The Wine Shoppe

The Wine Shoppe Logo

A Thai friend, Ken (Glid), is opening a wine shop called, The Wine Shoppe. It will be located in an arcade attached to the Mecure Hotel (formerly Novotel) next to Tops supermarket at Chotana. He plans to stock a range of international wines which may include Angove wine from Australia and expects to open in early February.

 

If you are a local and and can support him, please do so. I have included a map. The shop will have tables and chairs so you can sample wine in a cafe type atmosphere.

 

Ken (Glid)

We all wish Ken great success in his exciting new venture. I will post again after his opening.

Lanna Music

Lanna Concert Poster

Last night there was a unique concert of Lanna music played on traditional instruments at the Kaew Nawarat Campus of Payap University. It was on the lawn outside the music department, The area was decorated with candles, and it was a beautiful clear evening.

The lanna band was led by Purithat Aroonkarn, who lives in Chiang Mai. Currently he is studying at Duriyaslip College of Music, Payap University. His main instrument is the salor but he also plays the flute. The players in his group used the salor, seung, pin pia, pee nam tao, and the klui (flute). There were two vocalists.

After intermission, the lanna band was augmented with the Payap String Ensemble ( two violins, a viola, a cello and a double bass). The western instruments blended well with the traditional instruments.

A small lanna dance sequence was included in the programme.

The concert was not only free but included a Thai desert snack. The evening was another insight into the rich cultural heritage of this country.

Lanna Dancing

This picture was kindly sent to me by a Thai photographer, Tae, who was in the audience.

Lanna Instruments

Lanna Musical Instruments

Soi Dogs

 

 

Soi Dogs

Soi dogs (street dogs) can be a problem when walking around residential areas of Chiang Mai, or anywhere in Thailand for that matter. Sometimes I encounter them on my morning walk. Fortunately they are normally very cowardly. If you bend down to pretend you are picking up a stone they back off.

Dogs can also be a nuisance at wats where monks care for them. Thai people often dump unwanted pets at wats because they know that animals will be looked after there. Sometimes these dogs are diseased or have mange or a leg missing.

Rabies is prevalent in Thailand, so it is important to go to a hospital for a rabies shot, if you happen to be bitten by a dog.

Laos

I am going to southern Laos for a short break.

A friend moved to Laos a couple of months ago to take up a position as Executive Chef at a posh new resort called The River Resort on the Mekong river in Champasak about 20 km south of Pakse. He previously ran West restaurant here in Chiang Mai

I am travelling with an American couple, Leigh and Kris, who are friends of mine, We were regular diners at West and we are going to visit David in his new job in Laos. On Friday morning we fly to Ubon Ratchathani where we will be picked up and driven to the Laoatian border. After immigration and customs formalities we will be met by the resort staff who will drive us to the resort (about 2 hours I think). Continue reading

Chez Marco

Marco

Last night we dined at Chez Marco, a very popular French restaurant in  Loi Kroh Road in Chiang  Mai. Despite it’s location is in an area of girlie bars it is one of Chiang Mai’s upmarket restaurants.

In 2007, Marco, the restaurant’s owner, from southern France, opened a little restaurant in the Loi Kroh tourist district. The restaurant was so successful that it was able to annex the neighboring shop and double its size. Even still, it is difficult to get a table there on weekends or during the high season without a reservation. The menu is specifically French and generally Mediterranean. Of course, Marco keeps a wide range of reasonably priced wines.

Last year Marco was involved in a serious motor cycle accident and rushed to the  ICU at Chiang Mai Ram. Doctors say that while recovery is going to be excruciatingly slow, there shouldl be no permanent damage. Continue reading

Australia Day

January 26th is Australia Day.

“An overwhelming majority of Australians have nominated Australia Day as the most significant day on the national calendar.

A survey found 93 percent of people named Australia Day as a day of importance – more than any other national celebration. Continue reading

Wong

Wong

I buy my fish from Wong. He was originally from Malaysia and his ethnicity is chinese- malay. He and his family have lived in Thailand for many years. He operates from his house in the Pimuk area in Chiang Mai. Twice a week he drives his pick-up truck to Mahachai (Samut Prakhan), on the Gulf of Thailand, about 25 km south of Bangkok which is the port for a large fishing fleet. He buys catch direct from the fishermen and returns to Chiang Mai with everything packed in ice in polystyrene containers.Years ago I travelled by train to the area from Bangkok. Near the terminus, a market operates over the railway line. It is a unique sight to see the vendors moving their awnings and produce as the train passes through. But that is another story. Continue reading

Thai Spirit House

The Spirit House is one of the most fundamental features of Thai life. It is often the most obvious indication of their devotion to Buddhism.

When Buddhism came to Southeast Asia, it developed side by side with the ancient spirit religion. Today, many of the old animistic beliefs are intertwined with Buddhism and some animistic practices still exist in Thailand. One of these which is practiced by every Thai is the belief in the Spirit House. Continue reading