Pictures of arrival in Thailand

Trip Start Nov 21, 2005
Trip End Apr 30, 2006

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This entry is just going to include a few photos. It has taken soooo long to figure out how to download the pictures that we are 'computered out'. Also we had wanted to get to the beach right after updating our Travelpod but after being here over two hours we just looked outside and it is just POURING!! And we didn't bring the umbrella this time.

This is now our sixth day here and we have not yet set foot on the beach. We have been busy though. With the wonderful assistance of Brian & Gay Cluer, friends of friends from Whistler, we got a good deal on a car rental for the full four months and also, with their advice, bought a mobile phone. Brian & Gay met us at our hotel on Saturday and spent most of most of the day driving us around the west side of the island. They showed us their new home that they are just finishing building and also a place where they stayed long term. We had fresh coconut milk straight from the coconuts at a great restaurant called the Lotus. It is on Bang Tao beach and all open air. They even have tables and chairs right out on the beach. We want to go back there for their seafood. They have huge tanks of fresh fish and seafood that you walk up to and choose which fish or prawn or lobster or clam that you want to eat. Gay's favourite is the "mantis" prawn. We've never seen one before - they actually look like a huge praying mantis. We then had dinner with them at one of their favourite restaurants which of all things is an Italian restaurant.

We moved hotels two nights ago from the Baan Karonburi Hotel to the Karon Beach Hotel (where our friend John T. stays). Thanks to John we were able to negotiate a good price - one third the price of the first hotel we were staying at. It lacks a few of the creature comforts of the other one but on a long term basis it allows us extra funds for "play money". David has a question for John though - "are you allergic to hot water"? The area is great! We have seen most of the beaches now on the west side of the island and really like Karon Beach the best. Contrary to what we had thought - not a lot of the hotels are willing to negotiate good rates - even for long term. We did spend a day with a friend of the Cluers who is in the real estate business and she showed us a few houses which we could have rented for a great price! About $17 Cdn/day.
The only problem is that none of them were right close to a beach and we would like to be closer to the beach (so we can use it if it ever stops raining).

Yesterday we drove across the island to a huge shopping centre - called the Central Festival. It is as modern as anything you'll see anywhere. About the same prices as at home - no bargains there. Did buy a hair dryer though and ordered a bed topper - which will take about 7 - 10 days. One thing we have found is that Thai beds seem to be made of concrete!! They could save money by just putting the sheets on the floor. So - we've ordered a mattress topper (2 1/2" foam) to try and get a good nights sleep.

Food here has been no problem!! You can get every kind of food possible - from pizzas, steaks, pasta, sandwiches, seafood (yum) to Thai. I had a wonderful prawn and asparagus with rice dish last night (almost like a version of Chinese food) - a huge number of prawns and only about 8 Cdn. dollars. The night before we went to John's favourite place - Karlson's Steak House and had two great steaks. Can you believe it - they were cooked perfectly for both of us (blue rare!) Frederik - the fellow who owns the restaurant - is a keen golfer so we are going to get together with him to play some golf (when it stops raining).

We are going to look into taking some Thai cooking lessons and are still trying to find out where you can take Tai Chi.

Well, it's still pouring (just got harder) but we're going to log off now.
Thanks to everyone for your messages. It's great to keep in touch.
David & Ann
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