Year: 2013

The annual Christmas craziness with the L*ckerbauers

Last Christmas my brother, his girlfriend and me had the brilliant idea to escape the craziness by being absent on the 24th December, the main day of Christmas celebrations in Austria. A plan that didn’t work out because once we came back home on the 25th we realized that the craziness was still around, we could not run from it. On the contrary, the shock was even bigger since we had just arrived from far away. This year we didn’t even try to escape it, the plan was to get used to the family craziness ahead of Christmas, go with the flow and trying to keep it low. And surprisingly it worked out, at least speaking on my behalf. There still were moments of oddness, e.g. our uncle disturbing our aunt’s special violin concert with a bum note on purpose, our grandma opening the wrong present and enjoying her new super-stylish sunglasses that actually belonged to someone else or when my newly wed brother and sister-in-law got a romantic getaway weekend with the hint “to finally …

Last night in Bangkok

I admit: I have not been a huge fan of Bangkok – until last night. I came to see a completely different side of this city, no longer dirty and loud but rather stylish and trendy – thanks to my friend Bob, a Kiwi who has lived in Bangkok for years now and knows all the hip spaces and places. Bob wanted to show me all the hidden gems of Sukhumvit’s Soi 11, a trendy side street of Sukhumvit’s main road – and oh, the places we’ve seen! We started with a drink at Cheap Charlie’s where my personal highlight was a sign telling that they were now offering a toilet – for ladies only and kindly asking for “no shit, only pee”. Next stop was a lovely garden restaurant with live music where almost at the end of my Thailand trip I finally got to taste some delicious fish cake and chicken in banana leaves. We headed on to another garden bar where a Thai interpreted traditional western christmas carols the Thai jazz way …

Pictures from my perfect paradise island

Good news! I have found exactly what I wanted: a long, perfectly white beach on a quiet island that is not yet as popular as its bigger island brothers around. There are no cars or roads here, electricity is only available four hours per day, internet almost never and phone reception is rather a coincidence than permanent. The bungalow I rented for five Euros per day is basic but sufficient, stands under a palm tree a couple of meters from the beach and comes with a slack line in its front yard. I can hear the waves while I fall asleep, see them from my bed first thing in the morning and jump into the warm turquoise water instead of the morning shower. There’s a pile of books waiting to be read on my table, I have found a couple of slack line and dinner friends and at my favourite café in the little village they already know that I will order a fresh coconut for breakfast. I can blend alone time with company, explore the …

Time is running in Thailand

Wow, I just realized that I am running out of time in Thailand – so it was about time I found my perfect paradise beach on a secluded island off the Thai west coast. It took me a while to get here (34 hours to be exact, two boats and six different buses) but I can already tell you – the journey was definitely worth it. More pictures in my next post, I promise!

The search for the secret Thai paradise island…

After one week in Chiang Mai I was craving for some beach time in South Thailand. Maggie wanted to continue her travels further up north into the mountains so we went separate ways and I hopped on a bus southwards. Avoiding busy Bangkok I opted for a bus directly to Hua Hin, a beach town three hours south of Bangkok. An excellent choice as I found out on that bus – no tourists at all and plenty of empty seats to stretch out during the night. I arrived well rested at eight in the morning, sorted out my travel plans for the coming night and thus ended up with a full day in Hua Hin at my hands. Perfect, since Hua Hin is well known for its brilliant Kite surfing conditions. I spent three hours splashing around in the lukewarm Gulf of Thailand – no wetsuit, no freezing, staying in the water for ages. Another side effect: Kite surfing got me perfectly tired for the next night bus ride – this time down to Chumphon …

When the penis won’t go into big noodle (which means don’t add peanuts to the big noodle dish)

When in Chiang Mai learn to cook Thai style – that was on top of my bucket list for Thailand and we probably found the perfect and most hilarious place to do so: The Organic Thai Farm Cooking School, a couple of kilometers outside of Chiang Mai with their own veggie garden. We started the day on a local market, learning about different kinds of rice, sauces, vegetables and other ingredients. Once we arrived at the farm we took our taste-buds to the garden where we were allowed to eat from every plant, fruit, herb – often with interesting facial expressions. We had all chosen the dishes we wanted to learn in advance and having all the ingredients prepared on our cooking stations it was easy to dish them up into tasty curries, pad thais and coconut milk soup. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves: It was still our little group of funny Upper Austrians so the laughing kept naturally going all day but the real highlight was our fantastic cooking teacher Embee. Apart …

Book recommendation: Do you want to be normal or happy?

On my 29th birthday I hiked up our local mountain with my Mum and during our well deserved lunch at one of the huts she pulled out this book as a present. What a good match – already the title made me smile. I read it during the 2012 New Zealand road trip and recommended it to Maggie who took it with her to Australia. When visiting her in Maroubra this year the book found its way back to me exactly one year later. Reading it again in Thailand wasn’t as mind-blowing as the first time but a good way to re-assess my happiness, to look back and see what a long way I’ve come during the year that has passed and get the bigger picture again. So if you’re still looking for a last-minute Christmas present – I can absolutely recommend this one (apart from the paragraphs where he advertises his multiple side-products such as CDs).

A week of peace in Chiang Mai

Our destination in Northern Thailand has been a heaven of relaxation so far: A clean room, good food and incredibly cheap massages – exactly what I needed after busy Bangkok. We stayed on the usual tourist paths during the first days but as soon I explored some neighborhoods outside the traditional city centre I came across a completely different, more modern style of a Thai city. Pedaling through the Western and university districts I stumbled across the Chiang Mai Academy of Ballet – an adventure in itself, and close-by were the departments for Art and New Media – a heaven to explore if you’re interested in those kind of things.