From September 30, 2008:
Hello from Mae Sot! We just got here a couple of hours ago after the 2 hour drive up from Sukhothai where we spent last night. To rewind a bit, I got into Bangkok right on schedule and met up with Mels and Glenn (our two guides). We waited for several of the other people to arrive (CC & Zac & Sophea & Bennett). We took a crazy little pimped out van to the guest house in western Bangkok (the New Siam II) and got to bed around 3 am.
The following day we took the local water ferry to see the Wat Pho, the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok (and home of the Reclining Buddha - he is 15m tall and 42m long BTW!). We took tuk-tuks back to the guesthouse and that afternoon after everyone else arrived we had a 2 hour trip briefing then hung out in the pool until going to a local restaurant for dinner.
The following morning we got up at 5:30 am and took the train to Phitsanulok (a 5 hour trip but we were in the Second Class car with AC so it was ok). From there we were driven in vans to our guesthouse in Sukhothai, the Lotus Village. We spent the afternoon at the nearby community center pool playing with the local children. This morning we did a 3 hour bike ride amongst the 70+ ruins at Sukhothai including a little briefing on Thai history. We had lunch at a little cafe then took vans up into the mountains of Mae Sot (on the border with Burma). We just went to a local temple where they have an herbal sauna. Tomorrow we are crossing into Burma for the morning to explore a bit then taking songtaos (trucks with bench seats in the bed) up to Umphang Sanctuary. From there it is 3 days of rafting, trekking, staying in villages, and riding elephants. I calculated and we will be in Chiang Mai for my birthday (Day 1 of the trip was Sept 27).