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I just can't fall asleep tonight.  Granted, we had a couple of lazy days of not doing much of anything — paid rent, Tim bought some yarn for her knitting, and we made a brief trip to Nai Harn beach this evening.  I made the mistake of taking a nap earlier tonight so now I'm wide awake (it's just after three o'clock now).

I did manage to upload another batch of photos to my Webshots albums today (six "new" albums).  I'm now just over two months behind!  In that spirit, I wanted to show a few more recent photos here; these were all taken yesterday.  Enjoy.

Your's truly modelling a new shirt my bride recently bought me.  It says "We love the King" (his official color is yellow, signifying his day of birth — Monday; in Buddhism, it is important that you know and honor the day of the week that you were born) and shows the Royal Barge Procession in Bangkok honoring King Bhumiphol's 60th year on the throne.  It is a little tight around the middle as Thai sizes run small for farang.  Still, I love it and it's one of my favorite shirts.

Rawai Beach (หาดราไว) at low tide.  We've actually never seen the water here this low so it was a bit of a shocker (Tim asked "why no water?" and seemed a bit concerned; she now knows that if the water rapidly retreats, it signals an incoming tsunami).  The longtail boats ferry tourists and locals to several uninhabited islands off of Phuket's southern coast.  A nearby village of sea gypsies fish these waters as well and there are a number of great seafood stands and small restaurants in the area (there are miniature tables above the beach at which you sit right on the ground).

Looking south from Nai Harn (ไม่พบคำ) Beach towards Laem Proenthep (cape at the southwestern-most point of Phuket).  The surf is still pretty rough here this time of year due to the monsoons over the Andaman Sea (they'll calm down around the end of October in time for the "high season" of tourism).  Nai Harn is one of my favorites on the island; nice scenery and not so many tourists.  There are many expats living in the area between this beach and Rawai along with many interesting restaurants in the various soi's hidden among the trees.

New temple at Nai Harn.  For some reason, Tim doesn't really like the newly-constructed wats.  Notice the blue flags honoring Queen Sirikit's birthday (today, August 12).  This particular one was patrolled by a number of very loud stray dogs (since the December 26, 2004, tsunami, the population of these "soi dogs" has reached astronomical levels on Phuket and surrounding provinces; the Soi Dog Foundation does good work at treating and feeding many).  At the time of our visit (shortly after 6:00 in the evening), the resident monks were inside chanting the dhamma.  I was too shy to venture inside to take photos...

Detail of portico at Wat Nai Harn.

Lagoon at Nai Harn — a very popular jogging trail rims the water and a nice grouping of houses lie just to the north (for rent and for sale).

My lovely wife, enjoying the Nai Harn lagoon.

We got turned around trying to return to Chalong (ฉลอง).  We drove down the wrong soi and found ourselves on a very scenic road through a grove of rubber trees.  Just after coming out of the forest, we were treated to this view.  The small mountain to the right is Khao Nekkard and the "bump" on it's peak is the base for a 45-meter-tall golden Buddha named Mingmongkol, currently under construction for Wat Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri.  The mountain is right behind our house (by the way, I just found out the actual name of our village is Yot Sane (ยอดเสน่ห์), one of ten in tambon Chalong; in our lease agreement and mailing address, it's written just as "moo 10") and is on the short-list of places Tim and I are thinking about for our traditional wedding ceremony next year.  With Khao Nekkard in view, we headed off towards what we thought was the right direction but soon ended up even more in the boondocks.  We did a bit of back-tracking and ended up back in Rawai just a short distance from the Chalong Circle.  I do enjoy exploring these types of remote roads but would rather do so when we still have hours of sunlight remaining!

I hope you enjoyed these low-res photos.  Don't forget to check out my higher-resolution pics over at Webshots.  I'm far behind but I'm now back into "upload mode" (seven "new" albums just today!); next up will be our "official" engagement photos, taken in Chiang Mai back in May (I forgot to upload these in chronological order but a recent email from my sister reminded me).