Category Archives: Gibbons

Thailand…Travel and Traditions…

Thailand…The Land of Smiles and my home… For the next few months, I will take you to some special places and share with you the long-held traditions I have discovered which are passed down through the generations I do hope that you enjoy…

A young Thai monk sitting in Water

The North Eastern side of Phuket Island you will find Bang Rong pier from there you can catch a water taxi or a speed boat to several of the nearby islands. We ate fresh seafood and lovely fresh mango salad a virtual feast. Life so tranquil here, a world away from the hustle and bustle which is London or any other city.

This sea gipsy village is not one of the larger ones where you can walk through the village and shop this is quite basic by comparison but has a certain charm and you can see the men and women going about their daily work either fishing or driving the boats or water taxis back and forth or whittling away as they make wooden trinkets and ornaments for sale ..they may be mending nets or even sleeping in the sun or cooking the lovely seafood…

mending the wood boards koh panyee

The Sea Gypsy’s are said to be the oldest and most interesting inhabitants of Phuket Locally called  Chao Le in the Thai language. (Chao=people; Le=from thale=sea). They settle in one bay until all the resources there are finished and move on to another bay so giving nature time to recover. But there is no written history of their whereabouts and culture. The only thing we know is that they lived as nomads without a permanent residence and without writing utensils. Some say they come from former Malay colonies fleeing Burma from the Muslim invasion. Others say they were descended from the Indian Vedas. The Sea Gypsies are split into three ethnic groups – the Moken, Moklen and Urak Lawoi – which speak different languages. While the Moken still live as nomads, mostly in the northern islands of Phuket, the Moklen and Urak Lawoi settled down at the coastlines of Phuket. Until now they are still working as fisherman or pearl divers and some collect bird nests which are a delicacy for soup. Other income comes from the tourists which visit their villages daily.

Today they have their own language and own religion – the animism. The legends say they brought their dead people to so-called “death islands” where their souls live forever. Two times a year they celebrate the most important ritual in animism the “Loy Ruea” festival. Small wooden boats are released into the sea carrying presents, fingernails, hair and miniature weapons to please the ghosts of the sea and the souls of the dead so the Sea Gypsies can live in peace and happiness. Another highlight in their lives is the yearly hunting of sea turtles to eat their flesh. The legend says that a woman of the Sea Gypsies changed to a sea turtle but with a human face. Since then the Sea Gypsies worship the sea turtles as sisters of the humankind. Only for this festival is permission given to hunt and eat sea turtles. For their daily living, the Sea Gypsies barely use money – they just exchange minerals, shells, oysters, snake house and other things for what they need. If they get access to money they usually buy rice, eggs sweets or tobacco. The settlements of the Sea Gypsies give you an insight in an ancient culture – free, colourful, without crime and police – and everybody is very welcome to visit them for a chat, a game of pool or to buy a fish or some of their handicrafts.

Bang Phut Sea Gypsy Village Phuket

Surrounded by Mangrove swamps it is peaceful and although you do get tourists taking the boats to the outlying islands it isn’t that busy it is tranquil and rural a little off the beaten track …

The food here is Thai and not what you would find on the popular beaches which I hardly ever eat on as it isn’t authentic Thai it is dumbed down to cater for tourists taste…Something I have a hard job understanding as surely it is nice to have a taste of authentic food wherever you travel?

Close to here in the National park you will also find walkways into the jungle which means you can get a closer look quite safely without worry that you may inadvertently step on something or get too close to a crocodile.

Another lovely place to visit which is in the same proximity as Bang Rong pier is the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre...I love watching those little gibbons who are now happily swinging from tree to tree through the jungle….If you ever visit Phuket, The Gibbon Rehab centre is a must to visit and there is a beautiful restaurant next door…Yep…Food again!

If you make a visit you can see the gibbons who are receiving treatment …Many are rehabilitated and released back into the jungle the ones who cannot be released back into the jungle live a very happy, safe life…There is also the opportunity to sponsor your favourite gibbon…

Some are so tiny that they have to be hand reared and bottle fed and are so very cute…

Just about 0.2km from the Gibbon Sanctuary is Piang Pria a beautiful restaurant with food to match it overlooks the lake and is a nice place to stop if you have visited the waterfall and just want somewhere to relax and enjoy beautifully presented food…

It is rated very highly on trip advisor and has many certificates…The food is just a little step up from street food in so much as it is always beautifully presented.

If you visit this beautiful part of Phuket it makes a lovely day out you can opt to take a trip to one of the islands enjoy some seafood on your return have a wander around the walkways then meander over to see the Gibbons which although you cannot get too close you can speak with the staff and volunteers who love to chat…Visit the waterful and if you don’t take the scenic route to its sister waterfall Ton Sai then you can sit by the lake and enjoy some beautiful food…

I hope you enjoy exploring with me on my travels xx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on 

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:

Connect to Carol



Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx

Life is short, Smile while you still have teeth!

Another of my archived posts from 2015 …The final chapter and the baby girl gibbon is doing fine… I hope you enjoy and that you are learnng a little more about the lady who loves to cook x

Retired? No one told me!

GRP.( Gibbon Rehabilitation Project)

I have to start with an update on the tiny baby Gibbon…you can actually see how very tiny she is as she snuggles against the person who is feeding her. baby gibbonsbaby girl @ GRPBEING FED 8th Jan

Unfortunately she could not be left with her mother who was becoming increasingly tired and the baby weaker….she is now being hand reared……..GRP made.this decision for both the mother and the baby’s well being. Both parents are being allowed to come to terms with all the trauma before being released back into the wild…which in this case is the right decision for all I think…..This project does such wonderful work for the Gibbons here and are very successful at rehabilitating and returning as many as is possible back to their natural habitat .This little one is now doing much better I wish her well..awwww so cute.

First week of Blogging 101 over enjoyed it in the main especially…

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Life is short, Smile while you still have teeth!

GRP.( Gibbon Rehabilitation Project)

I have to start with an update on the tiny baby Gibbon…you can actually see how very tiny she is as she snuggles against the person who is feeding her. baby gibbons baby girl @ GRP BEING FED 8th Jan

Unfortunately she could not be left with her mother who was becoming increasingly tired and the baby weaker….she is now being hand reared……..GRP made.this decision for both the mother and the baby’s well being. Both parents are being allowed to come to terms with all the trauma before being released back into the wild…which in this case is the right decision for all I think…..This project does such wonderful work for the Gibbons here and are very successful at rehabilitating and returning as many as is possible back to their natural habitat .This little one is now doing much better I wish her well..awwww so cute.

First week of Blogging 101 over enjoyed it in the main especially the interaction on ” The Commons” with other bloggers…awesome.

Just received a picture of my mum with my big boy. taken on Christmas Day before Church.My mum and Sean 2014.…I miss my mum…..although it’s lovely to chat on Skype when I have a signal…..But my boys over soon and can’t wait…..I might have sun,sea and sand  but miss people ..but also it makes you appreciate people more…you don’t take things or people quite so much for granted………. where did that come from…sorry peeps getting maudlin…..

What’s next..thoughts all dried up …….well not really…….been trying all week to get a picture of the  buffalow just down from my house…everytime I go by(without my camera) the heron is on her back and it makes such a lovely sight ( when I have ) said camera it’s nowhere in sight…but perseverance that’s my mission I will get that pic…….Sourced the celery ( or my friend did) so promise next blog I will show you how to make bacon without nitrates…..and it only takes 5 days……. and it’s ready!  Can smell and taste it already………also found a great recipe on someone elses blog for Fish Curry and it looks yummy so will be trying that………But never fear I won’t leave you without a recipe …….  last nights dinner was:prawns………..Uncooked prawns with a blow your head off chilli dip.It consists of very finely chopped white cabbage, finely sliced and halved…Khiewchanta……arranged round the edge of plate……..Fresh prawns, cleaned, deveined and soaked in Soda Water…..Fresh mint leaves and finely sliced garlic.

Eaten  with steamed rice and  very lightly cooked squid in a salad with tomatoes,spring onion,coriander,fish ,sauce and lime juice…… so that was dinner and very nice it was  all fresh from the market about an hour before and that’s the great thing about living here every day there is a fresh market  and I love it  at my local ones I am generally the only farang but they are getting to know me and love it when I sample the hottest of food sometimes and give it the thumbs up………..and if I speak a little Thai…as my vocabulary is limited at the moment the smiles all round… it really makes my day as it does theirs.

Well short and sweet this one…but it’s children’s day today so everywhere there is fun and games  galore….until next time…happy reading x

Yesterday has gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today, Let us begin…Mother Teresa.

By now we will have all welcomed in  2015 either with a fanfare or a whisper.



Mine came in with a clatter and a bang…..the bay was alight with fireworks…but the highlight for me was all the lanterns floating up, up and away it was a sight to behold.

Spent with family, old friends and new we all came together as one and had a ball.

Having seen in many New Years I am asking myself will this one top them all?

I’m thinking of family and friends who are no longer with us …and I miss them..but also have wonderful memories…I am thinking of family and friends who are far away…and I miss them…I am thinking of the new opportunities and advances made in my writing and I am excited…..I am thinking of my friends who are unwell and wish I could wave a magic wand…..I am thinking…I am excited…I am sad…nostalgic….a mixture of emotions.

What will this new year bring?…..well ” Tomorrow has not yet come ” in the words of Mother Teresa.

” We only have today” …Let us begin!

Our book of short stories will be hot of the press very soon..the cover has been agreed on….so as it will be my first foray into the world of writing( that has been printed) I am super excited.

New Recipes: Experimenting with food and drink is my love….my thoughts are now turning to Sour Dough…recipe will follow when my trial has finished..hopefully, it will be successful.

Bacon…hot and sizzling…….I am going to try dry salting so looking for a way to get celery juice..fresh Thai Celery is very thin and you would need shed loads to produce any juice and what I call proper celery( well it’s cultivated) is expensive here equivalent to nearly 4 English pounds for a stalk or celery head……vegetables-2085017_1920

1think I am going to trawl the juice bars and see if I can just get celery juice that way …let them do the hard work…ha ha…the celery juice is mixed with the salt mixture and used a curing agent so no nasties…watch this space for an update!

There will be other foodie projects too so keep reading……….

Now for some sad news:

Update on the gibbon babies.

As much as I don’t want to it is with a sad heart that I have to tell you one of the tiny gibbon twins passed away.

Here the  update from the GRP:

It is not a happy start to the New Year here at the GRP. Sadly, despite all the promising signs, we have lost the smaller male twin.

Mee was keen to be a mother and from the beginning, she was doing her very best to come to grips with how to carry and care for her newborn twins. After the overwhelming first day that leads to the twins spending time in intensive care with GRP staff, the infants were returned one at a time to the mother last weekend.

In both cases, Mee instantly came to pick the babies up. But we knew it was never going to be easy for this first-time mother to care for twins and so GRP staff was offering Mee all sorts of extra food to boost her energy intake and ensure she remained as strong as possible. But there were still difficulties that Mee had to learn to overcome by herself; Particularly when moving around, Mee was struggling to carry both babies comfortably and likewise when she had one of the babies in the right position to nurse the other one would slip down her side and cry, making Mee feel confused and stressed.

GRP staff was doing their best to alleviate the pressure on her by again, during the week, taking one of the babies away to bottle-feed overnight. The next morning, Mee was again keen to be reunited with her baby, immediately coming to collect him.

It is possible that the confusion and stress Mee felt about this whole new situation slowed her milk-flow – or that she never had enough milk for two infants in the first place – making both babies less settled and failing to gain weight. On their last night as a trio, after the most promising day since the twins’ birth, Mee settled for the night with her babies in the right positions on her belly and satisfied staff went to sleep in their hammocks nearby…….but during the cold, early hours of the morning the smaller male infant lost his grip, slipped and fell, hitting his head against a beam inside the enclosure on the way down.

During this tragic morning, it was also decided to take the female infant back into care, since she was showing signs of weakness too. We can report that she has lost some weight whilst with her mum, but that she remains strong and has a healthy appetite. We are hopeful of again being able to reunite mother and daughter in the near future.

baby gibbons……..Awwwww so cute.

  Thank you for reading my blog and a Happy, Healthy, New Year to all my readers and their families.

Until next time…… See you………..x

A New Year is like a blank book! The pen is in your hands! Happy New Year.

Hello and a ” Happy New Year ” everyone.

Good News!

On  Friday 26th December Mee & Payu became parents…….both Gibbons are under the care of the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre here in Phuket and Mee gave birth to twins, one boy and one girl, an exceptionally rare occurrence in gibbons.

There are no known documented cases of white-handed gibbons successfully raising twins, either in the wild or in captivity; they’re simply not built to handle more than one baby. It, therefore, came as no surprise when very quickly  Mee struggled to manage the twins, who were clinging more to each other than they were to their mother. Despite her best efforts to carry them around, the smaller of the two babies eventually fell from high in the trees, fortunately landing on the soft, springy top of the acclimatization cage underneath. Mee quickly came down and picked him up again but neither infant seemed to find the right position on her body and at times she could be seen carrying them in her feet. After several hours, overwhelmed and exhausted, Mee sadly abandoned them both on the roof of the cage.Born 26 th Dec 2014 twins

The staff at the Rehab centre quickly intervened and made a makeshift ICU for the tiny twins.

…………Twins Born @ Bang Pae Gibbon rehab…….The project said…….” Both twins are back with their mother in the forest after their intensive care stint with GRP staff over the weekend!

On Friday afternoon a confused Mee abandoned both her newborns on the roof of the release cage. Because neither infant had been seen nursing all day, staff had to act quickly to ensure their survival and the babies were rushed to the GRP office where they received intensive overnight care. On Saturday morning the larger, female infant was returned to the forest and presented to Mee, who now had been tempted back into the release cage. To our joy, the new mother came straight over to collect her baby and the rest of the day she was seen caring for her and nursing her very tenderly. It appeared her maternal skills had now kicked in properly!

The smaller male infant spent another 24h being cared for around-the-clock by GRP staff, but on Sunday morning it was decided that we would try to see if Mee would accept him back into her care too. We were extremely pleased when this amazing first-time mother came to collect her second infant as well, cradling both of them in her lap!

Although there are no reported cases in the world of a gibbon mother successfully raising twins on her own, the rarity of this situation is unprecedented and advice from gibbon experts around the world has been to leave the babies with the mother as long as both are nursing. Mee’s maternal instincts now seem very strong and she is also being intensively monitored by GRP staff and receiving support and supplemental feeds. She will now have a chance to raise both her babies herself.

It is however clear that neither baby would likely have survived without the staff intervention over the weekend.”

A lovely story with a happy ending...I will have to go in a few weeks and pay them a visit and feel so lucky to live where such wonderful things happen…. that makes you realise that the world is not all bad…… After all the tragedy that has happened over the last few weeks and my thoughts and prayers go out to those affected it is lovely to hear something as heartwarming as this……..

How do I follow that???……… let’s think…can you hear those clogs whirring?

Those of you that had snow were lucky…….but now Christmas is over my thoughts turn to the New Year and what lies ahead and I can’t wait………

Zorbing or Rollerball is where we were on Boxing day…and NO. I didn’t…

SAM_6304…….SAM_6294……..A flying entry and then rolled at great speed down a hill…..  I left that to my grandson,  I think I will stay with my feet firmly planted on terra firma thank you very much.But Aston had great fun as did the other participants…haha I made a great spectator.

Today I am just chilling with a glass of vino and tomoz…Pool Party Time and then 31st we will be bringing in the New Year… BBQ on the beach……Good Friends…Fireworks…Happy Times…Who will have the best firework display London, New York or Australia??????

I would also like to wish everyone who reads my blog an amazing New Year, The families of the Air Asia Tragedy love and to my friends who are sick may you have a speedy recovery and to everyone else Good Health, Happiness, Peace.

Happy 2015.( Pics will follow in the next blog)

Moikka is Finnish for goodbye…how many of you knew that?

Goodbye ( and that’s English) until we meet again in 2015.

Thank you for reading my blog.