Space Chimp Video WWF

This video I have heard mentioned around the Internet for quite a while, so I decided to Google it and have a watch.

This is quite an entertaining film. Produced by the World Wildlife Federation, with music from Ben Lee

Enjoy

Pictures From My Recent Holiday In Lao 2010

Recently I returned from a short trip to Lao, it was good, we had a fantastic hotel room with hot water, air con, satellite TV and everything for only $14 per night,  the rooms were cleaned every day, and the sheets and towels all changed etc.

We ate mostly french food but went to the local all you can eat Barbecue for $4 a person most evenings. The food was good.

The are pictures from a Buddhist park outside of Vientiane Lao.

Millions of tourists every year, cross the bridge within bike riding distance of these two places,  and don’t even know they exist.

Lao Temple Life Heaven Hell

Into The Mouth Of The Giant

Lao Giant Of Death

Giant Carries the Dead to the Next Life

Wold Eather Lao

World Eater

Multiheaded Lao Divine Figure

Divine Figure Watches All

Payana Faces Giant Of Death

Five Headed Payana Faces Giant Of Death

The pictures below are the  only pictures I have with me currently  from the Thai temple in Nong kai that were built by the same monk, after he built the Lao temple.  All though I do have more,  they are in Canada and I am currently in Malaysia. I do plan to travel back to Nong kai in a few months though to take photographs of it.

Thailand Buddhist World Eater

World Eater

Buddha Sits On Piyana, Rising above the Jungle

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If you have any questions or comments  please add them below.

We Can No Longer Relate

I grew up like most Canadian boys, watching hockey and American sitcoms on televison, and listening to rock and roll. Times with my friends were shared discussing these simular interests, how such and such should have passed the puck, the joke so and so said, and how some new album was about to be realeased, these are the things that helped pass the time with my friends back in the day.

Since I have became a world traveler, which was before the Internet was available, I was not able to keep up with the sports of my home country, the sitcoms, or the popular new music etc. I gained more worldly interests, such as trance music, jazz, new age, all sorts of classical and popular music from all over the globe, literature, history, and world events etc. On a weekly basis, I started to read magazines such as Time, Foreign Affairs, and Newsweek, as well as reading local newspapers whenever I could. When I watch television I like to watch channels like History Channel, Discovery Channel, Local News, CNN, BBC, CBC, Bloomberg’s etc. On the Internet, I read a lot of Wiki, and other intelligent websites.

The boys back home however still spend their media time watching sitcoms, and sports on television, or listening to rock and roll in their car on the way to work each day, most of them tuned to the same station they did twenty years ago.

I still speak with my old friends, though sadly not much anymore. When I do, at some point in the conversation, I will unintentionaly,  speak over most of their heads, they are unable to understand me anymore, some of them are  completly unable to comprehend, or believe some of the facts I pull out of the world news, some just dont care.

I have evolved beyond our past relationships,  I miss my friends, but I can not regress back to the way I used to be over 20 years ago. I hope one day we can find a common interest, and be close again, but I realize this will probably never happen, because I don’t think I know any hockey players by name anymore, and they likely will never travel, or become interested in the world, so therefore, we can no longer relate.

Beach Beyond The Guide Books

A Little Bit of Asian Heaven

My Hidden Beautiful Secluded Island Beach Near Cambodia

I have just spent the last two days traveling in South East Asia  by buses, trucks, then boats, 4×4 and finally hiking, to a nice island beach very near the Cambodian border. I would like to be more specific but unfortunately, paradise found and shared with the general public soon becomes paradise lost.

This location is not for everyone, the only accommodation available, are simple wooden huts, featuring only a mosquito net and a bed. There are no bathrooms or showers in the rooms, no electricity, no Internet connections, and unfortunately no place to plug in and charge up my laptop. Still though the view is nice for $8 US per night.

I came here to write, but as the power remaining clock ticks away on my laptop, now at 51 minutes, I realize I probably won’t be able to write very much.

This place is not yet in the Lonely Planet, and although Google Earth does of course show the location. You can not find it yet by name.

I would encourage anyone traveling, to try and really  get away from it all sometimes, to far out and away locations like this. I have sometimes been the only person at a place that you might think was the most amazing place in the world.

In order to find a place like this of course you will need to know where to go. The best way is to get a Lonely Planet guide book, and start looking for areas where it seems the road has stopped and no locations are listed beyond it.This is your launching off point. Almost always the “last” hotels will have a small tourist centre, offering boat rides, 4×4 or safari tours that will take you beyond the guide books.

View From The Beach.

No Need For Umbrellas When You Have Trees.

These are not the secluded place a travel agent would offer, these are truly secluded places, far beyond the newspapers and or most television shows. They have no phone lines, or cell phones or Internet connections to even make a booking if you wished to.

You must bring backpacks, not suitcases, with everything you need, and only what you need, often hiking is involved, and suitcases are just not very good on long dirt hikes. If you are really feeling adventurous bring a tent. I would also recommend bringing a knife, lighter, some flashlights, and medical supplies.

This particular beach is not quite as secluded as some places I have been, for instance one time I lived for just over a week with just my girlfriend, on a tropical island with nothing more than a tent, hammocks, matches and some fishing line. Thankfully the fishing boat did not forget to pick us up, as our cell phones were out of range to call for any help. I wouldn’t encourage any risk taking whatsoever if you are in completely secluded a place like that, minor injuries can actually kill you if you are not careful before your week or so is up.

I found out from experience, I enjoy having things like restaurants to serve me when I vacation, so I don’t generally get really lost too much these days, besides meeting at least a few other travelers each day is often the best part of the trip.

America Has No Culture ?

I have been traveling or living overseas more on than off for almost two decades now, I have spent very little time with people of my native country of Canada, or native continent of North America. I have often worked overseas for Korean, Japanese, Thai, and quite a few British companies as well. Over halve of my adult working life has been spent as a stranger in a strange land.

I had a recent trip to Lao with a group of people, some of them I had met and talked to before, the majority were Brits. For some reason the first thing a group of Brits wants to know is if I am American, I of course tell them no I am Canadian.

For some reason at this point more often than not the Brits will start talking my ear off about how America has no culture, how they are always telling everyone what to do, and correcting my English. For some reason things like English Football being called Soccer in North America is a big deal. And how Potato Chips are actually Crisps not chips.

I actualy found this fascinating when I first started hearing all the opinions of America and Americans, but very often these things tend to touch a bit of a nerve about my home country of Canada also, the accusations of no culture, of being new, etc etc. Over time this has worn on me a bit. I became tired of this conversation a long time ago. I can pretty much predict what they are going to say all the time because I feel with some of these people this is the same list of things they say to every North American, and often with each other.

Now I have no problem with Brits, I have many British friends, and although we had this conversation once upon a time we eventually got past it and worked our way into truly interesting conversations and proper friendships.

But let me make a bit of a rebuttal here about North American culture.

First of all, games like Hockey, Lacrosse, Baseball, and North American Football did not come out of thin air, they were invented in North America, usually adopted from Native North American games and adjusted into our culture.

Halloween in North America is very different to what it is elsewhere, I dare say it is a unique North American culture.

Rock and Roll, Blues, Jazz, and Hip Hop as well as Country and Bluegrass Music were all invented in North America, this too is part of our culture.

North American Movies and Television are also part of our culture, although Americans have a much stronger influence on entertainment, you will find a large number of Canadians mixed up in the headliners for American music, movies, and television.

T-Shirts and Teddy Bears also come from America.

The problem is not that Americans have no culture, it is that you have adopted so many American cultures into your own you can not identify it anymore.

When I go to the stores in virtually every country in the world the Potato Crisps are called Potato Chips right on the bag, I guess the Americans just did a better job of marketing and selling their products, get over it. Same as too many people mistake Chips for French Fries, if there was a huge chain of fish and chips in the word, this wouldn’t have been such an issue. Yes, I realize that chips and french fries are not the same thing, I had my fish and chips wrapped in a newspaper when I was growing up.

Now I would like to take a look at Canada for a minute here, we have three official languages, English, French, and Inuit, but of course there are many other languages used and spoken. Often people only speak one of these three languages, they don’t generally live in the same neighborhood as each other, places like Vancouver on the west coast usually can not speak french, and 4000 odd KM away in Quebec City, generally they do not speak English, Of course there is the extreme north where there is the Inuit also. If you go all the way over to the east coast to places like Newfoundland, usually speak a mixed dialect of French and English, with some Scottish thrown in.

The US has a much higher population, with smaller gaps between settlements, causing more blending of cultures, but all together it can be called American Culture.

You see what happened is a long time ago now, 500 years ago now, and yes there are actually buildings that are almost 500 years old. People came to Canada, with their cultures intact, from many different places in the world, and generally did not settle together, keeping their culture intact until today, in fact I almost wonder if there aren’t more kilts and bagpipes in Canada today being worn then their are in Scotland.

Now I know 400 year old building aren’t that old, but there are an awful lot of them, and considering there have never been any great wars to destroy them, some of the cities like Montreal or Quebec City look very similar to what it must have been like walking around Europe around that time, even more so than Europe does today, with the exception of places like Austria.

I know England has a particular bar that is almost a thousand years old, but, I have actually been to Varanasi, and drank bang lassies in a lassie bar that has been there for close to six thousand years, so in the same way our 400 year old buildings don’t measure up to your very old buildings, yours don’t measure up to India’s.

There are building in New Mexico in the US that have been constantly inhabited for over a thousand years.

I am not sure exactly what culture we are missing, but we do have culture.

And to be honest, saying things like how rude Americans are is actually very rude of you.

I love Brits, I have had the absolute best times in my life with large groups of British friends, my mother is British, and I am also a citizen of Great Britain.

But just because a bunch of people packed up and went overseas together, it doesn’t mean they lost all their culture. Canada and the United states have just evolved over the last 400 years or so on a path of its own. As you have been evolving also in different directions.

No one however, has no culture.

As for Americans always telling everyone what to do, that is just the pot calling the kettle black, England used to tell 80% of the world what to do until recently, now it’s just America’s turn. England hasn’t been told what to do for many generations, it must be frustrating to be in a different position, the rest of us however are used to following orders already, and it doesn’t seem to bother us quite as much.

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