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Thailand - May 2015


It would be fair to say that the year did not get off to a good start!

We had two holidays planned - Thailand in March and Aruba in June but then it happened.

A slip on a low roof
plus a concrete landing ground equals 3 fractures to the pelvis plus 1 broken hip plus 3 fractured ribs plus 1 punctured lung plus 1 dislocated shoulder plus concussion!

We had to cancel our Thailand holiday, where we were going to see an old friend who was not in good health. Never mind, I should be walking by the end of March and then there was the Aruba trip to look forward to, in June.

But no! Despite being signed off as fit to travel by my consultant in March, my travel insurance was cancelled when I notified them of my accident. They absolutely refused to cover me for the Aruba trip in June, despite it being booked before my fall. They would not even allow me to pay a surcharge! Little did we know that the year would continue to go downhill for quite a time.

Oh, Oh , ohhhh



When all around you is going to poo and you think things cannot get worse, they usually do.

Following my friend in Thailand's birthday, in mid-April, he was taken seriously ill and died on 1st May, aged 70. A real panic ensued, as normally funerals (cremations) are taken care of very rapidly. Fortunately, however, that weekend was a special holiday in Thailand, with both the following Monday and Tuesday also being holidays.

There was to be no let-up, or reconsideration, from my insurance people. I did, however, manage to get 2 weeks cover, with a fair few exclusions, from a specialist insurer at quite a premium hike. Trailfinders came up trumps (not for the first time) by arranging flights at the last minute and even finding hotel rooms, despite the special holiday and within 48 hours we were off.

RIP Richard

RIP Richard

Cheers, Richard

We are so pleased that we could get there.

Richard's daughters and their partners, along with Richard's brother, were already in Hua Hin - having travelled out when they were informed of the seriousness of his condition.

The local ex-pat community had given (and indeed were still giving) tremendous support to his family. After getting him to hospital initially, three of his friends had taken turns to remain with him until his family arrived a few days after he was taken ill.

The funeral was an unusual and touching ceremony, far removed from a Western send off. The monks chanting, the offerings being made, the cremation and receipt of remains were all extremely moving. We are certain that it would have been an ending that Richard would have appreciated.

A "wake" was held in his "local" bar and was well attended by family and friends - a fitting tribute to very popular guy!

We were proud to have known Richard and even prouder to be counted among his true friends.

Lake & Room - Hyatt Hua Hin
Herb Garden - Hyatt Hua Hin

Lake & Room - Hyatt Hua Hin

Herb Garden - Hyatt Hua Hin

Following the funeral we stayed a few days in Hua Hin.

Richard's family and some of the local Thai ladies ensured that Richard's remains were dealt with in as dignified a fashion as possible. We met up with family and friends every day until the family returned to the UK.

We were staying at the Hyatt which was out of town. We had never stayed there before and had upgraded to Club rooms. I had only been walking without crutches for a week or so and still had a lot of discomfort from my hip and right arm but, despite being away from central Hua Hin, I managed reasonably well.

The locaction of the hotel was, in fact, extremely pleasant, with a beach that was far better than Hua Hin centre. Nevertheless our mood remained sombre and we were unable to forget just why we were there.

Hua Hin Beach (View South from Hyatt)
Khao Takiab - From Hyatt Beach

Hua Hin Beach (View to South from Hyatt)

Khao Takiab - From Hyatt Beach

When the family had left we stayed on for another week.

There was indeed something missing in Hua Hin, but we were made most welcome by Richard's many friends, most of whom we knew from previous visits. Indeed we started to go to restaurants and bars other than those we associated with Richard and, thanks to his ex-pat friends, we were able to begin to unwind and to relax a little.

We also enjoyed the facilities of the Hyatt, which is an up market resort hotel and the local Cicada market - far different from the Night Market in the town. Whilst there was still something lacking, this second week was a great improvement.

We will remain ever grateful to Richard's Hua Hin friends for the assistance that they gave to Richard, to his family and to us. We are also grateful to Trailfinders for finding us good priced tickets at short notice and for finding an extremely comfortable hotel, when Hua Hin was almost full to capacity over the special public holiday weekend (apparently Friday was Labor Day, Monday was Bridge Public Holiday and Tuesday was Coronation Day - all national holidays).

We will return to Thailand and to Hua Hin and we will catch up with the very kind people that we met - provided that I can get travel insurance.

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