Tag Archives: Thailand

Travel Thailand…Koh Samui…A Secret Garden.

Koh Samui The Secret Garden

 

Koh Samui…The Secret Garden.

On our very first visit to Thailand in 2002 many years ago now with our two young grandsons, we visited this lovely Island of Koh Samui. A beautiful island where I first fell in love with Thailand. At that time, never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would be living that dream.

Here I am in 2018 and living that dream…

Out exploring the island one day we saw a sign which said: ” Secret Garden” It piqued my curiosity as a few years ago while driving in England we saw a similar sign which said, ” Secret Bunker”… so seeing this made me smile at that memory as that also was a day to remember and not what we expected.

Would this ” Secret Garden” be the same?

An unexpected delight?…

At the sign, we took the turning and was it a steep hill…we slowly made our way upwards, the uneven road presented us with sheer drops either side and the road was barely one car wide…

Yikes if we meet anything coming the other way and thank goodness the only vehicle we did meet was a motorcycle and luckily it was able to edge its way past us and away it went.

My son was driving and does not like heights at the best of times and was a tad nervous. I think we were all relieved when we spied a restaurant and were able to pull into its small car park…we were presented with the most amazing views and then came the food which was awesome…just delicious.

Enquiring about the “Secret Garden” the restaurant staff pointed upwards with a big smile… Really?…at that point, it was unanimous to leave the truck and walk!

We walked and walked and all we saw was the occasional bike which passed us going the other way…Down!

The noises which we heard coming from the jungle as we walked up the steep track were quite magnified and sounded like a chainsaw…well that was the story I told my open-mouthed grandsons it did make them walk a little quicker though …haha. It was only later that I discovered they were Cicadas and due to the acoustics on the mountain when they rubbed their wings together in unison they did sound like a chainsaw.

Suddenly the road plateaued out…We were at the top…

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Thirsty and worn out…Our first view was a small shop selling water and a group of bemused local children were watching us and laughing probably thinking  ” mad Farangs” walking in this heat up the mountain. At that point, I was happy to agree with them…

Looking around we spied a lone kiosk

No secret garden?…

I had this mental picture of pretty flowers…orchids and a statue or two… There was nothing like that in sight!

Walking over to the kiosk we paid for our tickets…well, we were here so we may as well have a look…

Where is this garden? The smiling woman pointed to some steps…from where I was standing they looked wooden and slightly rickety…Oh No! My legs could not take any more…

Down and down we went… That first glimpse of this “Secret Garden” was amazing..statues carved out of stone, a tiny house, little streams and miniature waterfalls trickling and running through the middle of this garden, a small amphitheatre, all among the trees which were growing on the mountainside…Not a flower in sight…

 

Did it matter? Not at all…This was magical and a memory which has stayed with me over the years…

My research since then has told me that an old Durian Fruit Farmer in 1976 at the grand old age of 77 started to fulfil his life’s ambition and carved all these wonderful statues which he had seen in his dreams and he created them to honour Buddha.

The statues depict a number of animals, deities and humans in various poses, including one of the man himself Khun Nim in a relaxed position sitting on a rock. Khun Nim continued to work developing his garden until his death at the age of 91.

The garden is now cared for by his relatives.

This also reinforces to me that…

You can dare to dream” and that dreams do come true…albeit you have to work hard and you must have that will and determination to make it happen just like this old Durian farmer called Uncle(Khun) Nim did.

We visited this magical place which was way off the beaten track back in 2002 so a few years ago now and the road is no longer open to the public but only to experienced 4 x 4 drivers. But, local tour firms offer day trips up the mountain.

The new road lies directly opposite the temple Wat Khunaram near Lamai and the road leads you through some very steep hills to the Secret Garden. It is also now known locally as the Magic or Buddha garden and magical it certainly was for me.

A beautiful magical garden which I hope to revisit one day… I have never forgotten my visit to the Secret Garden and it has been the subject of a presentation I did for work. A short story I wrote in the Phuket Writers Anthology and a lovely memory for me which I am now sharing with you… If you ever get the chance to visit I am sure it will not disappoint. I hope you are left with that same magical feeling which I experienced.

If You loved this please hit the share button x

If you really want to see even more from me???? There are many strings to my bow…If you really still want to find out more… Although I do come with a warning…LOL

I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…  But I do look forward to meeting you x

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

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Until next time….When it will be weekly roundup time…xxx

 

 

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Must- see Thai Temples…

Visiting Thailand??? Some beautiful must see Thai Temples from the new to the very old but all unique and with their own charm and beauty…

Please pop over to my new blog and give it some love and sharing…Thank you…Have a Sunday wherever you are and if you are Thailand maybe you will find a temple to visit here….Enjoy! xx

 

https://myhealthyretirement.com/travel-thailand-six-must-see-thai-temples/

Have a lovely Mothers Day all you mothers out there xxx

Orienthailiving and Retired No One Told Me! weekly roundup…Coconuts, Mustard seeds and Walking

CAROL'S weekly update 12 April

Kicking off first for my weekly roundup is that wonderful fruit which is the Coconut…My drink of the day is a lovely fresh glass of coconut juice a truly healthy but very nice drink, healthy doesn’t have to mean that you hold your nose and down it in one while gagging it means something you love which is at the same time healthy..to be enjoyed as all good food and drinks should be… Welcome to Fruity Fridays…

Fruity Fridays The Coconut

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/fruity-fridays-the-coconut-is-it-a-fruit-a-nut-or-a-seed/

It was then over to Orienthailiving for a journey to my favourite places in Thailand the land of smiles, The land I now call home… Thailand 🙂

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https://myhealthyretirement.com/travel-thailand-awesome-beaches-and-much-more/

It was then over to Sally who expressed her pleasure and delight for all of those nominated for an award. For some, it was not the first time for others like me it was the first time but we all felt honoured to have been nominated and we are all winners…Good luck one and all 🙂 x

 

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/07/smorgasbord-reblog-voting-is-now-open-for-the-annual-bloggersbash-awards-bloggersbash-thrilled-to-be-nominated/

Healthy eating out! Not so easy if you have to avoid certain food groups…Many restaurants now do state on their menus what or whom certain foods are suitable for… Do they go far enough? Not yet but many are making great strides but as always forearmed is forewarned and it is always better to know for yourself what to look for and what questions to ask. Although my list is not exhaustive I hope it goes someway to helping when you eat out and have to follow a Gluten Free diet. Cheers!

Craft beers- barley free

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/__trashed-2/

No to diets and yes to healthy eating… You know my thoughts on that one… Don’t You???

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Start them young and set them up for a Healthy life…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/healthy-eating-no-to-diets-walking/

Lastly, we have my weekly column over at Sally’s and this week the theme is Mustard… Now don’t tell anyone…shhhhh but my all time favourite is some lovely bread, toasted with some lovely crispy smoked bacon and lashings of mustard… And before you say it… So nice… Just going for a nice brisk walk!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-mustard/

Thank you for reading this I hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful if you did please feel free to hit the share button…Sharing is caring…Thank you xxx

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Connect to Carol( Moi)

New additional Bloghttp://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/ Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolTFacebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Pinterest ( 2 ): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor635035/pins/

My 2nd Pinterest account is my new one connected to my new blog please have a look and follow me I don’t have many boards at the moment but I am adding to them every day…Thank you x

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Invitation Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Food Column – The wonder tree…Jack Fruit!

This week over @ Sal’s place https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/ I am showcasing the exotic Jackfruit…I hope you enjoy it and I would like to thank Sally for letting me loose on her readers…I hope you all enjoy my occasional detours to bring to you the exotic foods of our wonderful world xx

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

The wonder tree…Jack Fruit! by Carol Taylor

Wow, doesn’t time just fly by? I can’t believe it has been a week and what a response I got to the soups so thank you for all your kind comments…I thought I would have a change this week and showcase a fruit of which Thailand is a major producer The jackfruit, they are often cut, prepared, and canned in a sugary syrup (or frozen in bags/boxes without syrup) and exported overseas, frequently to North America and Europe. Made into chips which are very moreish …They are also used in various dishes and curries around Asia…

Many people refer to the jackfruit tree as a wonder tree this is because every part of the tree has its own use. The fruits are eaten, the leaves are fed to livestock, and the wood is greatly valued for the manufacture of wood products because of its termite and…

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My most popular posts in 2017…

My Top Ten posts of 2017…Did it surprise me?

Not really it seems that many of you love Thailand as much as I do, that you advocate healthy eating with Halloween and Christmas thrown into the mix for good luck…

Numero 1.

Why I love Thailand!  

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This post  I suppose is my snapshot of the Land of Smiles, the food I love, the sunsets, the people, the festivals and traditions and there is more as you know we now grow our own Turkeys. I have discovered many fruits and vegetables which were previously unknown to me…

Thailand certainly has the power to surprise me… Every day I see something which makes me smile …

Numero 2.

Healthy foods which may help reduce your Blood Pressure.

lady holding veggies

I suppose there was no surprise that this post was as popular as it was as High Blood Pressure also known as the silent killer is something which many suffer from. I hope by writing this post I gave you the tools to better understand how food can be thy medicine I am a firm believer in that…Not always a replacement but something which can work alongside prescribed medication if need be.

Numero 3.

Healthy eating…Turmeric Drinks.

Turmeric

Again no great surprise as Turmeric is being hailed as one of the best cure-alls ever… It has its place like many fruits, vegetable and herbs but no one size fits all…What suits you may not suit the next person and it is moderation…And do not believe everything you read ..do your own research because if it sounds too good to be true..It is!

A good example is my own father who took drinking water…yes water to another level he did not apply moderation and ended up in hospital.

Numero 4.

Fish Friday…Thai Shrimp Cakes

Thai Prawn Cakes (2)

These lovely tasty little cakes are so very popular and are found on almost every menu in Thailand and market stall….very moreish eaten with a lovely spicy little chilli dip. Also so easy to make at home in your own kitchen…

Numero 5.

Some of Thailands most unusual foods.

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Yes, I have tried some of them…As long as they are really crispy and not squidgy I will try them… Hands up who has eaten crispy fried whitebait???? Or crispy prawn heads??? Not too much different… Do you think?

Numero 6.

Halloween recipes…Will you dare to try??

black bean burger

I would be interested to know who did try it???

Did you??

Numero 7

Healthy eating…Waste not- want- not

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From pickle juice, potato water or oil from a can of sardines there is a use for everything …my favourite as a child and we used to fight over it…When my nan used to strain the cabbage water add a little vinegar and give it to us to drink we thought we had been given the world.

Numero 8.

Beat the blues with food and So pretty, so deadly tied in 8th place…

melientha-cookingVillage cooking…I was taught to use herbs to make a healthy soup…

So pretty! So deadly!

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A word of warning when so many flowers are used in cooking…sometimes they can be so deadly and they are used in Brides bouquets even now… So just check which takes but a minute or two and could save a life or a nasty rash…

Numero 9.

Christmas recipes…Drink anyone?

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There is nothing like a homemade drink recipe…

Last but not least…

Numero 10.

Matcha Tea Cookies.

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Matcha drinks can be found on every stall and drink outlet here it is very popular… It is also open to tweaking because what I get here is not always what you can get where you live… A prime example for me was and is coconut milk… when my son went to the UK very recently most cans or cartons were only 40% coconut milk and it’s anyone’s guess as to what made up the other 60% but I think we know by now…Don’t we??

It is the same with drinks…many are loaded with sugars so all I am saying is read the labels or buy from a reputable source.

I have to get my little rant in as it bugs me that we have to be so careful because of the unscrupulous practices of manufacturers.

I hope you enjoyed my top 10 of last years posts and if you did please share as sharing is caring…

I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy New Year …

 

Posts from Your Archives – Life is like a Carousel by Carol Taylor

My very first blog from my archives and republished on Smorgasbordinvitation…Thank you, Sally..I hope you all enjoy my first post..Do you think I have changed???

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

The monday midnight spot is for Carol Taylor until Christmas. Carol has a wealth of posts about Thailand, food and live in general which she is sharing from her archives.. along with of course her wonderful recipes on Wednesday’s Cook from Scratch with Carol and Sally.

This was actually Carol’s very first post and of course there was food.. some of it still hopping about… (not fair really as it was released safely back into the wild)

Where to start…help…

The watery…

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Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List with Carol Taylor

I am so honoured to be kicking off Sally’s wonderful new series and I am looking forward to seeing what is YOUR top two.

Thank you, Sally, for making me look so wonderful you are a star and if it wasn’t for that wonderful group of Phuket Writers I truly would not be writing today and would never have become friends with the lovely Anne O’Connor who is my friend and mentor…Love you, Annie… I am going to stop now as this is sounding like one of those longgggg Oscar’s speeches….Lolz…Kill me now!!!!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the new Sunday Interview and the theme is The Ultimate Bucket List.

In this interview series I would love to know what your top TWO items are on your bucket list and if you have not written one yet, then perhaps it is time to get your thinking caps on.

The readers will want to be convinced that these activities are worthy of putting on the ultimate bucket list, so please give full details of what it is, where if applicable and definitely the why and how.  As you can see not all wishes are physical and do not worry if you feel that your chosen item is everyday for others. This is your wish list and you can put anything you like in it.

Also it is taken for granted that you as an individual would do all you can to help others achieve their dreams…

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