“One good reason to have detailed plans is so you know exactly which details can be changed”.
So, rather obviously, we are now in Thailand and so far we are loving every minute of it. But some of my friends are a little confused because for the last 12 months I’ve been telling everyone about the lovely little island that we are going to live on, how beautiful the beaches are, how hot it will be there and how warm the sea will be.
But so far in my blogs not even one tiny mention of the sea, and not a single picture of a beach. How so? I hear you ask . Well, it went a little something like this;
Everything was going according to schedule and the flights to Bangkok had been booked long in advance just waiting for us to decide on exact dates for the connecting flights to the island. The school place for small one had been reserved and was awaiting her arrival with all the appropriate visa paperwork in hand.
The move from France happened with not too many hitches and even those that occurred were relatively minor. When it was all done and dusted I sat in my mothers back garden in Eastbourne waiting for the day of our flight, relaxed in the knowledge that we all knew the plan and everything was in place for our arrival on Koh Samui in 3 weeks time.
“Now this is just a thought, and it’s a little out of the blue I know, but just hear me out and see what you think about it. Why don’t we have a little look at Chiang Mai before we fully commit ourselves to Samui”.
When hubby said those words on the phone to me I wasn’t exactly in the most receptive frame of mind, being tired from the move and already mentally, if not actually, committed to moving to the island. My enthusiasm for even entertaining the idea was somewhat lacking. I mean neither of us had ever even been there and we knew nothing of the place. And lest we forget we were due to move in less than 3 weeks. So I voiced my opinion that we should just stick to the plan, but agreed to have a bit of time on-line having a little look at the place anyway. In all honesty, and with apologies to my dear husband, I only agreed to to look to make him happy as I was convinced that nothing could change my mind.
So I duly started a casual browse and began to google maps, images and blogs concerning Thailand’s second city.
Landlocked. If fact about as far away from the sea in any direction as you can get in Thailand. So no beaches then.
A couple of lakes though, and a river and mountains- quite a few of them, all round the city in fact.
And what’s that on the map, a city centre ring road? Oh hang on that’s a moat. An actual moat surrounding the city centre. That’s quite cool really, but it’s not a beach is it?
But just look at all those beautiful temples, more than any other city in Thailand you say?
Oh and lots of huge street markets all over the city and shopping galore….well I suppose on an island the shopping might be quite limited.
Oooohh, cinemas 2 or 3 with more in development, bowling, and quite a lot of museums and galleries too because of the big local art scene.
And of course there are swimming pool, I mean just because it’s not a beach, doesn’t mean you can’t go swimming does it?
And you know, with the weather the way it is being on an island you are much more likely to be affected by storms and the risk of tsunamis and so forth.
Not that we aren’t going to the island, I’m just saying…
And the temperature fluctuates more in the north. It’s still hot, but it seems to get cooler at night at certain times of the year. In the south it seems to be hot day and night. I mean don’t get me wrong I love the heat during the day, but slightly cooler nights would have been perfect.
And look at the choice of schooling, WAY more than an island would have, even though the school we picked for small one is lovely, there is a lot more actual choice here.
Oh wow, that’s where the elephant sanctuary is that I’ve read about, and it is quite close to the tiger temple too.
Not that we are going to live there you understand, but maybe we could have a little look, I mean there’s no harm in going to see the place, it’s not like we are actually going to move there, we’re just having a look, just a little holiday before we ‘actually’ move.yes that’s what we will do, just a little break there, then we would book our onward flights to Samui.
Just a little break. Just to see, you know.
As hubby was flying out a week before small one and I, he sent his reports by phone and email, and it has to be said they sounded favourable. So what was the harm in him contacting a few estate agents, just to see what was around, not that we were definitely moving there or anything, it was just to have a little look. When the pictures of the properties started arriving in my inbox the vast majority of any remaining doubt was blown clean away. I mean we still had to see the place in person. I might arrive and instantly dislike it, although I was almost sure by now that wasn’t going to happen, I still had to entertain the possibility.
As the plane made it’s final descent the landscape beneath took my breath away.
The lush green tropical mountains soared around a large, but surprisingly, low-rise city. The sun pierced the clouds and dazzled us with the reflected light from what seemed like hundreds of golden temple domes. The river snaked its way around the city and the well defined square of the moat shone up at us like a ribbon of molten silver encircling and protecting the city within. Even before the wheels had touched the tarmac I was quite sure I was coming home. And nothing I have experienced since has persuaded me otherwise.
I mean beaches are overrated anyway, the sand just gets everywhere.
And it itches.
My husband is a very clever man.