Monthly Archives: July 2018

How and what do Thais eat?

How and what do Thais eat?
Thai cuisine’s inviting array of meals, desserts, drinks and snacks combine with an enjoyment of eating as socializing. Thinking about Thai ways of eating together helps fill in a reflection on Thai food.
The majority of Thais do not use many of the formal eating manners of Westerners; Thais have their own set of manners based largely on practices of communal eating. Thais put a lot of emphasis on eating as a social activity. For Thais, eating should be a simple pleasure and does not involve complex rituals of etiquette. Today, a fork and spoon are widely used, and the general practice is to use the fork to push food onto the spoon. The spoon is generally held in the right hand and serves as the only utensil from which to take bites. Eating straight from the fork is considered crude. The use of the fork and spoon is attributed to King Rama V in the latter part of the 19th century. He found no use for knives since Thai food is already chopped up. Chopsticks are sometimes used, particularly for eating some noodle dishes influened by the Chinese. While a fork and spoon are commonly used, for some parts of Thailand, such as in the east or north east, eating by hand is still common. There is also an exception for sticky rice as most Thais would eat sticky rice with their hands.When dining out, senior women in a group usually order for all (although others do the ordering sometimes). All dishes can be shared, over several courses. Steamed rice is a mainstay of communal meals and is always served first for each individual. Then, only in small amounts (1-2 tablespoons), food is dished up and put on top of the rice. Thais do not like to pile different food on top of their rice because the tastes might get mixed together. Thais generally eat dishes one at a time and then come back to eat the next dish. Piling up food or overloading your plate with food is considered rude and uncouth as there is no hurry and more food can be ordered as needed.Thais love to eat, six to seven times per day is not very uncommon. Thais also love to dine out in a group of friends and family. Eating alone is not very common. There are restaurants and food stands (food vendors) almost everywhere in Thailand. Thais’ generally don’t think in terms of dieting. Most Thais eat often but small amounts each time. Thais eat breakfast, lunch and dinner; however, many Thai people snack a lot, almost any time of the day or night. Snacks can include a wide range of choices, such as a bowl of noodle soup, fruits, fried food or desserts.Thai food is famous for its spicy quality, but there are many mild or non-spicy dishes. Rice is a staple food. Typical breakfast dishes for Thais are:

  • Jok: ground rice soup with minced pork and ginger, with green onions sprinkled on top, and egg can be added;
  • Khao Tom: rice soup with a selection of meat and vegetable side dishes;
  • Kao Loa Lead Moo: soup which consists of various pig organs such as kidney, liver, heart and stomach as well as ground pork and prepared blood;
  • Khao Man Kai: rice cooked in chicken broth with slices of boiled chicken on top.

Lunch usually includes quick dishes like noodle soups, fried noodles, rice dishes and curries. Dinner is generally served communally in a series of large plates or bowls. There is always steamed rice and 4-5 side dishes, and at least one soup. The 4-5 side dishes consist of a wide variety of food, at least one vegetable dish, one seafood dish, one meat dish, and one spicy dish. Examples of dinner dishes are: curry dishes, dry curry dishes such as Phanaeng, steamed crab (Pu Neung), deep fried fish (Pla Thod), roasted sliced squid (Pla Meuk Yang), fried rice (Khao Pad), Tom Yum soups, etc. After the meal, Thais like desserts. There are so many kinds of dessert in Thailand. Depending on the type of dessert and preference of the eater, sometimes the dishes are shared. The famous desserts are Mangoes with Sticky Rice (Khao Niaw Ma Muang), Bananas in Coconut Milk (Kluay Buat Chi), and combinations of fruit with ground up ice (Nam Kang Sai).Almost every street corner has a selection of food vendors selling a wide variety of snacks, from fried insects (such as grasshoppers) to Spring rolls. Examples of snacks are: Coconut pudding (Khanom Krok), Sticky rice in banana leaves (Khao Tom Mud), Spring rolls (Po Pia Tod), Charcoal-roasted eggs (Kai Ping), Steamed tapioca with minced pork filling (Sa Koo Sai Moo), Fried fish balls (Luk Chin Tod), Fried fish cakes (Tod Mun) and Charcoal-grilled chicken (Kai Yang). As for drinks, there are many kinds, such as fresh juice, tea, Thai iced tea, soda, water and beer. Fresh juice can be pineapple, coconut, cantalope, mango, and orange.The many enticing combinations of foods, as well as the cultural styles of eating, help enhance life and represent many opportunities for creativity and enjoyment.

Phuket attractions you must visit n your next trip

Phuket attractions you must visit n your next trip

The island of Phuket over the years has attracted tourist from all across the world. The island is known for its beaches and exciting culture which guarantees a memorable holiday experience. We list some of the many interesting attractions you must add to your Phuket package:

Phang Nga Bay

The distinctive picture of this bay is the limestone karst formations that jut out vertically from the water. You can spend a leisurely day cruising through the bay. It also gives you the opportunity to land on a quiet beach to spend some time enjoying the sunlight and the emerald waters. When boating through this bay, you get the opportunity to explore the islands of James Bond and Koh Panyee.

Old Phuket town

The old Phuket town is believed to have a unique personality of its own. There are a number of shriens and Buddhist and Chinese temples and a number of quaint cafes where you can snack at. The old town was built on the riches of the tin boom of the last century. There are also a number of old printing shops along with a number of private and public museums dotting the town. The best time to explore the town is early in the morning so you beat the heat.

Big Buddha

This statue is visible from almost anywhere in south Phuket the Bi Buddha is one of the most important and revered statues. The site is not only impressive but offers almost a perfect 360 degree view of the island. There is also a smaller statue closer by golden in colour which is actually made of brass. This impressive structure is a must visit and should be added to your Phuket package.

Simon Cabaret Show

This is the biggest transvestite cabaret show which can be found locally. The show features a variety of classical dances and songs and draws thousands of tourists every year. The extravagant and dramatic costumes and make up will take you across a number of lands from Egypt to China and then back to Thailand. It is some of the most flamboyant performances you will every experience and should not miss a spot on your Phuket package.

Thai Boxing

Muay Thai is another exciting spectacle which showcases tradition and courtesy along with the dangerous sport. There are a number of matches which occur in stadiums as well as on Patong beach. This sport is extremely popular in Thailand should certainly be on your Phuket package itinerary.

Money-Saving Tips When Staying At An Island Resort

Money-Saving Tips When Staying At An Island Resort

Nothing can be more perfect than living a beach lifestyle in an island paradise. You get to enjoy the warm sun, cool and refreshing natural breeze, and take a dip at the beautiful, invigorating beach any time you want to. And aside from just one beach or more, a paradise also offers a lot of other natural, stunning sceneries and attractions that are worth seeing and visiting.

To have the best vacation on an island though, consider staying at a resort. They offer great services, amenities, and they allow you easy access to the beautiful beach or seaside – areas that you will always want to visit or spend time in while you’re on the island.

Staying at a resort, and an island vacation, as a whole, can cost you a fortune though. These expenses can even go higher when you have your holiday in an exotic, foreign island.

But if you can’t ignore the call of a beach paradise and want to have a much-needed vacation here, below are some money-saving tips you can follow when staying at a resort for your island getaway:

Take advantage of current accommodation promos or specials offered by resorts.

Although you want to save money on your accommodation, booking a room at a resort that offers the cheapest rates is not the best decision to make. You may end up regretting choosing this resort because the facilities and rooms are poorly maintained and dirty. You can still stay at a nice resort without spending a ton of cash by looking for one that offers some special promos, deals on rooms, or packages. By following this tip, you can have a more relaxing and enjoyable vacation and at the same time, still save some money.

Set a budget for your trip.

Although a vacation is the ideal time to spend a lot of your hard-earned cash, without a budget, you might just end up blowing a lot of your money on unnecessary thing such as shopping for souvenirs, daily trip to the spa, etc. Before going on your holiday, set a budget that you will work with daily while you’re on vacation and make sure you stick to it.

Be flexible with your meals.

The restaurants and cafes at the resort are there to make dining more convenient and comfortable for you. However, the meals, snacks, and beverages here tend to be more expensive compared to the dining and drinking establishments found in other areas of the islands. Consider eating or having your coffee or drinks at restaurants and other establishments outside the resort. Don’t count out buying your own bread, cold cuts, cereals, milk, snack bars, fruits, and other food and beverages from a local grocery that you can eat and drink when you’re hungry or thirsty to save money as well.

Famous Thai beaches and why one should visit them

Famous Thai beaches and why one should visit them

Thailand is a country which is internationally famous for its beautiful beaches. Thousands of tourist’s flock every year to the Thai beaches to party enjoy the sun and basically have a good time. Here is a list of popular Thai beaches and what each beach is famous for:

 

Koh Phangan- Beach bar

The Flip Flop Pharmacy on this beach is one of the most popular beach bars. The bar brings out the hidden beauty of the island and has a relaxing vibe; the bar holds a number of full moon parties which is mainly why so many tourists visit the destination. With a drinks menu to rival most bars, the Flip Flop Pharmacy offers mellow music, comfortable pillows, low tables with everything lit by lanterns under the stars. One can spend the perfect evening relaxing under the stars sipping a cool beverage.

Koh Tao – the Beautiful beach

Koh Tao is a picture perfect beach where one needs to arrive either early in the morning or just at sunset to get the perfect picture. Nangyuan beach near Koh Tao connects the three small islands by a sliver of sand bar and linked back clear water which is only thigh deep. The beach is beautiful and allows you perfect access to the three islands.

 

Similan Island – Ideal snorkeling destination

If you are one who loves to explore the underwater marine life, then you should grab your snorkeling mask and immediately head to the Similan Islands. There is a national park located west of Khao Lak on the islands which offers some of the best diving sites in the world which cannot be missed out on. There are also several shoals of colourfully bright coral reef you can swim to as well as soft beaches which are perfect for a picnic with your friends.

 

Phuket – the Rooftop bar views

When planning your Phuket package, one must visit Baba Nest which offers an incredible experience if being suspended over Phuket’s Cape Panwa Peninsul. The rooftop bar of Baba Poolclub at Sri Panwa guarantees you a view that will take your breath away of the Andaman Sea. After swimming in the infinity pool, you can relax enjoying the view on the sunken seats provided.

 

Koh Samui and Phuket – Wild beach clubs

Though many like opting for a relaxing evening sampling delicious Thai dishes, there are several tourists who prefer a more luxurious touch to their evenings. When planning your Phuket package you should seriously consider how you wish to spend your evenings. On Koh Samui’s Nikki beach one can get the opportunity to eat sushi, champagne along with music from international DJs while on Phuket’s Catch beach club on Surin beach is known to throw rave parties all night.

 

Be it a holiday travelling the length of Thailand or a simple Phuket package, the country has a lot to offer in terms of interesting beach experiences. So when you decide to visit Thailand, make sure you research the different types of beaches and what they are famous for to ensure that they get the beach experience of their choice.

Fun, frivolity and firecrackers: the top Thailand festivals

Fun, frivolity and firecrackers: the top Thailand festivals
Thailand knows how to party in style. Whether it’s celebrating the start of the rainy season, a new year or just the size of the moon, there’s a festival for nearly every occasion. And the festivals themselves are some of the wildest, weirdest and sometimes wettest on the planet, involving everything from home-made rockets to buffalo races.

Songkran

Marking the start of the lunar new year, Songkran involves the entire country throwing water at each other. Thais and tourists alike grab buckets and water pistols and spend the day drenching anyone in sight – a welcome relief from the searing April temperatures. As well as hurling water, locals love to plant coloured paint on visitors’ faces and wish them a happy new year.Of course the light-hearted mayhem has a more serious side – the water represents cleanliness and a chance to forgive and forget any problems in the previous year. Khao San Road in Bangkok is where most foreigners head for, but every town will have its own water-throwing fun.

Bun Bang Fai

Farmers take a swig of local moonshine, light a fuse and step back. Seconds later their 6m (20ft) homemade rockets are blasting skywards. Welcome to Bun Bang Fai, which takes place in the northeastern town of Yasothon every May. The festival’s official aim is to awaken the spirits in the sky and make sure they send plenty of rain for the crops, but unofficially it is an excuse for the entire town to party in the street. The fun lasts several days, starting with a raucous parade and ending, in a remote field, with the release of the giant rockets.

Phi Ta Khon

A surreal mix of Halloween and carnival, the Phi Ta Khon festival sees locals don brightly coloured ghost masks and take to the streets of Dan Sai, a village in the northeastern province of Loei. The three-day event begins by invoking the spirits with incantations and the tying of ‘protective’ white string around everyone’s wrists. Villagers then hit the streets wearing their famous masks, singing and dancing and inevitably sweeping visitors up in the action. As well as spirits of an ethereal nature, rice wine also makes an appearance, but things sober up on the third day, when Thais listen to Buddhist sermons.Phi Ta Khon is normally held in June, though the exact date is determined by local soothsayers. It re-enacts a tale of Buddha’s return to his home town before he attained enlightenment. His arrival was said to have caused such joyous celebrations that they woke the dead, who then joined in the festivities.

Buffalo Racing

It’s not quite Ascot, but every October in the eastern province of Chonburi buffalo races are the big draw in town. Riders cling bareback to the beasts as they thunder down a muddy track, cheered on by thousands of spectators. The festival also features muay thai (Thai boxing) and traditional Thai games, for example, climbing up a slippery pole to grab money pinned to the top. There is even a Miss Buffalo content for the prettiest-looking animal.

Vegetarian Festival

The Vegetarian Festival is Phuket’s most famous festival and sees the islanders perform gruesome acts of self-mortification. Cheeks, ears and even tongues are pierced with skewers and swords as participants display their religious zeal. Other highlights include fire-walking, climbing ladders that have razor-sharp knives for rungs and letting off firecrackers. As the name suggests, participants abstain from eating meat, and do so in the belief that it will help them live a happier life. The festival is Chinese in origin, and is held annually from late September to early October.

Loi Krathong

Loi Krathong takes place in November and is one of the most serene and peaceful festivals on the Thai calendar. Krathong are small floating vessels made from banana leaves and adorned with candles, incense sticks and flowers. During the festival, Thais take their krathong down to the water’s edge and release them, making a small prayer and letting go of any past grudges. Look skywards and you’ll see dozens of kom loi (mini hot-air balloons), which cast a golden glow over the night sky. Loi Krathong is held throughout the country but the best places to experience it are in Bangkok, Ayuthaya or Sukhothai.

Full-moon party

Welcome to party central! The legendary full-moon parties of Thailand are held on the island of Ko Pha-Ngan in the country’s south. What started as a simple affair with a few dreadlocked backpackers now attracts thousands of visitors keen to sip buckets of booze on the beach and listen to the booming sound systems and DJs. There’s no religious or profound purpose behind the event – it’s simply a hedonistic beach gathering full of fireworks, cocktails and dancing.

Surin Elephant Round-up

Elephants are the kingdom’s national animal (they were even on the flag once), and they get their very own festival each November in the northeastern province of Surin. The festival showcases the strength and skills of the creatures, and includes elephant football, tug-of-war and mock battles, in which around 300 elephants take part. Some pachyderms can even turn their trunks to painting and produce remarkably good pieces.

River Kwai Bridge Week

Held from late November to early December, this festival remembers the fierce fighting that took place on the River Kwai during WWII. The famous Death Railway Bridge in the western province of Kanchanaburi acts as a backdrop to a nightly sound and light show, which tells the story of the Thai-Burma railway and the infamous Hellfire Pass, where Allied prisoners of war were forced to work in brutal conditions. Rooms fill up quickly during this spectacular festival, so be sure to book ahead.