My wife and I met and married in Phang-Nga so we go back there about every year. How can we not when it’s so ridiculously cheap to travel in this country? This time we also had visiting family from America to entertain so it was a blast. There are a couple places in this region that I’ll never blog about to keep it secret. One is a hidden lake but I’ll never disclose that one till I’m on my death bed.
We started off with just a relaxing week in the Khao Lak to Takuapa beach area. It’s like Phuket minus the tourists and crime. It’s growing quick but it’s still far behind Phuket and it’s a great family vacation spot.
We spent most days just eating and swimming but we did take one day trip out to the Similan Islands to snorkel. I actually proposed to my wife on this spot back in 2006 and this was our first time back. Unfortunately she refused to let me kiss her because of the hundreds of other tourists gawking around us. Yuck. The tourists. In 2005 and 2006 I made quite a few trips out here and it felt like you had the place to yourself. Now it’s overcrowded with tourists. Such is the nature of tourism in Thailand… It doesn’t look so bad below but that was early on.
The next day we headed over to Krabi for a couple days on Ao Nang Beach. While it sees quite a few tourists, it still feels small. There are 150b massages on the beach and Railay Beach is just around the corner. It’s another one of our favorite stops in Southern Thailand.
The “Bangkok shutdown” was today and a large number of people came out for it.
CNN estimated 50,000. Others say less. Protest leader Suthep suggested 180,000.
Michael Yon estimated hundreds of thousands…
World and national media focused most of their coverage on Bangkok. Afterall it is the capital. But what was happening outside of Bangkok? I got tired of searching last night but came up with at least 37 provinces with pro-election rallies countering the Bangkok shutdown. That includes all but 3 provinces in the North/NE and they probably had events that I couldn’t find. How many people showed up to these rallies? Take a look below and see what you think. By the way, this is not an endorsement of any political group. My blog is mostly about Isan and I wanted to put in pictures what is scattered around the news and social media. Any additions or corrections?
Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat)
Nong Bua Lamphu
Songkhla (Hat Yai)
Mae Hong Son
Bueng Kan – I couldn’t find a picture but over 1,000 people were reported.
Illegal Rosewood logging continues. This was near Khemmarat, Ubon on January 7, 2014. It’s very valuable wood and you routinely hear of Cambodians being shot on the Southern border of Isan trying to cut it. This is on the Laos border though so I’m not sure if it’s coming in from Laos or going out from Thailand. Picture is courtesy of Suchainews, the most prolific Thai journalist in Ubon. If you have twitter, follow him here. Or he’s also on Facebook here.
And they found more on the 9th in Khemmarat.
Channel 3 had a report today from Pha Taem National Park. People flock here to see the “1st sunrise in Siam” during the cooler months and New Year’s Day is the biggest event of the year. Pretty impressive number of people out there. Click on the video below to view the report. Glad I didn’t go camping. Next week…
Thailand could use peace right now so here is 2 minutes of nothing but peaceful Tad Fane Waterfall…
As most are already aware, the government announced it will dissolve after weeks of protests and all the democrats resigning yesterday. Today protesters were supposed to either go to the government house in Bangkok or provincial halls. Ubon’s provincial hall had several hundred protesters under tents. In the early afternoon the red shirts showed up and started to setup a stage across the 4 lane highway to Yasothon. A few were trying to cross the road to the anti-government protesters but the large number of police did a good job keeping things calm. Below are a few pics and a short video. I would have gone onto the protest grounds to snap a few pics and talk to people but my wife made me promise I wouldn’t. Since I love her, I agreed.