Tag Archives: Travel Thailand

Retired No One Told Me! Weekly Roundup…Jackfruit,Alinea and Beeswax Wraps.

Weekly Roundup (2)

Wow…What a week this has been…A week of firsts for me some cracking reblogs so get yourself settled for a treat ladies and gents something for everyone…Feet up drink to the ready and enjoy!

First out of the starting blocks is an amazing restaurant brought to us by John Reiber…Who has eaten there…Not that I am in the least bit jealous…hmmm

I read the post then hotfooted it over to Netflix and watched the interview… That chef is awe-inspiring his work is just out of this world.


Look at that doesn’t it just make you drool??? So head over and have a look he is such an innovative chef whose skill just blows me away…


Fruity Fridays and the Jackfruit... To say I was again just stunned that the unripe fruit cooked was so different in taste and texture to the ripe fruit  I can see how it is going down a storm in the Vegan circles as the best and maybe even as good as pulled pork…I, of course, added chilli and made a  Thai Dish… Master the latex and you are sorted prepare to be astounded…


I then took you on a little tour of some of my favourite places, beaches, food and so much more…If I give too much away you won’t want to read the post…Will you??

longtail-Thailand-island tours


It was some more of my favourite places isn’t that a gorgeous sunset?

Sunset Bangtao Beach

A beautiful sunset at Bagtao Beach


Thai mango chicken was my next recipe…Mango season is in full swing and so many mangoes so we need to get inventive as there is only so much mango chutney and smoothies  I can make and this chicken is very nice and of course it has chilli…

Mango Chicken


My next reblog was an interview with our Sally who is not only a very good author and prolific writer in her own right but she supports all authors and bloggers however and whenever she can…She truly is a lovely lady with a good heart and it was lovely to learn about her and she also has a wicked sense of humour and has a little rant on the quiet as well…lol

Sally Cronin


Healthy eating and Tofu...Well a first for me..I cooked my first tofu dish and it was ok…My grandson loved it…I didn’t so much, I liked it but didn’t love it…But I am going to be taking the lovely Tori’s advice and try another recipe… Tori was also kind enough to write a guest post and for me, it was perfect as I knew nothing about tofu and hadn’t cooked or eaten it so for all you first timers like me I hope you found it informative and for all you experienced tofu cooks ..throw some recipes our way, please…Esme has already so thank you, Esme.

Tori - September 2015


Me again my regular weekly cookery column over at Sally’s this week I showcased Mince a vastly underrated meat and one which you can transform into many, many dishes from a tasty but humble mince, onions and mash to a beautiful lasagne … One of my favourites a chilli…No surprises there then…lol


Lastly, my little foray into the why’s and wherefores of Beeswax food covers and also that turned into a little rant about what we are being poisoned with and by whom…and what can we do about it??? Lots if we don’t stick our heads in the sand as it doesn’t affect us…YET! There are also good links for further info within the post…I will leave you with this little glimpse at what our celebs do before they go laughing to their banks…


That’s all for this week I do hope you have enjoyed this week as much as I have…

That’s all for this post  I do hope you have enjoyed it and found it useful and I am looking forward to your comments and if you also hit the share buttons I would love that ….Thanks, Carol xxx

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Until next time, stay safe, laugh a lot as laughter is the best medicine and it is free xxx




Travel Thailand; The Land of Smiles.

Retired No One Told Me! (6)

When you travel to Thailand be ready to be truly amazed the minute you step off the plane.

One of the first places we visited on our travel and explorations around Phuket was Big Buddha one of the most famous landmarks on the island of Phuket.

Big Buddha

Big Buddha, I have lost count of how many times we have travelled up the mountain to Big Buddha and it is always a place we take our visitors… While work is still ongoing there is always something different and new to see… My favourite sight though will always be that huge Big Buddha sat atop the Nakkerd hills sparkling in the sunlight, made of white jade he just shimmers as the sunlight catches that beautiful white jade… An awesome sight… Remember to keep covered up no bare arms and legs. Then on the way down you can stop at one of the restaurants and enjoy some lovely Thai food and of course the spectacular views around the bay.

If you travel to Phuket then you must go and visit Big Buddha.

There are many beautiful beaches in Thailand, my favourites are the ones which are not so crowded…The lesser visited beaches which are so beautiful… How to pick a favourite? Click this link and you will see why I can’t make that choice they all have their own charm. All you need is a beach towel and a camera and don’t forget the sunscreen.

beach and chairs nice pic

You have of course got the very touristy beaches like Patong, in Phuket but if you visit some of the others you can see or do some silk printing, have your portrait painted or just relax at a reggae bar and watch the waves or if you are feeling particularly sporty there is paddle boarding for which you need a fair amount of balance and it is not as easy as it looks… But you can’t travel to Thailand and not do at least one of these.


Sea gypsy villages are so very beautiful…They have a life of their own..self contained and self-sufficient, some have a school and one even has its own floating football pitch. Very fresh seafood, some amazing Thai food can be tasted it is all authentic flavours no holds barred when it comes to chillies … Just browse the little stalls set up in front of homes selling anything from dried fish, honeyed nuts, local goods made of silk or bags made by the hill tribes from the North and of course the normal bits and bobs to take home as mementoes of your travels.

houses on stilts Koh Panyee

I just love Krabi...Taking a long-boat to visit all the little islands is a marvellous day out just be ready to get wet and having to wade out to sea a little to get onto the boat but so much better than the speedboats for me anyway…You see far more and the boatmen know the schedules of the big boats so you can see the islands and miss the crowds.

A Thai massage on the beach or some lovely wraps and wall hangings which the beach vendors will be trying to sell to you…Lovely handmade wooden goods … purses and key rings …all sorts for sale and remember Thais love to barter…

If you are hungry the food is fresh from the boats and cooked to order…

You can get the most wonderful Thai massage on the beach while laying and looking out to sea and letting your thoughts just wander and take you where they may …

I will tell you a funny story when we went to one of the small islands massage was not permitted on some of the beaches but you could see the police boat coming as obviously boat was the only form of  access so if the boat appeared everyone upped sticks and we sat and sipped our drinks  as if nothing was going on and when they went on their merry way massage continued it was quite funny really and made me wonder whether the police really knew anyway…

My masseur happened to be male as all the ladies were busy … My lucky day…apparently, I had that look on my face( according) to hubby…I think it is called a blissful look …That massuer had the best hands…The rest I will leave to your very fertile imaginations..ladies…”smirk”

Temples or wats there are SO many here they range from the very old to the very new. From highly ornate to ones which need some TLC and to the quirky temples like this one which is made entirely out of Heineken and Chang bottles.

Called Wat Pa Maha Kaew or the Temple of a Million Bottles it is a Buddhist temple in the Khun Han district of Sisaket province, Thailand. Made from over 1.5 million bottles it took two years to build the main temple.

Can you just imagine a temple built completely from bottles and beer bottles?

Wat Bang Riang

This one is Wat Bang Riang a little drive from Phuket but well worth the trip …

I can’t go without mentioning briefly the food of which there is so much to love…Those Thai flavours are so amazing…

My Favourite Khao Soi a yellow curry with crispy noodles which packs a fiery punch as well.

You can’t visit Thailand and not visit a market…They are many and varied from the huge markets which sell everything to the little local market with 10-15 stalls which sell the essentials and the fresh fruit and vegetables are so very fresh..just picked that morning… Not forgetting, of course, the floating markets.


That’s all for this post  I do hope you have enjoyed it. I am looking forward to your comments and if you also hit the share buttons I would love that ….Thanks, Carol xxx

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Enjoy the rest of your weekend I hope you have a lovely Sunday and the weather is kind to you xxx


Travel Thailand…Ton Thai Waterfall,Thalang, Phuket…

Retired No One Told Me! Ton Tai Waterfall

Thailand has many beautiful waterfalls and this one is not a big one by any standards but lovely and one of my favourites.

Ton Tai( Sai) Waterfall is on the north-eastern side of Phuket island… It is inland and fairly far some would say from the beaches of Phuket, although having lived in Phuket it is at most 15 minutes from the closest beach so not a major trip out if you are on holiday and your time is limited.

To access the waterfall from  Thalang Town’s junction headed to the fall it is a straight road about three kilometres in length through rural countryside and farmland which then progresses into the lush green jungle and it is very peaceful with a smattering of simple Thai homes…

Ton tai waterfall

It is not the largest of waterfalls but easily accessed and it is peaceful and quiet. We actually lived along this road and often just took a stroll up to the waterfall and indeed our terrapins are still living with the other terrapins in the waterfall pool as we released them back into the wild.

Ton tai waterfall the bottom pool

Ton Tai waterfall is on the western side os the Khao Phra National Park and there is a path from Tonsai to Bang Pae Waterfall where the gibbon rehabilitation centre is situated.

You can either take a guide and walk through to Bang Pae waterfall or you can negotiate the tail yourself. Personally, I think if you take the guide unless of course, you have good knowledge of the local flora and fauna you will learn more and the guides know where everything is growing and can give you the correct Thai names.

If you have an interest in tropical plants then the rare white backed palms ( kerriodoxa elegans) can be found here growing quite freely. The leaves are beautiful and huge and can be up to two metres across, big and circular shaped like a fan with a green upper surface and white underneath.

Tonsai is a haven for wildlife and birds and if you are lucky you may see the red-billed malkoha or red-backed sea eagle the Siberian blue and forest wagtail also migrate here every year…All I managed to snap was a lizard basking in the sun.

Ton tai waterfall lizard basking in the sun

There is also a small restaurant where you can get food which I haven’t eaten in so I can’t give a review we used to eat in a small restaurant on the right-hand side of the road coming away from the waterfall about halfway down the long road…It is a popular stop for tour minibuses and generally, I would steer clear of any restaurant who catered for tours. Not so with this one, the food is excellent, the place clean and the prices very reasonable.

Also if you are very adventurous and you are in the area…I am not I don’t do heights and zip wires…I keep my feet on terra firma…This cable Jungle adventure is so I am told awesome and I am in doubt that it is… https://cablejunglephuket.com/

Just not for me but everyone who has been had so much fun…

If you enjoyed this post then please reblog  or share on your social media x

If you still want to see even more from me???? Although I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Then I have added some links below xx Come and say hello x

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/



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Until  next time I hope you all have a fabulous weekend  x




Travel Thailand…The beautiful sea gypsy village of Koh Panyee

Sea Gypsy Village Koh Panyee

Koh Panyee a sea gypsy fishing village in Phang Nga Province, Thailand. It was built on stilts by Indonesian fishermen some 200 years ago, although it is quite isolated this thriving fishing village is a popular tourist attraction.

The population of about 360 families or approx 1,685 people are all descendants of 2 seafaring Muslim families from Java, Indonesia.

Descendants, directly or indirectly, of a man called Toh Baboo, his family and friends. They were the first people to settle on Koh Panyee over 200 years ago.

Toh Baboo and two other families left their homeland in Indonesia by boat, looking for a new place to live. The three families made a vow to each other. They said if one of them found a place where there were lots of fish and where everyone could live, that they would signal the others. They would do so by raising a flag on a mountain as high as possible so that the others could see it and join them.

Toh Baboo discovered the island with its abundance of fish and, true to his promise, raised a flag atop its soaring cliff. That is how the island got its name, Koh Panyee – the Island of the Flag.

Koh Panyee is about 20 minutes by long-tail boat from Surakul pier in Phang Nga province.

We set out on the calm sunny morning from our hotel and travelled over the Saracen Bridge, which is the gateway in and out of Phuket Island. As we drove over the bridge the tour guide told us of the story of two young people from different backgrounds. The boy from a poor family and the girl from a well to do family who fell in love and how they were forbidden to meet again by their families…

Heartbroken they tied themselves together with a loincloth and jumped to their deaths… Together forever… A bit like Romeo and Juliet and this story is still being told and is what has made the Saracen bridge so famous.

View of bridge from Thanoon Seafood

There is a beautiful riverside restaurant at Saracen bridge which we have been to many times… It offers all types of very fresh Seafood.

Alongside the road from the restaurant, running parallel to the main road are many stalls which sell dried fish of all sorts and pineapples by the truckload. It is a popular venue for shops and market traders as they can just pull up and load their trucks with fresh produce and then carry on into Phuket.

It wasn’t long before we arrived where the long tail boats leave to Koh Panyee. After a  whistle-stop tour of the little shop a visit the ladies restroom we just had time to try on a few sun hats so many to choose from.. before we were on the long tail boat to Koh Panyee.


The ride which takes you passed spooky mangroves and amazing Limestone Karst’s rising majestically out of the sea is a wonder in itself. It is absolutely beautiful … Soon the sea gypsy village of Koh Panyee came into view… I was expecting a small village with a few houses on stilts but no this is a large, thriving community and quite charming.

houses on stilts Koh Panyee

This fishing village has a school, a mosque, a health centre and even a football pitch. The team is noted for beating teams from the mainland. Who would have known that from a makeshift pitch made from old boards, that this state of the art football pitch would be born? It is an amazing story as this little video shows…

I would say that you would become pretty good at ball control if you knew if it was kicked off the pitch. Then it landed in the surrounding sea and the only way to retrieve it was to get wet. Wouldn’t you?

The original pitch was built by a few lads who used driftwood, in fact, any wood they lay their hands on… They played in bare feet on a slippery surface. The one they have now is somewhat different to that first pitch but it is thanks to those boys that they have the one they have today.

There are also a few seafood restaurants and the food looked pretty good. The fish is all freshly caught. A thriving little market with local crafts, we were soon soaking up the atmosphere and charm. We were looking for that special gift to take away.. Beautiful silks and lovely local handmade foods, dried fruits of all sorts and nuts cooked in honey and all sorts, dried fish …

koh panyee washing

A treasure trove it was like Aladdin’s cave so colourful and busy, bustling with everyday life and no frills. When you see how basic some of the accommodation is but many smiling faces and happy children.

With fishing still being a large source of income, men and women are going about their day-to-day life as we arrive. Women sitting in doorways chatting, babies asleep in little makeshift hammocks, men mending their fishing nets, old men asleep. Thais sleep anywhere… No comfy beds with feather pillows here… A chair, a doorway, curled up on their shop counter or underneath it… When you call a tousled head pops up with a beaming smile of welcome. Eager to sell their wares…

mending the wood boards koh panyee

Children running or swimming in the murky water with no fear… and very eager to get their photo taken so lovely and happy…

Our precious gifts bought and wrapped we headed to a restaurant for some food while we waited for our boat ride back to terra firma…

We were served some lovely soft-shelled crab curry… It was beautiful and there was only one way to eat it… We were left with fingers smelling of curry and fish but it was the best food and so fresh…

chilli- crab curry 563175_640

After our trip back on the long tail boat, we were both tired but happy… It was a lovely trip through the mangroves to the Sea Gypsy village but so worth it…

I hope you have enjoyed this trip and if you are ever that way hop on a long tail boat and prepare to be amazed.

This trip was part of the writers retreat I was on and we were given a task prior to this trip…We had a lucky dip and had to pick three whatever was written on those three pieces of paper was what our story should be based on…We also had  25 minutes to write:  My first prompts were Uruguay, Retired Prostitute and Gracious. the second prompt I  chose was “Who is that colourful character.” 

My first story was written  and it was then our trip to Koh Panyee and another story and the prompt was as above ” Who is that colourful character”

I decided to add to the first story as the second prompt fitted in very well with what I had already written… Interested???

Well, you will have to wait until tomorrow when all will be revealed…x

I hope you have enjoyed this trip to Koh Panyee and that I have piqued your interest just enough to want to come back tomorrow.

If you still want to see even more from me???? Although I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Then I have added some links below xx

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Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/



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Until  next time x



Retired No One Told Me! weekly roundup…Coconuts, Mustard seeds and Walking

CAROL'S weekly update 12 April

Kicking off first for my weekly roundup is that wonderful fruit which is the Coconut…My drink of the day is a lovely fresh glass of coconut juice a truly healthy but very nice drink, healthy doesn’t have to mean that you hold your nose and down it in one while gagging it means something you love which is at the same time healthy..to be enjoyed as all good food and drinks should be… Welcome to Fruity Fridays…

Fruity Fridays The Coconut



It was then over to Sally who expressed her pleasure and delight for all of those nominated for an award. For some, it was not the first time for others like me it was the first time but we all felt honoured to have been nominated and we are all winners…Good luck one and all 🙂 x




Healthy eating out! Not so easy if you have to avoid certain food groups…Many restaurants now do state on their menus what or whom certain foods are suitable for… Do they go far enough? Not yet but many are making great strides but as always forearmed is forewarned and it is always better to know for yourself what to look for and what questions to ask. Although my list is not exhaustive I hope it goes someway to helping when you eat out and have to follow a Gluten Free diet. Cheers!

Craft beers- barley free


No to diets and yes to healthy eating… You know my thoughts on that one… Don’t You???


Start them young and set them up for a Healthy life…


Lastly, we have my weekly column over at Sally’s and this week the theme is Mustard… Now don’t tell anyone…shhhhh but my all time favourite is some lovely bread, toasted with some lovely crispy smoked bacon and lashings of mustard… And before you say it… So nice… Just going for a nice brisk walk!


Thank you for reading this I hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful if you did please feel free to hit the share button…Sharing is caring…Thank you xxx



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Thank you x





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