Pai (Part II)

I’d heard rumors from other travelers that certain bars in Thailand sell mushroom smoothies, or as they’re colloquially known, “happy shakes”. Because they were freely given out to tourists, I expected them to be only mildly hallucinogenic. This turned out to be a serious underestimation. The mushrooms in my shake were fresh-picked and thus at … Continue reading Pai (Part II)

Pai (Part I)

After about four hours of climbing twisty mountain roads, we reached Pai. We pulled onto a market street thick with tourists. The van had to crawl through the endless stream of people eating street food and shopping for linen pants before pulling into the station and setting us loose. I was not in the mood … Continue reading Pai (Part I)


Within an hour of my plane landing I was sweltering in a crowded bus headed into downtown Bangkok. Only four hours on a plane and I was in a place that doesn’t know cold. My body had been adapting to winter at a natural, gradual pace as the Pacific Northwest gently moved away from the … Continue reading Bangkok


The cheapest route I could find to Asia was a nonstop flight from Seattle to Shanghai. On the day of my departure my mother drove me to the subway station. We hugged and then I turned and began my day-long journey to China. I didn’t sleep at all during the 11-hour flight. After we landed, … Continue reading Shanghai