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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Life Is A Cabaret Old Chum – Come To The Cabaret

Our blog started out as a record of the steps, trials, and tribulations that we faced in being able to retire in Thailand. Now that we made it the blog is changing. There will be more posts about retirement life in Thailand and fewer of the nuts and bolts that are necessary to get here and stay here.

This post is an example of that. We went with our good friend, Sam to the ChiangMai Cabaret show last night to celebrate my upcoming birthday. The show is free but they appreciate it (expected) that you will buy at least a drink each. Even better if you buy two each.

Beer sells for 110 baht until Happy Hour about 2/3 of the way through the show and Cocktails sell for 210 baht each. The prices are high comparative to normal but we just looked at it as the entry fee to the show, in which case we easily got our moneys worth.

The ChiangMai Cabaret Show features ladyboys. Folks in the West are not as open to this lifestyle as the Thai's are. In Thailand, Ladyboys are mostly accepted as members of the Third Gender. There are all sorts of stories about Westerners not realizing that the “girl” they are hitting on really isn't a girl. Imagine their surprise.

From Wikipedia:


"Also commonly referred to as a third sex are the kathoeys (or "ladyboys") of Thailand.  They are people whose assigned sex was male who identify and live as female, a significant number of Thais perceive kathoeys as belonging to a third gender, including many kathoeys themselves, others see them as second category women.  Although they are born genetically as male, kathoeys claim to possess a female heart which is the gender they truly are. Males undergoing sex-change operations are not uncommon occurrences but they are still regarded as men on their identification documents. Despite this, the Thai society remains one of the world's most tolerant attitude towards kathoeys or the third gender.

In 2004, the Chiang Mai Technology School allocated a separate restroom for kathoeys, with an intertwined male and female symbol on the door. The 15 kathoey students are required to wear male clothing at school but are allowed to sport feminine hairdos. The restroom features four stalls, but no urinals.

Kathoeys in the work force

Although Kathoeys are still not fully respected, they are gradually gaining acceptance and have made themselves a very distinct part of the Thai society. This is especially true in the entertainment, business, and fashion industries in Thailand, where the Kathoeys play significant roles in leadership and management positions. In addition, Kathoeys or second-category-women are very sought after when businesses are hiring salespeople. In many job posts, it is common to see companies state that second-category-women are preferred as their sales force because they are generally seen as more charismatic and expressive individuals."

If you have read this far you are probably waiting for the photos and the video.
So, May I Present the Ladyboys of the Chiang Mai Cabaret.

Above photo is during her performance

This photo is at the end of her performance

As the show ended our friend Sam told Miss Chiangmai Cabaret that we were celebrating my birthday.  Then I became part of the show as the cast wished me a Happy Birthday and had a little fun with the whole birthday thing.

Now for the video.  Lin had fun putting it together so we hope you enjoy it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Oda Fire Festival......Where they light the mountain on fire!

We arrived about two hours before dark to find a good spot to sit. It was lovely right next to the river looking out across huge rice fields waving in the breeze.

Of course we had to wander around taking pictures. 

There was a large stage in the rice field with several musicians performing throughout the evening. It didn't matter where you sat you could hear the music playing.

I looked up to see several people waiving at us from across the road. I waved back and raised my camera to take a close up. I laughed and gave them the thumbs up! It was really nice!

About an hour before dusk people started showing up in the fields and on the hillside to light the thousands of oil lamps.

We spread out our picnic dinner and opened our alcohol in a can called Chuhai which comes in Peach, Cherry, Apple and Watermelon. They taste like a fizzy fruit soda with a kick!

Steve and Lisa made this delicious picnic the night before.

Vince was fanning me because it was HOT!   What a sweetheart!

We stopped to watch these performers dancing in the street.

Thousands of people show up to this festival. It is quite an event with music, food, fireworks and families lounging on their tarps chatting, eating and drinking.

The fireworks were just as spectacular as the ones in Ikazaki, but because of the lack of wind the smoke hung in the air so thick at one point we couldn't see them except lighting up behind the smoke cloud. Vince opted not to take pictures and laid his head on my lap while we watched the fireworks. There were a couple that exploded too low and shot into the woods behind the field. So they really did light the mountain on fire! It was quickly extinguished and the fireworks continued. These shots are from my little camera, not nearly as good as Vince's!

We had such a wonderful time experiencing this traditional festival. The symbols on the mountain mean “God Of The Mountain” They added Mt. Fuji and the Shinkansen this year!