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Dave Sperling | all galleries >> Letters from Thailand > September 21, 2007
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September 21, 2007

September 21, 2007

September, 21,1988
Chiangmai, Thailand

Dear Mom,

How was your trip to Spain? I keep reading about Spain .... I'm now reading Hemingway's "For Whom the Bells Toll," which is based on his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. Thanks for the postcards!

Everything is fine with me. My Japanese friend, Willy, was here for about eight days, but he fell off his motorcycle on his second day and had to have nine stitches on his righ finger, which kind of ruined his trip to Thailand.

I've taken a few motorcycle trips over the past month. My first journey was south to a town called Mae Sariang where I spent to night in a small hotel. The next morning I travelled along a dirt road that ran along the Thai-Burmese border passing rain forests and villages where the people couldn't even speak Thai.

Before long I stumbled upon two large elephants lounging in the middle of the trail, so I stopped the bike, walked up to them, and took several photographs. When I started the engine, however, they became frightened. One of them screamed, jumped up, and started running after my motorcycle. Scary experience!

I spent the night on the Thai-Burma border in a town called Mae Sot. The river Moi separates the two countries, and I watched the boats go back and forth between Burma and Thailand, carrying gems, peanuts, and cloth into Thailand, and toothpaste, Pepsi, Sprite, and Singh beer into Burma. It was quite a site, and I shot some good photos.

On my last trip I rode up to the northern most point in Thailand to a town called Mae Sai, which is also on the Thai-Burma border. This area is called the Golden Triangle and it is where the borders of Thailand, Burma, and Laos join together, and where most of the world's opium is cultivated. From there I went to a once isolated province called Nan. It was so beautiful with miles and miles of lush mountain scenery, small rural villages, ox-drawn carts, and people who haven't really changed much in a thousand years. I tried to get to a town along the Thai-Laos border, but the road was bad and it was getting late in the day, so I turned around and headed back to the town of Nan. By exploring Thailand by motorcycle I'm able to access a lot of out of the way places, and get a sense of its incredible beauty. The roads are mostly empty ..... just me!

I'm really excited about seeing Dad in Australia .. he sounds really excited. He's worried that I might come down with malaria or fall of my motorcycle, and wants me to just stay in my room in Chiangmai until departure day!

I had an artist here in Chiangmai sketch an old photo of Dad .... the one when he joined the army. It turned out really well, and I want him to do more pictures for me. Can you copy or photograph some of the old family photos for me? Thanks!

I'll close for now. Enclosed are some photos from my recent motorcycle journeys.



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