Last Dinner in Bangkok

yukke - hopefully a non-lethal variety
Korean ribeye
oh my tontoro

This meal was so good, it cannot be described properly with words… Suffice to say, it knocked us all out with a quantity/quality double combo.

@ one of the numerous Korean BBQ joints near Sukhumvit Soi 12

One ThaiPad Per Child

"One Tablet PC per Child"

I took this photo a couple months ago out toward the local ostrich farm. The political party that put tons of these signs up on all the roads won Sunday’s elections, so I guess Max and Mina will be getting their ThaiPads soon…

Quick trip to Ko Samet

I am taking the family on a work trip from now. It will be an overnight bus ride, followed by a boat ride to Koh Samet and a smaller ferry-to-shore. We plan to return on Monday night, just in time to finish preparation for the new school term.

Photos (and Video) from the Korat Zoo

Yesterday we got home from a trip to Nakhon Ratchasima, more commonly known as Korat. The city is famous for being the gateway to the Northeast region (where we live) of Thailand, and is at just about the halfway point when we go to/from Bangkok. We were only there for one reason, though. Max wanted to see animals…

The zoo is medium-sized, and unremarkable from a technology standpoint. However, some thought has gone into the layout, premium services, and a few of the exhibits really stand out. In addition, the cost of things including admission (50 Baht for Thais, 100 Baht for foreigners, free for small children) is very reasonable. We went from 9:00AM and rented a golf cart for a couple of hours (500 Baht) after seeing the lines for the trams and figuring it would be too hot by noon. Two hours turned out to be just enough time to see almost everything including the obligatory pinniped (why isn’t “pinniped” in the Chrome spell checker dictionary?) show, which if you’ve been to Sea World looks like Retarded Animal Training for Dummies, but kept the kids entertained until they, too, got tired of seeing finned marine mammals playing in the water and doing horribly easy tricks for piscine (why isn’t “piscine” in the Chrome spell checker dictionary?) rewards.

We missed seeing some of the exhibits; it would probably take another hour to cover everything, but then again if you don’t have kids you don’t lose time on diaper changes and meltdown control when they are both convinced that the other has something in their hand that they want.

The highlight of the zoo for us: The giraffes! I have never been so close to a giraffe in my life, and it was a really cool experience. Now I have one less reason to go on safari.

Some pics:

 


 
 

Top Charoen Optical, Thailand (Commercial)

I need new glasses; I’m definitely going to one of the branches (3 or 4?)  in town this week.

Why the newspaper died

Clipping from the Bangkok Post, early 2011

At first I thought this was an early April Fools thing, but it wasn’t. The Bangkok Post was/is the widest circulated English language paper in Thailand (possibly initially funded by the OSS/State Department!), and printed a half-page article on how to properly shovel snow. In Thailand. Apparently, somebody sent a complaint to the editor that was printed in a subsequent issue. This was addressed by claiming that this article was pulled from a partner news source, which is just a ridiculous defense… They really should have claimed it was an early April Fools thing.

Wat Ban Donnad

A couple months ago, when it was still “cold,” we visited a temple that we’d been hearing of for a while, Wat Ban Donnad (Wat Ban Don Nad?). At the end of a long, broken dirt road that runs through several villages, we ended up here:

You can see our destination out on the island:

We honked our horn, and a young monk on a small outboard came putt-putting out. Max saw the boat and it was on.

Max was wearing his inflatable life jacket all day in anticipation of riding on a boat.

The monk was shy, so I spared him the embarrassment of  a face shot.

There’s no electricity on the island, so we brought yard-long candles in addition to the usual food offerings. Giving these to a temple is the most popular form of making merit in Thailand. We talked to the monk that greeted us on the other side for a while, and he seemed to enjoy playing with the kids. Then he showed us the new temple they are building with massive slabs of timber floated down the river from Laos.

We walked around the island for a bit, then headed back to the boat.

We’ve since visited the landing again, but didn’t cross over because there was a temple festival with crowds of people, and they were packing themselves onto the tiny boats to cross over and back. In typical Thai fashion, the people sitting on the edge of the boats were half-heartedly bailing them out until the water inside reached their ankles, at which time the rate of bailing doubled or tripled – this would repeat until the boats reached their destination. When we saw this was happening, we decided it would be okay to pay our respects from the shore on this side.

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