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Travelling the world, hopefully with a cuppa in hand

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More Thailand photos

The beach huts on Koh Mak

We posted the rest of our photos from Thailand here. A word of warning, beaches feature heavily. This may either brighten your day with the thought of your next holiday or make you want to cry.

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It’s nice to meet you Mr Ambassador

We had the pleasure of joining the Bangkok tango community last night which was hosted (to our great surprise) by the Argentinian ambassador at his residence! We felt a bit like gate-crashers but enjoyed meeting a diverse group of people and dancing the night away while savouring a few glasses of Argentinian red (but no Ferrero Rochers). There’ll be more tango for us in Sydney and perhaps even some dance shoes so we don’t have to dance in our trekking sandals.

We had lots of fun in Koh Mak. I had an entertaining few minutes tricking Jon into searching for an exotic bird when the noises he heard came from me hiding in the hut (with pauses for silent laughter). In addition to morning swims, reading and frisbee, Jon was very proud to achieve his first handstand after some coaching on the beach. We’re waiting for Donna to join us in Sydney for more advanced coaching on cartwheels.

Tomorrow is our last day in Bangkok and we will also be picking up any items sent to us poste restante – very exciting. We’re sad to be saying goodbye to Asia but we’ve already got some plans for Sydney and the best part will be seeing our sisters and meeting new family.

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Guess where we are

Some clues (N.B. – people we’ve told aren’t eligible for this game):
– we’ve been there before
– there are photos of our location on the blog
– it was a perfect setting for Valentine’s Day
– it’s hot, but we can easily cool down

any guesses? Click the link below to find out.

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Our favourite Thai recipes

Mmm, chicken with cashew nuts

We had a really great day out at the ‘Thai cookery farm’, a cooking school just outside Chiang Mai. They took us around the local market to show us the different types of rice and spices that make up Thai cuisine, and then we learned to cook five dishes each. So we’ll have plenty to choose from when we get home. Here are our favourite two main courses and two deserts from our Thai cookery course for you to try: Chicken with cashew nuts, chicken in coconut soup, mango with sticky rice, and bananas in coconut milk.

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Mekong meanderings

View of the Nam Ou at sunset

As our time in Asia nears its end, we are finishing in style, having just taken a two-day boat trip up the Mekong to cross the Thai border at Chiang Kong. We crossed the border this morning and then caught a bus to Chiang Mai where we have plans to spend a day at a Thai cookery school (look out for more recipes soon!) and also visit an elephant camp. After a full three days on the road we are looking forward to staying put for a few days!

The Mekong seems an appropriate theme as it’s connected with several of the countries we’ve travelled through. From its source in Tibet it runs through the Yunnan province of China and across Laos and Cambodia before it finds its end in the South China sea in south Vietnam, having traced the Laos-Thailand border. The river links the cities we’ve visited at Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Travelling by boat was the perfect way to admire the spectacular scenery and witness some of the activities and rhythm of daily life in Laos. Our boat took us past forested hills, jagged karsts and impromptu riverside vegetable plots, taking advantage of a few month’s exposure of the sandy banks before the river rises again. The slow pace gave us plenty of time to observe village communities collecting river weed, throwing weighted fishing nets and hoping for a catch, panning for gold on the banks, having a bathe and even generating electricity by rigging up their own mini DIY hydroelectric plants! The gentle rocking of the boat was also very sleep-inducing so we (especially Lou) frequently nodded off. Jon took the opportunity to get stuck into some reading and made headway with Bleak House but otherwise, our surroundings were just too good to miss.

We spent just under two weeks in Laos and wish that we could have stayed longer. It lives up to the promise of offering a glimpse into an Asia of old, in contrast with the first-worldness of Thailand and the bustling progress of Vietnam. We had some of our most rewarding encounters with local people, including helping a noodle soup lady set out her stall first thing this morning, seeing the monks receive morning alms, and enjoying soaking up the laid-back atmosphere. In addition to the beauty of the country and culture, the warm welcome we received makes us certain that it’s somewhere we’ll go back to.

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