Thailand












27/10 2006 Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Lat N 14° 02,00', Long E 99° 30,87'
Today: 95 °F ( 35 °C)
27 Oct 2006
55249 km

The bridge over river Kwai seems very small to be this famous. But when talking about The Bridge over River Kwai, it is really about the whole of 450 kilometer railway between Myanmar and Thailand.

According to the engineers it would have taken five years to build the railway. But the Japanese was in a hurry to cut off the transportation route crossing Myanmar in to China. Furthermore they needed raw material such as oil and metal from Myanmar. In just 16 months they completed the railway. 100 000 prisoners of war died during the construction, due to diseases, undernourishment and hardships.

Opposite The Death Railway Museum there is a war memorial where the allied POW who died here is honored. Just to read the inscriptions on the gravestones made our eyes fill with tears.






















28/10 2006 Saiyoknoi Waterfall, Thailand
Lat N 14° 14,23', Long E 99° 03,50'
Today: 95 °F ( 35 °C)
28 Oct 2006
55327 km

A monk named Pra Acharn Phoosit Khantitharo has created a tiger rescue center in Wat Praluangtamahabua Temple, also called Tiger Temple just outside Kanchanaburi.

Twelve tigers live here. All are between one and seven years old, and they have lived here since they were cubs.

Every afternoon the monk takes the tigers to a canyon, were they can play and just hang around in the sun all afternoon. The monk and his helpers walks them to the canyon in a normal dog leash.

Even though these tigers are used to be around humans, it is clear that we are there on their terms. They are still wild and dangerous animals. The monks know it and are very careful in handling the tigers. When the tigers roar, we feel it in our stomach.

When the tigers reached the canyon we got to pet them. Some of the tigers were on a leach , but others where on the loose . It is really an extraordinary feeling to be this close to a fully grown tiger. The paws are big and the tail is thick and really long. Bert even got to put the tigers head in his lap!












29/10 2006 Damnoen Saduak, Thailand
Lat N 13° 31,65', Long E 99° 58,04'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
29 Oct 2006
55640 km

This morning we were at the floating market. It was a really nice start of the day to glide through the channels watching the locals having breakfast, shopping for fruit and vegetables . This early in the morning there were no tourists at all. The Bangkok tourist invasion starts at eight – nine in the morning.

At nine we were already in the car heading for Nai Yang Beach and Phuket. It was a long day of driving, 800 kilometers today. But since the roads here in Thailand are excellent it was not a problem.

We are so looking forward to see Kerstin, Marko, Elina and Emelie again. And we are very excited to see how far they have come with the construction of the resort.










30/10 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
30 Oct 2006
56475 km

Marko and Kerstin told us all the things that happened during the 6 weeks we where away. My god, what a mess. Thursday this week they are going to court about the ownership problems that have occurred with the Thai people in the project. On top of that they had their car stolen and had to buy a new one. But the lawyer told them they didn’t need to worry; Marko and Kerstin have all rights on their side.

Elina turned eight years old while we where away. She got her birthday present from us snorkel, fins and a mask.








31/10 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 95 °F ( 35 °C)
31 Oct 2006
56475 km

All the legal stuff has taken lots of energy from Marko and Kerstin. On top of that the resort didn’t get any power due to all legal problems. That didn’t do much good for the already tight schedule.

But the framework for the bungalows and the restaurant is all there. The floor in the restaurant is tiled, also the pool is ready and the first bungalow is painted. The constructor tells them all the buildings will be ready in two weeks.

It is important for them to get the resort going as soon as possible. Tomorrow the season starts. And every day of delay from now on they loose money.










1/11 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 95 °F ( 35 °C)
01 Nov 2006
56475 km

Today we where looking after Elina and Emelie and spent the day in the pool. In the evening Kerstin, Marko and the kids went down to the beach. But we stayed at home cooking, watching a feel good movie on TV and surf the net. It was a great evening. It is simple things like this we miss when traveling for such a long time; just doing nothing at home.










2/11 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 91.4 °F ( 33 °C)
02 Nov 2006
56475 km

In Thailand they have a peculiar rule about not being allowed to by alcohol between 2 PM and 5 PM. We have found a way to get around this. If we buy more than 10 liter of alcohol the rule is not apply able. So we made a bulk deal with the others waiting in line at the off license; and there were no problem at all.

Daeng is the chef that Kerstin and Marko hired for the resort. But since the resort is not ready he cooks a three course dinner for them every night. All that he cooks is delicious. They are really lucky to have found such a good chef.










3/11 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
03 Nov 2006
56475 km

Elina helped us wash our car today. The sun is really chewing on the red paint, and the car could definitely use a good rub. But that have to be another day.

Catharina swam 48 laps today, heavenly blue water, blue sky, sunshine, heat and great music; a very nice workout. This moment Catharina will keep in mind when she is back home in the public swimming pool next winter.














4/11 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
04 Nov 2006
56475 km

We took Elina and Emilia to Karon Beach today to watch the beach volley world cup for ladies. No Swedish team, but our neighbors from Norway played while we where there. After that we had lots of ice cream, lunch at Mc Donald´s.

Tomorrow our webmaster Peo arrives with his partner Helena fly in from Sweden. The beer is already chilled and waiting for their arrival!










5/11 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
05 Nov 2006
56475 km

Picked up Peo and Helena at the air port at 1 PM. We left their bags at the hotel and had lunch at the beach. Then we went home to Kerstin and Marko to have a pool party.

It is great fun when friends arrive from Sweden loaded with all the things we have been missing like salt liquorice, coffie, newspapers, herring and ansjovis.

In the evening we went down to the beach. Every year when the rainy season ends the thai people make boats out of banana leaves, put a candle, incense, flowers, and a straw of hair in them and send them out to sea; and all your problems are gone.








6/11 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
06 Nov 2006
56475 km

A lazy day at the beach. It feels great to have a bunch of unread Swedish newspapers. A massage made Peo and Bert even extra relaxed…










7/11 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
07 Nov 2006
56475 km

Today we went to Yao Yai Island with Peo and Helena. Yao Yai Beach Resort turned out to be a really nice and quiet place with bamboo bungalows and a long empty beach. We guess we can survive here for a couple of days…










8/11 2006 Yao Yai Island, Thailand
Lat N 07° 58,92', Long E 98° 34,14'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
08 Nov 2006
56475 km

After a 1000 meters swim in the morning, it didn’t happen too much. We were reading, drinking beer in the hammock or lying around in the sea.

Late in the afternoon when the sun wasn’t so hot we took the canoes out for a ride in the bay. In the evening we played Stack and UNO . A very relaxing day.










9/11 2006 Yao Yai Island, Thailand
Lat N 07° 58,92', Long E 98° 34,14'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
09 Nov 2006
56475 km

Today we went out for a snorkeling trip. But the reef was dead, the visibility was poor and we didn’t even get fins! This made us really pissed and went strait back to the resort telling them that they can not sell this shit as a snorkeling trip and we don’t want to pay for it. I mean, we buy a snorkeling trip and we don’t even get fins?!

After a lot of discussing back and forth we got to pay 2/3 of the price, but still think this is too much. They just didn’t deliver what they sold us.










10/11 2006 Yao Yai Island, Thailand
Lat N 07° 58,92', Long E 98° 34,14'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
10 Nov 2006
56475 km

Already at six the taxi picked us up to take us to the harbor at the northern tip of Yao Yai. We took a boat to the mainland and jumped on a bus that took us to Krabi. We arranged boat tickets to Phi-Phi Islands, jumped on the transfer bus to the ferry terminal. All todays boat-, taxi and buss rides went really smooth and easy, and at noon we were in Phi-Phi Islands.

We visited at Phi-Phi Islands ten years ago. A lot have happened since then. It is still very beautiful, but very much exploited and a lot more tourists. The last time we where here in the middle of the high season – but still the beach was nearly empty. Well, that is not the case anymore…










11/11 2006 Phi-Phi Island, Thailand
Lat N 07° 44,49', Long E 98° 46,57'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
11 Nov 2006
56475 km

During high season 75 percent of the tourist crowd is from Sweden. Scuba diving is the big thing here. At this small island there are 28 dive shops!

We anted to go scuba diving but we realized that we had left our Padi Licenses in the car at Phuket. But it didn’t turn out to be a problem. Since we took our Padi Advanced Course a year ago they could look us up in the register. Great!

We also managed to talk our friend Peo in to taking a Open Water Scuba Dive Course. Peo had wanted to learn how to dive for a long time, but never gotten around to it before. But now he had the time, opportunity and the money.










12/11 2006 Phi-Phi Island, Thailand
Lat N 07° 44,49', Long E 98° 46,57'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
12 Nov 2006
56475 km

We got a very sad message today. Berts father Arndt passed away two days ago. He died 78 years old. Arndt lived his life to the full. He and his wife Kerstin lead a loving and happy life for 55 years. Arndt left us in great loss. But he died peacefully and very satisfied with his accomplishments in life. This must be the ultimate way to go.

We felt this might happen during our two year long trip. This is also the reason why we decided to go home for two weeks in April. We felt this was a better choice to go home to see him while he was still alive than to go home for the funeral. A day like today we are grateful we took that important decision.












13/11 2006 Phi-Phi Island, Thailand
Lat N 07° 44,49', Long E 98° 46,57'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
13 Nov 2006
56475 km

Today we went scuba diving. We took the same dive boat as Peo to keep him company on his first day of scuba diving. The first dive was at Bida Nok . We didn’t go very deep, only 15 meters. The visibility could definitely have been better. It was only about 12 meters.

The second dive was at Maya Corner, where the famous movie “The Beach” was shot. We dived through small caves and holes full of fish. That was cool. We also did some buoyancy exercises as soon as we got time for it.










14/11 2006 Phi-Phi Island, Thailand
Lat N 07° 44,49', Long E 98° 46,57'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
14 Nov 2006
56475 km

Left Peo at and Helena at Phi-Phi Islands to finish his dive course, while we wnet back to Nai Yang. We need to get some peace and quiet to talk to our family bout the funeral and all practical things concerning that. To stand in a telephone booth discussing things like this doesn’t feel that great.

Kerstin and Marko told us about the last developments in the Baan Mai Resort mess. It just gets worse by the minute. Now the Thai crooks have fenced the land area with barbed wire have guards sleeping there to prevent Marko and Kerstin to finish building the resort.












15/11 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
15 Nov 2006
56475 km

Not all things we here from home are bad. Catharina just got the message that she is now an ant. Catharina´s brother Niklas and Veronica got a son 10:th of November. They have also bought a house just outside Gävle.

Bert got stopped by the police when he was riding a motorbike down to Phuket Town today. He got a 300 bat fine for not having his driver’s license with him.












16/11 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,84', Long E 98° 18,62'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
16 Nov 2006
56475 km

There are movie experiences and movie experiences. This Thai movie experience was quite exceptional…

We got first class tickets. Sure, we paid about 10 Euro per ticket, but it was worth it. When we arrived we got a drink, a buffet of snacks, sandwiches and fruit. Later during the show we got served popcorn and soft drinks. And wow, those armchairs, soft and very comfortable.

What movie did we watch? The premiere of the new Bond movie ”Casino Royal”. A perfect chose a day like this!










17/11 2006 Nai Yang Beach, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,15', Long E 98° 17,61'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
17 Nov 2006
56475 km

We had dinner with Kerstin, Marko and their friends Leif and Mari that arrived from Sweden yesterday. Their chef Daeng cooked for us all.

We celibrated that the second level judge at the Phuket Court House decided to throw out the Thai crooks that had barricaded themselves at the resort. This means Marko and Kerstin will be able to complete the construction of their resort.

Just as the Thai people do when celebrating, we launched big fireworks at the beach for all to see.
















18/11 2006 Nai Yang Beach, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,15', Long E 98° 17,61'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
18 Nov 2006
56475 km

In Thailand it is not that easy to know if it’s a man or a woman that you meet. There parts are completely packed with ” Lady Men ” as they are called here. A lot of them are perfectly gorgeous . If a woman looks too good it is probably a ”Lady Man”.

We went to see ”Cabaret Simon” in Patong. In this show there are no real women, or more correct - none of them are born as a woman. But what prima donnas they are!

It was a great show that definitely topped our expectations and we really recommend a visit!












19/11 2006 Nai Yang Beach, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,15', Long E 98° 17,61'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
19 Nov 2006
56475 km

Last day for Helena and Peo. After spending the day by the pool at Golddiggers Hotel and a lunch at the beach we gave them a ride to the airport. In a sea of Swedish and Finnish people we said goodbye.

Here you also have the proof that they actually are writing all their postcards standing in the check in line at the airport. What have they been doing the past two weeks, not being able to do this before?












20/11 2006 Nai Yang Beach, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,15', Long E 98° 17,61'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
20 Nov 2006
56475 km

Today we visited the Thai-Svenska children’s home at Phuket and met Hans and Sussi who runs it. It was started to take care of children who had lot their parents in the Tsunami. It is a non-governmental organization and the Odd Fellow association in Sweden is the main sponsor of the project.

Right now three are about 50 children living there. Lately they have also started helping children who lost their parents in AIDS too.

Several people live in bunk beds or at mattresses on the floor in each room. There is a toilet and a bathroom attached to every room. Rice is served for freakfast, lunch and dinner; topped with vegetables or chicken. Shampoo, soap, washing detergent and tooth paste are expensive to buy and they welcome this kind of donations from visitors like us. If you want to know more about their work or want to go there to do voluntary work, take a look at www……………………..org.

At the beach in Nai Yang we met a a really nice couple; Doris and Peter from Germany. They are going to paddle a sea canoe along the Thai cost, down to Malaysia and Singapore for the next six months. Cool!












21/11 2006 Nai Yang Beach, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,15', Long E 98° 17,61'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
21 Nov 2006
56475 km

Our 30 visa is finished and we need to make a so called ”visa-run” to get 30 new days.

But before leaving Nai Yang we had to check out what is going on at the resort. There where lots of policemen there. Finally they have thrown out the Thai crooks from the resort area. Now they were clearing the area from the barbed wire and all the rubbish they had used to build barricades. It is good to see Kerstin and Marko smiling again. Now they can finish the construction of their resort.

It is a four hour drive to the border town Ranong. We left the car in Thailand. Took a long tail boat across the river to Myanmar. We where stamped in in Myanmar for about three seconds; just as long as it took the immigration guy to stamp in and out. Then we took the boat back to Thailand, rushed in to the immigrations office to get a new 30 day visa before closing time. After that we had a four hour drive back to Nai Yang. Puuhh!














22/11 2006 Nai Yang Beach, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,15', Long E 98° 17,61'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
22 Nov 2006
57513 km

Finally it seems that we found a solution for the China transit. We have had a long and tiring struggle with the Chinese. Since we left Sweden 1 ½ year ago we have been at it; searching the internet for information, visiting several Chinese embassies, been in contact with quite a few Chinese travel agents. It is really difficult to get correct information. No one seems to know anything, and they are definitely not interested in helping out in any way.

Travel in China is really expensive. Just for the paperwork like the visas, permits, Chinese number plates, Chinese drivers license etcetera and the guide we need to keep at all times we have to pay 2 600 Euro. On top of that we need to pay all our normal expenses like hotel, food, petrol, highway fees and entrance fees!

But 2 500 Euro is a bargain compared to what the CITS and the other Chinese travel agencies ask for the same thing. They all asked about 5 600 Euro, plus food and hotel for the guide which is maybe another 25 Euro a day. They are completely insane! We didn’t want to buy their fucking country…

But enough about crazy Chinese people. At least we have found a few that seems to be alright. The ones that will guide us through China and arrange all necessary documents is www.kashgar.org. After some e-mailing back and forth and phone contacts we have now finally confirmed that they can start the process. Today we also transferred 785 Euro.

We told them we wanted to enter China March 15:th. Since the paperwork takes about four months, we are already short of time. But they said that we will probably be OK. In three months we will know if we get turned down or not. If we get turned down the agent said we get all our money back.










23/11 2006 Nai Yang Beach, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,15', Long E 98° 17,61'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
23 Nov 2006
57513 km

When we where at the airport to pick up our friends Mats, Katrin and Arvid we happened to cause an accident. We were not even in the car. At the time it was parked in a corner. Our guess is that the drivers probably were too busy looking at our car and not paying attention to their own driving. We have seen it happen before…

After picking up Mats, Katrin and Arvid, we dumped their luggage in their guest house and headed strait for the beach to get something to eat and take a swim in the sea. Arvid was very excited over all the nice seashells he found at the beach. Late in the evening we took a stroll at the local market.












24/11 2006 Nai Yang Beach, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,15', Long E 98° 17,61'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
24 Nov 2006
57513 km

The funeral for Bert’s´ dad Arndt was today. We had sent a letter from us to be read out loud at the funeral by Bert’s sister. On the coffin they put red roses from us together with a photo of us sitting in the Himalayas sunrise.

We decided to make our own ceremony at the time of the funeral. At the beach we sent up a candle balloon. The wind took it out to sea, and slowly the balloon went high up in the air to finally disappear behind the clouds.










25/11 2006 Nai Yang Beach, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,15', Long E 98° 17,61'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
25 Nov 2006
57513 km

Snorkeling was on today’s agenda again for Mats, Katrin and Arvid. Right by where we are parked there is a shallow reef for Arvid to learn to snorkel.

Bert fixed the mirror a fellow motorist smashed for us a few days ago. Luckily Mats had time to buy us a new one. Great! He also brought us a large piece of a bumper, tire in can, new brake linings and some other stuff for the car.












26/11 2006 Nai Yang Beach, Thailand
Lat N 08° 05,15', Long E 98° 17,61'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
26 Nov 2006
57513 km

Early this morning Mats, Katrin and Arvid took the boat over to Crabi. We took our car around the Pangna Bay. Approaching Crabi we got an SMS telling us that we could find them in Ao Nang.

Ao Nang will definitely not be in our list of best places to go in Thailand, overexploited, expensive, lots of tourists, mostly Swedish tourists and not a very nice beach. We will definitely not stay for long here.

In the evening we found a note on our windscreen. Jörgen was here looking for us. He recognized our car from at home. We went strait to his hotel, but unfortunately he was already out.










27/11 2006 Ao Nang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 02,02', Long E 98° 49,68'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
27 Nov 2006
57722 km

Our reason for going to Crabi was to visit the famous Railey Beach on an island outside Crabi. We took a long tail boat out there and realized that we were not the only ones who that heard of this place…

In the afternoon we ran in to Jörgen at a beach bar. This was the start of a very fun and wet evening. We do not only talk the thunderstorm that came in later in the evening.










28/11 2006 Ao Nang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 02,02', Long E 98° 49,68'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
28 Nov 2006
57722 km

Jörgen decided to come with us to Koh Lanta. When we picked him up at his hotel, he asked if we had placed a frog in his bed last night. When we woke up this morning he had a frog sitting on his shoulder!

Mats, Katrin and Arvid a ferry strait from Crabi to Koh Lanta this morning. We took our car instead, all three in the front seat. To get to the island we had to travel two car ferries. We could definitely not complain about the fare, only 3 Euro, including the car.

Our first impression of Koh Lanta is that it is a nice place still not as exploited as other areas in Thailand.










29/11 2006 Koh Lanta, Thailand
Lat N 07° 29,54', Long E 99° 04,58'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
29 Nov 2006
57890 km

We fund a OK place to park in the other end of the beach from where Mats, Katrin, Arvid and Jörgen are staying. We guess we just have to wait and see if we can stay here, or if we later get chased away by the land owner.

In the morning a group of women were doing something out on the rocks. Bert went there to check it out. The women were picking mussels.

But where is Ecke? Mats brother Ecke were supposed to land in Crabi late in the afternoon. We waited all evening for him to get in touch with us. But he never did. We could not get hold of him since we didn’t know where he was staying. On top of everything his mobile phone didn’t work in Thailand.












30/11 2006 Kantiang, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Lat N 07° 29,54', Long E 99° 04,58'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
30 Nov 2006
57890 km

Finally we got hold of Ecke. When we woke up this morning we had an email from him in our inbox. He told us he was staying at a hotel in Ao Nang. He arrived much later than expected. The plane had a several hour delay. His phone didn’t work when he got oss the plane. But now it was all right since he had bought a Thai SIM card. It was decided that he was to take the from Crabi to Koh Lanta tomorrow.

Mats and Bert rented a motorbike and took a tour around the island. In the evening we took the bike to a far away restaurant. We had Hot Pan. The waiters put on a great show fixing it and it was delicious too.












1/12 2006 Kantiang, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Lat N 07° 29,54', Long E 99° 04,58'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
01 Dec 2006
57890 km

The missing man arrived by boat from Crabi today at lunch time. We picked him up the harbor. We left him at the hotel just in time to go Elefant trekking with Mats, Katrin and Arvid.

After swimming and playing with an elephant in the sea a couple of months ago we didn’t feel the need to go with them. There is not much that can top that elephant swim experience. Instead we checked out the dive shops to book a day of fun dive.








2/12 2006 Kantiang, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Lat N 07° 29,54', Long E 99° 04,58'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
02 Dec 2006
57890 km

Kind of cool and great start of the day to sit at the beach reading our local morning paper. Our friend Ecke brought us a one week edition of Sundsvalls Tidning. The news was not steaming hot; but still they were new to us…

The rest of the gang went out on a ”4 island snorkeling day trip”. Arriving back they were very pleased with the day.












3/12 2006 Kantiang, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Lat N 07° 29,54', Long E 99° 04,58'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
03 Dec 2006
57890 km

Today we rented mopeds and took a drive around the island. We visited Old Town, the water gypsy village that happened to have an annual ceremony today and went shopping in Koh Lanta town.

In the evening Arvid got private fire show lessons at the beach to practice with his new dummies.












4/12 2006 Kantiang, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Lat N 07° 29,54', Long E 99° 04,58'
Today: 95 °F ( 35 °C)
04 Dec 2006
57890 km

A day of great scuba diving at Hin Mouang and Hin Daeng. It was a 3,5 hours boat ride to get there. All the spices seemed bigger than normal. We saw tiger shark, lots of morays, great shoals of barracudas, several octopuses and a lot of other big fish. The water was surprisingly clear. But when the cold and warm layers in the water mixed, the visibility got a bit blurred sometimes.

We were very pleased with our very professional Thai divemaster. We can really recommend the services of Lanta Divers/Scandianvian Divers if you plan to go diving at Kho Lanta.

This was our last night with Mats, Katrin and Arvid. After the dinner they took out two bottles of glögg, ginger cookies, raisin and almonds that they had brought from Sweden as a surprise for us. Sitting there at beach we had a bit of Swedish Christmas atmosphere.










5/12 2006 Kantiang, Koh Lanta, Thailand
Lat N 07° 29,54', Long E 99° 04,58'
Today: 95 °F ( 35 °C)
05 Dec 2006
57890 km

Early this morning Mats, Katrin and Arvid took the boat back to Phuket. They wanted to have a couple of days in Nai Yang before flying back to Sweden again.

Ecke and us went back to Ao Nang. Ecke wanted to take an Open Water Diving Certificate there. All of us managed sneak in to his hotel room. As long as we are in the hotel area we have to keep a low profile, and leave all the talking and contacts with the staff to Ecke. If this works we will stay here for four days.

In the evening we found an Indian restaurant that served a very tasty but extremely spicy Vindaloo. Ecke, who isn’t that used to spicy food had a bit of a problem eating it.










6/12 2006 Ao Nang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 02,08', Long E 98° 49,16'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
06 Dec 2006
58084 km

We had a really good nights sleep in an air conditioned room for a change. It was great!

In the afternoon we went over to see how thing were for Ecke at the luxury resort where he was doing his scuba dive course. It was a nice opportunity for us to get a chance to get in a posh place like this. From the bar we watched him do his exercises in the pool. Cool!














7/12 2006 Ao Nang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 02,08', Long E 98° 49,16'
Today: 91.4 °F ( 33 °C)
07 Dec 2006
58084 km

It is still quite a while before we can expect to get an answer if we do get to take our car in to China. But we have already started to prepare for the trip. We do not think traveling in China will be a problem. Rumor has it that the roads are very good but the traffic is horrendous.

Exactly the opposite is what we can expect of Mongolia and Russia. The first 500 kilometers from the Chinese border to Ulan Bator in Mongolia there is no road at all. Just a bunch of dirt tracks crossing the plains. And there are no traffic signs or sign posts. The best way to navigate from on place to another is by GPS. We really hope it is not muddy and rainy when we get there.

In Russia we expect to get a quite good road, but in Siberia where we cross the border from Mongolia to Russia we have to start with traveling a 1 400 kilometer really bad dirt road.

Check out the slide presentation our friend Annika sent us. This is a fresh report of the road conditions in Russia from August - this year! This part is along the rout we need to travel. It is not much we can do about this. In Siberia there are not many alternative routes. This part is not even included in the 1 400 kilometer part that is known as a really bad road...

Anyway, we have already started to prepare for this. Our friend brought us a really strong towline and big hooks. The towline lifts 14 tons. With our trip in Laos in fresh memory; where we got pulled through the deep sticky mud several times, we figured we the heavy stuff.

Ecke also brought a good quality foot-pump. We are now well equipped and prepared for a flat tire in the middle of nowhere with our tire mending kit, tire in a can and a foot-pump.










8/12 2006 Ao Nang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 02,08', Long E 98° 49,16'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
08 Dec 2006
58084 km

Ecke did his first real dives yesterday at Phi-Phi Islands. He thought it was great! This morning he rushed down to the dive shop to get the DVD movie he ordered from yesterday. And during breakfast we had “move time”.

The rest of the day we spent at the pool reading. Ecke had a lot of studying to do.








9/12 2006 Ao Nang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 02,08', Long E 98° 49,16'
Today: 91.4 °F ( 33 °C)
09 Dec 2006
58084 km

Very pleased with himself Ecke arrived home after finishing his dive course today. In the evening we celebrated this and made some serious shopping. Tomorrow we head for Nai Yang Beach at Phuket.










10/12 2006 Ao Nang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 02,08', Long E 98° 49,16'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
10 Dec 2006
58084 km

We have now established that Ecke has a large dose of female hormones. He just loves to shop, he always has a problem with being on time and he takes a really long time to do everything.

We planed to leave early. But we sat by the car waiting, waiting and waiting for Ecke to arrange his luggage in the hotel room. He took such a long time that we thought he gotten kidnapped. At lunchtime we left for Nai Yang Beach.

Starved we arrived in Nai Yang to have lunch at our favorite beach restaurant. Of all the beach places we have seen in Thailand Nai Yang is the best. Nai Yang still has a bit of the genuine Thailand left. Not too many tourists. And during the weekends the locals flock at the beach to have a picnic in the shade.




















11/12 2006 Nai Yang, Thailand
Lat N 08° 02,08', Long E 98° 49,16'
Today: 86 °F ( 30 °C)
11 Dec 2006
58084 km

This morning we got stopped by the police. They wanted to see our insurance papers. We showed them the green card. But he went on about us not having an insurance sticker on our wind screen. After some discussing back and forth he let us go.

First we went to Tesco to buy some supplies. Then we went to Central, the big fancy shopping mall. Bert and Ecke turned in to real shopaholics. They bought a whole bunch of sweaters each.

In the evening, dressed up in their new clothes they decided to check out the town and doing some journalistic investigations. Guys without female company get to see a completely different side of Thailand.

They started out at a bar just outside the “dangerous” district. After finishing the beer and checking out the area they decided to enter. All the Thai girls and ladymen they passed was literally trying to drag them in to the bars they passed.

A carpet of throbbing music covered the area. The bars played their own music and all tried to play it louder than the rest.

But this didn’t scare our investigators. After a short walk they decided to sit down in a bar. In less than 60 seconds they where flanked by two Thai girls and had a drink in their hand. There are a least 5-6 girls on every male in the bars. And there is not a single white female in sight.

Party games like “ four in a row ” and billiards are the big amusement in the bars. Ecke didn’t pick his team mate for her brilliance in playing pool . Look at that smile…

Who is a real woman and who is not, is kind of difficult to know really. We guess quite a few guys end up with a guy without even knowing it until they arrive at the hotel. Bert and Ecke asked about how much a surgery is. Breasts is about 1000 Euro and a sex surgery is about the same. That is a lot of money for Thai people. A normal salary for a construction worker is about 100 Euro a month.

Since parking space is a bit of a problem, we had to park right outside one of the more “dangerous” bars. But Ecke and his ”guards” kept a close eye on it…












12/12 2006 Karon Beach, Thailand
Lat N 07° 50,91', Long E 98° 17,67'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
12 Dec 2006
58304 km

Since the hard working investigators didn’t arrive came home until 5 AM, they where dead-tired and slept until noon.

Late in the afternoon we went to the beach. Catharina made her 1000 meter swim workout. There has not been much swimming these last two days.

Last night before Ecke is going back to Sweden. He planed to make it a quiet evening since he was still tired from yesterday. But when he heard the party music getting louder and louder, he just couldn’t help himself. He had to get out there again!










13/12 2006 Karon Beach, Thailand
Lat N 07° 50,91', Long E 98° 17,67'
Today: 93.2 °F ( 34 °C)
13 Dec 2006
58304 km

We are quite excited about the hotel we found - The Little Mermaid . Nice rooms, air condition, a large fridge, satellite TV, just 50 meters to the beach and still in the middle of the party district for only 13 Euro a night. On top of this there is wireless internet connection – for free in every room. Isn’t that just great! We plan to stay here till new years.

A nice surprise for us when we were zipping the satellite channels was to find the Swedish channel SVT Europa. They broadcast Swedish and Norwegian programs and news. Great! Now we can keep track on what is happening at home.

Never had we thought it possible to be sitting here in Thailand watching “Lucia Morgon”. Celebration of the saint Lucia is a big thing in Sweden. Lucia is usually blond girl dressed in a white gown, with five candles on top of her head. She and a string of young girls also dressed in white with candles in their hands walk around singing Christmas songs in the morning. The crowds eat ginger cookies, saffron bread and drink “glögg”, a kind of heated vine topped with raisins and almond. This takes place all over Sweden this very day; in every workplace, kindergarten and school.










14/12 2006 Karon Beach, Thailand
Lat N 07° 50,91', Long E 98° 17,67'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
14 Dec 2006
58304 km

Found a note on our windscreen this morning from an old work mate of Catharina. Susanne has been following our journey on our website since we left Sweden. Unfortunately we didn’t get the opportunity meet her, since she was heading back for Sweden already.

Anders, a friend traveling the South East Asia at the moment, sent us an e-mail saying he wanted to come visit us here in Karon Beach. We have been traveling the same areas before but never being able to meet during the trip. He will arrive in a couple of days and we booked a room for him at our hotel.

Later in the evening we got another e-mail, this time from Marika, an old work mate of Bert. She and some friends are showing up here a couple of days before new years. We arranged with accommodation for them too at the The Little Mermaid. Bert was running up and down to the girls at the reception desk arranging all this.








15/12 2006 Karon Beach, Thailand
Lat N 07° 50,91', Long E 98° 17,67'
Today: 89.6 °F ( 32 °C)
15 Dec 2006
58304 km

The fucking air condition has made Catharina catch a cold. Sure, it is nice with an air condition system, but usually we pick a room with fan to prevent us from catching a cold. In our car we never have to deal with this problem…

Bert rented a motorbike and went in to Phuket Town to find a computer service shop. All the sea, salt, dust and sand is a computer killer and makes the keys sticky and useless. But a good cleaning and some spray makes the computer as good as new again.










16/12 2006 Karon Beach, Thailand
Lat N 07° 50,91', Long E 98° 17,67'
Today: 87.8 °F ( 31 °C)
16 Dec 2006
58304 km

It is time for us to make a visa run again. This time we plan to leave the car behind, and buy a visa run bus trip instead.

All over Thailand we see adverts for there visa-run trips to the nearest border. Those who can not get a long visa, residence- or work permit, need to exit Thailand once a month to get a new 30 day visa.

As tourists we can only get maximum three thirty day visas at the border during a six month period. This will be our third and last entry to Thailand on this trip. The new visa rules started 1: st October 2006. Up until now it has been difficult to find out what the new rules are about. Everyone we have been talking to seem to have their own opinion, also the officials we have been talking to.

The visa run trip is a daytrip. We paid 30 Euro per person, including everything like a return bus trip to Ranong, breakfast at the bus, lunch, visa fees and a return boat trip to Myanmar.








17/12 2006 Karon Beach, Thailand
Lat N 07° 50,91', Long E 98° 17,67'
Today: 87.8 °F ( 31 °C)
17 Dec 2006
58304 km

Today Kerstin & Marko invited for dinner. A couple of days ago they moved to a new house. And what a gorgeous house it is! Their lease of their old house expired at new years. Since they didn’t what the hassle to of moving during the Christmas holydays, they decided to do now.








18/12 2006 Karon Beach, Thailand
Lat N 07° 50,91', Long E 98° 17,67'
Today: 87.8 °F ( 31 °C)
18 Dec 2006
58304 km

Today our friend Anders from Sundsvall showed up. After breakfast Anders hit the beach while we did some laundry and made some phone calls, emails. When we met again in the evening for dinner Lisa, Ronny and their daughter Sandra from Sundsvall also showed up.

They brought us a longed for DVD with the new episodes of ”Desperate Housewife”. It turned out that they also knew Anders, but didn’t know he was here too. Lisa and Ronny is also related to Marika and Henna whom will arrive here next week. Sundsvall is definitely taking over Karon Beach!












19/12 2006 Karon Beach, Thailand
Lat N 07° 50,91', Long E 98° 17,67'
Today: 87.8 °F ( 31 °C)
19 Dec 2006
58304 km

We have been motion sick all day. For ten hours we have been in a minibus to make our visa run. We usually don’t have a problem at all with being motion sick, but this minibus ride was really terrible, and one of the passengers through up all over the floor…

In Ranong we jumped on a boat to cross the river to Myanmar. The sea was rough and the captain told us to get down on the floor immediately if we came across a big wave to prevent the boat form swaying.

Finally we got our new 30 day visa. We also learnt that we could enter Thailand for a fourth time, but only to stay for four days. After that our 90 day limit has run out. This was good news to us. This gives us a retreat if we can go across China.