What a sensational holiday Russ and I have just had ... 2.5 weeks in Phuket, Thailand just laying back and soaking up the sun - just what the doctor ordered after a difficult year health wise.
... this year I was lucky enough to leave Russ in Phuket with the boys (our local Thai friends) and travel to Khon-Kaen in the north-east of Thailand with my wonderful Thai girlfriend Tum to meet her family. What a rare opportunity to 'hang with the locals' with not another tourist in sight!
Night markets where baby elephants stroll down the centre of the road (with their mahouts) seeking out anyone with a choice morsel for them to munch on ... OK, so I'm a sucker for a cute baby!
A long 3.5 hour drive further north to the township of Nong-Khai on the Mekong River opposite Laos for some market shopping and sightseeing - a great mix of Thai, Chinese and Laotian influences ....
An equally long 4 hour drive south-west to Si-Saket (near Ubon Ratchathani with the Cambodian border not too much further on) - well worth it though for the Loy Krathong full moon festival .... check out the sun coming up (very eerie through the morning mist)
Back to Patong Beach, Phuket to join up again with the boys (yes, they missed us!) and where Russ and I went apartment hunting, and found our ideal 'home away from home' tucked up on a cool, quiet road overlooking the bussling Patong Beach, yet only 1.4kms from the beach. Still under construction and due to be finished in January 2010 ... you can see why we're keen to get back and move in!