About Us

We are a married couple who will be retiring in 2014 and moving to Thailand to experience life in another culture and experience adventures we could have only dreamed of a few years ago.

You are welcome to join us on our adventures through this blog. We hope you enjoy the trip as much as we do.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Traditional vs. Tourist Songkran

Most tourists in Thailand think of Songkran as a huge 3 or 4 day water fight. No holds barred. Take no prisoners. A great big, loud, obnoxious, drunken party. Similar to the Full Moon parties people think that it is okay to lose your inhibitions and do things that you would never do at any other time.

Acting like this tends to support the stereotype of falang being loud, obnoxious, and not respectful of Thai culture and customs.

Chris and Angela Scott made a nice post on their Tieland to Thailand blog about the expectations and realities of Songkran that tourists have and experience once they attend the Songkran Bash in Chiang Mai.

Traditional Songkran Celebrations are quite far removed from the current Tourist Event Songkran Water Fight.

We have been able to observe the more traditional celebrations and have avoided the Tourist event altogether. We find it hard to imagine how the tradition became so bastardized except to pander to the Tourist industry. The traditional celebration is a beautiful, peaceful, respectful, and culturally significant event.

The gentle splashing of water over the elders shoulders, back and hands is traditionally done with the utmost respect as a symbol of cleansing and renewal. Songkran is the beginning of the Thai New Year and it is traditionally a time for families to be together.

You won't find adults doing things in public that they would normally chastise and punish their children for if their children did the same back home. They wouldn't tolerate their 8 year old bringing a squirt gun into a restaurant and squirting their sibling with it at the table. They wouldn't tolerate their other child throwing a glass of water on the first child in retaliation either.  But here they think it is okay because they are having fun.

They wouldn't tolerate their teen son using a festival as an excuse to grope unsuspecting females, but it happens quite often at the tourist celebrations here using the traditional white powder as an excuse to “cop a feel”. Thai authorities have outlawed the use of the traditional powder in some areas during the Songkran celebrations in tourist areas this year because the groping is against their cultural mores. Enforcement may or may not happen. Probably not, but it shows that the Tourist Event is getting so out of hand that they felt the need to address the problem.

Throwing buckets of ice water onto passing motorcyclists in their home country would be punishable by law, but here it is all part of the fun even though people are seriously injured (and even some deaths) because of it.

A good description of the traditional celebration can be found here:

Sawasdee bpii mai. Sawasdee Songkran. Khap!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Songkran At Cicada Market 2015

Cicada Market in Hua Hin Thailand is celebrating Songkran with 5 days of music, theater, dancing, displays and of course the always present and delicious food and beautiful things to purchase from the many vendors.  Stop by for a visit from April 10 to April 14th each evening starting at 6pm.

I have always wanted to get the coconut out in one piece!  It took about 10 minutes and a big spoon.  I couldn't resist taking a picture!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Doorman

There is a Thai restaurant behind the condo we go to nearly every night.  Maria's is open from October to April when the tourists are here for the high season.

The outdoor tables are under cute bamboo huts on the property her family owns and all of the people working there are sons, daughters and brothers and sisters.   That is Pim taking Vince's order and her mother Maria on the left.

                                                        Her elderly father does all the gardening.

The restaurant is next to a small alley that is used by Thai families in the neighborhood and there are many scooters and other dogs along the road to the condo.

Maria has a dog.............  His name is Thing.   We call him "The Doorman"   

The first couple of times we went he just watched us come and go.   It didn't take long before he was greeting us at his boundary line, whining that we were not walking toward him fast enough and he would proceed to walk us to a table he picked out and lay down nearby until we were ready to leave.

When we were done he would walk us out as far as his area allowed while shooing other dogs away.   We notice he does not do this with other people.........probably because we talk to him, say hello and good bye and thank him for walking us part of the way home.

                                                              The food is consistently good.

                                                                        Cashew Chicken

                                                        Green salad with garlic french bread

                                                                           Pork Fried Rice

                                                    Hot, sweet and sour coconut chicken soup

                                                                Sweet and Sour Shrimp

                                                                   Penang Chicken Curry

                                                         Spicy Basil with Chicken and a fried egg

                                                                         Spicy Basil Pork

It is the only restaurant I have ever been to that gives you free fruit for desert!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Giant Giraffe And A Cup Of Tea

There is a place in Hua Hin, Thailand where you can easily imagine being in more than one place at a time.

You feel the sea breeze on your skin. Where are you?

Sitting in the open air lobby of a 1920's Victorian building while taking tea and listening to lovely harp music. Where are you?

Strolling immaculate gardens with topiary animals that reach 20 feet high. Where are you?

All of this and more can be experienced at the Sofitel Centara Grand Resort, formally known as “The Railway Hotel.” The Museum Coffee and Tea Corner is rated #1 on Trip Advisor restaurant reviews.

Choose from Afternoon Tea or High Tea, sit back and relax while Chiara Capobianco enchants you with her musical skills on her harp. It truly was the best place we could have chosen to celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary.

                                                          We lingered for 3 hours!

After we had our fill of all the tasty morsels we took pictures of some of the museum pieces.

This photograph was taken in 1984 during the filming of the movie “The Killing Fields” The hotel was used in the movie as being depicted in Phenom Penh, Cambodia

Topiaries appear to be wandering and flying around the grounds. Some of them were kind enough to stand still for a photo op.

     We needed a bit of exercise after our meal so we walked home via the beach.