Thailand is in the Southeast of Asia, with Laos and Cambodia to the east and the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysianextto Burma (Myanmar) on its west. The capital is Bangkok, the country's official language is Thai. In touristic resorts people also speak the English language. The history of Thailand is estimated to be dating 10,000 years, up to the paleolithic era. Visitors will encounter super-rich archaeological sites of cultural heritage. The temples of worship of Buddha abound in the region, contributing to the exotic environment of the place. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that avoided colonization, thus preserving the history and cultural heritage. The ancient monuments, temples and deserted cities all attest to the magnificent past of Thailand, a wonderful destination for your holidays. The historical treasures match with the wonderful nature. Thailand has many picturesque islands and beaches as well as 90 national parks and an amazing wildlife. The Thais are renowned for their friendliness and smile .

Monday, December 5, 2011

Father's Day

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)

The accomplishments of His Majesty King Bhumibol of Thailand over the last 65 years are astounding. His Majesty celebrates His Majesty’s 84th year and his 7th Cycle Birthday on December 5, 2011.
Father’s Day in Thailand is on December 5 because His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA on December 5, 1927. He was the youngest son of H.R.H. Prince Mahidol and Mom Sangwalya. Now he is the undisputed “Father of All Thai People.”Thailand’s King is known and admired far beyond the borders of his own country for his success in raising Thailand from a undeveloped Third World country to a thriving, First World economy and the hub of South East Asia.Thailand’s thriving agriculture, tremendous exports, heavy manufacturing, ITenhancements, tourism of 17 million annual visitors and prominent place in the Association of South East Asian Community are all attribute to His Majesty the King.In 1946 the King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, ascended to the throne. He is now the longest reigning monarch in the world. He is loved and respected by his people. In a world where few monarchies survive, Thailand is both unusual and fortunate. Fortunate because of having a King who has both far-reaching knowledge and generous compassion: and unusual because throughout each year of his reign, he has become more deeply loved and respected by his subjects.

He married Queen Sirikit on April 28, 1950. Queen Sirikit is a Regent Queen, one of only two in the entire history of Siam and Thailand. She has the ability to speak for His Majesty. For the last two years age has caught up with this very active and compassionate King. Now as His Majesty spends his days in the hospital there are times when Her Majesty must do exactly that and speak for His Majesty as the people of Thailand join together in celebrating His Majesty’s 84th year and his 7th Cycle Birthday on December 5, 2011. 

He moved back to Thailand for good in 1951 after being well educated in the USA and Switzerland and now His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is undoubtedly the people of Thailand’s King; the Father of the Land. He is the first Thai King, and Thai individual, to see every single corners of his kingdom.
He has visited far-reaching places. His Majesty traveled each and every highway and road to know his people. 

Where there were no roads, he used small planes or helicopters; where there were no places for helicopters or planes to land, he went by jeeps, horses, elephants and on many occasions when there was just no other way His Majesty hiked by foot to see and serve his people.

As an engineer he developed a system to provide electricity to places left dark before. He helped with irrigation problems as the majority of the Thai people were farmers, depending solely on their crops for their income.He installed irrigation systems for farmers and had his teams in Bangkok develop ways to increase rice productivity. With his visits, he brought medical teams as well as surveyors to plan the connection of all towns and villages, establishment of village leaders called “pua bans”, and set up a system for a “town crier” of sorts to report the time and daily announcements in each village by using megaphones and radio broadcasts.He has also eradicated the opium growing culture of many hill tribes of the north, and proposed substitutions with valuable crops. His idea to allow the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to lend assistance and training was vital to reduce crime and drug trafficking in Thailand’s area of the Golden Triangle.

During the financial crisis, the King had the answers to save Thailand. When the Asian Financial Crisis was about destroy Thailand’s economy, His Majesty made a Royal Proclamation asking for investment bankers from the USA to come and help the Bank of Thailand straighten out accounts so he could request IMF funding.Thailand was the first of the 11 “Tiger Economies” to ask for IMF funding. The first economy to qualify once the banks were weeded down and the stronger banks’ cash reserves were propped by new savings account customer deposits. Thailand was the first to Asian country to repay IMF funding by paying the loan back early.

During the time of natural crisis, the King has always been the first person to be on the scene. 

Only until recently that the King has not been able to travel to the affected places due to health problems, nevertheless, his team has continued to visit and help out according to the King’s instructions. In addition, he has continued to contribute personal funds quick and fast to the needy, as seen most recently with the flooding disaster around the Kingdom in late 2011, when the King’s team was the first to act. 

Five years ago His Majesty moved His Royal Residence from the Bangkok Royal Palace to His palace in Hua Hin. Two years ago, His Majesty decided to move to the care of hospitalization in Bangkok. From every venue His Majesty still cares for his people.

Pattaya Times

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wat Okat Si Bua Ban

Located by the Mekong River in the Mueang Nakhon Phanom Municipality, the sacred temple has been honoured since ancient times. The temple houses two ancient Buddha statues ‘Phra Tio’ and ‘Phra Thiam’, which are situated together. Phra Tio, 60 cm. high, was carved from ‘Tio’ wood and later covered with gold plate. The Buddha image was built by the King of Si Khotrabun in the year 785. Phra Thiam was an imitation - ‘Thiam’ - of Phra Tio. The image was built during the reign of King Khattiyawong. Both Buddha images are sacred icons of the city


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bangkokians Escaping to Pattaya

Bangkok drivers crowd Pattaya streets. 
Estimates are that each day 20,000 more people from Bangkok are arriving in Pattaya to escape the flood waters, food shortages and misery of Bangkok. Pattaya is welcoming these new arrivals and accommodating them in every way. The 1337 Call Center at Pattaya City Hall, the Tourism Authority of Thailand Office on Pratamnak Hill, the Tourist Police, Banglamung Police, Highway Police and Pattaya Police at Soi 9 are all pitching in to assist new arrivals in need of food and shelter.

"Pattaya welcomes everybody and we will all do our best to make our guests feel at home," said Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome.

"We are also making sure our residients are getting the services they need and are tending to the poor and elderly," he added.

The floods are occurring because Thai meteorologists predicted that there would be a drought this year in Thailand so all five dams were ordered to retain water levels at full capacity without draining off small amounts each day after a rain storm as usual. However, the rainfall has been the most severe amounts since the last 65 years and the dams were so full that if they were not opened they would all be destroyed by the water pressure.

The amount of rain was calculated at two million cubic meters per minute and the speed of the water from the released dams was flowing as fast as 15 million cubic meters per minute into Bangkok.  Damage to property is approaching the US $10 billion mark.

His Majesty the King said for the people to let the water flow through Bangkok and do not try to save his Grand Palace.  However the, the Army is doing all in its power to protect the Grand Palace and have surrounded the palace with sand bags as high as five meters.

More than 2,000 crocodiles have been released from farms by the massive flooding and to this date only 20 have been captured. This adds  to the fears of wading in the streets of Bangkok.

Why Pattaya?

Many people in Bangkok made the decision to come to Pattaya because of the availability of food with the extensive number of supermarkets here, the large number of rooms available and the advancement of the infrastructure here to guard against extensive flood damage.


The Pattaya infrastructure under the Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome is so well-developed that the roads are less likely to flood than in Bangkok with the extensive drainage systems that have been installed recently.  The highways into Pattaya numbered 7, 3, 331 and others are in very good condition and were not closed like the Asia highway which impeded travel in other directions out of Bangkok. The water fresh supply is very good in Pattaya and public transportation has not been affected much. In Bangkok and the airport most taxi drivers fled to protect their homes upcountry. However, most baht bus and motorcycle drivers in Pattaya live in Pattaya permanently.

Food Shortages Unlikely in Pattaya

The extensive number of supermarkets in Pattaya and more 7-Elevens than any other city in Asia per capita makes Pattaya a logical place to shop for food and fresh water. However, like all other cities in Thailand, Pattaya retail food supermarkets depend on distribution centers to keep stock coming to replenish empty shelves.

The city of Wung Noi in Ayutthaya warehouses all the food for the two large Tesco Lotus stores and the five Tesco Lotus Express stores in Pattaya. It is under five meters of flood water which is stagnant.  Tesco has had their supply deliveries affected the most.  Yet, there is still food available locally because the stores are so massively large with storage facilities with stockpiles in the back of each store.

The three Big C stores, two Tops supermarkets, and four Tops Daily stores in Pattaya are owned by Central Retail in the Central Group of Companies. They have many suppliers all over Thailand with firm contracts for meats, vegetables, fruits, canned goods and all food supplies , so  the shelves are being restocked at all locations as of this writing.

There are hundreds of 7-Eleven stores in Pattaya and are owned by CP Group which also has suppliers all over Thailand. So the food warehoused in the Eastern Seaboard is plentiful and Pattaya will most likely be able to provide food and fresh water for its residents, usual visits and the Bangkokians and families from flood affected areas that are coming here.

Of the 656 FamilyMarts in Thailand more than 80 franchises are in Pattaya. The owner is Siam FamilyMart Co., Ltd. has operations with Siam DCM Co., Ltd. a distribution and wholesaling company. By making great use of the demand-chain management (DCM) expertise developed by FamilyMart in Japan. Family Marts will be able to keep the shelves restocked in Pattaya.

Room Shortages Due to Extensive Demand are Problematic

Estimates are that since October 25, 20,000 people a day are rushing out of Bangkok taking refuge from the flood in Pattaya. These welcomed “refugees” from the floods of Bangkok are finding it difficult to find a room for rent in Pattaya, as nearly all of the rooms available are occupied. Pattaya Times surveyed the top 50 hotels in Pattaya and there were no vacancies at all. In fact, room rates were quite high due to extensive demand. Even guest houses and weekly condo rentals were all full.

According to Patcharin Sawetrat, assistant director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand's Pattaya office about 80 per cent of hotel rooms in Pattaya are already occupied by tourists from Russia and Europe, leaving only 20 percent availability for those fleeing the flood in Bangkok.
Pattaya Times

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wat Phrathat Maha Chai

The 37 metre high stupa of Ban Maha Chai is regarded as a sacred monument as it houses relics of the Lord Buddha and Arhats. The temple also houses sacred Buddha images; namely, Phra Phutthachaiyasit, the principal Buddha image, as well as a Buddha image carved from a neem tree, which is the largest of its kind in Thailand. The murals in the Phra Ubosot, featuring the history of the Lord Buddha, are quite beautiful.
Their Majesties the King and Queen presided over the ceremony to place the relics into the stupa in 1975. The temple is also the monastery of Phra Sunthon Thammakon (Luangpu Khamphan Khosapanyo), a famous monk of Nakhon Phanom and the Northeast region. To get there. The temple is 39 km. from Nakhon Phanom. Motorists can use Highway 22. Turn left at Km. 201-202. The temple is 2 km. off the main road.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011