Friday, April 13, 2012
R & R
However, last Monday Husband and I set off for a three night break in the mountains. We left the giant children in Bangkok. (We've always had a family joke that we couldn't leave them home alone until the younger one could look after the older one...)
Khao Yai National Park is about three hours away from Bangkok. The main attraction for me were the mountains but in the end it turned out to be our little garden that relaxed me. We arrived just after lunch and were shown to our unexpectedly upgraded villa. It took a couple of hours of pacing before I eventually managed to unwind a bit. I laid on the Chinese day bed and just listened; wind rustled through the trees and there was the sound of water trickling. So different from Bangkok.
Khao Yai has a cowboy theme from America's wild west. I think it began with the Chokchai family in 1957 when they brought a small herd of cows and a piece of land in Saraburi. The Chokchai farm is now one of the biggest tourist attractions there and they have some stand alone restaurants. (We used to frequent one of their steakhouses (and ice cream parlours, 'Umm Milk,') when we lived in our old apartment in Sukhumvit Soi 23.) Many of the hotels in the region are themed, designed like ranches or named after cowboy themes; you can ride horses, wear cowboy hats and eat steak. It's a funny old place.
It also appears to be emerging as a wine growing region. There are several vineyards and a couple of little 'Italian' shopping developments, Primo Posto and Palio.
It's so terribly easy to make cheap shots at places like these (and forgive me, I did.) In the UK, our castles are hundreds of years old and Stratford Upon Avon isn't a film set and yes, that's exactly what tourists come to the UK for but what if you don't have that? Well, one option is to build it. In the end, Tuscanyesque didn't offend me: Husband and I discovered one of those places that give a 4D cinema experience... no, I didn't know about them either. You choose your film - 8 minutes of in our case, rollercoaster and then Jurassic experience and your seat moves along with the film and air blows in your face in tandem with the film. It was 16 minutes of huge fun and we screamed and howled with laughter like a couple of girls. Well, they do say it's the best medicine, don't they?