Southeast Asia Program: Part 2 - Mae Sot, Umphang, and Chiang Mai

Ok, so to pick up where we left off: After spending the night in Mae Sot we got up early in order to go have breakfast over in Burma/Myanmar. We took a songtao to the border where we passed through Thai immigration, walked over the bridge that crosses the river dividing the two countries, and paid our 500 baht and left our passports at Burmese immigration (they make you leave the passports as collateral so they know you will come back!). The changes were immediately not… Read more

Category Southeast Asia
Departure Fall 2008

Southeast Asia Program: Part 1 - First Few Days....

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… Read more

Category Southeast Asia
Departure Fall 2008

Southeast Asia Program: Sawadee and welcome to Intensity!

I now proclaim the initiation of the Fall 2008 Pacific Discovery Blog! Whew, where to begin? To be frank, immediately after stepping off the plane, we've all been propelled into an intensity of experiences. And it is only until now that I have had a moment to reflect on the past week. And what a week it was. Most of us arrived on Saturday where we had our first team meeting and orientation at the guesthouse. Slowly we got to know each other through awkward introduction… Read more

Category Southeast Asia
Departure Fall 2008

Southeast Asia Program: Safe Arrival

All participants have arrived from their overseas flights. We've just had a delicious Thai meal and are off to catch some Zzzz's. 5:30 a.m. start tomorrow morning! We are headed towards the old capital city (1238--1438) known as "Sukhothai." Sukhothai translates into the "Rising of Happiness." Signing Off For Now! Mels Read more

Category Southeast Asia
Departure Fall 2008

Sawasdee From Bangkok, Thailand!

Sawasdee From Bangkok, Thailand! Mels and Glen here. We are thrilled to be in the land of spicy foods, tuk-tuks, smiles, and sanuk. In just one hour the first participant arrives. Stay turned to this blog for fantastic updates on our travels. It's sure to be an adventure. Bangkok Facts: Bangkok Population: 10--15 Million The world's 22nd largest city by population Official Name is "Krung Thep," translating into "City of Angles." Capital was founded on top of a tiny… Read more

Category Southeast Asia
Departure Fall 2008

New Zealand Program - From Queenstown

So we are now in Queenstown at the final station of our journey together before the group starts making their own way to their respective homes. It has been oh too easy to be swept up on this trip with each place offering new experiences and thus a severe neglect of blogging duties...sorry. Here's an attempt to capture the last 2 and a half weeks into a read worthy blog and before the money runs out on the internet! A challenge indeed. From our island of Urupukapuka we … Read more

Departure 2008

Peru Program - The Horn

Before arriving to Peru I took the road laws for granted. Actually, I never had to consider why anyone would be in any lane but the right. But surprises are the beauty of traveling, and the first taxi experience in Lima will totally change your perspective on driving. On every street the taxi drivers appear to be jockeying for space, coming within inches of eachother every other second. And how do these drivers magically move around without too big of a pile up? Well, in… Read more

Category Peru
Departure 2008

Vietnam Program highlights

We are in Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City, and all is good. I am writing this while the rest of the group are off at the water park - the curse of my job. We have been here for one night and it has been quite an experience after arriving from Hoi An. We went from a small town, with World Heritage status to a city of 8 million and probably twice as many motorbikes and neon lights. It is crazy but pretty amazing. It feels like we have done so much already in Saigon - cyclo rides… Read more

Departure 2008

Peru Program - Inca jungle trek and my coca leaf habit

The time in the trip had arrived that most of us had been waiting for - the inca jungle trek! The trek we´d be taking was an alternative to the one that hourdes of tourists come to trek day after day. As apposed to dealing with 500 people, we only had to contend with a dozen or so. The first part started out with a cool descent of nearly 8,000 feet by bicycle. At the top of the mountain it was cold and cloudy, but our rapid descent brought us into the thick of the jungle… Read more

Category Peru
Departure 2008

New Zealand conservation program - Urupukapuka Island

The New Zealand Program kicked off with a sunrise swim in the Pacific Ocean before breakfast, a briefing then a scavenger hunt across downtown Auckland. The next morning we drove North in pouring rain to the Bay of Islands and a quaint town, Russell, which was once dubbed the 'hell-hole of the Pacific' for its licentious ways! Charles Darwin, on his 'voyage of the Beagle' was so disgusted that he donated money towards the construction of a church, which we visited. In co… Read more

Departure 2008