Category Archives: South East Asia

A Koh Samui trip may turn out to be your best ever island holiday.

Koh Samui trip

She Sarah Marshall is the content writer for Horizon Homes, a property and relocation company based in Koh Samui, Thailand.  She has kindly written this guest post about a Koh Samui trip I am sure some of jamoroki’s readers may enjoy. When she is not busy at work, she can be seen travelling around Thailand, enjoying the sunshine and food.

A trip to Thailand is not complete without visiting the coastal islands which are rated the best in the world. If there’s one island you cannot miss, it’s Koh Samui. Only 700 kilometres south from Bangkok, Koh Samui is located in the beautiful aquamarine waters of the Chumphorn Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand.

There are roughly 40,000 people who live on the island, making it feel like a secluded tropical paradise. Samui is the second-largest island in the Archipelago and noted as one of the best for doing outdoor sports. There are many snorkelling trips, boating tours, fishing opportunities, and many other nautical activities. We’ve created a guide on what to plan for your Koh Samui trip. Continue reading A Koh Samui trip may turn out to be your best ever island holiday.

What is the truth behind the continuing persecution of the Rohingya?

Latest Rohingya crises update from AVAAZ

Very few had heard of Rwanda until 800,000 people were dead. And right now in Burma, the Rohingya people are being massacred --they’re even beheading tiny children. Shockingly, the army behind the killing is supported by countries like Britain, Germany and Italy

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. (Ghandi)

Myanmar chief of general staff Mya Tun Oo  said at least 160 people were killed in the conflict between the armed forces and ethnic armed groups in Shan during the last three months.
Myanmar security forces are “very likely” to have committed crimes against humanity against Rohingya Muslims in recent months, U.N. human rights investigators said.

Rohingya exodus

It is estimated that 1.5 million Rohingyas live in exile around the world. Recent events suggest that their plight is worsening and there is little likelihood of improvement in the short term. Myanmar’s democratic reforms will not be helped by the continuing humanitarian crisis regarding the Muslim Rohingya minority in the western state of Rakihine (Arakan) bordering Bangladesh. Arakan was neither part of Bangladesh or Burma until 1784 and the Rohingya are natives of that region (approximately 2 million)

Continue reading What is the truth behind the continuing persecution of the Rohingya?

It’s a dog’s life

Shelter Manager’s office at Soi Dog, Phuket

I recently visited Soi Dog in the north of Phuket, Thailand. I wanted to find out more about the non-profit organisation that alleviates the suffering of animals by sterilising and vaccinating dogs and cats. Soi Dog treats sick, injured and abused animals. It also fights the cruel and illegal dog meat trade and shelters and re-homes street dogs and cats. Continue reading It’s a dog’s life

Thailand Diaries – FREE – Available NOW

burlap-wedding-blog-graphic

All 3 Volumes of Thailand Diaries have now been released and are available for FREE download by clicking the book cover icons in the menu bar to your right as you read.

Thailand is, in a word, irresistible.

But be ready for the culture shock and to find out the things you need to know.

Welcome to this captivating and enthralling land. Contradiction, controversy, confusion, frustration, weird language, cultural barriers and mystery will haunt you. When you eventually get over the early shocks, which may actually take years, and you realise that you cannot fix a ‘dysfunctional’ nation without a modicum of help from above you can begin your bumpy journey.

I present my views objectively although, in setting out the ‘pros and cons’ of life in and the mysteries of Thailand, some of my arguments may be viewed as polemic which ‘was absolutely intentional’. I believe there should be, and usually is, a balance to be found in every society and that most cultures and religions may have syncretic elements to their beliefs, to a greater or lesser degree and we are all ostensibly the same if we look behind the mask.

If you decide to read any or all of the books I hope you enjoy them and I would really appreciate it if you posted a review. Your honest opinion is valued.

Now I really must get moving and finish my first novel.

How did ’15 WEEKS’ become an Amazon No.1 best seller in ONE day?

15-weeks-2017
15 WEEKS  has been republished and is NOW available as a FREE eBook. The 2017 edition was only released today and it is already topping rankings at Amazon.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,523 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Travel > Asia > Thailand
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Travel > Specialty Travel > Budget Travel

I am using Pronoun to  publish the 2017 editions of Thailand Diaries – 3 eBooks. Continue reading How did ’15 WEEKS’ become an Amazon No.1 best seller in ONE day?

Fires already?

I have written many times on the subject of atmospheric pollution and although I am taking a break from blogging for a while I cannot contain my emotions when it comes to being exposed to deliberately started forest fires.

While I am managing a building project in Northern Thailand I am staying on the hill slopes of Huai Kaew village, 30 kms north of Chiang Mai, bordering the forests. The climate at this time of year is comfortable. Cool at night and early morning rising to 30c + in the day with no rain except the occasional shower.

But now the burning season starts when the monsoon rains have gone and farmers burn off the dry dead grasses and stubble to stimulate new growth next year around May/June’; then Cutting back excessive growth, clearing land and deforestation for fruit and vegetable farming. Continue reading Fires already?

Are we human?

As Koh Phuket suffers from deliberate crop burning in far-away Sumatra and Northern Thailand prepares itself for the same treatment in February and March each year, I wonder are we obsessed with fire?

Rawai Sunrise – September 2015

Air pollution drifting in from Indonesia changes the landscape in Rawai Bay, Phuket
Air pollution drifting in from Indonesia changes the landscape in Rawai Bay, Phuket

Continue reading Are we human?

Foreign retirees in Thailand – New rules

90 day reporting

Foreigners who live in Thailand on a one year Retirement Visa are now faced with added restrictions on their movements.

The 90 day reporting procedure used to be a routine affair taking a few minutes at any Immigration centre. All you needed to do was complete form TM47, copy your passport and Bob’s your uncle. No fees and no hassle. But now form TM47 is no longer and if, at the time of your check in, you are not in the province of the residence on your Visa you have to get the owner of the premises you are temporarily staying at to fill out some forms. He or she must also provide a rental contract, a copy of his ID and Blue House book. I imagine this applies even if you are only there for one day. Continue reading Foreign retirees in Thailand – New rules

If the jungle doesn't get you the mushrooms will

IMG_0011The villages of Northern Thailand are surrounded by densely forested hills (jungle to the locals). Apart from wild plants and herbs the damp dark tropical forest floor gives birth to numerous varieties of wild mushrooms. Many villagers, who seem oblivious to the possible dangers, still go deep into the jungle in search of the highly prized delicate fungi. The experienced know the terrain and regularly collect mushrooms to sell in the local markets. Cultivated mushrooms are considered a poor alternative to the wild kind. Continue reading If the jungle doesn't get you the mushrooms will

How the Hill-Tribes of Chiang Mai sell their wares

An Akha village, with the traditional thatched...

An example of an Akha village, with the traditional thatched roofs, found in Laos and Northern Thailand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IMG_0034 - Copy
Sunday market at Tha Phae Gate – Chiang Mai. [Jamoroki Art]
Hmong people
Hmong people (Photo credit: rEkOM)

The Hill-Tribes in the north of Thailand are industrious, quiet and respectful people. Theirs is another world away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and rural towns. They live their lives in the mountains, forests and hills that make up most of the landscape of northern Thailand bordering Myanmar and Laos. Continue reading How the Hill-Tribes of Chiang Mai sell their wares