Right: Akha saleswomen, Tha Thon

Thailand was my first stop in Asia back in 1997. Undoubtedly the highlights of that trip were hiking through Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai, and the week I stayed in an Akha village in Chiang Rai province. I also enjoyed checking out the ruins of Ayuthaya and the ancient Thai capital of Sukhothai.

I returned in 2004, not such fond memories, getting drugged and robbed on Ko Samet.

Akha hill tribe

Better memories from 2008 when I visited the Isaan region of Thailand checking out the ancient Angkor period ruins at Phimai and Phanom Rung.

Dateline: 22 Feb 1997 Route: Arrive Bangkok, train to Ayuthaya, Phitsanulok, bus to Sukothai, Chiang Mai, trekking in Doi Inthanon National Park, bus to Chiang Dao and on to Tha Thon. Boat down the Mae Kok River to Chiang Rai, one week homestay in Akha village, daytrip to the Golden Triangle, bus back to Phitsanulok and train back to Bangkok.

Dateline: 26 Aug 2004 Route: Arrive overland from Cambodia at Aranyaprathet, bus to Rayong, ferry to Ko Samet, minivan to Bangkok.

Dateline: 3 Apr 2008 Route: Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) by bus and on to Phimai, Buriram and day trip to Phanom Rung, bus to Ubon Ratchathani and across the border to Laos. First stop Champasak