Category Archives: South East Asia

The best way to see Thailand – Excerpt (4)

THAILAND DIARIES – VOLUME 2 – DRIVING THAILAND

Driving Thailand is the second Volume of my Thailand Diaries and is now complete. But before I publish it as my second FREE e-book I have decided to post a selection of excerpts which I hope will encourage you to download and enjoy the whole book.

CENTRAL THAILAND (Part 1)

The drive to Bangkok

The drive from Phuket to Bangkok is peppered with a profusion of greenery and overabundance of tropical splendour. Take two days, break the journey and stay overnight at Hua Hin (550kms from Phuket). The first day is a long one, approximately ten hours driving including stops. You can sleep in a bit because from Hua Hin to Bangkok (150+kms) is about three hours depending on your destination and traffic. Continue reading The best way to see Thailand – Excerpt (4)

Why this year is so bad for Lam Yai farmers

A Lam Yai farm between young rice and mountains
A Lam Yai farm between young rice and mountains

August is annual harvest time for Lam Yai in Northern Thailand. The popular, succulent, aromatic fruit is the produce of forests of sprawling trees in the provinces of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. The month is also the middle of the monsoon but there are enough breaks in between the increasing downpours for the farmers to bring the ripe fruit down. Continue reading Why this year is so bad for Lam Yai farmers

The Best way to see Thailand – Excerpt (2)

THAILAND DIARIES – VOLUME 2 – DRIVING THAILAND

Driving Thailand is the second Volume of my Thailand Diaries and is now complete. But before I publish it as my second FREE e-book I have decided to post a selection of excerpts which I hope will encourage you to download and enjoy the whole book.

Early morning at Rawai Pier
Early morning at Rawai Pier

SOUTH WESTERN ISLANDS – KOH PHUKET (Part 1)

Thailand has many islands in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand such as Koh Pkuket, Koh Samui and Kho Phi Phi. I have stayed or lived, on and off since 2006, in Phuket but, as yet, have not visited any other islands. This section of the book gives a broad overview of a tropical island I love but which unfortunately is becoming overcrowded more and more each year. Continue reading The Best way to see Thailand – Excerpt (2)

How did Thailand escape the poverty trap?

Abundance of food today

When you see the abundance of natural produce that is readily available to the whole population of Thailand it is easy to forget, or ignore even, that many of the rural Thai people, were on the ‘bread line’ less than 40 years ago. Those people now represent 70% of the Thai population and comprise primarily farming families. Fresh food markets abound in the cities, towns (large and small) and villages all over Thailand and they are very busy. Continue reading How did Thailand escape the poverty trap?

How big was the Khmer Empire?

Much has been written over many years about the temples of Angkor but I remember how surprised I was when I learnt how far the Khmer Empire reached and how powerful its rulers were.  You don’t have to visit Cambodia to witness the legacy they left behind. When I went to North-East Thailand to live in 2009 I saw for myself. Continue reading How big was the Khmer Empire?

Thailand's beaches return to nature

A massive clean up operation, by the ruling Military, during June and the first week of July has seen Thailand’s beaches restored to their natural condition. Encroachment on public property and private profiteering have been targeted but whether this is a temporary measure or a permanent move remains to be seen. Continue reading Thailand's beaches return to nature

Why is the Wat so different from the Church?

It would be easy for Westerners to assume that the Wat (Temple) in Thailand is the Buddhist equivalent of the Western village Church. But they would be very wrong. The Wat is not just a place of worship or religious ceremony; it is the focal point of village life. The fundamental differences between the Wat and the Church are their differing  purposes and significance.  Continue reading Why is the Wat so different from the Church?

Is Thailand taking positive steps towards unity?

Bangkok at night, view from State Tower

Bangkok at night, view from State Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Junta to establish reconciliation centres of learning 

In the interests of National harmony Thailand’s Internal Security Operation Command (ISOC) is setting up reform centres across the Country in an effort to unite the Nation in peaceful co-existence, despite differences of opinion.

 I see this as a major move in the right direction by the Military Junta and a positive step towards unifying the people. Continue reading Is Thailand taking positive steps towards unity?

Thailand’s King approves Coup

In a Royal ceremony today Monday 26th May 2014 General Prayuth Chan-0cha will be given formal approval by King Bhumibol Adulyadej to establish an interim constitution and to govern Thailand.   The constitution was suspended last Thursday and former Prime Minister Yingluk Shinawatra was released from detention on Saturday and ordered not to involve herself in any political activity or leave the Country without permission. Continue reading Thailand’s King approves Coup

Could Thailand be facing 'civil war'?

It’s a terrible thought but the fact that Thais are talking about the possibility of ‘civil war’ is extremely worrying. Thailand’s politics are a mess and the Country has a history of coups,19 in all since 1932. So the people, generally, don’t seem too fazed about it as it has happened so frequently. But Thais have a habit of keeping their innermost thoughts and feelings close. Continue reading Could Thailand be facing 'civil war'?