Eugene goes Thailand

Join me, Eugene Tang, as we explore the Amazing Wonders of Thailand

Tourism Authority of Thailand appoints New TAT Governor, Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik

New Governor of TAT, Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) executive Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, who became the new TAT Governor on 22 December, has issued a broad statement of thanks to all visitors who are presently in Thailand, and all those who are sticking to their travel plans in spite of the present state of political flux.

Mr. Thawatchai will replace Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, who has completed his four-year term. Born in Phetchaburi province in 1955, Mr. Thawatchai is the 9th Governor of TAT. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of the East, Manila, Philippines, he joined TAT in 1983 and has since held a number of positions both in Thailand and abroad, as follows:

Director of the TAT Central Region Office Region 2 (1995 – 2000)

Director of the TAT London Office (2000 – 2003)

Executive Director of the Central Region (2006 – 2007)

Executive Director of Europe Africa and Middle East (2007- 2010)

Deputy Governor for Domestic Marketing (2010 – 2013)

TAT is anticipating visitor arrivals of 26.1 million in 2013, and projecting 28.01 million in 2014. Revenue projections are for 1.1 trillion Baht in 2013 and 1.326 trillion Baht in 2014.

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Thailand Stock Photos by Eugene Tang are now available through

Bangkok skyline (DDYXXE) sold by

Dear All,

I would like to thank you once again for your kind support of TourismThailand Blog (

If you are interested in my photography and wish to purchase my stock, I am pleased to inform you that the photos are now available through

Please kindly visit the link below:

Stock photography by EugeneTang at Alamy

Thailand Stock Photos by Eugene Tang at Alamy

The stock library features the best images of beautiful People and Places etc that I have discovered during my own journey in Thailand. As the days go by, more photo images will be added to the library. Meanwhile, join me on my epic journey:

Eugene Tang – A Journey into “The Land of Thousand Smiles”

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Chiang Mai Festivals – Loi Krathong Festival 2013 in seven Thai destinations

Loi Krathong Festival 2013

As the nation is in mourning following the passing of His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, Somdet Phra Sangharaja Sakolmahasanghaparinayaka, the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, TAT as a Thai state-run enterprise expresses its deepest respect and condolences.

Mr. Sugree Sithivanich, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications said, TAT will organise the Loi Krathong Festival since it is an ongoing Thai tradition, but on a more subdued scale. Certain entertainment events may be omitted as deemed appropriate.

This year, Loi Krathong Festival 2013 to be organised in seven major tourist destinations – Bangkok, Sukhothai, Tak, Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya, Samut Songkhram and Suphanburi – from 10 to 20 November:

  • Chiang Mai: 10 – 18 November at Chiang Mai Municipality, Thapae Gate, Lanna Historical Museum in Mueang District.
  • Bangkok: 15 – 17 November at ASIATIQUE The Riverfront on Charoen Krung Road.
  • Tak: 15 – 20 November at the Rattanakosin 200 Years Bridge in Mueang District.
  • Ayutthaya: on 17 November at Wat Tha Ka Rong in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District.
  • Samut Songkram: on 17 November at the King Rama II Memorial Park and Wat Phumrinkudeethong in Amphawa District.
  • Suphanburi: on 17 November at the Tha Chin River in Mueang District.

Meanwhile, TAT has announced the postponement of the Lhong Rak Thale Dao Art & Music or Falling in Love with the Sea of Stars concert, which was scheduled to be held on 9 November, 2013.

The concert has been rescheduled to be held on 13 December, 2013, during 18.00 hrs to 02.00 hrs with its location on Chao Samran Beach, Phetchaburi and participating artists and musicians remain unchanged.

For more information, contact the TAT Call Centre 1672.

International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
1600 New Petchaburi Road, Makkasan, Ratchathevi
Bangkok 10400
Tel: 66 (0) 2250 5500 ext.4545-4548
Fax: 66 (0) 2253 7419
For the latest updates, please visit

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Mobile Sushi Bar (Sakura) at Songkhla Old Town Walking Street…So Cool!!!

Mobile Sushi Bar at Songkhla Old Town Walking Street (Thailand)

Checkout this mobile sushi bar (Sakura) if you are visiting Songkhla Old Town Walking Street (Songkhla Tae Raek) located in Southern Thailand. It operates from 4pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I think it’s a pretty cool ideal to convert a Song Taew, a pickup truck for carrying rear passengers into a mobile sushi bar!!!

Sushi Kitchen on the Upper Deck (Songkhla Old Town Walking Street, Thailand)

Dining on the Lower Deck (Songkhla Old Town Walking Street, Thailand)

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My Favourite Thai-Style Omelette (Khai Jiao or Khai Jeow)

Thai-style omelette (Khai Jiao or Khai Jeow)

Thai-Style Omelette (Khai Jiao or Khai Jeow)) is a comfort food for many in Thailand. It is also a popular street food especially during Songkran Festival where you will find numerous street vendors selling Khao Khai Jiao (Thai-Style Omelette with rice) for 20-25 THB to satisfy the hunger of partygoers. Unlike western style omelettes, the Thai omelette is flavoured with fish sauce (nam pla) and it is super easy to make but a great Thai omelette must have crisp borders and soft center.

It is a perfect meal at any time of day.

Thai-style omelette served with Sriracha Dipping Sauce


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Retreat & TTC in Bangkok – Four Face Buddha of Erawan Shrine

Temples in Thailand

Original image of Four Face Buddha (Erawan Shrine,Bangkok)

The Erawan Shrine or San Phra Phrom located at the Rajprasong intersection, next to Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel is the most popular shrine amongst Asian tourists and locals in Bangkok. From day to night, people from all walks of life come here to seek blessings. The shrine holds the Hindu god Brahma in the center, known in Thai as Phra Phrom. The four-headed deity is a class of celestial beings but not Lord Buddha. The name Erawan comes from Brahma’s thirty-three headed elephant.

Four-Faced Buddha of Erawan Shrine

Classical Thai dancers (Erawan Shrine, Bangkok)

The Shrine used to be a spirit house in the past. Spirit houses are common throughout Thailand, and can be found outside almost every house and building. It protects the land and its inhabitants. The gilded plaster statue was enshrined on November 9, 1956 to ward off bad luck during the construction of the first Erawan Hotel. It is a very significant date for true believers and devotees from all over the world come and pay homage to the highly revered deity every year. In March 2006, the statue itself was unfortunately destroyed by a demented man and a replacement was quickly built in May.


Offerings to Four Face Buddha (Erawan Shrine, Bangkok)

The Four Face Buddha literally has four faces. It is said that each of the four faces represent the elements of the earth that face four different directions. In a clockwise direction starting at the entrance, the first Face which represents the Face of Peace and Health, Face of Good Fortune, Face of Good Relationships and Face of Protection against Evils.

Holy water

Urn filled with holy water (Four Faced Buddha of Erawan Shrine)

Devotees usually sprinkle a few drops of holy water over their heads and shoulders or dropping a couple of coins into the urn after prayer.

Cages of birds on sold for releasing

Cages of birds for releasing (Erawan Shrine, Bangkok)

Merit making has become part of my routine in Bangkok. The Thais believe that we create merit credit for doing good deeds and merit deficit for bad deeds performed. At the entrance of the Shrine, caged birds like Munia are being sold for releasing. I usually pay 100 THB to release a family of birds but not at Erawan Shrine, 500 THB for a cage of birds!!!

There are many who claim their wishes have been granted here, especially on Thursday and devotees offer marigold flowers, coconuts, candles and incense sticks in front of the deity. Often, if a wish has been granted, people thank the God by offering gigantic teak elephants and candles and have also commissioned classical Thai dancers to dance in front of the God.

But even if you do not believe in such things, it is worth the visit to learn more about the Thais distinctive culture and traditions.

marigold needle garland

Price for the dancers to dance for you

2 dancers = 260 Baht 4 dancers = 360 Baht 6 dancers = 610 Baht 8 dancers = 710 Baht . Remember to purchase your offering inside the Shrine because it will only cost you from 50 THB and above.

Visiting Times: Brahma Shrine: 6.00-23.00 hrs

Getting There: Skytrain to Siam Square if you are from the Silom Line or skytrain to Chit Lom Station if you are in Sukhumvit Line.


A devotee offers gold leaf @ Four Face Buddha of Erawan Shrine (Bangkok)

Best Hotel Rates Around Four-Faced Buddha of Erawan Shrine Best Hotel Rates & Availability

Come to coffin donation,you will either catch a cab or motorbike to Ruamkatanyu Foundation situated next to Wat Hua Lampong. The Taoist shrine is situated right above San Yan MRT station (Exit 1). If you are interested to donate some money to the poor, go to Thien Fa Foundation located in Bangkok’s Chinatown (Yawaorat). A beautiful statue of Kwan Yim or the Goddness of Mercy crafted from teakwood await you. For protection, pray to Lord Ganesha or if you are looking for love, simply pray to Phra Trimurti (God of Love) in front of Isetan at CentralWorld.

Four Face Buddha of Erawan Shrine (Bangkok, Thailand)

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Hill Tribes in Thailand – Long Neck Karen Women (Mae Hong Son)

Kayan people

Long Neck Karen Woman (Kayan Village, Mae Hong Son)

Finally, I managed to meet the long necked women in Mae Hong Son province, northern Thailand. I can vividly remember the first time I saw an image of a long neck Karen woman when I attended a themed exhibition titled” Endurance Beauty” at Muzium Negara, National Museum of Kulau Lumpur in Malaysia many years ago. The exhibition celebrated the diversity of tribal peoples and their traditions and culture and the wild beauty of their homelands. Importantly, what is beauty through the eyes of tribal peoples and Mae Hong Son has become my secret dream destination for many years.

Boat Jetty at Ban Huay Dua (Mae Hong Song)

Ban Huay Dua

Pai River (Mae Hong Son, Thailand)

A journey of discovery (River Pai, Mae Hong Song)

A journey of discovery (River Pai, Mae Hong Song)

So far, there is a lot of controversy about their conditions of living and people have written lots of reviews about visiting long neck villages in northern Thailand. Some felt like visiting a “human zoo“. As a photographer, photography offers me an opportunity to see things differently from a different angle. Furthermore, I am interested in ethnobotany, the study of tribal people and their plant medicines, documentary photography and photojournalism and I hope that my photos will speak for themselves.I am here not just taking photos of people but to document the things that I see through art of photography. Living in a fragile world, things are disappearing fast. I remembered seeing lots of Akha women in beautiful native headdress and costumes in the past but now, time has changed. I had to search for them on motorbike in Chiang Rai province last year.

Snaking through river Pai (Mae Hong Son)

Snaking through river Pai (Mae Hong Son)

Long Neck Village along Pai riverbank (Mae Hong Son)

Welcome To Long Neck Village (Kayan) (Mae Hong Son)

Welcome To Long Neck Village (Kayan) (Mae Hong Son)

The long neck village (Kayan) that I visited is nestled along the river bank of Pai surrounded by lush forest and mountain ranges . The village (Baan Hui Poo Kaeng) is easily accessed by road and water transportation. We rented a long-tailed boat (600 THB) from Ban Huay Dua in Mae Hong Son province. It takes you on a journey of discovery into the world of Mother Nature in just 25 minutes where you can find gigantic fig trees, bamboo forest, waterfowls foraging for food along the riverbank etc. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a blue wooden signboard “Long Neck Village (Kayan)” and trays of chilli peppers being dried under the sun. Spices and herbs play an important role in Kayan cooking. Free for the locals but a foreigner like me has to pay 250 THB for entrance to the village.

Cassie Tree (Baan Hui Poo Kaeng, Mae Hong Song)

Cassie Tree (Long Neck Village, Mae Hong Song)

The children peeked shyly at the visitors from the balcony of their wooden stilted home

Long neck Karen woman demostrating the art of Kayan weaving (Mae Hong Son)

Long neck Karen woman demostrating the art of Kayan weaving (Mae Hong Son)

When I arrived at the village of the Kayan ( Baan Hui Poo Kaeng) in the late afternoon, the long necked Karen women wearing colourful head gear were either selling souvenirs or demostrating the art of traditional Kayan weaving to tourists. They are pretty friendly and willing to pose a photo upon requst. The children peeked shyly at the visitors from the balcony of their wooden stilted home. As a tradition, Kayan people place beehives in front of their wooden houses to ensure good luck.

Tourist possing photo with Long Neck Karen woman (Mae Hong Son)

Tourist possing photo with Long Neck Karen woman (Mae Hong Son)

Handcrafted souvenirs from Kayan village (Mae Hong Son)

Textiles weaved by the long neck Karen women (Mae Hong Son)

Textiles weaved by the long neck Karen women (Mae Hong Son)

Kayan tribe girls started wearing brass rings around their necks, as well as rings on the forearms and legs, at age of five or six years. Normally, a Kayan woman carries 5 kg of brass coils around the neck. In the past, it made the women looked more attractive or simply preventing the women from getting bitten by tigers. In recent years, younger women have started removing the coils. Presently, there are 247 Kayan nationals residing in the village.

Kayan tribe girls started wearing the brass coils at the age of five (Mae Hong Son)

Kayan tribe girls started wearing the brass coils at the age of five (Mae Hong Son)

FYI, the Long Neck Karen (Kayan) are a Burmese tribe who reside in Thailand on refugee status. They cannot travel out of their designated area, and must stay in the provincial managed locations unless they had permission from their District Office.

Snacks – Kai Ping (Grilled eggs) (Kayan village, Mae Hong Son)

Snacks - Kai Ping (Grilled eggs) (Kayan village, Mae Hong Son)

Homemade liquor recipe (Long Neck Village, Mae Hong Son)

Chilli - Spice of Life (Kayan Village, Mae Hong Son)

Chilli – Spice of Life (Kayan Village, Mae Hong Son)

It is an eye opening experience to witness the Kayan culture, lifestyle and traditions. As a token of appreciation , I bought a Kayan brass bangle for 100 THB from one of the stalls. Perhaps, beauty does truly lies in the eye of the beholder.

Long neck Karen woman in her daily routine (Kayan village, Mae Hong Son)

Long neck Karen woman in her daily routine at Baan Hui Poo Kaeng (Kayan village, Mae Hong Son)

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200 hour courses: Bloom Your Luck with Mandi Bunga (Floral Bath) Cleansing Ritual at Wat Phakor Suwanaram Temple, Songkhla

Mandi Bunga (Floral Bath) Cleansing Ritual at Wat Phakor Suwanaram Temple ( Songkhla, Thailand)

If you want to get rid off of your bad luck in life and attract success? Visit Wat Phakor Suwanaram Temple for a Mandi Bunga (Floral Bath) cleansing ritual today located in Namom district, Songkhla province. Founded by the late Luang Poo Thong more than 30 years ago, the southern temple is extremely popular with Malaysians and Singaporeans.

A bucket of holy water containg flower petals and kaffir lime (Manti Bunga ritual, Thailand)

The Mandi Bunga (Floral Bath) is a traditional yoga teacher training practiced to ward off evil and illness and to bring good fortune and luck by the Malays, Chinese and Indians in Malaysia. Besides flowers, Kaffir Lime (Limau Purut) and pomelo (Som-O) leaves are commonly used ingredients in the mandi bunga ritual. The Malays and Indians believe that bathing with kaffir lime can dispel evil and bad luck. The fruit is cut and blended with plain water and flower petals and then bathe with as part of spiritual cleansing.

The undecomposed body of the late Luang Poo Thong (Wat Phakor Suwanaram Temple (Songkhla)

After his death in 2000, Luang Poo Thong’s body to this day remains undecomposed is encased in a glass coffin with no preservatives at the temple premises. Since Luang Poo Thong was a strict vegetarian, devotees are advised to offer fruits and vegetarian food only.

Many people who have seen the positive results after taking the floral bath (Mandi Bunga) come back for more and Wat Phakor Suwanaram is one of the most famous temples in Southern Thailand.

Note: Mandi refers to a traditional Indonesian or Malaysian way of bathing and Bunga refers to flowers

Devotees come as far as Malaysia and Singapore (Wat Phakor Suwanaram Temple, Songkhla)

Mandi Bunga (Floral Bath) service at Wat Phakor Suwanaram Temple(Songkhla):

200THB (S$8.11) per session

Time: 5.45am – 8.30pm

Contact Information:

Wat Phakor Suwanaram Temple
Amphoe Namom,Songkhla 90310, Thailand
Phone: 074-382395, 074-382140
Mobile: 081-609 2092, 087-2953656

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Coming Soon – A New Amazing Thailand Clip on Eugene Tang : A Journey into The Land of Thousand Smiles

A New Clip on Eugene Tang – A Journey into The Land of Thousand Smiles

Sawasdee krab! Every journey begins with a single step and I would like to invite you to join me on an amazing journey into “The Land of Thousand Smiles“.

Photography has always been an important part of my life in one way or another and Thailand has the most beautiful and lively cities and tourist attractions in the world. With the kind support and cooperation from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the travel industry players, I have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet many beautiful people and see many beautiful places and enjoy a fantastic array of traditional Thai cuisine and world class accommodation and outstanding services.

Winner- Friends of Thailand Award 2008

The journey began on 2008 with my receiving the “Friends of Thailand Tourism Award”. Every single trip has inspired me to capture those precious moments that can slip by unnoticed and to freeze them in time with my “Third Eye“.

And now, I am pleased to present to you a breathtaking photographic journey into “The Land of Thousand Smiles“.

My Amazing Journey…Once in a Lifetime!!!

Eugene Tang – A Journey into The Land of Thousand Smiles

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New Shopping Destination in Bangkok – Siam Center gets a New Look

Siam Center – The Ideaopolis – Be Amazed/Be Inspired/Be Revolutionary

There is a wide range of shopping malls in Bangkok but if you are into art, fashion, technology and lifestyle, do check out the new makeover of Siam Center. The shopping center has undergone a US$60 million facelift to strengthen and modernise its position and is now the most beautiful and stylish shopping centre in Bangkok. With over 200 brands, Siam Center offers a shopping experience like no other.

Spectacular visual merchandising displays (Siam Center Bangkok)

What’s new in store:

Inside Siam Center, shoppers like me will be blown away by the new interior and the beautiful shop fronts. Siam Center dedicates a large space totalling 500-1000 sqm for use as flagship stores for leading international brands. Each flagship stores comes with glass walls on all four sides, allowing the brand to enjoy the ultimate freedom in decorating the shop to represent the brand’s character to the fullest.

Unique shop front (Siam Center Bangkok)

Around 20% of offerings of the stores and food-and beverage outlets will be unique to Siam Center and only available at Siam Center, while big, fast-forward brands have agreed to present their newest collections in Siam Center before they are presented at any other store in Thailand. If you’re familiar with the Bangkok fashion scene, level 3 is a mecca for local designers.

Siam Center offers a warm and relaxing dining atmosphere

As for restaurants and cafes, a new menu will be exclusively designed for customers of Siam Center while some place will offer a personal service available at Siam Center in the entire region.

A new digital experience awaits you at Siam Center

Siam Centerstrives to be the center of new innovations in terms of digital media creations and multimedia. Over 70 million baht are invested in these technologies such as an interactive catalogue/style guide from which customers can enjoy choosing latest items from the hottest trends, acquring information on products and collections, as well as new style ideas through a new enjoyable digital experience.

Art exhibition at Siam Center

Siam Center has collaborated with world-renowed artists and local talents in producing works as well as display and exhibition of rare art. Whatever the time of year, there’s always something new to see in the Siam Center.

From now on…

“Siam Center isn’t about shopping.
Siam Center is about New Experience.
The Experience You Have Never Experienced Anywhere Before”

Quote: Mrs Chadatip Chutrakul, CEO of Siam Piwat Group

The new face of Siam Center


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TCEB promotes Krabi – The Adventure MICE of the Andaman

Krabi – The Adventure MICE of the Andaman

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) recently combined two familiarization trips, one for media members and the other for corporate executives worldwide known as “Connections Plus 2013“, into a special trip called “Thailand: Connecting Asia’s Diversity of Dynamic Destinations“, to showcase Krabi southern province as an adventurous MICE destination of the Andaman.

Welcome speech by Mr. Nopparat Methaveekulchai, President of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB)

TCEB Media Familiarisation Trip 2013

Apart from the official MICE cities such as Phuket, Krabi is fast becoming an ideal destination for a corporate retreat, conference or event. Located 800 kilometres south of Bangkok, Krabi is one of the cities in the Andaman Cluster which is comprised of Phuket, Krabi and Phang-Nga.

Krabi’s landscape comprises virgin beach fringed with spectacular limestone formations that tower to the skies

Crystal clear waters and long endless strtches of powdery white sandy beaches literally take your breath away

In terms of accommodation, Krabi’s hotels are mostly resorts but the landscape is rapidly changing with additions from many of the international and Thai hotel chains such as the Sheraton, the Sofitel, The Ritz Carton, the Amari, Centara etc.

French elegance and Victorian – Colonial style hotel (Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort)

Phulay Bay accomodations are luxuriously designed with a modern interpretation of contemporary style

Although the infrastructures and facilities for business events in Krabi are not as sophisticated or large-scale, they have attained world-class standard that are able to meet all the requirements of business events. At the moment, Krabi is capable of hosting conferences and events from 50 to 500 delegates and participants.

Krabi reflects a perfect connection between business and leisure

Peace Laguna Resort’s conference facilities

In addition, with its geographical diversity, Krabi has many options for outdoor and adventurous activities such as diving, rock climbing, kayaking and canoeing etc which can be creatively adapted to team building activities, themed dinner events, or pre and post programmes for delegates.

Krabi offers several unique venues to host your guests at a function site they will remember for years to come

such as a candlelight dinner right on the beach

Krabi is served by Krabi International Airport with numerous daily flights from Bangkok, Malaysia and Singapore and Phuket is just a two hour drive by road.

CSR activity at Koh Hong

Indoor and outdoor team building programs available year round

Blessed with awesome natural beauty and geographical diversity, Krabi reflects a perfect connection between business and leisure that is sturdily demonstrated Thailand’s diversity of dynamic destination.

Rocking climbing at Railay Bay (Krabi)

Mu Ko Hong – One of the Best Sea Kayaking Paradise

Thailand’s MICE industry is growing strongly despite the economic crises in Europe and USA. MICE visitor numbers to Thailand in 2012 reached 895,224. Asia market represents 65 percent of all MICE business travellers . In 2012, Thailand hosted a total of 7382 MICE events, 6.84 percent up from 2011.

An interview with Ms. Parichat Svetasreni, Director of Marketing and Corporate Image Department (TCEB) :

As Asian economies continue to grow, Thailand’s MICE industry is expect to welcome approximately 940,000 business travellers to the country, generating expected revenues of 88 billion bath and most importantly, TCEB will continue to further strengthening Thailand’s position as a preferred MICE destination in Asia.

A romantic sunset at Tubkaak beach

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Unique Places other than Koh Phangan. Shop here in Hua Hin – Cicada Market

Visitors and locals enjoying live music performance at Cicada Market (Hua Hin, Thailand)

If you happened to spend your vacation in Hua Hin over the weekend, do checkout Cicada Market. The market is located in a small park, just outside the doorstep of Hyatt Regency Hua Hin or 10 minutes drive from Hua Hin’s town.

Shopping under the starlight (Cicada Market, Hua Hin)

Unique souvenior items (Cicada Market, Hua Hin)

Opened every Friday, Saturday from 16:00 hrs to 23:00 hrs and Sunday 16:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs, the art and craft market is filled with handmade items including clothing, toys, fashion accessories etc and it is a great place to shop for unique souvenirs of Hua Hin. If shopping is not your cup of tea, you are welcome to admire the local art or simply relax and enjoy the live music in the garden.

The market also offers a wide variety of local and international delights that will fill your empty spot in your stomach.

Admission is free for everyone.

Fashion wear made by aspiring Thai designers (Cicada Market, Hua Hin)

Super cool collectable toys await you at Cicada Market, Hua Hin

Portrait artist at work (Cicada Market, Hua Hin)

Art Gallery (Cicada Market, Hua HIn)

You will never go hungry in Hua Hin’s Cicada Market

Unique Places to Shop in Hua Hin – Come to Cicada Market

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My Favourite Thai Dishes – Thai Pineapple Fried Rice by LEE Cafe (Suvarnabhumi Airport Branch)

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice – Aroy Aroy!

Here is another lovely dish that you won’t want to miss! Pineapple Fried Rice (Khao Phat Sapparot) is one of my favourite Thai dishes and it tastes so much better in Thailand. The dish is usually garnished with meat or chicken floss and beautifully presented in a pineapple. In case you missed it, this wonderful dish is available at LEE Cafe located on the 3rd Floor, Terminal Building, Suvarnabhumi Airport. I believe that you will come back for more:-)

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Eco Travel – Discover Nature at Ban Khao Homestay (Songkhla)

Ban Khao Homestay – a little paradise nestled in the middle of rice paddies (Songkhla, Thailand)

All huts come with mosquito netting (Ban Khao Homestay, Songkhla)

Located in Amphur Ranod, northernmost district of Songkhla province, southern Thailand, Ban Khao Homestay is an ideal place to stay for nature and bird lovers. A world away from the hectic city life. Ban Khao Homestay offers native hut accommodations (from 400THB/night) set in the middle of the rice fields. Alternative accommodation can be arranged if there are more than 15 people. The accommodation is very basic inclusive of simple breakfast.

A leisure boat ride on the waterway (Ban Khao, Songkhla)

Look who’s watching you!

With an open mind, I enjoyed every moment of my stay at Ban Khao Homestay such as taking a morning outdoor shower from rain barrels overlooking the deep green rice paddies, it was such a wonderful feeling! One of the great things to do is bird watching but prepare to wake up early in the morning (6am). Thanks to its rich diversity of habitats and wildlife, there is an impressive variety of waterfowl and waders in the territory of Ban Khao Homestay such as the Asian Openbill Stork, Little Egret, Grey Heron etc. The connecting waterways are lined with colourful tropical water lilies in full bloom early in the morning. It is a heavenly sight!!!

A massive flock of Asian Openbill Storks (Ban Khao, Songkhla)

The famous Chinese fishing nets, located in the Cochin/Kochi city of Kerala can be found in Ban Khao (Songkhla, Thailand)

What about food in Ban Khao Homestay? Pee Khao’s wife is an excellent cook and a gracious host. She will prepare you sumptuous home-cooked meals using fresh, locally sourced ingredients that can be enjoyed while relaxing in the open air. The freshwater river shrimps (Goong Mae Nam) from Thale Noi are simply delicious. Must try!!!

Overall it was a good experience and I had the chance to go back to basics of life as well as a unique opportunity to experience life in the countryside. It is the perfect destination to relax and rejuvinate. Last but not least, thank you once again for the warm hospitality and sumptuous meals.

Water lilies yield edible celery-like stalks

A bowl of delicious Tom Yum Goong

Ban Khao Homestay can be visited all year long but the best time is during March to October where the water lilies are in full bloom. Undoubtedly the best time to see the migratory birds such as Redshank is during September to March.

Discover Nature at Ban Khao Homestay

Getting There:

There is no direct transportation from Hat Yai to Ban Khao Homestay. It takes about 2.5 hours drive by car from Hat Yai city. From Phatthalung, head to Thalenoi and use the Sapan Chalerm Phra Kiat 80 Pansa (Head to Amphur Ranod of Songkhla). Then follow the signboard showing direction to “Khuan Chalik”, drive another 4km, you will reach Ban Khao Homestay. If you are coming from Nakhon Si Thammarat, simply head to Amphur Ranod and look out for the signboad showing direction to “Khuan Chalik”.

For anyone taking the public transportation, after arriving Ranod then hire a local motorcycle or truck to Ban Khao Homestay.

My little companion in Ban Khao Homestay, isn’t she cute?

For more information, please kindly contact TAT Hatyai office:
1/1 Thanon Nipatuthit 3 Soi 2
Tel: 0 7424 3747, 0 7423 8518, 0 7423 1055
Fax: 0 7424 5986

My gracious hosts in Ban Khao Homestay (Pee Khao and his wife)

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Her Majesty Queen Sirikit celebrates 81st birthday

Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit

Tomorrow (August 12), Thailand celebrates the 81st birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. The day is also observed as Mother’s Day in Thailand.

On the joyous occasion of birthday of Her Majesty The Queen, I would like to wish Her Majesty The Queen a very Happy 81st Birthday and long life every single day and a Happy Mother’s Day to all beautiful moms out there!!!

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Meditating Buddha Statue (Phra Phuttha Nirarokhantarai Chaiwat Chaturathit) in Phatthalung – A Gracious Gift from His Majesty The King

Meditating Buddha Statue (Phra Phuttha Nirarokhantarai Chaiwat Chaturathit ), Phatthalung

Located in downtown Phatthalung, this beautiful Meditating Buddha (Phra Phuttha Nirarokhantarai Chaiwat Chaturathit ) is one of the four Buddha statues commissioned by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It is a royal tradition to establish directional Buddha images for auspiciousness as well as well-being and security of all subjects.

Phra Phuttha Nirarokhantarai Chaiwat Chaturathit resides in the cruciform pavilion of Wat Sala Daeng (Phatthalung, Thailand)

It is a Buddha image of the South made by the Territorial Defense Department. The width of the lap span is 49 inches and was casted from an alloy of bass, platinum and copper (3:1:1) and other precious metals such as gold and silver donated by the general public, weighing 1400kg in total.

The Buddha Image was enshrined in Wat Sala Daeng in the centre of Phatthalung city on 27 December 1968 and was a gracious gift from the King to the people of Phatthalung. The remaining of the three Buddha images installed at the same time are located in Lampang (North), Saraburi (East) and Ratchaburi (West).

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Exotic Taste of Thailand – Nam Prik Maeng Da (Giant Waterbug Chili Dipping Paste)

Nam Prik Maeng Da is best eaten with fresh or boiled vegetable

Some 200 edible insect species are eaten in Thailand and the giant water bug (Lethocerus indicus) or maeng-da-na is highly appreciated in Thai cuisine for its unique flavour and Nam Prik Maeng Da is definitely one of my favourite nam priks. It is a spicy Thai chili dip that incorporates pounded giant water bugs as the main flavoring ingredient. To me, the dip has a fruity flavour like raw mango. It has a much lighter taste than the traditional nam prik pla ra or fermented fish dip of Northeastern Thailand.

This is an amazing dish with a strong exotic scent. Like durians *King of Fruits* either you love it or hate it!

A bowl of giant water bugs (Lethocerus indicus)

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Thai Festival 2013 from 29 August-1 September at The Royal Thai Embassy, Singapore

Thai Festival 2013 will be held from 29 August-1 September (10.00am – 9.00pm) at The Royal Thai Embassy, Singapore on Orchard Road. See you there!!!

Thai Festival 2013

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