Gotta Spread My Wings and Fly

Yesterday I cashed in the last of my travellers cheques. I received 50.94 baht for every British Pound, an exchange rate that has remained fairly stable throughout my 20 day stay in Thailand. I will be flying back to England today just inside my normal Christmas holiday baht budget. In terms of sterling pounds it has cost me 400 pounds more equating to a 20% increase in spending.

Luckily I can bite the financial bullet but there will be plenty of tourists over the coming months who will struggle to keep their heads above water. If you are relatively new to Thailand and you are arriving soon then please take currency devaluation into account with your holiday budget. Make sure you have some form of monetary back up available.This may be the Land of Smiles but the yim (smile ) will become very dim if you run out of money.

With plenty of baht in my pocket I set off to return to where my holiday started with a tourist check around a few of the lunchtime bars. Things have picked up tourist wise since my my last daytime stroll just before Christmas, however there was still an end of January rather than New Year look about the bars I visited. I met up with Wonderful Wi for an afternoon Sizzler steak at the Charoensri Shopping Mall and she insisted on settling the bill at the end of a very pleasant meal.

Evening time and another night out at the Centre Point Night Market. Wi was full of hope about finally finding a puppy dog she really wanted and I was full of a cold, with a very runny nose and two green florescent socks in my chest. Wi left with no puppy love and I’d managed to rid myself of one sock at three baht a time in the toilet. The market bars tourist count was very low but that was not to surprising on a night of no live TV football.

Today I’ve got an afternoon flight to Don Muang Airport and a taxi ride to Suvarnabhumi arriving at about 4 pm. My evening flight is at 9 pm which leaves me plenty of time in the guest lounge for a few JD’s and some high speed Internet. Signing off with a photo of myself and Wilai and a few words stolen from that great British comedy duo The Two Ronnies.

It’s goodbye from her and it’s goodbye from him.


Thanks for taking the time to read my holiday blogs and thank you for some wonderful comments. The biggest thank you is for Thailand and your wonderful land full of wonderful smiles. Thank you.

Footnote    Next week camped back in Team UK I intend writing a blog that will look back at my 20 day stay in the Land Of Smiles. The blog will be of a question and answer format, I can collect my questions from my Team UK family and friends, I would much prefer to receive them from you. Favourite location, best meal, funniest moment, whatever. If you have a holiday question for me then please email it to or leave it in the comments box. Your question(s) will contain a link back to your site.


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

11 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    HD Farwell for now. I look forward to your summary of 20 days in LOS. As for questions this is more difficult since most of the normal touristy things I know or you have answered already.

    The things that fascinate me about you and WW and many other farang for that matter who only visit Thailand one or two times a year but maintain relationships are probably too personal for you too address in a blog.

    But any insight you feel like sharing about relationships would probably be appreciated by serious readers.

    Safe journey.

  2. martin says:

    Hi, Hoo Don,
    I hope your trip back to the UK is not too depressing. Recalling walking out of the UK airport and into a muddled society always sticks into my mind.
    Looking forward to your review of your trip and have a question..

    If there is one piece of advice or tip you would give to visitors to Thailand, what would that be?

    Keep in touch

  3. Hoo Don says:

    Mike – Sounds a great idea for a blog, the plus and minus points of a long distance relationship and also the Thai angle on matters.
    Martin – Dreary is the word that springs to my mind. Service without a smile the phrase. Thanks for the question.
    I have put a World Blogroll in my sidebar but I just cannot get your url to link. I am entering and also tried without the slash, but no luck. Where am I going wrong. ( Now fixed ).

  4. Martyn in the next few months should your budget run to a trip to France, get yourself over and we can cry into our beer together over all the things we are missing back ‘home’ in Thailand… Afraid I won’t be crossing the Channel in t’other direction, I made a New Year’s resolution never to step foot in the UK again a decade or so ago and it’s about the only one I’ve never broken 😉

    Good trip back, keep smiling…

  5. Interest point Mike, I suppose relationships are all individual and only the test of time can show how easy or otherwise it is for them to survive separations of any length. Obviously it can be very tough on both parties, no matter how tolerant and patient they are. The stats for the success of inter-cultural relationships make worrying reading even when couples are together the whole time, so I wonder what the break-up figures are for those in similar circumstances to HD (and to a lesser extent, myself). Then again, maybe an occasional separation gives some breathing space and renewed enthusiasm when together again!

  6. Malcolm says:

    Martyn, thanks for all the great and unusual, post , I love them , next time you are in the Land Of Smiles ,hope we can get together for a visit . until your next trip to paradise, take care and enjoy all that life has to offer. CieJay loves all your pictures . Malcolm and CieJay

  7. Hoo Don says:

    Pete – A trip to France is very doubtful although a few days in Chiang Mai is a strong possibility this year. I tend to agree with you on the long distance relationship angle. Still hoping you might come up with a Super Frogblogger question.
    Malcolm – Thanks and if or more certainly when I get down your way I will contact you prior.

  8. BritinBangkok says:

    Yes the Brits are getting screwed on the exchange rate in the last few weeks (great if you’re leaving Thailand with Thai baht, but not so good if you’re coming here). The US dollar has been pretty stable at around 33-34 baht per dollar for the last year and a half or so. Before that, at 40-42 it was fabulous, but at least if it stays around 33-34 it’s acceptable. Falling any more than that is going to severely put a dent in my plans to buy a condo in Bangkok. 🙁

  9. Catherine says:

    Gotta love the British sense of humour with the last photo 😉

  10. Catherine – we Brits do like to have a good laugh at ourselves occasionally… perhaps too often in fact 🙂

  11. santino says:

    Thanks for sharing. Heard Thailand is amazing, your blog is another reason to believe that. I’m getting over a break up and figured travel would be a good way to do it. Adding Chiang Mai and Bangkok to my itinerary.

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