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Holiday at home for me. 

 

The 9th of March began much as usual getting up around 4.30am with a giant mug of very strong coffee, while watching the BBC world news. Why BBC? Well these days it's a very good question because their reporting of world events is going from bad to worse. Far too much emphasis on India where they openly admit most of their cash comes from. So having had the day’s diatribe of over extended reporting from that area of the world, it was off to the airfield and the usual natter and coffee with Josh, the flying Dutchman. By about 8 o'clock it was back to work, check emails again and see what fiddling I could do with the site before getting down at about 11 to 12 O'clock to the hotel that I had booked for Pete and Carol.  

 

However Noi insisted that I get the truck cleaned out on the way so there was a delay of about 1˝hours while months of dirt was cleaned away for the princely price of $3.00USD. I was afraid of being late, not that I had said a set time but it's one of the things about me I will be an hour early but never late. Anyway I should not have worried at all because they were about two hours overdue by the time they finally arrived in a taxi from Bangkok. Despite the map that I had emailed Pete, the driver had to get one of the local motorcycle taxis to guide him in. 

 

After Pete and Carol had changed, it was off to the local crocodile farm since they had not been to one before. Myself, I had been and seen the show a fair few times years ago while being a tourist in Bangkok so there was going to be nothing new for me. However Noi and Black were keen; anything for a holiday. This local crocodile farm is about 3 or 4 km, from our house. It was very much the usual sort of thing with a few animals looking I must say very well treated. On the way in there is a very nice lake where you could feed the catfish. You know the idea, you buy fish food from them to feed their live stock. However I have never seen such big fish. Now, I have no idea of the weight at all I am no fisherman but the granddad there must have been 6ft, long with a head like Jaws and although they didn't look like they had a lot of teeth I was definitely wary about going for a swim. There were a lot of what they were saying were million year old rock structures. Well I have no idea of the real age but the whole place was very nice and well worth the visit.

 

They had a monkey show. I have to say it was difficult to tell the real monkey from the Thai man who in theory was in charge of the procedure. There were lots of photo opportunities but I didn't take the camera that day. Towards the end of the day there was the inevitable crocodile show but the attendance at the site was quite low this day with only the one young Thai man sticking his head between the jaws of the beast instead of the tribe of them that I have seen in BKK years before. The rest of my party were impressed which was the reason for the visit in the first place.  

 

We had begun late that day so it was back to the house to change and off to dinner at my favorite Irish pub for the evening. Pete and Carol had told me they had been eating mainly Thai food while they had been there so it was change for them and frankly I will only eat Thai food when I am desperate. After the excitement of the day we were all in our respective beds by about 10pm that night so we could all be up at the crack of dawn or, in my case, several hours before, next day. I was looking forward to a few drinks with my old friend Pete, but Black falling asleep at the table made that a short lived affair. 

 

The next day for me began about 4am with a giant mug of coffee as usual while catching up with my email. Then it was off to the airfield at first light. My friend Add was there, another Flying Dutchman. He wanted to show me a piece of land that he had his eye on for a new airport. Off we went and about one minute latter we where circling over the site. “Very nice.” I said “but what about the Wat” (temple) that was very nearby. He didn't seem to think it a problem but I do hope he checks it out before buying the land. I then took the controls from the right hand seat and we flew over the coastline out towards Ko Lan (Bald Island) called this because they cut down all the trees. To say that Add's aircraft is responsive is the understatement of understatements. If you have even seen Clint Eastwood in the film Fire Fox where he has to control the aircraft by thought. This appears to be almost the same. No it doesn't have the same technology it just seems as thought it does. He complimented me on my flying by saying that he could just fall asleep. However when he asked me to land it, he soon woke up. Having found my way easily back to base I was somewhat over extended trying to set it up for landing in an aircraft I don't have much experience in flying, and as much as anything else, from the wrong seat. So he took over the controls and unfortunately made a harder than usual landing, breaking the right hand landing strut. Boy, am I glad it was not me. Having pushed the aircraft back to the hanger it was time to go and take out Pete and Carol again, so off into town we all went.

 

 

Having very much enjoyed breakfast at Yorky's on Jomtien Beach road, we were of to see the biggest Buddha image I have ever seen, not that I spend much of my life looking for Buddha's but at Paputmahawachyraut, about 25km, away there is a mountain that is just about all Buddha, you can see the picture on the right. An hour or so there and we were off to Nong Nuch, another park listed as a tropical garden. Now this is another place I had never been to before despite living in Pattaya for about 4 years but then when you live here you tend not to do the touristy things. Apart from the very nicely appointed gardens there was a show, some Thai boxing, dancing, and as a conclusion the elephant show in an open air arena.

Ok he is not quite Picasso, but then he is only two. The elephants or chang in Thai, are kept in a clean, friendly environment and do really seem to enjoy their work. Baby elephants, they love to play but you do have to watch they don't just get a little too playful.

So how would you like this in your back garden.

 

All the boys and girls dancing see if you can spot the girls that are really boys. The lady-boys are known locally as kateoys.

Pete and Carol said they very much enjoyed their brief trip to Pattaya and said they would definitely return one day. They left for Bangkok the next day and before returning home to Liverpool they were going to visit Kanchanaburi to see the Bridge over the River Kwai.

My Friends Pete and Carol his wife.

Pete threatened to come through immigration dressed like this in Bangkok. Despite the fact I was looking forward to their visit on the 9th of March 2004, I naturally dared him to do so.

I think you may be able to tell from the look on Black,s face that this was not a stuffed tiger that we found at the crocodile farm.

March the 10th, 2004 Black & the Buddha.

The outline was made by laser and the park was opened by the Thai king about eight years ago now. In his breast buried into the rock is said to be one of Buddha's bones. Now I take that with a very big pinch of salt as it is now the 2547th year of Buddha but the place is cool. Not the temperature you understand it's just a real cool place to hang out.

One of the first things on the menu at Nong Nuch was a few rounds of Thai boxing. Pete and Carol had not seen it before and it looked good to them but I have seen championship matches and it's just to give the guests a flavor of the sport. 

Having said that I am guessing the bruise are real enough.

More fighting first with swords then with sticks, now you know they are just playing out a well rehearsed routine here, especially the sword fighting. 

They have to be really quite good or someone is going to get very hurt. As the sparks where sure flying.

This was all very cultural and colourful and I have to say more care is taken here than when I saw the dancing in the Folies Bergere in Paris. I was there while at a trade show with my friend Jim and I was shocked to see that the costumes where covered in chalk to hide the dirt.

    More stories from Noung Nouch  with more new photo's   

Kids Day Out at Noung Nouch October 2005

 

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