TRAVEL PHOTO GALLERY             
1 805 492 1904
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VIEWS OF AND FROM MIDLAND GEMS AND VR GEMCUTTERS HOME OFFICE, LOCATED IN A HIGH RISE COMPLEX, CENTRAL  BANGKOK, INCLUDING SKYLINE VIEWS OF BANGKOK FROM THE OFFICE





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WHILE IN BANGKOK WE CAMPED OUT IN VR GEMCUTTERS AND MIDLANDGEMS HOME OFFICE, WHICH IS IN THE HIGH RISE COMPLEX ABOVE. COME IN AND SIT FOR
AWHILE, DOESN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE IF YOU ARE A BUYER, SELLER, OR JUST NEED SOME COFFEE, TEA, OR? OUR DOOR IS OPEN ANYTIME WE ARE IN TOWN!I
AND THEY MAKE THEMSELVES AT HOME
CAREFOUR SUPER CENTER,
BANGKOKS EQUIVALENT OF COSTCO.
TRAVELING BURMA JADE DISPLAY AT
A RENTAL KIOSK INSIDE CAREFOUR
AH!..AMERICAN TOURISTS FIND
FAMILIAR EATS INSIDE CAREFOUR.
AND UNFAMILIAR LABELING ON
FAMILIAR PRODUCTS.
THE BOYS ALSO NOTICED THIS
ROCK CLIMBING SUPPLY STORE
"MICHELIN TIRE STORE WAY OVER HERE"
OH BOY! A MOTORCYCLE SHOP. WE COULD
STOP IF WE WERE NOT ON A BUS.
NOISE POLLUTING POLITICIANS RIDING
AROUND TOWN, PROPAGANDIZING.
OISE
A TYPICAL BANGKOK STREET MARKET,
THIS ONE SELLS MOSTLY FOOD
60 PLUS STORY CONDO BUILDING,
ABANDONED SINCE THE 1997 FINANCIAL
CRASH.
DRAGON POWER!
A BEAUTIFUL, FAMOUS, TEMPLE AS SEEN
FROM OUR BOAT ON THE CHAO PHRYA RIVER.
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SPIRIT HOUSE IN OUR OFFICE GARDEN
MEMORIAL TO THE SOLDIERS WHO DIED
BUILDING THE WW2 "DEATH RAILWAY"
TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE ORDEAL THE SOLDIERS EXPERIENCED.
MANY SOLDIERS REMAINS WERE RECOVERED ALONG THE
TRACKS  BY RECOLLECTION OF INTERNED FRIENDS
" THEIR NAMES LIVETH FOREVER "
THAILAND TRIBUTE TO THOSE WHO
SUFFERED UNIMAGINABLE BRUTALITY.
A WALK THROUGH THE WELL MANICURED GRAVESIGHTS GAVE US TIME TO CONTEMPLATE THE POSSIBILITY OF A  FUTURE SITUATION, WHERE MANS
INHUMANITY TOWARD MAN COULD AGAIN MANIFEST ITSELF. WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE WERE WE THEN, AND WHAT ARE WE NOW? HAVE WE HUMANS
CHANGED THAT MUCH?
A VERY YOUNG ROYAL NAVY SAILOR LIES
INTERNED HERE. I CAN'T THINK OF ANY
GOOD REASON WHY.
THE RIVER THAT NEEDED TO BE BRIDGED AT ANY COST. TODAY A SPEEDBOAT CROSSES  UNDER THE BRIDGE HEADING UP RIVER, OBLIVIOUS TO WHAT HAPPENED HERE.
THE BRIDGE NEEDED TO BE BUILT IN ORDER TO MOVE WAR MATERIAL TO BURMA, TO AVOID LOSSES FROM ALLIED BOMBERS. JAPAN WAS LOSING MANY SHIPS IN THE SEA LANES TO ALLIED SUBMARINE ACTION.  
THE SIZE OF THE BRIDGE  IS SMALL CONSIDERING THE STORIES OF SUFFERING TO BUILD IT. THE REAL NAME OF THE RIVER IS " KWAE NOI " IN THAI LANGUAGE. TRANSLATION OF KWAI IN THAI LANGUAGE REFERS
TO THE MUCH REVERED AND NOBLE  WATER BUFFALO.
VIEWS OF THE BRIDGE IN THE BACKGROUND, PROJECT TRANQUILITY OF THE TIME. THE
THATCHED ROOFED BUILDINGS ARE FLOATING RESTURANTS. THINK ABOUT HOW MANY
CAPTIVES COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED WITH JUST THE WASTED FOOD.
ENTRANCE TO THE MUSEUM CREATED AFTER THE WAR BY BUDDHIST MONKS, WHO WANTED TO
PRESERVE THE HISTORY AND ARTIFACTS. MANY GOOD SAMARITAN THAI PEOPLE DID EVERYTHING IN
THEIR POWER TO HELP PRISONERS
SKELETAL REMAINS IN THE  LAST PICTURE WERE DUG FROM A LATRINE PIT AND PUT ON DISPLAY. THE STORY GOES THAT THOSE SOLDIERS WHO WERE INJURED OR TOO SICK FOR WORK, WERE DUMPED ALIVE INTO THE LATRINES BY THEIR  
CAPTORS. THAI PEOPLE AND MONKS WHO WERE CAUGHT  HELPING THE PRISONERS, WERE  ENSLAVED TO WORK ON THE RAILROAD. AS MANY AS 300,000 THAIS, BURMESE OR OTHER SOUTH EAST ASIANS WERE ENSLAVED AND DIED WORKING ON
THE RAILROAD.
TRANQUIL BEACHES, FRESH SEAFOOD AT GOOD PRICES, ORDERS  TAKEN BY BROKERS WALKING THE
BEACH.  PATTAYA, BEING A FAMOUS INTERNATIONAL DESTINATION ALSO HAS AN INFAMOUS
REPUTATION.
LUXURY HOTELS DOT THE PATTAYA SHORLINE,  
PRICED  FROM  $64.00 TO $300.00PER NIGHT
BEAUTIFUL SCENERY ABOUNDS. PATTAYA HAS
CHANGED SINCE MY FIRST VISIT 45 YEARS AGO
VIEW OF THE OCEAN  FROM THE MANY
BARS, RESTURANTS AND GUEST HOUSES.
WHAT, MORE DRAGON POWER! MUST HAVE
BREATHED FIRE ON ME ALREADY!
GUEST HOUSES ARE EVERYWHERE, NOTICE THE
POWER AND PHONE POLE WIRING RATS  NEST.
WATER IS STORED IN ROOF TOP TANKS, AND
GRAVITY FED TO FACILITIES BELOW.
A CHINESE TEMPLE DISPLAYS MORE DRAGONS WHICH, PROTECT PATTAYA
FROM EVILS WHICH LURK EVERYWHERE.
PICTURE YOURSELF SITTING ON THE BEACH WITH A GENTLE BREEZE RUSTLING IN THE COCONUT TREES, HAVING
YOUR FAVORITE DRINK, AND SAVORING THE DELICATE TASTE OF DEEP FRIED JIMMINY CRICKETS, SMALL FROGS,
AND GRASSHOPPERS. ALL OF WHICH ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE STREET STALLS.
MASON DIDN'T MUCH LIKE THAI FOOD. USUALLY HE
ORDERED KOW PHAT MAI OW PAK "FRIED RICE, NO
VEGGIES" HOWEVER, HE WAS RIGHT INSIDE HIS
COMFORT ZONE WITH THE ICE CREAM SUNDAE IN HIS
HANDS.
ENTRANCE TO THE PATTAYA ZOO, AN EXTREMELY
CLEAN PLACE WHERE FOREIGNERS WERE CHARGED
DOUBLE THAT OF THAI PEOPLE.
MASON FOUND HIS TRUE LOVE HERE IN THE ZOO. HE
FELT SHE WOULD FIT RIGHT IN AT HOME IN
BAKERSFIELD,
MANY ALLIGATORS IN A PIT AT THE ZOO
MASON FOUND A LONG BAMBOO POLE WITH WHICH
TO PROD THE GATORS. SEVENTEEN YEAR OLDS
LOOK FOR FUN WHEREVER IT  LURKS.
RESPONSIBLE ZOO KEEPERS ESTABLISHED THIS SCHOOL FOR THEIR ALLIGATORS. AMERICAN ZOO'S COULD LEARN A
LESSON FROM THIS FACILITY.
ALLIGATORS FROM THE SCHOOL, HAVE BEEN TAUGHT
NOT TO BITE THE HEAD OF THE TRAINER.
WHAT! A MAN EATING ELEPHANT????
RIDING ON AN ANTIQUATED WOOD
DESTINATION ON THE LINE.
THIS PHOTO GROUP WILL COVER TRAVEL THAILAND IN THE COMPANY OF OUR DAUGHTER GABRIELLE, A GRANDSON JON AGE 15, AND FRIEND
MASON  AGE 17, FROM BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA. WE WERE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED AT THE VARIED INTERESTS THE BOYS  SHOWED
DURING THEIR NEW EXPERIENCES. AFTER ARRIVING IN BANGKOK, WE DECIDED TO USE MIDLAND GEMS AND VR GEM CUTTERS HOME OFFICE  
CONDO  AS A BASE FROM WHICH TO TRAVEL AND SAVE THE EXPENSE OF A HOTEL.THE FIRST DAY, WE VISITED A BIG BOX STORE OPERATED
BY THE FRENCH COMPANY CARREFOUR WHICH IS SIMILAR TO COSTCO. THE BOYS IMMEDIATELY HOMED IN ON THE STARBUCKS STORE AND
THE FOOD COURT FOR LUNCH. THEN BACK TO THE CONDO TO RECUPERATE FROM JET LAG. TOTAL ELAPSED TIME FROM OUR HOME IN
THOUSAND OAKS, CA TO OUR BANGKOK CONDO IS 24 HOURS, YOU CAN IMAGINE JUST HOW DISTURBED THE BODY CLOCK COULD BE.  OUR
LONG TIME AIRLINE OF CHOICE IS EVA AIR BASED INN TAIPEI, TAIWAN. EVA AIR, IS A MUCH MORE  GENTLE AND CARING AIRLINE THAN  ANY A
PLEASANT ONE HOUR TRANSFER WAIT IN TAIPEI. AFTER HANGING AROUND BANGKOK A COUPLE DAYS WE TRAVELED BY TRAIN TO
KANCHANABURI, SITE OF THE FAMOUS BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI. IN KANCHANABURI, WE VISITED THE WW2 MEMORIAL CEMETARY WHERE
PRISONER ALLIED SOLDIERS, WHO DIED BUILDING THE BRIDGE AND INFAMOUS DEATH RAILWAY ARE INTERNED.  AFTER RETURNING TO
BANGKOK WE TRAVELED TO THE SEASIDE RESORT TOWN OF PATTAYA, LOCATED ON THE GULF OF THAILAND.  TOTAL TIME FOR THIS TRIP WAS
30 DAYS  AND INCLUDED MANY OTHER SOUTHEAST ASIA DESTINATIONS. HOWEVER, DUE TO LIMITED WEBSITE SPACE, I WILL OUT OF
NECESSITY, COVER ONLY A SMALL PORTION OF OUR TRIP. ADDITIONAL TRAVELS WILL BE COVERED IN FOLLOW ON WEB TRAVEL PAGES. I
MUST GIVE CREDIT FOR THESE PICTURES TO MASON WHO MOST GENEROUSLY ALLOWED ME TO DOWNLOAD THE PHOTOS FROM HIS MEMORY
CARD. WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN MIDLAND GEMS AND HOPE YOU ENJOY OUR ADVENTURES.
BOWL OF NOODLES ANYONE? BEST NOODLES ARE TO BE EATEN AT
ROADSIDE NOODLE SHOPS.
SIDEWALK ARMAMENT SHOP SWITCHBLADES,
GAROTTS ETC. "BRASS KNUCKLES ANYONE"?
JUNGLE BOAR PORK, NO REFRIDGERATION ALL DAY AWAITING A
BUYER. YUM, LET'S BBQ
NEMO FOUND!
RICKETY WOOD FLOOR METRO
BUS, 6 CENTS TO ANYWHERE
JON ALSO FOUND
LOVE BUT SHE WAS
TOO YOUNG.
NOODLES, DUST FROM STREET TRAFFIC,YUM.