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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • June 02, 2006


    Travel Planning Tidbits 2: Itinerary Takes Shape

    Lonely Planet Thailand guide, and Rough Guides have been godsend in planning this trip. Tony is right about how tedious and subtle planning can be. I have decided to begin the trip in Chiang Mai and gradually navigate down south all the way to the beach paradise Krabi and return to Bangkok for a few days before catching the flight to Singapore and Hong Kong.

    It looks like all the work on internet surfing, airfare hunting, hotel comparisons and forum inquiry have paid off: the details of itinerary slowly takes shape. For 900 Thai bahts (approx. $21) a night, I'll be staying at the slick Soho Bar in a quiet suite with a sitting room and private bathroom. As I have mentioned in the previous post, the bar is the smartest venue in Chiang Mai, which has a relatively low-profile gay scene. The suite that I'll stay is the only accommodation the bar offers and is thus a hidden jewel. Far as I know it is not listed formally as a guesthouse or inn. Lucky me!

    Cheap Tickets offers the best deal in terms of airfare and shortest flight time from San Francisco to Chiang Mai via Hong Kong and Bangkok, for $1020 including taxes and surcharges. The estimated arrival in Chiang Mai at 2:50 pm makes it perfect for me settle down in my room and still have time to walk around and get my footing in the city before the sun goes down. A temple freak that I am, I will be visiting wats (Thai for temples) galore and make a pilgrimage to Mountain Doi Suithep, mounting 300 steps to one of Thailand's holiest temples.

    This is where the uncertainty of the itinerary comes into play. With exciting activities like taking an elephant ride up the mountain, paying visit to the hill tribes, heading further north to the golden triangle (the opium growing region bound by Thailand, Laos, and Burma) and taking a Thai cooking class (which has recently become a staple to Chiang Mai visit like enjoying a spa), I might end up staying longer in Chiang Mai than I anticipate. Train travel allows such flexibility. As tickets are usually not available until a week prior to travel, I don't have to worry about missing connections and take my time in the northern provinces. Trains from Chiang Mai to Bangkok are usually not booked up as quickly as the opposite direction.

    From Chiang Mai, I will hop on the south-bound train for Bangkok and get off at Phitsanulok, the vibrant city that makes an excellent base from which to explore the lower north. Besides the temple of Wat Phra Si Ratana, which houses one of Thailand's most revered and copied images of Buddha (second in importance only to Emerald Buddha in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaew), Phitsanulok is the gateway to the ancient capital, now a World Heritage site, Sukhothai. For details of Sukhothai and train travel in Thailand, I'll continue in my next travel planning tidbits post.

    Happy Friday!


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    4/24/2012 12:24 AM  

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