Winter 17/18 – Off to Vietnam

Two months in Thailand went to fast – as usual. The morning after my birthday party it was time to take a TukTuk to the airport in Chiang Mai

Tuk-Tuk to the airport
Tuk-Tuk to the airport

At NOK-Air they have Angels and Butterflies!!
At NOK-Air they have Angels and Butterflies!!

At Thai Lion Air they have Chinese tourists
At Thai Lion Air they have Chinese tourists. Hmm – but they are cheaper to fly still I should look into Nok next time!

The plane. Have a look at the smoke in the back!
The plane waiting for us to board. Have a look at the smoke in the back!

A lot of space in that one!
A lot of space in that one!

Looks quite ok
Looks quite ok

The nice staff of Thai Lion Air put me in the 1st row - 3 seats for me and more legroom. They changed the lights to blue for the flight
The nice staff of Thai Lion Air put me in the 1st row – 3 seats for me and more legroom. They changed the lights to blue for the flight

Chiang Mai on a normal day in the beginning of February. Can you see the smoke?
Chiang Mai on a normal day in the beginning of February. Can you see the smoke?

Hanoi – Vietnam

There was a time the fires in the North started at the end of March or April. But this time is long gone. If the Thais would not set fields and forest on fire in January I could stay a bit longer and avoid Tết in Vietnam. But this year (again) I arrived a few days before. Most of the shops are closed and everybody is on the move to see the family. After all, Tết or the Vietnamese New Year is the most important celebration in Vietnam. The plane got into Hanoi International in the evening. You never know how long you need at immigration so I usually have a hotel for the first night in Hanoi. On this trip I needed to change money as well so had to wait for the next morning anyhow to get the best rates for my trip.

The airport bus to downtown Hanoi. Free WiFi and only 1,15€ at the time of travelling
The airport bus to downtown Hanoi. Free WiFi and only 1,15€ at the time of travelling

The Golden Wings Hotel in Hanoi
The Golden Wings Hotel in Hanoi. Should read the description better next time. Comes without private bathroom. Well no problem for one night but the bathroom was way to small to even take a picture of it. If you stay here take any room but this one.

2 Beds, Tv, Ac a table and chair
2 Beds, Tv, Ac a table and chair – everything super clean and the bed – a dream!!

Comes with a shared bathroom - that is super small
Comes with a shared bathroom – that is super small – so the toothbrush packaging makes a lot of sense 🙂

Local beer check - € 0,40 and up. Good!
Local beer check – € 0,40 and up. Good!

The import beer starts at € 0,70 up to 2,11€ for 500 ml. Super cheap compared to Thailand!
The import beer starts at € 0,70 up to 2,11€ for 500 ml. Super cheap compared to Thailand!

Watering the flowers
Watering the flowers in the morning. You see – you do not see! Traffic that is. Almost none in Hanoi!

On the way to the money changers - OMG!
On the way to the money changers – OMG!

This is my favourite place if you ever in need of a money changer in Hanoi
This is my favourite place if you ever in need of a money changer in Hanoi

And just a few more steps you can get the best French Croissants
And just a few more steps you can get the best French Croissants I ever had in the city.

With the local bus to the bus station and from there to Ninh Binh
With the local bus to the bus station and from there to Ninh Binh. 70.000 Dong – about 2,60€

At my friend's place outside of Ninh Binh
At the place of my friends outside of Ninh Binh

Lots of work waiting to clean the construction side
They just got the house and build the new part between the two old houses. The green roof that is. Lots of work waiting to clean the construction side and start the garden in front of the house and at the orange spot on the upper left corner

There is a small mountain behind the house
There is a small mountain behind the house

Lots of construction along the streets
Lots of construction along the streets

Outside of Ninh Binh
You can imagine how it looks with blue sky!

The older part of the area - there was a time when building next to the road was not that important
The older part of the area – there was a time when building your house next to the road was not that important

Rice planting season
This time of the year: Rice planting season

You can see all the footprints
You can see all the footprints

Lots of work
Lots of work

Work work work...
Work work work…

And more work
And more work – people in the northern part of Vietnam decorate their house with peach blossoms (hoa đào). We gave this one a nice pot and lots of that red earth from behind the house.

Dinner at the house
Dinner at the house

The Tet fire
The Tet fire! You would not believe it – the government speaker was blaring Happy New Year from ABBA!!!

You go to the house of relatives and relatives come to your house
You go to the house of relatives and relatives come to your house – basic 101 Tet holiday season. And food – a lot of food! And moonshine – even more moonshine!

A very happy Viet!
A very happy Viet!

And his father is happy as well
And his father is happy as well

Lots of vegetarian options
Lots of vegetarian options for me. What a nice afternoon. And beer – they had beer as well. This evening I went to bed early.

Old and young come together for a few days
Old and young come together for a few days

They eat and drink and talk a lot too
They eat and drink and talk a lot too

The old guys trad stories from the good old times
The old guys trad stories from the good old times

The only thing that I understand is when I have to drink another moonshine with them
The only thing that I understand is when I have to drink another moonshine with them – basically every few minutes.

Of course, Tết Nguyên Đán is way more – not only food and moonshine and visiting relatives. If you are interested Wikipedia has an excellent article about the Vietnamese New Year celebration.

Winter 17/18 – The last Days in Pai

The BLACK HOUSE Sessions

Arno and Jason have rented a house a bit outside of Pai. The house is black – hence the name – you guessed it! Since there are so many musicians in Pai they invite some of them all the time to the house. They make some music videos and Arno posted them on facebook.
The interesting thing is the mix of different styles and ideas. I filmed a few of the videos. If you have time check them out here:
->Ramon & the Hot Gang de Pai – Chocolate Jesus
->Hot Club de Pai – Latcho Drom
->John Taney – Tennessee Whiskey
->Bamboo Tambourine – Belleville Rendezvous
->Saint James Infirmary
->Hot Club de Pai – Misrelu
->Gipsy Fish

There are MANY more videos up! Check out the music love!

The BLACK HOUSE Sessions: Kam Kamil with the Sound Guru
Kam Kamil with the Sound Guru

Mr. Guitar Jason and Arno on the bass
Mr. Guitar Jason and Arno on the bass

2 or 3 rehearsals and they where good to go
2 or 3 rehearsals and they where good to go

It was already getting quite hot in the afternoon
It was already getting quite hot in the afternoon

Charly Clerentine on the strings
Charly Clerentine on the strings

Lots of different styles on that balcony
Lots of different styles on that balcony

You never play alone
You never play alone

One more try?
One more try?

There we go
There we go

Norton makes sure the sound is right
Norton makes sure the sound is right

Look at this historical MacBook! Still working like a charm
Look at this historical MacBook! Still working like a charm

The smoke getting more dense day by day
The smoke getting more dense day by day

Ready for action! Camera - lets roll
Ready for action! Camera – lets roll

The big one with Alice Alouette and Wiriya Wiseatkun.
The big one with Alice Alouette & Oosamu Sakurai as well as the one and only Wiriya Wiseatkun

The interesting thing about the BLACK HOUSE Sessions is the mix of styles and people all the time
The interesting thing about the BLACK HOUSE Sessions is the mix of styles and people all the time

Florence and Sam
Florence and Sam

rehearsal for an outdoor video
Rehersal for a outdoor video

And after everything is recorded there is time for a beer and a smoke and of course we have to listen to the recordings as well
And after everything is recorded there is time for a beer and a smoke and of course we have to listen to the recordings as well

In other News

This cat!
This cat!

The yellow flower field
The yellow flower field

Rahel on her last day
Rahel on her last day before leaving Pai

Another sunset beer
Another sunset beer in my hammock

Looook
Looook

That is what we need! More fires!
That is what we need! More fires!

Good Morning Pai
Good Morning Pai

Warming up after a cool night
Warming up after a cool night

Khao Soi cashwe
Khao Soi cashew

Picnic at the River

On the way to the waterfall
On the way to the waterfall

Dee and Gerben are back in Pai. Of course, the monkey is with them and Dee’s brother with his girlfriend. The monkey loves to play in the fresh water so we went a few kilometers upstream for a picnic.

Gerben looks for the best picknick spot
Gerben looks for the best picnic spot

Dee with her brother and his girlfriend
Dee with her brother and his girlfriend

The monkey was so happy in the cold water
The monkey was so happy in the cold water

Back in Pai again

Just look at this happy face!!
Just look at this happy face!!

Finally Jose gets his hair done!
Finally Jose gets his hair done!

Maria is not so sure about it
Maria is not so sure about it

Hmmm - do I like it?
Hmmm – do I like it?

You can see the smoke in the valley
You can see the smoke in the valley

Heating up in the morning rays
Heating up in the morning rays

Morning shower
Morning shower

Yin and Yang
Yin and Yang

White is hiding inside my bed
White is hiding inside my bed

Does not look really comfy
Does not look really comfy

Sleep sleep sleep
Sleep sleep sleep

And more sleep
And more sleep

Best view? From the roof!
Best view? From the roof!

Chiang Mai

Dee and Gerben gave me a lift to CNX
Dee and Gerben gave me a lift to CNX

Look who I found in Chiang Mai!!
Look who I found in Chiang Mai!!

Last minute room - well not a lot to expect for that kind of money
Last minute room – well not a lot to expect for that kind of money

Dinner with friends
Dinner with friends

The next day - the guest house I booked in advance
The next day – the guest house I booked in advance

A bit better
A bit better

And a fan!
And a fan!

Comes at last with a private bathroom
Comes at last with a private bathroom

My birthday breakfast
My birthday breakfast

My little birthday party with Nattinee and Khemphirat
My little birthday party with Nattinee and Khemphirat

There is a new Bear in town
There is a new Bear in town

And it is snowy Weizen
And it is Snowy Weizen

Winter 17/18 – More Pictures from Pai

Every day something new is happening in Pai. And some days there are even too many things happen to attend them all. Here are some more pictures from the Winter 2017/2018 trip.

Burns Supper

A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, the author of many Scots poems. John was the Super Host of the evening and it was quite a night out!

Far to many pictures to show here but you find many more pictures in this album.

Hi there!
Hi there!

Looks like Sandra is not the biggest fan of the bubbly
Looks like Sandra is not the biggest fan of the bubbly

John with the best dressed woman in Pai: Puifai Petprapai
John with the best dressed woman in Pai: Puifai Petprapai

Everybody happy
Everybody happy

One sip at a time: Arno
One sip at a time: Arno

The speech - John in Scottish and Jason translated into English
The speech – John in Scottish and Jason translated into English

Lots of video going on
Lots of video going on

And it was a funny one
And it was a funny one – the speach that is

Very funny
A very funny one

For sure there is the traditional dancing as well
For sure there is the traditional dancing as well

Round and round that dance goes
Round and round that dance goes

More Pictures from Mojo Bar

Back at Mojo: John on stage
Back at Mojo Bar: John on stage

Good mix of locals and farangs
Good mix of locals and farangs

Not to miss - The Tip Box
Not to miss – The Tip Box

Stephen doing what he loves to do
Stephen doing what he loves to do

The Band!
The Band!

What is happening at Twin Hut?

Twin Hut

View from my bungalow
View from my bungalow

New batch of coconuts
New batch of coconuts

White lounging at my bungalow
White lounging at my bungalow

Marcin and Mendel
Marcin and Mendel

That is what we need! More fires!
That is what we need! More fires!

Only a few more weeks before it gets to hot for them
Only a few more weeks before it gets to hot for them

Nina and Julian on the way out
Nina and Julian on the way out

Organic Hill Tribe Coffee
Organic Hill Tribe Coffee laid out in the sun to dry

The Twin Hut gang: Jose, Guillem, Berta, Maria and Constantinos
The Twin Hut gang: Jose, Guillem, Berta, Maria and Constantinos

Sophia’s Birthday Party

Brigitte and Addye
Brigitte and Addye

Happy Hot Pot is coming up
Happy Hot Pot is coming up

The Boss doing what she does best
The Boss! Doing what she does best

Foooooood
Foooooood

You know what is next!
You know what is next!

As long as you laugh you can not blow the candles
As long as you laugh you can not blow out the candles

Everybody waits to snatch the biggest piece
Everybody waits to snatch the biggest piece

Sai Sin or the Sacred White Thread
Sai Sin or the Sacred White Thread

Just a bit of cat hypnosis
Just a bit of cat hypnosis

Some cat brain
Some cat brain for dessert