One of the areas that was hit hard by the recent flooding in Southern Thailand was Chumphon Province. The people in Phato district said it was the worst flooding in living memory. Although the flood has now receded and the water in the river has returned to a normal color, the scars still remain. I met the owner of Malin Rafting Service in Phato. Her house & rafts were washed away in a flash flood. She spent the night in the tree. Despite losing everything, she was determined to continue. With help from the government, she was able to buy new rafts. This weekend her company took part in the annual Phato Raft Festival. I tweeted the following photos during my trip to Chumphon.
During February, there’s a chance to join a free boat trip to visit nine temples and shrines in Nonthaburi province. This is mainly of interest to Thai Buddhists, but foreigners can join as well. When I went last weekend, there were about 1,500 people taking part. To register, go to the pier in Nonthaburi between 6:30am and 9:30am on either 12th or 19th February 2017. If you miss it this year, try again next year. The photos here were tweeted live during the trip.
During Januay, TAT Bangkok published a series of eight walking maps for the city. At the moment these are only in Thai language but they promise an English version soon. In the meantime, I’ve started working on my own English version using Google Maps. I’ve used their map as my inspiration but will add my own places if I can. The photos on this page were tweeted live while I explored this area. I’ll be back again as I only scratched the surface. In the meantime, bookmark thailandphotomap.com as I will be posting my photos and notes there.
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.
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 1, Day 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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