Author Archives: mshotze

Company’s New Year Party – Thai Country Style

December is a month for memorial of Tsunami and time for celebration. Most of companies often held the New Year Party within this month. Some companies may have big budget for celebration but some do not have that much budget to spend for their staffs. Everything depends on companies’ profits.

Each year, New Year party will be different styles, which depend on the organizer of the party. For this year, the company where I am working had set the theme for the New Year party as “Thai Country Style: Sense the ground and grass”. People may wonder what Thai Country Style is. The definition of Thai Country Style is wearing colorful dress and floral printed dress. The best example for Thai Country Style Dress is watching “Yham” movie. For male dress should be colorful floral printed tiny shirt with jeans or Thai fishery pants and the most important accessory, that is Thai loincloth. While female dress is colorful dress, top and pants/skirt should be in contrastive color. Wearing contrasting color and mismatch dress seem to be one of principle rule of Thai Country dressing.

Not only the dress that create the Thai Country Environment but also the surrounding. The organizer had set the rental area to be a kind of mini Fun Fair; in Thai we call “Ngan Wat”. It may assume that the name of “Ngan Wat” is related to the place where the fun fair takes place is temple and decorated with various color of neon fluorescent lamps. At “Ngan Wat”, people can find many booths for playing game and selling food and drinks. For example, “shooting booth” for shooting cans or dolls, when your shoot and hit the target you will get the award (doll); “Sao Noi Tok Nam” is the booth provide a tank and girls sit on the wooden beam, girls will sit next to the target for shooting a ball, when the ball hit the target, a girl will fall from the beam and get wet; ballroom for dancing with female dancer; and Ferris Wheel, which seems to be a symbol of “Ngan Wat”.
fun fair

It is difficult to find “Ngan Wat” in Bangkok or in the big cities. Assumed that people who live in the big cities prefer to go to the shopping mall rather than going to “Ngan Wat”.

As I ever visited the Hamburg Fun Fair last year, I think “Ngan Wat” and Fun Fair of Farang tend to be similarity only different people and location. At Hamburg, there were candy shops, French fries shop (Denmark flavor), Ghost House, Ferris Wheel and so on. Almost every food shops provide draft beer because German is a land of beer. While “Ngan Wat”, people can find “Ya Dong” or homemade alcohol/liquid with herbs contain in vessel/jar.

Ya Dong

However, I found the fascinating of Hamburg Fun Fair, which is the theme of the fair, it creates each theme for each year. Last year theme was “Love’ and it provides some bulletin boards for people to post their personal advertisements such as looking for male/female and etc. Also you can find your (soul) mates at the ballroom where the meeting place is. It sounds fun for single people to have a blind date at the fun fair.

Let’s get back to our Fun Fair, our department were bound to wear the colorful dress in team in order to present our harmony. Our marketing staff and myself went to find the mismatching dress at Pratunaam (Water Gate), where provides the cheapest clothes especially for wholesales (minimum 3 pieces). We got what we desired, floral printed shirts for male staffs and colorful sleeveless blouses with floral printed pants for female staffs. It costs around 150 baht for each person with the Thai Country Look! It rewinds the time back to 70’s!

thai country dress

Party started with music, appetizers, food & drinks and performance of in-house staff and hiring outsource. I have to salute for in-house staff performance because they are not the professional but they can express their hidden talents when they perform on the stage. Such a brave staffs!

Have you ever seen cabaret show? In Thailand, there is one significant cabaret show that different from normal cabaret show that look elegant and magnificent, while “Pak Bung Cabaret Show” collect all weird shemales and form as a funny cabaret. This cabaret focuses on entertaining the audience with the ugly/disgusting faces and funny look. They can make us laugh our ass out!

Pak bung cabaret

Finally, the highlight of the New Year party seems to be lucky draws for the lucky staffs with several of award such as money (5,000 -60,000 baht), TV, digital camera, microwave, fan, and golden necklace. Feel glad with the lucky man who gets the biggest prize, which is 60,000 baht.

The party ended with marathon dancing. I have never stayed until the party ended. My husband came to the party and had some drinks and then we went back home.

Sunflower Field Sightseeing

Around winter, it is the most suitable time to make a trip to see the beautiful color of flowers. I am going to talk about visiting to Sunflower filed where locates at Saraburi province. It does not far from Bangkok so we can make one-day trip. At this time, there are many sunflower fields waiting for your visitation and admiration.

Normally, the sunflower festival will starts around August to January. Most of Thai tourist may set their visitation plan around December because we have many holidays within this month and the weather is very good.

Tip for sunflower field trip is making a trip in the early morning so that you won’t get burnt under the intense sunshine. We arrived at Saraburi around noon and we drove along the road just to find sunflowers field.

Finally, we found the field where we can see sunflowers in every sight and behind the field there are mountains. Feeling the sunshine and the sunflower were standing straightly and challenged the sun. Look upon the bright beautiful sky above the mountains and sense the smell of dry soil. It was a beautiful sunny day. We can feel the winter wind blew sometimes. Overall scenery look like someone’s painting. Just the two of us were surrounding by the yellowish sunflowers. How beautiful it is!

sunflower field

After enjoying with the beautiful sunflowers, my husband wanted to see waterfall. There is a famous waterfall in Saraburi, that is “Little Seven-girl Waterfall”, in Thai we call “Namtok Jed Sao Noi” – “Namtok means waterfall, “Jed” means seven, “Sao” means girl and “Noi” means little, few or young. On that day, it was very crowded and we can find many people in every place. As I noticed there were many kids swum with their enjoyment. Parents sat on the mat, ate foods and watched their kids. So it is fine for some families who intend to take their families for having a one-day trip and enjoy the waterfall. We just took a look at the waterfall and went back to our car. My husband was a bit disappointing because he think the waterfall should be higher and more beautiful than this (where should be “Tee Lor Su” waterfall at Maehong son Province).

At Saraburi, you can find “Curry Puff” shops along the street. It is very famous snack and it seems to be Saraburi’s symbol. Nowadays, there are various kind of flavors of curry puff such as bean, chicken, beef and so on. Moreover, you can see the vineries here and taste it in a variety of production i.e. vine, grape puff, grape juice and so on. Moreover, you can visit to the ostrich farm in order to see the real ostrich and perhaps you can taste the ostrich steak (if you like).

Siamese Cats Club

Driving to Amphawa District , you will find “Baan of Siamese Cats”. This place is very interesting for cat-lover especially Siamese Cat.

We had a chance to visit Siamese Cat Club where also locates in Samutsongkram province. The fee depends on your donation for cat food. Mr. Preecha Pookkhabutr is the owner is the cat-lover and he is the founder of the Siamese Cat Society. He will be your host and educate you about Siamese Cats. There are more than 80 cats for you to explore but you have to stand with the unpleasant smell.

He educated us about the significant characteristics of various types of Siamese cats. His inspiration is educating people to know about Siamese cats such as “Vichienmas Cat”, which most of Thai people call it as “Bluish Gary Cat” or “The nine-point cat”, which impact the information about Siamese cats. He thinks people should be educated about the proper names of these cats.

There are 23 species of Siamese cats: 6 are unlucky cats which traditional Thai people recorded on the leaf of Urticaceae, which indicates that those unlucky cats should be release and forbidden to have them as pet; 17 types of cat are lucky cat, which their origin are from Ayudhaya Era such as “Vichienmas”, “Nilrat”, “Wilas”, “Supaluck”, “Khaow Manee”, “Kon Ja”, “Karawek” and so on. At present, there are only 5 of them left to see i.e. “Vichienmas”, “Supaluck”, “Kon Ja”, “Korat Cat” and Khaow Manee”.

Thai belief on lucky cat is Traditional Thai prefer to raise these 17 types of lucky cats so that they will support the owner’s progression – career, famous and financial status. Most of the owners were the noblemen who aimed to get higher rank in government hierarchy. In ancient time, there was no any civil/ people to have an opportunity to raise these cats owing to the very expensive price and very rare to find. Thus, most of the 17-lucky cats were raised only inside palace.

The reason of extinction of Siamese cats began on BE. 2310 since Burma attacked Siam in second time. Burmese knew that the price of the cats were very expensive so they took the cats with them to Burma. However, cats’ nature is “home-lover” so the cats tried to get back to their homeland but it is very long distant to get back and finally they died and extinct.

The significant feature of “Vichienmas” cat (Seal Point) –having bright blue eyes, cream color and will be more intense when the cat grows. It is very famous among cat-lovers. It costs approximately 5,000-6,000 baht.

The original source of Korat Cat or Bluish Gray Cay is Korat or Nakorn Ratchasima province. Traditional Thai prefer to use this kind of cat for the raining begging ceremony. People believe that Korat Cat will bring lucks to the cat’s owner. Korat cat’s features are greenish eyes and color of its hair is cloud-like color.

Konja Cat of Black Cat, it will have no any white color on it. It has yellow eyes, which look like a color of blooming lotus

If you want more information about Siamese Cats, please do not hesitate to visit Uncle Preecha at Amphawa District or call him at + (66) 034 733 284 everyday.

Floating Market – Damneun Saduak

Finally my dream comes true! What did I dream? I ever dreamt to visit the famous floating market for ages. I know it from the postcard where portrays the crowded canal where full with the selling fruits on boats.

Driving from Bangkok to Samutsongkram province since 7.30 am on last Monday, we followed the sign of Damnuen Saduak Floating Market. The rule of traveling, you should have Thailand map or navigation with you in order to avoid getting lost. The most problem of tourist without guide is getting lost because we cannot keep following the sign in ever place. Why? From our experiences, the provided sign supposes to direct us to our destination will not locate along the way that you travel. Let’s me rephrase it again that there will be not much sign to lead you to the destination unless you have your own map r navigation. Frequently, when you are in the city, it will no longer provide the direction sign to the point of interests and you have to take a guess which way you will make a turn between right and left.

To travel to the floating market, you should go there before noon otherwise there will be no more things to appreciate. I think it should be call as “Morning Floating Market”. The most favorite activity is traveling via boat to see the beautiful scenery and Thai traditional way. The cost of the hiring boat may be different, depends on the boat owner. It means you can negotiate to get the suitable price. For us, we hired a little rowing boat with 250 baht per trip. Along the trip, you can ask the rowing person to stop and buy something as you want such as fruit, food and souvenir.

surroudings of floating market

This photo illustrates the surrouding of Damneun Saduak Floating Market. There are many boats on the canel. It is the crowded market. Trafic jam can be found not only on streets but also on the canal!

Amazingly, you can see many tourists who sit on the boat were eating food i.e. noodles, banana and Thai dessert. Well, this is an amazing trip that you can have experiencing in eating noodles while you sit on the boat. Not many places provide such a service, only the floating market. Perhaps this is the root of the word “Boat Noodles” or “Guaytiew Ruea” (Guaytiew means noodles and Ruea means boat).

Boat Noodles

The boat noodles on the shore where we can take a seat and taste how delicious the noodle is.

Comparing with other “boat noodles”, I prefer “boat noodles” at Victory Monument in terms of the hot and spicy taste and cheaper price while the floating market provides the best location for dining the boat noodles – you can choose to eat the noodles on your boat or sit on the shore along the canal. Other different thing as I noticed is a boat noodle at the floating market does not have chicken blood as the major ingredient of boat noodles unlike other boat noodles. Sometimes, I explain this type of noodles as “Bloody Noodles on boat” to my foreigner friends in order to illustrate the noodles in clear aspect.

I assume that they may use different recipes. Mainly the most delicious boat noodles often state that they are from Ayuthaya or Rangsit, it depends and it taste very spicy because of the seasoning i.e. dried chili and parsley (using parsley to cover the smell of blood).

In my opinion, I think it seems to be a bit uncomfortable to eat noodles while you are sitting on the boat unlike sitting on the desk where you can sit stable and does not sway. That’s why we chose to eat noodles on the chore not on the boat and the cost is 15 baht per bowl. The significant characteristic of boat noodles is the noodles should be prepared and cooked on the boat.

We ate Khanom Krok that contained on the banana leaf. We had to be careful to eat it because it could harm your tongue by overheat of Khanom Krok. After that the rowing boat leaded us to the Souvenir Shop where you can have a free sample of fresh sugar water – in Thai we call it as “Namtan Sod” (Namtan means sugar, Sod means fresh). Namtan Sod (nahmH dtaanM sohtL) is made from nectar of sugar palm tree and it tastes differs from coconut water. The sugar palm tree looks like coconut tree. Thai people do not plant 2 of sugar palm trees in front of their house because of their height which look like “Pret”- a tallest demon which appear at night and crying at the top of its voice.

Moreover, you can find various products made from coconut and the price is cheaper than Bangkok. For example, the coconut lamp which made from polished and craved coconut shell. A bunch of 5 coconut shells costs 800 baht and a bunch of 3 coconut shells is 650 baht, which are cheaper than the price in Bangkok (I have ever asked for the price at “Made in Thailand Exhibition” and it costs 2,500 baht. The shop assistant told me that many foreigner customers buy this coconut lamp especially Japanese. Also it provides the painted paper/cloth fan, which cost 250 baht and 350 baht, respectively. The significant of the painted fan is the portrayal of floating market and Thai traditional village.

Along the canal you can find many tropical fruits especially 10-baht coconut for relieve your thirsty. It is cheap price when considering with the price in Bangkok or other places. I saw many of Foreigners who were eating banana. Why foreigners like to eat banana? My husband replied me that most of foreigners have never eaten tropical banana especially the smallest one i.e. “Glauy Namwa” – cultivated banana or Musa sapientum Linn (scientific name) and “Glauy Khai”- tiny egg-banana. In Germany, people will eat Africa banana, which is very large and long banana. Actually, I do not like to eat banana because I am afraid that other people will think I am a monkey-like person.

fruit on boat

Do you know that “Glauy Namwa” is considered as a very healthy fruit? Yes, it is. The ripe banana can be purgation but not much while the raw banana could be stop the purgation.

When we got off the boat, we went straight to find a place where we could enjoy the taste of “Boat Noodles”. Most of the noodles shops on the shore look the same, so it depends on our decision where to sit and eat. The taste won’t be too different and the price seems to be a fixed-price. My husband ate 3 bowls of noodles, and his favorite noodle is “Sen Lek” – rice flour noodles in smaller/thinner shape. Finally, we ended our floating trip with walking along the shore and took some photos.

Finally, we ended our trip with walking and surveying the price of souvenirs. Next trip maybe go to another floating market where locates in Bangkok – Taling Chun Floating market. However, I have to search for more information i.e. direction otherwise we won’t arrive the destination!

Exhibition at Meungthong Thani

December is the best month for the year. Why? Because within this month, it has many public holiday for Thai people such as Father’s Day on December 5, Constitutional Day on December 10, Christmas day and New Year season. We took the chance of having long weekend to travel and relax.

On last weekend we went to see the Motor Expo at Muengthong Thani, which will held on every December. My husband told me that this motor show seems to be somewhat small exhibition when compare with Motor Show in Frankfurt. The reason is the space of the exhibition is approximately 4 halls while the international Motor show will be larger than this. I think Motor show in Thailand focuses on selling vehicles so it is quite good for people who want to buy new cars and for whoever likes to see “Pretty” – pretty girls who promote the products and often wear sexy outfit (I often hear Thai men talk about why they want to go to motor show – to see both of car and girls). It will be disappointed for other who wants to see the new technology in vehicles’ world. Overall, you can have a chance to experience the new model of vehicles from various brands within one day.

Herewith some photos of vehicles in the motor show expo 2005:

Mitsubishi Triton – Newest launch of mitsubishi pick-up car which cost approximately 800 thousand baht. Unfortunately, the elegant orange Triton is only a model.
If you have a chance to look at Triton closer, you may imagine the light as if the two-sad eyes of Triton.

We walked out from the air-condition hall and stepped into the open-air exhibition of vehicle sound. We found a batman car. Look at those doors! Do you agree with us that they look like bat wings?

batman car

Well, this is an creation and invention of Thai. I do not know the name of the shop who creates this car. It is good to have a look at it as if you are watching “Pimp My Ride” on MTV.

However, this trip is not useless because we went to see other exhibition, that is “Made in Thailand” where you can find many products that made in Thailand. I intent to look for a present to give to my senior co-worker but I did not get one for her. This exhibition was very crowded particularly the food booth, which put the emphasis on one significant of Thai’s habit, “eating” habit. Why? The significant evidence of my premise is you can find food or restaurants in every place (almost 24 hours). Moreover, Thai people love free sample so wherever providing the free sample, it always be crowded.

What is the benefit of going to the exhibition? It will collect many shops and products under the theme of exhibition (same as one-stop service) and it is very worthy for us because we won’t have to go to various places to find those products.

The upcoming exhibition is “OTOP” where you can find many Thai things here. What is “OTOP”? It stands for “one Tambol one product”, Tambol means sub-district. It is the campaign created from our Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawattra to support Thai product. It is quite good because it encourages people who live in urban or upcountry to create their product for commerce. What you can get from this exhibition? Absolutely sure, you will have a chance to taste many free sample of Thai food, touch and experience Thai products for the whole country (from north to south and from east to west of Thailand).

If you consider going to “OTOP” exhibition at Meungthong Thani, please prepare your budget well because there are many interesting products to buy. The exhibition starts from December 17, 2005 onward.