After three weeks of storms, floods and scary weather reports in the south of Thailand, the sun finally came out to play this past weekend!
The view from my apartment balcony – some weekend days are spent doing work in bed or watching movies online, total bliss!
It’s been a long time since my last post and it’s mostly due to the fact that #Dizemba (December festive fever) had me in a different Thai city or town every weekend! This January, I’ve decided to slow it down a bit, stay local and take some time to explore the sights in Ranong (my Thai “home town”) – I know that haters will say it’s because it’s Ja-new-worry! Ok, I admit, the spending certainly has to be cut down a bit this month due to last months shenanigans, but I am certainly looking forward to more travel adventures in the next few months.
It was National Children’s Day this past Saturday and it’s Teachers’ Day in Thailand today so it’s almost the end of a lovely long weekend!
Since I spent my entire Saturday indoors, I decided to get out of the house on Sunday. My out and about activities in Ranong cannot happen without my trusted mode of transportation, Zena! She’s a Honda scooter that I initially chose because of her mysterious red and black colour, but was pleasantly surprised to find out that she has quite a bit of power in her, feisty!
Talking about feisty, I still have the horrifying memory of my first riding lesson with Zena. I was trying to slow her down, but accidentally pulled the accelerator the wrong way, fell right off her back and landed on my behind on the ground! For a good two months after that, sitting was a cautiously thought through process and my coccyx felt utterly bruised!
Scooters or motorbikes are the common mode of transportation for most people in Thailand and most foreigners and locals rent or buy them. Maintenance and fuel is so cheap! I spend B300 (R117,60/ $8,30) on fuel a month. I find it rather fascinating just how much of a load people can fit onto these little bikes! The most ludacris case I have witnessed to date is when I saw a middle-aged gentleman riding with two other rather fully figured adults each holding what looked like a 10kg sack of something and groceries and oh, there was a tiny little boy at the front holding onto the steering for dear life! The most I dare to fit onto mine is a Makro bag full of weekly groceries, such a skill!
After my healthy home made lunch on Sunday, I was craving something sweet so I decided to visit Kob at Kafe209, my favorite sweet spot in Ranong! She served me a decadent chocolate fudge cake, not too sweet and was the perfect sugar fix!
Ranong is famous for its natural sights, parks and hot springs. After Kafe209, I chose to visit Raksa Warin Hotspring because its close to town, easily accessible and It offers free entry for most of the springs with the hottest one at minimum 65 degrees celsius! I took a walk on a bridge suspended over a rocky river and then decided to take a dip in a 40 degree hot pool. The springs attract both locals and foreigners and for the locals, its a weekly family pilgrimage.
Apparenlty, the combination of the high water temperature and minerals provide some sort of healing and cleansing – with all my pores wide open after my 20 minute dip, I certainly felt that I had undergone some kind of cleansing! I recommend this to anyone visiting and I’m going to try and make it a weekly outing.
Unfortunately, since the springs are in a public area, one cannot be in their birthday suit or bikini or any kind of underwear in order to fully experience that divine healing and cleansing.
On the topic of Ranong sights and hot spots, #2016Flashback: The most beautiful sight I’ve seen in Ranong so far has to be Khao Fa Chi Viewpoint. It’s where the La-un and Kra-Buri rivers meet, a border between Thailand and Myanmar, breathtaking!
Going to the market for fresh fruits and veggies is a weekly ritual of mine so I headed there after my natural spa treatment session at the springs. I got a few supplies and decided to try out a pork meat balls and pasta recipe for dinner. A lady at the market convinced me to buy this salty yet flavorful crayfish paste. I eagerly threw 3 full tablespoons into my meatball sauce … I may have been a little too generous with the paste because the flavor was a little overwhelming, in my opinion. It’s always a tricky thing trying to figure out how much of a product or ingredient to add to a dish if it’s Asian or Thai especially since most Thai and some imported products do not usually have ingredients or instructions for use written in English. When it comes to food ingredients or medicine dosage indications, Google is my most trusted friend!
Bottom right, the crayfish paste I got persuaded into buying!
The one thing I miss about home is having a full kitchen to cook in. The last time I cooked before this was Christmas Day, which was spent very merry with lots of food, wine and great company!
We cooked a four course meal and ate all day!
On that note, Compliments of the new year Loved Ones! May this year be filled with joy, love and prosperity for you and your Loved Ones!