oh it is hard to wake up in Paradise everyday but someone has to do it or all the resorts would be empty right?....... actually the resorts are pretty empty, Thailand is really struggling after the recent political upsets, the last place we stayed, had an 80% cancellation rate for the Xmas period, which is crazy. On the other hand for us we can walk into any resort and get offered a great deal.
Normally I wouldn't spend more than 1,000B a night but the last resort we stayed in we got a room worth 2700B for 1400B and I thought we would treat ourselves, a TV and fridge, and facing the beach, with the restaurant off to the left between us and the beach (I pulled the curtains shut when we make noodle cups haha) We hired a motorbike and did our usual Island tours.......hmmm it's hot, should we laze in the aircon room or jump on the bike? Freedom of the road and all that :) always wins.
I need to write a whole blog just about living in the village, but we are going back there after Xmas for another week, so I might do a general sum up after that? Needless to say we loved it, and Ayanda can speak Malay so well! He said to me one day "mum I am learning so many new Malay words, that I am losing some English" I always thought it was in one ear and out the other with him haha
I was quite keen to do something special for Xmas for Ayanda, and staying in a Traditional Muslim Village wasn't going to make that easy, so we did quite a massive two day hike of buses, vans, taxis and ferries and a stop over in Hat Yai with the best breakfast ever, to finally get to an island retreat. When we crossed the border Ayanda said "wow mum can you believe we went to another country without having to take a plane?" His first land border crossing, not something Aussies are used to! And what a wonderful concept for a child to imagine!
At the border, we were only given a 15day visa!! But it was delivered with a smile ahh the land of smiles, but anyone who has been here before might find it surprising, and no-one quite knows why it is happening- feedback would be great! I have never entered a country before and felt this ticking clock counting down the minutes til I have to leave, and we have to leave on the 27th of December, not the most auspicious time of year to be making travel plans, but I have it all booked and sorted.
The island we have been staying on, Koh Lanta, is very under developed, and just heaven, and exactly where I want to spend Christmas!! but we have come to Ao Nang, Krabi, for a brief side of Thailand that we needed a weekend of... MacDonalds, Burger King and Starbucks all walking distance from our hotel, but more importantly there is shopping here (how can I get out and get some toy surprises?), and I need a dose of it before going back to the island!
Plan here until Monday 22, then back to Koh Lanta, 26 to Hat Yai, 27th to Malaysia and the the village Ulu Bakai, for a few days Village style, the on to Indo
Like I said I owe a big blog about village life, but I must say the similarities between village life in Malaysia and Africa are amazing, and I think it has been a really great experience for Ayanda, closest to what he would get back in his country of birth.
I also would love to just do a blog about how great my boy is, but everyone might get bored by it :) Just to say, he is not too shy, and displays enough patience when trying to get his point across, but he also has great ideas and opinions of things to to, he picks up on cultural differences really maturely, and has a great sense of direction, and has got us back to a hotel many a time. (I used to just take the hotel card and if lost get in a taxi and get them to take me home) but the last thing I wish to say is that when our bus missed the turn off to where we had booked to go and it looked uncertain where we were going to end up Ayanda piped up to all " well it is my first time to Thailand so I dont mind what I get to see or where I stay, it is all new and an adventure for me"
Thats my boy, and reminded all that sometimes the true meaning of travel is not just in the destination! Aren't I the lucky person to travel with Ayanda! (not the other way around)
anyway having fun, feeling very safe, no sunburn, no sick tummies, we are very sensible, and well taken care of, and while in the village we probably wont have internet again, but we have mobile contact!