Thailand - two beaches and a birthday

July 2014

Happy Birthday to me!


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For my birthday, we went to Thailand and hung out on the beaches of Phuket and Khao Lak.  I am not really a beach girl, but living here in Asia has given me a new appreciation as the beaches are so beautiful.



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It is hard to see in the above photo - but I am wearing my birthday crown from cousin Maria and holding a bottle of champagne - this weekend was all about the celebration!



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In Phuket, we had a beautiful private villa.



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Sweet little towel elephants on the bed.



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The villa had a private pool.  

Did I mention this was my fiftieth birthday?  GULP.



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Sweets on arrival, a treat from the hotel.  They also surprised me with the birthday cake in the first photo.



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July is a rainy month in most Asian countries.  The Indian Ocean was too rough to swim, but we were very lucky and had sunny skies for the five days we were there.



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 We did enjoy walks on the beach and collecting shells...



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Quiet time...



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We tasted the local cuisine at a neighborhood restaurant.



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One restaurant had a young hawk tied up outside.



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Peaceful sunsets...



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We were in Phuket for three days then we moved to a hotel in Khao Lak, about an hour away.  What was unique about this hotel was the pool - it is suppose to be the longest in SE Asia.  It was fun swimming around the property.



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The photo below was taken at sunset - such a pretty glow.  I loved the architecture, it was very Thai.  Our room was the one on the right side - the end unit.  



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You could jump off our back porch right into the pool.




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And D had fun jumping off the back porch!




D in pool



We enjoyed a few massages.  The price - $15 for an hour with fresh coconut oil.  Oh it had the most wonderful smell!  The beach was directly in front of us - so relaxing to hear the waves.



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The friendly masseuses.



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We had a very enjoyable time at the beach.  Now we need to plan a trip when we can actually swim in the ocean!



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Until next time ...

Sawasdee  - สวัสดี ครับ/ค่ะ



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Chiang Mai Thailand - Karen Long Neck Tribe, Temples, and more


Chiang Mai,Thailand

May 2014


  Donald chaing mai 14




Donald chaing mai 8



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These photos were taken at Baan Tong Luang, an eco-agricultural hill tribe village that opened in 2005.  Established by the Thai government, this village was created to help educate tourists, to help preserve the traditional ways of the people, and to provide an income for these groups.  It is more than just an attraction as people actually live and work here (farming is thier main staple).  There is even a school and a church.



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"Hill tribe" is used to describe a group of people, usually closely related and typically migrants of another country, that live in the hills or mountains.  There have been hill tribe people living in the northern border of Thailand for two hundred years with their origins going back two thousand years to Tibet.

The five main hill tribes in Thailand are: Karen, Akha, Lisu, Hmong, Lahu.  Each tribe is divided into clans or sub-groups, which have their own distinct customs, rituals, clothing and languages.



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We were a bit hesitant to visit the village, as it seemed contrived, but we actually had a lovely visit and were glad we did.  We arrived early in the morning with no other visitors for nearly an hour.  Most of residents were very open to us photographing them, never asking for money. 



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The Karen Tribe


In Thailand, the Karen are the largest "hill tribe" group with over 400 thousand.  The Padaung are a sub-group of the Karen tribe.  It is traditional for Padaung women to wear brass rings around their necks, starting when they are around five years old and adding to them each year placing up to twenty or more rings around their neck.  They are often referred to as the longneck women.



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This one was just so sassy, yet adorable -  I could have taken her home!  She was not making the face to be nasty - she was just being silly.



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A beautiful little girl.




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And her mom - happy and open to us photographing her and her children.  I purchased an elephant necklace from her.




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I purchased the scarf the woman is holding below.  She said it takes her three days to make one.  I love the colors in the scarf.  I paid around $7 USD - I did not negotiate like I normally do.  Actually seeing her make the scarf gave me a different perspective and respect.



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Her husband, preparing her yarn.



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Their daughter - isn't she pretty?



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She decided D needed a bracelet.  I did not think he did - I bought scarves instead :  )



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 The Akha Tribe


The Akha are from the mountains of Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Yunnan Province in China.  Civil war in Burma and Laos resulted in an increased flow of Akha immigrants into Thailand and there are now 80,000 living in the northern provinces of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai (where we were).



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They were selling hats from their tribe.



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This woman is designing batik fabric - which she dyes at her home using natural plant extracts.  I bought the table runner she made, shown below. 



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Treasures  23



 The Lahu Shi Bala Tribe



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In the Lahu Shi Bala tribe, women insert big metal earrings into their earlobes.  If you notice, neither the daughter (in the photo above) or the granddaughter (photo below with the cat) carried on this tradition.



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So many beautiful little girls.



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 I love the colorful costumes they wear.



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Anohter grandmother in the tribe.



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The Kayaw Tribe


The Kayaw are another subgroup of the Karen tribe. Like the long-necked Padaung subgroup, their legs are encircled with brass rings. However, their necks are adorned with loose necklaces instead of rings.






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Some additonal photos we took of the girls/ladies in the tribes.



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And the boys - they do not have work - they get to play.  Some things are the same no matter what culture!



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As I mentioned earlier, these tribes actually live here so they go about their daily routines like doing the laundry.



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Chiang Mai, over 700 years old, has many beautiful ancient temples.  The temples display a mixture of architectural styles that reflect a mix of Cambodian, Burmese, and Indian culture and style.


Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang is one of the most important temples in Chiang Mai.  The construction of the temple started in the 14th century but was not finished until the mid-15th century.  In 1545, Chiang Mai suffered a series of severe earthquakes and the top of the temple was badly damaged.




Old temple2



Old temple6



Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

The temple was founded in 1383 when the first chedi (stupa) was built.  Legends says, that the buiding site was selected by sending an elephant to roam the mountainside.  When the elephant reached this spot, it trumpeted, circled three times, and knelt down indicating this was an auspicious site.




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Temple collage



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Collage 1



Chiang Mai has many monks living and working throughout the various temples.  Most Thai males serve as monks, even if it’s just for three months. Poorer families send their sons to the monastery at a young age for training, as it may be their only opportunity for an education.



Young monks




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Cathy chiang mai 478 copy




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Love this donation box - care to give to the oldsters?



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There was a festival taking place at one of the temples we visited.  I asked this young girl's mother if I could take her photo....



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And the mother asked to take one of me with her - sweet.



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Our Hotel

The shared area of our hotel was like a museum - absolutely stunning!





Hotel halls


the pool...



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A lovely breakfast on the porch including a perfectly set table with white linen and blue china. 






And the pool at night - so peaceful.



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Just for fun!



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Shopping - always fun... well, for one of us!






Safety first!  This may have been one of the youngest babies I have ever seen on the front of a motorcycle.  Usually they are held by mom in the back.



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We flew on a new airline (new to us) Nok Air, which translates to Bird Air.  I thought the plane was so fun.



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While we were there - Thailand was in the middle of a coop d'etat.  This is the first time we have been in a country during a coop.  All TV channels were taken off the air and this sign below was on the screen.  We did see military, but the environment was peaceful.  Unfortunately the weekend night market that Chiang Mai is known for was closed due to the coop.



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Chiang Mai is a great getaway for a long weekend... if you live in Asia that is!




Bangkok with Tammy


Bangkok, Thailand

May 2014


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Bangkok is such a fun city... great food, great shopping, interesting sights and crazy streets.  So for Tammy's second adventure, we took her to Bangkok.



Tuk tuk


A ride in a tuk tuk was a must do as they are such a unique part of Asian culture.  Be sure to negotiate as the drivers do try to get the most out of tourists.



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We also took her on the very local Chao Phraya river ferry.  They are insane... the boat barely slows down and you have to jump on.



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And they are jammed packed with locals.  The attendants just keep squeezing more and more passengers on board.



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This is definitely not a tourist attraction!  If you do want to give it a try, jump on and the attendant will come around to collect your money. Usually around 50 cents per person.



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If you prefer, you can rent a private boat to get you down the river.  We have never hired a private one.



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There are so many beautiful Wats (temples) to visit in Bangkok.  We went to Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha).  The highlight of this temple is the giant reclining Buddha that measures 150 ft (46 meters ) and is covered in gold leaf.





The Buddha is decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay on his eyes and the soles of his feet.  




Wat Pho was the first public university in Thailand, specializing in religion, science, and literature. It is now a working Buddhist monastery and a school for traditional massage and medicine.



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Wat Pho is the largest and oldest wat in Bangkok and is home to more than 1,000 Buddha images, more than any other temple in the country.




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For luck and good health, you walk around and put a coin in each of the 108 bronze bowls surrounding the Buddha.  This is a significant number, referring to the 108 positive actions and symbols that helped lead Buddha to perfection.  



Bankok temple


Tammy in bangkok 10



Flower Market


Pak Khlong Talat sells flowers, fruits, and vegetables and is open 24 hours every day.  The market has a long history.  During 1782–1809 there was a floating market, from 1868–1910 it was a fish market, and now it has been a flower market for over 60 years. 





Tammy with her private tour guide.






I love to visit here as the colors make for such beautiful photos.



Ganesh (1)





 The ice truck... a much-needed necessity in this hot part of the world.



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Tammy by a shrine in the flower market.  



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Street life



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Dancers at the Jim Thompson House Museum







Our very favorite - mango sticky rice. 






 and coconut ice cream!



Ice cream


The "real" version of Pad Thai - which is very different from the way they serve it in the US.



Ganesh (4)



More of our favorites - Pineapple rice, Thai basil chicken, known as pad kra pao gai, and Thai shrimp salad with peanuts.





Bangkok at night from the top of the Banyan Tree Hotel - one of the best places to view the city.





Goodnight Bangkok!



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Kanchanaburi Thailand - Tiger Temple and Bridge on the River Kwai


The Tiger Temple

Kanchanaburi, Thailand


Tiger park 6


When we first arrived we observed the monks playing with "their" tiger.  Many of the staff and volunteers work with each and every tiger in the park, but each tiger has one primary monk who cares for them. 



Tiger park 4


Look at the size of her paw!



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The temple is a fully functioning Buddhist temple called, “Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua”; but is known as the “Tiger Temple”.



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Next we got to pet and interact with the tigers.  This was an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING experience. 


D and 2a


Tigers are the biggest cats in the world.  There are six different kinds or subspecies of tiger alive today and all are considered endangered species.


  Tiger temple c 60


Many people have asked us if the tiger's teeth were removed… take a look at the photos below to get the answer.



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  Me and the tiger



Visitors are allowed to participate in several programs including playing with and feeding the baby tigers.  We were very lucky to purchase tickets to feed the cubs.  We thought we would just get to hold one for a few minutes to feed them, but we actually got to play in the cage with them. 


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There were three babies, two staff, and only six of us.  We were in there for about 45 minutes.


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I fell completely in love as soon as I touched the cub.  Look at my face - I am talking away to him.  I think I was telling him how beautiful and special he was  :  )



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He loved to be scratched under his chin.  Their fur was softer than the adult tigers, but still not soft like a domestic cat - more wiry.


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The little one was very feisty.  He hissed/baby-growled at D several times. 



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This is the middle sized one.  Look how he is holding my hand.  Precious!



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After their feeding they were full of energy.  They were bored with us humans and wanted to play with each other...






 and love each other...



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Tiger stripes are like human fingerprints; no two tigers have the same pattern.  The cubs have two round spots on the back of their ears.  Scientists think this may be a protective feature so that other animals will be fooled into thinking it's two big eyes looking at them.


Tiger park 3


 Such gorgeous animals.


  Tiger cub



We also walked the larger tigers with the monks.  They told us to keep our hands on their back with firm pressure.  If it is too light they think it is a bug and may try to swat you away.



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This is one of the biggest tigers in the park.  The temple received its first tiger cub in 1999 and they are now up to about 124 tigers and various other animals.  Not all of them are able to interact with humans.


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In Thailand, Buddhist temples frequently receive abandoned animals from the surrounding neighbors because Buddhist doctrine compels the monks to care for the animals.  Once the monastery took in the first tiger cub, they began to receive more tigers from other parts of the country and shortly thereafter became the "Tiger Temple" and grew to be the primary tiger care center in Thailand. 



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 Tiger park 11



Before we arrived I told D I will take photos of him, but I do not want to go near the tigers.  Shortly after being in the park, I wanted to lie on top of them!  I never got to lie on top of one, but I did lie next to them - actually in between two tigers.



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  Tiger park 16


There is a lot of controversy about the temple… Is it natural?… Is it safe?…. Do they drug the animals?  We walked away with a very positive opinion of the park.   Many of the animals are rescued and would be dead if they did not live there.  As to drugging them… anyone that works with the tigers knows that this is ridiculous.  Far too difficult and would make the animals more dangerous, rather than less dangerous.  Yes they lay around, but this is what tigers do when it is very hot and they are full.


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I viewed it like a zoo, except that we got to touch them.  Now the question as to if it is safe?  Well..... this I am not 100% sure of this  :  )  We need to always remember, they are wild animals.  But if you have the chance to visit the temple I would tell you ABSOLUTELY!




We also visited the well-known Bridge on the River Kwai.


 Kanchanaburi 3


During WW II, the Japanese constructed a railway from Thailand to Burma.  


Kanchanaburi 2


Unfortunately, the construction was done using POWs and Asian slave laborers under unfavorable conditions.  The work started in October 1942 and was completed in a year, but at the loss of thousands of lives.  


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Kanchanaburi 8


Allied Forces bombed the bridge in 1944 and three sections were destroyed.  What we see today is part original and part rebuilt.


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The track is still used today.



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There is a well-kept War Cemetery nearby where over 7,000 POWs, who sacrificed their lives in the railway construction, are buried.  Another 2,000 are laid to rest at the Chungkai Cemetery. 


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To get to Kanchanaburi we took a local train.  It took three hours and cost $3 each.  A deal and great fun.  We met a very nice couple from California and chatted with them the entire trip.  There was also a couple from Poland who joined in.  



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Kanchanaburi 13


The taxis in Kanchanaburi and many parts of rural Thailand are open backed trucks.  Safety first!  And I worry about airplanes.  :  )



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Our hotel/resort, The Oriental Kwai was awesome!  Each room was a little cottage and ours looked out onto the River Kwai.  The grounds were lush and tropical.  They even had a handful of goats.

Resort 2


We had such a great time on this excursion.  To see more on our time spent in Bangkok, click here.



Bangkok - on the waterfront


Bangkok, Thailand

November 2013


City view


We stayed in a different part of the city on this trip, on the waterfront, and it felt like we were in a completely different city!  We had an awesome view (click here for more photos) from our hotel room.  We had a corner room on the 32nd floor.  Even the shower was glass where you could look out to the view while showering.


Street Food


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Bangkok 8


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Reminds me of the ice cream truck who used to come down my street - but with more variety. 



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Bangkok 1

Bangkok 4





One evening we went to the Asiatique Center for dinner and a walk around their market.  It is a decent market, given it is in such a touristy area. 



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We went to the puppet theater with the work group... fun, but those puppets are a bit scary!






A visit to the local temple...

I never get tired of visiting temples as each one holds a new sight to discover.



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Look closely; a man is dressing the giant Buddha.



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Isn't this interesting?  I have never seen anything like it in a temple.  Is it a shrine for a child that passed?



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A slightly different shrine.



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Have you heard about all the protests in Bangkok?  Well, I stepped right into the middle of it by accident.  This was day two of the marching and at that point they were still pretty peaceful - just VERY loud!



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And my secret obsession....Hello Kitty!  Love her and all her friends.



Hello kitty


It was fun watching this talented street artist making balloon shapes.  The hubby had him make me the Hello Kitty balloon. sweet.





We always have such a fun time in Bangkok.  This was our forth visit in 2013!


Udon Thani - Northern Thailand


Udon Thani, Thailand

November, 2012


There were no direct flights into Laos, so we flew to Bangkok, then to Udon Thani.  From there, we crossed the border into Laos by bus.  Udon Thani, the 4th largest city in Thailand, is known as a gateway to Laos.  Since we were not in a hurry, we opted to spend two nights there.  


Udon thani 4

It was special for us because Don Senior was stationed there during the Vietnam War at a major Thai & US Air Force base.  

We stayed in a B&B that was way off the beaten path from the main part of town.  Love the little dog in the middle and the driver is holding the baby.




Here we are eating Belgian food.....did I say Belgian food?  Oddly enough our B&B was owned by a Belgian couple (Tony and Chris)  and Jet, a Thai lady.  Chris was an awesome cook and we were nostalgic for a little "belgian taste".


Udon thani 1


We had great fun at the B&B (Homestay STC).  We rode bicycles and a scooter.  I have not been on a bike since I was 7.....well maybe once in my 20's   :  )   And I am not a BIG fan of scooters - but there was no traffic where we were riding.



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 And I did not ride alone....I was on the back of D's.



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 Loving this and easy!


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Just chillin' - watching the sun set......



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This guy was the only fisherman out on the lake that evening - it was so serene.



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The colors were really this intense.  We took over 600 photos that evening - be thankful I am only sharing four  :  ). 



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We decided it was one of the "top 5" most beautiful sunsets we have seen.


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The next day we toured around town and hung with the locals.  This gentleman lived across the road from the B&B and he made beautiful baskets by hand.


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He did not have any finished when we visited, but said he would have one in the morning for me.  The cost $1.50 USD.  REALLY.  I gave him $3.00.


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Here is a close up of the basket.  It is a very common basket in this part of the country used for serving rice.  This one was special for me since we got to meet the artist who made it.


  Basket (1)


Local shops around town...

It was fun to see some of the local businesses.

The butcher...


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The gas station...



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Ths snack shop...


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The auto mechanic...


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The farmer...


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We visited a dragon fruit farm which was fascinating as we did not know how they grew.  I did a post on it back in february, click here to read more about this exotic fruit. 


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They grow on a cactus like treeD just read an article in Time Magazine that said this is going to be the next new "super fruit" in the United States.  Have you tasted one?


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Udon thani 8



We visited a few temples.  All were very quiet with only locals.


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Udon thani 26

 A favorite temple of the dogs!


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We took a one-hour bus ride to cross the border into Laos.  The bus was very local with only one other tourist.  D was taking a photo of me by the bus when this guy said he wanted to be in the photo.  Then.....



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The women who was selling food on the bus jumped down and said she wanted to be in the photo too!  Look closely in the windows where all the locals are watching.  Priceless!


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 Next Stop....Laos!


Bangkok Baby!


Bangkok Thailand

November 2012


Bangkok nov 29



We took a quick trip to Bangkok last week.  Since this is our 4th trip to the city this year - I really did not take that many photos.  And, of the pics I did take, most are of food.  What else is new?  So this is quick post.....and yes, D did buy the chicken from the stand above.



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Bangkok nov 5



Bangkok nov 4


 Fun at the temple:




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We always see a few half-naked men in Bangkok.

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  Bangkok nov 23



D with the young chef from Hong Kong Noodle in Chinatown - where we ate breakfast.  He was quite the comedian.  The food was very good - traditional noodle soup for breakfast.



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More food....


Food 1
These crabs look really good ...


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  Bangkok nov 17



How about a little sea slug?



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Street food at it's best!


The food



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The grill



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The kitchen: the chef is in red.



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The dining room.

We ordered green mango salad, two pork dishes, and a big bowl of rice -

Price $4.00 US.


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 I love this very modern grocery store among the street vendors.



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Bangkok nov 1



Tt bangkok




Bangkok nov 27



Bangkok nov 7


Goodbye Bangkok - See you again in 2013!


Back to Bangkok



D had another business trip to Bangkok so I tagged along to do a little shopping!  It was super hot - 101 on several days.




I love the way the women ride sidesaddle on the motorbike taxis.




The traffic in Bangkok is crazy!








The flower market runs all day and night.  D did not have meetings until noon so we hopped a taxi to Chinatown at 7:30, as we knew it would be bustling this time of the day.







Maybe a little too early for this little one....but the older sister was happy and full of energy.









Grandma picking the hot red peppers - she did give us a big smile, but the photo was blurry.









We found a cute little sidewalk cafe for breakfast.





Here is the chef....




How sweet - she made us heart shaped eggs!




D had his egg on pork and rice; mine was on beef and rice.  Both were yummy and cost us $3.00 for these two dishes and two Thai iced coffees.




Hot sauce?  Way too hot for me!  When there is a red pepper - I stay away!




Tuk Tuk










The Flower market and all the side streets around it were very busy at this time in the morning.  I think his mind is on something other than his work!















Jack fruit - described as tasting like a tart banana.  They can weigh up to 75 pounds!










D's post breakfast snack - fried pork!




He can't pass up a fried pork stand.  I have to admit, it was pretty tasty.






D had a custom suit and several dress shirts made at Pinky's.  This is the thing to do in Bangkok, as it is very inexpensive. We were amazed at how many measurements they take to make a suit.  They even took photos during the measurement phase. 


It is not easy as you pick out the fabrics from bolts and hope it looks good as a suit or a shirt.  We even got to select the lining for the suit.  You also have to select a ton of other details; width of the collars, how long of a jacket, buttons or cuffs? 




His suit and shirts all fit on the first go round - we were impressed.  The whole process was a fun experience! 





We like to have massages in Bangkok, as they are very cheap.  Everything in Bangkok is cheap!  We usually have them at the hotel but his time we tried the Asia Herb Association.  We had the traditional Thai massage for 60 minutes and the hot herbal ball for 30.  We had a "couples" room.  It was nice, but we prefer the hotel.






As always - our food photos!




This has become one of our favorite restaurants.  It is a nighttime street food market on Sukhumvit Soi 38.




We really like their duck rice.




And on our top 10 ten list of all time favorite foods - mango sticky rice....  and this place is the BEST!


This is another restaurant we have been to several times located on Sukhumvi Road and Soi 1.  The space is a restaurant at night and a car repair during the day




Love this guy - the ice cream man - via the motorcycle!



 Refreshing drinks



Fresh coconut




We were hungry for hamburgers so I did some internet research and found that one of the best burgers was at firehouse on Sukhumvit Soi 11.



We were not disappointed and will definitely go back.




How cute is this little guy at the weekend market.







I leave you with a sign from our taxi - the driver did not speak a word of English - but we all understood this message and had a good laugh together.   



one hour in bangkok


Little boy 1



On our way home from New Zealand, Sunday night we had an overnight stay in Bangkok.  we stayed in a sweet little hotel, Lilac Comfort Hotel, near the airport.  After breakfast, we took a one-hour walk around the neighborhood and visited a Wat (temple).  Bangkok is packed with color, culture, beautiful architecture and exotic sights.


This is why we LOVE Bangkok!



Bangkok one hour 19



Bangkok one hour 21


The Wat


Teemple 5



Temple 2



Bangkok one hour 13



Temple 1



  Temple 8



Temple 9



Temple 6



Wat 4



Temple 4



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The village on the water.


Bangkok one hour 1



Bangkok one hour 5



Bangkok one hour 4


Bangkok one hour 22



Bangkok one hour 18


We get to go back again the end of this month - Yeah!

Check back early next week for the blog on New Zealand.


Wat photos altered using  Kim Klassen's textures.





Bangkok - February 2012

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Our first trip of the year, and first with D's new job, was to Bangkok, Thailand.  We love this city - it is a crazy, hectic, hot, gritty, packed with food, and definitively has a soul! 

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This will probably be D's most visited city.  Below is the view from our hotel room at sunrise.  The city looks so peaceful and calm at this time of the morning.


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The Streets

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The streets are a world all unto themselves.  The traffic is chaotic and there are people living and selling things on the sidewalks.  The man on the bike is selling honey.




He carries his honeycombs with him on the back of his bike.  Aren't they beautiful and so healthy looking.


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This is a nighttime food street.  All the vendors pull out their carts and create full meals for under $5 USD.  Yes, we eat on the streets and NO we never get sick. 


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He is such a cutie.  Mom was so excited I was taking his photo.


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They found a way to run electricity out to the street so they could watch TV.


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Day with Fran

My new friend Helena in Singapore has a good friend Fran who lives in Bangkok.  So she hooked us up and Fran showed me around town - it was such a fun day!  We started by taking a local boat to the Wat Saket.   

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Wat Saket or the Golden Mount


Temple roof

I had not seen this Wat when we visited Bangkok a year ago.  King Rama I built it in the late-18th century.  It served as the capital's crematorium. During the following 100 years, the temple became the dumping ground for some 60,000 plague victims.


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The stunning Golden Mount was added to the compound in the early 19th century.  As you walk up to the top, you pass beautiful gardens and large prayer bells, which you are allowed to ring.


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They say if you ring the big gong three times it will bring you luck - so Fran and I both took a turn. 


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Next we visited a very unique little neighborhood where they still create the large alms that the Buddhist monks carry for their donations (food to live with).  In the past, the alms bowls were all handmade.  Today, most are mass-produced in the factories.  It is a dying art.


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There is a small street of families that still make them. I can’t image living on that street – first of all, the tourist that walk through, but also the ear-piercing noise of hammers on metal all day long.


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They are very friendly and will tell you all about the craft - hoping that you will buy an alm.  They were quite pricey but understandable so.


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Both men and women make the bowls, but it does require a great deal of strength. Each family makes a different part, and does a different job.  The community makes about 50 bowls a month.


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The next neighborhood we walked though is where they sell all types of statues for the temples.


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Including fake monks!  Fascinating.


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Wat Suthat


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Wat Suthat is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, established in the early years of the Chakri dynasty under King Rama I, but not completed till the rule of Rama III. The doors are said to have been carved by the king himself.  


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The large Buddha in the main hall dates to the 14th century.  It was brought to Bangkok by Rama I, by boat, down the Chao Phraya River.


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Inside the Temple are unique murals dating from the reign of Rama II.  Unfortunately they are rapidly deteriorating.  The best preserved ones are high up the walls.


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I thought this was funny; someone put glasses under the elephant's foot.


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The outside was equally as beautiful.  




It has an impressive gallery of gilt Buddhas.  I really enjoyed this Wat (temple).


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And the unusual red roof.  I could not find any information on why it was red.


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Here is a shot taken as we crossed the road - told you traffic was CRAZY!  I really had a fun day - Thanks Fran!!


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Other Wats scattered through the city.

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I thought this pig was going to talk to me!  They put all kinds of food out as offerings to the Gods.


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Late night snacks.  What are they?


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Here is a closer look....


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Yes - BUGS!  Such a variety and lots of people were buying them.  We talked to a few young girls buying them - they prefer the little larva ones.  Maybe one day we will taste them   :  )


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D's favorite - any kind of fried pork or chicken product.


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Pork with mint.


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Egg and crab (yummy!)


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Red cockles.


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Scallops with garlic (super yummy).


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Minced pork with cilantro.


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Shrimp with toasted garlic (super yummy!)


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Oh one of my favorites - coconut ice cream!  Not exactly sure what the purple rice was, but it was good!


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Cooking Class

I took a Thai cooking class and the first hour we visited a market to learn about all the ingredients we were going to use in the recipes.


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This young girl is testing the mercury in the lobster.   


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The cooking school, Bai Pai Thai Cooking School ( was about 35 minutes outside of the city. Their facilities were beautiful and spotlessly clean.   


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Here are the two instructors.  The gentleman is the chef, the woman helped translate - but I thought he spoke English well and didn't need her to translate.  


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I have never used a mortar and pestle before.  D loves to make pastes with them. 


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This was one of the dishes we made - golden pockets. 


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Here is the recipe for the golden bags (toong tong).  They were very easy and quite good.




Here is another dish we made - roasted duck in red sauce (gand pehd ped yang). It was also delicious.  


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As they say in Thailand - Sa Wat Dee - Good-bye!


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