Finally Back in Thung Song

Just so we’re clear… I’ve been back in Thung Song for quite a while now. Three weeks and a day (wait… whaaaat??), to be exact. It’s just taken me this long to catch up and so now, finally, my family will finally reach my own little temporary ‘hometown’ in Blog-time.

night boat and nearly-full moon, 5 am, surat thani

We took another night boat to get here. Well, to Surat Thani, whence we caught a minibus to Thung Song. The fam had the pleasure of stopping by O’s to pick up some motorbikes (and to meet the dear man, of course), and also of meeting Henk, who so kindly drove Mom and Ryan (and our luggage) home. Many thanks to O and Collette for sharing motorbikes in our time of need as well!

Of course there was one very special Thung Song resident eagerly awaiting our arrival at the house: Mr Ollie Pup! He greeted us with a few of his signature jump-spins and then was very excited to go on a walk with Mom and me (while Ryan rested and Dad and Nate “toodled around” on the motorbikes). In the course of their one short day there I think it’s safe to say that Ollie successfully stole the hearts of all, but I won’t feign any surprise.

Then it was lunchtime! We headed to the unique and quaint “River Restaurant” (where we spent my birthday and Loy Krathong), newly renovated to include much more outdoor seating. Our kind and helpful teacher from school, P’Tim, joined us with her two daughters. She was really excited to meet the family and insisted that we meet her for dinner as well.

Then it was time for the main event– hitting the waterfall! I was really torn between Plio and Klong Chang (both featured here), but in the end had to go with Klong Chang. It’s always worth it for the beautiful ride there. Christina, Dan, and Kagiso met us in town and then we were off– in one of those splendid farang convoys.

nate icing a bee sting to the bum (true story)

i’ve since been told we look very crunchy in this photo. i’ll take that as a compliment. crunch crunch crunch.

we’d made friends with these boys at the first level of the waterfall. dad is sure they have different feet-bottoms than farang, allowing them to grip slippery rock faces with more ease than us. in any case, they were good sports about taking this silly picture with us!

We chilled for the rest of the afternoon and before we knew it it was already dinner time. As promised, we met up with P’Tim, who seemed a little disappointed that we were intent on going to the famous pad thai stand (as opposed to a fancier restaurant). Kellie, Hanneke, and David joined us there, and in the evening we couldn’t resist going to the infamous Mai Thong for a nightcap. Christina, Dan, and Vallapa joined in for the last of the festivities, and oh-so-appropriately we left only after the live band belted out their cover of “Hotel California.” So basically, the family got a very condensed helping of what live in Thung Song is like before having to fly out the next morning (P’Tim, showing that Thai hospitality doesn’t end with picking up checks, offered her husband up to take us to the airport. Yes, ‘us’– she even okayed me missing my Monday morning classes in order to accompany them. A class act, that P’Tim!).

the video that sparked my family’s desire to test out proper pad thai

the gang at mai thong

And thus concluded a very wonderful family vacation, the pain of parting diminished considerably by the fact that I fly home exactly a month from today! That being said it was also a sort of “Highlights of Thailand!” reel all in two weeks; a giant demonstration of all the things I know I’ll find myself missing when that month has elapsed. “Bittersweet” doesn’t begin to cover it!


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