Big Sky


“She was a big Star at the night of Joe's bar where
She sang karaoke every night.”

- Kenny Chesney

It’s Saturday morning and I’m working on my story for the month.

It’s a perfect foggy grey morning in the Northwest, and Kenny Chesney, my favorite storyteller, is singing through my computer speakers. Hot coffee, a sleepy cat on my lap, a candle called “Insight” by my computer and the mood is just right for writing. Or, so I’d say if I were writing a country song.

Still— today, I struggle for words.

Something is not quite right and I’m digging for the words to describe why.

I’ve been hired by a company to help them develop their high potentials— the people they call Stars. I am to come up with a way to identify Stars and a plan to develop them. Now, I’m not challenged to identify Stars. Nor, am I struggling with a way to develop them. My challenge is that less than ten percent of the workforce is allowed to be called…. Stars.

What seems odd to me just now is that no one questions that this is strange.

Popular convention says that there are a limited number of individuals in an organization who are the superkeepers. They are the fast-trackers— those ambitious, articulate and advanced-degreed individuals who are most likely to end up in the executive suite. These are the corporate Stars, and they will receive the investment of time, money and attention.

While I love to invest in and develop people, I am feeling disappointed because it means that the company probably won’t be investing in people like Bill.

In my book, Bill is a Star. Bill is The Facilities Guy, or at least that’s what he calls himself. On my second day of work, with a list of to-do’s to be done in my little office cube, Bill stopped by my office just to see how I was settling in. “How are you doing, young lady?”

I said that all was well and mentioned that I needed to move my computer over to the other side of the office, but was not looking forward to fiddling with all of the cables. Bill said, “Well, let’s do it now!” In the process of moving my computer, Bill noticed that I needed a mouse pad. He asked me what color I’d prefer and promptly delivered one, in my favorite color, to me later that afternoon.

It’s not that Bill was doing something special just for me. Bill treats everyone at our company this way— not just ten percent of the people.

Bill loves his job. When he talks about his work, his personality lights up and you can’t resist his infectious enthusiasm. Bill likes the fact that he gets to work with everyone. He likes that he can make someone’s day just by bringing them a mouse pad or fixing their phone. And, while he’s doing that, he invests time in people by getting to know them on a personal level. Bill has seen everyone’s family pictures on their desks. He knows the name of their spouse, their dog, what they had for lunch today and what they like to do on the weekend. And, of course, everyone knows Bill.

Think about it.

Bill probably has a better understanding of the people in the organization than the CEO does.

Bill has invested in everyone at work; not because he has to, but because he wants to. While he doesn’t have a desire to work in the executive suite, he’s still a Star and I think we would be wise to invest in him. We don’t need to put him on a track to the executive suite, but I think it is important not to be blind to all that he brings to the organization. After all, he’s a big Star.

Two days later and back at work, it seems my company agrees.

As it turns out, the company has, in fact, invested in Bill. In one month, Bill, who has only been as far as Indiana, will fly to Paris on company business, to train our new employees in France how to use the new phone system! Knowing Bill, he’ll quickly get everyone up-to-speed on how to use the phones; and, in the process he will invest his time and interest in twenty new friends— because that’s just the way the Stars do it.

Satisfied with this discovery, I headed out for a walk this evening. The morning fog had long since burned off, and I looked up at the sky where it was clear and black and big enough for ten billion twinkling Stars.

© 2005-2010 Lisa Ann Edwards

p.s. For those of you who I know will ask, yes, I wrote this years ago, and no, I don't really listen to country music, but this song happened to be playing, the morning I wrote this and it seemed to spark my imagination!!! ;-)

After a Long Absence ...

In the clear blue, late afternoon sky, the moon hovered above the wispy etherial clouds, hanging motionless above the distant mountain range, lording over the tranquil expanse of the valley in which we live.  All was reflected in the still calm water, that surounds our front field on two sides.  The field recently seeded with rice, is developing a faint lime green hue, as the seedlings break from the mud and extend their slender forms toward that clear blue sky.

Usually my preference is to sit pond side on the west side of the house, watching the fish feed and the sun setting behind the hills.  A couple hours before sunset, it is far more comfortable however to be seated on the front slope, looking East.  Sitting in the shade on the grassy slop, the dogs are more entertained by the goings on of the village.  People returning home from the fields on foot, bicycles, motorcycles, e-tans and e-toks.  Other dogs barking, chickens feeding, birds flittering from one perch to another.  A crab walking awkwardly over the mud and a frog with only his bulging eyes protruding above the reflective surface of the water.

So there we sat, Cookie and I, with her three canine brothers and the cat.  As it so happens, directly behind us and oh so conveniently located, is my wife’s relatively new Thai kitchen.  From this kitchen came the aroma of what was soon to be our evening meal.  This only heightened our sensual bouquet of beautiful sights, distant sounds, the feel of the lush green grass beneath us and the gentle breeze on our skin.

Soon my wife appeared with food for all the hungry beasts.  Barbecued fish was the menu for all.  Mixed with dog food or cat food for our four legged friends and eaten with sticky rice by us.  Even after devouring their respective bowls of food, our ravenous family could not resist begging for a portion of what we were eating.  My wife is unable to resist a soulful stare or an insistent but gentle tap, and so, much of our meal was distributed among our children.  All in all, a lovely picnic was enjoyed by two happy humans, four dogs and a cat.

I’m not quite sure why I am writing today as apposed to any other day.  There have been many, more noteworthy days than today.  Perhaps it has something to do with my morning ride on the mountain bike.  Until recently the pollution and heat were unbearable and I found myself unable to indulge in some of the things that bring me the greatest pleasure.  So perhaps I am awash with endorphins after my 35 km this morning.  Even more so, since that has not been a regular occurrence for some time.

No mention of new friends, recent trips, the wedding and breakup of the sister-in-laws marriage in less than three months, funerals, the sale of my phantom and plans to buy a new motorcycle for my 56th birthday.  Instead I find myself compelled to write about the pastoral setting of my evening meal.  Go figure.  It seems my muse has a peculiar, if not perverse sense of humor.  Sorry for my absence and hope I won’t be gone so long this time.

Laem Hin Seafood - still a favourite restaurant

While I do intend to add more restaurants on this blog as time goes by, everyone has their favourite places to eat, places where you feel comfortable, relaxed and you KNOW the food is going to be good. Some days you feel like experimenting, other days you want to head out for lunch safe in the knowledge that you'll enjoy your meal. One day in May 2010, on one of my final days of holiday, with the kids already back at school, my wife and I had a chance for a nice lunch together, just the 2 of us. It was a hot, humid day, typical for the time of year. My wife fancied somewhere with aircon, like Fuji Japanese restaurant in the Central Festival mall (we did eat there this week!), but I realised I'd not been to Laem Hin Seafood for ages, and wanted to taste some real Thai food. Laem Hin was the first restaurant I wrote about on this blog back in April 2006 - see here.

Although it was a hot day, there were plenty of dark clouds around, which you can see in the photos below. In the hot season (March - May) you can get thunderstorms any time of day. This year the real low season weather is very late coming (see more on the Phuket Weather blog). The restaurant was not too hot - most of the seating is shaded, though they do have tables out on the old jetty which would be nice for a romantic evening meal.

Laem Hin Seafood tables on the old wooden jetty

View from our table at Laem Hin Seafood

Getting there: It's a few km north of Phuket Town (if coming from Phuket Town direction on the main airport road, you need to go past the turning and do a U turn. If coming from Patong direction, head to Tescos, turn left on the bypass road and right at the end of that road where it meets the airport road. Sign at the turn off - picture below, then you drive a few km through a Muslim village before getting to Laem Hin at the end of the road. Location map at the foot of the page. The image on Google Maps is updated since 2006, shows clearly the new jetty that does kind of spoil the view from the restaurant.

Sign to Laem Hin, southbound on airport road a few km north of Phuket Town

We turned up very early for lunch.. about 11:30am, we were the first customers - more people arrived later. It's a popular place for locals, and certainly getting better known by tourists, has recommendations on other websites, it's not just me! Laem Hin Seafood has a long menu, there are tanks with fresh seafood next to the kitchen, or you can get simple rice and noodle dishes. My favourites are the salads. Thai salads are not just some veg and dressing. Oh no. There's lots of flavour, often rather a lot of chilies, various flavourful things like lemongrass. Laem Hin has a huge list of salads. I felt like ordering about half a dozen. Made do with my favourite Yam Gung Seab (made with dried, smoked shrimps) and Yam Tua Pu (wing bean salad with coconut milk, tamarind, shrimp.. oh, stop it's making me hungry!). Photos below.

Yam Gung Seab

Yam Tua Pu

My wife had a spicy soup (called Tom Pret), half of which was taken home in a doggy bag :) Waste not, want not! Oh, and we had rice of course.

Rice

Not disappointed. Never have been at Laem Hin Seafood. I took a little walk around after eating. When we first came in 2006, the old wooden jetty was used by longtails heading to Koh Maphrao and Koh Rang Yai, small islands just offshore from Phuket. Now there is a new concrete jetty. I liked the old wooden planks on the remains of the old jetty...

Wood on the old jetty at Laem Hin

Close to the restaurant there are some stilted houses. Laem Hin is really a small fishing village, but the land between the main road and the restaurant has attracted developers in recent years, though quite a bit of the land is wetland - there are also some shrimp farms along the way. The houses near the restaurant retain the traditional feeling. I walked a little way taking photos while my dear wife drove ahead and waited patiently.

Houses near Laem Hin Seafood

House and boats near Laem Hin

House on the road near Laem Hin Seafood

I can taste those salads now... prices are very reasonable too. I was glad to find that Laem Hin Seafood is still good. I should mention that just over the water towards Koh Maphrao, there are several floating restaurants. We ate only one time over there and mean to do it again so I can blog the experience! We'll also be back at Laem Hin. Phuket has a fair number of local restaurants around the coast that are all but ignored by 99% of tourists. Yes, if you have a hotel in Karon or Kata, it's a fair drive to Laem Hin, over 20km... which is why I do recommend having your own transport in Phuket.. that's another story, but Phuket is a big place, and if you sit on the beach you are seeing just a tiny part of what makes the island, and on the main beaches you see practically nothing of the "real" Phuket which is what this blog tries to show.

Close to Laem Hin is Koh Maphrao (Coconut Island) and there are several floating restaurants off the coast, just a few minutes ride in a longtail boat from Laem Hin. We've eaten here a few times too.

Kruwit Floating Restaurant
Bang Mud Floating Restaurant

Added November 2011. A few "food porn" photos from Laem Hin Seafood taken on recent visits. The food never disappoints me here!

Yam Ta Krai

(above) Yam Ta Krai - salad made with lemongrass, smoked prawns, chili, cashew nuts, peanuts. Delicious!

Fried Prawns

Fried breaded prawns are always a good side dish. Laem Hin does good Hor Mok (local style fish curry wrapped in banana leaves) too .. no photo here, but do order some!

Tom Praet (Spicy)

(above) Tom Praet Talay, a spicy seafood soup. Very typical southern Thai style.

Laem Hin Seafood - Location Map - Contact Information


View Laem Hin Seafood, Phuket in a larger map

Laem Hin Seafood Contact Information

To Australia. The expensive way.

Long bus ride to Auckland, arriving at 7pm for a quick tour before my am flight. I found a locker to store my bags in while I went for a few drinks. I met up with Steph, the nice girl who had lent me her sofa in Queenstown and was now in Auckland visiting her friend Leah. I was careful not to have too many drinks knowing that I needed to stay awake or I'd miss my flight. Having spent eleven days sober I was impressed with my discipline, having a soft drink every other round (okay every third round) and stopping drinking at 1am (okay 2am, my discipline wasn't that great). If I was tipsy at this stage I sobered up very quickly when I checked my wallet and found that I had lost the code to get my bags out of the locker.
I said my goodbyes to Steph and Leah and went to find the number to phone to get my luggage. There wasn't one. I was sort of worried now but guessed that it would work itself out and add a bit of extra excitiement to my flight. I found the nearest security guard and asked how I could get at my bags, he didn't have a key and the onlyperson who did would not be in work until 7am. Oh dear. I asked if I could break in and leave some money to fix it, the guard phoned his boss and between them they decided that no that wasn't okay.
'What would happen if I just kicked it in anyway'
'You'd be in trouble'
'Big trouble?'
'With us first the the police'
'Right. Guess I'm fucked then'
'Sounds like it'
And that was that. I was stuck in Auckland. I found myself a comfy bench and had a couple of hours sleep like the tomporary hobo that I was, eventually being reunited with my stuff at 9am. Checked in to a hostel, tired, muttering 'no use crying over spilt milk' through gritted teeth but all things considered I was feeling alright. Once I'd booked myself a new flight for the next day I was really quite happy, I couldn't do anything about it and I was still in New Zealand rather than at work. Who knows, maybe flying to Sydney instead of Melbourne will mean I meet the girl of my dreams, or a millionaire who wants to make me her toyboy, or a chicken with the face of a squirrell.

Lost locker ticket $10. New flight to Sydney $339. Being able to laugh at myself for being a prize pillock: Priceless

That night I watched impossible to follow streaming online of Saints triumphant Paint Pot trophy final, feeling a tinge of annoyance that they decided to go to Wembley without me.
The next day I made it to the airport 4 hours early, first in the queue. I wasn't missing this one. Australia, here comes the G dawg (that's my rap alias, I've heard ozzies are cool so it will help me to fit in).

12 O'CLOCK and All is Well

It's that time of the year here Like the 4th of July watermelons back home in the USA
bananas fried or fresh are always a good seller

Waiting for that 1'o'clock train,, hopefully, there will be at least a few folks coming for a visit and a look see. and ride a elephant or float down the river on a raft, and spent a peaceful night in one of the many resorts on the banks of the famous River Kwai.

The sunset over another beautiful day in our quite and peaceful (at the present time ) village and home.

Everything looks real peaceful at this moment in time down at the city square and park

With a lot folks calling and asking how we're doing , I thought I should do a small up-date and report from down town Whang Pho .We're doing just fine here , not much talk of the problems that is happening around the Big Mango (as Martyn calls it ) and Thailand , and if there is any it's in the privacy of your own home . Of course all are sad about all the unrest and lost of lives and burnings in Bangkok. The only really affect it has had on the present time is the lack of tourist and visitors to the bridge and railroad , that means a lot of jobs lost for the locals, as for the future damage from all this , I think it will be several years before things are back to where it was , of course BKK has had it's problems for years , but in just the last few months, has it had the terrible trickle down effect , like never before and this has uprooted folks and effected families, communities, schools , hospitals, everything to do with living. I was just looking around our little town the other night and I saw lots of folks buying food and selling food on the corners and from under little tents that I have never seen before , our little town has added a lot of folks, displaced from who knows where and they have, as the ole saying goes, " the chickens have come home to roost."I predicted this growth as a result of the first yellow shirt thing , 2 years ago , but never imagined it would swell as fast. As I looked around , I did not see any RED shirts or Yellow shirts anywhere , In fact some are wearing no shirts at all as it sooooo hot here in Whang Pho, and some that have come home have lost the very shirts on their back , and I have never saw sooo many new pretty young girls in all my 6 years here, where did they come from ????

Well thats my report from the streets of Whang Pho and as you can read , All is Well on the Home Front , at least for the time being . Hope all is well with all of you and that you are staying close to home till all this blows over and don't be to quick to get out and see what all the noise is about , it might mean trouble for you and yours , a mob is uncontrollable and some folks in the mob are there just to do damage to everything and everyone just for the thrill of it watch yourselves . Malcolm

If you need to get away from it all and just relax , you can find some great deal and rates at the resorts located here and near , E-mail me if you need help with any plans .

HAMMOCKING----(the art of ) bringing back a oldie

















After six years of trail and error , I now consider myself and expert in the Art of Hammocking . You don't just jump in a hammock and lay down and think that you have mastered it , hammocking is like riding a bike , learning to canoe, or kayak you can't just jump in, you might just fall right out , it takes control , thinking, and planning and a little common sense. First you have to come to a understanding that a hammock is a piece of canvas, ropes platted or, bamboo strips interwoven to make a banana shaped container to hang between two, trees , poles or ,on a frame which ever one you have available( myself I like it somewhere with lots of shade, a tree if possible .This banana shaped basket is tied at either end with some kind of rope or chain, and will swing easily in the breeze, and being banana shaped and swinging in the breeze you don't just jump in , you have to walk up slowly and turn with your back to the hammock some where near the middle of the banana shaped swing (thats what a hammock really is ) and slowly lower yourself down in a sitting position as close to the middle as you can figure out , and then with one sweep swing a leg over the other side like you were riding a horse and then very slowly lay back and then bring your legs up onto the hammock , remember that the hammock is banana shaped and your head and legs are going to be higher that the rest of your body, (now you are in), this takes a little getting use to and some folks with back problems just can't get the hang of it . All the while you are laying there enjoying the rocking motion of you hammock , you have to be careful, not to make any sudden moves ,or over you head looking as you might just roll out of the banana shaped contrapition you are laying in .Many folks I know have fell out and brusied or some have even broke a wrist or fingers trying to catch themselves , some like me have landed on their elbow and brusied or cut it pretty bad and required a hospital visit. When I told the nurse how it had happened , she told the others and they had a big laugh , my friend said I should have told them some machoo story , like I fell off my motor bike trying to avoid an accident with a dog or something , anything BUTTTT I fell out of my hammock . ha ha ha .
If you have followed my advise and instructions very carefully , you too may someday become as good as I am at the art of napping in a hammock or just relaxing and watching the world go by in front of you , remember don't try to look to much to the sides and especially not behind, as you might just roll out. OH I almost forgot , if you like the rocking motion you have to learn how to hang one leg over the side from time to time to give yourself a push to get the rocking going , and then bringing it back up into the hammock , you can't leave it hanging over as the side of the hammock will cut of the circulation to your leg and it will go numb and when you get out of the hanmmock, very slowly just like you got in but in reverse, your leg will be asleep and you will fall on your face , I almost did that one to , BUTTT now I'm and expert and that comes with , time and experience and being Retired in Thailand and Loving It .
I am posting a few pictures of the Art of Hammocking for your viewing and hopefully enjoyment. Malcolm

FISHING TRIP AND PINIC WITH FRIENDS



















My friend Jerry bought a new to him pick-up , on his try it out trip , he went past Erawan Water Fall to the dam and across a lake to a little cove , Soooo this week was time to take Me his friend on a fishing trip to see if this was indeed a great fishing spot. We left at 7 am and drove to Kanchanaburi, turned left and headed toward the falls, pass the falls we came to a road that goes on the other side of Srinakharin dam and lake and made our way about 25 kl. to a little turn off that took us down to this little cove . The road looked more like a trail and would have been a good place to go 4 wheeling , but Jerry being the expert driver that he is, he manuvered that pick-up this way and that way and what do you know, we were there at one of the most beautiful picnic, camping , and hopefully fishing spot I have seen in a long time.We made a lean-to for protection from the sun and put down mats for the girls to sit under the shade (both Thais) and talk a lot and fix the lunch from all the food we had brought , you would have thought we were going to stay a week ha ha , while the men folk fished . The weather was great for the first half of the day , Butttt then the wind really started to blow and almost blew our shelter away , we tryed to wait it out , but it was a big blow and rain was in the clouds coming in fast. We packed up and said our good-byes to the fishing place (no fish ), but promised to return another day to give it another try with maybe a little different bait . All in all we had a great time , and if we were there only for a picnic , we could'nt have found a prettier place and hopefully next time we'll land a big fish or two. When you take a good look at the pictures you'll see another reason why I'm Retired in Thailand and Loving It. Malcolm

Khao Sok National Park - Cliff and River Jungle Resort

Holidays! By the end of April, things are pretty quiet in the dive shop, so I took a holiday starting April 29th, allowing about 10 days with the family before the kids went back to school after the "summer" break (Thai schools have summertime sensibly from March - May which is the hottest time of year). We decided to stop in the Khao Sok area for a night on the way to Chumphon. The chosen accommodation was the Cliff and River Jungle Resort, which had been recommended by friends. Looked great on the website, but don't they always?... For me, a personal recommendation is far more important.

Cliff and River Jungle Resort Online Booking

The drive from Phuket took around 2½ hours via Khao Lak. I half thought of stopping in Khao Lak to look at the boats that had been carried inland by the tsunami. Saw the famous police boat from the main road. But really, I don't want to be a "tsunami tourist". Have written about my tsunami thoughts several times on this blog, most recently in December 2008. Just North of Khao Lak, there is the small town of Takua Pa. We somehow managed a wrong turn and found out that near Takua Pa is a beautiful looking old town called Sri Takua Pa. Like old Phuket, but with no cars. I want to go back and look around some day. From Takua Pa to the Cliff and River is only around one hours drive, although we stopped a couple of times for the views. It's all hills and valleys around here and very rural. The main entrance to the Khao Sok National Park is on the North side of the road, and the entrance to the Cliff and River is on the South side around 10km after the park entrance.

Our room

Before saying anything else, I'll say this - we'll be back. Location, WoW! Well, check some of the photos below. Nice people... and having been there once, we know exactly what room numbers we want next time :) No, not going to mention that here. We checked in after midday, and were given a "River" room with an extra bed. The room was quite a walk from reception. I could park the car near the restaurant, also by the river, but still a bit of a hike to carry bags. The room was decent, maybe a bit "jungly", a balcony outside by a small stream. Aircon, fridge. There was a TV, not sure why, could only get a few Thai channels. We did not use it. And a great outdoor shower for that true jungle experience. Used it quite a few times - this is a HOT time of year here!

The restaurant is great, by the river, in the jungle, I liked the wooden furniture, food was good (not super cheap, mind you), beer was cold :) We had lunch there after checking in. The curry my wife ordered (Gaeng Phet Gai) was superb.

Family at the restaurant, Cliff and River resort

Afternoon was so darn hot - we all chilled in our aircon room for a while before hitting the pool. What a great pool. Not large - we were of course staying at the hotel out of high season. The only people using the pool other than us were 2 German couples.. I vowed to beat them to the best seats next morning... If the resort was full, that pool might be rather crowded. Sometimes, I do like the low season :)

Pool has a view of the huge cliff that towers 1000+ feet over the resort, has a jacuzzi, a shaded sala and chairs to hang your towel at 7am to beat the Germans :) The kids loved it right away. Now, Khao Sok has all kind of activities like rafting, canoeing, hiking, elephant trekking.. maybe next time we'll do a canoe trip on the river. This little trip was all about getting a feel for the place. We stayed in the pool for a couple of hours.





Kids in the pool at Cliff and River

We did get out of the hotel for a couple of hours, drove back to the main national park entrance in the late afternoon. Lots of small hotels there and jungle huts and small restaurants where we ate, as the kids said they were starving. I think the threat of a jungle walk made them hungry! From the entrance there are hiking trails of 5km or more. You can pitch a tent in this area too, we saw some people doing that. There are some bathrooms provided by the national park. We did not see much, as really, if you want to see Khao Sok, you need to hike or do a boat trip. Here's a new post from 2012 - we stayed at Cliff and River again, but also did canoeing, a boat trip on the lake and tubing - Khao Sok National Park 2012.

River near the Khao Sok national park entrance

On the way back to Cliff and River we checked out another place to stay called Khao Sok Treehouse Resort. Very jungly! We climbed steps and crossed walkways to a room in the trees. The room was amazing, a huge double bed, a tent for the kids, wireless internet, aircon, satellite TV, a wonderful treetop bathroom.. they offered us the room for 2500 Baht. The website has prices up to over 5000 Baht. We did think about staying a night on the way home, certainly a unique place - had a pool too on the jungle floor.

The night at Cliff and River was very peaceful, insect noises, we slept very well. I had to catch a fair size "tookay" lizard in our room, as my wife said it might bite us. I planned to wake early - we'd been told the place looked great with the early morning mists over the mountains. I did wake before the rest of the family and went on a wander around the hotel grounds. The mists covered the cliffs, the only people awake at 7am were some staff cleaning the pool.

7am - mists over the mountains

Took until about 7:30am for the mists to start to clear...

7:30am - mists clearing

Waking up early is not my favourite thing to do, but sometimes an early morning is worthwhile. I watched as the mountains appeared and disappeared in the low clouds, giving sneak previews of their full power...

Mountain tops in the mist

I went to wake up the rest of the family for breakfast. A breakfast is included in the room price - the normal kind of Thai style English breakfast.. something in the belly at least! Again, loved the restaurant location. Photo below is my wife on the way to eat...

Walking to breakfast, Cliff and River resort

We just about managed to beat the Germans to the pool. Figured we would as we beat them to breakfast by about 15 minutes. We planned to check out before midday, but I certainly planned to enjoy the pool for a couple of hours! Views in the morning around 9am, great - blue skies and a great view of the cliff that gives the hotel (part of) it's name.





Could stay there all day with a break for lunch! Hiking? You are welcome to it! We came for the scenery :) A drive around this area gives endless views. I am sure hikes would too, but our kids really don't want to go trekking and I don't plan to be "Outdoor Dad" - hey kids, let's do a 10 mile mountain hike! We do plan another trip on the lake/reservoir sometime and for sure will be back at Cliff and River, probably in September when we have some more school holidays and my parents are visiting from the UK.

Khao Sok mountains, jungle and blue skies

We paid 2,000 Baht for the night for the family (2 adults, 2 kids)... there are actually some family rooms that are a bit bigger too. A big lunch including a few beers was 750 Baht. We'd plan to stay 2 nights next time to allow more time for maybe a canoe trip or elephant ride or just more time in the pool! This place was a welcome rest. Easy to do as a weekend trip from Phuket too - we might even do that before September.

Cliff and River website is here, or there is easy to use online booking at Agoda.com.

We visited again in September - stayed 2 nights, enjoyed a very relaxing time even with the heavy rain most of the afternoon on the 2nd day, I mean, it's rainforest, so you have to expect rain! The jungle looks great on a rainy day!

khao-sok-morning

Some friends came along too, and we had a little party. The photo below taken in the morning, my daughter went to visit a friend's daughter at their bungalow. I look at the photo and can feel the peace.

Bungalow

Some more photos from our September visit to the Cliff and River Jungle Resort on Flickr.

Cliff and River Jungle Resort Online Booking

Update July 2012 - we did another Khao Sok trip including canoeing and tubing on the river - see Khao Sok National Park Trip 2012.