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Wrestling love swans in the Land of Smiles and butterflies…

Thank you, thank you, thank you one and all, who voted for my entry in the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Blogger Competition 2019.

Every one of your votes warms my heart, and I hope you’ll be as thrilled as I was when I received the notification…


The six winners of the second TAT Newsroom “Blogger Thailand” competition will enjoy an exclusive four-day trip reflecting Thailand’s ‘Open to the New Shades’ campaign, scheduled for 25-28 July, 2019, to Prachin Buri, Nakhon Nayok and Nakhon Ratchasima provinces as well as Khao Yai National Park, which borders all three of these provinces.

Of course, the first thing I did was check out the program. You’d only gone and voted me onto an action-packed trip with five male bloggers exploring 
off-the-beaten-track Thailand. Gulp, gulp!

Oh, how my friends did chuckle at the thought of me,  Little Miss Cautious Wren off on this little adventure, and the stories I could tell.

‘No don’t be a wimpy Wren, you’ve got this!’  I told myself. 

You’re there to represent the old birds of the world.

Although I must admit writing an e-mail asking for more details on Stage 4/5 elite level white water rafting.

Khun Dan Prakarn Chon Dam: หมู่ที่ 2 บ้านคลองสีสุก หมู่ที่ 1 บ้านท่าด่าน Hin Tung, Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok 26000

Fast forward to Day One and it was an absolute pleasure to meet the TAT team, and find such an interesting group of fellow Bloggers. Although we all call Thailand home these days, we come from across the globe from Europe, Asia, USA and Australia.  

Coffee and Tree Cafe: 2 หมู่ที่ 3 ถนน รังสิต - นครนายก Tambon Khlong Yai, Amphoe Ongkharak, Chang Wat
 Nakhon Nayok 26120

Our first stop at Coffee and Tree Cafe is a delight. It is housed in an old Thai wooden home, the walls papered in messages from happy patrons. 

As we tumble out of the minibuses, the full enormity of our entourage appears. I for one have a lot less photographic equipment than the other bloggers. 

No tripod, no remote control timer, no camera bag, no zoom lenses the size of a Khao Yai elephants trunk, in fact, no camera!

It's a 'Keep Calm and Carry On Blogging' moment for sure.

Khun Dan Prakarn Chon Dam: หมู่ที่ 2 บ้านคลองสีสุก หมู่ที่ 1 บ้านท่าด่าน Hin Tung, Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok 26000

I’ve always been a pick-up and click photographer and if it can’t be captured on my iPhone in an instant, then it won’t be captured.

I’m proudly all about ‘anyone can get this shot’. There is nothing fancy about my photography and yet I find myself surrounded by the photographic equivalent of an entire CameraWorld store - help!

But hey, not to worry as the organisers have thought of everything, and we are accompanied by two photographers to capture our experiences and every move… 

Oh my golly gosh, don’t forget I’m Little Miss shy blogging Wren, and this is not in keeping with my low profile. You won’t see many photos of me, at least not any that I don’t have full editorial control over.

Just about time for a quick ‘Hail Mary, Mother of God, pray for our sinners now…’ jeez, I haven’t called on this help since I left the convent in 1979…

Note to self: Hat and sunnies on and BIG smile you're on camera!

Coffee and Tree Cafe: 2 หมู่ที่ 3 ถนน รังสิต - นครนายก Tambon Khlong Yai, Amphoe Ongkharak, Chang Wat
 Nakhon Nayok 26120
Five, four, three, two, one and she’s off:

'At Coffee and Tree cafe, Nakhon Nayok we find a delightful Thai style cafe on Klong 15, nestled amidst the bougainvillaea garden centre capital of Asia. A waft of fragrant botanicals fills the air. This peaceful canal setting, reveals a myriad of surprises in the form of personal messages left by previous travellers. Grab a coffee and a pen and leave your mark here for future visitors!"

Coffee and Tree Cafe: 2 หมู่ที่ 3 ถนน รังสิต - นครนายก Tambon Khlong Yai, Amphoe Ongkharak, Chang Wat
 Nakhon Nayok 26120

Oh, we did have the best time, I loved (almost) everything about our four day adventure.

There were lots of stories to tell, I very quickly got into the swing of things and got myself organised with all the photos I wanted to take.

One of the evenings we arrive at The Verona Boutique Hotel in Tub Lan, which is full-on we could be in Italy, a short wander finds a change of scenery and the Verona Texas Cowboy Town. 

Just take a look at this below, who'd have thought we were in Thailand?
The Verona at Tub Lan, 243 Moo 6 | Bu Phram Subdistrict, Na Di 25220,
I am handed the keys to a FOREVER Love Suite room. 
I am seriously in hotel heaven. 

However, no time to lounge around pinching myself at how utterly gorgeous it is. Or to reflect on how much I love a Love Suite. 

We are given 20 mins to change and had all returned super sweaty from our wonderful National Park hike. We'd gone in search of white water rafting thrills, however, and yes someone was on my side. Due to a lack of rain, we found a charming dried river bed with hundreds of gorgeous butterflies. 

Just perfect for a little Wren who was happier in the land of butterflies than thrills and spills.

But no time to get all dreamy, Gotta look good, gotta look good for dinner...

I've got this sussed. I quickly open all the curtains, to capture the stunning room with gorgeous mountain scenery and wow look at those swans how cute. I throw myself into the shower. 

A quick hair wash in cold water, I never found the instructions which said that the hot water is turned on under the sink, never mind it’s a big rush and I emerge to... No towels.

Oh, rats! Not even a face flannel in the bathroom. 

All towels are in the brilliant swan creation on my bed which is a gazillion steps away.

I look towards the loo roll as a solution for my sopping wet hair and body but determine it's too risky. I could end up at dinner covered in toilet paper, like some Egyptian Mummy gone wrong. Remember the two photographers.

There is no other way around this. So on my bath mat, like Aladdin without the magic. I shimmy out of the bathroom towards the bed, instantly regretting my decision to open all the curtains for the amazing view out of the enormous picture window.
The Verona at Tub Lan, 243 Moo 6 | Bu Pharm Subdistrict, Na Di 25220,
Totally starkers.
The bl**dy swans are impossible to untangle, so tightly intertwined are these necking love swans that I result to brut force to separate them. 

I'm thinking if any one of those other bloggers happens to be passing, they won't even need a gigantic zoom lens, I'm a tad exposed here.  

I can see the post now - naked Wren loses the fight with love swan. 

Oh well, at least I got to see some beautiful butterflies today.

If you would like to catch up with more of my adventures you will find them here on my travel blog:

Linking with thanks to Beverly at Pink Saturday and Fiona and all the hosts at Our World Tuesday


eileeninmd said…
Hello Wren,

I always enjoy your travels. The park looks beautiful. I love the butterfly images, what a neat sighting. I would love a garden filled with bougainvillea, lovely! The messages in the cafe is cool. Kudos to you for traveling with the five male bloggers, I am sure you kept up well and showed them. Love the photos and your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day. Wishing you a great new week!
Crimson Kettle said…
What a life you lead! x
There's never a dull moment for you!
Great to read your post and I loved the photographs too.

Take care and enjoy the new week ahead.

All the best Jan
I always love your photos!! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words about my dear nephew's passing...
Minoru Saito said…
Hi! Your life in Thailand looks very interesting. The swan shape towels are very cool. Thanks for sharing.
carol l mckenna said…
Congratulations and what an adventure ~ enjoying every moment of your photos! Blessed you are ^_^

Happy Day to You,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
Janice said…
Such an exciting time for you. Congratulations for your recognition. Those of us who follow you already knew how talented you are. Thanks for sharing the fun with us.
Sami said…
Congratulations Wren. Had a good laugh at your bath scene and those swan shaped towels really do look difficult to untangle. The butterfly garden must have been amazing.
Cynthia said…
Congratulations, Wren! And what a marvelous prize! Oh those butterflies and how fun to Where’s Waldo you and spot you here and there — Here in your lovely hat, there in your elephant t-shirt, and over there in ... oops, nothing but love-swan feathers! You do have such marvelous adventures.
Congratulations on the win!! Deserved too. I was hugely relieved that the river rafting was a dry run - butterflies are far better. And then...I got to the buff swan wrestling and laughed heartily. Thank you, that made my day!
Jeanie said…
This is spectacular! What a wonderful expererience and oh, the things to which you introduce us! How on earth do they do those swan towels? And for every guest? I'm laughing like a crazy person with the mental picture of you untangling those in front of the picture window -- but what a great view!

Three cheers on the win - it is well deserved!
bj said…
O, little Wren, you are sooo cute.
I love these photos and post, peppered with your adorable sense of humor. I can just see you, naked as a jaybird trying to tear those loving swans apart, while all the time, you are focused on that giant window !!
CONGRATS on winning....and keep on having fun.

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