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Showing posts from 2017

Ni Hao from China!

Gotta love the Chinese Immigration!
The first time I arrived in Shanghai was exactly thirty years ago and I just loved this city. In fact, I have always wanted to live in Shanghai. I love its cosmopolitan feel, it's energy, it's architecture, its vibe. 
I remember once saying Ok four years in Melbourne and then Shanghai... well that idea never flew, the global financial crisis hit, the kids had important exams and life moved on!

So here I am ten years after my last visit to China, to get eat, drink and get married, a whole other story, standing in front of a Bangkok Chinese Immigration official, who wants to know why in 2007 I had a double entry visa to China and only went once?
Ummmmm well... Oh gosh, do you remember what you were doing ten years ago? I'm sensing this unintentional blot on my copybook could be stopping me from getting my visa to Shanghai. Or maybe it was something else?
I thought I'd been careful with all my paperwork... I’m here to apply for a tourist vi…

WTA Hua Hin, is this the best kept secret on the Women’s tour?

Regular readers of this blog will know that we are huge fans of Women’s tennis and indeed we are just about ready to call this year done before heading back to Australia for a family Christmas and the delights of the Australian Open.

So with a weekend to spare we thought we’d head out of Bangkok to Hua Hin to watch one of the last WTA tournaments of the year. It is a 200km drive about a 2 1/2 hour drive (on a good run) to Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand. 
Can it get any better we thought, combining tennis with a beach break? This 6km stretch of beach has been popular with Thai royalty since the 1920's and although it's not my favourite beach in Thailand, we are always drawn to its easy proximity to Bangkok.  

We had a few problems finding out about the tournament and so we set off without a hotel booked, hoping that we’d be able to buy tickets once we were there. On the way down we rang a few hotels and got ourselves sorted with somewhere close to stay. We found a cute beachfront…

Inviting you to a Loi Krathong party!

Hello everyone, sorry I've been away from Blogland for a while. I disappeared into an amazing month where we had over thirty of our family and friends come from Australia, Asia, and Europe to visit us in Bangkok to help celebrate our Wedding Anniversary. 

We offered a weekend of fun and festivities and ended up with a glorious month-long celebration, with friends dropping in before and after their extended holidays all over Asia.
During this period Thailand was at the culmination of a year's mourning for the late King Bhumibol Abdoulaye. It was not the easiest time to organise a party weekend as basically all celebrations across the country were put on hold. Private events could continue, however, we were all concerned to ensure these were respectful given the circumstances. 
I could well find that as event planning goes, our Friday night, complete with a Ladyboy finale, may well be up there as one of my all-time greatest life achievements, but I'll save that story for anothe…

Amazing Bangkok

It is a fascinating time to be in Bangkok. We are seeing the final funeral preparations for Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej who died aged 88, on October 13th, 2016. 

The world's longest-reigning monarch will have a spectacular final send-off which has been over a year in the making. His people will show their deep grief for a revered and unifying father figure of Thailand, who oversaw great stability within his 70-year reign, the odd coup aside!


You can't walk far without seeing a picture of the Late King, the build-up is immense. Last week the Government added two extra official days of mourning. It feels like the whole of Thailand is preparing for the five days of ceremony, which commences with the cremation on October 26th. 
There is some confusion over what impact this will have on our daily lives, but my long-term friends are heading out of town to the beach, expecting the huge numbers of visitors expected in the city to bring the city to even more gridlock than norma…

My crazy Melbourne week:

Hello, thanks for popping in! I had a quick dash back to Melbourne this week for our son’s 21st Birthday Party, giving me the opportunity to show you what’s up there!
Politics:
The upcoming people's vote on the same-sex marriage debate is big news.  When some idiot decked our former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, a prominent No campaigner and AFL house had a bomb hoax after changing their logo to a YES, the stories ran and ran.
You would have to be a keen news followers to have picked up that Donald Trump has declared war on North Korea (in their eyes) because all other news is about the sports!


Sports:
Australian Rules Football (AFL) dominates our Melbourne news. Yes, the only battle that gets a mention down here is this one on the footy field.
AFL is huge in our State of Victoria and this year our local chances lie with the Richmond Tigers a suburb about 10 mins drive away. Of course, they have to beat, the Adelaide Crows from South Australia, a team who has come so far after their coac…

Bangkok Cat Lovers In Uproar!

There has been a feline frenzy at our park, where authorities have declared that the park's cute cats have crossed the line... 

What's up, I hear you ask?The Thai authorities have stepped in to curtail growing numbers of cats at Lumpini Park, Bangkok. Their solution was to round up as many cats as they could catch to spay and neuter them.

The Bangkok Post and The Nation newspapers have reported with sad photos of groggy moggies, sedated, all lined up ready to be taken away. 

Fair enough the locals cried, until news broke that the cats would not be returned.



Lumpini Park, Bangkok
Lumpini is our local park, one of the biggest in our crazy busy city. It is where people come to connect, either with each other or with their inner sporty spice. At times it is so crowded that it's hard to walk! 
It is one of the few areas in this urban jungle where you can be at one with nature. You can see why the cats would be happy to live here. People often post pictures of the Lumpini cats and lov…

Pongsit makes a big IMPACT!

Imagine if you'd just arrived on Planet Earth and given tickets to a pop concert of one of your new world's biggest stars?  You knew you were going to something special, but you didn't know the artist or understand anything he was singing about... 
How do you reckon you'd feel?
We felt like this going to Pongsit Kamphee's concert on Saturday night.
Who? I hear you say! 

We tried to do our homework on Pu Pongsit, as he is known but clearly whilst he may be mega big news in Thailand, there is little written about him in English.
We did discover that Pongsit is a much-loved folk rock icon who has been on the Thai music scene for 30 years. Thai people love his powerful storytelling. We could see he brings such passion to his lyrics which are on his thoughts about society, love, loss and life's struggles.

We were delighted to have been offered VIP tickets to his show at Bangkok's aptly named IMPACT Arena and were pretty much the only foreigners. Despite playing his so…