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Index of Posts to 50

Here you will find a list of my posts from the very beginning – 50. The early posts were a sort of electronic diary for friends and family back in Australia, so they are pretty brief and touristy compared to my more recent posts. The quality of the photos has improved over time too. However, the content remains a sequential story of the sights and happenings of my Thailand, so they still form a useful part of this blog.

50. Furniture Heaven

  • Published 6 Apr 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE
I decided to call into a small furniture shop I had visited before, mixed in with the huge range of plant outlets, and found they were having a sale. The cost of good quality furniture here still has me shaking my head – it is so low. Add a sale to that and it all becomes a bit dream-like. As you see from the examples below my decision to leave furniture in Australia and save the huge shipping costs makes sense when you see these replacement prices. My main problem will be not to over-furnish the new home because I won’t be able to resist the bargains.

49. Eat on Earth

  • Published 5 Apr 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Café/eating
  • LINK: HERE
One day trying to find a short cut home after shopping at the local Tesco Lotus I came across a narrow Soi that runs parallel with the 1001, the main road out to our Moo Baan.  The road itself does offer a useful short-cut but more importantly there are a couple of very nice eating/drinking spots along the way. One that has just opened is called Eat on Earth.

48. Doggie Protection

  • Published 4 Apr 2014
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE
My shortest post I think so if you have a minute to spare give it a quick read. This is one of those little unusual moments I wanted to capture when we were having breakfast at a place called The Coffee House just around the corner from where we were staying in Rawai, Phuket.

47. Nai Harn Beach, Phuket

  • Published 3 Apr 2014
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Other
  • LINK: HERE
One of the nicer beaches to visit in Phuket is Nai Harn towards the tip of the island on the West side. The beach itself is smaller than others such as Kata and in a more intimate horseshoe shape with a restaurant perched on the rocks at one end and the Royal Phuket Yacht Club, a large hotel, at the other. There was almost no surf when we were there but that’s not always the case. Lifeguards are usually on duty if you are a nervous swimmer.

46. Bound for Botany Bay

  • Published 19 Mar 2014
  • Place: Australia
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Other
  • LINK: HERE
This is part one which covers our first two weeks in Australia. The central theme to the entry is Gaun’s experience of Australia, her first overseas trip. Much of my enjoyment from this visit has been seeing my own country through her eyes. Sights that I took for granted take on a new freshness when shared with someone who has no experience of life outside their own country.

45. Sunday Markets in Chiang Mai

  • Published 6 Jan 2014
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE
The Old Town of Chiang Mai is a reasonable sized area with its boundaries defined by the moat which surrounds it. This used to be a walled town but not much of the wall itself remains. The best example of what was can be found at Thaphae Gate, which you can see on the right hand side of the moat in the map I have included in this post. This also happens to be the best place to start if exploring the markets which stretch from here into the Old Town

44. More Chiang Mai Gardens

  • Published 31 Dec 2013
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE
I was on the internet prowl yesterday for information about a botanical garden which is situated next to the Chiang Mai zoo. We have driven past it a few times on the way to Doi Suthep and it looks lovely. As is often the case with the internet you are given more than you asked for. My search came back with details on the Tweechol Botanical gardens, about 10 km out of Chiang Mai on Route 118 the main road to Chiang Rai, and it looked worth a visit.

43. Chiang Mai Gardens

  • Published 29 Dec 2013
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE
Gardening doesn’t seem to be a natural inclination of Thais in a home environment either through choice, financial limitations or cultural conditioning. However on a community and national level there is a much stronger display of green thumbs happening. The Royal family are keen supporters of gardens, either as separate entities or as an extension to the royal palaces dotted around the country.  In this post we visit the Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens in Mae Rim, Bhubing Palace Gardens on Doi Suthep and a small flower exhibition on the way home.

42. Nimmanhaemin Road

  • Published 29 Dec 2013
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Mai
  • LINK: HERE
One of THE places to visit in Chiang Mai is Nimmanhaemin Road, which starts where the Super Highway Route 11 ends to the North West of the Old Town. This is an area largely devoted to bars, cafes, restaurants and guesthouses. Nimmanhaemin Road itself is extremely busy and getting there on the Super Highway can be a slow process as three lanes merge into one at traffic lights. Finding a park might be a challenge too. However once you have arrived there is certainly a huge selection of places to spend time eating, drinking and shopping.

41. Thailand Six Months On

  • Published 22 Dec 2013
  • Place: NA
  • Topic: Retirement
  • LINK: HERE
I had to update my home address details with Chiang Mai immigration recently, something required every 90 days under the terms of my retirement or O type visa. Being the second time I have had to do this it was a reminder that I have now been here for six months although it seems longer. I thought that I would mark this landmark occasion with a review of my life here in Thailand warts and all. Writing this blog entry has given me an opportunity to assess my decision to live here as much for my interest as for anyone else’s. It’s a long one so enjoy with coffee or a wine.

40. Rice – the Final Chapter

  • Published 4 Dec 2013
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Isaan
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE
If you have been following my blogs of life over here you’d think that I have an obsession with rice because this is yet another entry that has it as a topic. In some ways you’d be right. The labour intensive process of growing rice and its role as a central food source makes it important in itself. Historically rice has been grown here for possibly well over 5,000 years, which well a truly integrates it into Thai life.

39. Festivals in Chiang Mai

  • Published 29 Nov 2013
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Festivals
  • LINK: HERE
Having planted rice on Gaun’s family farm on my last visit to Isaan there was a strong expectation from her family that I would return to participate in the harvest mid-November.  I was going to get to Isaan earlier in November because the rice was ready sooner than predicted but two events resulted in us postponing the trip. Firstly we moved to Chiang Mai on 1 November and we were involved in setting up the new house. The second reason was that we wanted to be in town for the popular Loi Krathong/Yi Peng festival on the weekend of 16 – 17 November.

38. Buying Land in Isaan

  • Published 28 Nov 2013
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang, Isaan
  • Topic: Building in Thailand, Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE
Well I now own a small part of Thailand as of this Monday. Who would have thought? This has been one of the oddest progressions in my life from holidaying here last year to retiring, living and “owning” land in Thailand.

37. Doi Chaang Coffee

  • Published 30 Oct 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Rai
  • LINK: HERE
A change of plans due to bad weather meant that this afternoon was spent driving to Doi Chang mountain, Chiang Rai province’s highest peak, and visit the home of Doi Chaang Coffee, one of the world’s top boutique coffee producers.

36. Chiang Rai – the Neighbourhood

  • Published 27 Oct 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Rai
  • LINK: HERE
The advantage and pleasure of not being a two week tourist in a place like Chiang Rai is that one has the luxury of time to explore the little places of interest away from the main visitor destinations such as the White temple and the Black House (separate blogs on both of these).

This entry is a mix of places we have visited around our home in Chiang Rai during the nine weeks we’ve been here. It will give you a taste of some of the more everyday sights in the area. Included are the Buffalo temple, the Chiang Rai Clock Tower, the markets, Canary Coffee and Central Plaza for some farang supermarket shopping.

35. The Road to Chiang Rai

  • Published 20 Oct 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Rai
  • LINK: HERE
The drive from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai on Route 118 takes about 2 1/2 hours if you don’t stop but to drive it this way is to miss lots of interesting sights along the way. I’ve driven this road six times in the eight weeks we’ve been living in Chiang Rai so it has become pretty familiar. The first drive was the initial move to Chiang Rai. three trips for dental appointments, once to find a house to rent and once to buy a car.

34. A Run to the Border

  • Published 12 Oct 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places – Chiang Rai
  • LINK: HERE
About an hour’s drive North of Chiang Rai is the town of Mae Sai, which doesn’t have a lot going for it other than it is a major exit point to Myanmar and also has the Immigration Office for Chiang Rai. This post does cover my visit here and the Immigration Office but of far more interest and wat more scenic is our side trip to Doi Tung Royal Palace.

33. Our New Home and Housing in Thailand

  • Published 6 Oct 2013
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Retirement, Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE
We have today signed a lease for a house in Chiang Mai, conditional on my redundancy going through as planned. This is the first major action I’ve taken to make a permanent commitment to Thailand. It marks a change from focussing on the what ifs, should I, shouldn’t I live here to deciding this is it and getting on with the logistics of settling in.

I thought I would use this opportunity to not only show you where we will be living but also to cover some aspects of housing here from construction techniques to the range of Moo Baan (estate) houses available.

32. A Rice Walk out the Back

  • Published 27 Sep 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • LINK: HERE

Being the rainy season a sunny day is unusual here so when one did arrive we decided to take some exercise and go for a walk out the back of our rented house in Chiang Rai.

We are on the very back edge of this little village so behind us is nothing but farming country mostly owned and operated by the Singha Beer company.  Singha is the oldest and most popular beer in Thailand although now being challenged by Chang beer. It is brewed by Boon Rawd Brewery, a fact that has little significance until a photo taken later on our walk.

31. Chiang Rai – The Black House

  • Published 17 Sep 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • LINK: HERE

It has been raining a bit here so I been catching up on some overdue blogs. This one is rated number 6 of 26 top attraction in Chiang Rai by Trip Advisor. I am slowly working through the top ten.

If you take Chiang Rai city as a centre point you will find the White temple (subject of a previous posting) on the Southern side and the Black House (Baan Daam in Thai – House Black) almost equidistant on the Northern side. Evidently some locals refer to the two attractions as Heaven and Hell. We have only seen Heaven so it was time to balance our lives and give Hell a go.

30. Chiang Mai – Doi Suthep

  • Published 16 Sep 2013
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • LINK: HERE

This blog is out of sequence. The visit to Doi Suthep happened on the day after my previous dentist trip to Chiang Mai as we headed back to Chiang Rai. We spent the night in Chiang Mai on the Thursday after a long dental procedure. I knew that the excitement of two bone grafts and two implants at the dentist plus recovery Mojito cocktails afterwards would prevent a return to Chiang Rai that day.

The next day we decided to visit one of the landmark temples in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, rated 8 out of 118 attractions on Trip Advisor. Remember the meaning of Doi and Wat? This temple seems to covers it all because it’s a Wat on a Doi (on hill/mountain = Doi). If you want a temple with a view go to one that has Doi in its name.

29. Doi Inthanon and more

  • Published 15 Sep 2013
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • LINK: HERE

This is another Chiang Mai topic as I had to make a trip there for a dental appointment – my last procedure until mid-November- yay.

I had seen a photograph of a place called Doi Inthanon on a previous trip to Chiang Mai and it looked quite spectacular and well worth a visit. However, being a couple of hours out of town on the opposite side to Chiang Rai the trip there and back needed a full day with an overnight stay otherwise it would have been on top of  a further three hours drive back to Chiang Rai.

28. Our Shopping Basket

  • Published 11 Sep 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

We recently went shopping at the local market, which is a permanent feature about 5 minutes drive from us in a large open tin shed. So what does the outcome of a Thai shopping expedition look like and what are the costs involved?

The photos below show you what we bought and there is a listing of the cost of each item converted to Australian dollars. This is what our shopping “trolley” contained. Total cost A$12.00!

27. Cost of Living in Thailand

  • Published 10 Sep 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

What is the cost of living in Thailand for someone leading a “normal” (non-tourist) lifestyle? We all know it is cheaper than back in Australia but what would a monthly budget look like here?

Well that was one of the main questions I had in coming over and one of the reasons I wanted to stay for an extended time.

26. The Village – a Photo Story

  • Published 10 Sep 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Places & Attractions
  • LINK: HERE

Living on the edge of a small rural village in Chiang Rai brings home the fact that although I am living a semi-tourist lifestyle it is based in a 100% non-tourist location. Any trip to the “outside” world involves driving through the village from one side to the other to join up with the main road running to Chiang Rai one way and eventually Chiang Mai three hours the other way.

After a while the trip down the narrow village streets has become very familiar and I don’t register the scenery the way I did when we first arrived here. I thought it was time to capture the village in photos to re-focus on our local environment.

25. A Day in Chiang Mai

  • Published 1 Sep 2013
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Places & Attractions
  • LINK: HERE

The car rental agreement I have on my Nissan sports 1200cc slug requires that we get the car detailed every two weeks at the rental company’s expense. As I am back in Chiang Mai for more dental work it seemed a good opportunity to get this done as the timing was right. The detailing place was out towards the airport, the West side of the city, which I haven’t been before, other than when we arrived by air from Udon Thani three weeks ago, so we decided to have an explore while we were out that way.

24. A Day in Chiang Rai – Waterdown and a Doi

  • Published 1 Sep 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Places & Attractions
  • LINK: HERE

The weather up here in the North is a bit unpredictable when it comes to rain. It tends to arrive very quickly, is usually pretty local and doesn’t last that long. In general the mornings and early afternoons are dry and the day builds to huge threatening rain clouds that sometime just blow over and other times deliver a real tropical downpour.

Having been here two weeks I am obviously now an expert and based on my observation of this weather pattern I decided that a trip to a waterfall called Khun Korn a few minutes down the road from us was in order and that the morning would be the optimum time to go. By the way Thais call a waterfall a “waterdown” in the same way they call sunset “sundown” and ice “hard water” – all makes easier than making up new words to complicate life.

23. The Bangkok Train Market

  • Published 1 Sep 2013
  • Place: Bangkok
  • Topic: Places & Attractions
  • LINK: HERE

Another out of sequence entry but I am practising my video uploads and this was a good one to start with.

We spent several days in Bangkok late July. I had gone there to meet up with Sarah, my step-daughter, who had popped over for eight days to spend some time with me and also to celebrate her birthday here.

As we were in Thailand’s largest city it seemed a good opportunity to have an explore and see as much as we could in the short time available.

22. Nong Khai, the Mekong and Sala Keoku

  • Published 25 Aug 2013
  • Place: Nong Khai
  • Topic: Places & Attractions
  • LINK: HERE

I was going back through some photos last night and came across the ones I had taken while in Nong Khai situated in the far North East of Thailand on the banks of the mighty Mekong River, the 11th longest river in the world (4,880 km). The trouble with travelling around is that it is easy for each place to quickly fade as new interesting sights and experiences overwhelm previous memories. Seeing the photos brought it all back and I felt the urge to share this wonderful trip with you.

21. Mae Fah Luang Park

  • Published 20 Aug 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Places & Attractions
  • LINK: HERE

I recently read an enthusiastic review of this park on Trip Advisor so it has been on my list of things to do in Chiang Rai.

As this morning was sunny, unusual here in the North, and the park is only 15 minutes from the house we decided to give it a go. I am so pleased we did. It is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in Thailand. Once again I have borrowed introductory words from the net. I hope my photos will give you some idea of the lush beauty of the park.

20. Wat Rong Khun – The White Temple

  • Published 18 Aug 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

Wat Rong Khun or the White Temple is literally 5 minutes drive from our house so it was our first tourist stop on our first full day in Chiang Rai.

The temple is such a visual experience that this blog entry is mostly photos. Most of the words below that give some background to the temple and are not mine but borrowed from the web with particular thanks to Ian Ord as published on asiarooms.com.

19. Moving to Chiang Rai

  • Published 17 Aug 2013
  • Place: Chiang Rai
  • Topic: General Information
  • LINK: HERE

Our brief time in Chiang Mai ended on Thursday when we packed up ready for our move to long term accommodation in Chiang Rai about 180 km North.

We were up earlier than normal that morning because I had a 9 am dentist appointment. Being on the street at around 8.00 brought into focus the life of the modern tourist. All the cafes were full because people were getting breakfast before the tour bus or cooking class deadline. For example a couple at the table next to ours ran out of eating time and had their mango shake put into a plastic container so they could take it with them. No sabai sabai time for them (sabai means peaceful/relaxed in Thai).

17. The Northeast coast of Phuket

  • Published 8 Aug 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Attractions & Places
  • LINK: HERE

This is a catch-up Phuket entry and will be followed sometime with a catch-up Bangkok entry or two.

I have visited the North East coast of Phuket on a couple of occasions and thought it was worth an entry. For those of you who don’t know Phuket most of the development you see in the tourist brochures has happened on the West coast, probably because this is where the best surfing beaches are located. Names like Patong, Karon, Kata and Nai Harn are all West facing beach suburbs and mostly heavily developed to cater for the huge tourist influx.

The East coast faces the gulf between Phuket and the Thai mainland and doesn’t have surf so presents a very different face, one that isn’t based around the beach life. This is where you’ll find places like Rawai beach, Chalong and Phuket town.

16. Chiang Mai – the Old City

  • Published 14 Aug 2013
  • Place: Chiang Mai
  • Topic: Attractions & Places
  • LINK: HERE

I left Isaan on Monday morning with some regrets as I had such a good time there.

I had a great farewell from Gaun’s family. I wanted to buy Yuan and Lud (Gaun’s younger sister and brother-in-law) something to thank them for looking after me and buying most of the food we ate at home. Having no idea what would be acceptable Gaun came to the rescue and we ended up buying a large bag of something rural. Whatever it was it went down a treat so I was in the extra good books.

15. Rural Isaan

  • Published 4 Aug 2013
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

I want to share some of my impressions of an Isaan farming community as represented by what I have seen so far.  Having only been here for a few days I make no claim to any deep understandings of the community and how it works. However, I am so lucky to have a non-tourist farang view of what little I have seen as Gaun’s family have been extremely welcoming and happy to show me around and include me in activities.

14. Welcome to Isaan

  • Published 1 Aug 2013
  • Place: Si Bun Ruang
  • Topic: Living in Isaan
  • LINK: HERE

This blog entry is out of sync as I have several topics still to write about based around Phuket and Bangkok. However I felt motivated to catch the moment fresh and have an afternoon free so there you go.

I am writing this sitting on the edge of a rice field bank under a tree while a group of Isaan farmers are working away ankle deep in water harvesting young rice shoots to replant in the fields.

13. The resort Experience

  • Published 14 Jul 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Special Interest
  • LINK: HERE

I wanted to record some of my thoughts on one of the ways people choose to have a Thai holiday – the resort experience. The reason this has come about is that on the way to Patong the other day Kaun suggested we call into Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort so that we could check out their beach and I had the opportunity to enter a whole world separate from Phuket.

Le Meridien was the first 5 star resort to open in Phuket and is located just before you take the final hill into Patong on the West coast of Phuket.

12. Patong – Party Town

  • Published 3 Jul 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • LINK: HERE

Well it had to come. No blog on Phuket can avoid having at least one entry on Patong so I guess I had better get it over with.

Patong beach is located about a third of the way up from the tip of Phuket island on the West (right) hand side – around 45 minutes from the airport. It is the centre of  huge tourist area incorporating everything a many people want when on holiday. The beach itself is nothing special but it is an easy walk from a lot of accommodation, which if you don’t have your own transport is a big bonus.

11. Wat Chalong – Phuket

  • Published 2 July 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • LINK: HERE

A recent visit from Phillip, a friend from Australia, resulted in us deciding to have a look at the Wat in Chalong and it’s well worth putting on your to do list for Phuket. Chalong is an area very close to where I’m staying. Towards the tip of the island of Phuket on the East (left) side of the island.

10. A Thai Bunnings Moment

  • Published 1 July 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Building in Thailand
  • LINK: HERE

Probably the most exciting moment in Thailand was coming across a home improvement store just down the road from me in Chalong!

Forming the major part of a complex known as Home Pro it gave an interesting insight to the costs of renovations. Meticulously set up and spotless with several staff in every isle it left Bunnings for dead. Mind you the since the advent of Masters pretty well everyone leaves Bunnings for dead these days.

9. Thailand Yes Coffee

  • Published 27 Jun 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Cafe/eating
  • Link: HERE

Driving to Nai Harn beach via a back road I came across a sign to Thailand Yes Coffee, a coffee business and cafe. For those who know me this was an invitation not to be missed.

A short drive brings you to a large white building set in farmland and the appearance of most of the staff, who must not get too many visitors this time of year. The manager or maybe the guy who knew the most English, a Mr Son Kyo Jin, showed us around. Everyone here is super friendly and it is worth a visit just to feel so special.

8. Phuket Pancakes

  • Published 20 Jun 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Cafe/eating
  • Link: HERE

I have to admit that I have become addicted to the pancakes made at one of the street stalls next to the bar I frequently use. My addiction started last visit with a particular fondness for the nutella and banana ones. I thought that I had beaten the problem as a result of my time away from Thailand and with some intensive counselling but not so.

The first evening I was back the man turned up in his motorbike and sidecar pancake stall. Once the waft of pancakes cooking hit my senses I knew I was lost. It has required me having a daily fix every since.

7. Finding Lunch

  • Published 20 Jun 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Cafe/eating
  • Link: HERE

One of the many hard decisions I have to make each and every day is where to have lunch. The mornings tend to be based around the villa as I catch up on emails and this blog, both of which take a surprising amount of time in a pleasurable sort of way. So the trip out of the villa for lunch starts the day in the external world.

6. More Rambling Experiences

  • Published 19 Jun 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • Link: HERE

We stopped at a mobile cart in Patong and Kaun asked me if I wanted tea. Now I have always been a gin and tonic sort of guy in preference to tea in hot humid conditions, so declined the offer. However the tea on offer here is iced tea. It’s made from a very strong sweet brew which is filtered into a milkshake type container filled with ice and tinned milk poured over the top and drunk with a straw. I tried it and found it delicious.

The moral of the story….your preconceptions are often wrong in Thailand. Try anything new, within reason!

5. Visiting the Big Buddha

  • Published 19 Jun 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Wat/temple
  • Link: HERE

I have been partaking in a bit of Buddhism in an unplanned way. I wanted to go to Big C, which is a shopping Mall in Phuket city about a 45 minute drive from the villa. On the way Kaun asked me if I had been to the big Buddha. This is a huge white statue on top of the highest hill around here and overlooks the whole Phuket area. I hadn’t and in that lovely flexible agenda sort of way we wound through narrow side streets to get to the main road up the hill to the BB.

4. A Mixed Bunch of Happenings

  • Published 17 Jun 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • Link: HERE

This is a mixed bag of happenings and some almost non happenings covering the last few days. I realise looking back that I have dozed through some of my time here and that writing the blog update more than a day after the event means that I forget things. I am now better organised to account for my poor recall and have the technology, paper and pen, to list the day’s events and then expand them into the blog.

3. Thai Bar Girls

  • Published 20 May 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Special interest
  • Link: HERE

I might start with the bar scene as I know that’ll be of particular interest to the male recipients of this newsletter and I did say that I would cover this topic previously.

My vast experience of bars and bar girls 🙂 is purely based on Nai Harn, which is a quiet backwater by Phuket standards. It is very different and I would think lot less interesting in somewhere like Bangor Road, which is the widely known bar capital of Phuket, and has large, very commercial nightclubs designed to attract the huge number of horny and drunk male tourists.

2. Phuket China Town Part 2

  • Published 19 Apr 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • Link: HERE

My fellow traveller the German professor is here to study the one aspect of the vegetarian festival which happens once a year here in Phuket based around Chinese Tao philosophy. When I asked him why he was here he talked about the festival and pain. I couldn’t work out where the study of pain came into a vegetarian festival other than the obvious loss of the meat experience for us carnivores.

However by the end of our tour I was enlightened. The vegetarian thing is actually part of a cleansing process because the Gods come down to earth once a year and stay here for ten days to observe what’s going on. Everyone is on their best behaviour and the eating of meat is stopped. Restaurants stop serving meat or close to allow staff to head home. If you want the meat experience in Phuket don’t come from the 14th October. Changes every year according to the Chinese calendar.

1. Phuket China Town Part 1

  • Published 19 Apr 2013
  • Place: Phuket
  • Topic: Attractions and Places
  • Link: HERE

I had my Phuket heritage tour yesterday and found it very interesting and worth a separate newsletter.

The tour was booked for the afternoon so the Jolly Green Giant (JGG), my jeep, and I headed off into the Thai traffic madness to a meeting point that was only a vague possibility on my map. Needless to say the road I expected to turn into never eventuated and I was lucky to spot a place I felt comfortable to ask for directions the Thai equivalent of Bunnings. It was like returning to a DIY womb, somewhere safe and  familiar. I managed to get most of the staff involved in trying to find out where I needed to go, at one point having around 10 people around me. They obviously recognised a DIY traveller lost in a foreign land and instinctively gather round to protect and nuture.