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Southeast Asia Again 2006

a travel blog by Jason Kester

Another winter spent climbing rock on the beach in southern Thailand. I've got some ideas about trying to follow the Silk Roads into Turkey come the spring, so stay tuned...
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All good thus far

Bangkok, Thailand

So I'm back in Bangkok, at the tail end of a one-way ticket. Things are essentially going according to plan, with minor exceptions such as the part where EVA Airlines wouldn't let me on the plane until I shelled out $950 for a return ticket. Tomorrow will be day two of the grand "refund the expensive yet worthless return ticket" adventure.

But hey, I got to watch the sun rising over Mt Fuji this morning, and my favorite curry stall is still where I left it. We'll call it good...

permalink written by  Jason Kester on November 30, 2005 from Bangkok, Thailand
from the travel blog: Southeast Asia Again 2006
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Siemreab, Cambodia

Angkor is pretty cool. I'm digging the part where they let you climb over basically anything. The best temples are the broken down ones in the jungle where you can clambor over big piles of stone blocks and drop squeeze into the old Temples that are barely standing.

It was nice that you could hire a guy for $5 to drive you around on a motorbike from Sunrise to sunset and wait outside these temple sites for hours at a time, but still I think my best day was the one where I just rented a bike and pedaled out to the remote spots that nobody visits. Got to meet a couple kids on their way to the fishing hole, and found the back way through the jungle to get from temple to temple.

Too bad they're building giant luxury hotels so fast. In another year or so I bet you'll start seeing ropes and signs and guards all over the place. Better get there now if you still want to sift through the rubble yourself!

permalink written by  Jason Kester on December 8, 2005 from Siemreab, Cambodia
from the travel blog: Southeast Asia Again 2006
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The Killing Fields

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Today I held a human skull in my hands.

The killing Fields are really something to behold. The site itself is nothing special. Just a small monument in a Field full of holes, but what it lacks in scope it makes up in impact. The monument itself is essentially a giant glass display case. 10 shelves, 20 feet by 20 feet, each stacked three high with piles of skulls that they have been digging up in the immediate vicinity. 8000 in all.

Walking among the mass graves, it took a while to register the scraps of cloth sticking out of the ground. This is Southeast Asia so you get used to trash everywhere. But eventually it sunk in that these were people’s clothes working their way out of the ground after the fall rains. Scratch the surface and you’ll find bones inside them. Visitors collect them in little shrines along with teeth and bits of clothing. The sign says there are 2000 more bodies that they plan to leave buried there. As I said, it’s a pretty powerful experience.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on December 10, 2005 from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
from the travel blog: Southeast Asia Again 2006
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Southeast Asian Travel Day

Bangkok, Thailand

Woke up in time for a nice cup of coffee on the lake in Phnom Penh and a few minutes to chill before another long travel day.

So, a half hour on a motorbike across town and an hour on a state of the art Cambodian airliner puts me back in lovely Bangkok in time to pick up the bags and jump on a night train to Surat Thani. Just 20 hours of buses, pickup trucks and longtail boats away from the beach. No worries!

permalink written by  Jason Kester on December 11, 2005 from Bangkok, Thailand
from the travel blog: Southeast Asia Again 2006
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A month later...

Ban Ao Nang, Thailand

Been here a whole month now, climbing rocks, working on the tan, and amassing stories. Maybe if I get some time I'll even tell some of them. Until then, know that life remains good.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on January 17, 2006 from Ban Ao Nang, Thailand
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Jason Kester Jason Kester
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Hey! I wrote Blogabond so I guess that makes me your host. Welcome!

I spend about 9 months a year on the road, chasing the sun around the world in search of good climbing and surfing. I carry a laptop along with me, and take on small programming contracts to take care of expenses.

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