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My friend Henk Landkroon, from Groningen in the Netherlands, has an excellent photoblog: STORMBLAST1953

Monday, May 28, 2012


Mam had some work in Songkhla, so I decided to tag along. Songkhla is a province in southern Thailand. It is probably best known for it's huge inland salt water lagoon called Talay Sab Songkhla.

This is Chalatat Beach which runs roughly north and south on the east side of old Songkhla. This was a Sunday afternoon. Plenty of people, but certainly not crowded.

An egg seller on Chatalat Beach. Lots of shade and plenty of nice grass to sit on.

Cool breezes. Great place for a walk.

Kites for sale.

There was once an express commuter train that ran between Hat Yai and Songkhla. This is the Songkhla station.

The area around the old station is now a huge market.

The ice man.

Songkhla harbor is on the lagoon side of old Songkhla. 

This old Chinese shrine is one of many interesting buildings.

Old shophouses. The lagoon in the background. 

An old home.

Mr. Khao Man Gai.

Old and new.

I had an old-style coffee in this place.

Sticky rice and custard with coffee and a glass of hot tea.

The old Songkhla city wall.

The museum. Closed Monday and Tuesday. We missed it. These are the old administrative buildings.

At the north end of Songkhla is Tang Kuan Hill. On top is a shrine, chedi and light house. About nine years ago a lift was installed to whisk you quickly to the top. This is a view of Samila beach from the top.

The lagoon (Talay Sab Songkhla) on the left, Samila beach on the right. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Songkhla town and the lagoon.

This is Samila beach on a Monday afternoon. No one in sight.

Mam takes a rest on Tang Kuan Hill.

Looking east on Samila beach.

The Mermaid. (Spelled 'mermade' on some tourist maps.)

Sunset stroll on Samila beach.

A couple enjoys the sunset.

It just got better and better.

Dinner on Samila beach. Tom Yum Goong, of course.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Burma 2012 - Back to Yangon

After three full days in Bagan we flew back to Yangon for a couple of days of relaxation. We decided to try a couple of the high end hotels. First stop was The Governor's Residence hotel.

Our taxi from the airport. Most of the street taxis in Yangon are ancient rattletraps that were imported from China or Japan after their useful life had ended. We never had one with a functioning air conditioner.

The Governor's Residence has a nice pool.

Lovely interiors overlooking a fine garden.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable.

We took a walk in the evening and came across this beautiful, but unidentified monastery.

During breakfast this young woman played a harp-like instrument.

Our room was up there somewhere.

Always studying.

After a night at The Governor's Residence we moved to the grand old lady of Yangon hotels, The Strand. I had dreamed of staying here one day ever since I saw The Strand in horrible condition when I visited Burma in 1977. I had a drink with my Mom in the bar in 2002. I finally got to stay in 2012.

Wow, two sinks in the bathroom.

The lobby is understated and comfortable.

When it got cool enough, we took a walk. Much of downtown Yangon looks like this.

And like this.

Interior of the main Post Office.

Great old cast iron stairs in the main Post Office.

Afternoon tea at the strand. We had both a Burma style tea and and English style tea.

Always studying. This in our huge room at The Strand.

Yangon is expanding it's urban rail network. Here they are embedding dural gauge track into the pavement.

Selling treats near Bot Ta Htaung temple.

These bananas and other fruits and flowers are sold to be used as offerings at the temple.

 Bot Ta Htaung temple.

We had a couple of gin and tonics at the 50th Street Cafe.

Happy Hour at The Strand Bar

Happy Hour at The Strand Bar

Breakfast in the room. We had an early flight back to Bangkok.