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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"I dream my painting and then I paint my dream." -- Vincent Van Gogh

Thailand

302--Thailand: Beauty in Butterflies, Orchids, Silk & Parasols
@ CherieSpotting     Jul 12 2005 - 01:58 PST
Cherie tucked in the colorful shade of hand-made bamboo parasols.

Cherie tucked in the colorful shade of hand-made bamboo parasols.

cherie writes: Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” Elizabeth Kubler-Ross put it another way: “People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.”

Some people find beauty in the wild wings of a butterfly or nature’s most glorious parasite—the orchid. Others find beauty in man’s ability to create beauty from nature; the ability to turn a shaft of bamboo into a graceful umbrella, or a cocoon of silk into a fabulous dress. You make beautiful what you love.

In Thailand, we explored beauty in many dimensions: from orchids to butterflies, from silk to parasols. Here are my photos.
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301--Thailand: Thai Boxing and Cabaret
@ CherieSpotting     Jul 11 2005 - 12:31 PST
The gang enjoying the fall of warm water with cool tropcial drinks.

The gang enjoying the fall of warm water with cool tropcial drinks.

cherie writes: Thailand is a world of dichotomy. But her opposites attract and balance each other. Massive granite mountains are snuggled next to sugar-soft sand. Religious temples are painted with gold while impoverished children beg barefoot for food. And shows combine what I never thought possible—boxing and cabaret! First the men dress as women and prance around the stage all gussied up. Then they slip on satin shorts and beat each other up.

To celebrate Hannah’s birthday, our group of friends (called the Ciao Tribe) rented a boat and explored the islands around Ao Nang. No amount of rain or clouds could dampen our mood. In may seem contradictory, but in Thailand you can have your cake, and eat it too.
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300--Thailand: Koh Lanta, Wild Fires, Wild Nights & Wild Otters
@ CherieSpotting     Jul 09 2005 - 02:59 PST
A "tribe" is a group of people sharing an interest or habitat.  Meet the Ciao Tribe: Cherie, Hannah, Hilda, Diane and Leighton.

A "tribe" is a group of people sharing an interest or habitat. Meet the Ciao Tribe: Cherie, Hannah, Hilda, Diane and Leighton.

cherie writes: After weeks of trekking through some of Thailand’s most primitive hill-tribes, the Ciao Tribe: Cherie, Hilda, Diane, Hannah and Leighton (with honorary member Lynn) headed to the shores of Koh Lanta where we scooped up a beach bungalow and did a whole lot of nothing. Koh Lanta (or Ko Lanta) is located in the Krabi province and rests along southern Thailand’s Andaman Sea. That’s what we came to do--rest.

Our days were lazily spent in hammocks, lounging in pools, and soaking up sunsets that defy description. Some days we went SCUBA diving while other days we played with our neighbor’s pet otter and watched the native fire dancers dazzle us with their spectacle of flame. Here is a brief taste simple beauty that is: Koh Lanta.
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299--Thailand: Rock Climbing on Railey Beach
@ CherieSpotting     Jul 07 2005 - 10:10 PST
I'm half-way through my climb and still smiling!  Remarkably, I made it to the top!

I'm half-way through my climb and still smiling! Remarkably, I made it to the top!

cherie writes: The Spanish say: A life lived in fear is half lived. (Except the Spanish say it in Spanish.)

Instead of facing our fear—we climbed it. Hilda, Diane, Leighton and I took a longtail boat from Krabi to Railey Beach near Ao Nang, Thailand. Railey Beach (also spelled Railay) draws rock-climbers from all over the world. Craggy limestone cliffs jut out of the water dare you to climb to the top.

Hilda, who fell off a 28-ft cliff a few years ago, faced her fear of heights and climbed to the top like there was no going back. As the saying goes, a person needs to have great depth to reach a great height.
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278: Thailand: Phi Phi (Days Before the Tsunami)
@ Book & Movie Reviews     Feb 23 2005 - 02:04 PST
Cherie and Hannah on Phi Phi Island a few days before the Tsunami hit.

Cherie and Hannah on Phi Phi Island a few days before the Tsunami hit.

cherie writes: Two major events in the last 4 years have brought Thailand’s Phi Phi Island (pronounced Pee Pee) to the world’s attention. First in 2000, 20th Century Fox released “The Beach” starring Leonard DeCaprio which was filmed on Koh Phi Phi. Soon Phi Phi Ley’s pristine Maya Cove became world famous for its stunning and majestic beauty.

Second, on Dec 26, 2004, a few days after Hannah and I frolicked in the islands pristine waters, a tsunami shredded the island’s beauty. Longboats were smashed into splinters and their owners were swept out to sea.

Days later, foreign newspapers published photos of Phi Phi the world would never forget. This time the picturesque beach was covered with dead and wounded people. Surviving Thais and tourists were doubled over in grief.

These photos of Hannah and I are still hard for me to look at. Just a few days before the tragedy, they preserve a snapshot of Phi Phi’s peaceful beauty. No one could have guess the magnitude of the destruction that was about to occur.
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267--Thailand: Canoe Uprising, Don't You Rock My Boat
@ CherieSpotting     Jan 03 2005 - 07:21 PST
Cherie on the hike back down the valley.

Cherie on the hike back down the valley.

cherie writes: The morning started out so peaceful. Leighton (South Africa), Kirsty (Scotland) and I boarded a canoe for sunrise. We paddled our canoe into the middle of Southern Thailand’s striking karst scenery. “This is the stuff movies are made of,” I thought.

As we shoved off from our death-trap dock into the early morning mist, the locals started frantically waving at us to return. What were they trying to warn us about? Poisonous water-snakes? Blood-sucking leeches? A rampant patch of Dengue Fever infested mosquitoes?

When we arrived back at the dock, the Thais gave us a basket filled with a pot of coffee and three cute little cups. Were we heathens? How could we forget the coffee for our sunrise canoe ride—and they even remembered the cream and sugar! If Hilda was awake she would have fanned herself and joked: “What are the poor people doing?”
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266--Thailand: My Raft-house is your Raft-house
@ CherieSpotting     Jan 03 2005 - 06:50 PST
Cherie at a small fishing village near the raft-houses.

Cherie at a small fishing village near the raft-houses.

cherie writes: We left the treetop houses for the more adventurous raft-houses. The treetop houses may be high, but at least they stay in one place. The raft houses are neither like a raft or a house—they are more like a floating hut. On the boat ride over to the raft houses, we were fortunate enough to receive a complimentary Thai Jungle Mist Treatment. Some of us got more misted than others (always choose the back of the boat) and arrived at our huts looking like wet cats.

After we put our things in our assigned huts, we got back into the boat in search of caves with bats. After finding a cave, we put on our orange-life-vests like diapers and jumped into the water. The air was laced with rank bat guano and as we swam into the cave, the stench grew stronger. We doggy-paddled deeper into the dark cave and our guide switched his light on. Poof—thousands of bats swarmed above us. When the noxious fumes became too much, we paddled out of the cave.
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