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Recap of Trip to SE Asia

Builders, Allen's Hillside Homestead, Good Poetry, Digital Photography, Bird and Mushroom Books

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One of the Great Cities of the World (San Francisco)

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Quotes of the Times

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I took a 24-day trip to Bangkok, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos this January-February. While I was on the road I posted my on-the-fly observations on my new blog site. If you're interested in this part of the world, go to the blog site below.

In blogs, the most recent postings are at the top. To see previous postings, see on the right of the screen: "Previous 10 Posts in Lloyd's Southeast Asia Blog."

My overall impression, now that I've been home a month, is that I tried to do too much in too little time, but I'm more than ever fascinated by this land and its people and daily life and religion and customs and history. I learned a lot in this trip that I'll apply when I go back (probably next November). Here's a blog on travel gear I posted last week:

The Three Rules of Asia:
1. Nothing is free.
2. Nothing is as it appears.
3. Nothing goes as planned.

Two Good Books
I've recently read two books on the S/E Asia: To Venture Further, by Tristan Jones. Jones is a one-legged Welsh seafarer who took a 38-foot motorized boat from Phuket island across the Isthmus of Kra. an inland waterway bisecting Thailand from the Bay of Bengal to the Gulf of Thailand. Jones' crew consisted of three crippled Thai boys, and the voyage was unbelievably difficult. At one point, they are towed by an elephant through shallow waters. His observations of the Thai people are perceptive and a lot different from what you read elsewhere, especially in what the locals think of white people (farangs). The other book is When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, by Le Ly Hayslip and Jay Wurts. Hayslip was born in a small village in Vietnam and recounts her experiences dealing with the Viet Cong, the Republicans (the Vietnamese government that the Viet Cong opposed) and the Americans. It's well-written and from her perspective you understand just how horrible the war was and how debilitating it was for the Vietnamese people. Like many Vietnamese, she played all three sides. She was raped by the Viet Cong, tortured (by the Republicans, and harassed by the Americans. She eventually married an American and moved to Southern California. She then returns to Vietnam and documents what has happened in the country and to her family since the war.

Photos from Trip
You know, I am so EXCITED by my photos from Southeast Asia. I selected 200 for a slide show and Rick ran them through Photoshop and I just printed them out as contacts, 30 to a sheet. My new Canon 20D digital camera is resulting in much better shots than I've achieved ever before..

Note for photographers: I'm shooting in RAW mode (8 megs) + a small jpeg (2 versions of each shot); when you work on RAW images in Photoshop, there are different controls, and what's great is that there's so much DATA. I'm way way ahead of the quality I had for pix in HOME WORK.

All photos below from first couple of days in Bangkok

Get into Bangkok at 4AM, check into The Buddy Lodge on Khao San Road, This is hallway on 4th floor.

Moi in hotel room mirror as sun comes up

I shower, rest 20 minutes and hit the streets. Coffee on the streets at sunrise. Yeah!

Here are women wheeling their sidewalk kitchens to set up at 5:30 AM. Street food in Bangkok is fantastic. Asian fast food -- efficient!

Early morning city gatos

VW bus converted to streetside cocktail lounge (with portable chairs).

Isn't this a beautiful boat? On one of Bangkok's many waterways. Stylin'. These things can haul ass.

Someone should get California gubernator Schwarzenegger to look at this Bangkok bridge as he tries to push an ugly, slightly cheaper Bay Bridge retrofit in San Francisco. Bangkok, like Hong Kong, venerates its surrounding waters.

On a busy block off Khao San Road in Bangkok are posted names, photos, pleas from families about people missing in the Tsunami. I think there were 4-5000 people missing, from all parts of the world.


You know what? I intended to throw in 10 photos from the trip, but I never got past Bangkok. As I mentioned, I'm going to do a book on this part of the world and I'll work on a sample chapter. I've already heard from 3-4 travellers who have material to contribute.


Communicator's Dilemna in 21st Century
I'm constantly gathering info -- photos, names, places, what I see happening wherever I go -- and I struggle trying to figure out what form to put it in. Four main choices:
What makes it interesting is the underlying fact that we need to have enough income to keep our at-times precarious publishing ship afloat. We keep trying to figure out if blogging or having a robust website will pay off for us.

Request for Feedback
1. Does this sort of stuff interest you, i.e. pix from trips via email?
2. Does it take too long for this many pix to download?

Home Work in Chinese?
We just gave an option to Big Apple Tuttle-Mori Agency, Inc. to finds a publisher in China for Home Work. (They had asked for same.)

Ending Note
Our book Stretching has sold 8699 books so far this month. This is the biggest month in 4 years.

On the Road Again
I'm off tomorrow for 3 days at Bill and Athena Steen's strawbale compound in southern Arizona, then to Arroyo Verde near Alamos, Mexico, and will be hanging out for a few days at a rancho at 5000 feet, hiking, exploring, shooting pics. This is on the eastern side of the Copper Canyon. I am ouuta here.