Friday, April 29, 2011

the 'mastah' of pastah at work

while visiting friends in Canberra, we were treated royally ....the homemade pasta was to die for.....of course the 20 year old Penfold's was icing on the cake....thank you John & Masumi!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Toketie is back in the water and we are happy to feel the floor moving under us again!  We are still at the dock but keeping busy getting sails back on and a million other chores.....not the least of which is charts for what we think might be our next adventure.....stay tuned!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

home again home again

well....back in Bundaberg....Bagarra sitting the water dragons...after a wonderful visit with John & Masumi in Canberra.....but we must confess that it feels nice not to have to pack our bags again for another expedition to bus/train/plane for figuring out where we go from here.....that seems to still be a mystery......

Saturday, April 16, 2011


In the Buddhist calendar, we are beginning the year of the rabbit...2555!  On April 14, as we were driving back to Thailand from Cambodia, the festivals were beginning.  Also known as the 'water festival', Sangkran is one of the biggest celebrations in Thailand.  The throwing of water on each other signifies cleansing for the new year.  In Bangkok, areas of the city were packed with soaking wet people as the celebrations took place.  They can last from 3 days up to a week and everyone has a lot of fun.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

eating and sleeping in Thailand

We are enjoying the food in Thailand!  On the streets, you can still eat for a dollar or two, not including your beer which can run another dollar.  It can be very spicy, as in the Tom Yam soups or quite bland as the many variations of deep fried pork, chicken, beef or prawns!  Noodles or rice are the staples.  The next step up from eating from the countless carts on every street and alley is the open air food courts or very informal restaurants....only slightly more expensive but you get a plastic table and chair to eat it on.  Then come the mid-range restaurants with proper seating, and likely fans or air conditioning, where you can have a meal for two for under $10, again adding a couple of dollars more if you drink beer with it.  The local beers, Singha from Singapore, Chang from Thailand and Tiger from Malaysia are very popular and the big bottles (equivalent to about two cans) will cost anywhere from 60B to 120B and there are about 30B in a Cdn dollar.  Wine is available but imported and expensive.  Phad Thai, of course, is everywhere and varies considerably in quality.  It is not hard to find Western food if you get a and burger joints abound. 

We have been fairly lucky with hotels although a couple were not up to standard and we moved pretty quickly.  The best way to book them seems to be online where the prices are often cheaper than showing up at the front counter.  The risk is that the pictures do not often reflect the reality.  You can find a room for 200-300B but on viewing them we never found one we could stay in.  Our tastes seem to average about 1500B or $50/night and for that we have been staying in very nice clean safe places usually with a swimming pool.  It's way over our budget but that went out the window long ago!  This is the Mei Zhou Hotel in Phuket, one of our favourites!

Friday, April 08, 2011

elephant & mahout

we did the 'support the elephant' thing and rode this old girl around the trail with the mahout.....sad really as they are chained by the leg the rest of the time and it seems only the 'big boss' really profits from it....but they are fed and working and breeding......apparently some of the other elephant riding tours are more conscientious.....

quiet time on the beach

....on Ko Lanta.....


The Temples or Wats are everywhere and very much a part of the culture.

local fishing boat

This is one of many local fishing boats we saw on the island of Ko Lanta.....usually propelled by a big diesel engine on a long shaft that sat on the stern...

The Chinese Dragon!

Great statue we walk past every Phuket!

Spirit House

In Thailand every property, every Buddhist one anyway, has one of these at the corner of the lot or on larger building maybe on the roof.  It is well maintained and offerings are made daily.  The idea is to placate the spirits of anyone who formerly lived or died on the give them a place to reside.

Humpback cow

One of the earliest domesticated animals...about 7,000 years ago in the Indus Valley of present day India.....along with goats, sheep, dogs, pigs, chickens.....from 'Guns, Germs & Steel' by Jared Diamond

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


After nine days on the island of Ko Lanta, raining most fact heavy rains, flooding, squalls....good thing we rented a scooter the second day and saw the whole island....wasn't so bad though as we were due for some 'down' in recovery from the bus ride from Bangkok....would have been fun in my 20s.....but at this stage....well lets just say we'll fly in Phuket and we seem to be enjoying the towns/cities more lately....more to do I guess....even the hustlers can be fun....the Tuk Tuk drivers are on to you at every corner...they rarely take you where you want to go but if you want to see the gem factories, their cousin's tailoring shop or countless souvenir places....they get stamps for petrol apparently for bringing you in....once you catch on you can use them to get you around cheaply....needless to say we have seen some shrines, some beaches and some marinas....still not decided whether to bring Toketie all the way up is good in cheap....and people are nice....but there would be some challenges getting here so no decision yet.....found a really funky bar that was hosting jam sessions....called the 'Glasnost'....closed now for a bit as it was getting too hot....Jna who was married to one of the owners has become a friend....four or five more days and we are back in Bangkok.....internet not always convenient....more pics when possible.....