About Us

We are a married couple who retired and moved to Thailand in 2014. You are welcome to join us and our travel monkeys Sun Wukong and Malcolm Jr. on our adventures! We hope you enjoy the trip as much as we do.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Our Homework

We both have our "Homework" to do before we visit Thailand for our vacation and scouting trip in December.  Vince has been researching requirements like visa, money, bank accounts, our current state of finances and exactly how much to be saving each month and he is amazing at it and really likes it.  

I have been researching where to stay for our 3 weeks in Chiang Mai....sounds like an easy job, but there are hundreds of options out there and to make it fit into the budget is just the beginning.  We will not be renting a car, motorcycle or scooter because we have not grown up where "Lines, stop lights and rules are merely suggestions" .  Public transportation is very inexpensive and easily available.  Our plan is to walk as much as possible in the immediate area we are staying.

There are Backpacker Hostels from $10 a night clear up to places for thousands of dollar a night.  I used tripadvisor.com, agoda.com, and booking.com  and narrowed our choices down to 20.  As we put in our dates all we were getting was "Unavailable".  Our list was becoming shorter by the second.  

What we decided on was a guesthouse, which is what they call boutique hotels and usually have less than 10 rooms.  Some have a cafe or restaurant on site while others will provide juice, fruit, coffee and toast in the morning.
Rachamankha Flora House is on a quiet street with a cafe next door and walking distance to markets, shops, parks, and Wats (Buddhist Temples).  It is family owned, and all the reviews on Trip Advisor are extremely positive and happy with their experience.  They go out of their way to help you with anything you need and are very quick to chat about their city......which is exactly what we want.  

Staying with them for 20 days will give us invaluable information and when we move we plan on staying there for a couple weeks while we find a condo to rent.  Oh......we are only paying $35 a night and it is lovely enough to be equivalent to $150 per night in a comparable size city in the US.
It will be much hotter than what we are used to so we are prepared with these umbrellas.   http://www.uv-blocker.com/

We also heard a tip to stay cool just find the nearest 7-11 and pick up an ice cold disposable wet cloth they sell at all their stores.   Of course plenty of water, fresh squeezed ice cold juices, smoothies and iced coffee!  Going out in the early morning and late in the evening when the locals do is a form of surviving the heat. 

Vince picked up the following: Tilley hat at http://www.tilley.com/

I guess it is my turn to go shopping!  Whoopee!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Asian Customer Service and Chiang Mai Booked

I last mentioned that we had sent emails to a half dozen places we are thinking of possibly staying when we are in Chiang Mai.  Being a westerner, and being used to customer service in America, I hoped that we would hear back from a few of the places that we emailed within a week.  Well, in actuality, all of them replied to us within 12 hours of our emailing them.  Most of that time was during the night due to the time zone difference between Thailand and the left coast of the US.

After pouring over their emails and discussing between us where we felt was the best place for us to stay to meet the expectations of our needs for the trip we decided that the Rachamankha Flora House inside the moat would be our ideal place.  So, we booked our 20 night stay there and that makes all of our housing locations completed for the visit.

Here is a photo from their website of the Floral House:

rachamankha floral house

Now we’ll continue to monitor airline flights for the trip and try and get the best price available for them.

Wow, Christmas at the beach and New Year’s in Chiang Mai!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Moving Forward - Planning The Upcoming Trip

Things keep moving forward for us toward retirement in Thailand.  We are going to make a scouting trip at the end of this year to check out places to live.  Lisa and Steve want to take a vacation to Thailand during the time we are there and they finally gave us the dates they can go.

We will be meeting them for 8 days at Ruen Kanok Thaihouse Resort in Khao Takiab.  Lisa told us the duplex villa there would be her first choice to stay.  Khao Takiab is one of the beach areas that we had wanted to check out to stay for 3 months every year so we booked the 8 days at the resort.  It was a splurge but we will be splitting the cost with them for the villa.  It will give them a nice place to vacation for a week in the heat during the Japanese winter cold.  The same goes for us; a nice change from the cold of December in Oregon.


Photo below is from their website:


And a photo of the beach:

khao takiab beach
Now we are researching places to stay for 3 weeks after the beach in Chiang Mai.  We have sent some emails to a half dozen places we are interested in staying and will hopefully book someplace this coming week.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Dalai Lama To Visit Eugene - And We Got Tickets


We were very lucky today in that we were able to get two tickets to see the Dalai Lama when he visits the University of Oregon.  There were a limited amount of seats set aside for faculty and staff on a pre-sale and became available at 10 am today online.  By 10:10 they were all sold.  We were one of the lucky ones to get them.

The seats we were assigned are in the second row in what is called the lower bowl of Matt Knight Arena on campus.  These are very good seats and we should have a great view of the stage.  If cameras are allowed you can bet we’ll get some good photos to share.

Here is a link to the article about his visit.

We are looking forward to hearing him speak.