Friday, August 20, 2010

The week's faves - Island Edition

August 12th, the Thai Queen's birthday is a national holiday here. That was Thursday and what luck, work bosses decided to give us Friday, the 13th free too. I and a couple of friends headed off to Thailand's second largest island, Koh Chang (Elephant Island), referred to by some as the Oriental Eden of the East. It's difficult trimming these faves to five but I'll try...

I. Nothing beats waiting for dinner chatting on hammocks! Behind us blazing rays of the setting sun blanketed the sea; the sound of waves gentle and the breeze therapeutic. Nature was addressing the ACs cooling our city offices - this is how you treat weary Bangkokians, gentlemen.

*The restaurant: Saffron on the Sea
*Main course: deep fried white snapper with mango and carrot strips, sweet basil, chinese celery, and cashew nuts
*Drinks: tequila sunrise drank at sunset and tempered by ginger and lemon grass tea

II. Okay, I took work to the island. But I calculated that in a place so beautiful inducing ideas for research would be a piece of fishcake, and it was. Toying with concept maps, I didn't regret not joining my friends at White Sand beach where they checked out a few bars and live music.

III. Exploring the rocks. Fun fun fun! And a 19-year-old memory came dancing back:

My cousins to their father: (pleading like brats) Come on, Papa. Please buy us that beach house in Aplaya...

My uncle to cousins: (looking overruled and drawing a resigned breath) You really want that property huh, kids?

Cousins in hopeful chorus: Yes!

Uncle with affectionate finality: OK. I love you so I will buy it... (and turning cheeky without warning) if you all stopped schooling first.

Its return accorded me equilibrium while I was maneuvering this boulder. The comic look on my cousins' faces when they were handed the trade had me in stiches inwardly. The wind pumped fresh oxygen into my lungs sending fondness back to my heart. I love my sometimes crazy family :)

IV. Island - hopping. I snoozed half the time on the boat like a classic old maid, (a nickname we tease each other with) and worked the camera for my friends who went snorkeling around each island we sailed to. My phone registered locations I could hardly pronounce, and the boat showed us sights to daydream on. And on. And on....

V. Bonus for a sinker. What's brilliant about this shallow part of the ocean I could shriek in delight is the presence of multi-colored fish here and there swooshing close to your body! We took hundreds of photos, and on one which was taken by our guide I discovered something - a big turtle below us was captured on the shot. What more could someone who can't swim ask for?

Head over to Susanne's Living to Tell the Story for more faves.


  1. It's amazing to think about the queen's birthday being a national holiday! But hey! I wouldn't complain either! And those hammocks? Looks like a great way to relax!

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  2. Carrie, the queen's birthday is Mother's Day here as well

  3. Gorgeous photos, Hazel!

    Waiting on dinner in those hammocks looks heavenly!

    I also loved the story of your cousins begging your uncle for a beach house!

    What a wonderful holiday you had, even though you had to do some work as well.

  4. Jerralea, uncle understood his kids' motive for pleading - they wanted a hangout for themselves and their friends away from home :D

  5. Looks like an amazing place to take a vacation. I particularly like the picture of the hammocks, I would love be in one of those about now!

  6. Brenda, I'll vacate the one I'm on for you :)

  7. The hammocks look very inviting! Thanks for sharing your photos and descriptions; I almost feel as though I was there.

  8. Melissa, I'm glad you like them.

  9. Sounds like you really enjoyed life this week! Good for you. It's great to get along with family. Have a wonderful weekend...

  10. Well happy Holidays. Boy the Queen sure is powerful I tell ya LOL Anyway at least you get some time off. :) Ooo I really like those hammocks. The whole place looks so inviting. :) Okay old maid better luck next time for not falling asleep. How fun. I take it CJ was with dad? Have a great weekend :)

  11. ellen, thank you.

    Thom, power that benefits commoners is always welcome :)
    I didn't want to get off the hammock either. CJ was with granny.

  12. What a weekend! oh yeah!

    I had wondered where CJ was. I didn't think you were letting him get drinks with you at dinner :)

    Think of all the wonderful memories you've made. Maybe in a few years you'll remember them and laugh again like you did over your uncle's rascally wily ways.

  13. Willow, CJ was with grandma. i wasn't letting him wander anywhere near those drinks :)

    Yeah, memories. I'm loving the ones happening nowadays. Thanks.

  14. What a lovely place. It sounds like you have a wonderful getaway with good friends making good memories.

  15. Sounds like your time away was something out of a dream!



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