Tough times Thailand 2019 on two fronts, first we have Thai immigration making it more difficult for expats to live in this wonderful country, secondly the exchange rate for Thai Baht to the Aussie dollar (and other currencies) is hitting rock bottom.
The following 2 charts will highlight the situation.
This is not a travel blog, it is part of my personal photo history.
This photo blog covers from July 1st to December 31, for the first 6 months of 2019 please go to THIS LINK.
Australian $ to Thai Baht
In 2012 there was 33 Baht to the dollar, today it’s 21.
Australian term deposit rates
In 2012 they were over 5%, today it’s a miserable 1.5%.
Having said all that life is still very good in Thailand
Just ask my good friend Hamish, he hasn’t a care in the world. 🙂
Most afternoons I tear myself away from the computer & enjoy an afternoon coffee.
A small tip for a little lady
I often give this nice lady a B20 tip when I see her of a morning sweeping the road at Terminal 21, it’s just under $1 AUD. She gets so excited you would think it’s 200. 🙂 I’m guessing they don’t get paid too much.
Love watching the storms roll in
So exciting when the storms roll in over Pattaya Bay.
There’s nothing like a September sunset.
I was sipping a red wine at the Holiday Inn watching this magnificent sunset.
Pattaya coffee shop review from my perspective. These are the venues where I choose to spend my time and money. 🙂
The photo above is the Coffee Club at Markland on Beach Rd, this in fact was opening day on 31-8-2018.
Coffee Club Eggs Benedict.
Good quality food & coffee but far too expensive. For instance the equivalent of a Starbucks tall latte is B146 or $6.97 AUD, at Starbucks you pay B115 or $5.50 AUD. Even though they have a branch in my condo building I generally walk 200 meters to the Holiday Inn where I only pay B113.
The staff here are very friendly & the food & coffee is excellent. The large coffee is B150 which is what you would expect for a 5 star hotel. However as I’m a member of the Hi Club I get a 25% discount which brings the cost down to B113.
Bon Cafe import coffee machines from many countries around the world for including Italy, Switzerland, Spain, the United States of America, and other countries to satisfy their various types of customers.
Around 5 days a week I am at Central Marina or the Bay in Beach Road. The lovely girls put a candle in my croissant for my birthday. 🙂
My Starbucks breakfast of choice
Accompanied by a tall latte of course. Starbucks sell 4 BILLION cups annually. Which (divided by 365 days) means that roughly 10,958,904 cups sold daily between ALL Starbucks locations. So we are talking about 388 cups of espresso and/or coffee drinks daily on average per store globally.
This is Boonthavorn
Surprisingly they have the best value coffee in Pattaya. They are on Sukhumvit Rd,see the map below.
Just inside the front entrance on the left.
Top quality coffee for only B30, or $1.40 AUD.
Many thanks for visiting my Pattaya coffee shop review photo blog.
Surfing Duranbah Beach Australia which is officially known as Flagstaff Beach, is the northernmost beach in New South Wales. It’s at the mouth of the Tweed River and the rocky headland Point Danger, which also marks the Queensland-New South Wales border.
Sand transport system
The Project is a sand transport system that collects sand from the southern side of the Tweed River entrance at Letitia Spit, and pumps it under the river to outlets on the northern side. From there the sand is transported by waves and currents to nourish the southern Gold Coast beaches.
Great view of the beach
We are standing on a cliff in QLD looking across Flagstaff Beach to NSW.
Surfers waiting for a wave.
There seems to be many personal and indescribable experiences in their lives that keeps them paddling out again & again. Plus the willingness to wait for them often defines a surfer more than his or her individual ability.
Bring it on.
The waiting is really worth it.
Everyone loves the beach
Not just surfers, kids with their mums & dogs as well. 🙂
My friends from England
Joan Baptist & Bill Austin from Wiltshire visited Australia in 2010 & naturally I took them sightseeing along the coast. The following week we drove down to Sydney.
They actually got married in England yesterday August 3 2019 after being together for over 20 years.
It’s not just the board-riders who love to surf. Kite-boarding is an action sport combining aspects of wake-boarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and sailing into one extreme sport. A kite-boarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water, land, or snow. Wikipedia
Surfing Duranbah Beach Australia
I’m guessing he is heading for a cold beer.
OK, I’ll meet you at the pub. 🙂
This is what the Beach Boys call a “surfer girl”.
Thanks for visiting my Surfing Duranbah Beach Australia photo blog.
Starbucks Pattaya every morning is a perfect start to my day. Not just the excellent coffee, the friendly smiling staff always put me in a positive mood. Above is the branch at The Bay on Beach Road Pattaya between Soi 5 & Soi 6.
The Bay Beach Road
Let’s go to Starbucks & stare at our phones. 🙂
Opening day at the Bay
September 22 2015.
My breakfast of choice.
Ham & cheese croissant with a tall latte. B240 or $7.8 USD
There are two Starbucks at Central Festival
That makes 4 within 10 minutes walk from my condo.
Inside Central Festival branch
Quite an attractive fit out.
A birthday candle for me. 🙂
As I mentioned earlier the smiles on girls are a really nice start for the day.
Sometimes they run out of croissants.
So I settle for a sandwich. 🙂
Starbucks Pattaya every morning
Every 12 coffee is free if you have a Starbucks card so I often take one home for later.
Thanks for visiting my Starbucks Pattaya every morning photo blog.
Marathon 50th Birthday Weekend for Hamish Elton seemed more like a competition based on “survival of the fittest” 🙂 You suddenly realise you are a popular guy when 35 people fly in from overseas to help you celebrate. Thirty three came from Australia & two from America.
Celebrations started on Tuesday
People began arriving on Monday July 15 & warm up celebrations began on Tuesday. Many stayed at the Birds & Bees Resort situated on the beach between Pattaya & Jomtien. For an excellent room rate just book through THIS LINK.
The photo above is at the famous restaurant located in the hotel called “Cabbages & Condoms”, rated by TripAdvisor #78 of 1,182 Restaurants in Pattaya.
Marathon 50th Birthday Weekend
Dressed in condoms
Condoms, what condoms, I don’t see any condoms. 🙂
Luxury boat cruise Friday July 19
I use the term luxury rather loosely as you can see from the photo, although nobody wants to admit it, I think it was a frustrating event. They finally left 3 hours late before realising they didn’t have a tender, after picking it up from the mooring they found it didn’t have a rope to tow it with so they tied it to the side of the ferry. Add to this there were various problems when trying to tie up at Koh Larn Jetty.
All I can say is I am so happy I decided not to take the trip.
Greg Clee in full swing, prefers to be known as Greg “Storming Jack” Dawson.
Who invited Elton John?
Well, no party is complete without :The Crocodile Rock”. 🙂
The legend goes to work.
In case any of you have not heard, Harlan Goldstein was a successful chef and Hong Kong celebrity before moving to Pattaya. In 2012, Gold by Harlan Goldstein received its first Michelin star, his Pattaya restaurant serves comfort food from all around the world, which is influenced by his 38 years traveling the world as a chef. TripAdvisor rating is #89 of 1,182 Restaurants in Pattaya.
Until next time.
Thanks Hamish & May for organizing a week to remember. Just as an after thought, there was another marathon beside Hamish’s birthday, you guessed it, the actual Pattaya marathon kicked off at 2 am on July 21st, Hamish’s birthday.
Food friends Big Mango, otherwise known as Bangkok. There are 11,562 restaurants in this great city, this photo blog features a few of them.
Three of my favourite things about living in Thailand are, Mango smoothies, Mango & sticky rice & foot massages.
Two more reasons for living here.
Am I asking too much? 🙂
Here are my Australian friends, the team leader was Nikki Murphy, the gorgeous brunette in the centre. To the right is husband Tony & father Bob. Far left is sister Georgie & her bubbly friend Aileen.
My bedroom at Soi 34 Sukhumvit
Nikki had booked a 6 floor apartment walking distance to Thong Lo station, it was rather exceptional as you can see from the photo. The only problem was there was no elevator, lucky for me I was on the 3rd floor so only had to cope with 30 stairs. 🙂
Food friends Big Mango & only 4 minutes walk to the Hass Bistro
One of my favourite Bangkok restaurants in Klang Alley off Sukhumvit. A terrific breakfast of poached eggs & avocado.
Nikki had the Salmon which looked absolutely perfect.
Murphy had a hamburger, & I stole some of his fries. 🙂
It was interesting they only had Lao beer, terribly overpriced like many things there, but an excellent taste. Tony & I were flying to Laos the following day & enjoyed many more Lao beers in Vientiane.
The price of BeerLao in Laos was very low indeed.
Many thanks for visiting my Food friends Big Mango photo blog.
Final feast Mantra Pattaya Sunday brunch with friends, I have so many memories of great moments in the last 12 years at this wonderful restaurant. This photo blog features many of the long lunches dating back to 2007.
We are going to miss the fabulous food.
Alaskan crab & oysters from France have always been my favourite at the Mantra Sunday brunch. Having said that I must admit the quality has been going down slightly in the last 2 or 3 years. I apologize for this criticism just their standards were always so high I guess they were hard to maintain.
The seafood section.
I would always ask to be seated near the seafood & sushi. 🙂
Final feast Mantra Pattaya, lets not forget the cold Sake. 🙂
Included in the price of the buffet, so I would always take full advantage of this special.
My friend from Sydney Roland Bonnici.
Roland loves dining out & the Mantra was his favourite Pattaya restaurant. This visit was a week before it closed on February 10 2019.
From the Chinese kitchen.
Pork Belly, roast pork & duck, delicious.
A favourite dish
From the Chinese wok the beef & onion creation just melts in your mouth.
The Mantra featured 7 different kitchens.
Lets look at previous years, 2007 Trevor & Nui.
Trevor hails from Western Australia & spends lots of time in Pattaya.
This was 2008.
Nick Partridge from the Gold Coast & his lovely lady Sharron have been Mantra fans since the beginning.
Big group in 2010
At the back is Trevor & his son Cameron + xxx, then myself, my brother Warren, Nok & Phil Avalon, & at the front we have Greg Johnston & Herbie Pastor.
Big birthday with lots of friends.
No better place to celebrate than the Mantra.
Beautiful Benjamas Sitthi
Ben now works at the Avani Hotel adjacent to Royal Gardens.
Before Ben there was Amy
Amy really knew how to make you feel welcome.
Another birthday in 2009.
I remember this one very well, my great Phil Thomson from Australia bought his 21 yo son Michael to Pattaya as part of his introduction to life in the fast lane. 🙂
Another super Sunday.
On the left is my brother Warren & Bill Austin & Joan Baptiste from Wiltshire in England.
Xmas with Yaowaluck Bumrungthum aka Kartoon
For Xmas day lunch the Mantra was always our choice.
How could we forget Pothole aka John Martin.
We call him Pothole Bin Ladin the mouse of Markland. A flashback to Potholes birthday, aka John David Martin, at the Mantra in 2013 when love was sweet.
Allan & Vicki Chiswick from Sydney.
Laem Chabang Their cruise ship spent 24 hours at Laem Chabang so they hightailed to the Mantra. 🙂
Putting on the Ritz
Finally here are some of the glamorous Mantra girls putting on the Ritz.
Check out three previous Mantra photo blogs here. Number one,
LadyBoys Nana Plaza Bangkok seem to be increasing in numbers each year. In Thailand a Kathoey or katoey is a transgender woman or an effeminate gay male. Many Thai people perceive that a kathoey actually belongs to a third gender.
Sit near the entrance at 6 pm.
They usually start to arrive from 6 pm on, it’s rather entertaining seeing them arrive with an exaggerated walk & almost always stroking their hair.
Would you know the difference?
LadyBoys often look and act more ladylike than the ladies! Everything is exaggerated, particularly walking, where they look like they are on a constant catwalk. There is a more pronounced swaying of the hips, more elegant posture (particularly when seated), excessively flicking and fidgeting with their hair and over-applied make-up.
This was actually in Phuket.
However he is a well known face around Nana Plaza, let’s just call him “Secrets”. 🙂
LadyBoys Nana Plaza Bangkok
Most LadyBoys are much taller than the girls & after living in Thailand for many years they are easy to spot. Ladyboys do not just exaggerate their femininity; they exaggerate everything! Every word and action is excessively flamboyant. This makes them stand out from the crowd because Thai culture is such that women (even those working in beer bars and go-gos) are usually quite reserved.
Definitely NOT LadyBoys.
Gary & Brad are from Townsville & I’m in the middle & have lived in Pattaya for 7 years. However my first visit to Nana Plaza was 23 years ago in 1996.
What a knockout..
By far the best looking LadyBoy I have ever seen was in Pattaya. My two Aussie friends Dennis & Nick were absolutely stunned. 🙂
All the action is here in Nana Plaza.
Without a doubt this is the best adult entertainment precinct in Bangkok.
Wow! what nice group of lads. 🙂
The boys from Bangkok
Thanks for visiting my LadyBoys Nana Plaza Bangkok photo blog.
Italian food Beach Rd Pattaya at Trattoria Pizzeria Toscana is a delightful experience. TripAdvisor obviously agree with a rating of 45 out of 1,111 Restaurants in Pattaya. Owner & chef Luca Marchetti is originally from Pracchiola, a tiny village in the mountains to the north of Tuscany.
Flashback to 2006
The original restaurant was on the block where the Holiday Inn is now situated.
Here’s to old times in 2006
The restaurant was much smaller & more intimate, in fact I preferred the atmosphere to the current location which seats over 700 people.
Pizza with parma ham.
Definitely one of my favourites.
Fettuccine is absolutely delicious.
Of course they serve every kind of pasta & pizza imaginable.
Memories of 2012
Dinner & red wine with Irina from Ukraine.
Take your pick
It all looks so good, Toscana’s menu is huge.
There are several sections of the restaurant
This is my preferred area to dine.
What a fearsome sight this is.
The big fellow Luca with a knife in his hand should be avoided at all cost. 🙂
Lots of stock in the cold room.
Luca operates his own organic and sustainable farm not far from Pattaya where he grows his own vegetables, rears free-range chickens, rabbits, ducks, pigeons, guinea fowl, wild boar, goats, sheep, pigs and cows. No processed food, no growth hormones, no chemicals, no problem. 🙂
Notice the anchovies on the side, delicious.
The boys from Oz in 2014
Lenny, yours truly & my brother Warren. Sadly we lost Lenny early 2016 after losing a battle with cancer, RIP.
Toscana has recently opened a new seafood section in the front garden.
Lots of wine, mainly ITALIAN.
Quite a few wines available y the glass.
A very friendly waitress in 2014.
As you can see I’m not a person who misses a photo opportunity. 🙂
Dinner with friends January 2019
From the left we have May, Alex, Hamish & Gary.
Beef carpaccio tasted as good as it looked.
May chose the Baby Clams aka Pippies.
This is the same dish she had on New Years Eve.
Thanks for visiting my Italian food Beach Rd Pattaya photo blog.
Gourmet food coffee Bangkok, The first store of DEAN & DELUCA was launched in 1977 in New York’s Soho district, USA, serving gourmet food, gourmet coffee, a wide range of beverages, and specialty items, which included premium-imported wines, delicacies, and kitchen utensils.
Lots of delicious pastries
This & the previous photo is from EmQuartier.
Gourmet food coffee Bangkok
Dean & Deluca also offer a fast food delivery to your home or office. This photo is from the EmQuartier shopping mall.