and Ban Non Wat
I met my fellow Earthwatchers at another hotel, and we rode in a luxury minivan to Phi Mai, to the Phi Mai
Inn I'd stayed in ten years ago. There seemed to be habitation all along the highways. (I noted
particularly the outlet stores that are in the Khao Yai Wildlife Park area.) Phi Mai itself was much as before,
although the internet cafe was new! The hotel had grown and prospered under Higham's Earthwatch patronage,
and the pool was as refreshing as ever!
SO on to the dig, which was a few kilometers from the one that I had attended in '97, about which I'd done one of my first web-page narratives, Origins of Awareness.
It was hot, but there were sunscreens erected over the pit and the work area. MePooh, the puppy, kept us amused, and
on our final day the villagers invited us to a festival at their local Buddhist temple, which was fun, with a lot
of food, and a view from the countryside.
on to Cambodia!
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