On our 2006 and 2008 trips to Thailand, where we stayed at Merlin Beach Resort, there was a happy hour for cocktails, which we enjoyed occasionally. Well yes, probably every day. Why not, we were on holidays! We also had a duty-free bottle of Jim Beam to imbibe.
In 2008, staying at the same place, we were a little wiser, as we had worked out if you sat at the bar during Happy Hour, they had no choice but to make the cocktails at regular strength. We suspected that if you were sitting elsewhere the drinks were a little less potent. No evidence, just suspicions.
Two years later it looks like we were drinking the same cocktail. Perhaps it was a specialty of the house, and obviously yummy!
On Saturday morning we excitedly picked up all our documentation for our trip to Thailand. Exactly one month to go, it was an appropriate time to think about getting ready.
One thing I remember about Thailand in June was the humidity. On our first trip I contained my hair by having the ubiquitous braids put in my hair by the locals. It’s not the most flattering style I’ve ever had, especially without the cap, but you have to do it once. It made swimming much easier.
On the second trip I opted to tie my hair back or up most of the time. However, one morning I thought it would be nice to get some photos of me on the balcony, so I utilised the hair straightener, which is on my “essential packing list”. Then we headed down for our buffet breakfast at Merlin Beach Resort at Tri-Trang, just out of Patong.
Even while we were eating breakfast, the moisture in the air was obvious. I could feel my hair collecting the invisible mist, and imagined it getting bigger by the minute. Needless to say, after the photo shoot and breakfast, I returned to our room to tie it back, and there, apart from a couple of evening treats, did it remain for the rest of the trip!
It will be interesting to compare the humidity in October as opposed to our previous visits in June.
We are looking forward to our third trip to Thailand in October 2012, after our first trip in 2006, and again in 2008.
A feature of our second trip was learning how to cook Thai food at Pum’s Cooking School.
We spent two days at Pum’s with our teacher Pui, learning all about Thai cooking. We chopped, sliced, ground and prepared many different ingredients, also visiting the market where the locals shop. A wavy peeler that we bought helps shred carrots and vegetables thinly, while leaving a decorative edge when you slice the rest of it.
In Thai cooking you “massage” the chicken as you cook it, a slower method at a lower heat than its Chinese stir-fry counterpart.
Some of the dishes we prepared included Thai green curry, fish cakes, Pum’s herb salad and mango with sticky rice.
Kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, chilli and galangal are all necessary adjuncts to Thai cooking, helping provide its distinctive flavours.