Blogs from Ao Nang, South-West Thailand, Thailand, Asia

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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ao Nang February 6th 2020

“The Andaman is Thailand’s dream coast………Flashy resorts are pushing out the bamboo shacks and Thai-Rasta bars and authenticity hides largely in the backwaters now. But if you’re willing to search hard, your postcard dream is still there” Islands and Beaches - Lonely Thailand’s Planet Wednesday 5th February 2020 Yesterday, we returned to such a dream place, Pan Beach on Noppharat Thara Bay, Ao Nang. We rarely re-visit (it is a big world out there) but since we were so close, we just had to find out if this little Paradise remained unspoilt. It has! We booked in for three nights and leave tomorrow. Thailand has confirmed six new cases of Coronavirus, four of whom are Thais. It is not spreading too fast it seems, at the moment, outside of China and we have been impressed with ... read more
Macaque monkey on Pan Beach
Phuket dock
Traditional fishing boat

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ao Nang January 24th 2020

Happy Chinese New Year, all celebrating! I’m celebrating with all except the family who let their small boy pee at the side of the pool of the hotel. He was about 8, old enough to know better! Last night I decided to get some money from an atm, despite the eye-watering 220B charge, to avoid a 3% credit card charge on Ko Lanta. Research said that Krungsi Bank and Bangkok Bank would both let you get 30,000B in one transaction. Research was wrong. ATM said cannot. I tried 10,000 and that was OK, so I’m not sure what the daily limit is. So yesterday, with the main reason of gleaning information on the status of the massage huts, I went to number 9, where Tam, the guy who used to be at number 15, now works. ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ao Nang January 22nd 2020

So after a terrible night’s sleep, counting the hours until the first dentist opened and making plans B, C and D, possibly involving superglue, I was all packed up and in the foyer of Central 2 10 minutes before 9am. It was unanticipatedly raining when I left the hotel, so I opened my bag in reception and put my poncho on over my rucksack and shoulder bag. I looked RIDICULOUS and felt it, so stopped at 7-11 and bought a cheapo umbrella. 2 minutes later the rain stopped. Dead on 9 I tried the intercom and got a guy on the other end. Couldn’t make out what he was saying so asked if I could come up and talk face to face, he said to try 10-15 minutes later as nobody was there. But you are ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ao Nang February 12th 2019

Today was a trip to remember, not for all the usual reasons. I decided to go to Chicken Island, 300b plus 400b National Park fee. I’d been told there was a restaurant but picked up supplies from 7-11 ( note to self: if they’ve run out of hard boiled eggs do NOT buy soft boiled ones. They’ve been in hot water for 2 minutes only and everything is soft. They explode all over your towel and sarong when you tap them even gently). Otherwise it’s a great one stop holiday shop and has everything you could possibly need. I bought my ticket, even though it had clouded over and started to rain a bit. It wouldn’t rain all day, for sure, and it cleared up before we set off. The boat was number 75 and there ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ao Nang February 11th 2019

Today my buddies and I were booked in for a cookery class, with the lady who featured in Gordon Ramsay’s Thailand cookery programme (YouTube, 33m49s) and taught him how to make fish soup. I wondered if it will be al fresco, in the house on stilts, or whether that was not her house and a location chosen for filming reasons of authenticity. Martin ably negotiated the price down to 1000b each, including transport there and back. It’s a way out of Ao Nang. There would be 5 of us, what fun! I was told to come hungry as you get to eat it all afterwards. I’d had my usual lunch of corn, being completely unable to say no to the corn guy, bless his deaf little heart. He’s always so cheerful. I was picked up first ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ao Nang February 10th 2019

So in the interest of not getting stuck in a rut, beach-wise, yesterday I decided to walk to the other side of the town, along Noppharat Thara beach and keep going until I found somewhere to sit on sand that wasn’t completely covered at high tide. The first part is very narrow and only has hard sand. This took a long time, as from J Hotel it is 2 1/2 miles. I stopped for breakfast on the way and bought supplies in 7-11. Then I walked along the path next to the sea, past the Holiday Inn. Way, way past. Noppharat Thara beach is truly a trek. I was dismayed to see a septuagenarian pawing a schoolgirl, or not long past, on a bench. There is more of this now, older men holidaying solo here. I ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ao Nang February 8th 2019

Well not exactly woes, but it could have been! Last night I had to try a few exchange places as most only wanted to give me 1000b notes, and they are very annoying to a solo traveler. I ended up at the place just before the corner where the taxi boat ticket office is, and this time there was a young guy in there as well as the usual lady. The rate was below 40b for the first time, and so for £100 I was getting 3970b. i asked for some 500s and he handed over the cash. Luckily I didn’t pick it up or take it off the counter. The receipt had the right amount but I was 400b short. I said it wasn’t right and he straight away handed over the extra. He didn’t ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ao Nang February 4th 2019

Last night I tried the famous roll icecream. The making of it is very theatrical, they put all the ingredients on a frozen plate, chop them up like mad before spreading it all out to freeze (in seconds) and then scrape it off into rolls and put it in a pot. Looks impressive, doesn’t taste particularly wow! 100b, 8/10 for the entertainment factor. Today our pickup was at 8.30-8.45. My buddies were already in the back of the tuktuk and we picked up others along the way until we were quite squashed in. The others were from Taiwan, China, the Ukraine and France. We had no real idea where we were going but ended up on the coast to the north, about a 30 min drive through rubber and palm oil plantations. On arrival there was ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ao Nang February 2nd 2019

So 2 days on the beach has had positives (mainly) and a few negatives. There is a lot of development in the area, more than is immediately apparent. The main street ‘pink’ travel agency is now half the size, the other half being made into another Burger King, when there is already one just round the corner. Really??? And on the way to the beach, behind the Last Fisherman Bar there is a lot of construction. Not high rise, but when finished I don’t know how the beach will cope. There are so few places to be out of the sun. Téoo (not Nai, as I’d thought) said that next year it is planned to replace all the bamboo massage huts with proper buildings, no doubt much more expensive rent wise for the local people who ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ao Nang February 2nd 2019

Thai babies are not transported in buggies. They are carried, then they walk. End of. Just saying..... For food the night before last I thought I’d try to find the big night market on the other side of town, not being really sure if it actually existed or not. Or if I’d be too late, as the local ones seem to start at 5ish and finish early. I was more or less confident that I knew where it was. Along the front there were small clumps of ladyboys in fabulous gowns, each about 6’6” tall in high heels, asking for money to have their photos taken. They seem to prefer to congregate outside fast food places like McDonald’s and Burger King. They don’t like the non fee-paying public sneaking a shot when they’re posing. I didn’t ... read more
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