Sunday, March 18, 2018

Karnjanaburi family trip, day 1.

Karnjanaburi Day 1-03666Dear Matt and Mar,

Year of the Dog have just arrived, this Chinese New Year have been quieter than usual for our family. I was so glad that your grandmother had decided not to cook for the (extended) family, the amount of work, I feel would be a little too much for her now.

So I was over the moon that my mother had decided to resurrect a trip that we should have made Chinese New Year, then it was put on hold at the very last minute. My mother wanted to visit the famous Morn Bridge in Sangkhla Buri district, in Karnchanaburi Province (in this province, sits 3 National Parks), which is to the West region of Thailand. The last time we took a trip together was a few years ago, and I was really looking forward to have a few days together.

At first we were disappointed that we couldn’t find a hotel near the Mon bridge, in fact the closest hotel we could find was an hour and a bit away in Thong Pha Poom District, but as it turned out it was by far a much, much better option.

On the road.

Now we Google Map in hand, we could easily estimate the drive time, as it was going to take around three and a bit hours so there was no rush, lol. Ended up picking up my parents at around 09:30, only to found out that my aunt could not join us, the first thing that came in mind was what are we going to do with the 3rd room we had booked, lol.

As usual, your grandmother had brought enough snacks to last us a few lifetimes, lol, the drive was super fun, more than enough twists and turns (once we reached the mountainous area of Karnchanaburi) to keep things interesting. With all of the stops, it took us close to 3 hours just reach the main city in Karnchanaburi, so our plan to have lunch near our hotel/resort was out of the question, instead we drove on a little further and as we were near the Earwan National Park we had decided to take lunch.

The spirit was high, and the miles just seemed to have flown by and soon we found ourselves driving past our intended resort, lol. There was no point really checking in just yet, we drove on a few miles further to Vajiralongkorn Dam, and it was magnificent. I was superb to be out in the open air, with great view 360 degrees.

Karnjanaburi Day 1-03569

DSC03588Karnjanaburi Day 1-03616

It was a bit of a drama once we tried to check in at the resort, firstly the manager was not there and the staff who were there were not fluent enough in Thai enough to assist us. Once the manager arrived, she was a lovely although slightly hyper, lol, she couldn’t find our bookings, haa haa haa haa haa. It took a while to sort everything out. One good thing though, with your mother foresight, during the booking she had chosen to pay at the hotel, meaning cancelling the additional room was a very simple matter, hoo ray.

Karnjanaburi Day 1-03644

Karnjanaburi Day 1-03635-side

The resort was huge (even have its own cave), our room definitely had the best view, being right next to the river, it was gorgeous, not that we had much time to explore, in fact we didn’t explore the resort one bit, haa haa haa.

Our first supper we taken quite near to the hotel in one of the ‘socially recommended’ restaurant, haa haa, Krua Ton Nam. Of course we were not disappointed :-) by then you two were visibly very tired, lol.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Lhong 1919, unexpected fun :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

[Nov. 2017] I think this was back in November of last year too, Lhong 1919 is the latest riverside development, reclaimed from old warehouses and shrine (dating back to King Rama IV (1851 - 1868), their strategy was to kept the original style and mix in with the modern lifestyle shops (mix used), from co-working space, restaurant, cafe and so on.

The only reason we were here because my parents were here only a day earlier, and they said it was quite interesting, plus the location is on the route to our home, it was no harm in trying to pop in... and we weren’t disappointed :-)


At the start it was a bit of a touch and go, as usual for any new places in BKK, the amount of people was overwhelming, of course my only concern was parking, we weren’t that desperate to visit this place, so if there was no parking space we were going to head home.

The car park was as expected, full to the brim, we (actually, I) wanted to leave as soon as I saw the queue leading into the carpark, but the road was too small for one of my perfect 3 point turn, lol, so ended up having to go into the carpark just to turn around. Just by luck, as we were making our way around the carpark, one of the vehicle pulled out :-)


I was so glad we had the opportunity to come here, although the development wasn’t quite finished yet but we still had great fun, at the end I could see it being a place one can take one’s overseas guest for dinner, although can’t comment if the restaurants there were any good though :-).

Monday, February 5, 2018

Loy Kratong 2017 :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

Sorry, haa haa haa, should have written this post about 3 months ago, I am slowly going through the photos library lol. At the rate I am going, I should be able to catch up all of 2017 posts by around 2019, haa haa haa.

Loy Kratong 2017[Nov. 2017] This was Loy Kratong, of course the whole day the whole school was in high spirit. Personally at the beginning of the day, I had no intention whatsoever to Loy Kratong (a literal translation is ‘Float a float/basket’, haa haa haa), the custom is a really good one, you are suppose to let go of your hatred, worries and fears and let it float away down the river.

You’ll grow up to find out, I am not so fixated on customs and traditions (I do try my best though, lol), especially this time, your mother was on a business trip in SG and so with one less pair of hands I was more than less keen, lol. Loy Kratong would also have meant an almost impossible task finding a parking spot, but that was solved now that we have a driver.

By some miracle I was also home at a reasonable time, haa haa haa haa, Mar was already by the door with her handmade kratong (from school) in hand, Matt was also looking forward to go… of course I could always rolled supper and breakfast together into one and eat it the next day, haa haa haa.

Another great coincidence, the drive took us to another temple (not the one we usually go to), and it was brilliant! The organiser was top class, and they had to be, because to get close to the river the people (huge crowd) had to go on a floating pier and it was bobbing badly, haa haa haa, much to our delight :-)

Instead of heading home straight away, we took our time to enjoy the various activities around the temple, it turned out to be a fantastic evening, thanks to you two for convincing me to go after all, haa haa haa.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Mar new Bike :-)

Dear Matt and Mar,

[Nov. 2017] Well, we’d thought it was going to be a simple affair, how hard can it be buying a bike for a little girl in a metropolis like Bangkok! Haa haa haa, the truthful answer is, it would have been a really simple thing to do, if only I had listened to your mother in the first place, haa haa haa.

Of course I had to do it the difficult way, decided to go to Decathlon first, oh there were quite a good selection of quality and well designed bikes but the perfect size for Mar were all sold out. Then Mar and I walked next door to Lotus, I really didn’t like the quality at all, and luckily they didn’t have Mar’s size either, lol.

Then to another shop that were selling fold up bikes, tried on a couple of bikes but the were all slightly too big, luckily it was time for lunch, which gave me time to work out where to go next, haa haa haa.

By the time our bellies were full, there were two choices... To go to a professional bike shop that I was certain they wouldn’t carry bikes that would be suited to Mar (and probably going to be quite expensive too), or the better choice, is to go to Worachak area in BKK.


Worachak area is where I grew up and where my parents still live, it is very famous for many things. Klongtom Market,  you can get anything from mobile phone to gardening equipment, it is also the first in mind place for automotive spare parts for everyone in Thailand. Another thing that this area is well known for is for ‘bicycles’, lol, and this was the place where your mother told me to come in the first place, haa haa haa haa.

I wasn’t sure if any shops would have been opened, as this was a Sunday after all, but there was no harm in trying. We all popped into see your grandparents briefly before walking to the roll of bicycle shops, haa haa haa, most of them were opened. Oh your mother was having a wonderful day, smirking for the remaining of the afternoon, lol.

It took us, well, Mar less than 5 minutes to find the bike she wanted (I didn’t like it, and have tried to suggest a whole bunch of different bikes, haa haa haa, didn’t work though, haa haa haa). Then I saw this folding bike that was in expensive and Matt and I were going to be able to share too!

We walked away with 2 bikes, haa haa haa, Mar was chuffed with her purple bike and wanted to ride it home... haa haa haa.

17 months later :-)

ProgressDear Matt and Mar,

August 2016 was when it all started, 17 months later, from 80 Kgs to 66 Kgs… Daily, weekly, monthly routine had to be changed, the changes were not as difficult as one would imagine, perhaps it was a shallow gradient and a gradual climb, rather than a steep one.

Maintaining the eating plan is pretty much less stressful now, cheat meals is an important tool, could go several weeks without one, then 3 in a single week, haa haa haa, keeping it flexible is the key (no more than 3 a week though, haa haa haa).

At first I’d thought keeping up the gym time was going to be tough, especially with all the travelling (work related), but it turned out to be really simple to keep it up, actually much better than at home. Virtually all hotels have top notch gym, and they all open 24 hours / day, moreover, changing gym all the time keep things pretty fresh and interesting, trying out new/old/ancient machines has been the key.

Lets hope one can keep this up for the next coming 17 months too :-)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Two less wheels :-)

collageDear Matt and Mar,

[Nov. 2017] Finally, finally, finally your mother and I got our act together and managed to clear our schedule and find the time to teach Mar to ride without the training wheels. For Matt, although your mother and I started teaching Matt but it was really Auntie Tip who really got to see him ride without the training wheels, haa haa haa.

My way (got it from YouTube), I needed a gentle slope to let Mar drift down, so that she knew how to balance, then once comfortable it was just a matter of paddling, haa haa haa, oh, it all sounds so simple. And to be honest it was that simple.

Mar rolled down the gentle slope a few times (at Lumpinee Park), then once she had the confidence and the balance it was just a matter of paddling at the end of the roll... of course the first few times she went no more than a few meters using the paddling power, haa haa haa.

Well, the few meters grew to 10, then 12, then 15 meters, but for this first session she was having a difficult time keeping the bicycle straight. Soon the heat was getting too much for all of us, and I was hungry anyway, lol.

The following day we took to another park, Benjakiti park, this time Matt also took his bike and he was having a great time. Mar took a little time to get back into the swing of thing, and soon she was able to ride even longer than yesterday. It was obvious that it was time to get her a new bike (she have had this bike forever), luckily Mar’s birthday was only a few weeks to go, haa haa haa.

The following weekend, whilst your mother was away, I’d decided to let Mar ride from our apartment to D&D, haa haa haa, slight struggling at first, but at the end Mar was brilliant!!! Definitely time for a new bike :-)

Two less wheels to DD-00249




Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mar is Six :-)


I am so late with this post, about 3 months late, haa haa haa (sorry).

For Mar’s 6th BD, we had kept it simple again this year, a simple cake at break time at school is all Mar wanted, to see your smile and so happy to be handing out cakes was more than enough for us :-)

Slight issue with one of the cake though, haa haa haa haa haa, my forgetfulness is getting the better of me. One of Mar’s close friend is a vegan, and I had made a promise to myself that there is no way that this little girl will have to eat biscuits or a piece of fruit whilst the rest of her friends were chomping down chocolate cake, that was just not on.

So a day before Mar’s BD, I’d  left the office around noon to catch the BTS and travelled a few stations to Chidlom area. This very specific cake shop must be using some magical power in baking their cake, as just to be on the safe side I had chosen a wonderful looking chocolate cake but it contained no “dairy, egg, nut or gluten”!

I was over the moon, as this was the last piece (made today too), I carried it like I was carrying a newborn baby back to the office, where it was placed at the back of the fridge for safe keeping, while I was closing the fridge’s door I had made a mental note of “do not forget to take this home”!

As I was opening the door to our apartment, of course that was when I had realised the cake was still sitting very pretty back at the office’s fridge... my eyes rolled back so far I could see my own brain kicking itself with a huge boot.

By that time it was late, and my new office needed a key to get in... after some frantic phone calls the kind person was going to leave the key with the building security... Walking back to BTS, catching the BTS, catching motorcycle taxi, pick up the key, pick up the cake and all the way back to the apartment, took almost an hour and a half, but it was done and now I was going to be able to sleep at night, haa haa haa.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the evening was the usual small cake just to be shared between the family, by this time I was already in Singapore, getting ready for another meeting the next day, so sorry for not being there in the evening baby :-) ... haa haa haa.

By the time I had arrived, most of the shops were closed, and really wanted to keep things quick and simple… haa haa haa, so 7/11 it was… life of the road :-)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Deepest Sorrow.

Dear Matt and Mar,

Wat Sri Saket-00154The cremation ceremony of our beloved late King Rama 9 was held on the 26th of October 2017, people queued up over nights so that they could joined the ceremony at Sanam Lhuang, where the people would lay the ‘Dok Mai Jan’ (flower made from thin slices of wood, to be placed on the site of cremation).

For the majority of the population, the government’s administration had set up 114 stations around Bangkok for the rest who had chosen to also lay down the flower for our beloved late King. I had totally read the situation wrong (again), I’d thought it would have been a simple task to find one of the 114 station to pay our last respect.

Our first choice was a temple near to your school, so we casually got up (Sunday), had breakfast, started to dress all in black and headed out in the van. In less than 10 minutes we’d arrived at the temple (Wat Yannawa), and we couldn’t believe our eyes. There were 2 queue leading into the temple, one to the East and one to the West. Each queue was about a kilometer long, that is over 1,000 meters of people waiting to get inside the temple. Inside we were overwhelmed with what we saw, all that love for our beloved late King Rama 9.

We’d decided to explore another station, Lumpinee Park, even before we’d reached the site, we could see that the queue was just about as long as the temple’s, so without hesitation we headed off to the 3rd stop, Hua Lum Pong.

By this time your mother had decided that no matter how long the queue was, she was going to jump down and joined the line, and on the surface it looked shorter, so your mother jumped out whilst the rest of us headed home, hoping to come out again in the evening.

By blind destiny, about 5 mins after we had dropped off your mother, my father called, he was telling us that at one of the famous temple near my parents had very little queue. Without second thought I’d made a quick u-turn, called your mother to run to where we had dropped her off.

Once your mother was back in the van, she said the queue was super long but it was hidden underground, lol. So off to Wat Sraket (Golden Mountain) we all went, only to find that the whole surround roads were blocked off to all traffic! Luckily we managed to find a parking spot not too far, to walk to the temple was full of purpose and focus.


As this one of the main and older temple of BKK, the organiser here was fantastic, absolutely superb and professional, everything ran like a Germany engine. There were two waiting areas, with one feeding into the other (all covered, and away from the hot sun), we were in the first tent for less than 5 minutes, before we were lead into the second even bigger and beautiful decorated tent.

From the second tent we could see the main building where we had to lay down the flower, must have been the whole atmosphere and the environment you two were on your best behaviour :-) In no time we were lead into the building, there was a quick ‘how to’ tutorial. This time we had decided to let you to go by yourself, this is your experience as much as ours, and you two managed it superbly.


After laying down the flowers, the first thing I did was to call my mother (and father), and told her to put on her skates and come to the temple as soon as possible (they only lived less than 15 minutes (on foot) away). I was prepared for the wait, but only 5 minutes later I found myself picking up the call from my mother, they had jumped onto a tuk-tuk instead of walking. By that time more and more people were arriving, I’d walked them to the main gate close to the 1st tent.

I think it was around 40 minutes later when my mother called again, she had now left the building and was walking towards us... she was very humbled to have this opportunity to say thank you and good bye.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Life on the road :-)

BlueScope travelDear Matt and Mar,

Can’t believe I’d only posted 69 posts in 2017, the lowest since 2008, 9 years ago… haa haa haa. The funny thing is that in 2017 I had taken more photos than ever, lol.

Since I had joined NS BlueScope in the middle of August, since then the amount of travelling had been mind boggling, but all necessary to drive the business forward, that meant a lot of changes personally just to maintain my normal routine.

Keeping to the eating plan have been challenging, too many tempting choices which shouldn’t even be on my plate, somehow found themselves on my plate (in abundance too, haa haa haa). Maintaining the lifting routine have been really easy, many places we stayed have fantastic facility (open 24 hours).

The travelling schedule have not let up now that we are in 2018, just have to be more vigilant with what I put on my plate, haa haa haa haa haa.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sheets of Metal… :-)

collageDear Matt and Mar,

Unfortunately my time at CMG had to come to an end… the job was great, the team was even better… but another important key proved to be something that wasn’t… so I’d left.

Now (actually for the past 4 months) I have been working at BlueScope, #1 brand of metal sheet roofing in Thailand (by far), but not without some interesting challenges. Jumping into a new industry wasn’t that daunting, the team has and still is fantastic, but what is challenging is the market forces.

No matter what the government is saying about how great the economy is doing (well, they have to say that), on the ground and certainly in the world of construction materials, which is probably a great indicator for how the economy is really doing, when all of the construction materials (not just roofing) are down, it is rather hard to believe that the country is doing great, but the other indicators are looking better, so all of our fingers are still crossed.

One of the biggest change for all of us with this new job is the amount of travel, in four months (16 weeks) about half those weeks had been spent on the road, haa haa haa. I would have found this difficult if it was a couple of years ago, when you two were younger but now Mar don’t even want me to walk her up to her class, haa haa haa. I still miss you two an awful lot though, the vdo chat have been a life safer, wherever I am in the world your smile is just a few clicks away… fantastic… haa haa haa.

More travel, more new places, more photos, haa haa haa, love you.