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Moving from Bangkok to Phuket

When Jude was born we decided on two things.

Firstly, get a bigger car, Leaving the hospital in busy Bangkok with a little fragile human being in the back of a clapped out Nissan Sunny felt very vulnerable indeed. 

Then, we decided to move to the great outdoors. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE Bangkok. It's my favourite city in the world. But something told us that Jude would prefer growing up near the ocean, where the air is cleaner and the heat isn't so suffocating. We also realised, after years of travelling, that we'd be happier nearer the sea. Luckily, we were right about Jude: he's basically a fish now.

So, in late June 2015, we said our farewells to friends and colleagues, had our last BKK BBQ, our last Bangkok rooftop bar date and our last meal at our favourite local restaurant. We had lived in Bangkok for six years and so much had happened, that we didn't realise how hard it would be to leave. It really is a special place.

Erika and Jude got a plane from BKK to Phuket, while I stayed behind to oversee the moving company. By the way, I won't mention this company as they were a massive mistake. But since moving down, we've heard nothing but good things about another company called Big Move Phuket. We wish we chose these guys! Anyway, long story short, I followed the next day in an epic 13 hour drive from Bangkok to Phuket.

Leaving Bangkok...

...13 hours later, in the pouring rain, arriving in Phuket.

Arriving at our new house, full of boxes and a rather startled toddler, it was time for a few Leos before unpacking over the next few days. But we had to get out the next day to see a beach or two. After all, apart from furthering our careers as teachers, it's one of the main reasons we moved down. We decided on going to Surin Beach, which even during low season, is pretty beautiful.

Our next post will be about Phuket's beaches, as we spent most of the next few months exploring them. I will also include tips for best beaches for kids and kid friendly hotels.

A Quick Catch Up

Right. In a nutshell...

It's obvious to us by checking out Google Analytics that our blog is frequented mostly by those googling certain place names in Thailand to research their trip and couldn't give a wotsit about us. Which is fine and the main reason we write this blog. When we started researching our big move from the UK to Thailand back in 2008, personal travel blogs were our best resource for info. 

But for those few who do give a wotsit...

Our son was born on April 2014. Previously we had posted about Bali and the Gili Islands, a real highlight in our travels so far. As most parents will certainly understand, working full time and changing nappies in the evening cancels out blog-writing time. However, here's a quick recap of where we went. 

Xmas 2013 - South Africa

Erika was four months pregnant, so we spent our time in safe hands with her parents in Limpopo province, before heading slightly west to spend time with her sister in Kosmos. We then took a bumpy plane ride to Cape Town to visit her brother and his wife. I was starting my PGCE, so in between eating lots of braais (bbqs, for the uninitiated), touring beautiful countryside and generally being treated by my in-laws, I was studying pedagogical theory while Erika was rubbing her ever expanding stomach (and ogling at large glasses of South African wine). 

February 2014 - Our 'babymoon' in Pranburi, Thailand.

Pranburi is an hour or so south of Hua Hin, Thailand. We found a hotel with a pool in order to worship the sun and sleep before our lives of parents would begin in a couple months' time. Not much to write about, apart from it is a quiet getaway for many expat families in Bangkok. Don't expect amazing beaches, but if it's the slow life you're after with cows grazing off the quiet streets beneath coconut trees, then this is for you. There's also the Sam Roi Yot National Park which you can drive through. The park is lined with limestone karsts and many bird watchers come here too. Our Tripadvisor review for our hotel is here

April 2014 - Our little lad, Jude, is born...

I could write a whole blog about the little fella but to be honest I've been scared off even posting pictures of him on this blog due to leaving 'digital footprints'. Needless to say, behind all our travels across the globe, he is in fact our world. 

The next year's travels, through bleary eyes and vomit stained bikinis, would be short weekend breaks, mainly to Pattaya. Although it has a seedy reputation, plenty of family orientated hotels can be found here and are popular with many expat families looking for some pool time with their kids. For parents with babies and toddlers, we know you like to have rooms as near the pool as possible so you can change nappies without letting the ice in your drinks melt. We can highly recommend Bella Villa Cabana in Pattaya. They have pool access rooms and sea views.

During this time, my mother in law and my mother both stayed with us to help. We are eternally grateful. As expats, you don't have the extended family network to help you through certain events, so their presence was life saving! 

By the way - we highly recommend Samitivej Srinikarin Hospital in Bangkok, where Jude was born. Our OB and nurses in the maternity ward are heroes. Erika had a 22 hour labour and they all worked so well as a team to make sure mother and baby were safe throughout. Please email us if you'd like further info on pricing, etc.  

Xmas 2014 - Norfolk, UK

A special trip to introduce Jude to my family back in the UK, especially as he was going to meet his great grandfather. We learnt how long it takes to get a baby ready in cold weather, especially an 8 month old that HATES WOOLLY HATS. We were treated by my granddad who hired out a really lovely cottage in Aylesham, Norfolk, and my mum and sister made sure we were fully stocked with all the stuff we miss out here. 

April 2015 - Wang Nam Kiew (east of Khao Yai National Park).

We came here for a short break to escape the heat of Bangkok during Song Kran (Thai new year) and found a little oasis. We stayed at a place called Jungle View Homestay. The view from our lodge was picture-postcard perfect, with tiered lawns overlooking rolling hills. If you want somewhere quiet with fresh air and some fantastic Swiss and Thai food to boot, this is it. Jude had just turned one, so the ability to be truly intrepid was still limited, hence choosing a place with a view. 

May 2015 - Koh Samet.

Erika's sister came to visit from South Africa and I was so happy to take her to one of my favourite Thai islands that is still (thankfully) off the gap-year traveller route. Mostly frequented by older travellers and young trendy Bangkokians, you can party or you can sit and fry on a quiet beach, the choice is yours. Our favourite beach, hands down, is Ao Wai. There is only one resort here, and although service is slow, you get a beautiful beach only hours away from Bangkok. 

July 2015 -  We move to Phuket

And that's a big post. Coming next. 

...and we're back!


September 8th 2013 was our last post from Bali....and now it's April 2016. 

Since then, a lot has happened...such as having a baby (we'd just found out Erika was pregnant after my post).

So, we stopped travelling a bit due to, well, mainly our time being taken up as parents AND I forgot my password. Can't believe I've retrieved it somehow!

Logging back in, I was surprised to see that since July 2009 we've had over 83,000 visitors and are still pulling in 30 or so a day. Not bad for a site that doesn't really advertise. 

Since then, I've started a website that promotes responsible sustainable travel in Thailand here. It's still being built, so please be patient. 

In July last year (2015) we made the move from Bangkok to Phuket - mainly cos our readers will know we love the ocean, but also because we wanted Jude to grow up in the great outdoors. So far, it hasn't disappointed (expect some posts about living in Phuket).

This isn't really a travel blog anymore, mainly because we started this thinking we'd only be travelling for a couple years and move back to the UK. Lo and behold, Thailand has become our home. So, this is really just 'a blog' about us and about expat life. Don't worry, we are (and will be) visiting many places in Thailand and I hope you enjoy reading our experiences and keep on asking for tips. This blog also fulfils my obsessive compulsion to list everything I experience (see

OK. The next post will be a summary of where we've been and I suppose this blog will now focus mainly on travelling in Thailand with kids, hopefully with tips on places to stay, things to take, etc.

Ta ra for now (and thanks for being loyal). 

Rich, Erika and Jude xxx