Archive for November, 2012


Z and I waved farewell to J’s plane from the pool this morning as he left for a quick sailing trip to Cairns, Australia.  (It may be a lot quicker if they don’t let him board his connecting flight in Singapore due to a slight visa stumble on our part)).  Thus, it is just me and Miss Z for the next 5 days so loads of opportunity for mother-daughter bonding (I see some manis and pedis in our future).

The last few days have been filled with beach, pool, beach, pool, work, further exploration of the island (went to Bang Tao Beach and Cape Panwa) and (most importantly for me!) steady progress on The Count of Monte Cristo (fabulous book, but one on which I’ve made frustratingly slow progress during this trip).   Am now at 85% on my Kindle!

A few nights ago we introduced Z to the world of Bond with Skyfall, at a Central Phuket cinema.  The Thai royal anthem played to a video montage of King Rama IX’s life before the film started and we stood along with the rest of the audience (failure to do so can result in criminal charges of lèse majesté)!  J informs me that the playing of “God Save the Queen” also used to be de rigueur before every movie in the UK–seemed strange to me initially, but it really is no different than our mandatory Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.  Some quick Wiki research informed me Rama IX is the world’s longest serving head of state (at 66 years 150+ days he has six years on QE II).   Z’s verdict of the movie: She likes the “spy who never dies”.

Other excitement for the week involved J erupting in a severe first case of hives two nights ago. Cause unknown. Primary suspect–shrimp.  Fortunately, Thai pharmacies here freely dispense predisone without a doctor’s prescription so we are hoping that does the trick.  And we thought we only had to worry about mozzies and jellyfish.

Finally, am thrilled that we don’t have to spend the next 10 months of world travel justifying a President Romney.

Some random photos from the past week:

Baby elephant on Bang Tao Beach

The Thais aim to please

Zara teaching her class

Thai sundresses

Nai Yang Beach, Phuket, Thailand

It has been 9 days now that we’ve called this delightful little corner of the world “home”.  I have to confess to having some misgivings regarding Phuket in the weeks leading up to our trip launch and that those didn’t fully abate while we were in Penang.  Jonathan and I had bandied about the idea of moving to Phuket in the early stages of our relationship (affectionally known as “BZ”) but in recent years I’d read how Phuket was becoming overly developed and seedy and it had me concerned, as had my failed attempts to find a house rental close to the beach that was less expensive than our SF mortgage!  Ultimately, however, I felt that J & I just had to visit this tropical island that had played such a part in our early discussion  about living abroad, so we purchased the one-way tickets without a long-term place to stay and booked a few nights at Dewa Resort in Nai Yang Beach. I became nervous about my choice when the passport control agent laughingly told us was the closest resort to the airport, as this conjured up images of SFO’s bleak airport hotels.  Fortunately, my fears were unfounded and the resort was perfect for our needs.  Long story short, it turned out that we could rent a large 1-bedroom suite from a private owner at the resort for the month of November and after a car trip around the island confirmed we preferred the vibe here up north, it was an easy decision. So now we have a lovely little place overlooking the resort pool with a bird’s eye view of the sea through the trees, across the street from a gorgeous and uncrowded beach and are within an easy five-minute walk to “downtown” Nai Yang Beach.

A Few Highlights 
Thai Halloween: As some of you guessed, the Thais don’t celebrate Halloween. Fortunately for us, our newfound traveling family friends, from http://www.edventureproject.com and http://www.worldschooladventures do (in style)!  We carved watermelon and some funky Thai vegetables, bobbed for apples in the pool and cobbled together some entertaining costumes (heavy on the pirate theme, with the exception of Mr Potter).  Definitely a very fun first Halloween outside of America!
  • Moped Adventures: I decided that 10 years was sufficiently long to banish the emotional scars inflicted from riding backseat on J’s moped in Bermuda. That, and the recognition that he values Z’s life more dearly than mine (or, as he explained it, feels more responsible for her–we can take that up another time).  So we rented a moped in town and did it Thai style–3 astride, with Z in the front, Jonathan in the driver’s seat and me holding up the rear (fortunately not having to hang on for dear life this time).  The first afternoon we headed north towards Mai Khao Beach for lunch, which we found almost nonexistent (not the beach, just the lunch in town)–we later learned that there is another part of town that is more developed.  With plans of lunch on hold, we stopped at a wat (temple) down a dirt road and had a lovely little ride through Casaurina-lined streets until we came across a herd of water buffalo and I immediately thought of Pamplona’s bulls. By that time we were shaky with hunger and a bit unsettled about finding ourselves on a busy main road with trucks barreling by at 60 MPH.

Moped outing

  • Bike Hike: Jonathan and I biked (the old-fashioned way) to Nai Thon Beach (the next beach south of us) one afternoon while Z hung out at the kids’ club.  As the extent of my bike riding over the past 5 years has been with Z, it quickly turned into a bike hike when we hit our first big hill at the peak of the day’s heat.  I was pretty convinced I was going to suffer from heat stroke but instead just got prickly rash from excessive sweating.  Lovely.
  • Similan Islands:  Yesterday we ventured further afield as part of a snorkeling trip to the Similan Islands, which comprise a national park of nine islands in the Andaman Sea.  We took a shuttle about an hour north to the mainland to the  Tap Lamu Pier, where it was an hour-long ride via speedboat to the Similan Islands.  Z and I loaded up on Dramamine pre-departure, so didn’t experience any queasiness, unlike one unlucky woman on our boat.   This was Z’s first official snorkeling trip and she was rewarded with a up close encounter with a sea turtle.  First it swam by her, then it touched her and by this evening it had pulled her along for a ride. 🙂  The soft white sand beaches were gorgeous and the islands were dotted with unusual rock formations.  The coral wasn’t in great shape in the areas we swam and snorkeled in, which was a bit depressing, but I read that the National Park service is making attempts to better preserve the environment of a couple of the famous dive sites.  Overall, it was a fantastic day’s outing, with friendly tour operators and a well-organized (if packed) excursion. We learned it’s possible to stay overnight in tents or bungalows on Koh Miang (Island #4) so perhaps next time!
  • Foot reflexology: $10/hour.  Need I say more?
  • Teaching Z to dive under waves.
  • Thai food: Cheap and delicious and even better if experienced when sitting on the beach, listening to the waves crash on shore and watching the sky get peppered with lightening bolts.  Sort of how like all food tastes better when camping.
  • Our first Phuket Indian restaurant: J somehow held out for nearly a week before we sampled the only Indian restaurant in Nai Yang Beach last night. After a very positive experience, I suspect it won’t be our last.
  • Family card games: Taught Z how to play War, but have nicknamed it the Afghanistan War because it wouldn’t end until Daddy got a bit creative in his card playing.

Playing cards

Random Observations 
  • Hordes of Russian tourists.  Menus are in Thai, English and Russian.  Some quick Google research revealed rumors about the Russian mafia controlling parts of Phuket.
  • Russian woman love to emulate Sport-Illustrated type cover shoots for their click-happy boyfriends/husbands by rolling around in the sand where the waves break on shore in skimpy suits in front of crowds of other tourists.  Have witnessed this enough times now to feel comfortable making this sweeping generalization.
JapanSojourn

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” ― Paulo Coelho

CARROT QUINN

dispatches from the wild

Mike Adamick

Follow a family of three as we travel the world exploring and learning more about the world, ourselves and our family

Our Travel Lifestyle

Follow a family of three as we travel the world exploring and learning more about the world, ourselves and our family

Family Travel Blog

Follow a family of three as we travel the world exploring and learning more about the world, ourselves and our family

A King's Life

Follow a family of three as we travel the world exploring and learning more about the world, ourselves and our family

EscapeArtistes

Just another WordPress.com site

Travel With Bender

Follow a family of three as we travel the world exploring and learning more about the world, ourselves and our family

Worldschool Adventures

Follow a family of three as we travel the world exploring and learning more about the world, ourselves and our family

Edventure Project

Education and Adventure for Everyone

Lonely Girl Travels

An Oakland Girl in the World