The above phrases can be heard from time to time in Thailand. The former, Jai yen yen means ‘cool, cool heart’ & mai pen rai means ‘no problem’. In other words, have a cool heart & laid back attitude; aggressive, loud or rude behaviour is definitely not appreciated in Thailand, such a non-confrontational culture! No wonder it is known as the land of smiles!
Well, what can we say, we have been the epitome of both & have certainly enjoyed all the island hopping & couldn’t think of a better way to escape the cold, snowy Canadian winter (being a good Canadian, I will now apologize – SORRY!!)j
Our 3-day stay in Koh Lanta was idealic; again, no need to wonder what the weather would be each morning☀️. Long stretches of sunset beaches & calm emerald waters of the Andaman beckoned as the heat of the day builds; so hot that walking barefoot on the sand a challenge. Koh Lanta is the name of an entire archipelago of around 52 islands, of which the island where we stayed, Koh Lanta Yai, is just one. Most of the surrounding islands are uninhabited. At night fishing boats dot the horizon with their bright green & white lights appearing to dance magically on the waters. Star gazing was never better, especially one night when the area we were staying in lost power for a couple of hours-black is black.
Another boat ride from Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi landed us on the island of Phuquet, Thailand’s biggest island.
And so, we found ourselves in Patong & it certainly lived up to its reputation! The most popular (overcrowded) tourist area on Phuket is Patong Beach on the central west coast, perhaps owing to the easy access to its wide & long beach. Most of Phuket’s nightlife & shopping is in Patong & the area has become increasingly developed. Patong means “the forest filled with banana leaves” in Thai & we certainly saw a lot of banana hammocks on the beach 😝. Thousands of bodies covered the beach by day & found themselves transported to the streets at night. Patong is the party capital of Asia, a hedonists’ heaven (SIN CITY) with so many bars & entertainment options that cater to every taste, i.e., ping-pong shows anyone???
Martha, you would love this place, lots of pole/tabletop dancers & bar venues to capture with your brush strokes.
Katoey (ladyboy) show was something we wanted to experience this time around in Thailand. We have previously been told how entertaining these are & we certainly weren’t disappointed as they strutted their stuff & lip-synced to the tunes. Needless to say some katoeys could beat out a beauty queen (well sort-of) – guess surgery & theatrical makeup has its pluses.
Hard to believe, our 30-day Thai visa is expiring, so we need to get the heck outta Dodge (or penalty of death, well perhaps a slight exaggeration) & Phuket was a convenient place to catch a flight. When booking on Air Asia we didn’t realize that it was also FRIDAY, the 13th! So, in the hands of God, we are jetting our way to Singapore this morning – talk about testing fate!!! However, the pilots in our life have reassured us that flying is never more safe than now & we figured this is as good a time as any to practice ‘Jai yen yen’!
One of the other reasons for heading to Singapore at this point in our travels is to visit the Burmese (Myanmar) embassy to get a tourist visa. We had tossed around visiting Burma, but kind of put it on the back burner before we left home. However, intrigue has gotten the best of us & since it’s a stone’s throw away, so to speak, & still relatively unchanged, we figured, hey, why not? The embassy in Singapore has a fast turnaround on visas apparently; we have our appointment on Monday, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that we are successful.
NOTE: not sure everyone is aware, but if you click on the title of the post on the email message, you will see a more professional layout of the blog …