I really didn’t know what to expect this year as 1) my husband isn’t big on birthdays, like at all, and 2) having just moved to a new country, familiarities like Hallmark and Walmart are non-existent.
I was pleasantly surprised to begin my birthday adventures last Wednesday (birthday was on Friday, March 27th) with a lunch with friends at MK Restaurant, where we had Thai suki – a hot pot dish similar to Chinese hot pot/shabu shabu. I’m surprised I forgot to take pictures, oops. Afterwards, we went to see Insurgent in theatres. Wednesday is cheap movie day at 100 THB/person (4 CAD). At the beginning of every movie, the King’s Anthem is played and everyone stands to pay their respects and listen/sing along. Very similar to a country’s national anthem, but this is just for the King.
On Thursday, I was invited to go kayaking and snorkelling with some friends at a nearby beach. I couldn’t say no!
Ya Nui is a small beach on the southwest corner of the island and not quite as popular as the nearby Nai Harn. Just as gorgeous, and less touristy makes for a great combination. Kayak rentals were 100 THB for one hour (including a life jacket, paddle, kayak and a waterproof bag if you wanted it).
I was pleasantly surprised to come home that evening to some flowers!!! I don’t actually enjoy getting flowers (they’re expensive and they die a few days later on me), but I do love orchids. And they’re local here so not nearly as pricey as in North America!
On Friday, Graham and I went out to one of the only coffee shops that we know so far – Coffee Tribe. A large latte runs at 100 THB (4 CAD), so it’s not the cheapest of places (street vendors go for about 30-40 THB per cup), so we like to reserve this spot for special occasions.
We visited Chalong pier nearby.
That evening, we were invited out for dinner with the Speights. Good thing because we had leftover stir fry planned for my birthday meal (I feel like I’m going to have to plan my own birthdays from now on). The location was a surprise so we only found out that we were going to a floating seafood restaurant (!) when we arrived at the pier.
There are a bunch of floating seafood restaurants (‘krachang’ in Thai) just off Koh Maphrow, a small island due east of Laem Hin pier. You arrive and tell a longtail boat which restaurant you want to go to. The boat ride is covered by the restaurant and they take you straight there. Here’s a review of one of the restaurants, Black Crab, which seems to be where the tourists go (we went to a different one beside it).
I’m not sure how the restaurant gets its food (sounds like Black Crab gets a delivery every two weeks), but they keep the seafood in separate netted holes in the ground. We walked around and looked into nearly every hole! The staff were really helpful and showed us what was in each one.
The food is meant to be eaten “family style” meaning rice is ordered for the table, along with 3 or 4 dishes and everyone shares. I’d say this place is slightly on the expensive side… the total came to about 400 THB per person (16 CAD). I suppose we can treat ourselves once in a while, especially for birthdays! We did order slightly too much food and Graham and I had a filling dinner the next evening.
I felt extra blessed last week with these friends 🙂
The next morning we woke up somewhat early and went to hang out at Nai Harn beach for a few hours. It’s a gorgeous beach, but by noon it was starting to fill up. I think getting to beaches early is a must here.
Living 13-14 hours ahead of everyone back in Canada meant that I felt the birthday love for TWO full days! I received heaps of birthday wishes that made me smile and laugh, but this one really pulled at my heart strings:
Being away from friends and family can be hard (especially during special occasions), but having understanding friends makes our nomadic lifestyle so much easier. I’m so happy I have such awesome friends in my life who will always be willing to reunite with me when I return, however brief the period (I’m looking at you, MG, JG, ASFB, LP and my high school besties). Hmmm… I should write a post on this.
Graham, being the
birthday hater realist that he is, so kindly pointed out that all of my so-called “birthday adventures” could have just been a part of a normal week’s adventures. To that I say, HEY it’s my birthday so I can say what I want to! 😀