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February 2nd 2017
Published: February 2nd 2017
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iO2House 1553#iO2House 1553#iO2House 1553#

Our home for February
PTuesday 31st January 2017/Wednesday 1st February 2017
Today we start our third trip to Thailand, a 28 day vacation to escape the unusually cold and wet Cyprian winter, the worst the island has endured for over thirty years, we have been told. This wasn't a planned trip, but our friends Alf and Marilyn, who are travelling extensively at the moment, emailed us links to various last minute airline deals, and when Larnaca to Bangkok return came up at £460pp it proved too irresistible. Friends Pat and Steve Meadows had booked a fabulous month in Barbados, so having already offered them an airport lift to/from Paphos, it was a simple exercise to fit our trip around theirs. As UK citizens, a Thai 30-day visa on arrival is simple and free! There was nothing to stop us, so after a pretty gruelling 28 hour trip, here we are. Of course cheap fares come with a little catch. Our first flight with Aegean carried us not Eastbound, but North to Athens, adding an hour and 45minutes to the trip. The transit was a quick 1 hour though, just time for a bathroom visit, then all aboard flight number two. From Athens to Bangkok,
View from houseView from houseView from house

That blue thing is our communal refuse bin.
via Abu Dhabi was with Etihad airlines who we rated very highly. Both flights were on time/comfortable/friendly with excellent on board food/drinks, no complaints whatsoever. So, leaving our Peyia home at 5.30am Tuesday morning, we eventually disembark at Suvarnabhumi airport, Wednesday 8.45am, putting our watches forward a total of 5 hours since leaving Larnaca. Negotiating immigration was an absolute doddle, unlike our last visit in 2016, helped by the fact that upon request, our cabin crew attendant gave us the Thai 'Visa on arrival' forms, that we were duly completed, saving lots of valuable time. Made our way to Meeting point 3, 2nd Floor, now an hour ahead of schedule, happy and surprised to see our driver Jomjam already waiting, to drive us the last leg of our journey to the rural town of Pran Buri in the South Eastern province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, a drive which took 3 and a half hours at a cost of 2,500 THB (approx. £56). On previous visits to the Far East we have used cheap public transport wherever possible or practical, but after our epic journey thus far, we were happy to pay for convenience. Both of us had a little snooze, the motion of the
Our TerraceOur TerraceOur Terrace

Outside Office
sedan lulling us into pleasant cat naps along the way. Anyway, on arrival at our AirBNB accommodation, named O2House 1553#, we were met by our charming hostess, Ying, who lives next door. Her and her husband Oh, have created two self-contained apartments adjacent to their home and our 2-bedroom apt is delightful. It is so clean and bright, we feel we must be the very first occupants. The photos we have taken do not do it justice. We have everything we might need for an independent stay here, including modern smart bicycles! We have good, fast internet and are typing this blog from our vast roof terrace, with views across to distant mountains of the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, which we are planning to visit soon. Having unpacked we mount up and cycle in the general direction of the coast, which edges the Gulf of Thailand. Bit of a shaky start as we haven't cycled for a year, but with quiet rural roads and only cattle in the fields to bear witness, we make it, in about 5 minutes. We cruise happily along, resting at the 'Very Good' beach restaurant, to see if it lives up to it's

Sticky Rice anyone?
Trip Advisor reviews. We only have drinks, but friendly and inexpensive, so we will return. Feeling adventurous and hopelessly over-confident on our bikes, we change direction and find the nearest 7/11 shop for some basics, I.e. Leo beer and a few other basics. Our lovely host has provided water, juice, bananas, tea and coffee, so not much needed until we can get some real retail therapy in the Tesco Lotus supermarket, 12kms away - this trip will have to wait until we organise a hire car though, as our two wheeled friends offer only limited carrying abilities. We cycle home, having discovered a short cut, passing a yoga style class for all age groups along the way, and getting curious stares, who maybe had not encountered many Westerners threading their way across a causeway between two swamp like areas that could contain who knows what dangerous creatures, and must look very curious to some locals. A quick snack of cheese, bread, crisps and beer before bed, we had finally crashed after 36 hours of travelling time, falling asleep to the soporific Forest noises of Birds, Animals and the usual insects Good Night All.


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