Selfies with soldiers in Thailand

Hi Willy :)
Selfies? I heard this a while ago and was puzzled (okay I am not hip) and then last week the changes in Bangkok brought on a torrent of selfies - some in Bangkok.

I had seen all these people check how they looked in their telephones at coffee shops etc but I never realised they were actually taking photographs.

Then a read a site called 'mashable' published here...


Go to Instagram -  and search for these obscure


Then Thai Visa made a posting of selfies with soldiers.

From here on in I know that the world (as seen through some social media) is strange but the sellotape is seriously strange!

Reading books and Technology

Followers of my blog and facebook would have learnt that I cancelled my paper subscription to magazines and switched over to iPad versions which was very quickly a mistake.

Do you ever drop a magazine?
Do you ever leave a magazine somewhere?
Do you ever put a cup of coffee on a magazine?
Does you magazine ever run out of batteries?

The list is endless BUT what really makes it real is that our daughter Jemma loves me to read her a real book. This very bad photograph is of one of our favourite books by Shel Silverstein - Where the Sidewalk Ends.

#phuketstagram, #InstaMeetHKT2014, #wwim9, Phuket May 17th

InstaMeet was on Saturday May 17th, we met at Baan Chinpracha in Phuket Old Town.

Baan Chinpracha is a special building in Phuket  and is found adjacent to the Blue Elephant. The building is special and it still has the family of the first Chinese 'ancestors' of Phuket Town living upstairs - we are extremely lucky to have the building open to us whilst the owners still live upstairs.

BUT all that is for another day - we all met together and were given a guided tour of the building. People who live in Phuket met (well about 10 pax) - "Hi Jamie" - and we a photograph was taken of us together - to which I have no access but will be posted on: 



are the 2 codes that are to be used with Instagram

Thank you to all of you who turned up.

an extra note (read Jamie's piece) after reading that the party continued 
(after I had to go to the garage)


Wat Rong Khun (วัดร่องขุ่น) - Chiang Rai

Wat Rong Khun was a major attraction for me when we visited Chiang Rai last year.

Beautiful, stunning and inspiring.

With the recent earthquakes I do not know whether it will ever attain the beauty of what it was when we were there - on reflection I did not think of it as a fragile building.

Wat Rong Khun (Thaiวัดร่องขุ่น), more well-known among foreigners as the White Temple, is a contemporary unconventional Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai ProvinceThailand. It was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat in 1997.[1]
On 5 May 2014 at 18:08 (local time), the temple was heavily damaged by the earthquake in Mae Lao that struck the province.[2] It was closed indefinitely.[3] Chalermchai said on 6 May that he would demolish the whole temple and would not rebuild it.[4]
On May 7 morning after an engineering expert team inspected and confirmed that all building structures in the temple were unharmed by the quake, Chalermchai announced that he would rebuild the temple back to its original beauty in two years and promised to devote his life for the work. He also announced that the temple area will be open to visitors on May 8 afternoon. The gallery building will be open in a few days. But for some buildings, visitors will be allowed only to take pictures from outside.[5][6]
The pictures that I have chosen to share with you are all of the outside of the building - it is certainly still worth visiting.

The hanging heads.

Aliens escapees.

This is the toilets.

It has been described a number of different ways - but creepy peculiar white temple was quite apt and has some fabulous photographs.

If you do visit make a donation so that Thailand are able to preserve this fascinating building.

A trip to Koh Yao

We left in the afternoon to catch the ferry from the North of the island - Bang Rong Pier. Looking at the timetable there seems to be a speedboat or a Long tail to the - starting at about 7:30 in the morning and the last one back is about 16:30.

The bicycle was the biggest piece of luggage that we had and Jemma was more than happy with the wind and the noise. The trip was about 45 minutes and we first stopped at Koh Yai Ya at Klong Ho Pier.

Then we sped to Koh Yao Noi where we left the boat and looked for some transport. We turned on our phones and looked for a place to say - HotelsByMe is a popular one because it located us first in relation to the island. 

We took the taxi to Pasai Beach where we started to look for somewhere to stay - I am happy that the 'exclusive' hotel was full and the driver took us to Koh Yao Beach Restaurant Bungalow. Think that it was 1,400 Baht but Jemma fell in love with the mosquito netting over the bed and so it was set.

We returned to our spot last year - Villaguna Restaurant - for lunch / dinner - a lovely spot but not as busy and the food was not as good as previously. After lunch / dinner we travelled up the island as far as Six Senses but then the hill seemed to be too steep...

Getting up early I went onto the beach to take some photographs of the sunrise... Then we all got up to find breakfast, this was not an easy exercise - Jemma was not taken with the roadside cafe and we followed the road until we reached Koh Yao Island Resort for breakfast - a fabulous breakfast and location.

Jemma was excited that she could have bacon for breakfast and then there was the Monitor Lizard that she found in the gardens.....

We left and cycled back to Pasai beach where Jemma was more than excited because there were local children playing in the water - this was great for her.

Then we met a local fisherman who was using his drag net for crabs - Jemma loved watching him pick them off the nets - even asking him whether she could help pull in the nets.

We showered and changed and then we made our way to Ko Yao Bay Pavilion - this was certainly an exclusive hideaway - we got lost three times!!!! We stayed at the Champa Villa with a private pool - luxury was certainly the dice we had thrown here.

We had dinner here and the Banana Bud Salad was immaculate - thank you.

Returning to our villa we relaxed in our hammocks but did not last long because it was an early start to the Island trip the next morning.

The islands trip was certainly something which you must do and I would agree with all of the reviews that you MUST leave early to avoid the 'rest of the tourists'.

The first island which we arrived at had a group of tourists who had obviously been there all night.

We walked along the beach and met another fisherman with his drag net. It was at this point that there were a number of other fishing boats arrive with a couple of speed boats - it was time to leave.

The next island was Lao Landing island (เกาะเหลาลาดง) - it was quiet still - our fisherman was quite happy keeping one step in front of the others...

The next stop was mind blowing - in fact i think that i have visited this location previously with John Gray Sea Canoe - Koh Hong (เกาะหอง).  

Because it was high tide we were able to enter into the Hong on a long tailed boat - or a canoe - beautiful.

Jemma and the fisherman then fished for cockles in the mud....

The last stop was beautiful and the water was clear BUT there were a lot of tourists - Than Bok Khorani National Park. The park actually is a Marine Park so is actually a number of islands so locating where we actually were was not easy.

Beautiful - again - definitely worth getting up early :)

We were taken back directly to Ko Yao Bay Pavilion so we chose to immediately go for a bicycle ride.

 We found an ice cream and bakery with air-conditioning - Koh Yao Bakery & Ice Cream.

Cycling around some of the island we crossed a bridge which had been painted purple and was donated to the local people by HRH. A wonderful bicycle ride and we returned.

Suddenly we realised we were late - the penultimate speed boat was at 16:00 and we might not make it - we loaded the bicycles onto a motorbike 'carry all' and we sped BUT missed it. 

We sat at the jetty hoping that the last one was running and it was :)

We left Koh Yao smiling and hoping to return.

View Trip to Koh Yao Noi in a larger map

Best Management reply 2 Tripadvisor ever!

You love and hate Tripadvisor but it exists so use it - the industry does not always embrace it because of opinions so what did this man (Olivier) do at Koh Yao Bay Pavillions?


Don't waste your money.... (click here)

- the reply is below

Honestly, reading your comment, I have the feeling that things must always come to you, and never the other way around… maybe you will understand one day that this does not work out with everybody. There is this song from a quite famous British band that says money can't buy me love, and indeed, many things come for free when simply asked for.

- there is a lot more and we may take a trip next week?

Road blocked, monkeys, Nai Yang, Devil Caves, Loyung Temple and 360

The trip came to an abrupt stop when the road we were driving down (all be it on the wrong side of the road) and found that we drove into a blockade

This was over the issue of two juveniles raping a pregnant girl, the boys being too young to be prosecuted, the re-enactment not taking place and the story of the wrongly accused being beaten up by the  police.

We chose to wait a little and visited Bang Rong Pier (we had left from here to go to Koh Yao Noi

where we went for a walk in the mangroves and were chased by the wild monkeys.

We returned to the road and it was still blocked so we chose to stay in Naiyang Seaview place because it was close to where we were already - we were determined to leave the next morning early!

Dinner was at Blue Sushi - a restaurant serving Japanese which was near the airport - review to follow here.

The following morning we were off on our trip - stopping first on Nai Yang beach to see the best manicured beach in Phuket! 

Over the Sarasin bridge and then to the Dairyhut Farm - we fed the animals and then it was time for lunch - or breakfast?

In fact I knew very little - my friend Jamie has done a very good overview of Phang Nga Province.

Then we visited Bor Thor and we chose to visit the Devils Caves, cave paintings and much more - but there does not seem to be a lot published on the Internet about this attraction? Here's foursquareBut I will do some research - watch this blog...

On the way home we stopped at Loyung Temple - i always like to visit Buddhist Temples.

On the way home we stopped at 360 viewpoint for dinner - looks good and there seems to be much more there now so 360 viewpoint needs to be visited again - watch this blog.

A great day and a half...