Thailand Part II: Koh Phangan’s Balancing Act

Jay’s suggestion to visit Koh Phangan was a curious one given the island’s reputation. Rough Guides describes Koh Phangan’s famed Full Moon Party as “Apocalypse Now but without the war.” The party traces its origins to a small group of hippies that descended on Haad Rin Beach in the early 60s to escape a ravenous … Continue reading Thailand Part II: Koh Phangan’s Balancing Act

Thailand Part I: Among Bangkok’s Backpackers and Bustle

On my first night in Thailand, I drank a Chang beer inside of a loud, top 40s dance club along Khao San Road surrounded by westerners. I had discarded my plastic 7-Eleven poncho on a chair as I took shelter from the rain. Despite the torrential downpour, I couldn’t help but smile as I gazed … Continue reading Thailand Part I: Among Bangkok’s Backpackers and Bustle

Istanbul and Turkey’s Uncertain Crossroads

“So what did you think about Turkey before you arrived?” asked a local Turkish Couchsurfer on my third night in Istanbul. It was an important question but one I hadn’t really considered. I wanted to tell him that I understood Turkey from a historical perspective, ever since I learned of Byzantium in my 9th grade … Continue reading Istanbul and Turkey’s Uncertain Crossroads