Friday, December 6, 2013

Fall Trip to Thailand 2013

We had a great fifty-nine day trip to the "Land of Smiles".

Please forgive the mistakes in English.  I'm a plumber and not an English Major.  Please just read it and enjoy the pictures.

We landed in Bangkok at around one o'clock in the morning.  By the time we got through immunizations, baggage claim, customs and taxi ride to our bouquet guest house in the Shumhamvit Road area of Bangkok it was about 3:00 AM.   

Bangkok is a 24 hour town so we had a shower, it was around 90 degrees F. Then we went to get a little food before trying to get some sleep after being in the air for over 18 hours. 

I slept about four hours and jet-lag got me up.  I went for a walk and had a little coffee.  Daeng stayed in bed.  

When I got back from my walk she was up so we went to Foodland and had a little Farang Food (Western like in American Food.)  Here is a picture of us on the curb in Bangkok. 

I like Foodland as it's real name is "Took Kae Dee" which in Thai translates in English to "Cheap and Good". 

That is a correct statement for the place.  

I had an American breakfast of two eggs over easy, toast, bacon, juice & coffee.  

Daeng was not very hungry but on the way back to our hotel room she saw some BBQ frogs that she got interested in.  We took them back to our room and eat them there.  Like Daeng says: "Tastes like Chicken."

For the next few days we didn't due to much except eat, sleep and walk a little.  Jet-lag kicked our butts.  We did see a picture of the "Hear no, See no and Speak no Evil Monks".  We laughed at it.  

Short stay of a few days in Bangkok and we made the plane ride north.  The plane ride is about one hour and twenty minutes, then a car ride of about forty minutes and we're home. 

We made it back for Sumo's birthday party.  Yea, cake and ice cream. Sure was a good example of comfort food.  

Sumo really got into the cake!

We hung our for the next few days just catching up with what had happened over the summer.  

We registered Daeng's motorbike for the 2103-2014 year.  The Buddha's year of 2014 is 2557. 

Daeng did go to a funeral of a lady that she knew.    She let me stay home as she knows I don't like them.

When she came home she told me of the people at the funeral and told me that if she ever gets bossy to kick her in the butt.  She said that the folks were short handed to serve folks food and drinks so she just started helping.  

She said one of the ladies, that was a guest, started ordering her around like she was a slave.  She just told her she would help her next and continued to help people.  I guess that same lady then told her to wash the bowls as they did not have enough.  Daeng said she just went ahead and washed the dishes and did not say anything but she just hoped she would never be like that lady. 

I'm glad I was not there as I think I would have spoke up and talked about how "Low Class" that lady was.  I try to be loving but It was best I didn't go.  Daeng is just a real sweet lady. 
We did a few thing around the house, like wash windows.  We tried to teach "Bum" that if he touches the windows he has to wash the windows.  He is good at touching but not washing.  

By the way, his real nickname is "Bom" but I call him "Bum".

We also eat a few ice cream sandwiches from the ice cream guys or gals that comes around. Here they make an ice cream sandwich with two slices of white bread, ice cream, corn, coconut, peanuts and stuff.  I think it is funny to watch the family eat them.

It was nice to visit the local morning market and have coffee and Pa-Thong-Ko with our Chinese coffee shop owners.  

Even the morning market beggar was happy to see us.   The first thing he did, when he saw me, was look at his finger nails.  If his hands are clean I give him a few Baht. One Baht is about three cents.

The coffee is okay but this Pa-Thong-Ko is one of the best around. 

I guess I did piss off a few folks making a joke about his "Obama" T-shit.  It is really a picture of a Chinese Man that although he killed many folks he is looked up to for part of their freedom. 

The price of gasoline is down a little.  A US Gallon of Gasoline is about $6.00 US dollars.  91 Octane gasohol is $4.74 USD.  Now, diesel is less than $4.00 a gallon.  I'm told the Thai government subsidizes the price of diesel. 

We also visited DEDPC/GMS to give them the donation of 10,000 THB for their lunch program.  They are really nice folks and you can read their blog at

They helped Daeng learn to sew and gave her some self respect and motivation when she was younger.  You can read about that at

Now, talk about being scared.  I took a little nap and woke up to this!   

I still love her!  

We also did some shopping.  We are looking for chairs for our bedroom but haven't found anything we really like.  

We did buy Daeng a new motorbike.  It is a Honda Zoomer-X.  It was fun to buy as you pick out the motorbike and then add the stuff you want on it.  The kids love them as they can make them look anyway they want. 

We started with "Red" as Daeng's name means "Red" in Thai.  We than added the chrome stuff.  It does ride and handle nice but is a run around town kind of motorbike. 
If we are going over a few miles we take mine as it is bigger and stronger. 

Bum, Daeng's Grandnephew, is becoming potty trained.  He is funny because he was trained the Thai way on a squat toilet, he squats on the western toilet also. We only have one of the five bathrooms with a squat toilet. 

We also kept busy by painting the hall-way of the first and second floor staircase.  It was a tough place to paint but Daeng and I did a great job. 
The gal at Home Mart also helps us out to buy things as she understands English and knows almost all the part names in English.  She is a big help to us. 

Things on the Myanmar (Burna) Border crossing are pretty busy each day.  Our little town of Mae Sai is as far north as you can go in Thailand and is a well used border crossing.  It is a major part of this town's economy.  

The weather has been pretty clear and you can see the mountain out our bedroom window. 

There has been a lot of activity raising money for the Buddhist Temples.  I get a kick out of the folks as they raise money and then have a party with beer and whisky while taking 
the money to the temple. One of the five precepts, Buddhists suggested rules, is no mind altering substances.  I guess that doesn't mean alcohol.  I'm just saying.  

Who said "Money doesn't come on trees!"? That is a money tree on the pick-up truck in the right of the picture. 

We like to visit some friends and family in the second largest city in Thailand, Chiang Mai.  It is a three and a half hour drive over the mountain to the southwest.  To give you some idea of size, Bangkok is around 16 million folks and Chiang Mai great area is around one million folks.  

We were renting a car at Thai Rent-a-Car at the Chiang Rai Airport.  We took a taxi from our house to the airport.  We were stopped at the first check-point and our bags were searched.  I told them that we did not mind them searching our baggage but they needed to ware gloves.  I carry latex gloves in my carry-on bag to give to the offices when they want to open our bags.  

It was a good trip over the mountain.

Florida Orange Juice anyone? By the way, the juice was about $3.31 US Dollar a half gallon .  Yep, the real stuff, also!

It is November and a lot of expats live in this area so the Thai's decorate for Christmas.

Ice Cream, anyone? 

There are a lots of attractions here, also. How about the Balloon Festival? 

We love to have cake and celebrate life with our friends.  

It was great fun to have to have cake with our friend Brian, too!  

Daeng came to the celebration and helped eat the cake, as well.

Chiang Mai is a big shopping area so we bought motorbike helmets for ourselves and one for "Bum".  We hope it will fit him. 

We wanted to visit Tiger Kingdom so we drove over and spent the afternoon. 

We hired a photographer so we could just spend time with the tigers and not worry about taking pictures.  We were glad we did.  

The babies were playful and delightful. Daeng's comment to this tiger was: "Did you just fart?"

The bigger cats just kind of wanted to sleep as they are awake at night.  I think it is called nocturnal. 

Now, the really big tigers just slept as we put our head on them.  

Daeng said she could take a nap on this big guy!

We had a lot of fun and it was well worth the money to get in.  The photographers did a great job, as well. 

 Well, will the fun never end, time to go home to Mae Sai. 

We got up early and had a little breakfast.  Daeng loves chicken feet anytime of day, 

We drove over the mountain and stopped for a little stretching.  It was a clear day. 

We decided we would go through the short cut and stop to see "Meechu", Chom-nom's Mother, in the little AKHA village of Ban AYO.  

When we got there we caught her in the bath house, naked.  We all laughed and we watched her get dressed in her AKHA clothes.  

No one knows how old she is but she has beautiful dark hair.  She has to put it all up to put her head dress on. 

I asked her if she has wrinkles all over.  She started to show me and then realized I was kidding and started to laugh.

After that she has to put her leggings on.

I told her I would be good little boy and she laughed again.  I thought she was going to spit out her chew as she laughed really hard.  

Yea, dressed and a little smoke.  She said is was going to be a good.

 She gave us a papaya from her tree and told us to come back and see her anytime.  

She is a really nice lady.

We agreed we would would spent the night in Chiang Rai and then head north to our home in the morning.

We got up early and went over to our friend Jan's Coffee Shop.  Wow, she had it all fixed up and it looked really great. 

We had coffee and drove the additional 60 Km home. We did stop at our favorite chicken place and got some to go. 

Bum and the rest of the family was happy to see us.  Bum liked his new helmet, too.  We hope he wears it and is safe.  It is just a little big for him but it's okay. 

In the morning, Daeng got up and did the wash.  

She still likes to do part of the wash the old fashion way.  

Oh, I almost forgot, on the way home we found a charcoal Bar-B-Que that we liked.  They told us they were coming to Mae Sai tomorrow and would deliver it. 

Well, it's time for more cake.  It is Cola's birthday.  A family night out at the BBQ Restaurant and lot's of food and fun.  

Cola has helped us over the years and it was very nice of him to invite us, too. 

We ate way to much!

Here is something they tell me is very good on the Bar-B-Que.  Daeng says: "Tastes like Chicken, too."

It is a holiday time named Loi Krathong. We have written many stories on this blog about the holiday.  If you would like to read them just click HERE and HERE.  It is on the Full Moon of the Twelfth Month of the Thai Lunar Calendar.

Daeng and the family always have fun hand-made Krathongs, They are
made from banana tree trunk and 
banana leaves held together with
pins, and decorated with flowers.

Then, in the evening, 

folks crowd the waterway

and float and the 


It is 


Party and the Thai people love to


This is a picture of one part of 

our little town. 

It is a very mellow holiday and is 

great for us old folks.  

The kids are back in school at DEPDC/GMS.  We were able to have lunch with them.  Again, we want to thank everyone that donated money to help this program. 

They are a great bunch of kids.  

It was a good Veterinarian lunch and the kids were very happy and full of laughter. 

I have lots of picture but because this organization is to protect kids and young adults from human trafficking they do not want pictures posted unless there are at least three in the picture.  

The kids also liked seconds of desert. 

If you would like to help with this project please contact me. 

By the way, you can buy anything you would like to eat in Thailand.  Here is a picture of Shark and Sting Ray in the market.

The prices are in Thai Baht per kilogram.  One Thai Baht = about 3 US Cents.  

I was helping with the laundry this morning and Daeng said: "You very sexy man.  You do laundry!" 

We both laughed. 

Wow, we have been here for a month and a half.  It's time to pack and go back to California for the winter.  

Daeng got all the spices that she wanted to take back and we packed everything up in two suitcases. 

I also laughed when Daeng brought me some seedless grapes for breakfast.  She actuality cut each grape and took the seeds out of them.  She is a cool lady and a wonderful cook! 

It was a good trip south to the Chiang Rai Airport.  We flew on Thai Airlines into the new airport in Bangkok. This is our first time traveling with Thai Airways and it was a better experience than Air Asia.  

We did not have to pay for our baggage and the new airport is much closer to the beach city of Pattaya. The extra cost of the tickets on Thai Airways was saved in the lower cost of transportation to Pattaya. 

In the morning we had a huge breakfast at the little family place just up the road from the beach. 

Although we try to stay away from buffet style dining.  Here you pick out what you want and they bring it to the table for you.  

The Mother, who oversees and does all the cooking, always makes something special and supper spicy for us.

We love to see her as when she sees us she always starts smiling. 

I also laugh at Daeng as when she walked by a pay phone, she checks to see if there is any money in the coin return.  

Old habit still return sometimes. And

yes, they still have them here although everyone has a cellular phone. 

We stopped at a little shop to see if we could find a Buddha for our friend.  This lady sells old religious artifacts.

We also got to spend a little time with our friend Wayne, from Canada.  He also fell in love with Thailand and is thinking about retiring here. 

After a week here in Pattaya, it's time to say good-bye for now and make the looonnnngggggg plane ride back to California.  The good thing is the trip back is only about 15 hours in the air. 

One last thing before saying good-bye.  Here is a picture of a cigarette cartoon.  Do you think anyone looks at the pictures?  

If you smoke, please stop!

If you don't smoke, help a friend or a loved one stop!

Good-bye Thailand and Hello California. We'll be back in March 2014.