Thailand: The Beginning

Traveling, much like lack of sleep, can do wild things to the mind. Even the most balanced and kempt person can find themselves altered by this crazy thing we call "travel." Between culture, jet lag, uncertainty, and the nomadic, hermit-crab lifestyle one finds themselves falling into while traveling; the mind goes through a vigorous test of character. When it all comes to a close and you find yourself understanding what the word "structure" means again, that is when all of the highs and lows come together as the glue to bind together an experience that stays with you wherever the rest of your life takes you.

Now that my somewhat sappy, philosophical ramble is out of the way, let's talk about why this blog is here. Emily and I wanted to keep an online account of our travels through Thailand, Southeast Asia, and wherever else we end up. This whole trip stemmed from the curiosity of teaching abroad and the urge to see a part of the world that is in a way, on the other end of the spectrum from Western Culture.

After taking a 13-week, online course, coupled with a 20+ hour teaching practicum, we received our TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificates. Our college degrees in conjunction with these certificates give us the appropriate credentials to teach English in a foreign country in virtually any teaching category: Public, Private, Corporate, Language Schools, International Schools, Private Tutor, etc.

Having heard many great things about the country, we booked two one-way-tickets to Bangkok, Thailand for February 25, 2012. With the flight booked, the only thing we had planned was a two-night stay at a hotel close to the airport to figure out a slight plan for our holiday before we began to work. After a 17-hour flight to Shanghai, a 3-hour layover, and a 4 hour flight to Bangkok, we found ourselves through customs and on the Bangkok pavement at 3:45am on February 27th (2 days later for you non-Mathletes). This is when the adventure begins...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cave Crave...

It had been another one of those travel benders. For the preceding 12 or so hours, Emily and I had endured a budget night-bus, resulting in bruised kneecaps and puffy, well-worn eyelids in the morning. Once the seats in front of you relaxed into the recline position, the hard plastic was introduced to your kneecaps with no introduction. Body movements were far from gracious, even by the nimblest of limbs. Luckily, our air-conditioner vent had malfunctioned, resulting in a dry ride. For those ill fated enough to have a state-of-the-art, fully functional AC unit, their experience was not only cramped, but quite damp. I awoke every few minutes throughout the night to find passengers standing on their seats, pulling the window curtain up and over the vents, and tucking it into the luggage storage above. It was a bit confusing to see at first, but I quickly became aware that close to half of the bus was getting rained on by the AC vents. Once the fog had lifted, I would have gotten up to help if it hadn’t been for the sea of contorted bodies curled up throughout the aisle. This situation presents a hilarious cultural difference between the States and Thailand: In the States, all it takes to get a free bus ticket is a whiny traveler complaining about their uncomfortable seat. In Thailand, if you complain, you can walk…

Just like all of our travels, we take it for what it is: an adventure. Sleep deprivation is part of a traveler’s contract; if we were getting 8-hours of sleep per night in clean hotel rooms, then we wouldn’t be traveling – we would be on vacation. One thing you learn very quickly about Thai culture is to always keep your cool and never “Lose Face.” What is “losing face” you ask? Losing Face mean raising your voice or getting annoyed in any social interaction in Thailand. Being a predominately Buddhist culture, Thais feel that “extremes” should be avoided and they certainly are not ones to let their emotions get the best of them. In circumstances where stomping your feet while pissing and moaning seems fitting, it is strongly advised that you never provoke a Thai to turn over to the dark side. It is best to act as a Jedi in these circumstances and that is why I will end this topic with a quote from Yoda:

“Yes, a Jedi’s strength flows from the force, but beware of the Dark Side. Anger, fear, aggression; the Dark Side of the force are they. Easily they flow – quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you, it will, like it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.”  

With our faces intact and The Force with us, our next stop was the province of Mae Hong Son, in the audacious town of Soppong, Thailand. About 3-hours north of Chiang Mai, Soppong provides an excellent outlet for travelers longing for quaint, culturally drenched villages, in a pristine setting. We were there to stay at a guesthouse 8 kilometers away called Cave Lodge. Built and operated by Australian Caver, John Spies, Cave Lodge is a brilliantly constructed lodge that offers a welcoming atmosphere, coupled with an extensively knowledgeable staff concerning the surrounding outdoors.

Members of the Shan tribe, local Thais, and John work hard to offer caving, kayaking, and trekking tours from their lodgings. The main reception area is a massive lean-to, wide open and well-equipped with hammocks, pillow cushions, and tables. There is an extensive menu of luscious Thai food, thirst quenching fruit shakes, amazing pineapple-banana muffins (try these!), and comforting falang food. This area provides an awesome environment to befriend other adventurers from around the world, as well as a chill spot to read one of the books spilling off of their bookshelf. When you’re done hanging out for the day, they offer comfortable and aesthetically appropriate accommodation in one of their many bungalows scattered throughout their property. Very reasonably priced, you can choose from a wide-variety of options. Be prepared to share your room with some of the many bug and spider species around, but don’t worry – they don’t eat much! (Unless you’re Emily…then they do.)

That was our room for the week. Great spot. Also, the spot where we saw our first Stick Bug! Look it up.

The roof has to be re-done every year with these leaves that fall from the local trees. 
Photo of Cave Lodge from the 70's; Note the monkey on the swing!

Caving is the main reason we were there, and given its name, it’s what Cave Lodge is renowned for. Home to over 200 caves – some as old as 280 million years old – this area of Soppong is just screaming to be explored. Some of them are filled with pre-historic art; there are many decaying coffins in others, while some of them are used as a mediation hut for monks. Personally, I would prefer a warm bubble bath to meditate in, but a monk’s gotta do what a monk’s gotta do.

For our first day, we hired a guide to take us on a full day trek and cave adventure. Throughout this day, we would explore 3 caves – Fossil Cave, Waterfall Cave, and Christmas Cave – while simultaneously trekking through the Karst Mountains and Shan villages of the surrounding area. The hot sun can be a bully and the toasted trees can be a bit bleak at times, but there is an unspeakable beauty that radiates from the northwestern Thai landscape. Rolling mountains rise into the backdrop, while red clay lies beneath each step you take. Your mind begins to wander almost instantaneously during hikes like these – your senses are going wild and every new thing you see amazes and inspires.

Besides scuba diving, caving is the closest I’ve ever felt to being on a different planet. Light – something everybody but the Amish takes for granted – becomes your most important lifeline. Without it, a caver becomes stripped of one of their most valuable senses. You would be forced to sleep with the snakes, spiders, and bats and eventually, I am convinced that you would become a mutant cave person (I thought a lot about this, and I would guess that it would take about a month of being trapped in a cave before you would transform into a cave-person). It was a good thing we all had loyal lights because the caves were awesome!

Remains of a really old coffin. Creepy that we had to step all over it. That means we stepped on ghosts. Boo!
The first and last caves (Fossil Cave and Christmas Cave) were massive. Endless caverns filled their interior, with a plethora of creepy inhabitants. There were snakes and millipedes creeping in every corner, while bats hung by their feet from the ceiling. It’s a bit weird because they kind of squeak in their sleep, so you can’t tell if they are awake or not. Some of them do wake up and start flying around blindly through the cave, dodging past your head at the last second like your playing a game of “Chicken” – that is always a bit scary. You also must always be aware because everybody knows that “big white bats have big white guano!”

Waterfall Cave fell between Fossil and Christmas Cave in our agenda. In the States, when you go on any outdoor adventure type tour, you are always well informed of your safety and your agenda. The guide will always be sure to inform you to bring ample amounts of water, bring a jacket for possible rain showers, and to be prepared to potentially get your shoes wet because a few puddles may stand in the way to the top. In Thailand – that does not happen. Your guide will rarely speak English, and if you don’t want to get dirty, stay home. That was definitely the case for Waterfall Cave (I guess we should have figured that out by the name!)

We wandered into the cave, making sure to avoid the little puddles as our guide stomped through them like an eager toddler (our guide was in his 60’s). As we left the light in our rearview, it became clear that our shoes might get wet. As our shoes began to dampen, it became crystal clear that we weren’t going to get wet – we were going to get drenched. The cave turned into a maze of incredibly low ceilings and jagged rocks. We found ourselves on our hands and knees, crawling through inches – sometimes feet – of water, leaving our chins dragging across the surface of the murky liquid. Tadpoles squirmed through my fingers as they dug into the silty soil, as my core and legs were burning from strain. If I moved up too high, my head and back would smash into the jagged roof above, so I decided to pretend I was a convict on the run to motivate me to push further.

Besides one minor claustrophobia-induced panic attack from one of the girls in our group, we made it to the end with roughly no speed bumps. We stopped a few times when the ceiling rose up a bit to check out these really cool little silkworms. They are tiny worms that spin these silk mini-beanstalks, as I like to call them. If you touch it, it takes on the characteristics of sap, making sure to get stuck to you and work its way all over your body (Note to self: Do not touch the silk beanstalk; it may look cool, but do not let your emotions get the best of you. Leave it be, and hike on).

The path ended at this MASSIVE 30 meter waterfall (roughly 60 feet). It was a magnificent sight to poke your head over the edge of what seemed to be an endless abyss. The craziest part about all of this was the thought of how caves are entirely made by nature. No human did anything to enhance the beauty and spectacular traits of this cave. My hat goes off to you Mother Nature – way to go!

A nice Hilltribe lady and her granddaughters 

a little baby DJ corn

It's really hard to take photos in a cave..


Our picnic spot

Our very impressive and knowledgeable guide. He was constantly searching out cool things that he would hand to us with a brief command: "Smell" or "Eat"

Tham Lod 

Helene again!

Emily and I had one solo hiking adventure, which started off amazing, then ended with us getting incredibly lost in the dense, vast forests of Tham Lod National Park. We followed a trail about half way up this mountain, then decided to blaze our own trail the rest of the way up. Of course, our minds began to wander and every time we thought about turning back, we decided to go "a little bit further." When it came time to head back down, everything looked the same. There were no trail markers and every path we tried to take turned into a massive drop off with prickers and weeds galore. Running low on water, food, and daylight, we had to make every thought count. After a couple hours of mistakes, our determination to make it out of that jungle by night eventually has us trudging through a mini river back into civilization. Although it involved scaling down the side of the mountain, following the faint voices we heard playing in a river below, we made it to the base. Even though we felt like we were a few towns away at that point, we somehow stumbled right back into the same village we hiked out of. As careless as we were, it was a good learning experience. Here are some photos from before we got lost:

The following three days were spent hiking and caving with our new friends we met at Cave Lodge.
 We met Matt, Craig, and Chris – three Americans who had been teaching in Asia for close to eight years; alongside Helen – the incredibly fun and giggly Belgium solo-traveler; and the hilariously entertaining Argentinean family – Agostina, Gonza, and Emilio. Luis, the witty and whimsical dude from Spain was hanging out with us for a day, but we didn’t have the pleasure of getting to know him for long; he left to continue his travels as we were beginning our adventures at Cave Lodge.

Fire Pit: It actually gets down to about 40 degrees in the winter.
Chair made out of Good Year tires. One of the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat in...

View from the Lodge

We couldn’t have been with a more dynamic and fun crew while at the Lodge. Gonza – a member of the Argentina sector – was one of the toughest dudes on the planet. Dubbed, “The Bionic Mummy-Man,” he had the misfortune of getting into a motorbike accident before he arrived and received quite the scrape – his entire leg turned into an infected, pus-infused landscape. One would assume he would have been bedridden, but this made him even more audacious. He would often be seen scaling sections of the cave, gimping around on his mummified, wrapped up leg. Unfortunately, our American comrade, Craig, had a similar mishap on his motorbike trip back to Chiang Mai; instead of a battered leg, he endured a broken shoulder. This serves as a warning to you all that the spiral curves in Mae Hong Son Province are no joke; tread lightly and protect your noggin – wear a “brain bucket.”  

Everybody else in the group was great as well. We had a ton of awesome adventures together and reminisced about them every night at the Lodge. Jokes, stories, and memories from our pastimes and various cultural norms were exchanged as new friendships slowly evolved from the banter. Traveling has a lot to do with the crew that you are with – they can really enhance the quality of the place you are in. Matt, Craig, Chris, Helen, Agostina, Gonza, Emilio, and Luis – know that you guys are some of the baddest, rudest, shiestiest, coolest, and freakiest dudes and dudettes we have ever met. Keep on keeping on and maybe we’ll bump into all you fools yet again (we actually ran into the Argentineans again in Chiang Mai a little over a week after this adventure).

To anyone who plans on traveling Thailand, do not miss out on the Northwest. Hike, cave, hang out, or do whatever you want, but just make it there. It is a part of Thailand that has made a significant impact on my time here and I wish everybody in the world would have a chance to see it. For now, peace and chicken grease. Talk to you soon.


*Note: We are a bit behind with the blog. The actual date of our cave travels was: 4/22 until 4/25. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Arduous. Absent. Awe. Barren. Blissful. Bleak. Creatures. Creepy. Crawly. Dark. Damp. Dusty. Evanescent. Epic. Extraordinary. Fragile. Festering. Fear. Gloomy. Gargantuan. Gritty. How and why would anyone fancy being in a place with so many harrowing and haunting qualities? In a place where many of the factors are unknown – where the sole source of leaking light looms only at the cracks of the entrance and leaves us with nothing but the artificial beams brought on by our heads. Jittery and jumpy, we begin to slowly descend as the natural light leaves us amongst the glittery specs shimmering on the stalactites above and the stalagmites below. Knowing very little about the terrain creates a mixture of wonder, astonishment, and anxiousness to crawl under my skin as each foot forward stirs up stagnant dust. Lurching through the clamorous dens, bats that have been stirred from their sleep squeak and flap dramatically around the corridors. Many of the other cave dwellers – the snakes, millipedes, and spiders – remain unaltered by these foreign movements as they silently squat in their respective crevices. Nearby, drips of water plop into puddles at what seems to be a predictable cadence. Old age has created this underworld, yet one foreign finger laid upon its structure could eventually destroy it. Pellets of sweat speed down every square inch of my body as I carefully explore, aware of the feeble state the cave inadvertently finds itself in. Quintessential in cave etiquette, our guide models appropriate cave behavior as we meander throughout this ancient monstrosity. Rearing what seems to be years upon years of experience, he makes us aware of the cave’s age, yet allows us the freedom to explore its beauty individually. Slow and steady seems to be an appropriate pace down here – at least that’s what he seems to be doing. Thoughts continuously dart in and out of my mind as our casual stroll through spacious caverns transforms into limbo-like movements through narrow openings. Under pointy rock formations, we crawl into murky puddles – arguably miniature streams. Vexed by our disturbance, tadpoles squirm through my fingers as my hands sink slowly into the muck. Weary from being out of cave-shape, I begin to crawl awkwardly as my arms tremble trying to support my frame – an unintentional swim surely in my near future if they give way. X-Marks the spot where somebody in the group surely won’t make it much further. Yelps or cries were not heard – to my surprise – as we worked our way from our hands and knees back to our feet, feeling the glowing satisfaction of a cave well conquered. Zealously, the group and I reach the pinnacle of our caving experience; our crew remains morally unscathed with grins from ear to ear, paired with clouds of breath rising through our lamps as our chests heave up and down with the gritty satisfaction of a job well done. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Songkran - Our New Favorite Holiday

Thai New Year – also known as “Songkran” – is a traditional Thai holiday celebrating the coming of the New Year. At its origin, Songkran was a period of three days where Thais would sprinkle water upon one another representing a “cleansing of the soul;” all of the sins and wrongdoings that occurred in the previous year would be washed away and the soul would yet again become pure. In addition to water, talcum powder is gently smeared upon the cheeks of the townspeople as a blessing and as an additional sign of purity. It is celebrated country-wide (Songkran is also celebrated in a handful of the surrounding countries) with music, parades, food, dancing, a few spirits, and a lot of laughs. As time evolved, so did the traditions of Songkran.

*Google Image: Traditional Songkran
*Emily's Image: Modern Day Songkran
Modern day Songkran: A utopia for children and teens, a censored spring break for party animals, and a Mecca for turning mature, fully-functional adults into packs of giddy little water devils. What was once a long, conservative dress has shortened over the years to a skirt that shows a bit more skin. The light, playful splashes of water have been promoted to water guns of all shapes and sizes, coupled with water stations lining the streets, all equipped with garbage pails filled to the brim with water so cold that it would surely require a wetsuit. Instead of having cute dollops of talcum powder patted onto your cheeks, walking down the street will often result in civilians wearing a mask of menthol-laced talcum paired with paper mache-esque gak. House Music blares from pickup trucks carrying a plethora of passengers in their beds as water-wars take place on every square inch of pavement in every sector of the exuberant and smiley country of Thailand. No matter your age, race, gender, political/religious beliefs, shape, size, mood, or sign, the playful wrath of Songkran welcomes all with a squishy, saturated hug.


               Following the slightly awkward, yet friendly puffs of air blurted in our direction that yelled, “Phimai! You have to go to Phimai!” from a round, snowman-like hippie man at a nearby bus station, we decided we might as well give the place a shot – for one thing, we didn’t have a plan as to where we would lay our travel worn bodies that night. A mere 2 hours from the bustling mini-metropolis of Nakhon Ratchasima, lay the quaint, reserved village of Phimai. On the surface, Phimai was an old town, built around Khmer ruins that lay untouched from when they were erected years ago. The locals were a friendly bunch. Numb to the necessities of your average big city dweller, Phimai residents thrive on local business, resulting in tasty soups, and the best cup of iced green tea on this side of the Mekong River!

             The locals never hesitated to make a couple farangs like us feel like we were right smack dab in our comfort zones. While cruising around on our suave, yet squeaky rental bikes, frequent smiles flashed as we whizzed around the sleepy town streets. There were echoes of “HELLLLLLLLLO!” which were consistently belted out by locals who rarely caught glimpses of travelers in these smaller Thai towns. We pulled over a few times to take some scenic photos and found ourselves surrounded by local Thai children who were bashful, yet incredibly bold to show off their goofy antics as soon as they realized our attention had been captured. Riding away from the miniature Thai entertainers, we came across a large extended family of Thais who called us over to their home for a few drinks and some outstanding local food, making it a point to extend the invitation for the entire weekend, which would take us into the Songkran holiday. As all of these events were unfolding, we began to realize that the snowman hippie’s words began to develop some form of credibility – maybe it was a good thing we had listened to him after all. Although our plans were to stay a mere two days, our friendly discoveries at the commencement of our Phimai stint had subconsciously planted a seed in our minds; we had become somewhat loyal to the community of Phimai and there was no other place we could fathom spending our Songkran holiday while on Thai soil.

             It was Friday and in our minds, Songkran had already begun. We had no idea what the festivities of the holiday entailed, nor did we know how to present ourselves. We were well aware that there was supposed to be a water fight, but the extent to which that water fight would rise to, was the topic that remained foreign. We figured the best way to sort everything out would be to go back to the family’s house and follow their lead, but when we arrived and they were nowhere in sight, we found ourselves caught with our pants down. It is never a good feeling when you are caught in a situation like this (especially because we had brought them a gift basket of fruit and flowers from the local market), but we had two things that worked to our advantage. First, up until this point in our travels, we rarely had anything go according to plan; stumbling over hurtles had essentially become etched into our daily routine like tying a tie is for a businessman. Secondly, we happened to be staying at one of the most hospitable guesthouses in Phimai, but our feeble little minds had no idea until this dilemma had come upon us… 

            Meet Noah: 25 years old with the best English in Phimai, musically and artistically talented, the swag, style and finesse of Pharrell, and a damn good friend. Noah would be the one to introduce us to an amazing travel experience. Not only would we spend Songkran with a group of Thai locals, but it was a group of Thai locals in which some had been friends since they were in Pull-Ups (not sure what the Thai translation for “Pull-Up” is). From the second we had a conversation with Noah and were introduced to the Phimai crew, we were treated as if we were members of their wolf pack. After informing us that Songkran really didn’t start until the following day, they took us to an open mic, where Noah was performing. It was a night of many Leos, a friendly atmosphere, weird, yet tasty food, and a perfect base layer for Songkran the following day.

Snacks at the open mic - the spicy frog dish did not prepare us for pigs ears the following day.

            The mid-morning sun rose into the sky and pulsated down with rays that could easily be mistaken for high noon desert heat. It was a couple hours before noon and the streets were silent – eerily silent for the commencement of Songkran. I had just received a fresh cut from the barber formerly known as Noah and was quite anxious to partake in the festivities I had been hearing so much about. Waiting for Songkran on your first experience is very similar to being the first child awake on Christmas morning – you are beyond ready to get the party started and start tearing into all the surprises that lay at your fingertips, but all you can do with these mysterious objects is peer at them with a mixture of curiosity and slight irritation. I knew the festivities were so close to kicking off, yet I had trouble understanding the Thai chatter that was going on around me for the better part of the morning. It must have been the Buddhism in the air because I developed a sense of patience and center clarity that I never had before – patience that allowed me to appreciate what was about to happen and if it weren’t for Noah and friends, my travel partner and I would not be in the ideal situation that we found ourselves in at that moment in time.

Crooked Head? Yes, Noah, I'm aware, but I mean well...
Ready for the Ruckus
             High Noon came and we marched away from the guesthouse, armed with a large garbage bin, multiple buckets, and an Angry Birds squirt gun (the red bird – I know the red bird is the most basic one in the game, but it over served its purpose in this scenario). Setting up shop on the corner right past the convenience store, we found ourselves amidst the battlefront. A motorbike pulled up with two members of our crew aboard, accompanied by 4 large blocks of ice, which were strategically placed in the garbage pail before water was added. A table unfolded, where members of the crew placed numerous bottles of Baby Powder, water artillery, beverages and snacks… many snacks. We all took our positions and as we lined up on the sidewalk ready for the biggest water fight of our career, I happened to glance back at our table of snacks. There was a plastic cup filled with water sitting on the table, which, just like in Jurassic Park, began to ripple as mind-numbing bass began to clamor and flood the Phimai streets. Ready or not, it was time for Songkran.

            From 12:00 PM on Saturday afternoon until well after 12:00 midnight, it was as if we had fallen into an alternate universe – the innocent town of Phimai had become an untamed water dragon that no one could control. It didn’t matter if you had your back turned or you were in the middle of a conversation; anyone roaming the streets on Songkran weekend was a target. Whether they liked it or not, they would be cleansed from all of their poor decisions and actions from the previous year. In the case of modern day Songkran, that meant you were getting squirted from every angle with water guns. Men, women, and children would not hesitate to douse you with continuous buckets of liquid ice. If you decided to make the bold move of walking down a crowded street, you would be welcomed by a swarm of mischievous locals, encompassing beaming smiles, armed with baby powder, water, and sometimes for us farang, hugs.

"Papeng Noi Krap" 

            Although you are continuously watching your every step, once you embrace the water fight (which honestly takes less than 2 minutes), Songkran becomes one of the most invigorating and hilariously genuine experiences on the planet. When you take a closer look at the scenario, the entire country of Thailand is participating in a water fight for 3 whole days (in some cities like Chiang Mai, it goes on for close to a week). The holiday is pure fun. Everybody is smiling and acting like kids. If I could make it happen, the entire world would participate because when it comes down to it, sometimes a little bit of fun is all we need.

This is fun!
This very well may be MORE fun...
              Needless to say our Phimai adventures ended with teary eyes and a positive outlook on the remainder of our pre-teaching adventures. The Phimai locals, Noah and crew included, have a great philosophy on life: work very hard and take passion in what you do and have fun. Whether is was a police officer, coffee shop owner, guest house, or street hustler, every community member in Phimai knows how to live life to the fullest no matter what hand they are dealt. Sometimes, that can be difficult to do, but our experiences there gave us the motivation to work hard to pass that philosophy along on our travels that await.

*A quick side note that I forgot to put in the story. We were lucky enough to witness and participate in a Songkran ceremony with Noah’s family. Noah’s mom and dad sat in a pair of chairs as we went up to them one-by-one. We dipped a cup into a bucket filled with water saturated with flower petals, knelt in front of each of them, and poured the water into their hands, which they then dabbed on our heads as we exchanged a few nice words with one another as a blessing; one thing in particular that Noah’s mother said to us was “I hope you are happy forever.” In my book, this is one of the nicest things somebody could wish upon you in a circumstance like this, and I’ll never forget that. We were honored to be a part of the ceremony and initially were at a loss for words. All we could say was, “Thank you for letting us stay with you. It has been a great experience meeting all of you.” Phimai will go down in the books as a standup place in Thailand. Our hats go off to Phimai, Noah, family and friends. Not only do you guys rock as well as roll, but you throw one hell of a Songkran!

There were a ton of pictures from Emily's here are a bunch of them!

Front Page News

We were introduced to the holiday pretty quickly 

A Little Chilly!
You can guess what happens next 
Emily showing the Thai's who the real "Jenny From the Block" is...

No idea where he came from, but one of the funniest little guys on the planet

He was also relentless with the water guns. I'm pretty sure he never stopped spraying.

Home Base
This guy invited us over for some Thai hospitality after he gave us a standard powder...
Cute, but he won't hesitate to soak ya!
Artsy photo of me getting sloshed.

Told you the locals were friendly
Breakdance Fighting - I took two breakdance classes with my friend Nick Smatt when I was younger....unfortunately, that did not compare to this guy's skills.