Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thailand Tourist Guides


The country of Thailand lies in the southeast tip of Asia, and is one of the most frequently visited countries. It stretches for an area of, extending like a green woolly carpet to the brownish coastal plains. Administratively divided into 76 provinces, the country is full of people from origins of Thai, Chinese and Malay with Buddhism reigning as the dominant religion and a handful of Muslims to complete the list.

Thailand, formerly known as Siam has its capital city as Bangkok. The magnificent country of Thailand is busy with commercial activities and supports an excellent infrastructure, round the clock. Tourism flourishes well and is the reason behind the constant street bustling and busy with all time open shops and malls.
The map of Thailand is beautifully dotted with architectural evidences, magnificent shopping malls, sun-kissed beaches and palm-dotted islands, delicious foods and drinks, exotic hilly villages and other ancient grandeur of ruins. One will be perfectly balanced between comfort and adventure while cruising through Thailand for activities and chilling sensational events are well maintained to tantalize the tourist minds.
Thailand is sprinkled with rivers and canals all over with the Chao Phraya as the most important river, which abundantly waters the whole of Thailand. Dark looming mountains safely border the country, which runs southward along Myanmar. High plains in the east and green forests in the peninsula shared with Malaysia are the prominent features. The land of Thailand is full of labyrinthine roads, which curves itself into natural greenery and produce an awesome feeling in every heart. So its always fun to get lost and discover newness amidst nature. Although industries like tin, fish products, tapioca, textiles, furniture, plastics and electrical appliances flourish well here yet agriculture remains the primary source of sustenance. Thailand amongst other Asian countries is one of the largest producers of rice. The temperature normally ranges between 35 degree centigrade in April to 20 degree centigrade in December. The hot and rainy season dominate the climactic map of Thailand.

Name of country: Thailand
Former name: Siam
Capital city: Bangkok
Area: 517000 sq. km
Population: 62.2 million approx
People: Thai, Chinese, Malay.
Language: Thai
Religion: Majority Buddhism, a few Muslims.
Government: Constitutional monarchy

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lemongrass soup with shrimp (dtom yam goong)

ต้มยำกุ้งdtom yam goong

Probably one of the most famous Thai dishes around the world is the one called tom yum kung. In English, it is sometimes called Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup or Lemongrass and Shrimp Soup. I took the above photograph at Pornsiri Kitchen in Samut Prakan this afternoon. This version has shrimp, but you could also cook it with chicken if you like. The basic ingredients are all the same. Shrimp, straw mushrooms, lightly crushed hot red chilis, sliced galangal, lemongrass stems, torn kaffir lime leaves, coriander, and seasoned with fish sauce, sugar and some lime juice. Use chicken stock to make up the soup. It is very quick and easy to make. In the supermarkets in Thailand, you can buy the starter kit with most ingredients for only about 8 baht!
If you would like to see how this dish was cooked, then visit our free downloads section:

This dish is number 21 in set 3. This video is 13 MB. If you have a slow internet connection or would like a better quality video clip you can now purchase CDs of the downloads. At the same time you will be helping to support the running cost of having so many free downloads! The pad thai video is the most popular one so far with over 1200 downloads in the last 7 days.

Top 10 Thai Street Food

For the last week or so I have been trying to think of my Top 10 for Thai street food. One of the good things about living in Thailand is the easy availability of some of the best food in the world. But this leads to my difficulty of being able to list a top 10. So, what I will do over the next few weeks is produce a "nomination" list first.
The criteria for the first list is food served on the street just around the corner from where I live! I have only included meals, so none of my favourite snacks and no desserts yet. You also won't see any ready cooked food so no curries on the list. All of these will come later.
Here is the list in no particular order:

1. som tam - a spicy salad with shredded papaya
2. khao mun gai tod - fried chicken served on rice cooked in chicken broth
3. rat naa - noodles and pork in a thick gravey

4. ba mee nam - egg noodle soup with wonton

5. pad thai - fried noodles with dried shrimp and tofu

6. johk - a thick rice soup excellent for breakfast

7. pad see iew - pan-fried noodles

8. khao pad - fried rice

9. moo pad krapow - pork fried in basil

10. khao moo daeng - red pork with rice

Well, that is the first attempt. Just reading through it is making me hungry! I will be posting more nominations soon. I will also be going through the list one by one with pictures of the foodstalls and finished product. I will be attempting to cook some of them so I will also be giving you some recipes.
Don't forget to visit the forums to discuss Thai food!

Top 10 Thai Food

I spent most of the day at the Book Fair at Queen Sirikit Convention Hall. The big fairs are usually during the school holidays in April and October. I used to comment that Thai people don’t like reading much (apart from cartoon books), but every year more and more people go to these book fairs. Today was packed and I could hardly move. I bought quite a few books that I will share with you later, but first I want to show you this book which is all about the Top 10 of Thai Food! Obviously one of my favourite subjects. As you can see, the book is in Thai. I think I already have the best of the cookery books in English. Most of them are quite limited and repeat themselves a lot. So, that is why today I was browsing through the cook books written by Thai people. A better selection for sure. I bought half a dozen cook books which will help me a lot identifying the ingredients of street food that I have already photographed. I could blog about Thai food every day, I am just lacking the information sometimes.
Anyway, according to this book, the following is the Top 10 list of Thai Food:

1.Hot and sour soup with shrimp
2.Green curry with chicken
3.Fried Noodles
4.Pork fried in basil
5.Red curry with roast duck
6.Coconut soup with chicken
7.Thai style salad with beef
8.Satay pork
9.Fried chicken with cashew
10.Panang curry

In Thai:
1.ต้มยำกุ้ง (tom yum goong)
2.แกงเขียวหวาน (gaeng kiaw waen gai)
3.ผัดไทย (pad tai)
4.ผัดกระเพรา (pat ga-prao)
5.แกงเผ็ดเป็ดย่าง (gaeng pet bet yaang)
6.ต้มข่าไก่ (tom kaa gai)
7.ยำเนื้อย่าง (yam neua yaang)
8.สะเต๊ะหมู (moo sa-teh)
9.ไก่ผัดเม็ดมะม่วงหิมพานต์ (gai pat met ma-muang him-ma-paan)
10.พะแนง (pa-naeng)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pattaya A great getaway

Just two hours from Bangkok is the beach resort of Pattaya-at once busy and quiet. Spend some time here and you'll discover that pattaya is really a great getaway. From a small fishing village to a major tourist resort, Pattaya has certainly changed colors. It got of a US base at nearby Sattahip. Now the resort can lay claim to the same range of seaside attractions, the same diversity of recreations as this one. Food is great here, especially seafood which you have to try at a beachside restaurant for the sheer atmosphere. This seaside town also offers great international dining experience with restaurants catering to every taste, in every lane and by-lane. The beach is, of course, one of its main attractions. But those looking for peace and quiet could head for nearby Hat Jomtien and Wong Amat witch more than make up for the hustle and bustle of Pattaya.Tours to nearby islands, beaches and sightseeing points abound. In addition there is a full-range of activities for sports enthusiasts-snorkeling, scuba diving, shooting, bowling and great golfing. At night the city comes alive and is ablaze with lights. There is plenty to choose from-restaurants, beer bars, cabarets, pubs, discotheques and tranquil beaches (at night they are tranquil).


Pattaya is easily accessible from Bangkok by car taking only two hours along Bangna-Trad Highway via Bangna, Bang Pakong, Chonburi and Si Racha. Eastern Bus Station at Sukhumvit Soi 63 (390-1230) has air-conditioned coaches leaving Bangkok every half hour from 5 am to 11 pm and retaining from Pattaya every half hour from 5am to 9 pm Bht 77 one way.Hualamphong Train Station on Rama IV Rd (223-0341-8) has a daily train service departing Bangkok at 7am. The train departs Pattaya for Bangkok at 2:50 pm daily. Bht31 one way.


Beaches. As beaches go there are several-from Na Klua to Jomtien. The most famous is the one bordering Pattaya Beach Road and is packed with hotels, restaurants, shopping plazas, and bars. Jomtien Beach is relatively quieter and offers windsurfing, jet skiing etc.Coral islands. Close by are three small islands popular for the clear blue water, the largest of which is Hoh LAN. Motor boat trips to the island take 45 minutes, and often include viewing corals from glass bottomed boats, The other two islands are Ko Sak and Ko Khrok> also nearby are Ko Lin and Ko Phai Elephant Kraal. At the Pattaya Elephant Village, entertaining demonstrations of elephant training, racing, and round-ups can be seen. Mini Siam" The first miniature town in Southeast Asia, Mini Siam is at Km 143 on Sukhumvit Highway, ten minutes from Pattaya. 80 models of places in Thailand are featured, including Crocodile Farm, Phra Pathom Chedi, Victory Moment, and Wat Phra Kaeo. The Million Years stone Park&Pattaya Crocodile Farm, A magnificent natural garden. Forty acres of gigantic, grotesque stones Thai Bonsai over 200 years old and a zoo. Just 15 minutes from North Pattaya. 249347-9 Nong Mooch Tropical Garden. 20 minutes from Pattaya on Km 163 is this 500 acre park with Thai-style houses, orchid and cactus gardens, and a large artificial lake. If time permits, catch the daily cultural and elephant shows.Phra Tamnak Hill. Phra Tamnak Hill is at the southern tip of the bay, and offers the most panoramic view of the curved Bay of Pattaya.Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. A fantastic place for the family. It boasts over 300 fascinating exhibits including the SOS messages from the ill-fated Titanic. It also includes Motion Master, Moving Theatre, two motion picture cinemas plus a Lazer Tag game and a hitch bumper car ride, 3rd floor, Royal Garden Plaza. The entrance fee is Bht 150 for adults and Bht 100 for chidden. Open daily from 10 am till midnight.Sriracha Tiger Zoo. The zoo has over 80 tigers besides other animals, Open daily 9.30 am - 6.30 pm. 341 Moo 3 Nongkham, Sriracha, Chonburi. 296556-8.Snake Show. For a really thrilling and interesting experience, visit Pattaya's Snake Show. Pythons, cobras and kraits are on show. Open daily 8.00 am -9 pm. 10/20 Moo5, Soi Noenphapwan, Nongprue. 945-297-8Tiffany's Show. Asia's most spectacular stand-in cabaret comes to life every night at Tiffany's Sixty transvestite dancers in stunning costumes and in memorable song and dance sequences perform with a touch of flair and comedy. Dailyashow time: 7 pm, 8:30 pm and 10 pm. North Pattaya, 2nd Road. Tel 429-642, 421-700-3Shopping. Pattaya Beach road is jammed with several shops for beachwear, souvenirs, liquor, jewelry, silks, Thai handicrafts and just about everything else. Or you can shop at department stores and shopping plazas like Royal Garden Plaza, Central Shopping Center, Mike Shopping Mall, Lotus Supermarket and Big C.

Chiang Mai The Northern Rose

Chiang Mai or the rose of the North is a city with a history and a popular. Tourist destination. A perfect holiday spot with good accommodation, great food, excellent climate and friendly people.
King Mengrai built the city of Chiang Mai in 1296. Historically speaking, Chiang Mai succeeded the nighnouring Chiang Rai Kingdom of King Mengrai. The king, who was the Prince of Nan Chao (in what is now southwest China), had earlier conquered the post-Dvaravati kingdom of Haripunjaya (modern Lamphun) in 1281. In the 13th and 14th centuries Chiang Mai became a part of the Lan Na Thai kingdom (the kingdom of a million rice fields). In 1556, the Burmese captured the city once again the first time was in the 11th century during the reign of King Anuruddha of Pagan. In 1775, the Thais recaptured it under King Taksin. As a result of these long occupations Chiang Mai architecture today shows a great deal of Burmese influence. The city is still small enough for one to getaround by bicycle-which gives it a ratherprovincial, relaxed air there are other pluses-pure Clean air and almost no traffic jams.Popular tourist attractions include Buddhist temples (of which the city has over 300 at the last count and the remnants of the moat and fortified gates, which bound the old city.This mountain getaway is also a convenient jumping-off point for treks, hill resorts, river rafting and scenic nature trails. The best time to visit Chiang Mai is from November to February, which is the cool season. The hottest month is April and the wettest September.


Begin at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the biggest of Chiang Mai's tourist attractions, 16 kms northwest of town. Leading up to the wat is a 300-step staircase with sinuous naga side-railings. The temple, in its scenic location, is important both historically and architecturally. On the same leg of your tour, drive on to Phu Ping Palace, the winter palace of the royal family the gardens of the palace are open to the public during weekends and holidays. Wat Chiang Man. One of the finest examples of northern Thai architecture, it was built by King Mengrai in 1296. The wat has massive teak columns, and a marble Buddhist bas-relief that stands 20 to 30 cms high. This sculpture is believed to have originated in India or Sri Lanka some 2,500 years ago. Also of interests is the 10 cm-high Crystal Buddha. Wat Chedi Luang. The temple structure was built in the mid-15th century, and was severely damaged in either the 16th or 17th century. It is in a state of partial ruin, but is greatly revered by locals. The wat also plays a part in local Buddhist history, with the story of the Emerald Buddha being sited here in the late 15th century figuring prominently.Wat Kuu Tao Dating back to the early 17th century, the outer wall feature amusing sculptures that enlivens the otherwise staid temple architecture. With its spheres that diminish in size towards the top, the chedi of Wat Kuu Tao is unique in the region.Wat Phaya Sigh is Chiang Mai's best known wat. Construction of the wat began in the middle of the 14th century, with the viharn being completed by the end of that century, and bot by 1600. The wat takes its name from the Phra Singh Buddha image, which dates back at least 300 years and is supposed to have originated in Sri Lanka. However the statue's travels are clouded in a mist of uncertainty; a fact that heightens the myth surrounds the statue.Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre on Chiang Mai-Hang Dong Road, is the stage centre for Lanna Thai cultural performance with a Khantoke dinner, the northern traditional style dinner. Objets d'art available for sale.Ban Rai Phai Ngam is a village of weavers famous for its cotton woven in the old style, To the left of the Chiang Mai Hot route Km68, about 4 kms off the main road.


Nature has a lot to offer in Chaing Mai.Doi Inthanon National Park is the highest peak in Thailand and one of the best equipped to welcome visitors offering marvelous scenery. There are several waterfalls in the park, Most well known is Mae Klang Waterfall.Doi Pui Tribal Village of Meo iss about 4kms from the Phu Phing Palace. Just and hour from the city, it offers a wonderful view of Doi Inthanon and handmade souvenirs.Doi Ang Khang is a demonstration site for cultivating exotic vegetables and flowers under the patronage of His Majesty the King. Haui Nam Dang National Park commands a breathtaking view of seas of mist, flower beds and tribales villages, It is about 60 kms along the Mae Malai-Pai Highway and then 6 kms on turning right On the same route is Haui Nam Roo (Sam Mueng), offering several tourist attractions such as Lisu villages, a huge opium field, coffee farm and fruit cultivation.There are several resorts mostly built in traditional Northern style: Chiang Mai-Erawan Resort, Mae Sa Valley, Kangsadan Resort, Royal Ping Garden and Resort Chiang Dao Hill, Ksisda Doi and many more.


Besides temples, there is a lot to see in this city. Tribal Research Institute is the place OT go to if you are interested in getting to know more about the several getting to know more about the several and quite different hill tribes of the region The institute is located on the Chiang Mai University campus, and has a small but excellent hill tribe museum, which features among other thins-hill tribe crafts and literature on the tribes. The crafts and literature on the tribes. The museum is open Monday to Friday, from 8.30 is to 4.30pm.Chiang Mai Arboretum. Next to the Chiang Mai University, very attractively landscaped gardens.Orchid Farm and Butterfly Farm. Along Mae Rim-Samoeng Road at Km 3 is the centre of all northern orchids. Two nearby orchid farm, Mountain Orchid and Sai Nam Phung Orchid Nursery grow the Queen of the Forest that blooms all year round. On Km 4 Mae SA Butterfly Farm has all types of butterflies.Elephant Shows. At Km 10 on the Mae Rim-Samoeng route. Every morning trained elephants demonstrate their formidable and highly valued forestry skills at Elephant Training Centre. On the same route at Km 19, elephants can be seen at the Pong Yaeng Elephant Centre also. Chiang Dao Elephant Camp is a riverside enclave, at Km 56 on Highway 107, featuring daily shows of elephants at work and elephant rides.

Islands Guide

Phi Phi Islands : The name refers to the mangrove wood found there. Six Islands are in the group; Phi Phi Don,Phi Phi Ley, Biddah Nok, Biddah Nai, Yung, and Pai; total area is 42 square kilometers, They were incorporated into the national park in 1983.

Panyee : This small island has a picturesque village, which rests precariously on small pilings and extends out across the water. It is inhabited chiefly by Muslim fisher folk, whose unique culture has existed, cut off from the mainland and most modern amenities, for more than a hundred years. Souvenir shops and seafood restaurants cater to visitors.

Phang-nga Bay was declared a national park on April 29, 1981. It lies in the districts of Phang-Nga Town and Takua Thung and the total area is 250,000 rai (1 rai = 1,600 sq. meters). Most visitors are intent on viewing Phang-Nga Bay's bizarre landscape, which includes more than 120 singularly strange looking islands. Places of interest within the National Park include: Koh Panyee, Khao Pinggun, Tham Lod, Koh Hong, Koh Khai, Koh Kien.

Raya Island: is the major island in Andaman Sea. Raya Island is best suited to thouse who love a solitary life and want to have a touch of peacefulness at sea.

Similan Islands : A group of 9 small islands 50 kms. off the west coast of Phang-Nga in the Andaman Sea. It can be reached in about 10 hrs by boat from Phuket or 4 hrs from Thap Lamu Port or Takua Pa in Phang-nga.

Coral Island or Hey Island : This island of Phuket's south coast is so well known for its coral reef that it is often referred to simply as Coral Island. in addition to the splendid reefs there are two fine beaches on the north and west. Hey island is part of a marine preserve, but accommodations, restaurant, various watersports, and diving are all available. Boats leave from Rawai beach and Chalong bay. There are also package tours available.

Surin Islands : The five islands are : Koh Surin Neua, Koh Surin Tai, Koh Ri, Koh Kai,andKoh Klang. The two large islands, Surin Neua and Surin Tai (which mean, respectively, north and south) have ten bays in which coral gardens are found.

Lanta Islands National Park covers 152 square kilometers of Lanta Islands. This island forms the most southern district of Krabi Province. It was known long ago by its name in the Malay language, Pulao Satak, which means Long Beach Island. Later so many Thais, Both Buddhist and Muslim,came to live on island that there seemed to be a million eyes, which is what some people think Lanto menas in Thai. Others hold that the name is corrupted from Javanese lan tas, and means a fish grill (which is built of wood with a square grill on top where the fish are set in a circle). Several important islands are in the national park.

iPhone 3G

Introducing iPhone 3G. With fast 3G wireless technology, GPS mapping, support for enterprise features like Microsoft Exchange, and the new App Store, iPhone 3G puts even more features at your fingertips. And like the original iPhone, it combines three products in one — a revolutionary phone, a widescreen iPod, and a breakthrough Internet device with rich HTML email and a desktop-class web browser. iPhone 3G. It redefines what a mobile phone can do — again.

iPod classic


With 80GB or 160GB of storage,1 iPod classic gives your music and video room to move. It also has plenty of energy (up to 40 hours of audio playback2), good looks (a sleek, all-metal design), and a great personality (a brand-new interface with Cover Flow). In other words, iPod classic makes an ideal companion. Why not get to know it better?

1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less.
Testing conducted by Apple in August 2007 using preproduction hardware and software. Rechargeable batteries have a limited number of charge cycles and may eventually need to be replaced (see Battery life and number of charge cycles vary by use and settings. See for more information.