For 2012

August 12

It’s turning into another busy August.  Last year was virtually a High Season month for many of the better or better promoted resorts and businesses on the island and this year is shaping up to be similar.  Couple that with (so far) August having some very nice weather, with comparatively little rain and plenty of sunshine, and you’ll see a lot of happy faces on the island. We’ve even had walk in guests at our place, which is a rarity even in in Peak Season, given that we are 1.5Km off the main road.

Talking of roads the new Klong Prao super highway opened with very little fanfare.  This concrete road runs for 1Km from the main road to Tiger Hut and has slashed driving time for visitors staying at the huts, Panviman Resort or our little place to the nearest 7-eleven by up to a minute. Can’t stand in the way of progress.

As happenings that attract large groups of locals go, this past weeks Klong Prao Flea Market Trade Fair – laid on by the Ministry of Internal Trade, to promote the sale of Thai made junk to Thai people  – proved to be almost as popular draw as a large hole in the road or a motorbike accident.  The fair was basically a one stop shop where you could buy a mattress – single or Queen size; cheap underwear – in grey or beige; a floral print dress in primary colours – the kind worn by elderly women and those who have given up on life; a pirate DVD – a very profitable area of internal trade & therefore well worth promoting;  and a super large, razor-edge, machete. All under the same roof / awning.  You didn’t miss much. I took a few photos more out of sense of duty than a real urge to catalogue the moment for future generations.

Monkeys – 1: The popular bar/restaurant of the same name is reluctantly up for sale as the owner is relocating.  Yes, it’s a White Sand beach tourist trap, and that’s why it’s such a  good business to take over – widely advertised, established and in a prime location busiest beach on the island.  Photos and details here.

Monkeys – 2: the good weather and comparatively little traffic has brought out the monkeys on the island in big numbers.  I just realised that now, every time I drive over the big hill north of White Sand beach I see monkeys somewhere.  Usually hanging around the garbage bins or perched on the ‘Don’t Feed the Monkeys’ signs. Yesterday also saw them by the road near Klong Kloi beach and on the roadside in Bailan

Reason for the delayed update is that we were away on holiday for a couple of weeks and then I have been busy catching up with things and spending more time than normal with people looking for houses here. ( Which I’m not complaining about as it’s a profitable way to spend my time.)   Some pics below from Sir Lanka.  I first went there about 16 years ago, when I rode around the island by bicycle and the locals were busy bombing & shooting each other.  Things have quietened down now and it is a very nice place for a holiday, prices similar to Thailand.  The main criticism is that thermostats are all set about 5C higher than they should be, meaning that aircon and drinks are never cold and the idea of having ice in a drink is still a bit of a novelty.  One big plus though is that Airasia now flies their from Bangkok and so a return flight from Bangkok to Colombo ( 3 hours flying time ) can be had for about 1,000 Baht more than a one way ticket from Bangkok to Trat (40 minutes flying time).

Thinking of packing it all in and moving to the island?  Need some inspiration or an extra push in order to change your life entirely? This is for you:

I occasionally donate a bit of money to interesting projects on Kickstarter, the most recent of which, that myself and 4,476 others chipped in to help get made was a US documentary called ‘I’m Fine, Thanks’  It’s a movie about the moment people realize the life they’re living is not the life that’s true to their heart and, as a result, what they decide to do about it.  I thought that was an interesting project as I get emails, and also meet,  quite a few people who have good jobs, a nice house, a family and yet aren’t happy with their lot or really enjoying their life.  They are living the life that society expects them to live, rather than risking doing what they really want to and worrying about what their families & friends will say if they do.  It’s a situation which is getting increasingly more common as more and more people just devote their time to working to be able to get all the stuff that they think they need – and then they eventually realise they don’t. Donors have already got download links for the movie and it is being screened in various places in the US. Hopefully it will be available to a wider audience soon.  Well worth watching if you get the chance.  In a few weeks there will be a new site for downloading the movie or getting hold of the DVD. More info on the ‘I’m Fine Thanks’ story and also updates on the Facebook page


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