Cha-Am Night Market, Every Wednesday Night – a Must Do!

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Whether you are a “foodie” or not, and I’m not, the Cha-Am Night Market is really a cool place to go. The more time we spend in Cha-Am the more I like it. I LOVE the fact that its a sleepy city by the beach that is also closer to a busier city (Hua Hin) and closer to a globally known city of commerce: Bangkok.
Cha-Am has A LOT going for it. AND to add to my list of “why I love Cha-Am” is one more item: The Cha-Am night Market.
The *only* think I don’t like about the Cha-Am night market? It only happens once a week 🙁
Hardly a deal breaker!
Every Wednesday evening starting about 4pm at the end of Narathip Road, just before you get to the Cha-Am Railway station, you blessed with the sights and sounds of what a local Thai Night market is. There is food… GREAT FOOD! and clothes and electronics and make-up and even some little pets like small puppies and fish. Its hardly the size of Chatuchak in Bangkok but I like it more!
So, on this Wednesday we got there about 4:30pm and walked around, eating as we stocked up on munchies as well, until about 6pm when we took the motorbike home.
I discovered that by the time we were leaving parking was non existent and our parking right up front got taken about 3 seconds after I was motioning towards the bike.
Its a really cool experience – Highly recommended.
Thanks for watching.
Live the Dream!
~mikes

Getting my Thai Drivers License – a Pretty Easy Experience

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My experience in December of 2019 getting my Thai Drivers Licence(S) was actually quite good.
ESPECIALLY if you were to compare the scenario of a foreigner in say California, who doesn’t speak English (or Spanish) nor is able to read *any* of anything written and imagine how difficult it would be in comparison AND how long it would take for them to actually receive their physical license in their hands. fwiw, if you don’t know, once your leave the DMV in California, you get a piece of paper. THEN you wait 1 to 2 weeks for the actual license to be mailed to you via USPS… Ridiculous when you compare it to my experience I had today!
Contrast that to what it was like in Thailand and one could argue it was actually Very Easy.
And cheaper.
After spending less time than I did at the California DMV and spending about 1/4 the amount of money, I left *the very same day* with both an Auto and Motorcycle drivers license.
Combine that with the fact that each individual that I interfaced with was actually pleasant to me and they helped me when I was confused and I am here to report that I think the process in Thailand is far BETTER than in California.
So, THANK YOU THAILAND.
Look, I’m not saying America is Bad or California is Bad *but* I am here to report to you that if you are considering moving here and if you have any apprehension of having to go thru the bureaucracy of a governmental office simply because you believe your experience will be the same or Worse that you’ve experienced back in the ‘States? WELL – I’m here to tell you that MY experience in Thailand is one of appreciation for the workers and gratitude for the customer service they provided me.
THANK YOU THAILAND!
…all part of the adventure.
Thanks for watching!
~mikes

BluPort Mall Hua Hin, Lunch at FoodHall

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Gracie and I take one of the many mini-vans that travel to/from Hua Hin and Cha-Am throughout the day from near our place in Cha-Am down to BluPort Mall. BluPort is the newest and nicest mall in the area. Hardly in competition with are mega-malls of Bangkok like Terminal 21, ICON SIAM, or Emporium / EMQuartier but for Hua Hin its THE mall. It has the standard Thai installations of a floor for Movie Cinema, a floor for Banking, and one for IT, Telecommunications and Cellular phone companies, etc… The latter is the reason we went today. My goal is to change my AIS *PRE*pay plan to a *POST*pay plan such that I can get the 1,099 Baht/month plan that allows for “Unlimited” Internet (i.e. 100GB) at up to 300Mpbs (i.e. 4GLTE) speeds. I’ve been able to realize 50Mpbs down and 30Mbps up on my phone here in Thailand and that works just fine for the surfing and YouTube-ing I am doing as a hobby during my travels.
SO, while at BluPort, we went downstairs to take part in a very common past time in Thailand, as well as many other parts of Asia – eating at the food court in the mall.
This kind of thing could easily be looked at as pretty low class and having pretty lousy food quality in the US but in many parts of Asia, as we’ve discovered, the food courts (in this case the Food Hall) provides good quality food at very reasonable prices.
We’ve also found this to be the case in Hong Kong and Singapore – arguably 2 of the highest cost locations on the planet and some of the best food can be found in little street vendor hawker stalls and in malls. Just Awesome.
So, thought we’d check in.
Thanks for watching!
Live the Dream!
~mikes

Cha-Am Forest Park – Urban Forest Nov 2019

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Quite accidentally, Gracie and I discovered a small park just down the street from our new condo here in the southern area of Cha-Am Beach: Cha-Am Forest Park, Urban Forest:
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/wvLsDwbpYxwmsGgWA
หนองแจง ชะอำ Nong Chaeng Alley, Cha-am, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi 76120

So after a few errands we needed to run at
MAKRO Food Service Cha-Am ( https://goo.gl/maps/xuLb5MLbssWfsMs18 )
as well as BIG C ( https://goo.gl/maps/6bq5TXeb5iwJQ1pc8 )
we dropped off the goods back at home and took a quick 4 minute motorbike ride, which could also be a pretty nice 14 minute walk some other day as well.

So, this view is just our quick stroll around the fairly small park.
Now, we have heard and there are Many photos if you do a quick “Google search” of the location that there are plenty of monkeys at this location.
SADLY we didn’t see one 🙁
We are big fans of monkey and honestly we think a pet monkey could be a huge win BUT, no such luck today.
Still, hope you enjoy the video!
Live the Dream!
~mikes

Why I Chose Thailand – Part 2: Medical Care, The People!

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I’ve been taking some time, usually while at the beach here in Cha-Am, reflecting back on the beginnings of my trips to Thailand. It reminds me of the reasons why I am here. Certain events that happened in the first few weeks of my first trip to Thailand back in 2013 really set a foundation for why I am here. Initially it was because it was just SO different that many things I was used to in the US. Specifically southern California.
During this segment, which I’m calling “part 2” I reflect back on a motorbike accident I had, the medical care I received and the wonderful people that took care of me.
As the song goes, “Pattaya Pattaya… yeh, me love you Mak Mak”. Indeed that was the case. In fact, after this First vacation of three weeks, I didn’t even last 90 days back home. I was back on a plane for another 2 week vacation to the land of smiles…
I had NEVER done anything like THAT before.
Well, more details on that in an upcoming video.
For now, thanks for watching. Hope you enjoy and I hope you’re Living the Dream!
~mikes

Open-minded to Sunrises! Cha-Am Beach, Thailand

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While its seems the popular thing to do for MANY people at the end of the day is to head to the beach and watch the sunset, I’ve come to realize the much less popular morning ritual of walking the beach during sun RISE is equally if not *more* enjoyable for me.
Cha-Am is located south west of Bangkok with the beaches facing east to the Gulf of Thailand so, the sunsets occur over the inland mountains.
Sunrises are infinitely less popular and I literally have the whole beach to myself for sometimes many kilometers. LOVE IT!
So, on this morning, I go to thinking about the simple act of being OPEN-MINDED. Now, its not too difficult of a chore to be open-minded to walk the beach at Sunrise vs. Sunset BUT the act of doing so got me thinking, “where do I apply this to other areas in in my life? what other gains have I gotten from that? liiiiiike moving literally half way around the world to e an environment where I simply Feel Better! where Don’t I have my mind open!!?? and where has that really limited me?”

So, some things to think about and some areas to ponder the gratitude I get from the ways I keep an open mind.
Thanks for Watching. Honored by your comments.
Live the Dream!
~mikes

A “Shy” Buddha in Cha-Am Thailand

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After renting a motorbike from one of the local places in Cha-Am for 200THB per day ($6.62) we decided to take a ride north along the beach of Cha-Am and just see what we see. One of the first icons that jumped out at me was what Gracie lovingly refers to as “The Shy Buddha” – a beautiful (approx.) 10m white Buddha statue with hands covering his ears, mouth and eyes. The first thing that came to mind for me was the classic photo on the monkeys: Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil. But, I like here version better, actually. So, we now call this land mark in Cha-Am: The Shy Buddha.
I haven’t yet done enough research to determine the real name of it. Due to my ignorance I am unable to read Thai so, unfortunately, all I can do is copy/paste. Here is what I get: พระควัมปติ Cha-am, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi.
Its almost directly across from the King Naresuan Monument, right on the beach in Cha-Am. Anyway, along with the big statue we saw monks as well as other workers on the property, cleaning up. We were also able to feed some fish – some large (at least from my perspective) Cat fish in this little pond near-by.
Just a little piece of Thailand. So, wanted to share.
Thanks for watching!
Live the Dream.
~mikes