A Travellerspoint blog

Thailand

Worthy Causes - first donation

sunny 33 °C

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Thanks to Joyce and Sondra, caring friends contributed money to enable us to donate to local causes.
Ninety abused, neglected and retired elephants from throughout Thailand are treated lovingly in the Ayutthaya elephant kraal. Until 1906 this facility was used to corral wild elephants so that the king could select suitable ones for war. Today elephants from 5 months to 86 years live here peacefully. This elephant home is funded by donations and staffed by volunteers. For more information and great elephant pictures visit www.elephantstay.com

There is no doubt that we will have many more opportunities to donate to local causes, so if you wist to add to the fund please email us.

Posted by Hawkson 17:05 Archived in Thailand Tagged postcards Comments (3)

Loi Krathong-Night of the full moon

sunny 33 °C

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Thanksgiving, Guy Fawkes and Dawali all roll into Loi Krathong. Feasting, fireworks, tacky decorations and exhuberant celebrations mark the end of the rainy season (we hope). Millions of decorated banana-leaf lotus flowers, with candles, incense and prayers (krathongs) are floated on the rivers throughout Thailand. We were there surrounded by throngs of joyous Thais.

Ayutthaya, the 14th century capital has charmed us with its ancient ruins and friendly tuk-tuk drivers.

Posted by Hawkson 00:17 Archived in Thailand Tagged postcards Comments (4)

Thailand-worlds collide

sunny 31 °C

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After two weeks in Thailand it has become apparent that two worlds have collided and we, being mere Farangs, (foreigners), don't always know which world we are in. For instance: A Starbucks' coffee costs 8 times as much as the full fare on the riverboat from one end of Bangkok to the other. And, Gabriolans take note as you board the BC Ferry, the one hour ride costs just 5 cents. (It was five and a third cents until the fuel surcharge was removed last week.)
We went to Hua Hin by train, (250 Kms,) and it costs $15 for the four and a half hour journey - So how much do you think it cost us to return to Bangkok a week later?
If you can answer this question correctly we will buy you a Starbucks' coffee in Bangkok, (airfare not included.)

This is truly two worlds: Opulent shopping malls filled with the World's most exclusive stores are surrounded by shanty towns where a Dollar Store would seem an extravagance; corrugated iron shacks sprout giant satellite dishes; wizened Thai peasants have cellphones that play "Jingle Bells"; and working elephants share the road with motorbikes and SUV's

Signs outside restaurants read: "Beware of Fake Monks" and "Beware of Wily Strangers."
Some hotels should have signs saying, "Beware of hotels offering Serene Corners."

Beware of smiling Thais - especially when you are attempting to use a pedestrian crossing.

Posted by Hawkson 06:58 Archived in Thailand Tagged postcards Comments (1)

Paradise lost - almost

semi-overcast 29 °C

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Three days of monsoon thunderstorms have churned the ocean and left us playing cards, reading, and watching American history in the making. We have also had time to get to know the locals - surely the friendliest people on earth, or do they feel sorry for us, (because of the constant rain).
Where are the tourists?
We are almost alone at our beautiful resort - just a couple of dozen smiling Thai waitresses at our service - tables and staff for fifty, but no one came for dinner last night and only four for breakfast this morning!
Is it the gloomy weather? the gloomy economy? or, the gloomy political scene?
Who knows - but Mr. Smith and his family manage to smile whatever.

Posted by Hawkson 22:23 Archived in Thailand Tagged postcards Comments (1)

Paradise Found

sunny 30 °C

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Deserted white sand beaches ringed with coconut palms: jungle covered islands alive with monkeys and brilliantly plumed birds; balmy breezes and frangipane scented air. Order a coconut drink and the waiter races up the nearest tree with a machete. Want a banana? Stretch out a hand. Where are we? Not Ayutthaya as planned. Torrential rains in the north forced us south to Phu Noi (Dolphin ) Bay.
With plenty of idyllic beachfront properties for sale; we may never leave!

Posted by Hawkson 19:39 Archived in Thailand Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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