Tuesday, May 30, 2017

More "Down Time" in Chiang Mai

May 30, 2017
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Monks, Malls, Motorbikes & Makeup - Spending productive & occasionally fun times in Chiang Mai
For the third time, we find ourselves hanging out in a Chiang Mai apartment after busy travel.  First, it was Tanny's condo on the south side of town after our initial Bangkok/Southern Thailand beach trip.  Then, after returning to Chiang Mai from Myanmar, we moved into Peter and Puy's Nimman neighborhood condo on the west side.  We left the condo for 9 days or so while going to Shanghai and Japan, and find ourselves back again before our final departure from Thailand.

Monday, May 15, 2017

18 Hours in Osaka

May 15, 2017
Osaka, Japan

Antics in Dotonbori in Osaka
I spent much of the Shanghai-to-Osaka flight talking to Gao, a Chinese woman who has been living and working in Japan for many years.  She was extremely friendly and knowledgeable, and provided tips to help us enjoy our stay in Japan. Some we were able to use almost immediately upon landing – including how to say “excuse me” (I jotted down "smee mah sehm" phonetically, who knows if I was saying it right), and where to eat on our one evening in Osaka. 

Shanghai Surprise

May 15, 2017
Shanghai, China


Visiting friends John and Monique in Shanghai
A few years ago, we found out our friends from Michigan, John, a friend of mine (Scott's) from high school, and his wife Monique, were relocating themselves and their two kids to China for a year for John's job. One year turned into two and two years turned into three - lucky for us, since it gave us a window of opportunity to visit them while we're practically next door (a mere six-hour flight away).  

Monday, May 1, 2017

We Arrive in Hsipaw

May 1, 2017
Hsipaw, Myanmar

What could possible go wrong?
Upon disembarking our train at Hsipaw in a downpour, we were quickly approached by several young men with laminated photos of hotels, all trying to shuffle us into their vehicles to take us for a free ride to a potential lodging (for a commission, I'm sure).  We eventually relented, and climbed into a large, off-road 3-wheeler type vehicle with passenger truck bed space in the back.  The inn we stopped at was okay, but as the rain had stopped by the time we were finished looking at the accomodations, we decided to walk over to another place, Hotel Lily The Home, that we had already researched. After a quick tour, we determined Lily to be the far better option, and checked in for around $17 for the night.