CHIANG KHONG, Thailand—I could say the day started bright and early, but that would be a lie. It started at a reasonable 10 a.m. with a pickup by the tour company I’d contracted to take me to Chiang Khong on the border with Laos, where tomorrow I will cross over and take a “slow boat” to Luang Prabang, as mentioned in a previous post.

To cut through the boring parts, we ate up about 230 km over several hours before stopping at Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple, just outside the sleepy town of Chiang Rai. Designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, it’s a raucous mishmash of traditional Buddhist design and contemporary themes. Read More

CHIANG MAI, Thailand—So I’m back in Chiang Mai, the charming little town that anchors northern Thailand. From my last trip here in early September, I fell in love with the place, with its funky vibe, youthful energy and a preponderance of good food, Western hippies, yoga centers and the like. As I wrote at the time: Read More

You ever write something you wish you could take back? Or at least edit? A poorly-worded email, or text message that went out before you meant to hit send? The previous entry is solidly in that category.

After some feedback from friends whose opinion I value, I think I missed the mark on “Crossing to Cambodia,” at least on my attempts at tying together Thai-farang relations, and lines and zones of transaction at the border. In the process, I strained to paint with an overly broad brush and may have offended friends who are in a deeply loving cross-cultural relationships that bear no resemblance to what I was trying to get across. While no one has contacted me about this, I’d like to preemptively say to those friends, I’m sorry. You were not the people I had in mind when I was writing that entry. Read More