Thursday, November 26, 2015


As the Gorse Fox reflects on the day, the Internet is down - not clear when it will be restored, so the Gorse Fox is writing this with the intention of retro-blogging when everything returns to normal.

The weather was far more settled today - very little cloud and a peak of about 32c, very pleasant. The Gorse Fox skipped the gym this morning as his knee was a little sore and he didn't want to stir things up. The morning, therefore, was consumed by reading and catching up on the news. The Gorse Fox left messages for Urban-cub to see how she was getting on hoping to catch up with her later.

After lunch (taken by the pool) Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit joined us for a while. The Coventry Hobbit had to leave to look after the dogs, but Cousteau-cub stayed on into the evening.

Late afternoon the ringer went to tell the Gorse Fox he had a Skype call. He didn't get there quickly enough but saw it was from Urban-cub.  He video-called her back on what he though was her Skype address. It turned out to be the Skype for her smart TV at home. Skype rang, and rang... then suddenly it was answered and the Gorse Fox was staring into her living room at Jake who went into blind panic as the TV said "Hello, Jake" and he ran out the room. At this point the Gorse Fox hung up, realising the mistake, and re-dialled Urban-cub. Even now, several hours later the Gorse Fox is chuckling at Jake's reaction. Anyway, all seems well with Urban-cub and Pistol Pete - his knee is obviously settling down, and despite the problems they have had a nice break.

Sunset was a cracker tonight.

We strolled down to the Bay and had dinner at Baan Lanta. Fresh White Snapper for the Silver Vixen, 500g of tiger prawns for Cousteau-cub, and a tuna for the Gorse Fox. The food was exquisite. (It seems to the Gorse Fox that it is very hard not to eat well in this part of Thailand - wherever you go, the food is just wonderful). While we ate, the manager of the bar went down onto the beach and performed a fire dance with flailing bowls of burning oil spinning and looping round him on the sand. Very atmospheric... and not something we see often in The Crescent!

Noon Image: 26 Nov 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Loy Krathong

It is a public holiday in Thailand and is held over a couple of days to celebrate the 12th full moon of the year. 

The Thai women (not sure whether men do it also) make these little vessels from banana leaves and flowers. These Krathons are delightful. The Silver Vixen sat down with several of the hotel staff and spent several hours work on her Krathongs. 

The hotel is planning a special meal this evening and then will launch the Krathongs across the infinity pool. We will miss this as Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit have suggested we all go across to Lanta Old Town where the biggest festival takes place. Resorts compete with each other to make the best offering, and all the street food vendors and restaurants are open. It sounds like fun, so we headed across there after sunset.

The drive across was a bit of a nightmare as every motorbike, taxi, and vehicle on the Island seemed to heading for the Old Town. The Gorse Fox needs eyes in the back of his head, and both sides of his head just to have a chance to see where the next nutcase is coming from. Despite everything, we arrived without incident. Not only that, we got the last parking space in the parking lot.

We met up with some of Cousteau-cub's friends and had a drink then moved on through the street vendors and past the shops and restaurants to the main square where there was a a night market, a stage with Thai dancing, and displays of the Krathongs from all of the big resorts. 

After wandering through the square we made our way to the beach where Cousteau-cub launched the Silver Vixen's Krathong into the sea. (Strictly, this should be done at high tide - but as that is not until midnight we - and hundreds of others - decided to launch early).

We strolled around and watched the world go by for a while then went to meet up with the Coventry Hobbit and grab a meal. As usual, the food was delicious and it was nice that the Silver Vixen and the Gorse Fox actually introduced Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit to a new restaurant.

Super day.

Noon Image: 25 Nov 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


The thing is, you see, that this is Thailand's high season. This is so defined because the Europeans find the temperature most comfortable - it being Thailand's winter. So it is that today we have had a wintery day. It has been a bit overcast, it has rained, it has been windy and the temperature has plummeted to 27C. The locals are wearing coats and everyone is commenting on the cold. Pah! Wimps.

We have had a gentle day - breakfast, gym, swim, and then a drive up to SalaDan and back round the Island. The whole point of the trip to SalaDan was to visit a market we had seen yesterday. Didn't quite work out... market was closed today for the Loy Kratong holiday/festival (more of which tomorrow). So we circled back round the Island towards Old Town then back to Klong Nin and headed south. We stopped at Diamond Cliff for lunch then stopped off to see Cousteau-cub on our way back to the hotel.

A quiet afternoon was spent with our books and knitting and then we grabbed supper at the hotel, where Cousteau-cub joined us for a glass of wine and some Belgian fries.

Another very relaxing day.

Noon Image: 24 Nov 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015


It was humid and overcast this morning - a steady 30c, but little sun. Breakfast was followed by about an hour in the gym, then we headed up the island to meet with Cousteau-cub at Narima. She and the Coventry Hobbit had concluded that their dog Tyson had gone blind and she was, clearly, concerned. We offered to provide transport to the vet, but she concluded that he would be more comfortable with them on the bike as he didn't know our car.

We headed on up to SalaDan at the northern tip of the Island. It's not exactly a thriving metropolis, but it is the closest that Koh Lanta has to to a shopping mecca (and given that the Island is 95% Muslim, that's probably the correct comparative adjective).

As we started to roam the streets, a gentle, warm rain started. This seemed like a cue for us to find a restaurant and shelter. We spotted a place and headed out back. Like Old Town, the restaurants sit on stilts to keep them clear of the channel between Koh Lanta Noi and Kog Lanta Yai... and all the while, ferry boats head out along or across that channel to keep the Islands connected with the rest of the country.
The Gorse Fox showed, several days ago, that a pineapple salad got served in a pineapple... well it is also clear that a coconut shake gets served in a coconut. (It is absolutely delicious and the Gorse Fox doesn't thingk he could ever eat a Bounty Bar again, now he has tried the real thing).

After SalaDan we headed clockwise round the top of the Island and back over the Elephant Road (so named because there is place at the top of the mountain where Elephant treks begin and there are several elephants by the side of the road - it is a great shame that they seem to be kept chained by one leg - but the Gorse Fox supposes it is better than them roaming into the road and getting hit).

The Gorse Fox should mention that the roads are awash with Thais and tourists on their motobikes. We are the exception, having a car. The problem is that it is like the Battle of Britain, traversing the roads. Fighters (scooters) come in from the left, from the right, from behind, and from straight ahead, They may have a single pilot, but he may have his mother, his aunt, his nan, his brother, his sister, his baby brother, his father and two uncles on the bike with him. If he's a tourist, he probably has a girlfriend or boyfriend on the back (or both). Whoever they are, they will have no protective clothing nor head gear. So it was that, as we headed back south, there head clearly been a nasty accident with a chap being attended to by locals and tourists. One suspects his holiday is at an end. It is such a shame that people take so few pecautions.

We spent a quiet afternoon back at the hotel. The clouds finally parted briefly to alow a sunset picture, but whereas some last for 30-45 minutes, this was quite fleeting.

We have now heard from Cousteau-cub and the dog, Tyson, is having some blood tests, but being treated on the assumption that he has some parasite in his blood. Let's hope thate he gets better soon.

We have also heard from Urban-cub and it seems that Pistol Pete is laid up. He has fluid on the knee and needs to keep it rested and elevated to see if it will settle. Here's wishing him the best.

Noon Image: 23 Nov 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015


It was a lovely bright morning spent by (and in) the pool. We are both making significant progress in our books. We were sorry to see, ovrnight, that Pistol Pete has hurt his knee and may need a trip to A&E if it doesn't settle over night. This on the first full day of their holiday in the Lake District. The news was originally on Facebook, but Urban-cub phoned us with an update. Sleep, ice packs, pills, and so forth have not helped - trip the hospital is on the morning agenda. We now wait to hear the outcome.

We spent several hours chatting with the Belgian chap that owns the hotel. He spends several months at a time here, then goes back to Europe for a while and so forth. It appears his return trips are set to coincide with significant footbal matches in his team's season. We had a lot of common ground and he was charming.... he even introduced the Gorse Fox to a Trappist beer that had a kick like a mule!

Early afternoon, the clouds rolled in and it got very stormy. Still very hot, but the rain was heavy. We retreated under cover and continued our quiet time with our books. The Gorse Fox remembers when he would go on vacation with 10-14 books and work his way through the lot; now, all he needs is the Kindle and has an, almost, unlimited supply of reading material.... and that's to say nothig of the 30-odd audio books he still has untouched.

Those that know the Gorse Fox may wonder why no comments about diving. The fact is that he has a problem with one of his ears and it won't seem to clear up. This situation is untenable for diving - if you cannot equalise the pressure in your ears you just cannot dive. 

The storms of the day have obviously caused some problems somewhere as the electricity keeps cutting out. The Silver Vixen is in the shower with a torch in case the lights go out again.

Noon Image: 22 Nov 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Special Day

It's been quite a day. So it should be, it's the Silver Vixen's birthday. We started with a quick coffee at the hotel before meeting up with Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit. Whilst having our coffee the hotel staff had made up our room (as usual) but had decorated the foot of the bed with two little elephants fashioned from towels and a red cloth background to the words Happy Birthday, picked out in 148 white flowers picked from the garden. It was delightful. It was also unexpected as the Gorse Fox had only mention the Silver Vixen's birthday in passing, at the beginning of the week.

Once Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit had arrived we headed up to the Pimalai Resort for breakfast. It is a fantastic place with breathtaking views across Kantiang Bay and across the vast grounds of the resort itself. We had a long and leisurely breakfast just chatting and consuming every sort of delicacy you could imagine.
The Seven Seasons at Pimalai

Across Kantiang Bay

That was only part of the Silver Vixen's treat. Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit had also arranged for a Spa treatment. The Gorse Fox should point out that the Pimalai Spa is regarded as one of the best in whole world... so this was something special. The Gorse Fox dropped her off and went back several hours later to collect her. She had had a wonderful time with oils and wraps, jacuzzis and massage.
The Spa grounds

Once back at the hotel, Cousteau-cub met up with us again for the afternoon and as the day drew on, Urban-cub called from her holiday in the Lake District. There it was 3C and there was snow on the hills. Quite a contrast to here. 

Dinner tonight was with Tukta, Cousteau-cub's friend who cooked so beautifully for us on our last visit. Fabulous day and certainly one that we will remember.

Noon Image: 21 Nov 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Noon Image: 20 Nov 2015

Pool day

There's no doubt about it, one has to pace oneself. With this in mind we started the day with the usual breakfast and gym session. Then we spent the rest of the day by the pool. The Gorse Fox caught up on some TripAdvisor reviews and did some reading and swimming. The Silver Vixen concentrated on her knitting and then reading.

Cousteau-cub dropped in at lunchtime but was en-route to the print shop, so didn't stay for long. She dropped by at the end of the day, too, but again it was but a fleeting visit. With the Silver Vixen's birthday tomorrow, we should both Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit as they have a day off.

Not much of a sunset tonight; well actually it set quite adequately, it just forgot to give us a show.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Old Town

After breakfast, the gym, and a swim, the Gorse Fox spent a pleasant 30 minutes chatting with some fellow guests in the pool. As they were New Yorkers we had plenty of common ground and Gorse Fox was in a position to give them some hints and tips about the Island.

We headed off to Lanta Old Town. It's only about 15km across the spine of the Island. It's a charming little town and reminds the Gorse Fox of a TV set for a western! (Well, with the exception of the power cables and the motor scooters).
 We strolled through the main street examining all the shops and restaurants. It is much more alive this trip (being high season) than it was on our previous trips. All of the shops on the right side of the photo back on to the bay and stand partly on stilts. As you pass along the street there are teasing glimpses of the bay beyond.

There is also a Bhuddist shrine which quite draws the eye to the bay and the islands beyond.
After our lengthy exploration (ok, let's be honest, it took about 20 minutes), we stopped off at nice restaurant for a snack and to sit and admire the view across the bay. It turns out that the owners have another place on our side of the island, and we have been there; not only that but they know Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit. It was clear that, to the South, a storm was brewing  though it was still bright and sunny where we were. We decided to get back before the storm caught us if, indeed it was going to).

As we opened the door to our room, there was a clap of thunder and the heavens opened. We had timed it to perfection. We spent the afternoon reading and later Cousteau-cub came round. She had some errands to run, so the Gorse Fox took here round the island in the car, rather than her using the motorbike in this weather. Whilst the Gorse Fox ad Cousteau-cub were galivanting, the Silver Vixen managed to make contact with Urban-cub over Skype so we caught up on all the news.

This evening we went to a lovely restaurant called Yang (the Thai word for grill). The food was exquisite and demands a return trip at some point. The Gorse Fox had a wonderful piece of tuna, the Silver Vixen had ribs, the Coventry Hobbit had some steak, and Cousteau-cub had duck.

Sorry  no sunset photos today - the Gorse Fox was out running errands and the sunset wouldn't wait!

Noon Image: 19 Nov 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Round and About

The morning started in the familiar fashion. Breakfast, gym, and a swim. It was a bit overcast and whilst the Gorse Fox was swimming it did start to rain. He stayed in the pool for a few more minutes and then came in  after all he didn't want to get wet.

The rest of the morning was spent with our books, until Cousteau-cub arrived. We grabbed some lunch then helpd her take some yoga mats and other supplies up to Round House where they have built her a deck on which she will teach yoga in the mornings.
It should be lovely with the outlook straight over the beach, and the sound of the waves lapping against the shore. She's just waiting for her work permit to be updated and she should be able to start.

We stayed on for the rest of afternoon and met up with a number of Cousteau-cub's friends, chatting with them as the sun put on its farewell show for the day. Today it pulled out all the stops and gave us quite a show.
Finally as the last rays exploded into the sky, we wandered next door to Otto's Bar for dinner.

Noon Image: 18 Nov 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Another day in this paradise. A light breakfast followed by some time in the gym and a swim seemed like a successful start for the last few days, so the Gorse Fox stuck with a winning formula. The Silver Vixen joined him in the gym for some gentlle exercise, which was nice and will, hopefully, help her.

Most of the rest of the morning was spent finishing one book and starting another - then dropping into the pool when the temperature so demanded. At lunch time we headed down to Kantiang Bay (voted one the top ten beaches in Asia)
As usual, it was almost deserted. We had a quick bite, which whilst not spectacular did manage to surprise us. The Silver Vixen ordered an Hawaiian Salad, whic we assumed would be chicken salad vegetables and bits of pineapple. Not quite. As you can see from the photo it was a pineapple, hollowed out and filled with some salad and bits of chicken.
Back at the hotel we sat a read, sipped the occasional cocktail and waited for Cousteau-cub to turn up. She had had a busy day, but was able to stay with us for dinner down at the Drunken Sailors.

Sunset wasn't quite as stunning today - but was still worth watching

Noon Image: 17 Nov 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Quiet day

Cousteau-cub and the Coventry Hobbit were busy today so we didn't get a chance to catch up with them. We know they are working and enjoy the time we do get to spend with them, but realise that it has to fit in around work.

We spent the day by the pool. It was hot and cloudless. The Gorse Fox, not one to lie in the sun, kept moving around to find shade, whilst enjoying some podcasts and munching through a book on his Kindle. The Silver Vixen, who like the sun a bit more, spent some time knitting and then buried herself in her Kindle whilst enjoying the sunshine. All of this was interspersed by cool-down sessions in the pool (which was about one and half paces away).

Reviewing the last few days, the Gorse Fox was disturbed to realise that whilst only having 15 rooms, we have still been put into rom 101. He trusts this is not an omen.

At the end of the day the Gorse Fox watched for the sunset. Despite today's weather it wasn't quite a string as it has been - he would guess that even the sun has an off day.

Noon Image: 16 Nov 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

National Park

After breakfast we hit the gym - yes both of us. Then after burning a few calories we had a swim. Life can be such a strain.

We headed down to the National Park, which occupies the south western tip of the Island. We had been before, but it is a lovely spot... and only 7km from the hotel, so took only a few minutes to get there. 

We wandered down to the lighthouse, and back round along the white talcum-powder sands of the cove. 

There were a few tourists making the most of the lovely beach and the calm, warm waters. In the distance, to the South, you could see a rain squall hitting the Islands - and hear the thunder as small sparks of lightning flashed in the clouds. On Lanta, though, it was still bright, hot, and sunny.

Leaving the park we returned to Kantiang where we had a late lunch at Drunken Sailors. As we were finished the thunder started overhead so we headed back to the hotel and got to our room just as the first drops of rain started to cool the air. the thunder and lightning continued for a while, but the rain never really amounted to much.

Cousteau-cub came along to see us late afteroon. She had been out on the boat and doing some underwater photography with clients all day. Later she has a staff meeting, so it was only a short visit. she was with us to watch the daily light show that  most people think of as sunset. It would, therefore, be wrong to sign off without one of the photos from tonight's show.

Noon Image: 15 Nov 2015

As it is

Like it is

We were sitting at breakfast. The young (Belgian) lady who owns the hotel came over to speak with us. She commented that we would be staying a long time, to which the Silver Vixen replied that she will be tired of us by the time we leave. 

Without missing a heartbeat she replied "Oh no, I like old people".

Guess that's us told then. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Do not disturb

After a hearty breakfast and, for the Gorse Fox a trip to the gym and a subsequent swim, we had another dreadful day of sitting by the pool in 31C temperatures whist sipping on cool drinks and deciding on what to do for supper. Cousteau-cub was out on the boat filming the dives, and the Coventry Hobbit had much of the day to himself. Both came to join up with us, late afternoon.

As the evening approached we heard about the trouble at Gatwick, but were able to get an update from Urban-cub - who, of course, is in the midst of it and getting full briefings on the situation. 

Relieved by first hand news we headed for The Drunken Sailors where we enjoyed some fine food and, perhaps, the odd glass of cool and refreshing elixir. Whilst there, we saw Tad and resolved to pop in and see him at The Bad Penny - when we get a chance

It would be wrong to sign-off without the obligatory sunset photo.

Noon Image: 14 Nov 2015


We heard from Urban-cub (isn't Skype wonderful). Less than 6 months into her new job she was asked to apply for a promotion. Assessment was this week and it seems that she has got it.

Very proud of our girls.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Golden hour

Back at the hotel it was the golden hour (or Happy Hour if you must!). The Gorse Fox, Silver Vixen and Cousteau-cub sat on the verandah and watched as the sun put on its display across the Andaman Sea.

Noon Image: 13 Nov 2015


It was a clear bright start to the day and the Gorse Fox enjoyed a nice breakfast before wandering down to the gym for 25 mins on the treadmill, then enjoyed half an hour in the pool with the place to himself. Cousteau-cub joined us late morning and we decided to wander into Kantiang for lunch.
Leaving the hotel we passed a family of monkeys on the driveway. This baby was clearly very happy clinging on to its mum. We stopped of at Scubafish for a chat, then carried on round to a open-sided thatched hut which was a roadside restaurant. Lunch was simple, cheap, and excellent costing about £6 for 4 of us.
After lunch it was looking quite thundery so we grabbed the car headed up to the market as Cousteau-cub wanted some supplies. It was only 7km but by the time we got there, the rain had started.
The market was an incredible experience - fruits, fish, meat, clothing and,of course, street food.