living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai Voted One of the World’s Top Cities (that’s right, AGAIN!)

Via: City News – Chiang Mai


The city came in at 21st, while Bangkok was ranked 13th in the Top 25 Cities in the World category of the Readers Choice Awards 2014.

“The culinary capital of Thailand, Chiang Mai’s laid-back vibe is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and the crowded beach resorts of the south,” according to the award announcement. “There are several excellent cooking schools and a popular market scene whose standout is the night bazaar on Chang Klan road – the place to try khao soi, a steaming bowl of yellow curry noodles.”

Six Thai resorts appear in the Top 20 Resorts in Asia category, including the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Chiang Rai in second place and the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort and Spa at eighth. The Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is in 20th place.



November 6, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Bangkok – Oh man, I hate when this happens!

Via: Coconuts Bangkok


A woman was almost killed by a python that came out of her toilet last night.

Rampeung Onlamai, 57, had just finished her shower at her home north of Bangkok when a python emerged from her toilet and attempted to drag her down the drain.

Rampeung said the snake sunk its fangs into her right hand and then started pulling her back down toward its toilet nest. Rampeung defended herself with a nearby broom and called out for her daughter, who rushed to her rescue and pried the python’s head off her hand.

The python then crawled back into the toilet.

Rampeung was admitted to the hospital, where she needed 20 stitches to seal the gash.

Samkok district officer Metha Taweekunchai said he’ll order his officers to capture the snake in Rampeung’s toilet, so the family can resume using it, Khaosod reported.





November 6, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Pattaya – ‘Cheap Charlie Brit’ Resident suffers broken arm over 40 baht parking fee

Via: Pattaya One


In the early hours of Sunday, a 70 year old British resident of Pattaya suffered a suspected broken arm following an altercation with a car park attendant who was unable to collect a 40 Baht parking fee from him.

The incident occurred at a car park opposite the Diana Dragon Apartments in Soi Buakhao just before 2.30am, which was under the control of Khun Tosapon aged 19. Mr. Charlie Hayward reportedly parked his Bronze Chevrolet car in the car park and left for a short moment to purchase something and then returned to his car.

Khun Tosapon claims he approached Mr. Hayward and requested the 40 Baht which was not forthcoming. He further explained that Mr. Hayward attempted to drive away which enraged the parking attendant who picked up a piece of wood and struck Mr. Hayward’s car.

Mr. Hayward stopped his vehicle and confronted the attendant who then struck the elderly man across his arm. Police arrived and arrested the teenager who was later charged with assault. Mr. Hayward was sent to Hospital and is currently recovering from his injuries. Knt-suffers-broken-arm-over-40-baht-parking-fee-in-central-pattaya/#sthash.IKRqIq6p.dpuf


Personal thought:

Khun Tosapon was in the wrong to hit Charlie and/or his car.

But it was also wrong to rip-off the kid for 40-baht ($1.23USD).





October 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Songtaew (song = two, taew = benches)


1927 – Muang Sukhothai


See more historic photos of Siam/Thailand, HERE:


September 24, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – The Culture of Ladyboys

Via: Beautiful/Decay


In Thailand, the term ladyboy is a nickname for transgender women, and they are a population often met with intolerance and prejudice. Their place in society is explored through photographer Soopakorn Srisakul’s series Mistress, in which he captures the daily life of his girlfriend and four other ladyboys. They all work at bars and as call girls in the infamous red-light Nana district in Bangkok.

Srisakul’s images are his journey in understanding his partner and the others experiences. There are few positions that are hiring transgendered women, so this community typically finds work in department stores, makeup counters, and cabaret venues. Those that are bargirls generally make better the better wages, which allows them to save up for gender reassignment surgeries.

Mistress presents us with poignant pictures of both work and home. There are moments of dark clubs, sure, but there are also quiet scenes in bright bedrooms. Srisakul writes:

They go out working, come back to their room, go relaxing outside, occasionally go back to visit family in the countryside, and then go to work. They, like anyone else, just try to get by. They laugh for joy, cry for sorrow, they work to earn a living, and they have an argument with their boyfriend, just like anyone else. In this sense, what makes them so different from us as to warrant a harsh treatment from the moral society, and do they deserve it at all?


See more photos, HERE:



September 14, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – ‘Be Prepared’ – Boy and girl scouts busted in teen sex and drug den

Via: Coconuts Bangkok


Twenty-six boy and girl scouts were found getting high and doing the sex when officials raided a love motel in Phatthalung province on Thursday.

The sex motel was used as a sex-and-drugs stronghold for the teenagers, according to officials. The students, eighteen boys and eight girls 13 to 16 years old, were identified as students of a well-known secondary school in the district. Clad in their scout uniforms, the students took six rooms at the motel to engage in illicit drug use and sexual activities.

At the scene, officials also found condoms (Be Prepared) and cigarette packs. Drug tests found two male students under the influence of a controlled substance, according to Sanook.

The sex motel will face charges for providing service to minors and may be shut down.

September 6, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – Cheapest Places to Retire WELL

Via:Huffington Post


1) Chiang Mai, Thailand ($920)

Not 1) Cuenca, Ecuador ($1,010)

Not 1)Dumaguete, Philippines ($910)

Not 1) George Town, Malaysia ($1,070)

Not 1) Granada, Nicaragua ($1,040)

Not 1) Istanbul, Turkey ($1,045)

Not 1) Nha Trang, Vietnam ($680)

Not 1) Samana, Dominican Republic ($1,155)

Note: Keyword – WELL


September 5, 2014 Posted by | cost of living | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chiang Mai – 9 Top Havens for Expat Retirees

Via: U.S. News & World Report



Chiang Mai, Thailand

Estimated expat population: 20,000+

Chiang Mai has been luring expats from the West for years. The attraction is twofold–the low cost of living and housing and the weather.

The high quality health care and health-related services are other big pluses for foreign retirees in this part of the world.

The city boasts modern infrastructure and an abundance of Western amenities.



TrekEarth – Amit Raj Singh



Personal Note:

I retired nine-years ago, and have been living in Chiang Mai.

Good Gawd Almighty, I LOVE Chiang Mai!





September 1, 2014 Posted by | cost of living | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chaiang Mai – Songtaew fares slashed in HALF!

Via: City News – Chiang Mai

Suriya Prasartbandit announced at the local government’s weekly press meeting that after the recent re-organisation of public transport around the city, he now plans to REDUCE the cost of songthaews to 10 baht per journey and five baht for students. The current price for a journey is 20-30 baht. 
The re-organisation has solved some problems regarding public transport in Chiang Mai, but according to the Chiang Mai Transport Cooperative Limited – which represents songthaew drivers – many problems still need to be addressed.
Chiang Mai currently has 2,700 registered songthaews, with 550 of these organised into 11 specific routes around the city.
The announcement has been made following complaints by drivers that not only is there a lack of customers but that the newly assigned routes are hardly used. Drivers also highlighted the price difference between songthaews that drive on specific routes and those that can take passengers anywhere.
The governor hopes that by reducing the cost and making every songthaew charge the same price, people will be encouraged to use public transport more often. Prices will be lowered and price placards changed from September 1.
However, the response by the public and drivers has been mostly negative, with many people saying that 20 baht is still very good value for money and that they would worry about the overall loss of income for the drivers.
One songthaew driver commenting on CM108’s website said the daily cost of rent and petrol is around 850 baht a day. Under current pricing, drivers receive on average around 1,200 baht per day, leaving around 400 baht to take home. Under the new plans, the driver said, he would have to have more than 200 customers per day to match his current income – which he suggests would be impossible.
Personal thought:
I think the people who rely on their car/motor-bike, will continue to rely on their car/motor-bike.
Reducing the songtaew drivers revenue by half, will greatly the numbers of songtaews on the road.
I will continue to pay 20-baht.
Because I can.

August 30, 2014 Posted by | transportation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thailand – Tourists get extended visas

Via: Bangkok Post


The Immigration Bureau has approved a new regulation that allows tourists to extend their stay in the kingdom by a further 30 days, effective from Aug 29.

That will mean holidaymakers from 49 countries who enter Thailand under a 30-day visa exemption can stay for 60 days. Visitors entering on the 60-day tourist visa are still eligible for the extra stay of 30-days as per normal.

The move is designed to boost tourism, said Pol Col Voravat Amornvivat, deputy commander of the bureau’s Investigation Division.

The measure will appeal to foreign travellers who want to prolong their stay in Thailand and visit other Southeast Asian countries, Pol Col Vorarat said. The extension will cost 1,900 baht.

The bureau, however, tightened up visa extension regulations for foreigners who enroll to study Thai in private language schools outside of the official school system, as well as those working in a public charity/non-profit organisation or a foreign chamber of commerce. Those affected will be granted visa extensions of 90 days but for no more than one year.

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August 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment