Thailand 2022! ! !

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) DRE# 00949880

It really is funny how things happen sometimes.  I showed up for a meeting with my good friend, Dave Magonigal, to discuss getting his home ready to sell in the next couple of years.  I was making small talk and asked him if he had anything fun planned soon.  "As a matter of fact," he said, "we are off to Thailand in November.  You should come."  I am not impulsive and I do not do things on the spur of the moment.  Mary Margaret does!  Wow, what a trip!  It was 14 days of fun and adventures. 

We spent time in Bangkok, Koh Samui (the third largest island in Thailand) and Krabi.  We visited numerous temples/shrines, a floating market, zip-lined, took an off road excursion, walked several beaches, kayaked through caves, traveled by Thai Long-Tail boats through the breathtaking limestone formations off the coast of Krabi and so much more! 

Wat Arun
(Wat means Temple)

Our first day in Bankok, we visited these two remarkable sites.  Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) was built sometime in the 13th or 14th century.  If you look closely at some of the architecture, you will notice it was decorated with broken Chinese porcelain.  

Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)   Building at Wat Arun

Close-up of Wat Arun   Buddha at Wat Arun   Wat Arun spire

Wat Pho

This temple is similar in architecture as Wat Arun and is the oldest temple in Bankok.  It features the giant, Reclining Buddha.  This is also the historical home to the first school of Thai Massage and yes, I did experience my first massage ever a few days later.  It was definitely an experience.  There may have been a few tears involved. 🤣

Giant Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho   Statues at Wat Pho

The Floating Markets of Damnoen Saduak

I am not much of a shopper and I tried to talk Mary Margaret out of this one, but it was worth the trip.  The river was crowded with Thai Long Boats.  You surely want to keep your arms inside the boat!  This market is over 100 years old.

Thai Floating Market, Damnoen Sarduak   The Floating Markets at Damnoen Saduak

The Havana Club

The Havana Club was located on the top of our Bangkok Hilton Millennium Hotel.  It was a wonderful hotel with great morning buffets, but I wanted you to see the spectacular view from the top of the hotel.  Please like, share and subscribe to my channel if you would like to see other videos from our trip. (note-to view my YouTube shorts, you may have to click on "Watch on YouTube" first)

Zip Lining on Koh Sumai
(Koh means island)

Zip Line Adventure on Koh Sumai   Lanai Viewpoint and zip line adventure

Guan Yu Shrine, Big Buddha and Wat Khunaran

Guan Yu was an ancient Chinese General legendary for his exploits over evil spirits.  I just thought it was a very cool site! The Big Buddha is the most prominent shrine on Koh Sumai.  Wat Khunaran immortalizes a monk that passed away in a seated meditative position.  He is partially mummified.  My friend asked why they keep sun glasses on him.  I think that question answers itself.  I really do not want to see those eyes.

Guan Yu Shrine, Koh Samui   Big Buddha, Koh Sumai   The Mummified Monk

The Ride of Our Life

This was an off road excursion into the jungles of Koh Sumai.  We visited a mountain top temple, the Magic Garden and Namuang Waterfuall.  It also featured the ride of our life.  The trucks had two seats above the cab for any intrepid riders that wanted a little extra adventure.  You know Mary Margaret.  We had to do it.  Just listen to her vivacious laughter on the YouTube Short below as the truck driver punches it going down hill.  Oh yea, it was raining too! (note-to view my YouTube shorts, you may have to click on "Watch on YouTube" first)

The Magic Garden, Koh Sumai   Namuang Waterfall, Koh Sumai

Long-Tail Boat Excursion

I have seen so many incredible pictures of the limestone island formations off the coast of Krabi.  This adventure, more than any other on our trip, made me feel like we were truly in an exotic land.  It is so beautiful!

Koh Hong in the Andaman Sea   The islands off the coast of Krabi, Thailand

Sea Caves

This was another pretty surreal adventure as we kayaked to and through incredible caves.  There were some ancient petroglyphs painted in the first cave we visited (over 3,000 years old).

Than Lod Nua   Petroglyphs at Tham Lod Nua

The cave, Tham Lod Nua   The cave, Thad Lod Tai   The cave , Tham Lod Tai

Tiger Cave Temple

This was our last adventure and boy, what a challenge.  It is 1,237 step to the top of this shrine and the steps are arduous.  You are supposed to count each of the steps as you go to clear your mind for the site at the top of the mountain.  All I could think of as I came close to the top was, "thank goodness it wasn't 1,327 steps to the top!  It was a challenge, but it was worth every step.  It was a breathtaking view and a beautiful temple.

The steps at Wat Tham Sua, The Tiger Cave Temple   The Buddha at Wat Tham Sua (The Tiger Cave Temple)   The view from the top of Wat Tham Sua

The view from the top of Wat Tham Sua   The view from the top of Wat Tham Sua

It was a great trip and I am very thankful that my friend Dave invited us and that we were able to go.  The food was incredible.  We loved the people of Thailand.  They are so nice!  What a wonderful adventure and a bucket list trip for sure. 

We did so much more on this trip and I have so many more pictures.  If you would like to view more of our Thailand pictures, here is the link to my Dropbox file

Our Beach Side Grand Finale
(note-to view my YouTube shorts, you may have to click on "Watch on YouTube" first)

Our Hosts

This trip was the 50th tour of Thailand arranged and led by our wonderful hosts, William and Worawan Driskill.  Their itinerary weaves together an opportunity to learn about the culture, eat incredible food, go on adventures and just enjoy the beauty of Thailand.  Their goal is to help you bring back "some of the peace and tranquility, some of the patience and happiness, some of the serenity and quiet beauty that is Thailand."  They do that well.  We are very thankful to have been on one of their trips.  Check out their trip planned for 2023.

William and Worawan Driskill

This is my third entry into this month's ActiveRain gratitude challenge.  I find myself thankful for such a fabulous trip and my wonderful friends who invited us to go.  I am thankful we still have the energy for such active trips and I am thankful for being able to experience some of the "beauty that is Thailand."

The beaches of Krabi, Thailand







Posted by

             eXp Realty of California, Inc

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro

Past Client Testimonials   

3412 Babson Drive

Elk Grove, CA 95758




Comments (33)

Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

The floating markets were pretty fun, Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 and pretty exciting with all the boats vying for space. The vendors had long poles with a curve on the end that pulled us in close to negotiate.  We chuckled about that.

Nov 27, 2022 06:21 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Michael Cole.  We did have a blast!

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well, Nina Hollander, Broker.  We did make some great memories!

Nov 27, 2022 06:24 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Good to hear from you Will Hamm and thank you!

I may have had a few of those Singha Beers and even more Chang Beers.  They went perfectly with the hot and humid weather, Aura Alex.

Next year, the tour group we visited Thailand with is stopping at Chiang Mai next year.  They told me all about the area and I would love to go.  I just do not think we can pull it off again so soon.  One of my favorite places to eat had a green papaya salad station.  They made the salads to order and they were delicious.  It is one of my favorite salads.  You might be surprised, but I have cooked a few good Thai meals, not Aura good, but not too shabby.  I had a chance to take a Thai cooking class when I was there, but opted for a fishing excursion.  It was a bad choice.  I caught not fish and it was rainy and cold all day long.  Can you imagine? I was cold in Thailand for a day. 🤣

It is hard to believe that you had a grandma that cooked at the floating markets.  That must have been a tough line of work. 

We did really enjoy Thailand!

Nov 27, 2022 06:34 PM
Aura Alex

Ray Henson: I did see your pictures on the dropbox. I saw the papaya tree and thought about having a papaya salad. It's hard to find GREEN papaya this time of year in the US. So, I used (green) mango as a substitute, and it's not bad. 

If you wait for a few years to go back to Thailand, I might be able to meet you there in Chiang Mai and take you and MM on tour through my lens!

I am so glad you had such a great time. Thank you for sharing the experience.

Nov 27, 2022 08:38 PM
Ray Henson

I would love that, Aura Alex.  I understand Chiang Mai is an area that produces much of the goods that is sold throughout Thailand.  Our guides talked about a few of the beautiful things their clients have purchased in the past.  One client purchases a headboard that was hand carved.  It took the artist one year to create it and our hosts said it was beautiful.

I would love exploring the culinary choices in the city.  We found great food in the most unexpected of places.  One lady made hard boiled quail eggs, wrapped them in a pastry and then deep fat fried them.  It was a delicious treat and cost us about 50 cents and it was in one of the most remote areas we visited.  How does she even make a living? 

I have made green papaya salad before and it was pretty good, but not as good as the salad I had in Thailand.  I would have never thought of trying mangoes!  BTW-We had to ask what was growing on that tree!

Nov 28, 2022 05:38 AM
Aura Alex

Ray Henson: Yes, Chiang Mai is famous for hand-crafted things. And silk.

I agree that some of the best food can be found when you travel remotely, and I have a story to tell you about that.

You have just inspired me to write a post about my hometown. I'll work on that. And it will be referenced by your trip. Thank you. 

Nov 28, 2022 06:35 AM
Ray Henson

I am looking forward to your post, Aura Alex.  I know it will be a good one!

Nov 28, 2022 07:10 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I hope you enjoyed your trip as much as we enjoyed ours, Roy Kelley.  It is good to hear from you!

Thank you, John Pusa.  It was a great trip!

Nov 27, 2022 06:35 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

It was a fascinating trip, Myrl Jeffcoat and thank you very much for featuring my post.  I really appreciate it!

Nov 27, 2022 06:36 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh my goodness, what fun, Ray! And, you have Mary Margaret for another incredibly memorable trip too! I think you should always listen to her! LOL

Seriously, I just read your entire post to my Ray - I said, we need to add this to our list! Neither of us ever cared to visit Thailand but, you certainly did a great job of selling it! I'm so glad you all got to go. Thank you again for sharing your travels with us in this month's challenge. You certainly do have so very much for which to be thankful!

Nov 27, 2022 08:17 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

You sound just like Mary Margaret, Debe Maxwell, CRS.  She says I should always listen to her too. 🤣

I think you both would enjoy Thailand.  The three places we visited were all so different from each other, but there is a common theme of beauty and the people are so sweet.  Our guides kept telling us how the country had just opened back up from Covid.  There were a lot of places still closed and there were challenges (especially with hotels) with service.  They just need a little more time to be trained well.  One funny story.  Pancakes were served at one hotel just about every morning.  One morning, there was the pancakes and the syrup was chocolate sauce.  Supply chain issues, but they did use their creativity.  Many did not even try the chocolate sauce, but I DID and I had SECONDS!

I would like to go back in a few years and see how they bounce back.  I really feel bad for the Thai citizens, especially is many of the remote areas.  I do not know how they survived.  Still, they all were so nice. 

Nov 28, 2022 05:29 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such an amazing trip!  I love that you and Mary Margaret are living it up!  You will be so bored when you settle down in Pebble Creek, haha.

Nov 28, 2022 06:03 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Bored is not always a bad thing, Brian England, but I am sure there will be little chance of that when I have friends like you nearby.  I hope you are doing well!

Nov 28, 2022 07:09 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Thank you for sharing this exciting adventure with all of us. Talk about being at the right place at the right time Ray 🙂

Nov 29, 2022 02:49 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Ray Henson - what can I say except by "Amazing Grace," you talked to your friend, got your wife on board, and before you knew it the four of you were in Thailand! Your photos are amazing! This is history that many people could never have a chance to see. If possible, wouldn't it be great if the four of you could do it all again on an annual basis? I am truly happy for you and your wife!

Nov 29, 2022 11:32 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I do feel like we were very lucky, Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS.  Our friends really made sure we had a great time.  Dave practically dragged me up the last of the 1,237 steps.

Nov 30, 2022 05:39 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP.  It was a great trip and it would be fun to go back again with our friends.  There are just so many places to see and, I feel like, so little time, that I think we best travel to other areas of the world.  I have never been to France, Spain, Germany, Greece and so many other places.  We had so many years of soccer and other sports every weekend that we did not get out much.  We finally feel like it is time.  

I appreciate you dropping by and it is very good to hear from you.

Nov 30, 2022 05:43 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Friday morning, Ray.

Have a great day and an outstanding weekend.

Dec 02, 2022 06:45 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you, Roy Kelley.  It is great to hear from you and I hope you and Dolores have a wonderful weekend too!

Dec 02, 2022 06:59 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Looks like you had a good time enjoyed there.  Capital of LBGTQ+.  The chesty dancers are likely to be men. Havana Social Club.

Dec 03, 2022 07:48 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Guan Yu(Gung) is a popular god. I see one big 16 ft statue in California worshipped in Vietnamese temple in San Jose, California. Guan statue and temple are also found on missile frigate in South China Sea. 

Not long ago I saw one inside a Real Estate Office just outside Hiilsborough, CA.

Dec 03, 2022 08:07 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you for adding to the post, Sam Shueh.  I appreciate it and we did have a great time.

Dec 03, 2022 02:45 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Ray Henson - I have never been to Thailand or anywhere in the far east.  So I enjoyed seeing it through your eyes! It looks like a fun vacaton.

Dec 03, 2022 03:20 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

It was fun, Sheri Sperry - MCNE®.  If you ever get the chance to go, I would recommend it, especially Krabi.  It is such a beautiful area.  

Dec 04, 2022 03:01 AM