I hate the Vientiane visa run.

UPDATE AS OF 2019, YOU NEED TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE THAI EMBASSY TO GET YOUR VISA BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS. I hate the Vientiane visa run. Even though I’ve done it a few times, and even experienced an unforeseen problem, I still endured a special kind of hell that is reserved…

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Don’t call Thais short.

In the US, if you call someone fat, it is considered insulting, even if it is true. It’s more polite to say “heavy” or “big”. But in Thailand, the word “fat” does not have the same weight because it’s the height that means the most.

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Downtown Chiang Rai (in pics)

I remember the first time I was turned on by poetry. I was in high school Freshman or Sophomore English, and the poem was Carl Sandburg’s Chicago. Generally speaking, I was greatly turned on by the poetry we were reading, but Sandburg’s Chicago was different, gritty, and decidedly real. It wasn’t about love, or love…

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Just a view: Jet Yod Road Chiang Rai

Sitting next to someone’s empty Leo beer bottle, I uncomfortably rest on a tree trunk stool outside a closed Rasta bar on the seediest street in Chiang Rai. When I hear my geezer neighbors talk about how much they pay for women, I know they come to this street. Old white men roost themselves in…

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