The Mekong

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After our arrival in Laos, it was a short trip upriver to meet our boat, but we very nearly didn’t make it when our songthaew stalled on a hill and wouldn’t get going again. Somehow, the driver managed to restart it, and we got over the crest of the hill and rolled into a spot…

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Parallel Economics

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Before leaving Chiang Mai, we walked in the old city and enjoyed a few temples. It was a long ride from Chiang Mai to the Thai-Laos border, through an increasingly rural landscape. We broke the trip up with a stop at a cashew farm and another at Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai, also known…

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The Train to Chiang Mai

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The next big adventure was getting ourselves and our luggage across the street to the central rail station during rush hour. Terrifying. We boarded our train and soon we were creeping, crawling, and lurching along the tracks toward Chiang Mai. The train moved very slowly and stopped frequently, but that was all accounted for in…

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Our Indochina trip starts!

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Our first excursion was a ride on a long boat on the Chao Phraya River and one of the canals that Bangkok is famous for. It was a nice glimpse of the old Bangkok, although the waterways are no longer the main thoroughfares of commerce through the city. After that we visited Wat Pho, where…

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The Big, Big City

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Bangkok has between eight and nine million people—about the same as New York City, where I lived when I was very young. I sort of expected it to be an Asian version of New York, but instead it feels even bigger, noisier, dirtier, and more chaotic. This is really surprising to me, because New York…

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