December 19-21, 2009
An annual trip for the Four Gangsters.
A-san, I-san, T-chan and I got together again for a hilariously gossiping trip. The girls sure had tons of news to update me during these 3 fun-filled days.
When we were picking out locations for our trip, SuanPhueng came up as a strong candidate because of Candle in the Winter festival. We kinda thought, oh, it must be really pretty, let’s go! LOL
SuanPhueng (suan = garden/farm, phueng = bee, so SuanPhueng = bee garden/farm – nope, there’s no bee flying around as far as I could tell~) is a small town in Ratchaburi (racha = the king, buri = city/town, Ratchaburi = city of the king. I believe we actually pronounced it ‘rach-boo-ree’ not ‘rat-cha-boo-ree’ but I might be wrong..) province on the western part of Thailand. In the past Ratchaburi was really prosperous as a well-diversified frontier (Thai/Myanmar border).
Anyway, back to our trip! Though our destination was less then 2 hours away from Bangkok, we decided to rent a van (and a driver) to SuanPhueng instead of driving there ourselves. And to lower the cost/head, A-san’s sister, I-san’s brother and his GF and I-san’s sister were dragged along on this trip!
As for accommodation, we stayed at 2 completely different resorts: DuanLom and Panalee. You’ll see from the photos how different they are. LOL
Mr. Driver picked us up from different spots around Bangkok. We then headed to Nakhon Pathom (nakhon = city/town, pathom = 1st, so Nakhon Pathom is usually referred as the first city of Thailand) to pay homage to Phra Pathom Chedi, the tallest stupa in the world. This stupa also houses sacred Buddha relics. When we got there, the stupa was going through a restoration process (for quite some time now, according to the local)
the sign said “danger” lol
After walking around for a while, we moved on to our destination, SuanPhueng. By the time we got there, it was way past lunch time, so we went to one small restaurant called “Krua Kareang”. Apparently we needed to make a reservation to eat here (who would have thought?!). The funny part was that the girl who came out to greet us was definitely Myanmar, and Thai people adored Myanmar accents so very much ever since we had that illegal-Myanmar-labor-flooding-into-Thailand problem several years ago. We joked about her “no reservation no eat” greeting for the entire trip.
Anyway, hungry to the max, we moved one quickly to our next choice, “Baan Horm Tien” (bann = house, horm = nice scent, tien = candle → together it means house with nice candle scent, or something along that line lol) which was a resort, restaurant and candle shop, all in one. OMG we waited forever for food! It was soooooo slow, but really yummy!
hungry peeps~ ;)
some food we ate~ (from top left, clockwise) E-Lian (whatever it means) Duck (where there’s hardly any duck meat) with tons of red onion and green onion // Stir-fried daylily // The crispiest fried egg on earth (for real) //Black pepper pork
After re-energized ourselves with food, we walked over to the candle store, where you could buy various kinds of candles, candle related products, and also make your own candle.
Candle 101: put a stick of wick in the middle of a plastic cube, pour some ice in, then pour hot/melted wax in, more ice, more wax, mixing colors, until it’s full, dump the whole thing in cold water, pop the container open, tada, you got yourself a one of a kind candle! These were the unsuccessful ones though~ ↓ lol
btw, potpourri/scented candle/incense was never my thing, I usually get a headache if I have to spend too much time in this kind of stores. LOL
Next, we went to Duanlom Resort where we spent our first night. Duanlom was a small Mediterranean style resort where each house had its own theme: flower, heart, warmth, star, dream, etc. We split into 3 houses, A-san let me choose which house I wanted, and I picked this FANCY one! LOL
Colorful, huh? Wait till you see inside of this house. Every single wall was painted in different colors!
on the bathroom floor~ lol
Duanlom was definitely not a 5-star resort, building quality wasn’t that great/neat, but it’s kinda fun to walk around and take pictures. :)
Around 5pm, we left Duanlom Resort to Candle in the Winter festival at Scenery Resort (and the reason why we didn’t stay at Scenery was because that place was fully booked til 2010 or 2011 or whatever!). Again, don’t expect snow or ice like when we went to yuki akari no michi in Otaru, Japan back in 2006. It’s Thailand peeps, think tropical! Or at best, spring weather. LOL
Actually, legend said that SuanPhueng was usually cold during winter time. I was told to bring my light jacket with me, which I didn’t do, and I was sweating for most of the night! HA! Urban legend indeed!
By the way, when I said festival, don’t think of a state fair or something, it’s way smaller than that LOL Here we only had light-up, some overpriced products, food, games, and a jazzy-country-ish band that cracked us up to Pluto. I would never understand Thai people who tried to sound like foreigners when singing Thai songs! The singer’s accent was totally over-killed, to the point that we all wanted to headdesk.
Oh, I-san’s brother’s girlfriend won this giant cat from playing game. See, even the cat turned its back to the concert stage! LOL
Seriously, I missed T&T and David Cook’s concerts so terribly!
missing someone, A-san? ;)
Sheep was Scenery Resort’s attraction. LOL I don’t know why they picked sheep, but ‘feed-the-sheep’ was a very popular thing for tourists~
sleeping sheep~ they’re so cute! ↓
BTW, it was really dusty, walking around in the dried/cracked field, even with grass. For someone who used a Ziploc bag as her camera bag, it was a big problem. I didn’t have a single cleaning tool with me. My filter was probably scratched to no end that night since I used whatever I could find to wipe it clean LOL
We went back to Duanlom Resort a little before midnight. After a quick shower, jet lag started taking control, I passed out.
Woke up around 8am. We had breakfast at the resort’s restaurant, then went to hang out at A-san’s Flower house until lunch time. Again, some food we ate~
(from top left, clockwise) Tuna salad (I ordered it without onion, I first got it without tuna LOL yeah, a tuna salad without tuna! *shakes head*) // Deer steak with Duanlom sauce // Steak with French sauce // Crocodile meat (tasted like chicken+pork) with chili sauce.
We left Duanlom resort around 2pm, heading to the place to stay for this second night, Panalee Home and Camping.
new trip member ↓
Panalee resort had a nicer location than Duanlom. The settings were more blended to the scenery, African style, according to their website lol
The cottage/home itself was built with nice design and materials. What I liked most about this place was this bathroom! It’s the kind that you had to climb up the steps to go to the shower area. Pretty neat, if you ask me~ :)
We asked the staff if there’s anything to do around the area, and got a blank face as an answer. LOL So we decided to just follow the tiny sign to their view point. After about 10 minutes on the trail, we reached this spot. Oh view point. Well, it’s pretty much the same as viewing it from our cottage’s roof! :P
Anyway, we had a great time with a mini photo session of ‘how to look like kids these days’. Kinda how to pose, how to look at the camera while remain cute and innocent-ish.
Totally failed, laughter guaranteed. lol
We ended up in the living room, consuming all snacks we bought, gossiping about everything from work to clients to celebrities, all afternoon. Good time~
Then, we kinda need real food for dinner, so here we go!
(from top left, clockwise) Onion with cashew nuts, dried pepper and chicken spirit (seriously, hardly find any chicken meat!) // Glass noodle salad (darn spicy) // Deep-fried tiny fish // Fish maw salad
After dinner, we watched some TV shows til almost midnight, while continuing our gossip-spree. LOL
Lazy trip was awesome!
It’s kinda weird going on a trip with A-san without an agenda. Normally, my trips with her were packed with activities everyday LOL
After breakfast, we’re just relaxing inside the house until almost check-out time, then went to an orchid farm about 15 minutes away. I-san finally found a souvenir for her mom who’s very into gardening at the moment ;)
We went back to Scenery Resort to feed the sheep as good tourists should do, and to feed ourselves, not necessarily at the same time, btw.
So, sheep first! We paid THB40 for some leaves, and as soon as we stepped down to the feeding area, we were attacked by these hungry sheep! OMG they were really aggressive! A-san, who’s really small, got pushed down and was kicked on her chest! XD
Here’s I-san showing how to feed them properly (or safely, maybe? lol)
We walked around, petting some less aggressive sheep, taking some photos before heading off to a very late lunch at Scenery’s Honey Scene Restaurant
(from top left, clockwise) Shrimp on eggplant salad // German sausages that didn’t look or taste really german-ish // Crispy shrimp with curry sauce // German pork hocks (OMG yummmmy)
The only group photo of this trip LOL For real, with 7 cameras, this was the only group shot of the eight of us!
It was a really fun, crack-filled trip that I totally enjoyed. Though I have to agree with I-san, next trip, let’s go back to the beach~ BEACHES >>>>>> MOUNTAINS, anytime! LOL
Wonder where we’ll be our next destination together! Cannot wait!!