About 10 km up the road from us, towards Mae On, a new project is being developed. It is called Fig a Daily. Thais don’t appreciate fresh or dried figs because they simply don’t have them in their markets. Things are changing however as the demand for fresh figs is exceeding supply. I love figs, especially fig jam, so with great interest we visited the farm.
Large Concrete Pots
Figs are grown in green houses, I think mainly for protection from birds and insects, in very large concrete containers. Water is reticulated to each pot and the trees grow very fast. They reach over 2 metres in six months.
4 for 100 baht
We were given free tastings of the many varieties. Yum. We also purchased 4 figs for 100 baht ( about 4A$).
We have arranged to purchase a tree for our yard, green ichau, a Japanese variety. Birds are said to be colour blind to green so I hope we don’t lose fruit to them.
I wish the project well. A coffee shop is also being developed on site, so the farm will probably become a tourist attraction.
The Concert Poster
Last night we attended the Grand Christmas Spectular of the expats club. at the River Market Restaurant. A very flash name but it was a most enjoyable evening.
Before the Concert
It was a festive concert featuring the Bangkok Brass Quintet, with program introductions by JP Kirkland, a localmusicologist.
Lertkiat Chongjirajitra, trumpet and leader, is currently a member of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra after serving in the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra for 21 years. He has taught in almost every continent including the USA, Japan and Europe. He has appeared as soloist in many kinds of ensemble as well as chamber music all around the world. Apart from teaching and making music, he loves photography.
Alongkorn Kamonngam, trumpet, is currently a member of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Siam Philharmonic and many more ensembles in Bangkok. He is also a trumpet instructor at Silpakorn University Faculty of Music.
Supreeti Ansvananda, horn, is currently a principal horn of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and Siam Philharmonic Orchestra, former member of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. He has also been on the horn faculty at Silpakorn University since 2013.
Jirapat Praeprasert, euphonium and trombone, is a member of The Green Brass Band and euphonium instructor of Kasetsart University, Silpakorn University and Thai Royal Navy Music Division. Now he is currently enrolled in the Master degree program in the Mahidol University College of music.
Teerapat Dacha, tuba, is a principal Tuba of Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and Siam Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a tuba instructor at Rungsit University and Mahasarakarm University. He has just graduated from National University of Singapore a year ago.
Clarke/Mills: Prince of Denmark’s March
Mahler/Stanton: Blumine from Mahler 1st Symphony
Anonymous/King: Sonata from Bankelsangerlieder
Scheidt/Mills: Galliard Battaglia
Tchaikovsky/Lertkiat: Danse Napolitan
Scheidt/De-Jong: Canzona Bergamasca
Henley and Silbar/Lertkiat: The Wind Beneath My Wings
Morricone/Lertkiat: Theme from Cinema Paradiso
Gershwin/Lertkiat: Bess, you is my woman now
Traditional/Dante: The Little Drummer Boy
Martin/Lertkiat: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Berlin/Lertkiat: White Christmas
Traditional/Lertkiat: Silent Night
Traditional/Holcombet: Deck the Halls
Traditional/Dante: A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
After the program,we enjoyed hors d’oeuvres with a cash bar on the lawn by the river.
The Brass Quintet with Nancy, Expats President and JP Musicologist
During the Concert
My Canadian friend, Don, is back in town. Last night we dined at the incredible Good View Village at Mae Hai. The place was adorned with millions of Christmas lights. Yes, millions.
The restaurant is located in a road off Canal Road. It is set over a man-made lake. It also features private karaoke rooms.
One of the Bands
Despite many people waiting for tables, our reservation worked perfectly, and we were shown straight to our table which was preset for three.Being Saturday night the restaurant was packed. There were literally hundreds of diners. The system however works perfectly with plenty of staff and kitchen orders are monitored regularly.A band plays music at a comfortable sound level. Bands seem to change every hour.
The restaurant serves not only Thai food, but also Japanese, Chinese, and Western food. For starters Don & I ordered prawn fritters and Toy ordered imitation crab Japanese style For mains Don ordered chicken & cashews, Toy had a spicy Thai seafood dish, and I had fish & chips.
A great evening with good food and good service. Wine is fully priced.
Don About to Tuck-In to his Prawn Fritters
Fish & Chips
Imitation Crab Japanese Style
The Good View Village
Outside of the Restaurant
On Thursday night the Dining Out Group ate at the Kai Yang Rodvised Isan restaurant located In a soi off Chiang Mai Land Road. The site was previously occupied by the French restaurant Le Beaulieu Nineteen of us enjoyed a pleasant evening. Dr Pal, who is a friend of our convener, Paul, has a clinic the area and he owns the restaurant.
We were made to feel very welcome.Staff were efficient, helpful, and friendly. Prices were very reasonable. There was no corkage charge for our bottle of wine.
Unfortunately they don’t have an English menu but their menu had pictures. Paul and Nop also provided a translation which was a great help. Toy helped me avoid items which were too spicy. He ordered a grilled tub tim fish (for me), papaya salad, fried chicken pieces (out of the picture), and an isan platter. I forgot to take a picture until we had started eating, so the shot below shows our food half devoured!
I am not all that fond of Thai food, but I must say the fish was delicious. Another great Dining Out Group function.
Thanks to Nop, Steve from CityNow!, and Toy for the pics.
Me & Toy
Gun Salute for King
Yesterday was the King’s birthday.He was 88 years old. He did not make a public appearance as he is too frail.
It also doubles as Father’s Day as the King is regarded as the Father of the Nation.
Family ties are very strong in Thailand and children have a great respect for their parents.
Across the road from us live a Scottish guy , his Thai wife, and son Robbie. Both Richard and Jen have previous marriages. Yesterday they held a party at home where Robbie paid homage to his father. Thanks tor the Father & Son photos, Jen.
Father’s Day Cake
Drinking to Health
The Line Up of Speakers
Allison Monkhouse, an international funeral director with an office in Bangkok sponsored this free seminar. It was also supported by the Chiang Mai Expats Club and Lanna Care Net. Their head office is in Melbourne, Australia.
The Bangkok manager is Pim Karnasuta who has very good English skills.
About 200 people attended the seminar at the Le Meredian Hotel..
Subjects covered included laws of inheritance, statutory heirs, succession,and last will and testament in Thailand, funerals and funeral pre-planning and more.
A Section of the Large Audience
In Thailand, if the death is confirmed by a doctor, the police in Thailand will need to be involved. Accidental deaths or deaths in a home or a hotel require a police report. The police will first investigate the scene together with the forensic team to determine the cause of death.
If the person passed away in a hospital, a death certificate will be issued by a doctor of that hospital and the Thai police will file a report.
An excellent seminar and very helpful to expats. A lively question and answer period followed.
Yesterday morning we had a service booking at Lanna Toyota for the 2 year service of our Vios. It cost B1150 (A$45) which included a free wash outside and a clean inside. The car is still under warranty and the labour cost is free. We have only one more free labour charge service at 21./2 years. We renewed our insurance while we were there. In Thailand you can only insure for 80% of the car’s value, so in case of total loss you would be out-of-pocket.. The car was ready by 11 o’clock so we decided to have lunch at Cafe Din Din.
This upmarket Thai-fusion restaurant is located in a soi off the middle ring road, not far from the Mee Chock intersection. The dishes are quite creative without being overly priced. Toy ordered orange juice and green curry. I had a fresh coconut and five flavour fish. We shared Din Din fries which were a little bit spicy. For alters we shared a roti and ice-cream.
My food was great but Toy reckoned his green curry was so so. He should have been more adventurous in his order.
The restaurant had pleasant ambiance but the service was a bit impersonal. We’ll probably be back.
Roti with Ice-Cream
Fresh Coconut, Din Din Fries, Five Flavours Fish
This is a small roadside stall on the Sankampaeng Road, selling coconuts.
A guy skillfully removes all the outer layers of the coconut, leaving the flesh and the coconut milk. Costs are between 40 baht (A$ 1.55) and 50 baht (A$1.95), depending on the size of the coconut. Each purchase is stamped on a loyalty card. After 10 purchases you are eligible for a free coconut.
The coconut milk is drunk with a straw, after which the flesh is eaten.
Various Stages of the Process
The Finished Product Yum!
The Final Product
Yesterday morning at 9 am I had my last dental appointment with Pavitra Waikasekorn at Bangkok Hospital in Chiang Mai.
The final stage was fixing a crown to the tooth. All went well and I am not embarrassed to smile anymore. Hopefully it will last me many years and perhaps see me out!
I can thoroughly recommend the dental services at Bangkok Hospital, Chiang Mai and especially Pavitra who seems very competent. I was impressed with the dental facilities there..
Total cost was 19,721 Baht, which was within the quoted estimate.