Saturday, December 13, 2008
Sometimes, when travelling, the places that I imagined don't fulfill my expectations. At those moments, I feel in transit - like I am moving through, passing by, a stranger in a strange land with no business but to move forward. Now is one of those times.
We tried to go trekking in Northern Laos, but after having spoken to a few terrible salesmen (one of them drunk) who made Laos sound like the Dan Ryan Woods, we decided to get back to Thailand as fast as possible. The nicest and jolliest Thai man gave us a free 8-hour ride to Chiang Mai out of the kindness of his heart, saving us close to $30 and hours upon hours of travel time.
Chiang Mai was nice, nothing to write home about, so I won't. Sukhothai - ancient Thai ruins where we stopped on the way back to B'kok - were underwhelming compared to the Ankorians they conquered centuries ago.
Moving along, pressing on, looking forward.
The next legs of our trip loom excitingly on the horizon, like we are at the outset of an entirely new adventure. We fly to India on Sunday where we'll see throngs of women in Saris and ride camels in the desert, tour the Taj Mahal, go on tiger safaris and wander through the pink, golden, white and blue cities of Rajasthan. After a month or so there, we'll fly back to Bangkok and spend some time at the Highland Farm Gibbon Refuge, getting to know our primate relatives. Lastly, on to paradise! Southern Thailand, home to some of the best and last remaining intact coral reefs in the world. We'll sleep in secluded cabins plopped on the shores of tiny white-sand islands and float in warm crystal-clear azure waters hovering above rainbow-worlds of coral and tropical fish and maybe even whale sharks.
As we loaf in our homey room in Bangkok, I feel like I did as a child right before a vacation I had been dreaming about: relaxed, comfortable, but on the edge of something fantastic and unimaginable.