I was teaching at a university in Korea, but fortunately there was a one-month semester break around New Year’s because it was quite cold there. We flew to Hong Kong as we often did from Korea, since plane tickets were much cheaper there. We also booked round trip tickets to Korea for the way back to prepare for our next trip.
Raring to go!
We had been at the King’s Palace on our first trip to Thailand four years previously, but it was still worth a visit.
We had not visited Ayutthaya (just too much to see in that country!), so we headed there on the second day. It was a capital of the Kingdom of Siam from 1350 until 1767
Monks on the move
Visit to the royal barges
We then flew to Burma for one week, described in a separate post on my blog.
Back in Thailand, we went straight to Koh Samui. Four years earlier, Chaweng Beach had only two small guesthouse compounds at one end. This time there were quite a few more, but it was still rather a sleepy, idyllic place. Munchies, where we had stayed the first time, was then approx. comfortable bungalows, nothing like the simple huts of previously with only mats on the floor for sleeping and a shower outside. We talked to the owner, and she already pined for the guests of the time of our first visit who were much friendlier and less demanding. Years later, she had a very expensive, upscale hotel on the beach, had become quite rich, but still missed the beginnings.
Her place was too expensive for us, so we got a bungalow at the other end of the beach. The owner, Mem, was a very friendly woman and great cook (she had only had a small restaurant there the first time we were on Chaweng). She was famous for her massaman curry, which she only made on special order.
The next time we visited the island, she had sold her place, unhappy at the development on the beach.
Chaweng was still a great place to relax, although it was the last time we stayed there. When we arrived there four years later, we immediately left for a quieter beach, saddened by how it had developed.
A great place for kids and their parents!
Then a few days in Chiang Mai
Before heading back to Korea