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Weekend Trip to Samui after the Floods

Weekend Trip to Samui after the Floods

Last week, Samui and much of Southern Thailand faced some devastating floods due to the northeast monsoon. On Samui they had continuous rain for nearly a week which made it difficult for the water to drain away. Some people say it was the worst floods they’ve had in 30 years. Once the floods had finally gone down, I flew to Samui to give morale support to the local people. This should have been their high season. I spoke to some tourists who come here in January every year and they said that it has never rained so much before. The worst seems over but some isolated thunderstorms have been forecasted for the next three days. This time they are more prepared with water pumps on standby. Hopefully this time it won’t be continuous rain and not so widespread. The following photos were tweeted live during my two-day visit to the island.

Day 4 of Trip to Isaan for Christmas

Day 4 of Trip to Isaan for Christmas

These are the photos that I tweeted live on the fourth and last day of my trip to Northeastern Thailand. I was visiting Yasothon for their annual Christmas Star Parade. Click here for Day 1Day 2, and Day 3. Also visit Thailand Photo Map for GPS coordinates of all the places that I visited. The last day was mainly traveling back home. But we did visit the national museum in Ubon and had lunch at a popular Vietnamese restaurant. The following photos were tweeted live on Twitter.

Day 3 of Trip to Isaan for Christmas

Day 3 of Trip to Isaan for Christmas

This is now Day 3 of my trip to Isaan to take photos at the Christmas Star festival in Yasothon. Click here for Day 1 and Day 2. Also visit Thailand Photo Map for GPS coordinates of all the places that I visited. The highlights today were a 20-meter high seated Buddha and Khemmarat Walking Street. The follow photos were tweeted live on Twitter. 

Day 2 of Trip to Isaan for Christmas

Day 2 of Trip to Isaan for Christmas

This weekend I’m in Northeastern Thailand for four days. The highlight is the Christmas Star Procession in Ban Son Yae in Yasothon province. St. Michael’s church is the largest wooden church in Thailand. This building dates back to 1947 but the Christian community started the first church here in 1908. The following are the photos that I tweeted live during the trip.

Day 1 of Trip to Isaan for Christmas

Day 1 of Trip to Isaan for Christmas

When tourists come to Thailand, they only see the temples, and so most think that all Thais are Buddhists. But there are also large Christian communities. At this time of year it is more obvious as they are celebrating Christmas. In Isaan, there is a big Christmas Star Parade in Sakon Nakhon. I visited this community five years ago. This year, I’m in Ban Songyae in Yasothon for their celebration in the run up to Christmas. The following photos were tweeted live on the first day of my trip to Northeastern Thailand.

Day 2 of Trip to Chiang Mai to visit the Royal Projects

Day 2 of Trip to Chiang Mai to visit the Royal Projects

Over the weekend I was in Chiang Mai to visit some of the Royal Projects as well as some new and notable tourist attractions. I travelled to Northern Thailand on the new sleeper train (see photos here). These are the photos that I tweeted live on Day 2 of the trip (Click here for Day 1). On this day we visited Doi Inthanon which is not only the highest peak in Thailand but also hosts some important royal projects.

 

 

Day 1 of Trip to Chiang Mai to visit the Royal Projects

Day 1 of Trip to Chiang Mai to visit the Royal Projects

Following the passing of King Bhumibol, there has been a renewed interest in the royal projects around Thailand. The TAT has produced a book about 70 of the most popular and accessible of these projects which are open to tourists. Starting this month, I will be visiting many of these projects. However, please be warned, many do not have easy access by public transport and you may need to rent a car or driver. The following are the photos that I tweeted live from day one of my trip to Chiang Mai. By the way, I came here on the overnight train and you can see those trip photos here.

Trip to Chiang Mai on the new Sleeper Train

Trip to Chiang Mai on the new Sleeper Train

The overnight express sleeper train to Chiang Mai has always been popular. It’s even more so now because of the new carriages from China. If you want to go on it you will have to wait until at least the new year as it is fully booked. I was lucky to be able to ride it on Sunday night at the invitation of the Minister of Tourism. We took the 2nd Class sleeper. The lower bunk was 881 Baht and the upper bunk was 791 Baht. The train left Bangkok at 6:10pm and was scheduled to arrive in Chiang Mai at 7:15am the next morning. The following are the photos that I tweeted live during the trip.

Trip to Chiang Mai for Elephant Parade 2016

Trip to Chiang Mai for Elephant Parade 2016

This weekend I flew to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand for “Elephant Parade 2016”. Their story started ten years ago with a chance meeting with Mosha, a 7-month old elephant that had stepped on a landmine. Now Elephant Parade founder Mike Spits has helped raise more than 12.5 Million Baht for the Elephant Hospital in Lampang where Mosha is a permanent resident. They have done this through producing beautifully decorated elephants that have either been auctioned or received sponsorship. You can see the herd of elephants in Chiang Mai until 15 January 2017. You can also visit their workshop and museum to learn more. The following are the photos that I tweeted live during the trip.

Trip to Phuket for 30th King’s Cup Regatta 2016

Trip to Phuket for 30th King’s Cup Regatta 2016

The prestigious Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2016 started at the weekend and continues until 10 December. More than 1,000 sailors from around the world have come to Thailand to compete in this event which is now in its 30th year. Many of the sailors are repeat competitors and the event has become more like a big family reunion. Of particular note is the work that has been done over the last six years to encourage Thai youngsters to take up sailing. Free lessons are held during the school holidays every year. The following are some of the photos that I tweeted live during my trip.

Day 2 of Trip to Ayutthaya and Lopburi

Day 2 of Trip to Ayutthaya and Lopburi

Over the weekend,  I went on a road trip north of Bangkok to Ayutthaya and Lopburi. These are two good stops if you’re heading to Chiang Mai by train and you want to break your journey. During my second day I attended the annual Monkey Party. Lopburi is famous for the monkeys and on the last Sunday of November every year they throw a party for them. I was also hoping to visit some sunflower fields on this trip. But I was told they are not very good this year so far. Everyone is saying come back in December as they are late blooming. The State Railway of Thailand also hasn’t started their sunflower train trips yet. The following are the photos that I tweeted live. Click here for Day One.

Day 1 of Trip to Ayutthaya and Lopburi

Day 1 of Trip to Ayutthaya and Lopburi

Over the weekend, I went on a two day trip to visit Ayutthaya and Lopburi to the North of Bangkok. Both of these destinations are easily reached by train from Hua Lamphong, though you can also catch passenger vans from Mochit 2. I was in Ayutthaya for the free jazz concert and Lopburi for the annual Monkey Party. I also came on the trip to promote the national museums and historical parks that are free until 31 January 2017. These are the photos that I tweeted live during the first day of the trip.

Trip to Phuket for the Laguna Phuket Triathlon

Trip to Phuket for the Laguna Phuket Triathlon

Over the weekend, I flew down to Phuket to attend the 23rd Laguna Phuket Triathlon. I was a guest of the Ministry of Tourism & Sports for the two day trip. As well as attending the Triathlon, I was also able to visit a few places around Phuket. Click here for a story about the Triathlon. These are the photos that I tweeted live during the trip.

Everything is Back to Normal in Pattaya

Everything is Back to Normal in Pattaya

Since the passing of King Bhumibol, I received many questions from tourists asking what it is like in Pattaya at the moment. Instead of relying on secondhand sources, I decided to drive down there myself on Friday. What I found was that everything was back to normal. Walking Street in particular still had the shows and live music. There is no need to cancel a trip to Thailand. The following are the photos that I tweeted live during the trip.

Day trip to Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

Day trip to Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

At the weekend, I took a couple of friends to Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market in Taling Chan district of Bangkok. The majority of these markets are only open at the weekend, though they usually extend to a Monday if it’s a public holiday. Lat Mayom is one of my favorites, though it’s best to be there by 9am as it can get crowded and hard to find a table to sit and eat. However, they seemed to have extended down the canal a bit further since my last visit to help solve this problem. As well as eating, you can also join various boat trips. Here is a google map link. The following are the photos that I tweeted live during the trip.

Day 2 of Trip to Khon Kaen to see the Dinosaurs

Day 2 of Trip to Khon Kaen to see the Dinosaurs

I recently spent two days in Khon Kaen province in Northeastern Thailand. The aim of the trip was to promote the dinosaur heritage of the region as well as some new and relatively unseen attractions. These are the photos that I tweeted on the second day. 

Day 1 of Trip to Khon Kaen to see the dinosaurs 

Day 1 of Trip to Khon Kaen to see the dinosaurs 

Over the period of two days, I’m in Khon Kaen province in Northeastern Thailand. The aim of the trip is to promote the dinosaur heritage of the region as well as some new and relatively unseen attractions. Apparently, as many as nine dinosaurs have been discovered in Thailand that haven’t been seen elsewhere. This means that Thais get to choose the name. On the first day I visited Phuwiang Dinosaur Museum, but there are five others in Thailand. Another one is due to open in Surat Thani soon. These photos were tweeted live during my trip.