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We are on holiday in Thailand and for the first time in AGES, I have not dragged my laptop along with us. It doesn’t mean that I will do no work, but I am focusing on my underwater photography and documenting our adventure only.

This trip is my debut with an actual underwater housing for my “real” camera! The OM-D E-M5 mark2 is going for a swim!

We arrived in Bangkok after a nine and a bit hours in the air. Kieran was restless after just three. I don’t understand how he could sit in front of YouTube watching nothing special for a week without eating and yet put him on a plane with an iPad, inflight entertainment, books, snacks and a fidget spinner and he is bored.
Our first few days were spent visiting friends who are on the last leg of their three year expat experience in Pattaya. They made the twins’ ninth birthday one to remember. A Day at the waterpark followed by a house full of balloons and chocolate cake! So lucky to have such wonderful friends and happy that we get them back home in December! Alec and I even got a quick date for a massage and sushi! Thank you, Sally, for taking all six kids to Xtreme Air! You are a saint.

Visiting expat friends abroad

Oh and the twins turned NINE!

Now we are settling in to our holiday in Krabi. We have Airbnb’d what I can only describe as a deconstructed mansion right on the beach. (In my next blog post, I will share Kieran’s first morning adventure here which involves that beach, tearful selfies, a random cow, one pair of Haviana flip flops lost and a motorbike ride with a friendly Thai stranger.) Now, back to our villa…

Collage of the airbnb villa in Krabi

Four separate bedrooms with their own ensuite bathrooms – somehow Gemma got the master with the tub and outdoor shower* – means that we might as well all be staying in different houses. Everything is connected via outdoor pathways and a grand spiral staircase. Everything leads to another building where the kitchen and sunken living room is. That faces the giant pool and the beach. We can see all the islands across the water. It is very decadent. Also very remote. It might sound grand, but Airbnb is the way to go for affordable accommodation with a big family like ours. It is less than it would cost us at a hotel per night, plus we can stock our own kitchen and not have to eat out every night. Alec hopped on the caretaker’s motorbike with her and she took him to buy fresh seafood directly from the local fishermen! The only real problem is getting from room to room in the middle of the night, during the frequent rainstorms (it is monsoon season here) and/or both at the same time. Soaked!

There seems to be a market of some sort out in front of everyone’s house. They sell everything from toys to dinner and despite everyone having their own, these stalls are always busy. The roads are crowded with motorbikes (some ridden by kids who look younger than Gemma!) and little family sidecar tuk tuk things. Absolutely fascinating how I can raise a family in a country where some mothers would give me the side eye (and multiple online articles just in case I am interested in the latest research) for letting Clover ride in a car without a booster seat, yet here is a country where babies are sitting on the floor of the sidecar without even a helmet like they are in a mobile playpen. I have seen mothers riding behind their partner on a motorbike holding their sleeping infant on their hip. Life, huh?

Bonus for this Airbnb is the loveliest house cat!
House cat Krabi Thailand *We finally swapped with Gem because we really did need that master suite. Sorry, kid.

I wrote this on our first day here, but a week has passed and it was still in draft. I guess I really did mean to take a holiday. Many more posts to do when we return to cold Melbourne. Elephants, monkeys and islands, oh my! Stay tuned.

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