Aspery Hotel Patong Beach

I'm not a big fan of Patong Beach myself, though of course there are plenty of people who like the hustle and bustle, like the endless shops, the abundance of restaurants, the bars and girls and so on. Patong is the most developed 3km of tourist beach in Thailand. Any other beach in Phuket is quieter. BUT even if Patong is not my cup of tea, there are quite a few recommended Patong hotels on this blog. Not everyone wants to stay on a secluded beach - there are disadvantages to that too, mainly a lack of alternative places to eat and distance to attractions in Phuket. If you stay in Patong you can walk to 100 different restaurants, try a new place every day without having to take a tuk tuk. And if you like a bit of nightlife, Patong is the place to be. But you probably don't want to be staying right next to a bar.. don't worry, Patong is big enough to have quieter areas. The Aspery is only a 10 minute walk to Bangla Road, but is located in a quiet back street behind the main through road (Rat U Thid road).

The Aspery is a bargain, especially in low season (now!) - I see rates under 1000 Baht a night. You can often get good rates in Patong due to (I think) an over supply of rooms. And this is not a cheap guesthouse, Aspery has 70+ rooms, all with big LDC TV, internet access, plus there is a spa and a rooftop seaview pool! Some photos below. Looks to me like a decent inexpensive place to stay, close to the center of Patong, but also quiet. In the area of the hotel, you're close to the older sections of Patong which are more local, there are some good cheap places to eat nearby such as THE "kao man gai" place. If you walk up Sai Nam Yen road towards the temple, you find a quieter, more local Patong.

Aspery Hotel - Booking & Reviews

Aspery Hotel - Rates and Reservations at Agoda.com
Aspery Hotel Reviews
More Suggested Patong Beach Hotels

Aspery Hotel - Photos

Aspery Reception Aspery Rooftop Pool

Aspery Hotel Phuket Twin Room Aspery Double Room

Phuket Hotels - More Info & Online Booking

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

Let's skip to Malaysia and what happens when you take your bag to the pub

Quick update on the last two months: I went to the West coast of Australia for 10 days with Katy, spectacular scenery and thousands of kilometres of quiet highways. After that I spent two weeks running up the East coast partying on Fraser Island and the Whitsundays, all jolly good fun. Then it was 3 nights in Singapore where I booked a flight to Indonesia on a whim.

My two weeks in Indonesia were mental but a great experience, climbing up volcanoes and becoming a celebrity, playing football with some kids in a cliched comic relief styley even pulling my shirt over my head after my hat-trick and high fiving the players from both teams. Surreal.

Then I went to Borneo for a week and saw lots of cool animals including the Orang-utans and via Kuala Lumpur I got to the Perhentian islands where I had my bag nicked. I'll fill in some details of those other places soon but for now we'll fast forward to the Perhentian islands.
Inside my bag were my passport, my camera and worst of all my journals. I had also started writing a play called 'Why can't real life be more like Championship Manager' I suspect the theft was God's way of telling me the play was a terrible idea and he was saving me the hassle of finishing it.

Let's start with the policeman, because he was funny. Painfully frustrating, but funny. I needed a police report so that I could get a new passport and make an insurance claim so I got a water taxi around the island to the Fishing Village where the surprisingly well built police station is.
My water taxi man (Rico) was very helpful and when there was no-one at the station he found the copper for me, sat in a nearby cafe. The policeman wore a dirty brown polo shirt, glasses round a string on his neck and he had teeth that could sell a thousand toothbrushes - by scaring kids. The few teeth still attached to his gums were frightening and one in the middle seemed to be pointing at me wherever I was in the room. Thankfully he was friendly and with his limited English got me to fill in the blanks on the police report. I bottled claiming for a laptop, ipod and money, I think it was the all seeing tooth that made me feel guilty.
The policeman promised he would send my report to be processed on the mainland and bring me a copy the next day.
The next day came and went, then the day after that did the same. On Monday I got another water taxi to the village with Rico and found the police station locked and empty. Rico phoned some of the numbers on the door and told me someone would bring me the report at 1pm.
Back on the island I felt my first twinges of annoyance, I had planned to leave 3 days earlier but hadn't minded being stuck in paradise. Now I was ready to move on and wondered how long a new passport was going to take if a photocopy took 3 days.
At 1pm I was told I would get the report at 2.30 and at 2.30 I was told I had to go back to the station.
I've always believed that the friendlier you are the better the service you'll get but when the station was locked again my smile buggered off and went snorkeling. Luckily we bumped in to the policeman walking past and he showed me in to the station. Inside things went from frustrating to so unbearable my smile came back to have a laugh at my predicament.
Mr Policeman had apparently never seen me before, I suspect he had Alzheimer's because his ability to forget instantly what either of us had said was amazing.
After some awkward conversation I got over that I had made a report and he went to his reports folder to find mine.
'What's your name?' he asked
'Glyn Richards'
Some slow reading through the reports 'Ah here it is'
'No, that's not me that's a Swiss man called Eric'
'And you Swiss'
'No, English, from England, U.K.'
'Ah here it is'
'No this is a girl called Emily'
He pointed at the report 'England'
'Yes I see that but it's not my report, I'm not called Emily'
He read through some of Emily's report then went back to Eric's
'What's your name?'
'Gl-yn Ri-chards'
'Write it down please'
'good idea'
The folder only had 6 reports in it and I'd already seen that mine wasn't one of them. Deputy Dawg checked through the folder again and offered me the Swiss man's again. I wished I was the Swiss man.
'Where you stay?'
'Tropicana, where you said you'd bring the report on Saturday. Tropicana'
His face looked puzzled then lit up
'Oh yes Tropicana' He whacked his forehead with his palm 'Oh no, sorry I forget'
Finally we're getting somewhere
He went back and looked through the same folder
Okay, maybe not
Looking confused again he looked up and said 'And you stay in Bubu?'
I chose to laugh instead of cry 'Oh christ. No Tropicana'
I could go on.

The whole farce took about an hour. He eventually phoned the mainland who found their copy and faxed it through in a few minutes.
'See you soon' he said as I left
'I bloody well hope not'

THE DOCTOR -----IS IN

And at this window you get your MEDS
Get your blood pressure checked

and weight and height


pick up your records at the window

tell the nurse what ailes you and get assigned to the right Dr. and care for your problem


Sit amd wait till they call your name


If you have a dental problen you cane make a appointment to have work done , but if emergency there is a dentist on duty.


Don't worry they WILL call your name before the day is over .


After living in the LOS for almost 6 years I have come to relize that there are soooo many things that amaze me, and some amaze me more than others . The one think that really amazes me is the way the local hospital and clinics can take care of so many folks at one time.Making sure everyone sees the right Dr , and that noone is left behind. I remember in the USA that if there were more than 10 folks waiting to see the Dr. that day you might as well forget it , and most of the time you have to make a appointment weeks in advance just to get in , and sometimes to be told " Sorry the Dr, is booked solid for the next 3 months and then he is taking a month long vacation, can I make an appointment for you at that time ??"And so you call anoyther Dr. hoping you can get to see him or her and you are told " sorry the Dr. is not taking on any new patiences at this time" . It sounds like a joke , but this is real in the part of the country we lived in and , even if you had company insurance coverage , you still had to wait till there was an opening.If it is a real emergency , you could always go to the "Emergency Room" and wait sometimes for hours until a inter-Dr. or a Nurse would see if they could help you , if not ,they would make you an appointment to see a real Dr. next month maybe. And they would have to come and give you smelling salts after you fainted, when they handed you the bill for the Emergency Service and you saw how much ,and that had to be paid for NOW, and you said to yourself "was I really THAT sick "
I have noticed that this is not the case in Thailand , the Doctor is always in and they will take care of you to the best of their ability and if they can't help you, they will take you to the nearest hospital that can. This has been my experience here in the LOS. Ciejay has to go to the hospital every month, because she has had a valve replacement and she takes warfin to keep her blood thin to prevent a stroke, everytime we go the place is full of all kind of sick folks and the Dtr. and Nurses are sooo busy takeing care of them and I can see that they do it with a smile too, they are sooo good to Ciejay and noone in all of our Six years of going to the hospital in Kanchanaburi has she ever been mistreated, and not only Ciejay , but all the hundreds that are there and most with out an appointment and no calling ahead , and they are taken care of just the same , you may have to sit and wait your turn , but before the day is finished the DOCTOR will see you .
Thats just another one of the reasons why we are Retired in Thailand and Loving It.
Took a few pictures today while we were there you can see a little of what I'm talking about .

Things I lost in New Zealand

shaving Foam
jumper
sleeping bag liner
shower gel x 3
towels x 2
socks x 3 pairs (discarded cos they stank)
Herman
caps x 2
torch
one trouser leg
travel pillow
rough guide to New Zealand
hitch hiking virginity
the habit of taking my phone out and checking for texts when I'm sat on the bog
hatred of Americans

Bugger it

I've had my bag nicked with my journals in it. My memory is crap so the last two months of travels will not be blogged in very much detail I fear. I'm devastated, I loved those books. The sun is shining and I'm in paradise currently so things could be worse.

Anyways, I got to Sydney and checked in to a hostel, then ran down to the harbour to take my pictures of the bridge and opera house as I was only staying the one night before flying down to Melbourne. The hostel had organised a trip to a pub with a free beer. I think you can all guess how the rest of the evening pans out, among the people I met was Katy, a lovely girl with a softly spoken Welsh accent that made me weak at the knees. Katy was planning to go to the West coast of Australia for two weeks and from what I'd heard about the place I was half tempted to change my plans and stalk her. Having just forked out for the flights to Sydney and Melbourne however, meant that this was just a nice daydream.

Melbourne. What luck I was there at the time of the comedy festival.
I impressed myself by not missing the plane and went straight from my dorm to watch Tim Vine who, as always, made me piss myself. I love that man and he had yet another new set of one liners and daft songs. I followed that up with Arj Barker, based on an Aussies recommendation. Arj plays Dave the shop owner in Flight of the conchords, unfortunately his stand up was very average. Criminally he had a 2000 seat venue and Tim Vine only entertained 200 lucky punters each night.

Day two. In a couple of hours of walking I passed the MCG (100,000 seater cricket ground), the Rod Laver arena (home of the Australian Open), the Hisense Arena (Netball, yes thay actually get crowds you sexists), the Olympic park, another big stadium for Aussie rules football, a golf course and the F1 track. The people of Melbourne like their sport and for this I like the people of Melbourne.
My comedian o choice for the evening was Tim Key, sort of poetry with a running commentary, sounds shit but it was brilliant, up there with Vine.
Comparing Melbourne to Edinburgh, Edinburgh wins hands down, there are no late shows and the the listings fit on to one whiteboard where Edinburgh has a gert fat book for a programme. The real clincher came when I bought a beer and had to part with $8.50, nearly six quid. Perhaps that's why they all like their sports, you'd need to sell your car to have a night out.
Day three. Walked to St. Kilda, the beach part of Melbourne and coffee shop hang out for all the cool kids. The G-dawg did not fit in, I am rubbish at being cool. Whenever I pick a cafe I look out of place by trying to order at a counter when it's table service, then I fidget, scratch any insect bites and write in my journal*. If it ain't Wetherspoons I don't know how to act, but I do like a people watch.
The evening was the superb Pajama men, a silly double act, voted best of the festival 2009 who I would highly recommend.

*Every time I hear journal it brings a tear to my eye.

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