Tony in Thailand

All my Stories

An index of all my posts 151 -200

With over 230 posts on this site even I have forgotten what I have covered on the blog during my time in Thailand. I thought I would start the long task of reviewing all the stories and writing a short introduction to each one to help you more easily find topics that might be of interest. Because of the amount of work involved you won’t find a complete list today. I will continue to add to the index and update this post as I make progress so please refer back to it from time to time.

200. Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival

  • Published 5 Aug 2015
  • Place: Ubon Ratchathani
  • Topic: Isaan festivals
  • LINK: HERE

The motivation for this trip happened almost two years ago. I was taking Gaun, my Thai wife, on her first ever plane trip, from Phuket to Bangkok to pick up my ex-stepdaughter Sarah who had flown over from Canberra to celebrate her 30th birthday with me. The Nok Air in-flight magazine had an article in Thai with a photo of these almost unbelievable wax carvings made for a festival held in a city called Ubon Ratchathani. From that point it was on my to do list.

199. Watting Around

  • Published 25 Jul 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Wats/temples
  • LINK: HERE

I have to say that having seen so many wats during the past two years I am a bit over them although I can still be surprised by occasionally finding a special one which keeps me following signposts and searching the internet. I thought that in this post I would give you a mixed taste of wats and then pretty well leave them alone for a while unless I come across something outstanding.

198. Isaan Cowboy Ranch

  • Published 19 Jul 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

For some reason the Thais have a love affair with North American cowboys and the occasional Indian. Here in our bit of Isaan in the North East of Thailand we don’t miss out as there is a place called the Cowboy Ranch, fifteen minutes’ drive from Nong Bua Lamphu, our local larger town.

197. Escape to the Country – Isaan

  • Published 16 Jul 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

This is a bit of a cheat post since apart from this introduction nothing is written by me. A friend wrote to tell me that this article appeared in the latest edition of Voyeur, which is the in-flight magazine for Virgin Australia.  It is so unusual to see Isaan featured in a mainstream publication that I thought it was worth including in my blog, with all credit given to the authors.

196. Thai Health Insurance

  • Published 12 Jul 2015
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: Information
  • LINK: HERE

People come here expecting health to be very cheap, and certainly if you rely on the public system it can be relatively inexpensive. Even the private system is considerably cheaper than many western countries. However if you want to make choices in the level of healthcare you receive, especially if it is for a major incident, then you pay for what you get and the costs can add up even in Thailand. This post covers my solution and also offers a very useful link to another blog with some comprehensive additional information.

195. A Garden Update

  • Published 12 Jul 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Building a House in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE

This is a bit of a specialised post for those people interested in how the garden at our new home in Si Bun Ruang, Isaan is looking after a few months of occupation. I might publish these updates from time to time as much for my benefit in following progress as anyone else’s.

194. The Road to Wat Pa Phu Kon

  • Published 28 Jun 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu province
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

You get a bonus with this post. Not only will I take you to the beautiful Wat Pa Phu Kon, close to the border with Laos, but I will share a little of the trip along the way and back. This is becoming a well known temple in this part of the world due to the huge reclining Italian marble BUddha statue. If you can spare a day in your time in the North East then I recommend to put this wat on your list to visit.

193. Seasons on an Isaan Farm – June

  • Published 26 Jun 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Farming
  • LINK: HERE

This post is partly for my benefit to record the change in seasons and the resulting variation in crops and activities on the farm. I haven’t been living in this part of Thailand for a full year yet so writing a post like this from time to time will let me know what is coming up after one farming cycle so I can talk like an expert to any visitors heading our way 🙂

192. Visiting Isaan – Part 1

  • Published 22 Jun 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

Many people coming to Thailand never make it to Isaan, the North East region of the country, even if they have heard of it. The obvious holiday attractions of places like Phuket, the other islands, Pattaya and the Northern cities of Chiang Mai and Rai are often at the top of traveller’s list well before anything to do with Isaan.

Because not a lot is written about Isaan by farang it is easy to think that there’s nothing to do here. Certainly we can’t compare with some alternatives but to dismiss the whole region is to miss out in some ways on a more genuine side of Thai life. Although Isaan may not be as spectacular as the big names with the absence of busloads of tourists it can be a much more intimate and real experience.

191. Erawan Cave

  • Published 14 Jun 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu province, Isaan
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

A cooler day yesterday and a massage appointment that was postponed for two hours had us heading the 40 km down highway 210 towards the town of Loei and Wat Erawan, a cave set in limestone cliffs with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. I had read about the 600 plus steps to get to the cave itself, which was why the cooler weather played a part in the decision to visit.

190. A House Update

  • Published 4 Jun 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Building a House in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE

I thought I would update those of you following the build with what my impressions have been after two months of living in the house and what additional work has gone on. I had a reader suggest that I had gone quiet writing new material for the blog because I was spending my time watching the mangos grow. There’s a lot of truth in that comment but not completely true as it relates to the house 🙂

189. Isaan – the Small Stories 5

  • Published 4 Jun 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu province, Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

Some of the following post has been almost ready to publish for a while so covers some events that happened a little time ago. I was worried that I would run out of the small stories of Isaan but they seem to keep popping up. In fact I have ended up with so many that I will have to keep some back for Small Stories 6. I enjoy writing this series because it makes me keep an eye out for interesting things to write about. I might sleep-walk through my days

188. Songkran in Isaan

  • Published 25 Apr 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Festivals
  • LINK: HERE

Songkran is the huge Thai New Year festival that is officially held over three days in mid-April each year. It is very similar to the Western Christmas/New Year period with a large movement of people heading back to their homes to be with friends and family and a lot of businesses shutting or slowing down for the one week encompassing Songkran. This year we joined in the local celebration of this fun and very wet celebration.

187. Becoming a Monk in Isaan

  • Published 16 Apr 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Festivals
  • LINK: HERE

We were just having a cold drink in the garden after a day of clearing up after our house construction when conflicting loud music in the next street made it pretty obvious something was going on. “Someone make monk” was Gaun’s comment, who seems to know everything that’s going on in the village even though she doesn’t involve herself in the community too much. We walked over to be met by separate processions for two new monks, both heading to the temple after doing the rounds of the village.

186. A House Blessing Ceremony

  • Published 14 Apr 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Building a House in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE

One of my most consistent readers wrote a comment recently and said she was looking forward to hearing about the house blessing ceremony. For some reason I had a blank moment about passing this story on as it happened in mid-March, Week 20 of my house build. It’s never too late in blogland so here it is – sorry for the delay Linda. Having built a house you can’t move in until the spirits approve. Find out how that’s achieved.

185. Living with a Thai Woman

  • Published 12 Apr 2015
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

This is my first post-build story and I thought I would step away from the tourist/travel side of describing life here and do something a little different. If like me you have spent any time on the many farang based forums and you happen to end up in the often depressing topic area called “Farang/Thai Relationships” then I hope my post will do something to add some reality and positive words to the subject. Some very positive comments at the end of this post so make sure you have a look at them.

184. Retire to South East Asia

  • Published 5 Mar 2015
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: Retirement
  • LINK: HERE

A good article published in The Canberra Times and others. It has been obviously written from an Australian viewpoint but some general points of interest for other nationalities too. As are so many of these articles is is biased towards the financial benefits and I would strongly recommend you read my post HERE to gain a more balanced viewpoint.

183. Isaan Silk

  • Published 5 Mar 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

I only came across this story when Gaun, my wife, recently came out in the morning dressed in a beautiful wraparound skirt given to her by her mama many years ago and made from pure silk. That in itself isn’t of great interest but the fact that the silk was produced from worms raised by mama and the thread extracted, coloured and woven into this garment by her was. Read about the process in this post.

182. A Short Time in Pattaya

  • Published 5 Mar 2015
  • Place: Pattaya, Chonburi
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Pattaya
  • LINK: HERE

My contribution to the many articles on Pattaya has nothing on the walking street, the big girlie area, as we never made it there. Seen it all before in Phuket’s Patong and Nana Plaza in Bangkok and am well over it. For the two people left reading the post at this stage carry on for a more balanced review of Pattaya and some associated topics.

181. An Isaan Village Festival

  • Published 2 Mar 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: Festivals
  • LINK: HERE

Every year around this time our Moo Baan or village puts on a small Buddhist festival involving the village’s wat or temple. These festivals seem to be pretty light hearted affairs with the aim of having time off work, raising some money, gaining merit in the Buddhist system, having a few drinks, listening to music and dancing. A pretty good combination in my opinion.

This is the first time I have been in the village for this occasion so on Sunday we left the cool of our partly finished house, and you can read about why we have set up camp there in my latest post on the build, and joined the crowd for an afternoon of celebration Isaan style.

180. The Sights of Isaan – Hug a Tortoise

  • Published 13 Feb 2015
  • Place: Khon Kaen province, Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

I have written before about my goal of “discovering” the hidden sights of our bit of Isaan, the largely rural part of South East Thailand. This time I had read about two places to visit on the way to Khon Kaen. Both had been very briefly written up on Thai orientated websites with very little detail and I thought I was on a winner to bring these treasures to light for anybody exploring this area so get ready to hug a tortoise.

179. Wat Tham Klong Pane

  • Published 13 Feb 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu province, Isaan
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

Wat Tham Klong Pane is a collection of buildings and shrines spread over a large area, many of them built around or incorporating the some of the huge rocks that litter this area. It is best to have your own transport to see all the parts of this temple as it is quite a distance between some of them. One of my favourite places to visit in the area.

178. TV from your Home Country

  • Published 27 Jan 2015
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: Information
  • LINK: HERE

NOTE: This post is being updated as at 16 Jan 2016. I have put this information into a separate post as it might be especially useful for the many expats reading this blog. It is an alternative to using paid internet TV services such as ThaiExpat TV HERE.

If you want to access UK or American TV but are locked out because your ISP, internet service provider, is in a foreign country, like us expats in Thailand, then you have a couple of free options.

177. A Thai Shotgun Marriage

  • Published 27 Jan 2015
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Nong Bua Lamphu province, Isaan
  • Topic: Festivals
  • LINK: HERE

But you’ll be pleased to read that no shotgun was involved. Let me put a scenario to you and compare the possible western response to the outcome that happened in my small Isaan village in the North East of Thailand. Let’s say you discover that your fourteen year old daughter is pregnant after she asks you why she has this feeling something is kicking in her stomach, not a great endorsement of the Thai sexual education effort but I guess it happens everywhere. Find out how this situation was resolved for better or worse in this post.

176. Isaan – the Small Stories 4

  • Published 23 Jan 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu province, Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

This is another in the series exploring the daily life of living in a small village in Isaan.

175. Links

  • Published 21 Jan 2015
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

I often come across sites or articles in my research about Thailand that I think might be of interest to readers of this blog. I thought it might be useful if I published them are part of the main menu of the blog so that they were easy to find, especially as I will be updating the list on a regular basis. I have also been sent links by readers which I will include if I think they are relevant. I haven’t been very consistent in updating this post, something I will rectify to bring it up to date shortly (20 Jan 2016)

174. Phu Phrabat Historical Park

  • Published 19 Jan 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu province, Isaan
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

Phu Phrabat or Phra Bat historical park about 1 1/2 hours from us has been on my list of places to visit since I first read about it in a Trip Advisor list of things to see in Udon Thani province. You will find directions on how to get there from Udon Thani at the end of this post.

Phu Phra Bat historical park in Udon Thani province in the North East of Thailand is a forested hill with natural rock formations shaped as caves with large rocky overhangs. The caves were used by ancient man as shelter and as temples where Buddha images were enshrined. What makes this site unique, is that it contains traces of several different civilizations and cultures spanning thousands of years. The hill contains traces of prehistoric man, the Dvaravati period and Khmer presence.

173. The Hidden Treasures of Nong Bua

  • Published 15 Jan 2015
  • Place: Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

I am going to treat my new home in Si Bung Ruang, in the North East of Thailand, in the same way as I did our time in Chiang Rai and Mai and share with you places of interest we come across in our travels. Some of these will be reports on more scenic or unusual locations and others will just be places we have found and use as part of our day to day life here. I hope that over time we can discover some interesting material to photograph and write about as the coverage of Isaan, this region of Thailand, is pretty sparse when compared to the big names on the coast and the North West.

Now I know that probably nobody reading this will ever visit Nong Bua Lamphu so reporting on its very minor attractions may seem a little strange but you never know. Someone may take the wrong turn in Pattaya and end up here looking for a decent pizza.

172. Isaan – the Small Stories 3

  • Published 5 Jan 2015
  • Place: Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

Another of my ramblings about the small everyday stories I come across living a “small” life here in the North Eastern part of Thailand, a region called Isaan. These are some of my favourite posts because they don’t involve any big touristy attractions but are made up of little moments that form part of my life here. They are unique because you won’t find them on the many other Thailand blogs that more often focus on the big stories in Phuket, Pattaya and the two Chiangs in the North West. I hope they give you an insight of Isaan life that makes for enjoyable reading.

171. Return to Chiang Rai – Part 2

  • Published 29 Dec 2014
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Rai
  • LINK: HERE

Although published in December this post covers a return trip we made to Chiang Rai in October and covers in detail the Black House, including directions of how to find the place which can be a challenge, and Doi Tung Palace gardens. Complete the picture by reading Part 1, which you will find below.

170. Recommendations

  • Published 21 Dec 2014
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

This is a non-commercial site so I don’t endorse businesses for any financial or other gain. If I come across someone who I feel is providing a service or product that will benefit my readers then I will include their details in this section. As always you can make your own assessment and go from there

169. Isaan – the Small Stories 2

  • Published 5 Dec 2014
  • Place: Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

We have now being living in Isaan for over a month and I thought I would write another in what will probably become a series of little stories about living a “small” local life in a rural Thai village. You can read the first of these collections of happenings HERE. Our first month’s anniversary also gives me an opportunity to ponder the change between living 12 months in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second largest city, and moving to one of it’s less populous towns in the North East, an area called Isaan.

168. Return to Chiang Rai

  • Published 30 Nov 2014
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Rai
  • LINK: HERE

We brought my step daughter Peng to Chiang Mai in mid-October from the family home in Si Bun Ruang to spend some in a big city before we moved to Isaan. One of the places she had read about and wanted to see was the White temple or Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai and Gaun wanted to re-visit the Mae Fah Luang gardens at the Doi Tung Royal palace located in the hills North of Chiang Rai. I booked a B&B so we could make it a two day visit and we hit the road, one I am very familiar with, to Chiang Rai.

167. Isaan Rice Harvest

  • Published 24 Nov 2014
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Isaan
  • Topic: Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE

The rice harvest here in Isaan is the culmination of an amazing amount of hard work, mostly done by hand, and there is a sense of activity and purpose in the village in November. Rice is incredibly central to society here as it forms the basis for all meals and eating is where families and friends gather as often as possible to share food and gossip. Anyone who has visited Thailand will know the consumption of food is almost a full-time occupation for Thais during waking hours. The call to dinner in Thai is “kin khaw” or “eat rice” even if there’s no rice – although that’s pretty unlikely, and that’s an indication of how integrated rice is here.

166. Isaan Cooking

  • Published 13 Nov 2014
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Isaan
  • Topic: Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE

I thought the best way to have you over for lunch today would be to walk you through the preparation of the Laab Moo in photos. It is a classic Isaan dish, simple and quick to make. This version used four different parts of the pig. Minced pork, the mincing is done by finely chopping the meat here, the skin, liver and some other internal organ – kidney? Vegetarians please skip the next bit.

165. Moving to Live in Isaan

  • Published 9 Nov 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai/Si Bun Ruang, Isaan
  • Topic: Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE

Our 12 month rental in Chiang Mai came due at the end of October and we seemed to have accumulated far more than I expected once it was all collected in one place. Admittedly a lot of it was the vast array of plants we had either bought or Gaun had propagated during of time in Chiang Mai. These had to make the move with us otherwise my next post would have been how to arrange a divorce in Thailand!

164. Chiang Mai Zoo

  • Published 30 Oct 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE

I am not a huge fan of zoos but I have to say that this one was a pleasant way to spend half a day. What I hadn’t realised firstly is how big it is at around 200 acres and secondly that you can drive through it rather than rely on the internal bus system, which you have to pay for. Because it is so spread out the driving option allows you to park at the areas that interest you and take your time rather than be tied to the bus timetable. I am not sure that they allow motorbikes inside because I hardly saw any, a most unusual situation in Thailand.

163. Occupation Retired

  • Published 29 Oct 2014
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: Retirement
  • LINK: HERE

I recently had to fill out an Australian statutory declaration, if interested you can read about the reason why in my post HERE, where one of the questions it asked for was my occupation. To me I could answer in one of two ways – either occupation “none” or occupation “retired”. I wrote “retired” because after all nobody wants to admit not having an occupation even in retirement. It seems that in many ways an occupation is what has defined us for much of our lives! That question made me think about the subject of retirement and why we should never dismiss it as a “none” occupation!  This post is my contribution to the subject.

162. Chiang Mai Umbrellas

  • Published 23 Oct 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE

After a long break from blogging I am back with a quick post covering today when we visited the Bo Sang handicraft village with the goal of capturing a couple of umbrellas for show only use in the outside living areas of my new house, still to be built.

161. Motor Registration Renewal

  • Published 23 Oct 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

This is another short post purely of interest to those expats living in Thailand. I bought my car 12 months ago through a dealer, who took care of the registration process via the Chiang Mai motor registry office or Department of Land Transport DLT to give it the full Thai title.

The registration renewal has just become due and I thought I would have to go through the same sort of inspection and paperwork process but not so. The whole thing can be done at any local motor shop. Some advertise the fact using this gold/yellow cog type sign while the one I used was my regular service guy and he had nothing outside to indicate the service was available.

160. Visiting Chiang Mai

  • Published 10 Oct 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE

Covered or mentioned in this post: Shopping, evening and Sunday markets, Central Festival shopping mall, Boy Blues Bar, ladyboy show, Panmai cafe, Huay Tung Tao lake, Terracotta Garden, Wat Ket Karet and museum, Mae Rim, Mon Cham, Tiger Kingdom, The Tea House, silver jewellery shopping, Doi Suthep, Wat Phalat, Bhubing Palace gardens, 3D, Chiang Dao, Caves, Chiang Dao Nest, Tweechol Gardens, Nimmanhaemin Road and local markets.

159. How to Marry a Thai National

  • Published 1 Oct 2014
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

This post details the paperwork and process needed for an Australian to marry a Thai national based on the legal requirements of Thailand. I can guarantee that this is the best post on the subject because unlike the others, which mostly seem to paraphrase each other, this post is based on actual experience and includes forms, photos, logistical details and warnings to a level that no one else has provided before. I presume the Thai part of the process are the same for any nationality so if not an Australian this post will still have some relevance.

158. My Favourite Wats in Chiang Mai

  • Published 21 Sep 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

My list of favourite Wats doesn’t have a “Top X” number yet (now it does – see below). I am going to tell you about the ones I really liked and the number I end up with will be the number I add to title at the end! My Wat enjoyment rating isn’t necessarily just based on the Wat buildings themselves. Maybe the Wat had a lovely view, or was extremely peaceful or had a monk who was pro-active in sharing or giving a blessing. There is more to Wats than their architectural standing.

158. My Chiang Mai Top 10

  • Published 20 Sep 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE

My criteria for the things I have chosen are that they aren’t all on the Trip Advisor Top 10 list. I would hate to send you off where the first thing you see is a line of tourist buses and lots of people like you and me 🙂

If you are a reader of my blog you will know that Gaun and I are garden lovers so there is a little bit of weighting on that subject here but I have tried to avoid being too biased and mixed it up a bit. These are in alphabetical order not representing preference or anything else. One of them is not a specific destinations but a drive where the variety you will see along the way makes it worth a mention in my Top 10.

157. Trash & Treasure and more

  • Published 20 Sep 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE

“This on-campus market is open to all and runs every Saturday and Sunday from late morning until afternoon, around 3 or 4 p.m. Accessible via Rattanakosin or Kaew Nawarat Road, it is one of the largest second hand,  retro-style markets in town, and items are sold directly from passionate collectors. You will find everything here: old TVs, spare car parts, gramophone records, used furniture, books, Buddha images, cameras, clothes, toys, posters and much more. After a day of diddle-daddling and picking up doodads that you thought you didn’t need, be sure to grab an iced coffee from the bright orange VW coffee-mobile at the end of the street.”

156. Dragon’s Back – Hong Kong

  • Published 19 Sep 2014
  • Place: Hong Kong
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Other
  • LINK: HERE

Day 5 of our stay in Hong Kong. Covered or mentioned in this post: Local street markets, Dragon’s Back, Stanley and the Gold Coast Hotel. We spent the best part of the day walking the beautiful Dragon’s Back with sweeping views over the coastline. Lunch at Stanley and then a bus trip back into Hong Kong city.

155. Mazda Service

  • Published 18 Sep 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE

This is a real quickie on this topic. I only include it because I like to record all aspects of life here that differ from what I have known from my time in Australia. It is the little things that make everyday life interesting – to me anyway. Driving into the Mazda dealership you are shown a parking space by the security guard. A guy with a large umbrella then comes out and protects you from the sun as you make your way to the service reception. While checking the car in a lady brings you a glass of iced water. Sounds like your car service at home? Read on.

154. Hansa Mini Golf

  • Published 12 Sep 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE

I had read about Hansa Minigolf when searching for things to do out our way in San Sai, a Northern area of Chiang Mai. San Sai is not exactly the center for anything especially by way of things to do or see. A few cooking schools and adventure type activities but almost nothing to cater for the “drop-in” urge. Hansa Minigolf. Hansa was given a great review on Trip Advisor and because it is only 15 minutes from our home we decided to have a look this morning.

153. Hong Kong – Disneyland

  • Published 11 Sep 2014
  • Place: Hong Kong
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Other
  • LINK: HERE

Day 3 and we were heading out SOLO to visit Hong Kong Disneyland. Gina, my good friend here, has been our constant guide for the first two days. I think she felt that we had passed the getting around Hong Kong test and this was an opportunity for us to see if we could use the transport system to go to a planned destination! Having said that Gina wrote out detailed travel instructions so it was a bit of a cheat.

152. Hong Kong – Big Buddha

  • Published 9 Sep 2014
  • Place: Hong Kong
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Other
  • LINK: HERE

Day 2 in Hong Kong had Gina planning to take a ferry to a place called Tai O, which is optimistically also sometimes known as “The Venice of Hong Kong”. If there’s anyone from Tai O reading this I don’t mean to offend but it is actually supposed to be a bit of a dump and with the dried fish a smelly one too. However we missed the boat literally so ended up taking a spectacular cable car to see the Big Buddha.

151. Chiang Mai taxi service

  • Published 9 Sep 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

A very short post with some useful contacts for taxi services in Chiang Mai.