Thailand Fling...Part 1
Krabi, Thailand October 2022
Here I am at another of life’s “crossroads”, this time at the bus stop on the corner waiting for some “reasons to retire” when, like buses, several come along at once:
Surviving Covid and its fallout
Turning 60 (I know!) while still enjoying reasonably good health
A reasonable pension (which will go much further where we are going…)
The imminent cost of living crisis
The end of the world as we know it
The UK going to hell in a handbasket
West Ham’s mediocre start to the season
And finally… why not??
So, after what feels like months of planning, we set off for Thailand for the winter – via Copenhagen (thanks to good old Ryanair from Stansted together with the high cost of flights from Heathrow).
Coming in to land in Copenhagen, I spotted the bridge that links Denmark and Sweden (made famous in the hit BBC drama). It looks as though it disappears into the sea, but is actually part bridge, part tunnel and part island – pretty impressive. A strange fog descended along with the plane…but then I realised that the lens had fallen out of my glasses, so had to spend a frantic few minutes, half blind, hunting around under my seat for it. Luckily, I retrieved it before we had to disembark – not a good start!
Trudging along miles of corridors to immigration and the baggage carousel, I reminisced about the days when airports were smaller. When did they ever become so massive??
Luckily our hotel for the night was a short train journey away so once we’d dropped our bags, we set off for an all but brief exploration of the city. Sadly, the famous Tivoli Gardens was closed for the season, so we had to put our roller coaster addiction on hold. We did manage to find the adjacent food court so I enjoyed a Danish Burrito (well nachos are a sort of Mexican smorgasbord, aren’t they?) although Ian was disappointed to find no sign of the famous Danish bacon on the breakfast buffet the next morning.
After a long and very busy flight, we landed in Bangkok and faced another marathon journey to collect our bags – we’d certainly exceeded our step count these last few days. Our flight to Krabi didn’t leave for several hours so I’d booked a hotel just outside the airport for a quick nap and freshen up. It would have helped had the taxi driver known where it was, but we found it eventually and felt better for the rest. Struggling with the self-check in machines, we were gratified that the “trainee” who tried to assist also found them nigh on impossible to use – bring back real live people I say! Our onward flight with Air Asia (the Ryanair of the far east) was extremely noisy but thankfully quite short and we were soon in another taxi getting lost trying to find our hotel (they obviously don’t have “The Knowledge” in Thailand!).
I’d chosen Klong Muang in the Krabi area of South West Thailand as our base for the first week, as we’d stayed in Railay Beach a few years ago and loved the area. We were aware that we were arriving in the middle of the rainy season, but so far, the weather had been on our side. We were treated to a beautiful sunset from the balcony of our hotel overlooking the beach.
The Koh Kwang Seaview was run by the friendly “Has” and her elder sister (Has-been?? – sorry!). There was even a Seven Eleven store literally across the road – now that’s what I call a convenience store. It seemed to only sell snacks, drinks and toiletries, but met all our immediate needs.
After a quick dinner of fish and chips (I was working my way up to a Thai curry!) we turned in for our first full night’s sleep in what seemed like an eternity. Well, it would have been, apart from the barking dogs and Ian’s snoring – thank goodness I’d packed my earplugs and sleeping tablets!
Our mission (should we chose to accept it) the next day: Find wine, a sim card, and a scooter to rent – all completed. The latter with the help of Ifi (a Hackney geezer no less!) and his wife Oxana at the White Orchid scooter hire, who reassured me it was like riding a push bike! I decided to let Ian drive for the first few days – although I might need that wine despite it being over £25 a bottle! We were pleased to hear that they recommended Klong Muang as the best area to stay after travelling all around Thailand searching for a home.
We decided to take it easy for the first few days to get over the jetlag, but did manage airport terminal length walks along the beach every morning. Followed by afternoon siestas, dinner and early nights – we were really embracing life as retirees!
Coming soon… we find our new home.