Monday, 28 December 2015


We visited a pagoda that we hadn't seen before (thanks Danny).  It's very near the Laem Sor Pagoda which we've visited a few times.  

Rattanakosin Chedi (Pagoda) is up a high hill so has beautiful views of the sea and the mountains and fields.  We rode our bikes but had to leave them at the bottom of a steep hill and walk up.

I have only taken photos with the camera on my phone so far, but plan to return to this temple to take more photos.  I'll also bring my 'real' camera when we go to our favourite sunset beach restaurant. 

Reclining Buddha statues are common

Steep hill

View from the top

Friday, 25 December 2015

Christmas in Thailand and a geography lesson


Last winter we found it very strange to see Christmas trees, decorations, and hear non-religious xmas songs playing in the malls.  But we now realize it's because there are so many christians who holiday here or have moved here permanently.  There are also Thais who are christian even though 95% are Buddhist.

I attended catholic mass with Danny this morning and it had to be moved to the school's big open air hall since so many more come on Christmas day.  It was standing room only.  Food was brought to be shared afterward as well.  The priest was Thai and his sermon was interesting.

Our community

In the small community of bungalows (about 20) where we rent a house, several have lived here permanently for years (10 or more).  Many are like us and come for the winter.  The rest come for a month or less. 


Every kind of food can be had here.  Eating out can be very cheap or very expensive.  Traditional Thai food at restaurants run by a family is probably the cheapest, and one of the most delicious.  Lots of vegetables and herbs and spices.  Lots of fresh fish.  Many menus have 200-300 items on them.  

You can also go to an Aussie pub and get burgers, or to pizza restaurants, or to McDonalds although the menu has very different items, one of which is a salmon burger.  In the Tesco Lotus mall where we shop there is a KFC, Dunkin Donuts and Dairy Queen.  There are French, Irish, Swedish, German and just about any other type of restaurant.

But most of the time we eat Thai food.  Sometimes I want European/American, but the majority of what we eat is Thai. 


Links to info on Samui (Koh means island):

Ang thong National Marine park tour

A few more pics....temples

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Bicycles & a temple

We bought a couple of cheap bikes at a mall.  Only 26" so it's a struggle for both of us as they aren't high enough, but they'll do.  Makes me miss my electric bike!  

Near our house is a place called Muslim Village.  We cycle through it as a shortcut to a road which is much quieter than the main road we take for shopping, etc.  It's only 10km/6 mi to one of our favourite seaside lunch spots, and only about 7km to another favourite place - Sweet Sisters.

Sweet Sisters smoothies

Lai Tai - a fave restaurant

On our ride this morning, we took a short detour to one of the Buddhist temples we hadn't yet visited - Wat Samret.


We've been out in our sturdy inflatable tandem kayak twice.  The paddles are kept at our house but the kayak it too heavy to carry back and forth, so we keep it at the beach.  Just hope it doesn't disappear one night.

Across the bay is a bar referred to as Bob Marley's.  Stopped for beer before paddling back.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Thailand for the winter

Danny and I returned to the same small housing community where we resided last winter for two months.  Different house - a wee bit bigger and nicer - but basically the same layout.  A one bedroom, living room, full kitchen, bath, and two porches.  We are across the road from a beach.

The rainy season normally ends in December, but we've been told November has had an unusually large amount of rain.  December seems to be the same so far.  We have had some sunshine but lots of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

We brought a sturdy inflatable tandem kayak with us, but won't use it until we are sure that a thunderstorm won't pop up while we are in the sea.

A few facts:

  • We have to drink bottled water as tap water is not safe to drink
  • Thailand is about 99% Buddhist
  • Monks are shown great respect
  • It is taboo for Thais to show anger in public
  • On the island we are on - Samui - the temps are normally around 30C/86F.
  • Food at restaurants that specialise in traditional Thai or Chinese foods is the best....
  • Prices at these restaurants can be 80-150 baht for the main course - $2/£1.50 - $4/£2.70

Our complex has a lovely pool and due to the heat, the water is warm and pleasant, same for the sea which is the Gulf of Thailand.  Sea breezes are common and welcome.

More later......

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Tour Gettysburg - New England - Niagara Falls

An 11 day tour with Danny and sister (and brother for 5 of the days)......

More photos of trip

Gettysburg - Sept 8, 9, 10

The historic bed and breakfast where we spent 3 nights was beautiful, charming, lovely, and very comfortable. We had a two bedroom apartment with living room and kitchen, all decorated with period furnishings. Gourmet breakfasts were included and homemade cookies in the afternoon.

Brafferton Inn

Our accommodation

The first day the temp hit 94F and it was sunny. The driving tour of this massive battleground was sobering with all the deaths and injuries which took place there.  At the same time, the countryside is simply beautiful. On the second day it rained off an on and the temp dropped so we visited the museum and cyclorama and the Eisenhower farm.
Gettysburg National Military Park

A section of the 360 degree cyclorama oil painting

Newport Sept 11 - 17

Brother lives here so he was our excellent tour guide for the area.  It was the first trip to Newport for all 3 of us. I LOVE the old houses here, block after block of beautiful, well-maintained homes, some dating from the 1600's but most seemed to be 1700s and 1800s.

During our stay the weather varied from mid 60's and rainy on one day to 70's and 80's and sunny most of the time.

Of the many mansions and historic houses in Newport, we visited those below as there was no time for all of them:

The Breakers - a Vanderbilt home (this one was my favourite)

Marble House - another Vanderbilt home

Tea house on the property overlooking the ocean

The Elms - a Berwind home


Hunter House

Other adventures:

Bird's Eye View helicopter tour!  OMG!  What an awesome view!

Fort Adams   Brother loves this fort and knows all the history of it and he also enjoys working there part-time.

Mystic Seaport CT  What a lovely day!  Weather was perfect, the village, boats and ships, the interesting displays and videos, lobster dinner and local ales made it a delightful day out!

John Adams homes Quincy, Mass   I vaguely remember seeing these as a child and wanted to return. We had planned to visit Boston and do the freedom tour and visit other historic sites but we all decided the long drive was more than we wanted to do.  So we spent additional time in Newport. We took a short detour through Plymouth and saw the underwhelming Plymouth Rock and spotted the Mayflower but since it was a rainy day didn't get to board it.

The historic home of 2 of my siblings and I from about 1957/58 to 1960 - Rockland, MA

A short boat trip around the bay in Newport

Random homes around Newport

Sept 17 - Niagara Falls.  We wanted a different route home so detoured through Niagara in Canada and spent one night there.