Daily Archives: September 5, 2005

Elephant Polo in Hua Hin

Elephant masters blow the horns during a ritual ceremony at the opening of elephant polo in Hua Hin, southern Thailand Monday, Sept. 5, 2005. The 5th King’s Cup Elephant Polo organized by a group of hoteliers and business sectors aimed at raising fund to help the elephant in Thailand which its population estimated at around 4,000. (AP Photo/Apichart Werawong)

Two teams representing Thai newspapers, The Bangkok Post, Kittipong Thongsombat (in black shirts), and The Nation, Alan ParkHouse (in white shirts), try to hit the ball during the opening match of the fifth King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Prachuab Khririkhan province, 280 km (173 miles) from Bangkok. The fifth King’s Cup Elephant Polo attracted 16 teams from five continents and several horse polo players with 30 elephants. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

The Beauty of Lanthom.

Plumeria, named after the French botanist Charles Plumier, is known all over the world as the pagoda flower or the wat flower. In Thailand, it is known as the Lanthom. This flower is also known as Frangipani after the 16th Century Italian Marquis and perfumer M.Frangipani.

The two main species are Plumeria Rubra and Plumeria Alba. At last count, it had as many as 184 varieties or cultivars.It is known as the Lei flower in Hawaii.The plant is hardy and can survive in dry conditions. At times the whole tree is decked with flowers when all the desiduous leaves are shed. Plumeria can also be grown in vases.

Known as Dok Champa in Laos, Plumeria happens to be the Lao National flower. In a Lao Magazine I found this beautiful Thai Poem:

Dok yoo khai kho chai mai soi long
Praw prasong champa maa chai gan
Muean khon dee yoo tee nai, khai phun sen
Kho mai when khon tam tham khao saan

Khun Tee Tum Mo’s translation runs like this:

Those blooms out of reach will be gathered by sticks
For Dok Champa are so useful
Alike good people though miles away
Will be sought after by many

The metaphor of out of reach flowers with “good people miles away”, seems very appropriate. I hope fellow bloggers in Thailand would post beautiful images of this tree.

Due to ‘Techincal difficulties’….

Today’s blog will be delayed for a day. Those said difficulties namely because Wit here, while dining out at a new Thai restaurant last night, took on more prik kii noo in Pad Gra Pao than he could handle. Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

I spent most of today in bed feeling sick instead of going out to get the scoop on my next blog. Tune in tomorrow for my latest on Thailand in the movies entitled Strange Love!!

See you there…


…now where’s my bottle of Pepto…. 

99 Things Not to Miss in Thailand – Part II

[ Read Part I Here ]

The 99 Things Not to Miss in Thailand List from Thai Airways’ Sawasdee Magazine continues.

21. Italian Cuisine :: Thais have a love affair with Italian food. Perhaps it’s the garlic and the chilli. Perhaps it’s the noodles. Perhaps it’s the similar culture of sharing food and eating with your hands. Who knows! But we love it. And there are plenty of good Italian joints all over town.

22. Cruising Southern Thailand :: Thai Airways offer a 4-day cruise in a traditional junk and sail through the seas of Phuket.

23. Koh Samet :: Island paradise 4 hours from Bangkok by bus and ferry.

24. Hill Tribe Jewelry :: Silver, beads, and polished stones creation for everyday people to fashionistas.

25. Coffee Culture :: We’re not just talking Starbucks, but the Chinese coffee brewing stall on the side of the road. But while we’re talking coffee, it’s Starbucks everywhere in Bangkok. I counted 4 within 1 km radius around my house in Soi Langsuan. And it’s packed all the time with Thais and foreigners alike. Yes. We love our coffee.

26. Village Fair :: local “temple fairs” (ngan wat) and carnivals are fun. Not just games and rides, but traditional reats like folk theater (likay), classical country music (look toong) concert.

27. Songkhla :: The southern province with amazing cultural and architectural blends of Malay, Portugese, Chinese and Thai. The Sino-Portugese style houses in the Old Quarter. The best collection of folk arts in the country at Songkhla National Museum.

28. Old Culture and Modern Life :: Catch the monks walking down the street for alms at the crack of dawn through the modern city.

29. Phuket Vegetarian Festival :: The Chinese Taoist extravaganza held in October features the test of their faith that is self-mutilation i.e. a guy threads copper piping through his cheecks. Beyond the thrill and gore, there’s the wonderful vegetarian dishes in disguise. No, that wasn’t chicken you just ate but the miracle that is flavored and textured soy protiens! I recommend the vegetarian lo-mein.

30. Khon Theater :: You can catch the Thai high art, extravagantly masked and costumed, Khon performance, recounting the tales of the Thai version of Ramayana, the Ramakien, at the National and Chelermkrung theaters.

31. Miss Jumbo Pageant (aka Miss Elephant Beauty Contest) :: Big is beautiful indeed where the prime qualification of contestant is for her to weigh in as close to 100 kg (over 200 lbs) as possible. No, it’s not Thai people being mean to plus sized beauties but this is an event to raise money for elephant orphanage and rescue mission.

32. Thai Haute Couture :: Thai designer labels with a touch of culture and fashion sense of London, Paris, and New York. And priced to match!

33. Koh Chang of the East :: The granite island yields endless beaches, waterfalls, and best-preserved rain forest. Accommodates all from 5-star hotel to rental tents. Don’t confuse this one to the east of Bangkok with the one near Ranong.

34. Edible Bugs :: Stevesuphan mentioned it a few blogs ago. Fried grasshoppers, silk worms, and other creepy crawlies sold on the streets for snacks.

35. Songkran Festival :: See Richard’s extensive blog on the week-long, country-wide festival of water fights!

36. Prawn-zilla :: River prawns of the unusual size? They do exist and are served up in riverside restaurants in Ayutthaya.

37. Nan :: Nan is a quiet small province off the beaten tourist track in northern Thailand. Rich in history of the Lanna Kingdom, dated back to 14th-15th century, and cottage industry of cotton weaving.

38. Phu Chee Fa Summit :: Sunrise at Phu Chee Fa summit in Chiang Rai is unforgettable.

39. OTOP Products :: One Tambon, One Product program of regional arts and crafts provide you with endless options of local products to purchase.

40. Mango and Sticky Rice :: Succulent Nam Dok Mai mango and sweet and fragrant sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and sugar. Drooooool.

Don’t you go away now. We still have 59 more entries to go!