To be honest Thailand is a little bit more of a second sunny home for us than a prime holiday destination. Mainly due to the fact that we travelled it up and down quite extensively and there is not really that much to see (aside temples, which get repetitive after some time) we usually opt out to have a very relaxed time there – drink and vegetate is the motto… Hiking, which would be our alternative pattern for most countries is off limits (for us) as they have no real hiking paths and a rather disturbing amount of extremely dangerous snakes, scorpions, etc. In general far more unpleasant things than worth the effort. Yet it is a paradise for birdies (those people with the huge binoculars / monoculars sitting behind shelters in scorching heat and humidity, getting gnawed by all kind of biting and stinging insects) and other very patient and obedient observers…
Let’s face it – we were there to get some sun, some nice food and some work done (for me). A nice and good compromise…
As I said the variety of wildlife is quite great… Anybody inside?
Our small heaven – a private pond which is just the perfect thing to do at night…
If they get the water clean before you arrive… If not you have to filter it then…
Cockroaches usually come in 3 varieties, this one being a more beautiful and not so revolting one. In general we were quite lucky not to have too many (in the bungalow…) – yet the side effect is the extensive use of pesticides which has harmful consequences on humans as well. Ursula (being much lighter and therefore much easier affected) had 2 cases of pesticide poisoning as they spray everywhere and the air con ventilation distributes the whole mess over the beach pub area…
I couldn’t help it…
Enjoying your dinner in a sunken eatery is a wonderful experience
The grow the biggest (coco) nuts in Thailand
The lotuses are always outstanding beauties
And again – trying to get in…
breakfast in style…
As I love to cook I convinced the executive chef to let me cook lunch for the staff (50 people)… That means a lot of ingredients
6 Kg of cheese, …
sorting through the supplies
Now the food is in the steamer and time is running short
Yep – we made it. Get the stuff over
The cantina for the employees
Cannelloni in 3 varieties – one vegetarian with Ricotta, herbs and tomato; one with chicken, fennel, carrots and mushrooms; one with pig, tomato and chilli… Fusion
They liked it Especially the process of filling the cannelloni was fun
As we wanted to explore options for other resorts (fur future visits) as well, we had a 3 day diversion to the South… The place was beautiful and the beach front perfect, yet again service, language, etc. – the old problems of Thailand (but somehow we thought worse than before – no idea why…). Perhaps the few people who are very good in service (and do speak some languages – ok, mainly English would be fine) are scattered among the ever growing list of properties.
Most resorts in the South are built on old coconut plantations
To see something as well we did an excursion to a lesser known park called Kui Buri National Park. You change cars at the ranger station and get driven around to see wild elephants and Gaur (an endemic bovine). It’s very non-intrusive (which is nice) and you have the chance to see something, yet luck has to be on your side…
The drive alone was worth it – you know the dogs with the tongue lolling in the wind? I felt pretty much the same
Into the wilderness
There, there… Ok, what? Ah… gaur!
Here they are!
Those great brown-grey shades are a mother and child. As I said – very non-intrusive (which is very, very good!)
Well, not everybody is so non-intrusive
Especially being a puppy enjoying life to its possibilities
Back at the hotel (for some reason there are almost only Swedish tourists – perhaps some management affiliation, etc.)
We made the best of the place, the beach and the feeling!
They keep live cattle which is surely interesting to see
Especially the water buffalo is so nice! By the way – Indians (being mostly Hindus) like Buddhists would scarcely ever touch cow, but buffalo poses no problem. Well, mozzarella is buffalo milk as well
The mimosa is a nice plant – especially when you touch it. As there were some technical problems with the blog writing software you have to click on the image to open the YouTube page where you can see what happens when the plant is touched.
Back in Hua Hin (our “usual” place) I had another folly to make some bread as I really detested their wholesale white bread from the depths of my cooking heart… So I decided (as the executive chef had no idea about bread either and was really interested to learn) to make 3 different ones: chilli / basil, rosemary and plain white…
As the oven in the breakfast lobby is quite good and used for pizza as well I privatized it…
These ones are waiting to be made
In the oven…
That looks good!
Loads of vapour in the air…
Some results… In the end we had some 14 breads. All nice and lovely – yummy…
Usually we had our happy-hour drinks here and this time I took the chance for some photos…
The pond is just nice!
Siam Sunray – our favourite
Well, we are in Thailand
Along the roadside you usually find small shrines. The funny thing is that these get replaced all the time and the old symbols are discard alongside the road… The “Place of the Fallen Gods”
Looks really strange and bizarre
This time the illumination for Chinese New Year was a bit scary
Lotus flowers are always big show-offs
This colour we hadn’t seen before either
A new banana
On the way to our outside eatery with real good food. To give you an idea about prices… 1 soup (to share), 1 salad (papaya), 1 pork salad, 2 rice, 1 beer together will cost around 7-8 €; max, if you really, really indulge perhaps 15 – 18 (but then you can’t move anymore…)
Our friend – she was so nice and gentle
But not allowed to enter…
Young Thais have to learn early about the typical way of driving around
So, that’s it – we are back and jet-lagged… It was nice, but a bit sad as well. Tourism has changed as did the service industry. If it’s good or bad we don’t know yet. What we do know is that swimming (what most people are looking for in Thailand) in the sea is off-limits nowadays as more and more box-jellyfish (which are lethal!) are sighted. Ko Samui alone has around 38 different (and out of these around 20+ are deadly poisonous). Another huge problem is the use of pesticides and the resulting poisoning. Chilli is among the worst – herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, brr… the list is endless.
What amazed me most is that according to a recent report the use of fertilizer from 1960 to 2005 for growing rice has increased 99 times, yet the yield only 100%… That means for double the yield 99 times the fertilizer (and pesticides, etc.)?? Is that worth it???