House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:03 pm

Chapter 12 day 15

I hadn’t realized how busy my life really is until I decided to tell Wasu I was going away for a week to stretch my legs and have a rest. :wink:

Now I dare not start another job because I usually want to get on and concentrate on it until its done.

So now my attention is towards the bike and my lack of training….but I can’t manage to find the time to go and train. :(

I mean 600km on my bike its nowt is it? :)

Month end, its Chinese new year, Wasu is working until midnight I have to do the books and salaries, design a pond, calculate the cost of another boundary wall, go shopping for her……. :(

But this afternoon it was bike training. Flat tires pumped up to 85psi, trip computer battery dead, light battery dead and my old hat still bloody broken but everything else was seemingly ok.

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40m from home-took me 3yrs to find it


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river looking dry


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It wasn’t long before a serious training exercise and bike check turned into a typical building sites visit. :)

A couple of interesting projects literally opposite each other with the river in between. Possibly both done by the same company. Both were very boxy concrete rendered structures. Very few windows, a bit 1960s concrete Britain for me, modern yes but so damn dated in my opinion. Each to their own though.

The first, well, as I say 60s 70s concrete box design. I remember they used to float this idea as “the future” yet it never even left the ground maybe that was down to town planners stuck in their old ways and not wanting to embrace a change.
So is concrete the “be all” to insulate against the sun?? well it goes against my idea of a suitable insulate, but lack of windows will help.
They were setting up a perimeter fence wall and it looked like it was going to be a concrete panel fence judging by the I section posts but I am unsure how they will splice the above ground posts to these.

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setting up for post and panel fence


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do I like it?-maybe in 1965 I would have



Across the way there was a lot of noise going on from the other concrete house. When I approached I was very surprised to see a mix of new age box design intertwined with a traditional peak roof.

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concrete roof under attack


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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:20 pm

Chapter 12 day 15 contd

The roof had been cast insitu and obviously there had been some balls up as there were three lads on the roof with jackhammers breaking away about an inch of the smooth concrete surface and leaving a scabbled effect.

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modern living do they say?


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thats a high first step


Who knows whats going on there but it will be interesting to return in a month or so to see how these two have progressed.

Literally 200m from these two properties is a house I have visited a couple of times before and posted several photos.

I really liked the house as it was presented before, but not today. Maybe my memory is playing tricks but I thought the colour before was a cream colour and quite subtle. Today it was brilliant white and looked harsh, unappealing and cold.

The only thing they seem to have done in the last 6 months is one boundary wall and an entrance gateway, just rendered blocks and concrete, and very lacking in any character.

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can you see the guard dog?...its not moving!


The laughable thing was the property stands in about 1 rai and its an imposing building yet guarded by a dinky toy Chihuahua dog. I stared at it for a few minutes thinking it was a ceramic statue but then mrs Chihuahua came running out of the house and the two of them together made about as much noise as a chicken. :lol:

How pathetic… call yourself a guard dog…..hey why not get a sign on the front gate “beware of the dogs, but the cat will have your balls”

“to hell with the dog, beware of the wife”

Now if I had a dog the sign would read “Is there life after death?; jump this fence and find out” :evil:

another re-vist was this one....

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the riverside house me and Wasu visited last year....he is always adding stuff


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My outing lasted 90 minutes, all of, including about 10 stops on the way, not really a training exercise but I have at least given my legs a turnout.

Next stop Chiang Dao, 90km and a 4hr ride. :)
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:46 pm

Chapter 12 day 16

I am a little apprehensive about today; mainly because I wondered if my fitness for cycling was still intact.

After a tearful goodbye and take care from Wasu, I remembered the moment I asked her if she minded me leaving her for a few days.
She said as always “you can do whatever makes you happy, I will never tell you no, and I will never stand in your way” :roll:

Its been like that since we met, she has never refused me anything whether it be a boys night out, a cycling holiday, going back to the uk for however long…so; it seems when you really love someone you would do anything to make them happy even if it means to say goodbye……truth is she is probably happy to see the back of me :lol: :lol:

But……boot on t’other foot; when she talks about going to work overseas or on a cruise liner to earn money for us I have said no! don’t be stupid, how do you expect a relationship to last etc etc etc :evil:

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I had a 10km ride into the city to meet up with my mate. Oh yes, I am not doing a 550km bike ride on my own! If its not cat and mouse all the way it will take me 2 weeks.

After the meet, it was just a 5 minute handover of some of my gear to carry in his panniers and we headed off.

This was an 80km trek on my Trek and the last time I did this was over 9 months ago. So in the last 2 years, I have been on the bike for 2 days and 1 hour!

Fit as a butchers dog…we will see! :lol:

The ride today was great, well I mean easy. Certainly my regular badminton sessions have built up the stamina in my legs. I found the first 50km a bit of a breeze and didn’t even break into a sweat. :)

However it doesn’t matter how much fitness, stamina and power you have, when it comes to the hills it sorts the men from the boys……

..I have an excuse though. It was only in the last 20km that I decided to experiment with the 20 gears on my bike that I have never used…and these are the gears for hill climbing.

Unfortunately its not too convenient to take photos on the road but the scenery in places was lovely.

Our big stop was just 40 minutes from our first destination Chiang Dao. We have stopped here before and really it cannot be beaten as a great place to stop and have a couple of beers, food and a great view to boost.

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We checked in at the same small resort as last time, just 500bt a night and had a two hour rest before heading out for more beers.

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In bed for 7.30! seriously because the town closes at 8pm. :(

Lonely Planet describes Chiang Dao as a place in a lush, jungle setting in the shadow of a mighty limestone mountain.

Its where expats and Chiang Mais' growing middle classes come to escape the heat of the plains. It gets cooler still as you head away from the village and climb towards the summit of doi Chiang Dao.
The forest is popular for twitchers and trekkers and at the base of the mountain is a highly venerated Wat, marking the entrance to one of Thailands deepest limestone caverns.

That’s a pretty fair description of the place and its true , as a one night getaway its only an hour to 90 minutes away in the car. :)

A big ride tomorrow, 120km in the mountains from Chiang Dao to Thaton.

Its gonna be a long killer day so an early start me thinks. :wink:
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:08 pm

Chapter 12 day 17

I was up a bit earlier than I wanted. The sun was coming in through the window and I had beaten the 7.30 alarm…great. :)

I opened the door and sun was actually the outside light which I hadn’t switched off. :( Checked the time, it was 2.00am kcuf!! :cry:

Note to self. Don’t ever go to bed before 9pm even if you are knackered.

At a more reasonable hour of 7.45 I found a place for brekky which was great. I ordered a pad grapow gai from the display of several pre cooked dishes.

Halfway through the owner asked me if it was spicy. I think she expected me to wave my arms about and ask for more water.

I told her it wasn’t spicy…well it wasn’t, mild really and she was a bit taken aback “Lealy??” :(

When I settled up with her, she asked me again if it really was not spicy. Again I said no it wasn’t spicy.

For sure she was looking concerned; "farang thinks my pad grapow not spicy. :( "

I reckon as soon as I left she went and shredded another dozen chillies to give it more of a kick.

It was spicy yes, but I have long since be tolerant of the most spicy foods here, like everything else you grow accustomed don’t you.

I just hope she doesn’t get Thais complaining that’s she over cooked it!!

An 8.30am start from Chiang Dao. It was misty, foggy around the mountains and quite chilly in the air.

The challenge today was to reach Thaton before sundown. It was going to be around 120km but half that distance was through the mountains.

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:23 pm

Chapter 12 day 17 contd

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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:38 pm

Chapter 12 day 17 contd

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copper roof tiles


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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:18 pm

Chapter 12 day 17 contd

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It was tough; very tough and if you don’t zone yourself into the body of Marco Pantani climbing the Alpe D’Huez then forget it.

I had to dismount four or five times because I was simply spent of energy and concentration but it was certainly encouraging getting the occasional car horn hooting and a thumbs up from scooter riders or wagon passengers and of course it was great to outride a potential dog on heat. :wink:

7 hours it took to reach Fang; that was a second food and beer stop for us. One beer turned into 2 but we needed the energy as we still had about 25km and an hours ride to Thaton.

Tha Ton, a small town on the Kok river and on the Burmese border. Sleepy doesn’t even begin to wake this town up, there is little of interest here, a bridge full of flags, about a dozen shops a police station and its most redeeming feature is as a river boat stopping point as it goes from Thaton to Chiang Rai daily.

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Our guesthouse was on the river, a bit dated but at least it was still surviving unlike the Amertyville house of horror that time forgot immediately next door. :lol:

500bt rooms with fantastic views and whilst the dining verandah looked like it was more geared to catering for coach parties, the food was actually very cheap and excellent value......aching and hobbling now.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby sirineou » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:18 pm

Looks like a nice trip, makes me home sick for Thailand,
Two more years until retirement for me there and every day is a grind, dont think I will make it, and your pictures dont make it any easier :(
I talk to my self because I am the only one who will listen
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:46 pm

sirineou wrote:Looks like a nice trip, makes me home sick for Thailand,
Two more years until retirement for me there and every day is a grind, dont think I will make it, and your pictures dont make it any easier :(


I didnt let retirement get in the way of making the move here. if you wait and wait it will never happen. it was 6 years ago last week when i got on a plane with a suitcase and headed East, all because of the following phrase:

"you only regret what you dont do, not what you do"

ok I had the balls to wave goodbye to the 9-5 mundane roundabout life (and the right circumstance) buy hey:
from a suitcase with 500k baht in it, my underpants, socks, a badminton racquet to a successful business, a beautiful wife a new house and much much more. I couldn't be happier.

Regrets? yes; not doing it 5 years earlier

But anyway thanks for the comment. (I should have thanked you sooner, lifes too short)

f you are seriousI would suggest you dont come to read my blog for the next three days because the scenery gets even more spectacular and in fairness this is very typical of 90% of Thailand.

That was a joke; seriously life is too short not to try and enjoy it. We could die tomorrow the fuse is already lit. :(


That wasnt a reply; it was a ruse to inspire you :wink:
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:13 pm

Chapter 12 day 18

It was a sleepless night for me with backache but more seriously nappy rash . :cry: :cry:

That caused a slight change in our plans this morning.

Todays ride is to Chiang Saen and my mate who had already done this tour 3 or 4 times already told me the ride out of Thaton for the first 30km would be literally like climbing the mountains in the Tour de France and suggested we take a songthaew to the top. :)

A 30km ride for 150bt a piece with the bikes was by far the most sensible decision to prevent further pains in the arse and suffering. :(

My first errand was to the pharmacy for some paracetamol. My second was to buy a new phone charger since I left mine plugged into the wall in Chiang Dao!(no charger no photos!)

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My arse was sore after repetitive rubbing the top of your legs/bum cheeks against the seat. It was painful and it was bleeding so today topped up with paracetamols I was wearing two sets of nappies; and a liberal coating of Vaseline. :cry:

So the first 30km was going to be a climb all the way followed by 45 degree road inclines towards doi Mae Salong.

No way could I have managed that and then follow on with a 76km ride into Chiang Saen so bollox to it. We boarded a yellow songthaew and let it take the strain.

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start of the climb


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this is hard work


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climbing


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and still climbing


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songthaew stop


A few cyclists were climbing very well, but pros or very talented amateurs and of course 30 years younger than us. :)
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:38 pm

Chapter 12 day 18 contd

A few cyclists were climbing very well, but pros or very talented amateurs and of course 30 years younger than us.
It was fantastic scenery and views from the top pretty much for most of the way to Mae chan but my energy was used up and I wasn’t comfortable on the seat.

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top of the hill


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now just enjoy the scenery


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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:51 pm

Chapter 12 day 18 contd

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the best urinal view in Thailand?


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I kid you not....a pleasure just to hold that moment!


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spectacular


We finally arrived at Chiang Saen on the Mekong mid afternoon and checked into a fabulous resort on the river. With a front garden leading to the waters edge, a lovely swimming pool, manicured gardens and a perfect setting.

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finally the hotel


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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:06 pm

Chapter 12 day 18 contd

We stayed in the traditional bungalows at 500bt a night and we reckon it has to be the best value stay anywhere in Thailand.

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Chiang Saen; You know as we approached it, it had all the hallmarks of the ancient ruins in Chiang Mai and also a trip to sukkothai we made two years ago. It’s the site of a former Thai kingdom and the ruins of this old kingdom are scattered throughout the modern town. Theres a lot of surviving architecture including chedi, Buddha images and brick city ramparts.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby eyecatcher » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:16 pm

Chapter 12 day 18 contd

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The river carries huge barges carrying fruit and motor engine parts and all manner of other imports to and from China.

Locally a lot of trade is done directly with the Laos town directly opposite called Ton Mueng but only the locals are allowed to trade between each other.
I understand anyone else caught traversing the river is faced with a 50k fine or time in the jail. :(

Nice as it is one night here is enough unless you make it a base to travel to the places on our cycle route.

Just 56km tomorrow but more hills. A tough day maybe and then looking forward to a rest day in Chiang Khong.
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Re: House Extension to "Baan Thai" Chiang Mai

Postby kiwimartin » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:57 am

"the best urinal view in Thailand?"
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The view from my home throne isn't too bad either Eyecatcher....
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The travelogue is excellent btw....have you considered a travel blog? I am seeing places I would like to visit!
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