Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bangkok Smiles

Sukhumvit Road vendor

At some point I may write about Bangkok Smiles, my excellent dental clinic in Thailand, but this post features photos of other people showing of their choppers. All of them were taken in, yes, you guessed it, Bangkok. (For more of my Land of 1000 Smiles series, please click here and here.)

New Siam II Guest House

On the Chao Praya River

Salesman at JJ Market. I didn't buy the umbrella hat, so of course it rained later.

Outside Pantip Plaza

These friends called me over for conversation and a meal.

Proud papa

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book 'em!

Do you really want to lug all these around? Even without the cats?

We all know that iPads and Kindles and the like make it easier to bring books (heck, virtual libraries) with us when we're on the move; now here's an opportunity to stock up for free. has a few hundred free e-books available here. Most of the books on the classics-heavy list can be downloaded, though a few can only be read online. The site also has links to a number of other great free offerings - the free language lessons may be of particular interest to travelers.

Big thanks to my best friend, the human force behind my favorite canine blog, for alerting me to the site.

We're not playing a game; we're reading Dostoevsky. No, really.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

And the Smiles Keep Coming (Prachuap Khiri Khan edition)

Chef, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

As I noted before, Thailand is renowned for its friendly citizens. Here's some more shots of people I met on my latest visit. These photos are all from Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Just a few hours south of Bangkok, the province includes the popular tourist beach destination of Hua Hin and less visited sites such as Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park and the city of Prachuap Khiri Khan. It's one of my favorite places in Thailand, easily accessible from Bangkok, with beautiful beaches and relative quiet (if you stay out of Hua Hin, which I do).

I was later told
that those were probably
fighting roosters.
Street fair vendor
Parade watcher
Security guard
Tuktuk passenger

Chinese tourists
(So they're not Thai,
they still have great
Celebrating Buddhist Lent

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Too Much Monkey Business?

When I tell people that I was chased by a monkey, they almost invariably ask, "How big was it?" Like there's some threshold size at which it becomes acceptable to choose discretion over valor when confronted by a disgruntled simian.  I didn't get an accurate gauge of the monkey's weight; I was too busy noting its surprising speed and the huge teeth it seemed awfully fond of displaying.  My completely undignified retreat is pretty funny to picture now - my Teva® sandals slapping on an unevenly cobbled downhill path  as I tried to maintain speed without wiping out - but, as the saying goes, at the time it wasn't so funny.

396 steps of monkeys
(Prachuap Khiri Khan)

It's quite easy to get up close and personal, perhaps too personal, with monkeys in Thailand. Some towns, such as Lopburi, are famous for their  resident troops, attracting tourists who can easily find themselves surrounded by a bunch of swingers in every sense of the word.

Visitors can often choose to do more than just watch the swirl of activity. At some sites you can purchase food to feed the monkeys. While Buddhists may do so to "make merit," others just enjoy taking part in the unique experience. Throwing the food (bananas, corn, nuts) in the general vicinity of the animals and watching their hierarchy noisily assert itself is always a feeding option, but sometimes you can literally hand the food out as if it were Halloween and  a bunch of really short nervous kids all arrived wearing the same costume.

Click below for more photos and the rest of the article.
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Gotta Gettaway by Josh Lewis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.