In the airplane from Bangkok to Chiang-Mai
The Asian tailors can copy everything from pictures. One tailor copied the Matrix's Neo-coat. It could be yours for USD 150.
Chiang-Mai is filled with Buddhist temple complexes.
The cooking course. Go to the market, meet interesting food, and eat it.
Genuine The North Face. Made with lightweight matrials.
Happiness is in a small seed pod: chillis on sale near Chiang-Mai.
The start of our trek was easy: sitting on elephants, and getting drenched from the tropical rain.
Soul-mate for a few days: Richie, from Colorado, and Arun from the Mountains, jazzing up the Guitarman Bar.
The antique Pub & Gallery: a cafe with wood carvings. They wouldn't stand a chance against Dutch bar-patrons, I suppose. Next to me, Gillian from Ireland, who tried to get a Janis Joplin-voice from smoking light Thai cigarettes.
The name is Bond, James Bond
Shopping is irrestible. Me in a made-to-measure white-tie suit. They put on the sleeves when the body of the jacket is deemed ok by the customer.
And in a cream-silk suit.
They're everywhere: VW vans converted to outdoor discos, cocktail bars and espresso shops.
Wat Pho, Bangkok.
The air and the traffic of Bangkok. Horrible. I only met one person that liked Bangkok, and that was because it was so much better than India.
A trip to the floating market: parkings full of buses, where you can buy plates with your pictures on it.
On the market, tourists walk shoulder to shoulder admiring the souvenirs and handicrafts (which usually are made around Chiang-Mai)
making rice soup for a street stall, in Banglamphu district, Bangkok.
To Phnom Penh with tiny, cute jet.
In Phnom Penh, there are cheap hotels on the Boeng Kak lake, ...
... which are constructed like shanties.
once you dig up a mass-grave, it looks rather boring: a hole in the ground.
A practical approach to temple decoration: unlike in Thailand, most decorations in Cambodia are made from cement, a more durable material, which is cast into moulds, which is a simpler process than wood carving (at least, I think).
Siem Reap: a marriage. Khmer style marriages are easily discernible: lots of gentlemen and ladies in fancy clothes (the ladies wearing elegant, colorful dresses especially caught my eye), and blaring Karaoke sets.
Bakeng Thom (?) is one of the recommended places to view the sunset. It is so popular that the atmosphere is ruined by all the clattering tourists that take pictures of each other.
Sunrise is much nicer. Since you have to get up at 0500 to see it, it is much quieter around this time.
By Dutch standards, I am perfectly average. However, to this group of Khmer, I am a giant, and I had to pose for several snapshots.
Constructive use of munitions in Aki Ra's land mine museum.
A more distant temple in the Roluos group. Here, children are just playing, and don't try to sell you anything.
Isn't it beautiful? Angkor Wat at sunset.
The local craft schools train young people in becoming artisans. In the attached shop, you could buy nice souvenirs at American prices. Interestingly, they copy all the accidents too. The copies have no heads and/or arms just like the originals
The water festival (Bonn Om Tuk) is the national festival. The main part of this festival is held in the capital Phnom Penh, but Siem Reap has boat races too, albeit in miniature.
Here is the real thing: rowing with 30 to 60 guys or girls down the Tonle Sap. The hard part is actually rowing back up to the start, because that's upstream.
Developing countries need education. Luckily, the poor Khmer can learn all about Finiteness Theorems for Limit Cycles, and live happily ever after.
(I have an MSc in Math, and don't comprehend what this book is about.)
In the back, you can see the teenagers doing their cute little dances. The audience remains stationary.
Sitting on the beach without food is impossible. So you buy crab. And then lobster. And then fruit. More fruit, a sarong. I see a great future for them as salespeople.
The Bokor hillstation has a deserted hotel/casino on the top of a mountain. It makes for surreal pictures.
A farmer's son who took me to his English evening classes, where I had to demonstrate `proper' English, by reading stories from an illegally copied text book.
Transportation goes by shared taxi. This is a Toyota Camry, with four (no, I'm not kidding) guys in the front, and 5 in the back, that is if you pay standard fare.
Corruption money flows back into society through temple complexes. Phnom Brasat is a small copy of Angkor Wat, built from carmine concrete by a wealthy businessman.
British travellers: can't go anywhere without beer and football.
Rice alcohol with a snake inside, very healthy. Taste isn't bad.
In Saigon ^H^HHo Chi Minh city, it rains heavily, even outside the rainy saison. When it does, you understand why their pavements are so high.
Food is of premier importance. During a flooding, the market was open anyway.
Hoi An, a city of 5000 people and 140 tailors. And expensive too!
The Cham is an extinct civilization that used to live halfway Vietnam. This statue expresses the wonders of their civilization (and the museum dedicated to it) succinctly.
In Hue, skip the touristy tombs: go Gia Long's tomb, where you will be the only visitor, and
local farmers insist that you join them for lunch.