May Expats Meeting

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Jean-Pierre on the Right

The guest speaker at this morning’s  Expats Club meeting, at the Le Meridian hotel, was Jean-Pierre Kirkland. Despite the name, he is English.

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Our Table – Mainly Expat Australians

He is one of Thailand’s foremost musicologists, and presented  a program on “The Development & Evolution of Music in Thailand” with emphasis on northern Thai music in particular. His lively presentation was illustrated with many musical excerpts.

He made the point that Thailand has never been colonised by a foreign power and therefore it’s musical evolution has not been influenced by other cultures.

A very slick and enjoyable presentation.

76 th Birthday

76thbirthdayYesterday was my 76th birthday. Who ever thought I would make 76. Here I am with everything known to mankind wrong with me and i am so well!

Last night to celebrate the occasion we dined at Andy’sPlace. He has a new menue and a wine promotion – order 2 glasses and receive a third one free.

I ordered Mom’s fish, so called because it supposedly cooked by Mum. It is a panfried boneless fillet of tubtim (red talapia). Toy ordered ribs.

It was an enjoyable evening, even if the weather was a little warm.

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Toy’s Ribs

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Outside Andy’s Place

 

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Mom’s Fish

 

 

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Inside Andy’s Place

 

Travel Club- The Burma Project

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Amy D’Apice in Burma

 The presenter at last night’s meeting of the travel club was Amy D’Apice. Before moving to Chiang Mai, for a second time, Amy D’Apice was a full time instructor at the Art Institute of Seattle for 13 years. Here is her Facebook page.

Amy and her husband visited Burma two years ago and she made  her mission to create one drawing a day for 27 days. In fact she did over 50!

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The Goteik viaduct

The tour began in Mandalay They then headed north on a 16 hour train journey.The train passes over the Goteik viaduct. Later that they headed south towards Yangon.

It was a very professional presentation, rich in photos, music, and of course  drawings. She has high regard for the Burmese people  who she regards as very generous despite being so poor.

Here are a couple of her sketches.

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Burmese Sketch

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Burmese Sketch

 

Lunch

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Lunch in the Village

Toy has just come back from the Rimping supermarket, where he bought some blue swimmer crab and fresh French Country bread for lunch. He also stopped at a roadside truck and bough a durian. The durian was 80 baht/kg (A$3.10)

Th crab was 370 baht (A$14.30). It l1was already cleaned. Note the crab roe.There was some crab left over for lunch tomorrow.

Fresh bread, crab, and durian afterwards. Yum! An expensive lunch by Thai standards.

I wonder what the poor people had for lunch!l3

Aonang Beach

After our holiday in Kanchanaburi, we were transferred to Don Muang airport for our Air Asia flight to Krabi. On arrival a shuttle van was waiting for our transfer to the Princeville Resort at Aonang beach. This hotel has great location. We were not aware that it was a muslim hotel and alcohol was not available in the dining room. Ham was available however for our breakfast omelet!

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Boarding the Speedboat

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Poda Island

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Mermaid Sue

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The Co-Pilot

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Swimming with the Fish

The highlight of our stay was our excursion in a speed boat. We went on what was called a four island tour. Departure time was 9 am, accross the street from the resort. We arrived back about 1:30 pm. We had a lunch of spring rolls and chips on one of the islands. Everone enjoyed snorkeling with the fish.

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The View from Aonang Beach

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Pristine Water

Toy enjoyed curried crab at a beach restaurant on our last day.

We felt sad to depart Aonang beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Curried Crab

 

 

 

 

The Death Railway – A Life For Every Sleeper

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The Death Railway

In the morning we visited Chong Kai Cemetery, the other war cemetery In Kanchanaburi. Not many Australians are buried here. Most of the casualties buried in this cemetery are men who died in the hospital nearby.

It is located about 2 km south of Kanchanaburi on the bank of the Kwai Noi River.

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On the Long Tail Boat

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Our Gang at the Bridge

We then travelled up the river in a long tail boat to the Bridge on the River Kwai.

A small section of the Death Railway remains open for locals and tourists.

We were driven to Thakilen station where we joined the special carriage to Thamkrasae Bridge station.  The train fare included water, coffee, and we given a commemorative certificate.

At the bridge we had a Thai buffet lunch.

A very enjoyable excursion despite the terrible history associated with the area.

 

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A Train Crosses The Bridge

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Toy Takes a Selfie on the Bridge

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The Special Carriage

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Brian (taking photo) with Jacinta & Sue in the Special Carriage.

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On The Viaduct

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On The Viaduct

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Commemorative Certificate

 

Hellfire Pass

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An Audio Listening Point

hfpAfter lunch we visited Hellfire Pass for a pre Anzac Day tour and looked through excellent the museum there.

Everything was constructed and is maintained  by the Australian Government.The audio tour provided free, is very graphic and well done.

For Australians, in particular, the walk is a moving experience. In the cutting is a commemorative plaque for “Weary” Dunlop the POW surgeon who was revered by the men.

Thanks for the photos, Toy. Taken with his iPhone 6.

 

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A Small Portion of Track Laid in the Cutting

 

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Toy on the Walking Track

 

 

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The Cutting from the Lookout

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Our Guide, O, Explains

 

Weary Dunlop Museum

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Statue of “Weary” Dunlop

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In Preparation for Anzac Day

On the eve of Anzac Day, we visited the ‘Weary’ Dunlop museum, located at Home Phu Toey resort, on the Kwae Noi, accessible from Highway 323 just south of the entrance to Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum.

The owner of the Home Phu Toey resort is Mr Kanit Wanachote, In the late 1990s Kanit developed a peace park which included the Weary Dunlop Museum.The park also includes a replica of a POW hospital, various artefacts from prisoner camps and a gallery containing prints of the evocative drawings of British POW Jack Chalker.

A quite moving experience although the park is looking a bit dilapidated.

 

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Train Memorial

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Panorama of a Small Section of the Park

 

Anzac Day 2015

anzacThis year we attended the 100th commemorative service of Anzac Day, at Hellfire Pass on the Death railway, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

We left the Felix Hotel at 1 o,clock for the service beginning at 5:30 am. It is estimated 3000 people attended. If we had been 5 minutes later, the area would have been full, and we would have to have watched proceedings from the big screen at the Museum above the cutting. I was driven down the track by golf buggy.

The ceremony was conducted by Leut Commander, Paul Walsh, Royal Australian Navy, and Chaplain Michael Donaldson, Royal Australian Air Force. The address was given by Air Marshall Geoff Brown, AO, Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force. The Australian and New Zealand Ambassadors also participated. Official wreaths were placed.

Like all Anzac Day ceremonies, it was very moving.It was made very special because of the setting. Hellfire Pass had an almost sacred feeling. Birds began singing during the service.

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Our Guide, O, Taking Sue, Brian, & Jacinta Down the Steps, Leading to the Hellfire Pass Track. I went by Golf Buggy!

The Australian Government provided a “gunfire breakfast” at the museum. We did not stop as it was too crowded and we wanted to get back to the hotel for a full breakfast.

At 11 am we attended the service at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.

Lest We Forget

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The Dawn Service

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We Placed Wreathes Provided by our Tour Company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Walking Track Back Up to the Museum, After the Service

 

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Placing Our Wreath at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kanchanaburi War Cemetery