Greetings from an unemployed ex-publican in Bangkok!
This is the first leg of what I hope to be a journey of discovery, but unlike my travels in the army I wont have anyone telling what to do and where to go. Oh, except the wife!
We’ll be stopping at my sister, Amanda’s for the first week. Many will know her from the class of ‘83 at Morecambe High School. Her school friend Dawn Gosling another Sandgrown Un also lives in Bangkok. Her mother, Pauline, lives in Phuket - quite a gathering of Morecambe folk then!
Amanda, or ‘R Mandy’ as we call her, is the vice principal of Shrewsbury International School and head of the primary division. The school stands beside the busy Chao Phraya river. She has been there for six years now and we have visited before. This part of our journey is the final preparation stage for a trip that will take in eight countries in 80 days - not quite Philleas Fogg but a huge chunk of the world for us. Amanda, her partner Alain and our nephew Louis have been to many of the countries we are visiting but we have another travel guide up our sleeve. David Hoyer, who used to be the Morecambe Football Club lottery manager, has been based in SE Asia for more than a year now. By chance he is in Bangkok when we arrive.
I have arranged to meet him to pick his brains in order to smooth our journey, especially for the Vietnam leg where he has spent the most time.
There is nothing like a bit of prior planning and preparation as you can read on the blog I have set up to keep everyone informed of our progress. You can find it at backpackingonapension.blogspot.co.uk.
It is an interactive site so give us some feedback as we discover that beautiful part of the world. Keep reading the column for extracts from the blog. See you all in May.