Monday, February 25, 2013

Hogs as Pets in Thailand

It's a Huge Hog
Yes, you heard me... it's a hog and its huge. I don't think they are Thai Doomsday Preppers that plans to make Char Siew buns out of them hogs when it is necessary. They are just some of the unique pet owners in Thailand who keep them pork as pets. Supposedly, they are clever, "The pig knows tricks" said the owner who already have more than 5 dogs roaming around in his shop. Apparently, this is rare but not so uncommon. I have friends who told me they had stumbled into shops or homes of other hog owners too.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Laem Chambang Dinner - Moom Aroi

Football and Dinner
Laem Chambang, a port north of Pattya many us people in the industrial business would visit. En route on the way back to Bangkok, instead of taking the Motorway, one takes Highway 3 in order to reach this restaurant for dinner in Si Racha. Set alongside the beach high, this establishment of Moom Aroi. Its well known, many people were there, we had to wait a little for we made no reservations. Under the starlight skies, the overhanging tress. Wooden tables, weathered chairs, among the bites of mosquitoes we dined the seafood feast. Must bring mosquitoes repellent. Priced leaning towards the higher side, the meal was worth the Baht in quantity and taste.

It's Popular

Saturday, February 16, 2013

No Reds Allowed in Temple

There are unspoken rules at temples, as tourist we do not know. Okay some English signs that states dress decent we can read, but it is the Thai written ones that we often are oblivious to. There was a temple I visited, but how in the world am I suppose to know red is a color not allowed and that goes for red underwear too. It offends the deities and no, this is not politically linked. It gets more interesting as the elderly Thais were advising the girls in the group. Menstruation, color red, cannot go in too. Well I guess if for some reasons your vagina turns into a penis after a week of visiting a temple, you know you must have missed a sign written in Thai. Ignorance is not an excuse in the deities eyes. No worries though, there are many hospitals in Thailand that offers sex change operations.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bird Watching at Bangpu, Bangkok

Seagulls Everywhere
Apparently, according to my girlfriend's mother, Thais had known of this migratory flock of birds that nest in Bangpu to escape winter since 20 or more years ago. So where there's a flock of natural marvel, Thais leverage on the chance and made it a tourist attraction. Going to this place means entering a military compound which ironically, they gladly welcome the public. There's even a big billboard erected at the entrance of the gate with pictures of the flying birds as a big welcome sign. This place is also known as Bang Pu Seaside Resort by locals, there are accommodations in there for rent if one would like to spend 24 hours with the seagulls.

Food for Birds
Along the jetty the flocks mingle, visitors and the migratory birds. WWF a signboard I saw, but nothing the conservationist could do to stop the feeding of them birds by the thousand or so encroaching curious visitors. I was told that this migratory phenomenon only happens during the few months of November till March. But with the ready source of what seemed like fried pork skin selling at 10 Baht per pack for the visitors to teach them birds fetch-the-flying-snack tricks, the gulls could just make Bangpu their permanent nesting grounds and grow fat at the same time. Weekends packed, a weekday visit would be better, especially after some business at the nearby Bangpu industrial estate.

Crowded, Very Crowded
Can do Legs Watching Too....
Messey Picnic Everywhere

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Furby Craze in Bangkok

Furby vs Rabbit Cost Analysis
Ask any girl you are wooing right now what she wants for Valentines and I bet it is Furby. If she ask for a car, a house or money for her sick cows back home, then it's time to change girlfriend or to re-consider visiting some other karaoke joints. The latest "in trend" thing right now is everyone wants a Furby. The odd thing is Thais never knew of Furby even though the first edition existed since 1998. Its only through the current 2012 release wave that Thais got to know about this eerie robotic toy, probably because of Internet accessibility so well established in this modern decade. I am having a good time now telling girls they should not get a Furby because if you left it alone and it starts to communicating for no reasons, it is probably communicating with spirits. They should burn their Furbies at the nearest temple.

Furbies are not marketed in Thailand yet. The only way to get Furbies is through eBay, agents or get friends overseas to send them over. It's no cheap toy this electronic plaything, and conman are already exploiting the recent demand opportunities. Already on news, people had fallen victim to agents who took off with their money. It was reported that it amounted to a staggering 4 million Thai Baht. Gosh.. . at 2,800 Baht per Furby, compare it to my bundle of fur joy which I got for 250 Baht at Chatuchuk, no need to change batteries, need to clean shit and lots of visits to the vet, somehow I still go for rabbits anytime.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Smoke House Khao Yai

The Smoke House
A massive masonry stood out on Thanarat Road. This is the Smoke House of Khao Yai. Reservations needed to be made or you will be made to wait. Her bakery prepared pastries out of flour and butter, her oven the pizzas. Her kitchen grills the steak, and the cooks some Thai Cuisines in woks of fire they heat. The large mansion stood out against blue skies, her large compound accommodates the waiting crowd clicking away on their Canon and Nikon. How about the food this glamorous place? First you got to have an encounter with the reception taking on the hundred of queues, not too happy that chap was. It was like talking to someone that had ants biting his balls he could not remove publicly. I could understand why. When we finally had our table the service was pleasingly fast and responsive.

It gets Crowded
First served was my prawn bisque. I took off the ceramic cover and immediately was lost in an aromatic storm of the shelled delicacy. One sipped, I was whisked away into the clouds, running in slow motion with a smile driven by gastro thrill of ultimate bliss. My best ever soup of all time in Thailand, you just must and have to try it. Thickness was perfect, the taste of the brownish broth was rich. Started off great and soon our Spaghetti Aglio Olio Bacon arrived cutting the order of things before our Caesar Salad. Living in Thailand, you gotta live with things like these, western dining served like an Asian feast. All appetizers, and main course are served regardless of the order of things and also, regardless of who had what first. Your mates could be on desert already, but you are having your appetizer after your main course which you desperately did try to catch up just.

Spaghetti Aglio Olio Bacon
Anyways, the Spaghetti Aglio Olio Bacon was great, its simple and could never go wrong in most western restaurants in Thailand. The salad is also something that will usually not go wrong. Things took a turn for the worst when my Fish & Chips was served. I fell from the heavenly clouds and slammed hard onto the masonry. They used the wrong type of batter to begin with, there was no fluff to it. It was dry and the color told of being in oil too long. The fish, what Fish & Chips in the world had skins attached to them? It left a fishy aftertaste the dark sections of mid spinal meat that was brownish grey instead of cod clean white. They had used sea bass and it was disappointingly terrible. Next time I must try their mainstream steaks instead, the good costly ones that cost a thousand Baht and over, but doubt I may. Good steaks are rare in Thailand, you need love and attention to cook them perfect but in large establishments, kitchen are just production lines.

Good for Dining in Cool Evenings

Aromatic Pastries

Fish & Chips went Wrong

An idea of Pricing

What's in the Fish & Chips

Sunday, February 03, 2013

A Rabbit Cafe near Khao Yai

Bunny Coffee from the Road
I am crazy about rabbits, yes I have one and he is more than six years old now, still going strong. So when I spotted rabbit cafe, I simply just had to go in and sip coffee even though I already had one. It is nearby Hommuenlee resort in Pak Chong. We were on our way over to Khao Yai when we spotted Bunny Coffee signboard. A "you gotta be there when in Pak Chong" wannabe places, but not really there yet. Could be because it is out of the way from the main stream Khao Yai. I had my aromatic cuppa joe in peace as I watch the alpha female terrorize the other rabbits in an enclosed area. We were the only ones there. The smell from the rabbit garden was pretty "aromatic" too, but I could live with that because as a rabbit owner, I am used to all of the rabbit's strange toilet odors. A colorful little pleasant cafe set in sweet pink offering cakes to go along with coffee, a tree sheltering the bunnies from possible death from above, the eagle's lunch. Some of the rabbits were enclosed in cages, they were the male serial rapist the waitress had told us. Some negligence I spotted, a rabbit with a tooth too long that needed to be trim. Rabbits teeth grows forever just to let you know, in nature the food and the grinding naturally keeps them short. But for domesticated rabbits we need to pay special attention to their dental health, a once a month visit to the vet is routine for older rabbits. The vet trims their teeth. Outside were a bunch of students from nearby school, they came on their scooters and never ordered a drink. They were all over the swings, outdoor garden tables and chairs. With smart phones they took pictures, the airwaves filled with traffic to social media. Bunny Coffee, we were there.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Khao Yai, Hommuenlee Resort

Resort Grounds

The name itself is interesting enough, Hommuenlee is a union of Thai and Chinese, Hom meaning Aromatic, Muen meaning a thousand and Lee is Chinese distance measurements meaning miles. This resort is made up of just 10 units, all of them well maintained and offered ample living space. You get a living room section with comfortable sofa spread opposite of course that large flat screen and that necessary DVD player for you to get the hot afternoon by. Up raised steps and there your open bedroom will be 2 large bed mattresses tastefully laid low on the floor. Its good mattresses they have, I had a very good night's sleep in the comfortable thick blankets, my head rested on lush pillows, my mind slumbered. After hours, the temperature dropped to a chilly 18 degrees, nice weather for rounds of beer that carried us late into the night chatting away in the team-building gathering out the restaurant dominated by only us. We had booked 8 units out of 10, so we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. The lone restaurant staff bored as he attended to us but he enjoyed his own broadcast of CDs featuring Thai country folk songs that we in our midst of tipsiness occasionally dance to. Chill chill into the night.

Up and Above, Chill Chill
A view of the Location
Morning arrived and we had to drag ourselves out of bed. I raised early expecting a scene of fog but to my dismay, there was non. The chilliness was good though, it was 6 am and the temperatures was 14 degrees, love it so much. There was not much to do unless I wanted to kick the dog roaming around and create some adrenaline driven exercise. And so I went back and lazed in and out of sleep till it was 9. That was when we checked out and already, the rest of the colleagues had left to explore the attractions around the vicinity. Breakfast provided by the resort was simple, hot porridge or that American breakfast served ala carte style. Washed them food down with hot coffee, an orange juice and we stashed our bags into the boot and away we went. The hotel is very pleasant although lacking amnesties. If you need a good breather over weekends in the cooler months, check the weather forecast on a Friday. If Thailand is going to be cold, call this resort up, place a reservation and spent the weekend in cold mountain land.

Resort Grounds