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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
  • July 20, 2006

     

    Update on Thailand Trip

    I talked about my upcoming trip to Chiang Mai in this post a while ago. After gathering more info and reading tidbits from fellow travelers and National Geographic, I have come up with a list of must-do for this trip:

    • Thai cooking class -- a full day course that specializes in Northern Thai cuisine and curry and includes a trip to the grocery market
    • Thai Language class -- two-week intensive program on conversational Thai
    • Laos -- cross the border to the Laosian capital Vientiane, where one can find fields of rice and vegetables, agriculture hidden behind tree lined avenues. French Colonial architecture sits next to gilded temples.
    • Hill tribe and trekking
    • Golden Triangle -- where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet, visit the town of Mai Sai, where I can even cross into Burma for some shopping; the small village of Sop Ruak, where the Ruak and Mekhong rivers meet, forming the borders of three countries; and finally the ancient city of Chiang Saen
    • Sukhothai -- the first truly independent Thai Kingdom, which enjoyed a golden age under King Ramkhamhaeng, credited with creating the Thai alphabet. The superb temples and monuments of this great city have been lovingly restored in this UNESCO World Heritage Site


    Then a train ride down to Bangkok where I'll probably stay for a few days paying tribute to the Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Buddha), Grand Palace and the weekend Chatuchak Market. Last time I only have a couple hours scouring for souvenirs and I only had seen the tip of in iceberg - over 13,000 stalls there. From Bangkok I'll catch a train to Singapore and visit a friend there. Anyone wants to come along?

    8 Comments:

    Blogger John said...

    Wow, what an amazing trip! Make sure you have plenty of memory available so that you can keep us up to speed with detailed blogs and tons of pics. Ahh..living life vicariously through others, thank god for the web! :-)

    By the way, couple of suggestions. Definitely try to get to Luang Prabang in Laos, it is much nicer than Vientiane and is now one of my favorite small cities in Asia. A beautiful, languid city on a bluff overlooking the Mekong, it is the center of Buddhism in Laos, with hundreds of temples and monks. Check out the pictures on my website if you haven't already.

    Also, it might be better to fly from BKK to SIN. I took the train from KL to SIN, and even that took a long time and was not that much cheaper than flying. There are a number of the new budget airlines flying from BKK to SIN (I used AirAsia) that are pretty reasonable. Yes, the trip would be pretty, but between time and cost, air may be better.

    Have a great trip, Matt (and a great time planning it!) I would love to join you for at least part of it...

    7/20/2006 7:40 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Hey John :)

    Hope you have good day at work. Are you still home?

    I'm looking forward to the trip although I have yet to have anyone to go with me. There is a blog site called TravelPod that is designed exclusively for travelers. I plan to adopt TravelPod and incorporate it into here, so people can see where I am.

    I'm planning to go to Luang Prabang in Laos, except I have to gather more info on accommodation - unless I want to pitch a tent over the bluff overlooking the river. lol Anyway suggestion?

    I heard similar feedback about how the trainin's being very time-consuming. The connection in Kuala Lumpur is not very smooth so I'm keeping my finger crossed. I've got to get to Singapore because that's where I'll hop on the next flight!

    It would be awesome if you go. :)

    Take care I'll talk to you soon.

    7/20/2006 8:30 AM  
    Blogger Greg said...

    That sounds like a wonderful time, and I'm jealous because I have to stay n the sweltering Southern California heat. grumble, grumble...

    Not that I could afford the trip, anyway.

    7/20/2006 4:48 PM  
    Blogger John said...

    Hi Matt, I stayed at Sala Prabang (check out www.salalao.com); very cool, low-key lao style hotel. Not too pricey. They give you breakfast outside across the street on the bluff overlooking the Mekong. Very relaxing way to start off the day...

    Okay, I wanna go back!!! Now!!!!

    7/20/2006 8:34 PM  
    Blogger matty said...

    Sounds awesome. Color me most jealous. A pink jealous!

    7/21/2006 6:43 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    Someone obviously has stolen a picture of the Emerald Buddha without a flash. Picture taking was strictly forbidden inside the hall. Oh well...

    John, I chcked the hotel's website--it seems very serene and laid-back, commands a nice view too. Looks like a great place to recline and work on my thesis! Thanks for the link. I used to check asiarooms.com but the search for Laos doesn't yield much listing. Anyway...I'm leaving San Francisco on Oct 11 for Hong Kong, then Thailand + Laos + Singapore.

    Matty, I've been at SI a lot recently but unfortunately I haven't luck to run into you. :P Hope all is well.

    7/21/2006 9:34 AM  
    Blogger Carmi said...

    Damn, what I wouldn't give to tag along on this journey.

    Reality dictates otherwise, unfortunately. But thankfully we'll have your expert eye and pen to share the experience with us.

    7/23/2006 6:03 PM  
    Blogger Don said...

    Nice pictures, seems that you had a really interesting trip. Me and my family just came home from a trip we took to Thailand for two weeks for sun, bath and relax. Compared to many other countries, Thailand is still unspoiled and yet poised for development. Thailand property is very affordable. The country still exudes a special charm even as visitors numbers increase as Thailand's tourist industry thrives. Thailand is an amazingly beautiful place. Love the design esthetic. And the food is my very, very favorite in the world

    2/20/2008 6:05 AM  

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