Archive for the ‘ Thailand ’ Category

Thailand in a Bag

If you missed Vietnam on a Stick or Life on a Stick Part 2, then this might not make a whole lot of sense.  But it is amazing how when you start to look for something, you start to see it everywhere!  It started in Vietnam when I  noticed just how much stuff you can get on a stick.  It seemed everywhere I looked I saw something else on a stick.

Back in Thailand, I decided to see how much stuff I could find in a bag.  Once again I was not disappointed.  Here are just a few samples of what you can get in Thailand in a Bag!

Big Fish in a Bag

Little Fish in a Bag

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Welcome to the year 2553

April 13th marks the beginning of the new year in Thailand and to celebrate they take to the streets with guns……..WATER GUNS!  Three days of non stop soggy urban warfare welcomes in the new year!

Buddha died 543 years before Jesus,  so Buddhist countries start counting years from there making this the year 2553.  The celebration of the new year is called Songkran and it takes place from April 13th through the 15th every year.  There is a serious and spiritual side to the holiday, where people visit temples and wash the Buddha, but the most visible part of the celebration is a massive city wide water fight!  What better way to celebrate during the hottest month of the year when temperatures are hovering around 100 degrees (39 Celsius) every day?  Here is how it works:

In the week or so leading up to Songkran, street markets and stores begin selling all sorts of flowery Songkran shirts.  These shirts look like what we would call “Hawaiian shirts” and basically label anyone wearing one as a target.  We eagerly bought shirts and several air powered water cannons to participate in the festivities.  We jumped into a Tuk Tuk (little open air motorcycle taxi) and headed for Khao San road.  Within minutes we were soaked from head to toe.  Every street corner we passed had people throwing buckets of water at us to wish us a good new year.  Pick up trucks with 5 to 15 people in the back and garbage cans filled with water were driving around throwing water at anyone with a squirt gun or Songkran shirt.

Khao San road itself was filled to capacity with smiling faces and dripping bodies!  A few tourists, who did not read up before arriving, tried in vain to reach their hotels without being doused with icy water.  A few were angry, but most just smiled and went with the moment.  I am amazed at how much fun it was to shoot water at people who could not be more wet if they were in a swimming pool, but somehow this kept us entertained for hours!  We took a bus ride home and continued to do battle from the windows of the bus.  Water was flying in and out of the bus windows as the driver laughed and encouraged the antics!  What a great few days!

Raise your hand if you think this is an activity you would like to have in your country!  I for one would vote to hold city wide water fights in the US every year in July or August.  Maybe we could tie it in with our 4th of July?

If you want more information on the religious or historical aspects of Songkran or want to see some videos here are a few links.  Enjoy!

Wikipedia Information

This video has some good images of what I described above. It is from Chiang Mai in the north where the moat that runs around the city fuels the water supply and fun but it shows the tuk tuks and the pick ups and other crazy scenes!

Life On a Stick Part 2

Since my photo blog “Vietnam on a Stick” I have continued to see so many things put on sticks!  So many that I have decided to post a second part in the series.   Most of these photos are from Thailand but a few are from Vietnam and Cambodia.  I am sure when I get back to the United States, I will continue to see things on sticks but here are the latest from South East Asia on a Stick!

Propeller on a Stick

Disgusting on a Stick  (Some people might call this “Delicious on a Stick” but they would be wrong!)

Relief on a Stick

Big Brother on a Stick (Also called “Surveillance on a Stick” in case the dog wakes up!)

Tim on a Stick

Houses on Sticks

Stairs on a Stick

Waffle on a Stick

Path on Sticks and Boat on a Stick

Bicycle Bar Seat on a Stick

Blade on a Stick

Sink on a Stick

Buddha on a Stick

TV on a Stick

Poop on a Stick (OK so it is not poop but if you squint a little it could be!)

I have more but I will save them in case I need to post part 3.

Vietnam On A Stick

It is amazing just how many foods and other items people can put on a stick!  The following photo blog depicts just a few of the interesting items I found on sticks in the last few days.   Once I started looking it seemed everywhere I looked, I saw more stuff on a stick!  I found this to be so much fun, I am considering another photo blog titled “Thailand in a Bag”.

Flavored ice on a stick

Smell on a stick

Squid on a stick

Egg on a stick

Communism on a stick

Shade on a stick

Fish on a stick

Potato on a stick  (This was delicious!!!)

Fire on a stick

Old lady on a stick

Bridge on a stick

Air Conditioning on a stick

Fruit on a stick

Power on a stick

Inflation on a stick

This is less than half of my “On a stick” collection but you probably get the point.  Look around today and notice just how much stuff we put on sticks!

Strange Thailand Experience #1

Lots of people I know like to eat fish.  I do not like to eat fish but today I discovered I like to be eaten by fish!

This morning my brother took us to one of the larger Bangkok markets where we meandered through narrow corridors and crowded stalls.  We saw lots of sights, and smelled lots of smells.  We tasted a few tastes, and sampled a few samples.  Nothing too out of the ordinary for a large market filled to capacity with the art of the artisans and the merchandise of the merchants.  Little did I know that smack dab in the middle of all the textiles, t-Shirts, and unnecessary plastic objects, was an unusual experience waiting to happen.

We passed by a stall with two blue tubs and a large sign advertising “Fish Massage”.  Now this is something I have not seen before!  We investigated further and found  that for 150 Bot (About 4 dollars) you can stick your feet in these tubs and a swarm of little fish will cover your feet and nibble away all the dead skin.  That was enough to convince my mother and I that this would be money well spent!

The sensation was like no other I’ve had before.  It felt almost like a low level electrical current or slight vibration was covering my feet and toes as these little fish greedily scoured them clean.  I giggled a few times when they got between my toes, but for the most part it was a pleasant experience.  Supposedly this treatment is good for circulation, psoriasis, and the healing of scars, but I don’t care about any of these things.  I just thought it felt good!

Perhaps my favorite part of traveling is eating.  This is why this is my third trip to Thailand.  I intend to eat Thai food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, until I start to sweat chili paste!  What I did not count on was being a meal myself.