We said goodbye to Thailand

So sorry it has been so long since I have posted a lot has happened in our lives.

First of all we just got back to Thailand after our first ever Xmas in the UK to be told my husband was being made redundant. Luckily this time we are ready. Dogs have all their papers and Patrick at K9 Bangkok Dog Training and Relocator is helping by organizing everything that we need.                     www.K9bangkok.com   You will see Patrick on Cesar Milan soon with his pack.

For a couple of weeks before hand we got the sky kennels put back together and used them with the doors open for their beds. Buddy took to it quite well, I think he thought of it as a safe haven. Bless him, but alas Tess was having none of it and wouldn’t even go inside it without some treats to keep her busy.

We never found Stella our cat, so I only hope she is having a fabulous life somewhere. Still over a year on from leaving Thailand and I still miss her so so much. She was a cat in a million, so pretty, with such a personality. Maybe it was for the best, I don’t think she would have liked the cold. God forbid we had paid all that money to get her back to the UK and then go missing…..I just hope nothing nasty happened to her.

We had to give loads of things away as we had far too much furniture and bits and pieces to get back to the UK in the specified container (OH paid for his beloved Giro Copter to come back)..

If anyone is leaving Thailand and need to get rid of things please ring/email Place of Grace.. Its a Christian Charity lead by a lovely man and his wife formerly from the Manchester. He does so much for the poor people in the suburbs of Bangkok. We have him things like food provisions (even things opened they would take as it all can be used)  old computers, old phones, lap tops, mops, buckets all sorts of things.

http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrBT.A5lkVXRUkAnXlXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByaWg0YW05BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM4BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–/RV=2/RE=1464207034/RO=10/RU=http%3a%2f%2fplaceofgracebangkok.org%2f/RK=0/RS=N9uGwCA5eZhEygXLzw8jEiRmzss-

This is the link to their site.. I hope it works or just copy and paste. John and his family help as many children and families as they can. Many UK people go over to help the charity and he is always looking for donations. Large or small it all helps… He relies on donations to continue helping poor families.

We even had things like chicken wire that was of use to villagers. Your waste, someone else’s treasure.We would have loved to bring a lot of things home with us but alas it was just not possible.

We did sell some our bigger furniture that we had brought from Bahrain. There is always a market for good quality furniture as lots of good pieces are very expensive in Thailand. Do miss the things I had to sell too. Now we have remodeled our house I know exactly where some pieces would have fitted in nicely..ah well…

TEA SET & RUG

This would have looked so lovely in my front window at the front of the house.

We had two of these to sell as we had 2 bedroom sets. It seems every time we move we have to give things away/sell items. How I wish we could have kept all of our lovely items.

The packers came and it was a much bigger process than ever before (or so it seemed). I have lots of photos to share. The team from Asian Tigers were great. You should have seen their faces when they saw the GiroCopter…They had to sit in it and have their photos taken…

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Here’s a photo of Tess, below, waiting for us to go home. She might have been 14 years old but she is a tough cookie and managed the flight with no problems at all. Bless her and a year on and she is still going strong back in the UK with a new lease of life now that she doesn’t have the heat to contend with. She has meds for her heart, meds for her to make sure she doesn’t dribble anywhere…but she is a happy happy dog and not a bit of trouble. Still happy to see everyone. Although quite deaf now and she doesn’t see very well (we use a lot of hand signals) I know she is happy to be home.

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We have returned to cooler weather

We have returned from our first Xmas in the UK. Loved almost every minute of it. Delayed there and back. With tail winds of over 150km per hour we certainly made up or time delays. Arriving in Bangkok airport only 1 1/2 hours behind schedule. I have to say this – British Airways flight and service was far better than the one going out. Better food, more attentive staff. Everything. Even though we had plucked for seats right at the back of the plane. We still had plenty of room, albeit the plane was full.

We returned to a cool wind and the temperature is right down. Even though the sun is up and shining and it will reach 29 degrees. There is a huge difference in humidity. For the first in  years we slept without the air con on in our room last night. I could wear the same t-shirt for dog walking this morning as I did last night…….eeeeee this means so much less washing too.

It must be a great time to visit Thailand. At least tourists can do all the sightseeing without sweating buckets.

Yesterday I had to go on the airport link train and the MRT. Standing on the station it seemed dare I say it, quite chilly. Good heavens I can hear my friends say 24 degrees and quite chilly…FGS. but honest it was. I can understand why the Thais had their jumpers and coats on.

I guess in the North of Thailand it must feel like its freezing. Good job there were lots of blankets being knitted by the British Womens Group.

I am off to see my two friends today for a light lunch (we hardly every do anything not healthy)…oh yes and I returned 4 kilos heavier and after spending all that time slowly taking it off. It all went back on in 4 weeks of eating chocolates, cakes and crips….eeeeeee…well what did I really expect.

Jet leg seems almost none existent and even when I had our favourite Thai takeaway from the compound restaurant I was OK. Despite it having some chilli flakes in it…. usually good for a few days weight loss…. Sure this is all to do with my acupuncture sessions. My whole body of well being seems to make everything OK. Hence the over eating of the chocolates (in the past 5 was the max I could eat without being ill).

People even noticed my hands had cleared up and were not all broken and dry. My skin didn’t flake on returning to the UK either and my stomach on the whole was not so upset. Mind 4 course gourmet meals with friends did have some effect but not as much as usual.

I told Milos when I saw him how things had improved immensely. The main noticeable difference was I had no foot pain whatsoever.. amazing. I did return with what seemed like a water on the knee pain or I thought I had twisted it. Turns out its my spleen meridian and its sugar!!!! well there’s a surprise ……NOT….hahaaa its all those chocolates obviously.

Well got to dash. I have to catch the bus at 11am. Hope its not too hot out there now the sun is fully up in the sky. Still a nice breeze though.

 

 

Air Traffic Control Division on our flight

Who would have thought our excitement at returning home for the first Xmas holiday in 7 years would lead to us sitting in the Radisson BLU in Copenhagen…. While having breakfast this morning (and a lovely breakfast too) my husband said “who would have thought we would be sitting her in Copenhagen having breakfast when we took off !!!

Arrived yesterday to check in and wait for our flight. All was going well, there was us grumbling about the lack of service and food on British Airways flight BA010 from Bangkok to London’s Heathrow. When an announcement was given about Air Traffic Control system failure. OMG, what was to happen now. All sorts of things were running through my head. Terrorist attack…it was like being in one of those disaster movies….which I think I now must have watched too many times as no such thing had happened.

We were then told we would be landing in Copenhagen very shortly. British Airways staff worked flippin fast to clear everything away in double quick time.

Most of the passengers although worried just went with the flow and knew nothing could be done. Why do you always get one that won’t accept that nothing can be done and he wants answers. I am sure many of us wanted to grab him by the throat!!!

I can see how things can escalate with troublesome passengers…. what was he expecting the staff to do.

We waited in the plane for a couple of hours until further details were given and we were allowed to disembark. First into a lounge if we wanted to for comfort and fresh air and then into the airport for further instructions and issuance of vouchers for hotels, taxi’s etc.,

The ground staff at Copenhagen were fantastic. So happy and helpful at all times. It was a good boost for moral… queuing to find out that they had quickly ran out of food vouchers, then hotel vouchers etc., No worries a hotel had already been found for us and taxi vouchers issued. I think we were the lucky ones as our hotel included a buffet meal….it was late when we arrived at the Radisson Blu but a warm friendly, efficient greeting from all staff. Even the man at the restaurant said he could tell we were all off the BA flight by our tired faces.. bless him.

So here we are waiting in the hotel to go back to the airport and board our plane for a 2pm take off. We will then find out what happens this afternoon about our connecting flight to Newcastle.

Never will I travel without  spare underwear (which I hand washed and dried with a hairdryer!!!) I haven’t even brought a brush or makeup. Ah well at least its not Xmas eve.

We are just so pleased we have not ended up spending the night in the airport lounge as I think the Thai people had to do, due to immigration rules…

Now just to contact the hire car company to advise of our late or goodness knows when arrival at Newcastle. Staying positive at the moment after quite a good nights sleep and an excellent breakfast

Happy travels and the thought of seeing my family real soon keeps us going.

 

Acupuncture in Bangkok that you can trust and highly recommended

One of the good things that has happened to us while living in Bangkok. We have discovered Milos…

 
I was listening to a conversation at the Mahjong Xmas lunch when ladies where talking about back aliments. Jan was telling people about going to see Milos, her acupuncture man.
When we sat down for lunch I asked her for his details and we talked a bit more about acupuncture in general. He certainly came highly recommended.

 
Of course I tucked the number away and put it to the back of my mind. It was several months later when OH got a bout of sciatica that I mentioned acupuncture…he didn’t seem to keen but I mentioned that if he was in so much pain he would try it.
I went along as I had had acupuncture in the UK and wanted to see what type of questions this Milos would ask..

 
He met us at the train station. Well actually we passed him on the escalator. Never being able to do as he is told my OH did not stay down in the station as requested but wanted to go up the escalator.
What a strange man I thought. Western, longish hair, longish beard. Mmmm…not sure about this man. Looked like a hippie really. Looks can be deceiving.
I was so wrong. He talked and talked and clearly has a passion for his work. What was interesting was that he asked all the right questions. He certainly was the ‘real deal’ and so our treatment began.

 
What amazed me was his intuition. He knew exactly what was wrong and what needed to be fixed. The thing with Milos is that he says it’s not him doing the work but your own body. He is a very humble man.

 
I have been going back and forth to hospitals for more than a year with terrible pains in my feet. Mainly the left foot. Always taking pain killers. Not being able to walk down the stairs in the morning without going one stair at a time sideways. Not being able to walk properly and being so stiff…waking with pain in the night.
I had been diagnosed with all types of things. Tendon damage, Achilles heel problems. I had had steroid injections into my instep. That was worse than the pain itself, so I didn’t go back. I had been told I would have to have surgery. I was told I walked too much………………..for goodness sake whatever next.
You put your faith in hospitals. How could they get it so wrong I often ask myself?
It turns out my kidneys and bladder were not working properly. Wow the difference when I go to the loo is incredible and I stupidly thought there was nothing wrong with that side of things. You just don’t know until someone makes changes in the way your body functions.

 
Well months on and I have no pain most days. Just a few more sessions and I will be fixed. It’s amazing what the needles can do. Yes it hurts sometimes but that’s because the energy needs to get flowing. I often feel extremely drained the day after my acupuncture so this you must be aware of. Your body is working really hard after he has moved the energy but its worth it.

 
My hands – having been diagnosed as having hand eczema – has almost all cleared up too. Nothing to do with the humidity in the Middle East or Asia as previously told by quite a few doctors. Milos made one statement. “If it was the humidity, everyone would have it??” Yep he was right again. The only solution the hospital ended up with after trying countless “new” creams was tablets that made me sleep all the time. That way I couldn’t scratch my itchy hands but neither could I function normally…..

 
Even my IBS is much much better. Things you never even think about. Being tired all the time since I was a child. Wanting to nap as much as possible. Chronic fatigue. Honestly the list goes on.

 
He even knew I was a very angry person. He has also been able to calm the anger right down. Loose most of my sweet tooth. No longer do I think of food all day. What am I going to make for dinner, what shall I bake, what shall I eat. Have to have cake and oh ice cream cravings………a thing of the past.
Therefore I have lost 5 kilos…..just amazing. We both can’t believe the change in our selves. In our attitude and our outlook on life.

 
My husbands sciatica was soon sent away but the amazing this is (sure you are sick of hearing that word ‘Amazing” but it truly is). His huge bunion has just got smaller and smaller with each visit. Who would have thought of that. People have surgery to remove such things. Even his snoring has been tackled.
Oh we will have set backs now and again and  my sweet craving will still be there sometimes but certainly not like it was before. There is such a huge difference in us both.

 
Quite a few of our friends and acquaintances now go to see him and I urge you if you have a problem that the hospital has been treating and you are unhappy or have your doubts. Go, make contact. You won’t regret it one bit.
Your life will change for the better. He truly has a gift and cannot begin to thank him enough for all that he has done for my husband and myself. THANK YOU ….

 
Btw, he cut his hair and now has designer stubble……

 
Just look out for a man with an inner peace, a friendly smile and a huge shoulder to cry on (when required). All part of the healing process, whether you have physical issues or it’s the feeling of things not being quite right. Go and see him. Pick up the phone. You won’t regret it I promise. Even if its your memory or headaches. He can and he will help you that is for sure. You don’t need to believe. The proof is in the pudding so to speak.

 
I just wish I could afford to get Milos to the UK to help my dad. He has so many aliments and I know he could really change his life.

 

 

 

Good luck…..

Final summing up of the Intercontinental Hua Hin

Each day the jobs in our room were completed. Shower mended. Drain sorted.
Even the stain I pointed out on the door post was repainted where water had clearly seeped before.
However the smell……. did we really want to move rooms again!!!!  The staff very kindly did show us another room. Even larger and more grand than the smelly room but no view what’s so ever and the thought of packing up again and then unpacking….OH said NO..so that was that..too much stress for the remaining 4 nights…such a shame and a dampener on our first holiday for a very long time.
The coffee machines didn’t work properly and we just about gave up with that.
The socket nearest the fridge didn’t work and we still had to plug in the diffuser to camouflage the smell….. DON’T STAY IN 2306…

 
We suggested that they wait until we were gone and have a look at the electrics in this room. Clearly something amiss. Quite often the lights would flicker when you touched a switch or just wouldn’t turn off at all.

We had been offered a free stay on our return, but so far no email of confirmation as promised..lip service??? I hope not. Due to my OH’s impending departure  from his job alas this will probably never happen.
Just again seems a little sad that they would knowingly put us in a room with problems in a 5 star hotel. Or maybe some people just don’t complain but then again, never go back.

On walking back to the hotel, after our early morning walk on the beach. We climbed the stairs from the beach. What was this??? breakfast was being served in Azure………….wow, I was so excited. Now this was a better setting altogether.

We rushed back to the room to change for breakfast. Well, I don’t think sarong with bikini appropriate…

Beautiful. It’s a great place to have breakfast. Don’t know why they don’t do it there all the time.

This was a trial run by the owner of the hotel. What a great idea. So much nicer than the open restaurants near the hotel main building.

 
OH did find it a bit hot. Not much of a breeze on the Saturday morning, but I was happy. Although it was a limited buffet he still managed to squeeze in a muffin and yogurt followed by a Danish pastry….. tinker. That was after a delicious omelet!!

 
We would go back to the Intercontinental  as it truly was a great place to relax and even the children that were guests at the hotel clearly behaved beautifully most of the time. No noisy revelers. A peaceful and tranquil setting.

I would really recommend this hotel, just make sure you ask to view the room first to make sure you don’t get a smelly room…

I have to say once again, how fantastic the staff are here at this hotel. It is what really makes this hotel almost perfect.

 

The Intercontinental Continued…..

Sorry for the delay, where does the time go…. I always seem to be busy these days.

So on with the story.

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This is the club room, well worth paying the extra for “Club” status. AND as a member of the management said “Its free”!!! Well actually its not. That’s what you pay the extra for..So still well worth it. Just don’t try and have your breakfast in there. Cool yes, bad service yes. The rest of the time, service great, girls friendly, efficient and very knowledgeable. The best thing. Peace and quiet….

Afternoon tea and early evening drinks and snacks. Well as you can see from the photo about, not just snacks. In fact really, you could fill up on these beauties and not bother with dinner. Unless you want to pig out of course and have both….ah hem…

Last night we decided to take a look into the Club Lounge as between 5 -7pm there is happy hour. Wow really nice. We decided to have a glass of bubbles each. Yep, Hubby had one too. Really nice. We had been told there were canapés and salad and some nice desserts. What was on offer was certainly more than that. Yes salads and beautiful tiny desserts but much more and besides….olives, anchovies, crusty breads, cheeses. Hot dishes of prawn cakes, sautéed mushrooms in spicy sauce, chicken satay… the list goes on . AND as much as you wanted to drink.

photo 1(11)Wonderful selection of small dishes and nothing too spicy either. The wine…ah…delicious. Red, white or bubbles and a selection of shorts too.  A nice way to spend the early evening before deciding which restaurant to eat at.

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Room Transfer Disappointment number 6
Our new room was ready just after lunch on Tuesday. Our Suite was ready… a double upgrade apparently for the inconvenience of having to wait 3 days. We had already started packing when the call came from the Club Reception to see if we were ready. We were escorted to our room by one of the Club Reception Staff. Oh my goodness as you will see from the photos below the room is big, spacious and beautifully furnished.Don’t now why I only have a photo of the bath!!!!

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Separate bathroom with a huge bath (not that we will use it of course) 2 sinks and separate shower and toilet just as the last room.

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A dressing room area. Ha ha…at least we shall have a wardrobe each now. Note…take extra coat hangers as these are limited. Sure you could probably get more though. We always take our own. I can’t understand why my photos are so dark but anyway it was a lovely room
The suite has a lovely big balcony which includes a Jacuzzi. All rooms come with butler service. We were encouraged to ask the butler to prepare the Jacuzzi when desired. Mmmm…not sure I will be taking one any time soon but you never know.
Disappointment number 7…..

What’s that smell in the room….. as the hours went by the smell… like stale air con vent smell. Mmm…needs cleaning I think. The kind of smell that gets in your nostrils and you can’t get rid of. A real damp horrid smell.

Then I decided to have a shower. Well, the overhead shower doesn’t work without the hand held shower and vise versa. Then I looked around to see water seeping out under the shower door…. Its now all over the floor in the bathroom and took quite a bit of moping up. The drain cover is broken and is not allowing the water to drain away.
The control panel on the bead head is loose and bare wires exposed. Oh yes and of course it doesn’t work either. Not a good start to this lovely new room.
Off down to reception to advise of the problems in the room. What becomes apparent when they show us another room (with no view at all) is that they had had complaints before about this room but they still gave it to us anyway……. some double upgrade eh???
We have stayed in the same room as they assure us things will be fixed but the smell we have to live with as it comes from an outside overhead water feature. That is why there is a diffuser in the room. To camouflage the smell….ah and I had turned it off…. Naughty.
Lets see what transpires today. What will be fixed.

All the items that needed fixing were fixed but we just uncovered more. So on our departure we advised them to not relet the room and try and fix the problems. Just really disappointed that they gave us a room that they knew had problems…

Despite being given one of our meals for free, it really leaves a bitter taste in my mouth….a nights free stay that was offered to date has never transpired. So I guess we won’t be going back there again in a hurry…..

Anyway onto the next

We were going onto our second drink when we were invited to join the celebrations for the Queen’s birthday. Front row seats…. Hahahaaaa… how nice of them to include their western guests in such a special ceremony.
We were given candles to be light and song sheets. The announcements were given in Thai and again in English which I thought was really considerate of hotel staff.

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We sang 2 songs. Kindly printed in English for us to try and keep up with. Hope we didn’t make too much of a mess of things.
We made two orderly lines, one of men and one of women.

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Then took it in turns to go to the front of the set area and place our candles in the designated planters filled with sand. Oh yes and I forgot to say we were presented with cocktails in the Queens colours. Delicious.
It was such a lovely special thing to be included in. A memory I shan’t forget.

So we had a lovely peaceful week at the Intercontinental with ups and downs. A beautiful hotel and  I would recommend it to anyone, providing you go in the winter months when it will be more manageable to sit outside and eat.

The view is amazing and no rooms are over looked due to the way the rooms have been sighted. Definitely loved Azure best and on the last morning ….ta da…….they had laid out breakfast at Azure. Fantastic. A lovely sea breeze and what a view. It was an experimental day as the owner wanted to try it. If they could get all their breakfast things down there then yes, definitely worth it. The setting was perfect. Would be great to return in the cooler months and sit and have breakfast there.

photo 3(16)This was a photo from one of the evenings we spent down there. There is also a roof top bar but it never seemed to be open. There was also a huge fire pit with beautiful seating but again after the weekend it didn’t seem to get used. Another lovely spot for a cooler evening.

Off to Kuala Lumpur next month to another Intercontinental Hotel. lets see what its like there.

 

Our First Holiday Since 2008 Hua Hin

Sitting here on the balcony of our hotel room. Just ordered a latte to get me through typing this again. Maybe it was God’s intervention for denigrating this hotel so much…. ha…I bet that was what it was.

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oh wait…here we go again……

How many times I have started this blog piece, probably about 5/6 times??
Well the first one was almost finished when my hand touched something on the key board while checking for mistakes and off it all went. Vanished into thin air….. oh how infuriating. While OH saying I told you… always save to draft. It will be in the bowels of this computer somewhere. So this time I am typing in word, while sitting at the side of this glorious pool. Well away from the water of course.

After lots of deliberation and humming and haring. We had decided to take a holiday. A real holiday. Not just a visit back home to our family and friends but some real R&R time. Away from the madding crowd in Hua Hin. Somewhere I have nagged and nagged my husband to take me.
So all was planned and thank goodness a hotel not booked when the news came through that his post was to be nationalized. For those that don’t know what I mean. It’s when a Thai person is given your job. You are to be found an alternative post or in our case “Please can we just go home”??? That’s another story.
So all plans were off. This was going to be our first holiday since Cyprus 2008. OK I can hear my friends saying, hey you come home every year but its not a holiday…its a great time but no way is it a rest and recharge time for husband.

We usually have an itinerary of lunches and dinners and pop in visits for the whole 2 or 3 weeks. So months ago we decided we would have a real holiday but in Thailand. I have so wanted to visit Hua Hin since we arrived. Susan’s fault as they holiday here twice a year and always tell me how much they have enjoyed their time here. Each year we have promised that will join them on their visit.

For a short period excitement had prevailed until the sad news of not being allowed to go home just yet sank in. To hell with the world let’s have the holiday anyway. We both felt it may do us  good. Take away some stress and worry if only for a week.
So back onto the internet – The font of all knowledge indeed. Ah the Centara Grand Resort and Spa had gone up a lot and it was going to be the start of the European School Holidays. Did we really want to be in a huge hotel surrounded by screaming children?? I think not. So back to the trawling through Trip Advisor to see what people said about different hotels. Finally settling on The Intercontinental Resort & Spa. Further South in Hua Hin but said to be peaceful and quiet.

Luckily Patrick (K9 Training and Boarding Kennels and our dog obedience trainer) still had room to take Tess and Buddy. Alas Stella our cat is still missing. Off they went on Friday, Buddy none to happy to be going in a car and Tess trying to jump in by herself as she just so loves traveling. The house seemed so quiet without them. No Buddy talking to me on Saturday morning.

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The journey started off well for us, first mulling over when to set off for our expected 2 and half hour journey. The trouble being almost 5 hours later and we were still stuck in holiday traffic. Oh goodness the traffic was terrible. Bumper to bumper we went. Saw some great statues on the way. Must remember to get some shots on the way back to update this piece. ( Alas we went a different way home, never knowing that was possible and getting in a right panic).
I did manage to get a couple of shots of a great bridge we had to cross. Wooohoo my daughter would say. How un-interesting is that….ha..

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We stopped off for a toilet break at a garage/service station. Ladies please. I could have been sick. My first encounter was with wading through dirty water. New shoes too. Oh God. What met my eyes…..

As some people may know in Thailand in a lot of places you have to put your toilet tissue in the bins in the toilets as the sewage systems is unable to cope. A bin full of toilet paper some covered in blood. Well we all know where from……It’s just so awful. Why oh why wouldn’t you try and cover it over or put it in a bag…..

Arriving at the Intercontinental Resort & Spa
So glad to arrive at our destination finally. It was just as well that I had seen on the internet the frontage of the hotel and the way it was set just back off the road as we would have missed it. In fact we almost did.
You would never know from the outside what a fantastic hotel lay beyond. Our bags were whisked away and we were greeted my the lovely reception ladies. A totally informal reception area of small desks. No huge chandeliers or imposing reception frontage. Straightaway after giving my name she knew I was part of the Ambassador Club (something I had paid for as part of a surprise for my husband). I was ushered through to the Club lounge to a separate check in, while waiting for OH to park the car. Btw, they also offer a valet service for parking too. Given a lovely refreshing drink of Rosella and pineapple juice. Quench the thirst after our long journey. I was even offered bubbles…slurp slurp but I was being good and declined. Keep my wits about me for now.

Only here was it apparent that there was a problem and understanding a little Thai it was obvious that our booking had not been upgraded. The Ambassador status “Guarantees an upgrade” well, not today it didn’t. So it spoiled my surprise for my husband. As I had to tell him why there was a problem and what it was. I had so wanted it to be a great surprise. Walking into a huge room, more than he had expected. The hotel was fully booked. The Queen’s Birthday, Mothers Day, a holiday weekend. This was obviously why there had been so much traffic traveling down.
No point in making a fuss. If there was no room upgrade available, there was no room. With the promise of an upgrade by Tuesday off we went to see our room. I have to say although it wasn’t large, the Club Rooms are spacious and extremely tastefully decorated. Ah and including a beloved coffee machine. A powerful shower and separate toilet. Don’t know how I ended up taking photos of only the balcony and the bath!!!! ah yes I remember coz Hubby popped himself right on the bed..
Sometimes I feel I go too far, packing extra coffee, milk, my herbal tea. David’s UK tea bags, fruit and nuts etc., but it was all worth it in the end. It means we have a much more relaxed stay having the things we would otherwise miss.

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If Liz is reading this post here is your day bed…will this do???? Its on the balcony.

 

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The first thing you see when entering the restaurant area of the resort is the vast amount of beautiful Frangipani trees, lawns and a huge huge pool, ending right down at the beach.

 

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Flanked all the way around by sun beds and umbrella’s. All matching and all good quality rattan furniture. Nothing tacky about this resort. Not a plastic chair in sight. Plenty of space. All facing the sea. Beautiful and yes, tranquil. Just what we are looking for.

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We ordered room service the first evening and I have to say the food was excellent. We opted for Italian the Feta Cheese Salad and the other salad we chose were lovely. The pizza looked like a standard home made UK edition. The taste was good though and I thoroughly enjoyed what I had. Of course we had ordered too much food….off to the gym for us then

 

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The next morning after a wonderful nights sleep, the soft pillows and black out curtains did their job and we did not for once wake early.

Sunrise over the resort

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Off to breakfast. There are only approximately 4 tables inside the two restaurants serving breakfast where air conditioning would be, however with doors open there isn’t much reprieve from any heat. Outside seating in all 3 restaurants. I certainly would not have booked this hotel if I had realized there was no inside cool space to eat. Hot flushes not included I find it most uncomfortable to eat outside in 80+ degrees. This being disappointment number 2.
Why didn’t they even have breakfast at the restaurant nearest the beach. At least there may be a bit of a breeze.

 

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one of the more shaded areas to have breakfast.

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If you love cakes, pastries and Thai food for breakfast you are in heaven. There is an “Egg Station”. I ordered poached eggs. I had intended to have some crispy (rather over crispy) bacon with some tomatoes. What I got was two poached eggs lying on a piece of ham on soggy bread, smothered in an oily sauce…..oh disappointment number 3.
Suggestion– take your own tea bags. The tea is p… water and there is no way you could call it tea.
Breakfast was crowded. People pushing past, walking into you. Oh this would never do for a 5* hotel.Disappointment number 4
Disappointment number 5. The Thai restaurant – Pirom. The food is OK but not that wonderful. I have an allergy to chilies. Some people would think this would be mighty hard in Thailand to get around. I have learned however the sentence for:-
“Never put chilies in my food”. My standard choice is chicken n cashew nuts or pad Thai. No one said anything about deep frying the chicken in batter before it was put in the dish of chicken and cashew nuts. YUK. Not impressed with the food at all.

 

We did try an evening of Thai buffet and the restaurant redeemed itself a bit. OH had a great evening. Of course these tables are nice and each one has a fan above the table and blinds that can be drawn down if you are having lunch to shield you from the sun.

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The biggest thing that strikes you about this lovely hotel is the staff. The staff are so nice it so hard to be awful about anything.
Service seems to be extremely slow for certain things. I just don’t they can cope with being full.

Room service not being one of them.
The next morning we (well I actually) that was the Royal “we” had decided we would have breakfast in the Club Room. Should we have wondered why there was no one else having breakfast in the lovely air conditioned room…?? some 30 minutes later when I was asking where my breakfast was I realized why…the girl takes your order and then has to wait in the queue like everyone else…… and although I had stated just eggs no oily sauce or anything, just with bacon. It still came on soggy bb…..bread.

I could have made full English breakfast for a host of squaddies in the time it took to make for a member of staff to queue up for those eggs. So so slow. Saving grace, good coffee.
We have enjoyed the resort. The leisurely walk along the beach. Pony rides for the children. Tiny fishing boats lined the beach. Amazing. Like stepping back in time.

 

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The Monks walk the full length of the beach very early each morning and you can partake in giving alms if you would like.

Each day I am sure we walked for miles along the beach back and forth. Well, you have to work the cakes off….

We decided on Monday evening to try Azure. This is the hotel restaurant situated right at the very beach side of the resort. Faith restored. Delicious. Thai Seafood Buffet of a very high standard. Nice wine, wonderful selection of food as it wasn’t all spicy. Oh and the desserts. Well, as you will see from the photos. Just delicious.

 

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and of course the best part, the desserts…..  photo 2(19)

 

 

 

 

We sat at a pool side table looking out to sea. With a beautiful breeze.

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As the sun goes down, a full moon. How every strange. The cloud underneath looks like a spaceship I am sure. Look closely at the picture and you can see a space ship. There was a lovely breeze and I didn’t feel hot once. This has to be my favorite spot.

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A wander into Hua Hin.

Asking how far the nearest shopping centre is…15 minutes walk!!!! Yeh right. Well Ok it was around 20 minutes and it all would depend on how fast you walked I guess. We just presumed that Hua Hin would be like Pattaya. A beach front promenade to walk along. A Big Shopping Mall, a Central Department store. DU……how wrong we were. A small shopping center of shops. Certainly nothing to splash out on. Just as well we didn’t need anything. Plenty of places to eat I am sure.
Be aware as usual of the tuk tuk drivers wanting to take you somewhere. One stopped us and told us another kilometer to the shops. When in fact we were less than 5 minutes walk away. Would have been taken for a ride – literally. Better to get your hotel or apartment block porters to get you one.
Again not impressed. You could certainly have a cheap holiday here. Nothing to spend your money on but food and drink. Unspoiled some would say.
We did however get a tuk tuk back. A fair price of 100 bhat to the hotel. We didn’t mind that we could normally go a very long way in Bangkok for this fare. It still saved my blistered heel from getting any worse.

A visit to the Gym.
If you are that way inclined on your holiday a visit to the hotel gym is a must. Great machines. Each one displaying information on what to do. I think hubby is going to take some photos of what its like. No one ever in there either. Plenty of towels and water if required.
The assistant in the gym was well informed, although a little shy with the Farangs I think, but he seemed quite knowledgeable. We ended up going only twice and am pleased to say he forgot his camera the next time. We did so intend to go everyday…..ah well…cake beckons…..

I am going to start another post to continue my story of our holiday and hope to get some more photos loaded.

 

Our time to leave Thailand is almost upon us but when???

My husband rang me over a week ago to say his job had been advertised on a work’s vacancies email………………..what a way to find out your job has been Nationalized….

So our time has come to an end and none too soon. I have lost 1 dog and 2 cats to Thailand. Our marriage has had very stormy times, most to do with the stress of work, the heat and the difference in culture.

Its not easy working abroad….there are many pit falls. Everyone thinks its glamorous living abroad but it can’t be further from the truth.  You try living your normal day to day life in over 90 degrees. Its not like we are living on the beach and having parties every day. How many people say “well you’re not very brown for living abroad”……

When he is released from his contract we have no idea (don’t forget you have no rights to employment laws) Its as if they own you. They hold your life in their hands.

We had finally decided a couple of months ago, after living here 4 years we would finally have a proper holiday. Our last was in 2008. However, now we have the news of impending unemployment we have cancelled our plans. We need to keep the money we have.

We have to sell off our furniture, give away what needs to be cast aside and hope that at the end of the day we get home without too much costs to us.

Thank goodness Tess and Buddy are ready for their travels. Loosing the wing nuts and bolts for their kennels was a worry but we spent time on Saturday and Sunday finding more. How hard would you think it would be to find the right size wing nuts and bolts !!!! No B&Q here……………..

We will be so glad to go back home. Save Thailand for a holiday and choosing to live here is different to actually working here but for this experience I am sure we have learned lessons and be better people for it. After all we would not have met Milos. Our acupuncture specialist. That has truly changed our lives for the better.

We have met some great people. Had some wonderful and some frightening experiences (fighting snakes) Seen some fantastic scenery and I will never ever get tired of seeing elephants.

We shall go away with friendships that will last our life time but for now we just want to be ordinary people living ordinary lives. I can’t wait to be able to get a job again and be amongst people without a language barrier.

Oh and I will never miss the “eau de toilette – drain smells” – ah the joys of living abroad.

To all our new friends we will miss and to our old friends back home, it won’t be long now I am sure.

The weather has changed again. Hot and Sticky Season

Oh my goodness has the weather changed. Lets not mention the terrible forecast for a big storm, while I keep checking the sky for any signs of bad weather I wonder if I should batton down the hatches…..???

The hot and sticky season is definitely upon us. Now even when I open the door at 5.30am to let the dogs out for their first wee its hot. No relief. I now carry a face cloth when I am walking the dogs. You only have to be out more than 5 minutes and the sweat trickles. How I wish I could adjust and acclimatize to the heat.

photo 3(4) photo 2(4)Even Buddy our Thai dog is hot on walks now. I think he has turned into an English dog and likes the air conditioning. He likes to sit outside but on the doorstep where he gets the cool air coming through the insect screen. Crafty tinker.

This is the month of Sonkhran. So glad we are going back to the UK for visit. Keep out of the way of all that water throwing and wet talc being thrust upon your face….. watching from inside a car where you are safe is seems like hilarious fun but I don’t fancy actually getting soaked while out in good clothes or sitting eating a meal somewhere. I think a lot of expats come for the fun and a lot go home out of the way.

Time seems to go so quick. We have both had our second cold in 4 years. Both of which are since moving to Bangkok……must be all the people crammed together. spreading germs. No wonder they don’t hold onto hand rails on the BTS & MRT etc.,so as not to pick up germs,  but then quite happily cough in your face…….YUK…

I have been going back and forwards into Bangkok for Mah-jong. I do love it. Its good to sit with different ladies each week and have some new conversation. It seems to be the time of people moving on and a lot of new faces at the BWG lunch last month and at the coffee mornings….

This last week I have retreated from all outing and mixing with people as I was full of that bbbbbb…. cold. Makes you feel awful. My nose was just running like a tap. Don’t think I wanted to share it with anyone.

We both have been having acupuncture too. Its wonderful. To think I have been suffering from over tiredness for years and years. Turns out to be chronic fatigue due to my kidneys and bladder not working properly. Now after a couple of months of acupuncture I seem to have so much more energy. I don’t always need to take a nap now and I am staying up till after 11pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!wooooowwwwwhhhhooooo…

I have been swimming and the bike is out and being used.

Milos doesn’t just deal with one problem. He looks at your whole self, how you feel, what you do, what else bothers you.  I went to see about my terrible feet. The pains were unbearable. I am still stiff in the joints but most of the time now I am pain free. All to do with my bladder and kidneys…. so much for hospitals, telling me I had hammer toes, severe strain to tendons, Achilles heal etc., a load of rubbish. I have been given so many different diagnosis’s and they were all wrong. So good to be pain free most of the time now.  It was amazing when I was able to get up out of bed and walk down the stairs properly. Not having to hang on to the hand rail and take one step at a time. Its the little things that make the difference to your quality of life.

He has also made me much calmer. Dealing with my anger issues. I feel a calmness inside now. Doesn’t mean to say I don’t get riled by stupid people, but I certainly don’t get half as angry and let things pass over my head now or look at them in a different light.

He has taken away David’s sciatica and is also helping him with his general health and well being.

Only 2 more sleeps and then we will be off to the UK. Bet we don’t get to travel business class. Ah well, I did get to experience it once. What a way to travel. At least this time we will be going via Amsterdam and I love the shopping there. All that cheese, smoked salmon. mmmm……and all those tulips. Just the perfect time to buy.

 

 

 

A quick break in the UK

The best thing to look forward to each year is a trip to the UK. When we usually stock up on all the food we either can’t get here in Thailand or that is totally over priced.

We started our journey 2 and half weeks ago. A lovely surprise as my OH up graded us at the airport to World Traveller Plus with BA. Definitely worth the extra (nearly always on special offer at the desk on check in/bag drop). The extra leg room is definitely worth it, Still can never seem to get comfortable. I always wish I had invested in a really good quality neck support pillow.

There were some good movies on the entertainment channel and I did manage to get some sleep.

As I may have mentioned before I have an allergy  to chillies. Living in Thailand it does have its drawbacks. I chose a lovely sea bass  main course, only to find it smothered in a bloody chilly sauce!! great eh? Handed it back and then the only other choice a fillet steak!! flippin heck in years gone by I would have jumped at the chance but alas after suffering a parasite last year, which was found in undercooked red meat, no more red meat for me thanks…..I can just about stomach mince but nothing else.

So, OH got to have the steak and I had a meal of nicely cooked veg…….boring. All presented on nice china etc., There doesn’t seem to be any choice on menu’s for anyone that has out of the ordinary allergies. I would imagine however, that many people traveling to and from Thailand can’t or do not like chillies.

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Our two plus weeks was to be full of my normal busy schedule meetings. Lunch, afternoon teas, dinners etc., however, all that changed when we go to see our house in the UK………

Bless my sister and her husband, my mum and my neighbour who worked like Trojans, removing the dirt, dried on food and mold in our home from the “not so nice tenants”. A few cases of wine and flowers as thank you’s and it was our turn. How I wish I could meet her face to face. All I can think of is nasty words to describe seeing photos of our house the way they left it.

So months later, re-plastered walls, the hole house repainted, tiled floors lifted and new flooring laid throughout, new blinds, the list goes on. Never ever trust your agent to carry out the financial checks on your home while you are away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I won’t go into details.

Anyway all plans were cancelled and OH and I got to scrubbing paint of floors, left by terrible painter. Again, what do you do when you trust someone to do a good job. Would like to punch him in the face for sure. We spent a whole week trying to rectify the paint that seemed to be spilled everywhere. He obviously didn’t put down dust sheets and splattered the remaining good floors with paint, absolutely everywhere.

I am so sorry to all of our friends that we never got to see. Just too much to do.

Thank goodness my friend recommended her cousin to take care of the garden. Wow, in one day the difference was amazing. So much for the tenants being keen gardeners. So keen in fact that they emptied some of my garden of plants. left all their lovely dogs dirt and smashed my garden lamps………So lucky to now have a good man to take care of the garden and it will be back to its former glory very quickly.

The first week was spent with my lovely sister and her husband. An Indian meal is always the first meal on the agenda. I think we crammed in fish and chips 3 times (we did share meals though). Its all about eating when we go home.

A surprise party for some friends, Traci and Steve for their 25th Wedding Anniversary. Traci walked in saw everyone one, was overcome with emotion (as anyone would be) and walked straight back out again. ( think she was in shock).

Another party the following weekend for my brother in law’s 60th and his dads 90th. My sister worked so hard cooking all the food. Amazing, well done. So much. The house was full.

Wonder if she will let us take the big fluffy duvet and magic mirror back to Thailand. Made us look so slim it did!!!!!!!!!!!hahahaaa…….

The following week we decamped to Jesmond Dene House, we had a lovely big bedroom. Again, just like at my sisters, so quiet. No barking dogs, no noisie neighbours at either location. This was a first for us and we will definitely return.  Away from the madding crowds but so near Newcastle.

I had taken two of my friends Eileen and Liz the week before for afternoon tea (as they had taken me to the Hotel de Vin the year before). Champagne afternoon tea. Delicious light cakes and how do they get the scones to be so light and melt in your mouth. No stale bread and no rock cakes!!! all delicious. In fact I could have quite happily had that everyday.

You can see why I can put on weight so easily.  We tried not to eat at lunch time or just get a snack and then have a meal at night.

OH’s brother and family came up from Devon. That was a lovely surprise. Even their little dog came too.

We also got to spend time altogether with OH’s daughter. Its been about 4 years now since we have got together. Really enjoyed our time together.

The last night we went back to my sisters and had our last Indian. Solomans opposite the Denton Pub. A restaurant that seems to have been there for years and has a roaring trade of regular customers, both dining in and with carry out meals.  I always call it English Indians when I come home and love to cook the same when I get back to Thailand.

Its hard to leave my daughter and family as I miss them all so much. Spent Thursday crying on and off most of the day. She presented me with a beautiful framed photo of her and her boyfriend. Well, that set me off again. Miss her so much. So proud of her too.

Back to the airport on Friday morning to the BA check in and OH decided to ask about  speical offers on any upgrades to Business Class. Wow, first time for me. Loved every minute of it. Champagne, before take off. Wonderful. Lovely meals. The steward was so  helpful with my allergy to chillies and managed to find an ingredient listing. I plugged for what we thought may not contain chillies. The pasta was beautiful with artichokes, roasted red peppers and mascapone cheese.  As was the first course of goats cheese mouse with a fruit chutney. Crusty buns and red wine. Finished off with pear and almond tart.

Another couple of films chosen and then only a couple of hours to sleep. I passed on the breakfast as I was still full and I don’t fly too well. The seats reclined into a flat bed. Wonderful. Best couple of hours sleep on a plain ever. I didn’t have any aches or pains.

Back home again now and this week I caught up with my OCD house work regime. Air con men came twice. Gardeners came to cut the grass, men came to spray with insect repellent. Shopping done.

Should be back to Mah-jong next week. Better get making that chutney for the Pleonchit Fayre.