Cole’s Notes

March 3 to May 8, 2017

On Facebook, you may have been exposed to our constant updates and many temple and/or Pagoda photos. For those not on Facebook or who have blocked us after being fed up with the aforementioned pagodas… here is the Cole’s notes version of our first couple of months:

Photo Album: Koh Lipe – March 2017

This time we stayed at The Reef instead of our usual Andaman Resort, which was taken over by new owners. We really enjoyed our accommodation and met some great people. We highly recommend The Reef, the staff was super nice, beds comfortable and breakfast was good. The orange tabby cat that I spent a lot of time with has no bearing on my opinion.

We connected with old friends, made new ones, learned how to play “shithead”, developed a taste for unsweetened chai minao, volunteered at a vet clinic, had copious amounts of BBQ squid, saw awesome lightning storms and spent time on the beach.

Couple of Highlights:

Paul finally took a diving class and passed his PADI open water test. The instructor told Paul it was like he was diving for years and he was one of the easiest people he had ever taught. My thought on that was that he should be happy I didn’t take mine. Paul was able to get in a few dives and meet some nice people…even though they are “divers”.

We met Chip, his wife and daughter. Chip invited us to watch sunset at his place… which is a gorgeous house with a private beach! Pizza, beer, and a fire on a private beach watching a beautiful sunset with friends… one of my top moments. We managed to get a couple of group dinners in with fresh caught fish, BBQ chicken and all the sides. We had a special time with many people, you know you are.

Photo Album: Satun to Bangkok, March 31 – April 4, 2017

Our friend Pn (Nut) invited us to come and spend some time at her home on the mainland. She picked us up from the ferry, iced coffee in hand and brought us to a beautiful beach area to relax and visit. Turns out our timing coincided with a family ceremony to honour her great, great grandfather. Many of her Aunts and Uncles were in town so we were invited to attend the festivities. It started with a massive family BBQ and everyone had a duty. I helped with the skewers and Paul tried to BBQ, We were quickly given guest status. I also received a first hand lesson on making Som Tam (papaya salad)… no more needs to be said on that. The meal was great and we were spoiled rotten.

The next day we drove out to the grave site and participated​ in the ceremony. From laying out the food, decorating the site, burning the paper clothes, money and offerings, it was something very special. Off to a nice local park are for a family picnic where unfortunately it poured so we had a quick departure.

We had a drive to the Malaysia border with Pn and her friend Napat. We spent a day with Pn taking us to the local beaches, one with a long boardwalk and then where we had a fantastic meal, the freshest pomelo ever and checked out a jellyfish harvesting operation.

Finally, it was on to Hat Yai with the family to visit a sick uncle, a family supper and finally get dropped off for the night train to Bangkok. Pn was heading to BKK with her Auntie and had arranged for us to get on the same train. I hadn’t been on a train before so I was very much looking forward to it. It was awesome! I will state that top bunks aren’t my favorite but we were comfortable and enjoyed it.

Bangkok, April 5 – 8, 2017

This was quick. We were lucky to meet up with God and Yves who were heading for a wedding. Had a nice evening visiting. Paul wasn’t feeling well, so we didn’t do much. Didn't have time for any shopping. Our hotel wasn’t well placed so we happily moved on. I will admit excitement thinking we had a massage place at the end of the street… not as excited when I noticed all customers were male. Flew to Chiang Mai.

Photo Album: Chiang Mai, April 8 – May 8, 2017

Had rented an Airbnb place for a month which was okay. Decent place, good pool and easy to get places. The highlights:

Songkran – A 3 day festival of water fights, being drenched and having a blast. Paul was a hero for figuring out how to open the Songthaew windows from the outside, no one was safe.

Small House Kafe – great place and nice people. Dao and Chris were great and there was such a cool mix of people, each time we went there it was a good night.

Markets - We hit up Warrorot market, Sunday night walking market and ate Khao Soi almost every day from a stall across the street from our condo, 35b/$1… delicious.

Cat Cafe – cats and coffee.. says it all really.

Bird!

Doi Inthanon was great. Liked the waterfalls and the garden project. We were very happy at the top (2565m). It was "only" +18C…everyone else had jackets on. We were loving the shorts and t-shirts. It was a nice day and we were glad we went.

We were lucky to spend an evening with God, he was in town visiting family. We got to meet his sister and nephew. It was nice despite her being a Man U supporter and me not being able to take a video. So that was it in a nutshell. Our next adventure is a bus ride to Make Sot and then we are in Myanmar.