All posts by Paul

...has been travelling the world for more than fifty years; having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to many many more.

He likes to write about his travels - present and past - along with his other main interests of Information Technology and Motorsport, and he adds a few general twitterings along the way.

More info than you could possibly need is available by clicking the ABOUT tab in the top menu line.

And if you are interested in drones, please visit Paul's other blog The Drone Diaries.


Best Of 2018…

…Top Five Thailand Trips & Tootlings.

I know. I usually do a top ten list. But 2018 was a kind-of lean year for tootlings.

I have excuses. Two good ones.

First; it was a bit of a crazy year having made the decision somewhere around March or April to move home. It was done piecemeal and only completed in November. It involved lots of trips across the country with a full-loaded truck, and each time made me wonder “Why the hell do I need all this stuff?” The fact is, I don’t. The next time I move there will be a giant garage sale – well, figuratively speaking, since I don’t have a garage!

And second; most of the trips I made in 2018 were with Mimi. I think we made a total of 28 aerial videos during the year, which you can find by clicking the VIDEOS link in the menu above.

Actually; I should call her “Mimi1” or even “the late Mimi.” She’s now resting on the coral at the bottom of Phang Nga Bay. Not my fault. Honest. Sudden battery failure caused an instant plummet. A new Mimi should arrive this week, and she will be called “Mimi3.” Huh?

Mimi2 I bought a while ago for spares. She was secondhand and not working. I figured one day I might repair her, but one day hasn’t arrived yet. One day!

Back to the year’s tootlings…

  1. Khao Kloi Monastery.

    This is one of those little gems I found by nosing around on Google Maps & Earth, and then sticking my nose up some gravel roads. Yes, despite the size of the place, it’s in the middle of nowhere. No surprise there. All of the places tourists should see seem to be placed where tourists will never see them. Unless of course they read Twitterings!

    thailand, khao kloi monastery

    The place is quite large, with all kinds of statues, chedis, shrines, etc. Well worth a visit, if you can find it.

    thailand, khao kloi monastery


  2. Wat Phu Kao Lek.

    Another gem in the middle of nowhere.

    wat phu kao lak, thailand

    And another that they’ll get around to finishing one day.

    It’s inland going west from Nakhon Si Thammarat city. Up in the hills. There’s a number of buildings in a mixture of Chinese and Thai-style. At a quick glance you may think it’s finished, but in the picture below, everything you can see that is sand, is supposed to be a lake…

    wat phu kao lak, thailand

    Strangely, I’ve found photographs on-line where it was a lake. I guess it wasn’t big enough, deep enough, clean enough, or maybe wet enough. So I guess it’s being enlarged, dredged, cleaned and/or wetted. It’s spectacular now, but it’ll be spectacularer when they’ve finished.


  3. Thamma Park.

    I’m not sure, but did I mention something about the best places being in the middle of nowhere? Although still fitting that description, Thamma Park does at least have a few direction signs if you happen to be close by, and it shows clearly on Google Maps – which is how I found it. It’s not too far west of Surat Thani city.

    Google Maps also has photographs showing tourists visiting the place, but as usual, there was none around while I was there.

    Once you drive under this archway…

    thailand, surat thani, thamma park

    …you find yourself in an open area completely surrounded by hills, and you start to wonder “Why am I here?” If that sounds like too deep a question before you’ve had your first coffee, I don’t mean “here on Earth” I mean here in this open area surrounded by hills. The answer is “Look up”…

    thailand, surat thani, thamma park

    Yes, everywhere you look there are temples. And in the distance you can see steps or staircases, but close-by there’s no indication of how you get up there. I was a little relieved by this as they look like they would be a challenging climb. And, as I discovered when Mimi went up to take a look around, there’s at least five temples hiding in the trees.

    Ah well, maybe next time.


  4. Wat Lhong And Wat Kaeo.

    Wait! There’s something wrong here. These are not in the middle of nowhere! They’re hiding in plain view in the middle of Chaiya town, not far north of Surat Thani City.

    Why “hiding?” Because even the local residents seem not to realize the significance of the piles old bricks in the middle of their town.

    thailand, chaiya, wat lhong

    However; they are something like 1200 years old, from the Srivijaya Empire, the center of which was near Palembang in southern Sumatera. Amazing what you find when you’re tootling.


  5. Wat Bang Thong Revisited.

    If you’re a regular reader you’ll be saying “but you only just wrote about this place.”

    wat bang thong, krabi, thailandAnd you’d be right. But it had to be in the “Best Of…” list. And if the list wasn’t ordered chronologically, it likely would be top of the list.

    So, I won’t say any more about it. Just visit last month’s article.