22 Feb
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (97 posts)
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (49 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

3 January 2011

Happy New Year

31st December 2010

What does £24 per person (the price of three good meals in a Thai restaurant) get you for a New Year’s Eve bash at Kuraburi resort? You get a buffet dinner that includes nothing you’ll remember in a week. You get as much fruit punch and cheap beer as you can drink, but must pay £16 extra for a bottle of truly excerable generic red wine from California. You get staff that not only don’t speak English but have mastered the “vacant goldfish” expression to make it clear they really aren’t going to try very hard to understand you. You get to hear Hotel California and sundry other tunes murdered by a local guy who shouldn’t be allowed a guitar let alone an amp (cranked up way too loud for a dining room). Other

songs like Hey Jude are not just murdered but beaten to death with a shovel by the addition of drunken tourists. Yes, you guessed it – karaoke time. You also get a Thai cultural dance, which lasts for five minutes before becoming a free for all – the dance equivalent of karaoke. You don’t even get champagne.

Eventually you get bored and head back to your room for a drink and some quiet reflection on the year gone by and the new one to come. All we wanted was a decent place to stay on New Year’s Eve in Khuraburi, but in a festive money-grab repeated around the world wherever tourists flock, the quality hotels all put on some kind of gala dinner and/or dance for the big night. And because all the staff will be busy filling the buffet and cajoling guests to dance, they are not interested in making exceptions and so the festivities and the inflated price are compulsory. We had the same problem when we tried to have a New Year in Scotland a couple of years back, although of course the black tie dinners were rather more than £24 a head! Thank goodness for the Glenfinnan Hotel.

Anyway, worry not dear friends. We found the dinner more comic than tragic and the early night allowed us to catch up on our blogging. Happy New Year!

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