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Sunday 11 May 2003
Chiang Rai, Thailand

Jackie Chan

Today in Chiang Rai I hired a bicycle and basically cycled around the city, checking out shops and wats. A fairly relaxed day after the 3 days of intense moto-cross!

One temple in particular was impressive: Wat Pra Keuw. This temple used to house the Emerald Buddha (that was moved to Bangkok a few centuries ago) but now they have an exact replica emerald statue in its place. I spent about 40 minutes there just sitting in front of the Buddha and meditating. Felt a mighty weight lift off me during that time... who says meditation doesnt work?!?!

On a side note, Ive decided to stop taking the Doxycycline malaria tablets (you are supposed to take them up to one month after leaving a malaria-zone). Considering one month ago I was in Halong Bay and got bitten SEVERLY there (roughly 50 bites in one night!) Ive stopped taking the tablets as of yesterday. I didnt really get bitten in Laos.

The main reason I want to stop taking the tablets after 2 months, 3 weeks is that they are antibiotics and so cant be healthy taking them every day for 3-4 months. I also read this evening that you should not take them for more than 3 months, so my fears were confirmed...

Obviously this now means Im going to be more vulnerable to bacterial infections and may get sick AFTER ALL ( I havent yet been sick on my travels yet because Doxy actually kills off all bacteria in your system, not just a malaria preventative)

I was discussing the malaria-tablet situation with an american guy I met during dinner 2 nights ago... He said that basically Doxy doesnt STOP you from getting malaria, but that it MIGHT be able to stop it spreading. On the other hand, taking it for more than 3-4 months WILL have a damaging effect on your system/liver. He also said that if you take Doxy and still get malaria, you may not be aware that you have malaria because you wont feel as sick. So its better to avoid the tablets, get sick and run a high fever and then rush off to a Malaria clinic in the first week of infection to get cured... sound advice I reckon!

later...

Went to BIG "C" supermarket this evening on me bike and bought 3 VCDs of Jackie Chans earlier kung-fu films for 50 cents each! SCORE!

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