Monthly Archives: June 2009

Fruit Festival at Ancient Siam

If you are planning on visiting Ancient Siam (Muang Boran) in Samut Prakan this week then be sure to check out their festival for “Fruits from the Four Regions of Thailand”. The aim is not only to promote the different fruit found around the country but also to encourage people to help Thai farmers by buying Thai fruit. The fruit festival runs from 20th-28th June 2009. There are also stalls selling OTOP products that have been locally made.

I went to the opening ceremony at the weekend which was attended by Samut Prakan Governor Mr. Kwanchai Wongnitikorn. He is seen here visiting some of the fruit vendors and sampling the fruit. There was a lot on offer which included longkong, kraton, sala, rambutan, durian, dragon fruit and mangosteen.

My favourite fruit at the moment is the dragon fruit. A lot of this fruit you can buy at supermarkets like Big C and Tesco Lotus but the price won’t be as good. The dragon fruit here is 20 baht per kilo but I bought some last week at the supermarket where it was 39 baht baht per kilo. It is not worth coming here for a special trip, but if you want to visit the Ancient Siam this weekend then it worth buying some fruit here.

I also bought some of this dried fruit which apparently hasn’t had any sugar added. I have posted some more pictures of the opening ceremony over at the ThailandQA Forums. Visit for more information on Ancient City with details on how to visit.

How You can help fund the PAD and ASTV!

Beyond a doubt, ASTV, backed by the People’s Alliance of Democracy (PAD) has escalated in popularity more than any other TV channel in Thailand in 2009. This is due of course to precise unbiased news reports which particularly penetrate the essence of Thai politics and offer the audience a real chance to get the real facts. The opposite to the now defunct UDD red-shirt channel which did nothing but spout out pro-Thaksin propaganda.

Since most foreigners would like to thank the PAD for ridding the country of dictatorship by means of raiding and closing Bangkok international airport last year (so offering foreigners a free extended stay in the Kingdom), thai-blogs will give inside knowledge on how you as a foreigner, can join hands with tens of millions of Thai folk and help fund the PAD and their groovy TV channel; while at the same time helping to preserve the environment, promote Thai Buddhism and stay healthy!

Join Thailand Watch Foundation (TWF)

By joining the TWF, you will become a member of a foundation focused on protecting the country from dodgy corrupt politicians besotted only by earning self-gain. For the yearly membership fee of just 300 Baht you will also receive 4 issues of the Thailand Watch Foundation magazine. Or, wait for it……. the foundation is now offering a special promotional package, where for only 1,300 Baht members will also receive a precious TWF edition Jatukham amulet. A similar amulet worn by PAD’s brave leader Mr Sondhi when he survived an assassination attempt where more than the 100 bullets fired at him mysteriously failed to hit the desired spot.

(PAD founder Maj-gen Chamlong giving his thumbs up to ASTV’s revolutionary new fertilizer in a groovy TV commercial campaign)

Purchase a Special Edition Buddhist Amulet

The producers of ASTV have been working around the clock for months to promote Buddhist amulet ceremonies where devotees of the monkhood can be blessed by some of the nation’s most revered monks and earn karmic merit and good luck by purchasing a Buddhist amulet. Some of which have epic scenes of PAD’s occupation of government house embedded on the back. Perhaps most revered of all though are Luangta Thuad amulets; yes… the same monk amulet which Sondhi claims mystically protected him during the horrific assassination attempt.

Apply KwanDin Organic Fertilizer

Encourage super-healthy plant and fruit growth by using only KwanDin organic fertilizer, a revolutionary new tool in the field of farming. In contrast to rival brands, KwanDin does not have any adverse effects on the Thai environment and has already won the thumbs up from international eco-friendly organizations. The biggest thumbs up nevertheless comes from one of the PAD’s glorious founders Maj-gen Chamlong. Showing his total support for KwanDin, Chamlong has authorized a comic-style portrait of himself giving the fertilizer a huge thumbs up on each TV commercial; one that is played every 15 minutes on ASTV.

(ASTV rice… simply delicious!)

Eat ASTV Organic Rice

Grown in the country’s north-east, ASTV organic rice farms are void of all those nasty chemicals which can be found by the gallon in Thailand’s other rice fields. With the assistance of Sondhi’s very own Manager newspaper, ASTV is now offering PAD fans the more than profitable opportunity to invest in their organic rice business. According to latest reports, a kilogramme of ASTV organic rice can be bought at just 110 Baht and sold to customers at 115 a kilo. Therefore, assuring a whopping 5 Baht profit on each sale.

Use Yellow Plus Washing Powder
In co-operation with some of Thailand’s top scientists, the ASTV have invented a brand-new washing powder which makes mockery of its rivals. Unlike popular Tesco-Lotus brands which leave your yellow shirts with a red tint after you put them in the washing machine, Yellow Plus ensures that your yellow PAD shirt will be even yellower than it was previous to washing. Again, Yellow Plus is totally eco-friendly.

According to the latest Bangkok Post on Sunday, ASTV are about to launch their very own soy sauce brand, but very unfortunately the author of this blog was unable to find any info on the Net.

Let it be known that has in no way received any payment from either the PAD or ASTV for this raving write-up. Unlike of course, Thaksin funded pro red-shirt blogsites.

Sister chedis from ancient times

Long before Chiang Mai was founded some 700 years ago, the Mon people set up the legendary kingdom of Haripunchai in the area that is today known as Lamphun.

Wat Chammathewi (also known as Wat Kukut) dates back to the 8th century. The spire on top of the chedi is said to have been lost during an earthquake, hence the alternative “nickname”. According to the chronicles, the founder Queen Chammathewi is enshrined in the magnificent five-tier Suwanna chedi itself. Some of the Mon-style Buddha images are in good condition, showing the posture known as “dispelling fear”. They are more robust than later depictions, and the robe somehow appears transparent.

There is a smaller, octagonal chedi beside the temple hall, which is about 700 years old. Respectable old age at this climate – even if you consider all the maintenance and restoration needed over the centuries.

It is a peaceful temple with a beautiful garden, approximately one kilometre outside the town moat.
Lamphun is less than thirty kilometres away from Chiang Mai, easily accessible as a daytrip by local bus, train or songthaew. There are few tourists around.

In the Chiang Mai area, ruins of temples and chedis with Haripunchai influence can be visited in the Wiang Kum Kam historical park. Even though it is only a few kilometres south from the city’s bustling night bazaar, it is like a little village, with herds of goats munching on the grass surrounding the ruins of ancient chedis and horse carts taking visitors from temple to temple. All the ruins were found under a thick layer of silt just a few decades ago, long lost and almost forgotten after the river suddenly changed its course during the Burmese occupation.

Wat Chedi Liam (Liem) is a replica of the chedi in Lamphun, constructed during the Mengrai era (13th century), when the city itself was founded. It was renovated in the 1980s.

You may clearly see from the photo that the sixty Buddha images are relatively new and intact; however, it does not take away from the ancient feel of the monument. The photos were taken shortly before sunset, when the images almost come alive in the strong, colourful light. This is my favourite time to take pictures, the only problem is that it is over very quickly.

Wat Chedi Liam is for some reason really difficult to find. All signs to “Wieng Kum Kam” take you to Wat Chang Kham, the other major temple in the park. I would never have found the chedi without locating it on a map before setting off. The best way to approach it is from the superhighway. The turnoff is about 200 metres before the bridge (you need to approach from the east), with a large sign saying “McKean hospital”. Go straight ahead and ignore the “Wiang Kum Kam” signs trying to send you off to the left, and you will be in front of Wat Chedi Liam within two minutes. It is actually right on the eastern bank of the Ping river.
I posted a map at the forum.

As for Wat Chammathewi, my favourite route to Lamphun goes on the western bank of the Ping river. It is a scenic road with surprisingly little traffic, passing by plantations, villages and offering great views of the meandering river. The turnoff to Lamphun is not signposted, you need to keep an eye on your meter and cross a bridge after 30 kilometres or so, then drive straight ahead. The road passes by Wat Chammathewi as you approach the town centre. It is also easy to proceed straight on after visiting and reach other sights of interest, including the Haripunchai National Museum, which gives a great overview of the era that gave us these two “sister chedis”.

How to cook… Stir-fried Chicken with Garlic Plant

The Thai food recipe we have for you this week is Stir-fried Chicken with Garlic Plant. In Thai it is called “kai phat ton kra-thiam”. As you can see in the picture below, there are only two main ingredients: chicken and garlic plant. This needs to be sliced diagonally and washed.

Heat some oil up in a pan and when it is hot add the chicken. Add some stock so that it doesn’t dry out. When it is nearly cooked add the garlic plant. Season with oyster sauce and light soy sauce. To thicken the sauce, you need to add an equal amount of corn starch and water. Taste again and add more seasoning as desired. We will have another Thai Food Recipe for you next week at and

Is it time to Wear a Mask?

When I see images like this I usually think of Japanese kids who often wear masks when they are ill or when they are concerned about catching a contagious disease. However, I took this picture this afternoon here in Thailand. The number of cases of people infected with the A/H1N1 virus has gone from a trickle to almost a flood overnight. In one discotheque alone in Pattaya, a staggering 17 workers have been found to been infected. Since then, a hundred or so new cases are being reported every day. At least half a dozen schools are being closed. Other work places are being told to inform public health officials if more than three people in one place become infected. The government are now moving into high gear. The Ministry of Public Health will now be holding a press conference every day. The Bangkok administration ordered a “Big Cleaning Day” on Monday. Leaflets were distributed and the public was told on how to avoid an infection. Should we now be panicking?

At this moment in time, the flu virus in Thailand and much of the world is not that serious. We presently have 310 confirmed cases which is much lower than some other countries. No-one has died either. The Thai government has been doing a good job of containing the situation. Thermal scanners were installed at the international airports. Their educational programme also seems to be working. People are certainly listening. The instructions passed down to our school include wearing masks if ill, visiting a doctor for any flu-like symptoms and thoroughly washing hands and face often during the day. We also took part in the “Big Cleaning Day” and the students and teachers took an hour off from studies to give the school a good scrub down. It is undoubtedly going to get worse before it gets better. However, at this moment in time, there is no reason to panic or be concerned. The strain presently in Thailand is curable. There is no reason to cancel holiday plans if you are about to fly to Thailand. We are still open for business.

For all the latest news about the A/H1N1 virus in Thailand visit the Paknam Web ThailandQA Forums.