Spirit houses in Thailand

A spirit house and offerings in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Walking again in China Town in Bangkok, Central Thailand


Back in the area of Sam Sen again with all the small streets, little shops and restaurants. A great place to loose the way and be surprised by the charm of of the old Bangkok.


Lunch in Chiang Klang, North Thailand


A great location in the middle of the green rice fields of Chiang Klang. But the food was not so good.

Visiting the Wat Chai Watthanarm in Ayutthaya, Central Thailand

 

This is a Buddhist temple in Khmer style build in 1630 and is part of the ancient city of the second capital of Siam (as Thailand was called before 23 June 1939). Photo was taken in 2013.


Fresh fish market in Ang Sila, Thailand

Girls selling fish
Ang Sila is located along the coast, just under Chonburi city. Just follow Sukhumvit road coming from Chonburi city and you will see signs for Ang Sila. Ang Sila is a fishing village and although it is also a bit touristic (with Thai tourists) the town of Ang Sila is still a simple Thai fishing village.
Walking on the pier
Every day at 4 in the morning the fresh fish market at the pier starts when the fishing boats come in and bring their loads of fish. Restaurant and shop staff come here to buy their product. The fish is fresh, big and cheap.

Of course Ang Sila is also famous for its stone-ware pottery that is sold along the road leading to Ang Sila. And a lot of Thai tourists come here to eat at one of the many seafood restaurants along the sea just after Ang Sila. So if you are in the mood for some fresh seafood to eat or to buy and cook yourself just go to Ang Sila.

See Seafood Ang Sila and Shopping Ang Sill


My 90 day reporting

Every foreigner with a visa living in Thailand for more as 90 days has to report his residency to the immigration of the province where he/she is living.

So a few days ago it was time again for me to present myself to the immigration office and report that I am still living at the same address.

For that I need a form TM.47 and copies of my passport holder-page, visa / extension page, TM.6 departure card, previous 90 day report proof.

I was the only "customer" at the immigration and it went all very smooth and easy. Within 5 min I was done and going home again. I was given a new TM.47 with the proof of notification and reminder of the new date printed on the back side.

Now there has been a rumour that at all immigrations nationwide there would a new form that you had to fill out. This form (Foreigner National Registration) would ask some personal questions, of what some people have a problem with to provide. Now since that rumour started I have been 3 times to an immigration office and I have never seen the form or was I ever asked for any extra information.

Living in a small village along the Nan River in North Thailand

As I mentioned before we moved to a small village in Nan province in North Thailand. And I loved it! But it is a bit weird village. Why?

Well as I said it is a small village but not so small. About 200 houses. But there is no daily fresh market. There is only 1 home that functions as shop for meat and vegetables. And the meat is fresh because the shop owner has a pig farm and they kill a pig once a week. And there is only 1 small super-market. And there are 2 small noodle shops. No other restaurants or shops in or nearby the village. No shops means also no bank and no ATM. Now as everybody is riding motorbikes or has farming tools with engines there are 3 small shops for motorbike repairs. And the village has no garbage pickup, so no garbage trash can's along the road. You have to bring your own garbage to a garbage dump about 2km out of the village.

In North-East Thailand, the Isaan, in almost every village someone would sell BBQ Chicken (Kai Yang) but not here. Actually I only see that in Nan city. Not in any other villages here.

And although there are 2 public water systems in the village, both do not function good. So everybody is using water from a private well. But ... only about 1 out of 4 houses has a well, so every well is used by 3 or 4 houses. Just like we do. And once a month the electric company comes along and records the meter readings. He then gives all invoices to someone in the village. He goes to pay all invoices and then come to each house to collect the money. What a great service!

The houses in the villages are 50/50 made of cement or traditional wooden Thai houses. And many houses do not have a fence or wall around their land. And almost none have a gate that can be closed. It is village life, everybody walks around and has a chat. Chickens are just as well walking around free. And also dogs. But again weird dogs. In North-East Thailand (Isaan) I am used to dogs that will attack any people passing. No here, no barking, no trying to bite. Great when bicycling in the early morning!

And administrative it is also a weird village. In Thailand a village has a number (moo) within the district (tambon). But our village has 2 village numbers. So also 2 village-heads (Pu Yai Baan).

Klong Suan 100 year Market in Samut Prakan, Central Thailand


We made a day trip to "Klong Suan 100 year Market" located along Prawetburirom Canal on the border of Chachonsao and Samut Prakan province. But only about 1hr drive from Bangkok. This more as 100 years old market might be a bit running on tourists (mostly Thai) but it still has his original charm of an old Chinese market. There are many small shops selling the kind of things you do not find at the 7/11 or BigC. And of course some restaurants and a 75-years old coffee-shop selling traditional Thai coffee. There even is a barber-shop and of course a gold-shop. You can also take the wooden bridge to the other side and visit the temple there. It was a nice day out and we will come back when it is better weather as it was a bit raining today. 

A day-trip in Nan province, North Thailand


After a week of a lot of rain this morning the sky was blue and it promised to be a beautiful day for a trip in the beautiful country side of Nan province in North Thailand.


I love trees!


By now you should know ..... I love trees. Coming around the corner and suddenly this huge beautiful tree in the morning sunlight. A big WOW!


Thinking about our environment in Nan, North Thailand

I saw this signs outside a restaurant in Nan city, North Thailand.

I like this, because most Thai are very easy with using all kind of plastic and foam at markets and restaurants. But this all comes in our environment and most of it can be done in another way.

So please try to say NO when people give you a plastic bag, foam box, a plastic spoon or a straw to drink. The 7/11 and super-markets in Thailand could play a major role in this (and save money).

The saga of our water in the village part 2

And hopefully this is the last part. At the left you see the Hitachi sales team ... and no they did not come to re-install the Hitachi deep water-well pump.

As said our water in our house comes (or I should say came) from a private well in the garden opposite of our house. This well is not good build and our water would be dirty after rain.

The landlord came and decided to move the pump to another well. In the garden from a few houses behind us. There is always clean water.

This is an old well, between 50 and 70 years old (depending on who you ask). It is not made of cement rings but with small bricks. And about 15m deep and about 1.20m diameter. Imagine the people building that well!

The first part was easy, take the pump + pipe (12m long) from the old well, move it to the other well. Oops ... that does not work. Well I am not a pump specialist but i had my ideas and started to look on internet. To prime the pump one should pour water in the pump ... and pipes. You see 2 pipes are going in the well.... one going down to help the water coming up. Guess what .... they did re-install the pipes the other way around. It took me some time to convince people to take the pipe out and check .... and yes! Wrong connected. After that it was a piece of cake to make the pump work. Then about 35m of water-pipe to our house and about 35m of electric wire to our house. All together an all day work (not for me but for our landlord).

The great thing is that all kind of people in the village came to help ... in the end also someone who is a pump specialist and without him I would not have been able to convince the other people to check the pipes. It is a fantastic village to be living!

All is fine now and we have super clean water! Bloody cold also!

One of those This Is Thailand days

The old bottles
People living in Thailand use an expression TIT or This Is Thailand. A way of expression of all the weird things that are going on in Thailand that "can not" be changed. Well yesterday was one of those days.

I have an Toyota car and that needs a service check, so I went to the local Toyota dealer in Nan. I had an appointment and arrived at 10:30 and was welcomed friendly. And brought to the counter in the office. Here I was given an proforma invoice to explain the costs. Total costs would be about 7.200 Thai baht. The proforma invoice is of course in Thai and I can not read Thai. My mistake.

But first of all I did find the total price a bit high in compare to the costs I had paid in the past times. And secondly I could see very quick that adding up the numbers I would never get to the total. So how did they get to that total? Well after some explanation I did understand that they print the price of 1 liter oil, but you need 6 liters of oil. So you need to multiply that price, but that is not printed on the proforma invoice. Well indeed if you would do that with all the numbers that needed multiplying then you would indeed end up at the total. So OK.

So at 10:45 they started working at my car. And at 12:00 o'clock they told me that the all company goes for lunch and that my car will be finished between 14:00 and 15:00. What? I have to sit and wait here 2 or 3 hours because all the staff is going to have lunch?

At about 13:45 my car was finished and they asked me to come to the counter again to pay. And sign a paper that I did receive my car in good order. Really? I did not receive my car at all yet. So I not sign anything. The manager and me went to the car and I was told everything that was changed. OK looks OK. And in the car were all the bottles of things used.

So I went back to the office to pay. And I was given the real invoice. For some reason I was getting 50% discount on the 6 liter of engine oil. So the total price became 6.700 Thai baht. Still expensive! And they did not change the air-filter but just cleaned it. So I started to check the real invoice. And to my surprise I did see 3 items on it that I did not order and I was never told about. Performance oils that are added to the engine oil and gear oil. Total costs for that was 1.355 Thai baht.

Reaction of the manager "Did they not tell you before?" ... No they did not. "O sorry". No offer of refund of things I did not order and would never buy myself. As I was in a killing mood I just paid and did leave the dealership with the promise never to return here.

Once at home I did check the old bottles I had in my car.
* Only 2 bottles of performance oil .... while I paid for 3!
* A bottle for Oil for Automatic gear .... while I have an Manual gear!
  (and yes this oil is also on the invoice)
* Missing some bottles of fluid that are said to be replaced!
* Why is the proforma invoice less detailed as the real invoice?

I think I will be going back to that dealership to have some questions and answers!

A knife, a fork, a bottle and a cork in Thailand


But lets start with the knife .... sold along the road in the area of Den Chai, Thailand. Of course not only 1 shop selling the same product but a dozen shops. All knifes in all sizes and shapes.

Along the highways in Asia are always somewhere little shops where the sell "local" products. I will try to make a series of "Shopping Along Highways". To see more click below on the label "Shopping-Along-Highways".

Golden Triangle and beyond, North Thailand

Happy Buddha at the Golden Triangle
End 2010 we a made a beautiful trip along the Mekong River from Mai Sai to the point where the Mekong River starts to be the border between Thailand and Laos. And then following the river until the point where the river enters Laos for the first time.

You will need your own transport but traveling east of Mai Sai along the not anymore so mighty Mekong River (Mae Nam Khong) one comes in a all new area of Thailand bordering with Laos where you are passing the Golden Triangle (stop at the Hall of Opium), Chiang Sean, Chiang Khong (border crossing to Laos) and Wiang Kaen to go in direction Chiang Kham but not before you visit Phu Patang and Phu Chi Fa. And on your way also passing Doi Pha Tang.
View along the Mekong river
For me it was really one of Thailand's most remarkable trips, reasonable good roads, not much tourists and even for me as long term resident of Thailand it did feel like I was on holiday in a foreign country. Stunning view along the Mekong River and from view points. Beautiful flowers (depending on the time of the year) and friendly people everywhere. Amazingly no tourists also.