Hello there, I’m Chris Allbritton, a former conflict reporter, having covered wars in Iraq, Lebanon and Pakistan over the last decade for a variety of publications, including Time Magazine, Reuters and the San Francisco Chronicle. in 2002, I started back-to-iraq.com, which gained some fame/notoriety back in the early days of the Iraq war. But after too many stories about the worst in humanity, I decided to chuck it and start traveling and writing for myself, trying to find some of what is best in the world.
POIPET, Cambodia—As it must to all expats, the time had come to leave Thailand and make a pilgrimage to a border crossing to renew my visa. I used a package run by the oddly named Jack Total Golf International company, as it was relatively cheap, organized and took care of all the visa formalities with which I frankly couldn’t be bothered.
We met at the unholy hour of 4:30 for a 5 a.m. departure. As this was a visa run, there was paperwork involved, and in a blow to the idea that private enterprise is more efficient than government bureaucracy, Jack’s folks still took forever to handle just the filling out of forms that the Thai and Cambodian visa officials would later process. Read More
CHIANG MAI, Thailand—To say the north of Thailand differs from the south is one of the most obvious observations you can make about this country. And by “south,” I mean Bangkok and the surrounding plains and the close-by islands. I’ve not had the pleasure of going to the Deep South of Thailand.
Chiang Mai, Thailand’s northern rose, is a charming, bustling little place in the mountains, with maybe 200,000 people. Surrounded by un-imposing hills blanketed by dense jungle, these bumps in the earth resemble the wrinkles of a comfortable blanket. I noticed, on the train up from the chaos of Bangkok, that these northern highlands rise gently, without snap transitions between plain and mountains. For that would be too sharp, too sudden. Like the Thai people, the very land seems to abhor contrast and conflict, preferring a slow, harmonious transition from the plains of central Thailand to the southernmost offshoots of the great Himalayan range. Read More