Monthly Archives: October 2005

Fun at the Temple Fair


The 9 day and 9 night temple fair in Samut Prakan is coming to its end. The last day is Tuesday. If you are in this area and haven’t visited us yet then I strongly suggest you do so soon. It is an experience not to be missed. It is probably one of the biggest temple fairs in Thailand and is apparently the first recorded temple fair. As I mentioned before, it is massive as it takes place on both sides of the river. It only costs about 3 baht to cross the river in a passenger fairy. These boats leave every few minutes throughout the night. I took the above picture from the boat this evening. It is the view as we approached Phra Samut Chedi. Both sides of the river are very beautiful with many colourful lights.


There is a lot to see and do at the temple fair. The best time to go is in the afternoon in order to beat the crowds. By 6 p.m. there are so many people it takes forever to walk a few yards. However, the disadvantage of going in the afternoon is that the roads are not closed yet and so you won’t see any of the smaller stalls that set up in the middle of the road. The bigger stalls are open all day on both sides of the road. You can buy just about anything from household items to fashion accessories.


There are also different games you can play like Bingo and darts. Lots of fantastic prizes to be won. As you can see, these games are always very popular. In the final picture below, you can see one of the hundreds of food stalls which are daisy chained up and down the streets. They are everywhere and there is certainly plenty to eat. Just make sure you don’t eat anything before you leave home. There are lots of things to snack on. Like squid eggs, grasshoppers, roasted chestnuts, mini pancakes and sausages on a stick. There are also many full meals to choose from.  Make sure you leave room for dessert!


The Daily Artist.

Thai people have an exquisite eye for the artistic. This gets reflected in the day to day life at all levels. If we take the market place out in the open, we find there well arranged fruits and vegetables of all shapes and hues. As people come and buy, these things would be in disarray no doubt, but the vendor would again go in to his skills of deft arrangement.

That is why we carry the images of fruits and flowers from the floating market and Chatuchak. Writing in the 60s, the Italian author Luigi Barzini wrote about the Italian fruit vendor who would spend hours in polishing and arranging his apples. The Thai is a little like the Italian in this regard.

In the above photograph, green coconuts are cut with a flat base and arranged one above the other to fit into a small area.

It’s time to visit Thailand Again!

It’s the time to visit Thailand, again.

I have just submitted my annual leave form to apply for holidays to visit Chiang Mai. Mentioning that you plan to visit Thailand to a Malaysian always brings a cheeky look from the listeners. “You seem to be in Thailand during all your holidays if I recall correctly. Are you sure you don’t have a family there?”

The following news that appears in BBC website for the past one week should convince those asking the questions that there are no better places to go for holidays but Northern Thailand for safety reasons.

Iraq car bomb kills at least 30 (30 October)
At least 30 people have been killed in a car bombing in a Shia village north of Baghdad, Iraqi police have said. (Muslim Shia – Muslim Sunni)

Three Indonesian girls beheaded (29 Nov)
Three girls have been beheaded and another badly injured as they walked to a Christian school in Indonesia. (Muslim – Christian)

Deadly blasts hit Indian capital (29 October)
More than 50 people are dead and scores wounded in a series of suspected bomb blasts in India’s capital, Delhi. (Muslim – Hindu)

Five die in Israel market bombing (27 October)
At least five people have been killed and up to 30 wounded in what police say was a suicide bomb attack in the northern Israeli town of Hadera. (Muslim – Jew)

Six dead in south Thailand raids (27 October)

At least six people have died in a wave of co-ordinated attacks in southern Thailand, which officials blamed on suspected Muslim militants.” (Muslim – Buddhist>

Shouldn’t we put Moral first before Religion lest human race will be wiped out of this planet?

Last year, I was in Mae Sot on first day of Muslim Adil Fitri (Idul Fitri in Indonesian). Most of the Muslims there are of Indian or Pakistanis descent. This year, I will go to Chiang Mai Ban Ho Mosque area to see how the Chinese Muslims there celebrates their Adil Fitri. Chiang Mai Chinese Muslims are industrious and very well integrated with Thai life, unlike the Southern Thai Muslims.

I will sing alien-style Thai National Anthem in the market this trip. Chaiyo!

Buy Thai Books!

Sawat dee Krab!

Welcome to my latest bit of blog on one of my most favorite of all things Thai next to Thai food, my books! Sometimes I’d almost rather have my nose in a good book more than even a plate of Pad Grapao smelling all that spicy, basilly Thai goodness. I guess you can say that’s one way to diet!

Long before I became a Thaiphile I was a bibliophile I’ve always loved books and collecting books too. As a kid I was the reclusive and introspective sort so diving into books (at least ones that didn’t bore me) was a natural fit. Would it sound too geeky to say some of my best friends were books? Well they were at least in high school where it was easier to escape into a good book then deal with the pressures of my high schools social life (or lack there of!)

Most of the time things were cool but sometimes constantly buried in a book was an invitation to get the snot beat out of me by some of the Neanderthal jerks at my school. Back then I was into science fiction books like the Martian landscape of Edgar Rice Burrows or Ray Bradbury and Carl Sagans books on science and everything out there among the “billions and billions of star stuff.”. Even though I was a poor student reading those books marked me as being ‘brainy’ and an instant target for those of the knuckles-dragging-the-ground mindset. I can just imagine what my tormentor’s reaction would be to seeing me reading books about Thailand. “You readin’ books on wha’? TIE-land?” Oh I could hear the bad attempts at humor now *shudder*

I didn’t have a clue back then about my adopted country but all that has changed due to my passion for reading. That plus my determined drive to get my hands on anything I could find on the subject! So today I thought I’d write about my collection of books I have on Thailand. At my most recent count I have about one hundred books on darn near just about anything and everything to do with the Land of Smiles. In fact I joking tell folks I probably have the largest privately owned Thai library in DC not counting Wat Thai or the Thai Embassy here. Too bad that’s too big to fit on a business card 😉

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Khanom La


The temple fair is still continuing here in Samut Prakan. The weather has also been improving so I have been able to go out and get some good photographs. As people come from far and wide to sell their produce at the fair, this is actually a good opportunity to see food from other provinces. Today I want to introduce you to khanom la which is a famous product from Nakhon Si Thammarat. There are several versions of this sweet. One is flat and the other tube like.


I don’t have much information yet on the ingredients. One person suggested it contains rice flour, granulated sugar, plam sugar and egg yolk. Honey can also be used. Coconut oil is used for the wok. I will try and update this more later. As you can see from the above photo, the mixture is poured into a can with holes in it. This is then swung above a pre-heated wok in circle motions until a kind of spider’s web is weaved. Less than a minute later it is set hard and a kind of poker is then used to make the tube like end result. It was quite fascinating watching her do this. She was obviously very skilled as she did every step very quickly.