Dale and I decided to escape to the
beaches of Thailand this winter. Not only are the beaches of the country
fabulous, but inland Thailand is rich in culture too. We of course, saw
little of that. Our day in Bangkok was spent in the back of a taxi for
nearly 3 hours while it drove in circles trying to find our hotel. So
you will find no pictures of the floating market or fantastic shrines
here. But we did have great times on the beach and found some great cooking
schools as well. We went to two islands, Ko Samui & Ko Phangan. Ko
Phangan was lovely; Samui not as much as its too heavily trafficked &
Here's some wildlife we don't always get to
see in Alaska, or Europe for that matter.
Dale looking quite at home in the jungle.
Our first few days in Ko Samui were a bit
stormy, so beaches & swimming was not that great. So we opted
for inland activities like hiking. As you can see from the picture,
the stormy weather there is pretty nice.
There's an animal in this picture. Can you
Here's a better view. It was quite a surprise
to see this one poke his head out of the bushes. The elephants
in this area were quite tame, as they are used for clearing land
or jungle trekking. As they aren't dangerous (?) they just roamed
around the waterfall area of Ko Samui and we encountered them
several times on our hike.
Here's an elephant taking a water break.
On Ko Samui, we stayed at Big Buddha beach
because it was close to the airport & the launch spot for
Ko Phangan. The temple was interesting.
Me on a swing at the little strip of beach
left after the storm.
Looking out from the top of Big Buddha
The best restaurant on Ko Samui. At one point
the whole kitchen came out to watch us enjoy our meal. We went
back there every night we were on the island.
Here's the ferry dock for Ko Phangan
Here's our lovely bungalow at Mae Haad beach.
The area is known to have some of the best snorkeling on the island.
Our first cooking lesson was with Pam &
Jig at the Jungle House. Above are all of the ingredients found
in red curry. We were able to make our own curry paste and it
was very FUN!
Here's what most of the island of Ko Phangan looked like. Lots
of tiny bungalows tucked away. Very quiet and very relaxing.
Here is Dale getting ready to
pound away at the curry paste.
This is the open air kitchen at the Jungle
House. It was great to cook with windows wide open and looking
out at a tropical jungle. We made a gigantic meal of Tom Yum soup,
Green Curry chicken, Pork Salad, and Coconut Banana soup. We were
The stormy weather on the north
shore of Ko Phangan hitting the dock and soaking one of the main
streets in town.
Water striking the restaurants and hotels
at Chaloklum. Normally this area has one of the largest beaches
on the island. With the storm and changing weather patterns, the
beach disappeared. What will happen in a few more years?
Here's Dale on the
beach at Thong Nai Pan. We spent about a week there because it
was so lovely. Talk about paradise...
Here's me at Christmas. Pretty festive, eh?
Dale on a boardwalk that winds
its way around the point at Thong Nai Pan.
Feeling quite comfy in a our bungalow hammock.
You can tell we were really roughing it. Note the proximity of
bungalow to the beach.
Part of the reason why we liked
Thong Nai Pan so much is because the people there were so great.
This is Ya and Toy, who had the best Thai massage shop in town.
We went there almost every night and indulged in an hour long
massage for about $8.00.
This is us after our nightly massage. Do we
look relaxed or what? Note the "Hey, dude" look on my
face and Dale's "I'm still excited!!!" hair-do.
Here's me and Mr. A - he makes
THE BEST coconut shakes in Thong Nai Pan. Rumor has it, I had
a lot of those too. But who's counting?
The second of our cooking lessons was at the
Bamboo Hut. Pictured above are: Panang Curry with Seafood, Massuman
Curry, and Basil Chicken. It was delicious.