Here are a few pix of Michele Of Patong, she’s posing at Kata
Noi, notice there is NO developement there. Crazy Dave and his
bunch make up the rest of the pix, you can see 7 Seas bungalows
barely in the background. This pix is rare, Crazy Dave rarely smiled
in pix, we caught him having fun!
One of the first expats we met in Old Patong was Maggie McKerron. She’d been living in a wee shack located behind the ThomDee Bungalows where the rice paddy made into a small stream and exited towards Patong Bay.
You could always see Maggie walking up and down the beach, often with her group of dogs, Maggie was a nature lover and all things living. Maggie was kind to all she met, greeting others with her big smile.
Maggie was a Brit, actually born in India, her father worked in a bank in the northern hills there as the British Raj was slowly declining.
Her family moved to Bangkok sometime in the 60s? her father working at another bank, she and her sister finished education there and Maggie moved off to Old Patong, along with Michele, they were few female expat/farangs on the beach then.
Michele was an exPeaceCorps volunteer, she could speak fluent Thai, German, French, as well as Gringoese. She is from New York.
Maggie was a free spirit and mostly kept to herself, she and Michele set up small businesses from time to time, we met them at their little book/sarong shop they owned/worked at just across the street from where is now Soi Bangla.
Michele would go off to India or Indonesia and bring back garments/saris,etc and they’d sell them to the tourist, mostly from the big Patong Beach Hotel, almost all tourist to Old Patong in those days were courtesy of Niccorman Tours, I believe it was a big German group letting those in Northern Europe take a much needed break from their severe winters in a land of sunshine and GREAT food!
Maggie and Michele got by, barely, but they were always figuring out how to get by better!
Michele ran off with Eric The Red, a wily boat captain from Scotland, we wouldn’t see her back to Old Patong for many years.
A picture of myself with Maggie of Patong
Maggie then teamed up with Margaret to sell books and garmets, they soon had plans for Bali where they could get inexpensive stuff to bring back, Margaret was followed there by her Austrian admirer, where they tookoff and left Maggie to fetch for her own!
Such was the way things happened then, and probably now, the life of an expat always seemed to be a sketch of how to make a few Baht,etc.
Maggie was soon back in Old Patong, she’d recently heard of a wonderful place where she was hoping to acquire some land, a place called Krabi.
We talked Dang Valentine into driving us all to Krabi the following week. We stopped at the big Phangna Hotel where the many boats would leave for “James Bond Island”,etc had a quick lunch there, then piled back into Dangs little VW Squareback and next was a small waterfall park just north of Krabi a few hrs.
Finally arriving at Krabi, we stayed the Krabi Beach Resort, then little more than a handful of rather nice individual bungalows along the beach.
The next morning we met “Khun Larry”, this guy had a small tourshop in Krabi town, claimed to have “connections” with the Lord Mayor and could help us in negociations to purchase some rais down the beach that were forsale.
Maggie having been to Krabi before, knew where the land was, we set out for it in a rented longtail boat, stopping by a cave that seemed to have “fertility” symbols made out of the stalagtite/stalagmites, then onto the land and then to the small uninhabited island just off the shore for a quick swim.
Krabi town was a fair size river city, but the beach area to the west of it was really small scale, we only saw Krabi Beach Resort bungalows, there was nothing else there then.
If you haven’t been to Krabi, well…GO SOON! It has the beauty of Phangna with the beaches of Phuket! Many little islands are just off the coast of Krabi Province and I understand there is even a hydrofoil now from Phuket, as well as a ferry to various islands in the area, like PeePee, etc.
We returned to Krabi several times over the next few months, talked a few other expats from Thai Garden Restaurant and Paradise Bar into going also. Although we never bought any land there, Mr Bruce of Paradise Bar did!
Our last trip to Krabi, we got stranded in front of Khun Larrys Tourshop…he sold us some bus tickets back to Phuket, but as we patiently waited outside his shop, ALL the buses went by, NOT one stopping, we finally got a ride back to town from a guy who was going that way, we gave him 500baht, but warned him that if he didn’t drive slow, we wouldn’t pay him[I had read and seen just too many “the driver ran away stories” to put up with this guy broadsliding around hairpin turns at 130kph!].
We lived thru the drive, a car made for 4 people, ofcourse Thai style had about 9+assorted LARGE boxes,etc. We paid him at the Pearl Hotel, immeadiately checking in for a decent shower and a good nights sleep before returning to Old Patong the next morning.
Last I heard, Michele was a big time importer and Guru devotee, Maggie is teaching english somewhere in Northern Thailand[maybe Chiang Mai?].