Ayutthaya, Thailand

I’ve arrived at Tony’s Place Bed and Breakfast in Ayutthaya, charming guesthouse in a sprawling house full of teakwood touches and Thai decor. I suppose it might have been trickier to get here had not one of my new Thai friends messaged me this morning to ask if I needed a ride to Victory Monument, where the vans for Ayutthaya depart, and then decided as we were driving that we might as well go all the way to Ayutthaya together and have dinner. I’d originally booked just two nights here, but it took me all of an hour to decide to add two more. Already I feel worlds away from the jittery madness of Bangkok and Sukhumvit. This feels like a vacation.

UN connections

In other news, I had lunch today with Heike Alefsen, Senior Regional Human Rights Adviser, United Nations Development Group Asia-Pacific Secretariat, whom I met at the Halloween party at my hotel in Bangkok. It turns out Heike once worked under Kang Kyung-wha, an extraordinary woman who stood out as one of the most impressive and formidable of the many excellent diplomats I worked with at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations. I love these kinds of surprising convergences! Lunch was a delight, and I learned a great deal about Thailand and the region.

(We ate at a fancy buffet in Sukhumvit called Crave. There was dragonfruit.)