And oldie but a goodie --about our plans to move to Thailand

CIEJAY WITH APPLES, PLUMS AND PEACHES
AND THE ALL TIME BEST SELLER TOMATOES

EVERYONE LOVES STRAWBERRIES TO EAT AND MAKE JAM


MY FRIEND MIKE BRINGS THE PRODUCE FROM HIS FARM



CIEJAY SELLING AND EATING HER FAVORITE




CORN,POTATOES,ONIONS, TOMATOES,SQUASH,BEANS AND ALL KIND OF SEASONAL BERRIES AND FRUIT.




CIEJAY AND THE STRAWBERRIES AND RASPBERRIES






WE HAD THE SWEETEST CORN IN TOWN







Most post from Thailand bloogers are about their life upon arriving and about daily living and,traveling in the LOS, but not to many on what causes us Expats to decide,plan, save and finally,make the move to Thailand.So ,I thought I would give it a go. A friend introduced me to Ciejay ,we dated for three months and then we married ,on the fourth of July 2002. A year later Ciejay's father in Thailand passed away and we made plans with her sisters and their husbands who also lived in America to come to Thailand for the 100 day celebration of her fathers life , a tradition in Thai culture.We all flew together and rented a van to take us to their home place , and where the 100 day celebration would be held .We had talked it over and also planned to spend a week ,after all the visiting and family affairs were over, traveling around and seeing the sights .It was my first trip to Thailand and I fell head over heels in love with the country and the people.I ask Ciejay if she would move back to Thailand if we could find a piece of land to build us a house on? ,would she move back to Thailand and we would retire here ?. Being the sweet person that she is,said"YES "which was a total suprise to me because she had just the month before got her green card that enabled her to stay in American ,and being married to me was renewable every ten years with no problem.No every three months visit to immigrations or anything and she could work pay social security and taxes and retire at 62 just like anyone else in America ,a dream of a lot of Thai people.What a surprise answer. Well we spent the week traveling a lot, and visiting relatives and really looking for land and a house that we liked and the place where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives . Well, we could not decide where or what , but on the last evening of our trip before flying out the next day, we decided to visit her brother in a little village called Wang Pho in the providence of Kanchanaburi,right on the famous River Kwai.As we turned off the highway 321 and started driving down the 5 kl. and I do mean down the mountain, into the little village , my heart soared within me and I said to Ciejay "if the village is pretty and we like it , and can find a little piece of land , this is the place ". Well we visited her brother and a neighbor had a small piece of land out of town , with no road to get to it , or water and power was not close at all ,we said thank you ,but no thanks. It was getting dark when we got back to her brothers and we said "well we will have to plan another trip sometime when we had time to look around for land" . We both agreeded that this was the place , I loved the small village and it just had the right feel to both of us.Disappointed that we could not find something we liked, as it was getting late, and we had a three hour drive to Bangkok and were flying out at 6:30 the next morning, I told Ciejay to ask her brother a simple question , if he knew of any land with a empty house on it , and to our suprise he pointed 100 yards up the road and said "yes my friend and his wife divorced 8 years ago and the house is not quite finished inside and the bathroom roof has fell in , but it was for sell ", but because of bad Karma and Thai's belief in ghost and bad spirits no one would buy it, Me and Ciejay being Christians Karma and ghost ,didn't scare us at all. The house was all locked up and all the windows had security bars and screens and they were all tinted to keep out the hot sun, so as dark as it was outside and inside we could not even see inside thru the windows. we looked at each other and said lets do it . We ask her brother if he had the friends phone number, and after a while he found it ,and called . He ask if it was still for sell and how much and the friend said 400,000 baht , my brother -in -law said to him this my sister give her a discount , the friend said ok ,300,000 baht , we said we'll take it.We didn't have any extra money on us and it was night time and we ask if we could send money when we got back to the USA. He said "mai pen rai " I give you 6 months to pay me all at one time,no want payments . We said ok and told Ciejays brother to look after it for us and we would send him money every month for 6 months to pay it off and for him to keep the money ,till we had sent it all, and then pay his friend , He said ok "I keep in bank for you" ,all was settled, we now had a piece of land and a house in Thailand . Located within 1/2 mile of the town square , the high school , the hospital , the city hall, and the local police station, at the foot of the mountain and I mean right at the foot and 1/2 mile from the River Kwai, What a dream come true. We could not believe it .Our other American, brother -in-laws and their wives thought we were crazy , and maybe we were crazy , but we had a dream . We went back home , I had one more year before I could retire (62) with 75% my social security , 100% if I worked till 70. but I was ready to retire, and we had a house in Thailand .Remember I am just a worker bee in America not CEO or owner of a bussiness , no,401 K plan and no monthly retirement pension coming from years of service with one company. Just my monthly S.S.check . So I worked one more year and in 6 months we had sent money to pay the house off and we planned to move over in March of 2004, but we knew that we needed money to remodel the Thailand house and buy furniture and everything else we would need to make the house a home . We sold our cars , everything we had acumalated since we were married 3 years ago , I personally had nothing as I lost it all in a couple bad relationships before Ciejay,if you know what I mean. So when a friend suggested that we sell produce with and for him and we would split it all 50/50, we said ok and changed our plans to leave on Oct the 6th for our house in Thailand , hopefully with enough money,to do what we needed to do ,to make the house a liveable home .We sold produce from June the 1st, till Oct the 1st ,7days a week rain or shine and on the 6th of Oct. 2004 we arrived in Thailand with 11 suitcases of cloths and pictures and important papers , and our dream.








If you liked reading this post (short story) and a little about our lives ,as well as our retirement , please let me know with a comment ,I've got a couple more stories that, I think you might enjoy too , let me know what you think. Malcolm

Shady Maple Smorgasbord, East Earl, Pennsylvania

Eight months has been too long to not have had dinner at Shady Maple. The snow this winter and the rain this Spring has kept us from traveling but we finally managed to get a passable weekend to make the trip. We went on a Saturday night in the beginning of June.

Arriving at the parking lot I said a loud, "Oh Boy!". The lots were jammed. I do not remember seeing the parking lots - yes, lots -

A visit to Layan Beach

There are plenty of changes currently being imposed on Phuket by the military - mostly cracking down on rip offs, local "mafia" and actually imposing the laws that have been overlooked in Phuket for many years. Chief among these is encroachment at the beaches and structures being built on the beach or on land that is officially designated as national park land. Over the last couple of months, buildings have been removed all over Phuket with the idea being to make the beaches more natural. We recently visited Surin beach and Laem Sing beach to check out the changes, and last weekend I wanted to try Layan beach, which used to be a favourite hangout of ours some years ago (I blogged it in 2007). It always was a very quiet place, located at the north end of Bang Tao beach. Only a couple of hotels, an almost empty beach, one restaurant ... I knew that an upmarket beach club had been built there and that had kind of put me off visiting, but we decided to have a look ...



Aside from the Nikki beach club (which from the rear looked rather ugly - concrete walls spoiling the view of the ocean) nothing much has changed. And since it was low season, the beach really was quiet. Above photo shows the view looking south along Bang Tao beach. Only a few people on the beach. To be honest much of the north of Phuket is like this. If you are staying at Patong beach and complaining that Phuket is crowded, get out of Patong! We took a little walk. No people. No beach chairs. I do like an empty beach! Sure there was a bit of flotsam washed up on the beach, same every low season when the west winds blow the Indian ocean onto our shores. But the beach was more or less ours!



The Nikki beach club seems rather out of place. Aside from the old thatched roof restaurant that's been there for at least 10 years, the new beach club is the only thing near the sand. Too near? Well, it's not been knocked down yet! And when I am on a beach I like the sounds of the waves, not a thumping trance music beat. Well it's not my cup of tea. These beach clubs have sprung up over the last 5 years to meet a demand I suppose, a demand for places where rich people can hang out and not be bothered by the less well off. I saw 3 security guards at Nikki, and on a low season afternoon, only a few customers.



(above) Nikki beach club view from Layan beach



(above) And looking out to sea from Layan beach

Now, Layan beach has 2 parts - the southern part is essentially the north end of Bang Tao beach and I'm not sure how it qualifies for a different name! If you move a bit further north, there is a canal emptying into the sea and a small island called Koh Kala which is connected to the mainland by a sandbar. Just north of the island is one resort (Anantara Layan Resort) and just past this a small dirt carpark with access to the beach - at low tide you can walk over to the island, and we've been for BBQs here before, a very nice untouched quiet place. There were rumours of a marina being built but I think this little bit of land is a protected area. It's not really a swimming beach, more of a lagoon being semi enclosed by the island and sandbar. The sand is nicer at the south end of Layan, but it's a nice spot for a picnic.



(above) at the "lagoon", north end of Layan beach - view of Koh Kala looking south.



(above) On the beach, Layan beach (north end). Don't anyone tell me "Phuket is crowded"! Sure, some of Phuket is crowded and some roads are full of cars and there are roadworks, but .... much of the island is quiet. Go and explore! After Layan beach we carried on north, the road passes the 5 star Trisara Villas, and then winds around the hills before reaching Naithon beach which I also blogged many years ago and, while it's still quiet, there are a couple of new resorts and we could see that beachfront buildings had been knocked down, so that blog page also needs an update sometime!


Layan Beach - Location Map


View Layan Beach Phuket in a larger map

This Independence day, total freedom.

That Independence day, Avi wanted freedom. Total freedom. Freedom from seeing Gandhi movie for the the fiftieth time on T.V , freedom from malls that sold marked up jeans on sale, freedom from everything. But I wasn't buying it. He had been saying the same thing for half his life.
"You need to earn it Avi" I said. "Just talking won't do any good."
That's when he took out the gun, goddamm biggest gun I ever saw. BAM! He put a through and through hole in my laptop.
"Shit! My entire work is in there." I said. But Avi wasn't listening. He ran to the living room and I ran behind him.

"Honey! Shall we go to Lal Bagh? There is a flower show today, for Independence day." My wife said when she saw me.
"Duck!" I yelled just before Avi pulled the trigger.
BAM! The wooden show case splintered an inch above my wife's head. She was too stunned to speak.
"It's Avi! He has gone crazy." I said.
"Who's Avi?" She asked. I wished I could tell her. But I heard Avi starting the car outside. I ran out of the house and jumped into the car.

"Who's next?" I asked as the car turned the corner of the street.
"Your relationship manager." Avi said without looking at me. I was kinda beginning to like Avi. That creep had made me put all the money when the market was at the peak. "You can't time the market, Sir." He said and pocketed my cheque, the very day his company put a million dollar to buy a building above the stock
exchange so they can shave off a micro second in the trades.
"Take the next left. We don't want to get caught in the mall traffic." I said. But Avi kept going straight.

There was a big line of cars waiting to get into the mall. Avi pulled by the side of the first car and got out.
BAM! He shot through the window of the first car. There was a big commotion. I ducked in my car and counted six more gun shots.
"You have blocked the traffic. How can people get into the mall now?" I asked when Avi got back into the car. Avi didn't say anything. He just started the car and turned towards the banker's house.

But the banker had fled from his house. It looked like he had packed in a hurry. The house was in a disarray and the T.V was on. The images of mall, bloody cars filled the T.V screen.
"Looks like he saw us in the T.V" I pointed at the T.V screen to Avi. My headshot was at the bottom left corner. The image cut to a T.V studio and an anchor came on. He said that the nation wanted to know who I was and why I had shot innocent people in the mall.
"Let's go to the studio." Avi said as he went out of the house. I was beginning to love Avi.

On the way to studio, Avi shot some more people. He didn't even bother to stop the car. He just shot through the rolled down window at a rapist, an activist and some random guy who wore a T. Shirt which had some clever quote.
"Man!" I moaned as the T.Shirt guy fell on his face on the road. "I didn't get to read the quote fully."

I thought they wouldn't let us in at the T.V station when they saw our bloody clothes and Avi's gun. But nobody cared. Avi said he shot the people at the mall and wanted to get on the show. The producer asked us to go right in to the studio where the anchor was telling the audience what the nation wanted to know.
"Stop right there." Somebody shouted as Avi was about to open the studio door. Avi turned back and froze. The guy came up close, put some make up on Avi, and then said no matter what we did inside the studio, we had to always look at the camera.

Inside the studio, Avi cocked the pistol, pointed it at the anchor and said, "Get up."
"Look at the camera." The anchor hissed as he stood up.
"Shoot him, Avi." I shouted, looking at the camera. "We want total freedom."
But Avi hesitated for a moment.
"What, Are you out of bullets?" I asked.
"No, I have got just one." Avi said.

Then he shot me.

From Funny Side Of Life

Dutch-Way Family Restaurant, Gap, PA

Dutch-Way Family Restaurant's buffet in Gap, Pa was our "Top Buffet" for 2013 and I explained then that a top buffet is one that is a must go to whenever in the area of that restaurant. On our recent return to Pennsylvania in June, there was no question that we would be dining at Dutch-Way.

What I like about Dutch-Way aside from good quality food at a very reasonable price, is the many different

Kaffir Limes and their uses-----for you info --from the web

Kaffir Lime
The kaffir lime is a citrus fruit which hails from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. The kaffir lime is popularly used in Southeast Asian cooking, such as Thai, Indonesian and Cambodian cuisine. However, it can also be grown throughout the world as a backyard shrub.
Names by Which the Kaffir Lime is Known
The kaffir lime is known by many names, including “kieffer lime” and “limau purut”. It is also sometimes referred to as “Thai limes” or “wild limes”. The leaves, zest and juice of the kaffir lime are all used in Southeast Asian cooking.
“Kaffir” comes from the German word “Kafer”, which means “bug”. This fruit is so named due to the fact that it slightly resembles an insect. Some controversy surrounds the use of the “kaffir” name for this fruit because this word is used by white Afrikaners as a pejorative for black people, meaning “infidel”. This usage derives from the Arabic word “kafir”, which was used by Portugese explorers to describe native Africans. This word is considered a derogatory term that remains in use today, and as such, alternative names such as Thai, Makrut, Asian, or Wild lime are preferred to ensure no one is offended.
Kaffir Lime Leaves
The Kaffir Lime’s Appearance and How it Grows
The kaffir lime does not resemble most of the limes that we are used to seeing. This Southeast Asian lime has a rough, warty green exterior. It grows on a thorny bush and its leaves are very aromatic. The kaffir lime leaves are also quite distinctive in that its leaves are “doubled”. The kaffir lime is easily identifiable with its small size and bumpy exterior. It is dark green in color. The kaffir lime is comparable in size to a Western lime. This fruit is very suitable for growing in containers. As mentioned above, although this fruit is native to many Southeast Asian countries, it can be grown anywhere as a shrub.
Traditional and Current Uses of the Kaffir Lime
Southeast Asian Cuisine
There are many different ways that the kaffir lime is used in Southeast Asian cooking. The rind, or zest, is often used as a curry paste in Lao and Thai cooking. This usage provides an aromatic and astringent flavor.
In fact, this fruit is so commonly used to impart flavor in Thai cooking that if a dish calls for the use of citrus leaves, it can be assumed that it means kaffir lime leaves. Kaffir leaves are the only citrus fruit leaves that are used on a regular basis in a large number of Thai dishes.
The leaves exude an aromatic perfume and provide a striking and distinguishable flavor that is virtually impossible to substitute. The zest of this fruit also adds a piquant flavor to such mouth-watering favorites as fried fish cakes and “jungle soup”, or “gkaeng bpah”. The zest of the kaffir lime can also be found in creole cuisine. Additionally, the zest of this fruit is often used to add flavor to “arranged” rums that are made in Madagascar and the Reunion Island.
Flavor
The zest or rind of the kaffir lime has such a strong flavor that it can overpower a dish’s other, more subtly flavored ingredients. As such, the rind is to be used sparingly. The rind should be grated or chopped very finely and then further reduced in a mortar along with the other paste ingredients until it become indistinguishable. This promises a recipe containing a proper balance of ingredients and flavors.
The whole kaffir lime leaves themselves, which have a somewhat hourglass shape creating the appearance of a double leaf and have a glossy sheen, are commonly used in Lao, Thai and Cambodian cuisine. The kaffir lime leaf contains two parts. There is a top leaflet which has a slight point at the tip. Attached to that is another leaflet at the bottom which is broader on the upper portion. The size of kaffir leaves can vary in size, from several inches long to less than an inch. The bigger the leaf, typically the darker its color. Because of the variations in size, it is often best to specify in recipes the number of leaves based upon size so that one does not use too much or too little.
Thai Cooking
The leaves of the kaffir lime are used in a wide variety of dishes, especially in Thai cooking. They are often used in soups, salads, curries, and stir-fried dishes. These leaves are also used in other cuisines, such as the cuisines of Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia. An example of Laotian cuisine in which these leaves are used include the Lao dish known as Tom Yum. They are also used in Cambodian cuisine as the paste base in Krueng. In Indonesian cooking, especially the cuisines in Bali and Java, the kaffir lime leaves are used in such dishes as Sayur Asam. The kaffir leaf is also commonly used in addition to the Indonesian BAY LEAF to cook chicken and fish dishes. The cuisines of Malaysia and Burma also make use of the kaffir lime leaf.
Preparation
The kaffir lime leaf can be used whole or finely chopped. The best way to finely slice this leaf for use in cooking is to stack three or four that are similar in size and then slice them into very thin pieces using a sharp knife. Cutting diagonally is faster and easier. This task becomes easier with practice and you will enjoy the amazing aroma that rises from the leaves as you continue to cut them. The leaves can also be cut using scissors, but this practice is much slower and may not result in the fine slivers you get through chopping with a sharp knife.
It is important that the leaves be cut into fine slivers, as mincing or chopping can impact the flavor of the leaf, thus causing them to overwhelm the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish. Cutting large slivers can have the same result. As such, using fine slivers that are approximately one inch long are the preferred method for creating a balance of flavors. The kaffir lime leaf is very versatile and can be used either fresh or dried. It can also be frozen and stored for future use. The juice of the kaffir lime itself is regarded as generally far too acidic to use in cooking.
Medicinal Uses
The juice and rind of the kaffir lime is also used in traditional Indonesian medicine. As such, in Indonesia the kaffir lime is referred to as “asjeruk obat”, which translates to “medicine citrus”. The juice of the kaffir lime is also used in Southeast Asian folk medicine, where it is touted as promoting gum health.
As such, this culture recommends using the lime juice to brush the teeth and gums. The fruit has essential oils which are incorporated into various ointments as well. The rind itself serves as an ingredient in many medicinal tonics which are believed to be beneficial for the blood. Just like galangal and lemon grass, the rind of the lime is also said to be beneficial for digestion.
Using Kaffir Lime Leaves
The oil from the lime’s rind also contains strong insecticide properties.
Household Uses
The juice of the fruit can also be used as a detergent for clothing. In fact, it is known as being a very effective cleanser. Some use it as a natural bleach for the removal of tough stains. It is also used as a shampoo to clean hair.
Not only does it leave the hair nice and squeaky clean, but it also invigorates the scalp. Many believe that use of the kaffir lime in this manner will refresh a person’s mental outlook and also keep away evil spirits. Moreover, this lime is a natural deodorizer with a wonderful scent of citrus blossoms.
Every time the zest is scratched, it emits a refreshing and inviting perfume. These uses are mainly found in Thailand, where almost every countryside home has a kaffir lime tree in the yard. For those living in rural villages, just one kaffir tree will supply enough limes to keep the entire house and the family clean, thus making the kaffir lime also an inexpensive household cleanser and detergent.
Where to Find Kaffir Limes
Kaffir limes are not very easy to find, especially if you do not live in Southeast Asia. As such, if you are truly interested in using this as an ingredient in dishes or for its many other uses, it may be best to grown your own kaffir lime bush. You can visit a local nursery and request they order one for you. You can also find many vendors online who can ship the kaffir lime bush directly to you.
When growing and maintaining a kaffir lime bush, you will want to give the bush plenty of water during the warm summer months. Also make sure it gets citrus fertilizer and plenty of sunshine. Prune it to maintain its bushy shape. If you live in a frost-free area, you can keep your lime bush outdoors year round. However, if your area drops to freezing temperatures, you will need to bring your bush indoors during the cold winter months. Harvest the leaves during the summer. Seal the limes and their leaves in a plastic bag and freeze them, as they will keep this way for at least a year, and thus, can be used over time.
Kaffir lime trees can be found online for around $40 to $50. In addition, you can purchase Thai kaffir lime leaf powder online for about $7.00 for half an ounce.

Kaffir Lime Tree

Folks come every year to harvest the young leaves from the Kaffir Lime tree in our back yard, the trees are hard to find and the leaf's fetch a good price in the markets . The leaf's are used in many Thai dishes and especially Tum YUm. Ciejay loves it , time to get a new hair do lol.



Happy Independence Day

This Independence day, I urge you all to remember the sacrifices made by our selfless ancestors. If not for them you would not have had this great and truly wonderful LOOOOONG WEEEEKEND!! So wherever you are on Independence day, be it the beaches of Goa or the hills of Coorg, just take a solemn moment to remember our ancestors and then go back to the party. But if you really feel indebted to them and want to know more about the difficulties they faced in the early days of the new nation, then read on.

The new nation of India faced a plethora of problems ranging from mass migration, communal riots and war in Kashmir. Our forefathers decided to take head on the problems by applying themselves to come up with a stunning design for our national flag. Our national flag is a tricolour of saffron, white and green with the colors symbolizing saffron, white and green respectively. There is blue chakra in the middle of the flag, primarily to make it difficult for the kindergarten children to draw the flag.

After designing the national flag, our forefathers moved to the more complicated task of choosing a national animal. The qualifying criteria for national animal was very strict - the animal had to be found only in India or else India should be home to at least ninety percentage of the animal population. The only candidate who passed those stringent criteria and was all set to become our national animal was Mambalam Culicidae. (also known as Madras mosquito) But at the last moment, B.R. Ambedkar raised a fine point of law - the Mambalam mosquito was an insect, not an animal! Thus Bengal tiger became our national animal. Appreciating Ambedkar's legal acumen, Nehru gave him a minor task that had been pending for quiet some time - drafting India's constitution.

Choosing our National anthem was becoming a big problem with every state demanding that the national anthem be in their own language. It looked like the new nation was going to have twenty versions of national anthem. However common sense prevailed and Jana Gana Mana was chosen as our national anthem. The National anthem had just two versions - long version and the popular version. The long version roughly lasts twenty eight seconds. The popular version lasts twenty eight seconds too, but has much fewer words as shown below.

Jana Gana Mana adhi naayaka jaya he
....
<Just lip movement without any sound for next twenty seconds>
...
Jaya he!Jya he!Jaya he!
Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya he!

Of course, none of these tasks were as difficult as the one that Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister faced. He had to deliver a speech on the eve of Independence day in the parliament. But Nehru was up to the task. With the clock approaching midnight on 14th August, 1947, Nehru gave one of the greatest speeches of all time which started with the following words:

Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when I shall reveal the meaning of the words tryst and destiny.

Or something like that.

Lampi Waterfall

It was last month (July 2014) that we decided one afternoon to "take a drive". We do this sometimes, with no particular destination in mind, we make up a plan as we drive. It normally results in an interesting day with new discoveries. This time we drove north and kept driving over the Sarasin Bridge into Phang Nga province which has a lot of natural attractions. We'd been to Ton Prai waterfall a couple of times last year, only about 30km from the bridge on the way to Khao Lak, and since we'd just had some rain we decided to stop there first. Ton Prai is well worth a visit, but is not for the lazy as you need to walk through the jungle 650m from the visitors center to reach the waterfall. And we'd forgotten to bring any swimming clothes, as we had left the house with no plan ... this led to a grumpy son who wanted to swim. So we promised he could swim at the next waterfall. Lampi is a little further north, a bit closer to Khao Lak and we realised that we'd never stopped here before. Well, we almost did one time many years ago when we had an argument at the entrance and the national park staff tried to charge my wife the foreign price because she's married to me. This time was much more pleasant!

After leaving Ton Prai, which only had a few visitors, we were surprised to arrive at the Lampi waterfall and see a busy car park. And the reason for this .. is it that Lampi is bigger, more spectacular, more impressive than Ton Prai? Not really, they are both pretty cool. But .. Lampi waterfall is just a couple of minutes walk from your car, plus there are several food stalls and little restaurants .. no need for a walk in the jungle. There was also a shop selling swimming shorts so the boy could swim without getting his other clothes wet. There's a bridge over the river where you can get a nice view of the falls and we walked over this first.



(above) me and the boy at Lampi Waterfall (on the bridge)

OK son, so you want to swim? There's a big pool under the falls. Half is roped off in a vague attempt at safety awareness, and there is a sign telling people to stay one side of the rope. I guess the side nearest the falls is pretty deep. I can imagine that in full flood, Lampi waterfall is not a place to paddle. On this day there were plenty of bathers, mostly youngsters. Our boy took the plunge and quickly found out that the water was refreshingly (or bone chillingly) cold. Certainly colder than the average Thai shower!



(above) Dad! It's cold in here! He did eventually take a proper dip and swim around for a while, but not too long! Certainly a refreshing way to spend an hour on a hot day. The rest of us sensibly stayed out of the water. Getting up closer, I could see that Lampi is actually quite impressive with multiple levels of cascades tumbling out of the jungle. The hills to the east of Lampi and Ton Prai waterfalls are about 500m high, about the same as the highest point in Phuket. We'll head back to Lampi again sometime, all equipped with swimming clothes!



(above) Lampi Waterfall .. pretty nice, right?

On this particular day we carried on north through Khao Lak and up to Takua Pa .. it was a Sunday and we'd heard of a street market in Old Takua Pa, but on arriving there we found nothing. Maybe it has not been a success? Not to worry, we then drove back to Phuket from there via Phang Nga on a beautiful road that we'd never taken before. Always something new to find, especially if you just "go for a drive"!

Lampi Waterfall - Location Map


View Lampi Waterfall in a larger map

Even in the Best Basket You May Find a Rotten Apple

Here is another article put in the middle of the every other week schedule - as it is a bit out of the ordinary. You will be reading an article in a few weeks about another previous to this dinner at Shady Maple in East Earle, Lancaster, PA, but this is about a more recent dinner there. And something happened that has never happened to me there before and I hope to think rarely if ever to anyone

Yoders Restaurant, New Holland, Pennsylvania

Two years ago, Yoders Restaurant in New Holland, PA was one of our Top Buffets. It was not in 2013 because of a visit in that year in which the buffet was a bit inconsistent with past great visits.  On a recent visit to Yoders for dinner, I experienced another inconsistency at Yoders. I have to say that all of the food is still great. The overall service is great. This time it was the grill that

Drinks Now Back to Being Included at Old Country Buffet

This article is timely and I am putting it in right now in the middle of the two week span of articles. We received an email yesterday that soft drinks were back to being included in the meal price at OCB. The claim is that We listened to you and you want this! in so many words. We went tonight to see if my suspicions were correct about this. We walked in and yes, there is a sign that drinks are