August 5, 2019
Last month, my friend Gary and his partner Pat invited me to spend the weekend with them at their second home in Ban Chang, a small town in Rayong Province, a two hour’s drive south of Bangkok.
I met Gary ten years ago in my condominium building. He is a retired American expat from Seattle. Pat, a Thai citizen, is an executive at a Thai corporation.
Gary and I meet frequently for lunch in Bangkok. We discuss our personal concerns as well as the issues of the day, both here and abroad. The rules for the Thai Retirement Visa seen to change by the hour. We share our pleasant memories and our dismay at current events “back home.”
Gary and Pat are “bikers” … the unmotorized kind. Gary just got back from a ten-day ride in Laos and Thailand. We agree that in Southeast Asia, as well as many other places in the world, especially in the rural areas, and despite the language barrier, most folks are curious, hospitable and kind.
The highlight of our weekend together is the visit to the Golden Mangrove Field. We stroll along the “boardwalk” through the mangrove forest adjacent to the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Lots of photo opportunities for the dense, exotic scenery and the smiling Thai visitors.