06 April 2006

buying

I saw Bill Granger on TV last Saturday and went out to buy his book, 'Bill's Food'.

There is one recipe in there that inspired me to buy, but I thought the rest were a bit too fussy for someone who claims his food is 'pared down'. Disappointed. I might return it.

04 April 2006

trekking, kayaking, whitewater rafting...

Thailand was such a wonderful place and not just because it was the place where we got engaged.

We flew into Bangkok and spent a couple of nights there, near Khao San Road. We visited the Grand Palace and hired a longtail boat to tour the canals. Bangkok is a feast for the senses. We did as much exploring as we could but could definitely have enjoyed another couple of days there.

A flight to Surat Thani and a boat to Ko Phangan. We arrived here late and spent on night in a cheap bungalow. We were on a mission to get to the smaller island of Ko Tao. Next morning we carried our backpacks along the beach to the small pier.



On Ko Tao (turtle island) we spent one night in Ao Tanote which was great for snorkelling, then another three days on Sai Ree, the main beach. It was busier than we thought, but not built up, and backpacker heaven.

We took the night boat back to Surat Thani (mats on the floor - what an experience!) to get to our next destination - Krabi Province and the resort of Ao Nang. Again this was busier than we thought, but we settled here, hired a motorbike and got stuck into some exploring. We went to Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, climbed through the jungle and swam in our own private waterfall. We went sea kayaking through mangroves and lagoons, getting pounced on by swimming monkeys.



We found a quiet beach with our own private sand bank at Hat Napporatara, which was beautiful. We watched a Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) match...



Rode an elephant...



and on our last day we went white water rafting - of course I was the only person to fall out the boat, get swept under other rafts and bashed against the rocks!

It felt like we were away for so long because we did so many things. The food was gorgeous - I do miss that. The people were friendly (but definitely the most disorganised in S.E.Asia!). I would definitely go back, but it is getting more and more developed and harder and harder to find isolation. If you are considering going - go now!

proposing

Dom proposed to me while on our amazing holiday in Thailand. It couldn't have been more perfect. It was 11th March and we were staying on the beautiful island of Ko Tao. Our bungalow was just a few feet from the beach.



We wandered down to watch the stunning sunset. Just after the sun disappeared behind the horizon Dom began writing in the sand, then pulled out the ring and got down on one knee! Of course I said yes!!



That night we walked down the beach to one of the seafood restaurants that set up on the sand after dark. We enjoyed fresh king prawns and fresh king mackerel - delicious! Further down the beach we enjoyed a few more Singha beers in a bar, lying on sand cushions listening to music.

When we walked back to our bungalow at midnight, the tide was on it's way in and the proposal was still there in the sand. We waited while the waves washed away the words - the perfect end to a perfect evening!