Adventure is something that I’ve always loved. I have memories as a kid traveling the world with my family. From Alaska to Mexico to Costa Rica, travel was something we did together. As I grew older, I started documenting things along the way with my camera.
My photography started with a disposable camera. Bringing a camera was a way for me to capture anything that compelled me or caught my eye on our trips. I’ve carried this passion into my adult life and take my camera everywhere I go—even deep into the ocean. I am always trying to capture the moment.
My wife and I took a trip to Thailand back in late 2019, early 2020—before all the current chaos of the world. You can tell from the photos I took that we’re both foodies and travel with our stomachs just as much as our heads.
Food is a main driver for us when it comes to traveling to a new place. We tend to plan our trips around popular places to eat. In my opinion, food can tell you just as much about a culture as the museums and guidebooks. We watched a series on Netflix called “Street Food” months before we left on the trip. In the first episode we were introduced to Jay Fai, the Bangkok based Michelin Star chef. Yes, a Michelin Star street food chef. Somehow, and nearly four months in advance, we were able to get a booking for New Years Eve. Was it worth it?
Absolutely! The food was amazing and the experience of eating at a Michelin star restaurant serving street food was so unique. Watching Chef Fai work her magic over the charcoal fire while wearing her ever-present protective goggles (the heat and smoke can get intense!) was mesmerizing. She’s a true artist. I’d go again tomorrow. Try the crab omelette, you won’t regret it.
I warned you that food is the main driver and reason for us visiting certain places. As some of you may know, the cuisine in Southern Thailand is quite spicy, and as you make your way further north you are introduced to a “sweeter” side of cooking. Khao Soi was the “must eat” dish while visiting Chiang Mai and it didn’t disappoint. Noodles, sweet & spicy broth with fresh softshell crab. What more could one want? Needless to say, there weren’t any leftovers.
Chiang Mai is such a magical little town. I say little because in comparison to Bangkok its quite small but still offers so much. Coffee is a daily necessity for some—especially my wife and me. After roaming the streets for a few days you tend to find hidden gems. Those places that locals know about and tourists miss. After having the most amazing custard filled sticky bun on the street, we found two HOLY GRAIL coffee shops, well one was an actual shop and the other was an espresso machine in the back of an old VW van. Not only were they both cool shops, the coffee was amazing.
As an avid scuba diver I knew we had to dive while in Thailand. I’ve read about its waters in countless magazines and adventure blogs. As a watch enthusiast, one of my most important choices for the day was which watch would I wear—obviously I went with the Humboldt 12hr.
Watches have always just been my thing. Watches, like travel and photography, will always be a part of me. Whether a staple to my wardrobe or just the presence on my wrist, I always have to be wearing one.
We chose to dive the Similan Islands just off the coast of Thailand near Khao Lak.
Once we got to Island 9: Ko Ba-ngu, also known as Ko Bayu, we were greeted by some of the most beautiful water a diver could want. Time to go through the dive checklist. Last but not least, had to double check that the crown was fully screwed in and tight. Bezel set, and off we go. We were in roughly 70 feet of water and could see straight to the bottom, a divers dream! While diving the Similans we came across so many species of fish, along with a turtle and a smaller reef shark. Of all the dive sites I have been too, this was by far the best in terms of coral structures and sea life. Underwater pictures provided by Christophe Rouziou.
Back on the dry land in Khao Lak we signed up for a cooking class. A local chef guided us through the Bang Niang Market in the city center. We learned first hand about the local foods and spices and got to pick out our own ingredients to cook with. Meeting the local merchants and understanding more about their local traditions and resources really made this experience extra special. Oh, and the meal we ended up preparing? It was fantastic—not quite at the level of Chef Fai but we’ll keep practicing at home to earn those goggles one day.
Visiting Thailand was a trip of a lifetime for my wife and me. While we may not have the opportunity to return again, I will be forever grateful for the people that we met and the stories gathered along the way. Luckily, we’ll always have our photographs to remember our journey. And, of course, some new recipes!