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The budget airline I'd booked my return to northern Thailand mysteriously cancelled all of it's flights from Phuket this week effectively stranding hundreds of passengers in paradise. I've booked a flight on a different airline but the earliest I'll be able to leave is early in the evening this coming Friday, which will cause me to cancel my plans for the River Kwai area and crossing into Burma. It's no problem because I'm enjoying myself here in Kamala and I didn't have anything booked until my scheduled return to Bangkok on January 7th. Now, I'll just get back to that city a day early which will give me a bit of time to get oriented before checking into the "cool" hotel.

On New Year's Eve, I was introduced to a very nice woman named Tim who has since become my constant companion. She's teaching me Thai and I'm teaching her English. I think she's a better student than I! We've been hanging out a lot and did some clothes shopping today - it's easier to buy new ones sometimes than to wear stinky shirts or keep doing laundry every other day. And I've been getting quite the education on Thai food, paricularly the street-stall variety. Tomorrow, we're kayaking to the sea caves of Phang Nga, which includes a visit to Monkey Cave (Suwankuha Temple), James Bond Island (where parts of several of the movies were filmed), and the Muslim fishing village of See Koh Panyi.

More later...

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