25 January 2016

C.A.P.

It's been a while since I told you about a good coffee shop, so here's another one to add to the list. This place is in the old town down near La Luna and having studied in Australia, the owners speak good English. They also have sit down toilets...but more on that later.

Whilst the inside is not large, it is air-conditioned which makes it a pleasant spot on a hot day. The d├ęcor is very modern industrial and so the two sofas are basically cushioned pallets. This does not make lounging an easy task though I suspect a long legged supermodel could pull off the look a lot better than I can. 

The coffee is good and served in the obligatory glass at least, for us Aussies it's obligatory and is priced at the higher end at 55 baht. I really enjoyed the chocolate brownie I had there complete with ice-cream. It added another 80 baht to the bill but sometimes you just have to do these things. Think of it as a special occasion treat and you can live with the price. To compensate somewhat, there's a large urn of chilled water you can help yourself to.


What you can miss, if you're not careful, is the lovely outside seating that there is. Plenty of tables and chairs and electric fans dotted around that you can plug in if you're not getting enough breeze. Aside from the noise of the fans it really is very pleasant and quite tranquil out here.


You'll find the toilets right around the back with a large plank of tree that's used for the basin someone's got a good eye for detail. So, if you get a chance, check this place out.



18 January 2016

Kasemsarn Hotel

Personally, I believe this to be the best hotel in Chanthaburi for location, cost and cleanliness. Whenever we have visitors we get them to stay here and we don't get any kickbacks though, quite frankly, I think we should by now. 


It's true that there is no pool and you might consider that  a deal breaker however you can use the pool at other hotels  which are further out of town for either 100 baht or the cost of lunch. It's a short walk down the hill to the delights of the old town with its cute cafes and bars. It's also less than a ten minute stroll to our house but they also let us leave our bikes there, parked in the shaded car park.

Reception staff have adequate English and they are more than willing to have staff flag down a taxi for you and explain where you want to go. Whenever we have visitors I pop in with written down dates just to make sure there's no confusion and they sort the rest. I do this because their website is absolutely useless for anything other than finding out their phone number and room rates.

Speaking of which, we do manage to get the 30% discount for visitors so that's nice. This means a room with a balcony comes to 980 baht (roughly GBP19 / AUD39 / USD27 / EUR25). It's also one of the few places in Chan where you can use a card to pay for your accommodation.

The centre of the hotel is open to the elements and provides an "atrium" feel to the place. We love this, especially if you're lucky enough to experience some rain during your visit.

We don't normally recommend including breakfast with the booking. There's a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, if you decide in the morning you want breakfast, you simply pay the 150 baht and off you go. The breakfast is ok, but not knockout and we sometimes like to go for brunch and there's other cafes nearby that you can easily walk to. We find it most useful to have breakfast on the last day of the visit as there's no need to cart your luggage around and because you don't need to be staying there to have breakfast we have been known to join our visitors for breakfast.

When we experienced all the flooding in our first year here, this is the place we stayed overnight because we thought we wouldn't be able to flush our loo at the house. So we can recommend this from our own first hand experience.

15 January 2016

Time flies

Well as I'm sure you can all imagine, Christmas was a very weird time this year. I was on a bit of an emotional roller coaster, naturally, and Mr John did his best to keep up. Thinking it would help, I even made us a fireplace to hang our stockings watch out for the "how to" post. I tried very hard to keep it all as normal as possible and we did enjoy our lamb dinner but none the less, it was weird.

This year we went to the Christmas Market here in Chanthaburi that's held outside the Catholic cathedral. We've been to quite a few of these types of markets over the years. Most of them have been in Europe.


There were no handicrafts to purchase here, no crass consumerism. There was, I believe, the obligatory raffle with plastic storage boxes the main prizes and the coveted electric fans for the jackpot. Santa wasn't due until 10pm and the fireworks scheduled for midnight. Oddly enough, we listened to the fireworks as we snuggled into the bedcovers.

And so now, I can't believe, we're already half way through January and this is my first real missive in some time. I guess my mind has been focused by the imminent arrival of my friend Rachel.  We've known each other over 10 years and I'm so looking forward to seeing here on Sunday. We worked together and shared a house whilst on contract in Yorkshire along with another good mate, Wendy hang on, why isn't Wendy coming too?. We'll be stopping in Bangkok for a few nights then after the dizzy heights of this town it will be time to chill out on one of the islands.

L to R: me, Wendy and Rachel at "Champagne Towers"
I hope you're enjoying the start of 2016 and are not as horrified as I am as to where time goes.

01 January 2016

2016


Happy New Year
from
Mr & Mrs John
 

It's been some time since I've written anything. This, in part, has been because I had some very sad news the week before Christmas. My Dad, who was 93 years old, finally succumbed to the dementia he's been suffering from and he was buried on Tuesday. Rest in peace Dad.
 

If you'd like to see some more photos please go here