Hang Dong, Thailand

Thursday September 16th

Two exposed wires put into a mains socket and I have a fan working in the village and the diary continues!

A lot has changed in the village. Mon's family house is no more, our car is on a new raised surface made out of red earth and stones, waiting for the rest of the rainy season to settle it in as a foundation for Mon's new family house, probably early next year. And there is a new lane being built, concreting over a dirt track, which will be a completely new access to the village and great for the houses along there. Mon's family is living opposite in her brother's house, and the children spend most of their time with us in Hang Dong.

After 3 years of travelling in and around Thailand I still don't know where the money will come from, but as usual it's easier to spend less than figure out how to make more!

Getting settled here now, a kind of lifestyle has found it's way, we have a lovely house with a garden with enough to live off for free for a long time: vegetables, tree fruit, about 500 fish and 20 crabs! The whole estate is a bit of a nature reserve, people walk around the parts that have no houses and gather vegetables and frogs to eat. There have been a couple of snakes in the garden, but they seem a lot more scared of me (I am sure they are food around here!) There was a beautiful big bird we rescued from the road a few days ago, big brown feathers and red eyes. Fortunately it recovered and made its escape just as the neighbours were proposing to cage it. We had a great escape a week ago, loads of fish swam away - I have found out how much it can rain in 24 hours - and crossed the lane into the pond opposite, but we have more than ever now.

In fact there are an enormous amount of fish in Thailand, the everlasting stream (even after 6 months of no rain) that flows past Mon's family house in the village can provide a bucket of fish in an hour.

We will drive up north in a couple of weeks to the border to allow me to move on to the next visa, then in December a bigger trip will be needed. Favourite option is Australia, just not sure about how easy that will be in December and whether Mon will get a visa, but worth a try.

Monday September 20th

I have finally tracked down some maps of the area I live in and Mon's village. If you have a look at them and try to pick an ideal location out of the whole of the south Chiang Mai area, you might choose Mon's village! It is nicely right in the centre of the beginning of the flat part of the biggest valley that comes down from the mountains, which explains the excellent views, and the everlasting stream, it probably has one of the best water sources in the whole of Thailand (or the world for that matter as everywhere else deforests their mountains).

We are slowly being offered plots of land at proper Thai prices, so we think after the new house(s) that should be where Mon puts her money. For example the land for my father's house in the UK would be about 0.1% of the price here.

Saturday September 25th

I have written some simple blogging software for this site, so it will be quicker to update, just as well as it has been seven months since last time.

We are starting to think of extending my visa in Chiang Mai, so that we can stretch out my double tourist visa all the way to February! So that saves the trip up north on the 10th, and we'll take the children to see the sea for their first time, it is soon their school holidays.

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