Where has Don been over the past year?

This is the second installment of this page.  I like to call it a "living web page" since I will be updating it as I visit interesting places.  Check here often or at least once a month.

Since moving to Thailand on July 4th, 1999 I have traveled outside Thailand at least once a month, as well as many trips within in the country to places like Changmai in the northwest to Cha Am, Hua Hin, Chumpon, Krabi and Phuket to the southwest, and along the coast to Cambodia -- and of course Bangkok.

Along with travels to China, Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong, I took other pleasure trips to China, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore and various places the US.

Here are a few photos from my recent travels that I hope you find interesting:

Southern Myanmar (Burma)  Greg Zoeller (Reno/Lake Tahoe buddy) and I drove from Bangkok to the southern tip of Thailand near the Malaysian border in May of 2000.  We dived in Chumpon on the Gulf of Thailand and Koh Phuket on the Andaman Sea side (west) of Thailand.  Along the way we decided to take a detour to Burma for a few days.  Interesting to visit and I intend to return later this year to have a look at the interior of this mysterious, beautiful and troubled country.


  Greg, pondering life   A view from the veranda of the Andaman Hotel       A waterfall (duh!)


       A Golden Buddha in Kawthoung, Burma                        Another Buddha in Kawthoung, Burma


               Downtown Kawthoung, Burma                                             A young Burmese entrepreneur

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam  Doug Roeser, a buddy from my IGT days, visited in late June for 10 days of touring, golf and a killer round of squash.  SCUBA next time, Doug?

We flew from Bangkok to Saigon for four days of exploring, then cruised back to Thailand aboard Star Cruises for another four days hitting the Vietnamese island of Con Dao (an 1850-1975 prison island) and the Thai island of Koh Samaui before berthing at Laem Chabang, Thailand about 15 minutes from my home.

For those of us who knew someone who went to Vietnam, someone who died there or someone who returned with a different outlook on life, would appreciate a visit to Vietnam.  It has been said that the best therapy for those Vietnam veterans who suffer from guilt, depression and anxiety would be a return visit to Vietnam today.  Although still a very poor country, the people (in general) are proud, beautiful, friendly and hold no hatred for Americans.  In the south, Americans are still loved and respected for the help given and the sacrifices offered toward their struggle against communism. They still refuse to call their city by the communist designation.

The Cu Che Tunnels had to be the highlight of our trip.  The Viet Cong used these tunnels (located 50 miles north of Saigon) as a base to attack the South Vietnamese, French and Americans.  I crawled through many of these with a deep respect for those who lived there from 1945 to 1975.

I will return to Vietnam for a more in-depth look later this year and travel through to the north from Siagon.  Here are a few photos of the experience:


South Vietnamese war cemetery    The old US Embassy in Saigon                    The Saigon City Hall


    Inside the Cu Che Tunnels             A air hole leading to the tunnels            A secret tunnel entrance


      A collection of American bomb at Cu Che                            A view of the prison doors at Con Dao


The prison life of political prisoners on Con Dao. 10,000 died here.  Infamous Tiger Cages (Top of the cages on the right where lime was thrown down on unruly prisoners and water poured for bathing).


            Leaving Vietnam                                    Our ship                                          Doug

Take us home, Captain Doug

Check this site next month for photos from my diving trip to Manado, Indonesia and my diving trip to Puerto Galera, Negros and Balicasag/Apo islands in the Philippines.

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