Archive for May, 2008

28
May
08

Chiang Mai Trip – Dec’07 (Part 2/4)

Thailand is really a food and shopping heaven. In this part I would like to share some interesting photos related to food and night market during my trip to Chiang Mai. This is continued from my first part of the travelogue which you can see here.

*~~*~~*~~*~~ Part 2 *~~*~~*~~*~~*

2.1 Food (Damn nice food to be exact)

Nice food is abundant in Chiang Mai. You can buy local delights at the street stall, or you can enjoy nice meal in one of many restaurants available just anywhere. We enjoyed the food there very much and we would like to go back for more 🙂

Some sort of pancake. Looks delicious but by the time I shoot this photo all been sold to a customer 😦

Grilled banana. We didn’t try it as its our 1st day in CM so got to take care our stomach 🙂

Our very first candle light dinner. Very nice food at the “The Riverside” restaurant. Reasonable price even though it was packed with tourist. Its located along the riverbank so the scenery is very nice especially at night. They have river cruise dinner as well.

Deliciously looking strawberry. It is mixed with salt so you get the sweet-sour-salty taste which is quite nice blend. Available at night market.

The famous Chiang Mai sausage. Tasty!

Meatball. Regretfully we didn’t try this one as well (too much food, only 1 stomach… sigh )

Our favorite stall located diagonally opposite our guest house. It was introduced by Douglas (guest house owner). It serves several kind of noodles and pork leg. We ate at this stall for several nights – dinner as well as supper 🙂

The noodle is quite different compared to what we have here. Slightly thicker than our mee hoon. It has a spicy taste. Very nice and cheap, 30 Baht for a bowl.

I can’t get enough of the pork leg!!! If not stopped by my gf I can eat this again and again, each and every night… hehe…. 50 Baht.

This restaurant near to Night Bazaar has menus in many languages.

A street stall selling all kind of deep fried food. Fish, prawn, meat, sausage and etc etc…

Dried lotus root, available in day market (we saw this at Warorot Market)

“Kalamae” – a popular northern Thailand dessert. Sort of our “Dodol” wrapped in banana leaf. Very nice!

This is another version of “Kalamae”. You can get many kind of flavors such as pandan, strawberry, coffee, chocolate, banana and of course…… DURIAN! We bought plenty of this back home.

A stall selling pancake with comic character. You select the character you want, then she will draw it on the hot metal plate and then press the pancake onto it. I think we can sell this idea at our Jonker Street as well 🙂

This is a fried pork rice prepared specially by Stella (the co-owner of our guest house) She is a great cook. She always think of something special for her guests. Price is reasonable. I miss her Green Curry 🙂

Packed food that can be bought at the night market.

Cuttle fish ready for some grilling actions 🙂

“Kao Soi” – Chiang Mai famous curry noodle. Most of the restaurant serves this. Unfortunately we tried a little bit only because both of us were down with sore throat. It has a nice smell and creamy curry taste, and the mixture of boiled noddle and deep fried noodle is fantastic!

2.2 Bizarre Food

Ya we heard of all kind of bizarre food that one can get in Thailand. We do came across a few of them during our stay in Chiang Mai. Here’s some of the weird food.

All kind of deep fried insects are available. We didn’t dare to try though 🙂

Silk worm – me no balls to try it.

Bamboo worm. Actually I took some other photos of the insects-on-sale but it was blur so I wouldn’t be posting it here. There were small cricket, big cricket, grasshopper and etc… You can get these at any of the night market.

Can you recognize what’s that ? hehe… its grilled frog… my goodness… They also sell life frog in plastic bag that you can bring back and BBQ it 🙂 Do you dare to try this ?

My tour guide told me that’s cow’s uterus. Not sure true or not but surely very bizarre…..

Fried honeycomb. My gf tried 1 piece, weird taste 🙂

2.3. Night Market

Chiang Mai is really a shopping heaven too. There are several night markets just like our pasar malam and there’s a permanent night bazaar located at Chang Klan road. You can buy lots of goodies from the night market. Just be sure to bargain. Most of the sellers can speak some English so bargaining is quite easy. Just make sure you bring enough cash because they don’t accept plastic money. hehe… by the time we reached home we were totally out of cash as we spend most of them buying things from the market.

Bustling with activities. The night market seems to go on and on and on with no ends. This is weekend market which located nearby our guest house.

Good place for ladies to hunt for all sort of things. Here’s my gf is trying out different hats before buying a nice one.

Cute hat 🙂 Very colorful…

Handmade decoration items. Next time when I am going to move in to my new house I will definitely shop for decorative items from Chiang Mai.

All sorts of decorative lightings available.

I will get the Doraemon one next time 🙂

Earrings. Plenty of design and selections.

Aren’t they cute…

Handmade wooden cat doll.

Bear attack!

Did I mentioned that you can get everything here – both imaginable and unimaginable 🙂

Packed with people – Night Bazaar which is located about 20 minutes walk from our guest house

Too bad we were full so we didn’t try out the food at the food court.

Am I sexy ???

Banana Rotee

Unique handmade umbrellas. One of the special item in Chiang Mai.

Hand crafted flower from soap bar! Definitely a must buy but need to bargain hard. I got it for 120 Baht per piece but actually can be cheaper.

Cute looking pepper/salt container. Looks like a couple hugging each other but actually its 2 different containers.

Bought these t-shirts from the night bazaar.

Cute elephant t-shirt, for me and my gf.

*~~*~~*~~*~~ End of Part 2 *~~*~~*~~*~~*

Huh! That’s it for part 2 of my Chiang Mai travelogue. Its quite troublesome to post multiple photos into this blog. I hope WordPress will improve the image posting module so that multiple images can be posted at one go. Stay tuned for part 3 🙂

Cheer!


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26
May
08

Chiang Mai Trip – Dec’07 (Part 1/5)

I went to Chiang Mai, Thailand last December with my girl friend. This is my first ever true vacation ever since I have started working in this company (11+ years). I have taken 1000+ photos and have to filter out those that are good enough to be posted into my blog as travelogue. So here you go, please enjoy, but do take note that this is a quite a huge post so if some of the photos can’t be seen please press the Refresh button in your browser. This travelogue will be divided into  4 5 posts so stay tuned 🙂

*~~*~~*~~*~~ Part 1 *~~*~~*~~*~~*

We planned a 7 days trip to Chiang Mai from 29th Dec until 4th Jan. We choose this period because its a nice period to visit Chiang Mai as its dry and cool weather (15C – 28C). We also wanted to spend the New Year’s eve somewhere other than Malaysia. We read a lot of travelogue on the internet about Chiang Mai, but we didn’t plan much about our trip. I just booked a guest house online and after some emails exchange with the owner of the guest house, we were convinced that we should be able to plan our journey after we checked in. Its a risk as usually I prefer to plan everything beforehand but this time we were a bit adventures. Well, everything turn out to be much better than expected!

Oh ya, another thing that we did prior to leaving to Chiang Mai is getting my colleague in Bangkok to help me to buy a map. I saw lots of good review about this map by Nancy Chandler I decided to ask my colleague to buy one and post it to me. The map is very unique as it looks like a hand drawn map with lots of details. You can also buy the map from her online store.

I will arrange my travelogue according to several categories and post some interesting photos along. Do enjoy!

1.1 Guest House

We spend the whole trip while in Chiang Mai staying at Green Tulips guest house. Lots of people recommended this place as it is cheap and very clean. We done our booking through online but we were not required to pay for any deposit until we checked in. When we arrived at the guest house we immediately fall in love with it. Its super duper clean and tastefully decorated! The owner is a Singaporean guy-Douglas and his wife Stella , as well as the in-keeper Nine. They are all awesome! Very friendly and helpful.

The ground floor of the guest house is a restaurant. Stella is a great cook as well and we ate several dishes prepared by her, its among the best food we ate while in Chiang Mai!

Initially we booked a room with bathroom attached and with air conditioner, for 850 Baht per night, then subsequently we changed to a smaller room with shared bathroom, for 450 Baht which is really value for money. The shared bathroom is even cleaner than my own bathroom at home! Everything in the hotel is very tidy and spotless. We will definitely check in at the some guest house again if we go to Chiang Mai next time 🙂

Location on map

It shows as Golden Tulip on the Map, was a typo.

Green Tulip guest house

Green Tulip. great color!

Bedroom

Nice, cozy, air-cond and attached bathroom for 850 Baht per night.

Outside of our room, really cozy, I like the wooden floor!

Colorful!

Everything is so colorful!

Tastefully decorated!

1.2 Transport & Street

Tut tut

The fastest way to travel is by Tut tut, but we have to bargain to get a good price.

Street

Chiang Mai’s street is not as packed as Bangkok’s. Its quite easy to cross the street.

Taxi

Song Thaew (Pick Up taxi) can be cheaper than Tut tut, just flag 1 down and hop on if the driver is driving on the same route as your destination. Different color for different routes.

Button

There’s a button to be pushed to indicate to the driver to stop. Payment is made after arriving at the destination.

We spend a lot of time just walking along the streets, nice and calm.

Pretty flower along the street.

Street sign

Most of the street signs are wonderfully decorated.

Scooter

You need so many mirrors to be safe on the road ? Cute though 🙂

Prawn law?

Prawn law ? What ?? Hehe..both of us saw the same thing but it was actually “Prawin”, not “Prawn”.

Messy Cablings

Messy cabling dangling down. Looks dangerous but no one seems to bother.

Tourist friendly

2nd best ? I don’t think being honest is a good marketing strategy 🙂 Since its only 2nd best so we didn’t try it. hehe…

1.3 Dogs

Shih Tzu dog

Chiang Mai people LOVE dogs. There are a lot of cute dogs around.

Roaming the street

They go everywhere with their dogs and some even with cloths on. Cute!

Handsome dog

We chased this MPV down so that I can take this photo 🙂

Proud owner

A very proud owner indeed. All in Pink! He was very happy when I took this photo.

Cute doggie

We play with this doggie for 30 minutes and wanted to smuggle it back home. We missed him so much even after we come back. Sweet memories!

1.4 Wat/Buddhist Temple

There are a lot of Wat or Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai (More than 300 temples). Some of the temples are quite unique while others quite alike-design wise. There were quite a few temples located within walking distance from our guest house. After visiting several Wats we have a feeling that all the Wats start to look alike. They are all beautiful temples nonetheless, but I don’t think visiting several Wats in a row will be a good idea.

Temple

A typical Lanna style Buddhist temple (unfortunately I forget its name)

Buddha\'s statue

Buddha’s statue, quite different compared to Malaysia as they place some photos of their King and Queen in front of the statue.

White Pagoda, Golden Buddha statue

A Buddha’s statue in front of a white pagoda.

Buddha’s statue behind steel bars. Not sure why, probably the statue is made of real gold.

Garden

Some temple has nice garden around it. This one with cute statues of various animals.

Statue

Nice statue.

Offering

People giving offering to the monks. They put some coins into the urns.

Prayers

Thai people making New Year’s Eve prayers at Wat Phra Singh. Its located few steps away from our guest house.

Wat Jedee Luang

Wat Chedi Luang. was the home of the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most sacred cultural treasure. Damaged during an earthquake in 1545, the structure is still impressive with a naga (water serpent) staircase on each of its faces and wonderful statues of elephants adorning the base.

Chat with monk

I spend some time to chat with a monk at Wat Chedi Luang. He is a student in Chiang Mai university and was able to speak fluent English. We talked about some difficulties I faced in my life. Its quite spiritual and meaningful.

*~~*~~*~~*~~ End of Part 1 *~~*~~*~~*~~*

22
May
08

The 11th Hour

I watched a documentary several days ago – “The 11th Hour” narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.

I think this is a good documentary and everyone should watch it. We need to understand that we are at the brink of disaster due to global warming. The movie highlights the main causes of the global warming such as greenhouse gases, deforestation, water pollution and etc. All these are due to human beings’ activities that bring harms to the nature. Its important for us to realize that our present generation must START to right the wrongs, we need to understand our impact to nature and how we should change our lifestyle so that our future can enjoy a better environment. WE NEED TO TAKE ACTION NOW!

Actually in our company this year we started to emphasized on the CO2 reduction. Lots of manufacturing processes being reviewed and drastic actions being taken to reduce CO2 emission. On top of that we have a new policy whereby office air conditioner’s temperature cannot be lower than 28C(used to be around 25C, its quite hot actually but we will get used to it). We also off the lights during non working hours such as break and lunch time. There’s a lot of activities being carry out and I hope other companies will at least take some measures in order to contribute to preserving our nature.

So, maybe you can start to do something about your working environment, how to reduce electricity consumption, how to reduce CO2 emission and etc.

On the other hand, we also need to consider what we can do as an individual. How we can change our lifestyle so that we can reduce our impact to our beloved earth ? I have personally made a few pledges that I would like to start doing.

1) I will not use my car’s air conditioner when driving to and back from work.

2) If I used the air conditioner in my room at night, I will use to timer to off it after 2 hours.

3) I not use plastic bags when go for shopping. I will carry my own shopping bag.

4) I will use lesser amount of water when doing my washing and shower. I will not waste water.

5) I will create awareness in my family and my friends, to understand the seriousness of global warming.

By the way, do visit www.earthlab.com and register yourself. You can calculate what is your ECP (Earth Conservation Plan) score, your CO2 impact to earth and you can get plenty of ideas on what you can do to help to heal our earth.

I hope you can share this message with people that you know and let’s start to make a different!

~cheers~

21
May
08

Hold My Hand

Here is a short story with a beautiful message…

Little girl and her father were crossing a bridge.
The father was kind of scared so he asked his little daughter,
‘Sweetheart, please hold my hand so that you don’t fall into the river.’
The little girl said, ‘No, Dad. You hold my hand.’

‘What’s the difference?’ Asked the puzzled father.
‘There’s a big difference,’ replied the little girl.

‘If I hold your hand and something happens to me,
chances are that I may let your hand go.
But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens,
you will never let my hand go.’


In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond.
So hold the hand of the person who loves you rather than expecting them to hold yours…

17
May
08

Relieved……

I am relieved that finally today I was able to contact my friend in Chong Qing. I tried to contact her several times after the earthquake in SiChuan province to no avail. She told me that she was working in her office which is located on 32th floor when the earthquake happens. The whole building was shaking and she thought that her time was up. She ran from the 32th floor to the ground through the evacuation stairs and thank god everything is fine, at least in Chong Qing there was no serious damage compared to SiChuan.

I also called up my China’s ex-colleague several days ago, his parents in living in SiChuan province and he told me that his family was ok, just some damages to the house but no lost of lives. His family is lucky as compared to tens of thousand others. I felt so sad when I saw the pictures on the newspaper and i flick through it quickly as i can’t stand seeing those sad photos. There’s a piece of news today saying that a victim has to amputate her leg by her own hand,  as there’s no enough clearance for the medical staff to do it. So sad to see this….

I hope that they will be able to rescue more survivors and lets hope for the best.  I think we are not able to do much here, except giving some donations and prayers to the earthquake victims.

On the other hand, lets not forget the cyclone victims in Myanmar, I think we have not give enough attention to them, compared to the China’s earthquake incidents. Lets pray for them… Amitabha.

15
May
08

To the angels of May 12

I came across this poem, dedicated to the lost angels during the May 12 earthquake in China. Hope to share with you. Let us all pray that all these lost angels will rest in peace. Amitabha.

爸爸妈妈 别为我们难过 (献给5.12中离去的小天使们)

爸爸妈妈
那是你们吗
我听到了你们的呼唤
从出生时开始就听着
从小宝宝一直听到我上小学

当我现在睡着的时候,
好想让你们来到我的跟前
给我盖上裸露的手臂,
帮我找回我跑丢的小鞋.

爸爸妈妈
我好想你们能亲手为我合上双眼,
让爸爸再亲亲我的脸
让妈妈再摸我的脸颊一遍

爸爸
我身边还有好多的弟弟妹妹哥哥姐姐
你一定要找到他们亲人
带上漂亮的衣服还有漂亮的鞋
妈妈
我们都是好孩子.正在好好的学习.
努力不给你们丢脸
可是……

爸爸妈妈,
我和我的同学还有老师
静静地躺在学校昔日的操场前
往日的情景又在出现
我们在这里跳绳在这里踢毽
我们在这里戴上红领巾
在这里向祖国宣言:好好学习 天天向上
好多好多的鲜花
好多好多的嫩脸

可是现在我好冷好冷
爸爸妈妈抱抱我吧
一定要再亲亲我的脸

爸爸妈妈
你们在外打工好远好远
我知道你们好难好难
我没有怪你们
把我托付给叔叔
我没有怪你们
不在我的跟前
因为还有爷爷奶奶要养
你们还要出去挣钱挣好多钱

爸爸妈妈
别为我们难过
我们跟老师在一起

爸爸妈妈
别为我们难过
以后一定要记得建好我们的家园
我们只求爸爸妈妈
还有千千万万个爸爸妈妈
在下一个今天
下一个的今天 为我们把气球放飞一遍
上面写着:
我们乖.
我们来过.
我们是天使.

13
May
08

I Love You!

Last Sunday was 6th years anniversary for me and my gf. We have been together for 6 years now and it felt like we just met yesterday, err… a bit exaggerate :) Anyway, as with any couples, we have our ups and downs throughout this period of time but we managed to overcome it. Lately I felt that our relationship improved a lot, probably due to she is working in Singapore now and we don’t get to see each other everyday, hence we appreciate our relationship more.

I didn’t buy any special present this year, just created a small card for her as she always complained that I never spend time to create card for her anymore (I used to create some nice cards for her previously). I am glad that she loved the card although Its not as nice as I would wanted it to be.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Dear, I just want you to know that I love you very much, you are every part of my life now and I don’t know how I can live without you (and my room wouldn’t be as tidy as well 😛 ). In front of millions of blog readers (although at the moment only Susan is reading my blog) I want to say “I LOVE YOU !!!” and thanks for all the love you gave to me! I want to spend the rest of my life with you!




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