Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Holiday in Thailand

Denise, Jamie and I spent two wonderful weeks on holiday in Thailand in late November early December 2006. Three days in Bangkok, followed by 9 days in Ao Nang and 1 night in Karon Beach, Phuket Island.
We found the people friendly, the value excellent, the weather perfect, and the cuisine superb. Comparisons with Vietnam which we visited two years ago, and also enjoyed, were inevitable. Thailand is geared more to tourism, and the country is wealthier - modern cars, buildings, roads good, Bangkok subway and skyway faultless. Costwise, Vietnam is better value, it is more au natural, less affected by hordes of Brits, Germans, Swedes, Aussies. We found the people to be friendly in both countries, which in Vietnam's case was surprising given the dreadful "American" war (another great decision....which Australia supported - what makes these politicians so righteous, pompous and arrogant - is it religion, fear or just plain stupidity??).

Pictures can be seen at my Picasa site or Webshots site.
Personally I prefer the Picasa slideshow presentation which uses almost the full page, however the Webshots is quite attractive with it's new "inlining" which closes in or glides away from the subject.

While in Thailand I read stories/excerpts from the Picador Book of Contemporary Irish fiction edited by Dermot Bolger, an excellent compilation. At the Karon Beach second hand bookshop Denise found the Booker prize winning Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre which I have since read. An engrossing novel but not your standard literary read. It has been compared to other first person narratives such as "Catcher in the Rye" and A Confederacy of Dunces", but I found myself thinking of Patrick McCabe's "Butcher Boy" and the unfortunate but fascinating Francie Brady. Both books have similarities in satire, black humour and rollicking entertainment - as well as showering literary sparkle, but for my taste McCabe has the glittering edge.

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