Laos - Vientiane

On the flight to Laos I was sat next to a Malay man who asked me where I was going. This seems a strange question to ask when you're sat next to someone on the same plane. I replied 'Laos I hope, why where's the plane going?'. I think it was all a bit that film with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson because he just smiled and nodded, we both tried doing conversation but the smiling and nodding was our only common ground.

Landing in Vientiane I grouped up with some other Westerners to share a taxi in to town and we all stayed in the same guest house. I was sharing with a friendly but slow English man who has been travelling for 2 years. I later found out that the reason he's slow is because he has taken quite a lot of drugs. Next door were an American girl and an interesting English man called Gavin who had had an impressive life. Gavin left school without qualifications having felt unchallenged. By 18 he was manager of the bakery he worked in having impressed when his boss was off ill and soon after he was head hunted to manage another place. At 20 he realised he was quite good at management and took the audacious step of setting up his own management consultancy firm. His philosophy: Find out what the customer wants you to do then do it. Makes sense to me and though he had some failures I can guess that he has plenty in the bank - because he never mentioned how much he makes. Anyone else I've met who has started businesses or worked with big companies has slipped some big numbers for deals made in to conversations. I took Gavin's details for facebook so that if I decide to start my 'I do like a t-shirt' business I can get some advice, oh and also because I like him.

The four of us took the Lonely Planet's advice and went to the bowling alley. 90p a beer and 90p a game. Good way to spend a night.

Disclaimer: Now that I'm home it has been said that my blog makes me out to be a drunk. I do drink quite a lot but there have also been lots of days whilst travelling when I haven't. Problem is, those days are spent on buses, beaches and in guest houses, reading or watching films. I don't write about that stuff because it's boring. Actually some of the books and films have been good so maybe I should relate the plots to you and pick out their highlights and that way it will dilute the amount of drunken blog content.

To sum up, if this blog makes it sound like I drank 90% of the time I only really drank 60% of the time.

So after the bowling we played some pool and then avoided the 12 o'clock curfew applied to the centre of town by going with a gay local to a club. It was full of gays, cross dressers and prostitutes, or if they weren't prostitutes I was looking seriously hot that night. At around 4am a Nigerian man claiming to be a DJ persuaded us to join him for a party. Had I been on my own my racial stereotyping against the one black in the village would mean there's no way I'd have gone with this man but with 4 of us I figured we'd be okay. When he answered his phone and said there was no party any more I got a bit worried but he dropped us back at our hostel and I felt bad for spending the whole trip on edge. In bed I battled to work out if I was just being rightly cautious or if that was racism. I think it's a question for cleverer people than me.

Full day in Vientiane.
Plan: See the sights, walk to the main temple a couple of hours out of town.
Half an hour in to the day, new plan: Stay within running distance of a toilet.
I managed to visit a couple of centrally located temples one housing over 2000 little buddhas but the day was not much fun. Imodium helped, only having one small beer at these prices proves just how cack I felt.

Next city VangVieng.

Radar Hill - Highest Road in Phuket

Until a few years ago, I thought Radar Hill was the highest point in Phuket - the highest hill. Everyone who comes to Phuket will see Radar Hill (real name Khao Mai Tao Sip Song) - it's the big hill behind Patong Beach with the radar dome on top and can be seen from much of south Phuket. BUT it's not actually the highest hill. Another hill a little to the North above Kathu Waterfall tops out around 30m higher (543m) - and I hiked up there in September 2009 - see Hiking to the Roof of Phuket.

But even if Radar Hill is the second highest hill, it certainly boasts the highest road. You can drive all the way to the top.. almost. You cannot quite hit the summit since the radar is a military installation, so when you are 95% of the way up you reach a gate and armed soldiers. The road by the gate is just about half a kilometer above sea level. We've been up here plenty of times and I first blogged about it back in 2006, but one day in 2010, we thought "we've not driven up this hill for a while" and we had an hour to waste while our son was at school football practice. The weather was a bit wet, but I figured we'd still get some great views on the way up before entering the cloud line. Actually, it turned out to be great, our daughter loved being "in the clouds" and our son was quite upset to hear that we'd done such an exciting thing without him! A bit of rain does not stop a good time!

The road up is in good condition, but steep in places. The start of the road is off Chao Fa West Road about 1km north of Chalong Temple. Follow the sign that says "Villa Zolitude". You go past a small golf course and then pass Villa Zolitude as the road starts to climb. Keep going... you wind up into the hills, it's very green, and views start to appear through the trees.

The road to the top of Radar Hill

View east looking at Bang Wad Reservoir

(above) this is Bang Wad Reservoir and beyond is part of Kathu. In fact we could see our house from here.. if we had a very good telescope!

As we climbed higher, we entered the clouds. Unsurprisingly, we were the only people up here looking at views. Indeed any time we come up here we are the only people... everyone else goes up to the Big Buddha or Rang Hill (in Phuket Town).

Cloudy near the top of Radar Hill

We stopped right by the gate where there is space to turn around easily. From just below the gate you get a view over Patong. There are signs to remind you that this is a restricted area and just past that sign you see the southern part of Patong through the trees, and in this case, through the clouds...

Restricted Area

View over Patong

A little black cat came to say hello to us. What the hell are you doing up a 500m high hill, cat? We thought about taking him home.. but he wandered off into the trees... and about 1 minute later we heard the sounds of a cat fighting. And then silence. We reckon he might have got ambushed by a big snake. We saw a snake one time as we drove up this hill, a rather nasty pit viper. Oh well, RIP cat, I think.

From the road near the gate, the top of the Buddha hill is visible. Well, it should be.. On this particular morning it was in the clouds, but there were fleeting glimpses of the 45m high white marble Buddha through gaps in the clouds...

Big Buddha in the Clouds

A little below the top, around 370m above sea level, there is a small parking spot on the left side as you come up and just as the road does a series of sharp curves. It's pretty steep here, but you can park by the side of the road where you can get some views over Patong; and in the other direction you see hills and can see over to Chalong Bay too. We stopped on the way down.

Road up Radar Hill, Phuket

First thing I saw was not the view, but this huge monster:

Monster found at Radar Hill

A most impressive beast for a macro lens! Oh yes, and a view over Patong, better from here, less trees and no clouds in the way...

Patong View from Radar Hill

Road here is very steep - I think the photo below shows that. A Honda Wave 125cc would be straining up this one! And if you come up in a car make sure the brakes work! And on a bicycle? Well, be sure to take some special Lance Armstrong tea before trying that ;)

Road up Radar Hill, Phuket

And this view from the same stop, looking away from Patong towards Phuket Town with heavy clouds threatening. A bit of rain and cloud does not stop us! Don't be stuck in your hotel room moaning if the sky looks dark. Yes, it rains here sometimes! How do you think everything gets so green? Get out and about. Hiring a car is a good idea in Phuket, it's a big island, go and explore. Even on a rainy day, it's not going to be wet all day, and it's not going to be wet everywhere on the island.

Stormy Weather

Over the years I have enjoyed many days when we just drive around and follow back roads. Phuket is full of surprises, and it's on these back roads that you find the real Phuket rather than the Phuket-by-the-sea of the tourist brochures. There's more to Phuket. Always more.

Radar Hill - Location Map


View Radar Hill, Phuket in a larger map

WINGED THINGS FROM HELL

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Well , the rainy season has finally come to Whang Pho and I have to say that it has been a real blessing in that it has cooled things down a lot and the yard and trees and plants and flowers , and also all our farmers are loving it . And all the neighbors have been waiting for the rain to plant their summer garden , and to set out new trees and plants . Me I'm just glad it's here .
BUTTTT along with the rainy season comes a lot of things that I hate , since it has started raining I have killed YES KILLED!!!! 4 scorpions that have made their way into our kitchen area and one in the bathroom , also 2 of the ugliest big black millipeds as long as my foot , them things have heads on both ends and look like they want to eat you up , and are they ever hard to kill, and then just yesterday a small corba decided that on my shoe rack ,on the front porch was a good dry place to spend the night. BUTTTT the things I hate the most are the things I call "Wings from Hell" . I know a lot of folks in Thailand call them snacks , It's the flying termites(mang mao ) that come out from under the ground after a big rain , just like Bats come out of caves at nights , millions and I do mean millions of them come from the mountain behind the house and you have to be quick to turn out all the lights and close the curtains for at least an hour and most of the time they will have moved on down to your neighbors house with the lights on .And the next morning they (without their wings) are crawling all over the patio and deck and their wings are all over the screens and windows and in every crack and crannie that you have around the house , and for days you will be sweeping up and trying to get rid of the wings that they shed. The geckos and jen jokes (Small lizards) have been feasting all nght and sooooo that means that you have these little black and white things (turds) all over the porch as well as the big ole brown turds from the gekeo (that I have been trying to catch for the last month ) did I say that "I hate them" well I meant to .
Like I said I am happy about the rain but hate the stuff that it brings with it , and if the folks from up North are not getting their share of the MANG MAO , just give me a shout and I'll sweep them up into a huge plastic bag and you can come and get them .
Ciejay says that after a couple of big rains they will all be gone till next year and the rainy season, I'm really looking foward to that . But all this does make for an exciting life and thats why I'm Retired in Thailand and Loving It. Malcolm

My thoughts while in Kuala Lumpur

After getting my police report I went to Kuala Lumpur to get a new passport. I'd already seen a lot of KL and wasn't looking forward to more days here.

I remember a few weeks previously in Bandung, Indonesia crossing a road, stepping out in to the mad traffic like a local then dismissing several 'hello mister, how are yous' with an easy smile and nod of the head. At that time I thought to myself 'you've got the hang of this travelling lark, you are a good traveller'. On this day in KL, nearly possessionless stuck waiting for a passport, stinking, dripping with sweat, scratching at insect bites I think maybe I was wrong. I am crap at travelling. Good at enjoying it, but crap at doing it.

The passport only took 24 hours to get so I was good to book a flight, 3 days on I would be flying to Laos and I'd be back in business. I celebrated with an unidentified can of drink, it was disgusting - as close as you can come to fizzy cough medicine.

Flight to Laos - At the airport I was in a great mood, excited to get going and then I checked in my bag and then I was in a bad mood. I realised I hadn't gone to the immigration office in KL and got a stamp for my new passport saying I had arrived legally, which isn't my fault because they only told me twice that I needed to do this. I realised this just as my bag disappeared with the police report I'd been told I would need to get said stamp.

My thoughts were now 'my bag is going to be in Laos and I'm going to have to go back to the city to get the stamp and a copy of my police report' I was pleased to notice that my mood was better than a few days ago because I found the thought laughable - a further page in my useless travellers file.

I walked up to passport control biting my nails and rubbing the back of my neck definitely looking shifty also being the only passenger without hand luggage. I told the man straight off that my passport was a replacement and had no entry stamp.
'You didn't go to the immigration department in KL to get a stamp'
'Err...no'
'But you phoned them and told them you lost it?'
'Err...no'
He called over the boss who escorted me to a back office where I was treated well but with a heavy dose of suspicion'
'So you had your passport stolen, can I see the police report?'
'It's in my bag that's checked in'
Luckily this was one of the occasions when I'd arrived early for a flight and so a lady was able to check that my previous passport had arrived in the country on the flight I said it had. On the agreement that I wouldn't come back to Malaysia for a few years I was given a special stamp that specified I must get on my named flight and I wa good to go, hot to trot and on my way. The winds were a changing, I was back in the 'these things just work themselves out' crowd and I could enjoy my last few weeks exploring South East Asia. Touch Wood.

Perhentian Islands

Other than having most of my valuable possession nicked I absolutely loved the Perhentian islands. Quite surprising because I'm rubbish at sunbathing so a little island shouldn't agree with me. The snorkelling around the islands is fantastic, on one day I hired a canoe and paddled from bay to bay adding lots of ticks to my eye-spy fishies book. On another day I went on an organised trip and saw black tip reef sharks, turtles and clown fish.

As with anywhere the people can make or break a place and I was lucky enough to make some new friends and bump in to some old ones - a couple called Adam and Jen who I knew I recognised and they knew they recognised me but we couldn't work out why. After much deliberation Jen worked out that we'd stayed in the same hostel in Queenstown three months earlier and had chatted over dinner one night. There are a lot of these coincidences in travellerville, one of the strangest was two seperate people, both of whom I had met in Indonesia who had met each other in Malaysia and were now together! Another happy and welcome coincidence was seeing two of my favourite people who I had spent a few nights in Borneo with step off a boat. The reason I like them so much is that a) we can talk in Partridge, Peep show and Baseketball quotes and b) they dislike the same people I do for the same reasons. I've come to the conclusion that it is often more important to have dislikes in common than likes. Their names are Will and Carmel but their surnames are better; together they sound like a bad T.V detective series: Garlick and Digweed.

So lots of good nights had, one dressed as a lady, shaving my beard in to a handlebar moustache. And lots of good food, including the best steak I have ever eaten cooked by a chef who has worked in some of the top London restaurants who now travels the world setting up small places for a few months, making them hugely successful then moving on.

I've got a lot of time for the Perhentian islands.

Spicy Noodles for Breakfast

Sunday morning 9am. Dropped our son off at school for football practice - yes, he's only 5, but so long as he's enjoying it, I am also happy. We made sure he ate some sensible cereal before starting, but the rest of the family planned to eat breakfast while he was busy. Just down the road about 2km from the school is a noodle restaurant. Nothing amazing about that - Phuket, just like anywhere else in Thailand, has noodle shops everywhere. A bowl of noodles is one of the most common meals or snacks for Thai people. I have blogged a couple of other noodle places before - here and here. If you are in Phuket, you MUST try a simple bowl of noodles at least once - it's cheap and tasty and filling. I normally trust my wife with regards to choosing noodle restaurants, she'll find one that is clean, friendly and serving noodles with the best flavour - it's all in the soup - can be a bit bland sometimes, I admit. This one is not - where we ate on Sunday does the noodles in a Tom Yum soup full of veggies, crunchy bits of pork and garlic and not a small amount of chili!

Entrance to noodle restaurant

Sunday Muay Thai on the TV

It's a small place, only 4 tables, up a side street off Chao Fa West road about 3km from Chalong Temple (see location on Google Earth). Simple inside, Muay Thai on the TV (well, it is Sunday).

Noodles

Preparing Noodles

We ordered our noodles - including a less spicy one for our daughter. The 2 ladies who run the place are very friendly. My wife has been several times with friends after dropping the kids at school. If my wife is a regular customer, that's a big plus - must be good food! I took photos of the ladies preparing our breakfast. Yes, after some time in Thailand you start to eat spicy noodles for breakfast. Sometimes I have cornflakes, sometimes eggs, but breakfast in Thailand is... flexible! I admit it took me a long time to get my head around this. In England, breakfast is breakfast, you CANNOT have soup or curry or noodles, are you mad?! Tom Yum spicy noodles for breakfast. Great. Try it!

preparing noodle soup

Adding veggies and beansprouts

Noodle restaurant with smiles

They do drinks too - I had ice tea (black), my wife had a Thai style ice coffee called Oliang. The drinks come in interesting cups - not your normal plastic beakers here.

Drinks

And the noodles (noodle soup, Kuaytiow) - very very tasty, if a little too spicy for breakfast! A simple bowl of noodles, when loaded up with pork and veg and beansprouts and other bits, makes a meal fit for a king. The breakfast of champions!

Tom Yum Noodle soup

COCONUTS

Cool and Refreshing ----- just what I needed
My desk

my Desk


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Today I was sitting at my computer desk and complaining to myself about how hot it was and that I really needed something cold to drink, I had already drank a Coke Zero earilier and at least two tall glasses of Ice water , but nothing seemed to cool me down or quench that taste I had for something good and cold and refreshing at the same time,When all of a sudden Ciejay walked in and handed me a chilled , young coconut that the neighbor had given her and she had opened up the top and stuck in a straw and said " here honey try this I think you will like ", well I was ready for anthing cold and to my surprise , that was some of the best tasting ,cool juice I have ever tasted and when I had finished she gave me a small spoon and said for me to eat the meat inside , I said "get me the hammer to break the shell open first " Ciejay said "no honey , it's really soft and you can just take it out with the spoon . "I can not begin to tell you how surprise I was at not only how soft the meat was , but there are not good english words to describe how yummy and sweet tasting that meat from the YOUNG COCONUT was , you'll have to try it for yourself. I know some folks will have a hard time finding Young Coconut , but I think if you ask the local produce manager at the market where you shop to order some for you they will. Also you can always find them at a Asian or Mexican food store .
Below is some info I gathered from the web about coconuts and the great health value they can provide for lots of ailments we might have , I know that from now on I'll have a few cold ones in the frig. to grab when I need something cold and refreshing to drink ( I'm not going to give up my Coke Zero ) from time to time . Hope you'll give it a try too , let me know what you think .

Coconuts taste GREAT! Besides the incredibly amazing experience one can have when eating coconuts, there are many other reasons to eat this wonderful delicacy! In fact, the young coconut is one of the most important fruits within the tropics because of its potassium and mineral rich water.
Preferably, the water and meat from young coconuts is used as opposed to the meat of older coconuts which tends to be very hard (as well, older coconuts typically have less water...if any.)
Medicinal Value Besides being highly nutritious, young coconuts have also been exceedingly revered as having medicinal qualities for heart, liver and kidney disorders.
Coconut is a tropical fruit that is rich in protein. The meat of the coconut is very good in destroying intestinal parasites, that we get from eating infected food. Coconut water is good for kidney and urinary bladder problems.
Nutritive Values : Per 100 gm.
Vitamin A :
Vitamin B : Thiamine .10 mg.;
Riboflavin :
Niacin :
Vitamin C : 2 mg.
Calcium : 21 mg.
Iron : 2.0 mg.
Phosphorus : 98 mg.
Fat : 34.7 gm.
Carbohydrates : 14 gm.
Protein : 3.4 gm.
Calories : 359
Other Health Benefits of Coconut :
Prevents simple goiter (enlarged non-toxic thyroid) because of its organic iodine content.
Good body builder, so it is a food recommended for building up the body muscles of thin and emaciated individuals.
Constipation and for any build-up of gas in the stomach and intestinal tract.
Coconut milk has been found to help cases of sore throat as well as relieving stomach ulcers.
Coconut oil has been found to heal cuts, scratches, burns and sunburns.
The oil has also been recommended for facial massage and is reported to be good as a wrinkle remover.
Coconut oil is also good for the scalp and hair and makes hair dressing unnecessary.
Intake of at least 2 Tbsp. of Virgin coconut oil per day can lessen your Vitamin E requirement.
Coconut water is good for kidney and urinary bladder problems.as recently been reported to reduce the viral load of HIV. ( info from the www)

Before coming to Thailand , the only thing I knew about coconuts was that my dad us to draw faces on them to make them look like a monkey ,and that shredded coconut was good on a cake and that the milk was kind of sour and the meat was hard and also a lot of work to get it out of the shell . All that has changed and now that I am in the land of fruits and coconuts , I have learned how great coconuts and their milk and juice and coconut oil, are for your health and that the Thai cooks use them in hundreds of their dishes , there are many varities also, and each has it specific use in the Thai kitchens.
You can find lots of recipes on Golf's new blog http://www.awesomethaifood.com/ together her and Steve write the great blog called ThaiMusings, check them out, you'll find not only a lot of good Thai dishes to cook but , you'll enjoy all the other good stuff on the blog. Thanks for the read . Malcolm

Phuket Orchid Resort - Karon Beach

The Phuket Orchid Resort is located at Karon Beach, the entrance is on Luang Poh Chuang Road (also called Karon Bangla Road) about 2 minutes walk to the beach.. and just a few minutes walk to see me at Sunrise Divers! We see quite a few customers from Phuket Orchid. I walk past the hotel if I head down to the beach. I'd recommend the place for families or anyone wanting a conveniently located hotel, but on a quieter beach than Patong. Not ideal if you want a quiet romantic hotel - it has 500+ rooms, so it's not a small place, but well designed with lot of tropical gardens and (the biggest positive I can see in the reviews) - big, big swimming pools which wind around the grounds surrounded by plants, statues, waterfalls, rocks and bridges. Looks great.

I can also add that I know the former GM - his kids are in the same school as ours. So if you stay there and see John, please tell him Jamie recommended the Orchid. (update 2015 - he's managing a hotel in Khao Lak now.. but I still recommend the Orchid!)

Phuket Orchid Resort - Booking & Reviews

Phuket Orchid Resort - Rates and Reservations
Phuket Orchid Resort Reviews

Phuket Orchid Resort - Photos

Phuket Orchid Resort Phuket Orchid Resort Room

Phuket Orchid Resort Pool Phuket Orchid Resort Poolside Dining

Phuket Hotels - More Info & Online Booking

Jamie's Phuket Hotel Recommendations
Top 10 Phuket Hotels 2016
Book Phuket Hotels at Agoda.com

A Perfect Birthday Present (Ninja 650r) ...

Up and about at an earlier hour than is usual in our house.  All in preparation for my wife to drive me to the bus terminal.  My wife driving is unusual enough, even with me in the truck as copilot.  Today, however, she would be returning home without me.  That is something new.  Driving entirely alone was too much for her, so she brought her aunt to keep her company on the drive home.

Cloaked in riding gear, excitement and anticipation, I settled into my solitary seat by the window.  This after all, was the 24-seat green bus that runs between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, with two seats on the left side of the bus and one seat on the right.  The green bus has seen better days but is far roomier than the alternatives.  Earbuds soothed my soul with melodious tunes that seemed to magically emanate from deep in the center of my hairless head.  My eyes were treated to the wonderful panorama of village life and clear mountain views as my gaze was fixed on every detail of what lay on the other side of my morning, window on the world.

I found this experience unique in many ways.  First I was not driving, so was free to extend my gaze to whatever I wanted, for as long as I wanted.  I can’t recall the last time I took public transportation, so it all registered as oddly new.  Even the tourists were of a new and strange breed.  The couple sitting across the aisle from me was young, well dressed and decked out with iPhone, itinerary, (on Dusit Island Resort stationary), and a massive guide book with Thailand written in oversized letters across the top.

Backpackers, they were not.  It struck me, however, that they were not enjoying the view.  Their noses were buried in books, lists or gadgets.  Since what lay out side the window was not on some list, that needed checking off, it somehow seemed unworthy of a glance.  I found this very strange indeed.  Perhaps in the eyes of family and friends they were adventurers, out exploring the world and reporting back with pictures on Facebook.  To me they were simply missing the point of being in the moment and truly feeling or experiencing something new.

Living in such different worlds, I chose my view over any interaction with them.  Soon enough I was negotiating with a tuk-tuk driver to deliver me to my main destination.  Arriving at the Kawasaki dealer, the formalities of paperwork and the surrender of money, quickly ensued.  A friend of mine had ridden his bike over in the morning for a quick service and was waiting for my arrival in the comfort of his hotel room.

We met up for a purposeful break-in run on the ring roads around the city before returning to the shop for an oil and filter change.  The evening passed uneventfully, in terms of activities, but the company and conversation was stimulating and greatly appreciated.  A 6am start, had us heading home into a beautiful cloud mottled sunrise.  A true Kodak moment.

Eager to do right by my new Ninja 650r, and jonesing for my favorite caffeine fix, we made a couple of stops for cappuccino at conveniently located Amazon Coffee shops.  After one last stop, for breakfast in Chiang Rai, I was finally on my own and heading home.  Not sure how long this ear to ear smile will grace my otherwise uninteresting face but something tells me it is not going away anytime soon.

Oddly enough, I had always fancied myself cut more from the mold of a chopper or cruiser guy.  The Ninja 650 turned out to be more of a sport touring bike and strangely addictive.  Had my friend not insisted that I ride one his bikes, I would have remained blissfully ignorant.  At my age I’m not looking for track time and putting a knee down in the turns.  I do find this bike is uniquely suited to the amazing, twisty roads of Northern Thailand, however.  Quick, light, maneuverable and possessing an upright posture that I find more comfortable than a true sport-bike.  Far more comfortable than my Phantom which my wife had stipulated must be sold before I could get the Ninja.

With a new bike and an evenly matched riding companion, the months ahead can’t help but be filled with backroad adventure.  The goal being to have both me and the bike properly broken in and acclimated by the time the cool winter riding months are upon us.  Here is to enjoying life and keeping the shiny side up.



BUTTERFLY HAVEN

HONEY DEW DROP






I love this shot

caught in flight

a favorite shot from my yard

looks just like a butterfly----- from my yard


I loved this one

a little worn , but beautiful

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Picture from my porch

my yard

my yard

my yard

my yard


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I know that almost everywhere has butterflys, but it seems like Whang Pho has more than its share of themm not just a lot of them , BUT a lot of different kind ,. In fact they were talking about building a huge Park with a Big dome and have it as a tourist attraction for our little village , we could certianly fill it up with lots of varieties from my yard .Just today I notice a lot of them while I was taking my afternoon hammock treatment and grabbed the cyber -shot and took a few pictures , even with a lot of them flying around , it's not as easy to take a snap as it looks , Here are a few that I did manage to get in focus, hope you enjoy.

I always love chasing butterflys when I was a little boy and have always loved seeing them in flight and around the flowers in our yard , there are millions of species, and they are in the same family as moths , which makes for even more. Do you have a lot of them around your place ? do you like them and do you do anything to attract them to your yard .

Ciejay and me have planted a year-round flowering tree or plant called a honey dew drop , it has small purple flowers and a orange berry that attracts the birds also , all the flying things love this plant .

The butterflys are not only beautiful and plentful but they are great food for the birds that I try to attract and water and feed in our yard we plant lots of flowers with a two -fold reason beauty and food and as a plus the butterflys pollinate, lots of other plants and are great for pollinating the garden, what with the pesticides and sprays killing a lot of the bees.

Hope you love them as much as I do and plant a flower just for them and they will come back every year to show you how much they appreciate you and do their little acrobat flying for you and show you their wonderful colors . Malcolm

We get to enjoy more of nature since we moved here to the LOS and I suppose that it's just another reason why we're Retired in Thailand and Loving It.