SATUN (PRONOUNCED SAH-TOON)
A polar opposite to much of Thailand where there’s a heavy Islamic influence running through daily life due to its proximity to Malaysia. Really not much going on apart from a funky establishment I used called Ang Yee‘s Guest House which provided me with a moment of genuine amazement. It essentially transpired like this…
- Me sitting on the ferry at Satun jetty waiting to set off
- Suddenly realising I had left my phone charger in the room
- Cursing myself for 30 seconds
- Realising it’s not the end of the world
- Resigning myself to having to buy another one in Malaysia
- A ferry employee shouting down the aisle at me, phone charger in-hand
Oh, and there was the small matter of Satun thinking it was Christmas. I tried asking the guest house for an explanation but the language barrier proved too much. Google wasn’t much help either, so suggestions welcome!
KOH SAMUI & KOH TAO
Some magaziney shots of Koh Samui, as for some unknown reason I didn’t take one single photo in Koh Tao. That said, for what Koh Tao appeared to lack in endless, idyllic, silky, photogenic beaches, it made up for in once-in-a-lifetime-swimming-with-shark opportunities. And for what Koh Samui appeared to lack in any reasonable sophistication due to the monotonous, peace-puncturing drone of jet skis scarring the shores, it made up for in endless, idyllic, silky, photogenic beaches.
Wat Phra Singh’s Message Garden
Siam Rice Cookery School
My idea of a good time – cook amazing food, eat amazing food, cook more amazing food, eat more amazing food, and so on for 3 hours.
Why not have a go at one of the dishes? Head on over to The Larder.
Kayaking down the Mae Ping
With great views of Chiang Dao mountain, the ‘last tooth of the Himalayas’. Number of visits to the water: 3.
Sukhothai Historical Park
Whisper this when Cambodians are around but Sukhothai Historical Park is regarded as a mini Angkor Wat, something that doesn’t sit too well with them apparently. If you’ve never encountered Wats before, like me, then it’s an impressive introduction to such landscapes, as well as ancient Buddhism (and Hindu as it turns out – some temples were originally a Hindu sanctuary before being converted to Buddhist temples).
Sukhothai (meaning ‘Rising Happiness’) was Thailand’s first major kingdom which came to power in the 13th and 14th centuries so the area holds special significance with Thais. The subsequent rise of the Ayutthaya Province saw the decline of Sukhothai’s influence and the formation of a new centre of power, which was later quashed by Burmese invaders. After time though Thailand regained its lands and Ayutthaya was rebuilt a little south of its original location in what we now know as Bangkok.
Sukhothai on a Friday night, turned out to be live music night.
This is Yens, lead guitar and vocals in Gang on Rock. He writes tunes about smoking riffas and being horny in Ibiza.
This is Judith and Pim, or ‘Tarzan’ as a local called him, a Dutch couple who I’ve had quite a few beers with over the last few nights. She’s just left her job as a primary school teacher and Tarzan works down the red light district in Dam now and then – but not like that – he restores old buildings. They’ve just found out the old guy they’re talking to is also Dutch, but even then they can hardly understand a word he’s saying, as you can tell by Tarzan’s expression.
The Layers of Bangkok. A street food trader waits to cross the road as traffic races by in front of Hua Lamphong Station.
Lumphini Park residents
The Chinese Pavilion in Lumphini Park