Friday, January 30, 2009

Credit crunch bites

I got made redundant today!

Thats all I got to say on this matter for the moment.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gai Pad Med Mamuang

Or more simply, Fried Chicken with vegatables and cashew nuts in a mild chilli sauce, bloody lovely.

I have had had several different variations, but all are of the same theme. When you visit thailand for the first time this is a good dish to have if your not sure of the menu.

Have some boiled rice with it and away you go!
Ingredients chicken, cut into thin slices, garlic, thinly sliced, Thai dried roasted chilli's, fish sauce - nam pla, sweet soy sauce - see eu dam, Oyster sauce, honey,chilli paste, Thai pepper powder, soup stock, rice wine and cashew nuts.
Obviously the best chicken with cashew nuts is made by Nuch!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thailand one Matlock

We went out this evening to the new Thai restaurant in Matlock, we got there around 7pm and it was

Doubt we'll go back there then!!!!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oh no we didn't, oh yes you did!

All this week the Un has been trying to track down 170 fresh Ryonghi refugee's that havenot been accounted for?

Now their fate seems to be known, after denying their excistence, the Thai army as said that it hasn't put them back out to sea! which basically means they have been put out to sea in rickety boats with no engines and limited food and water.

The new PM is having a shitter of a bad month, the army seems to be doing what it wants too and no one can stop them. An enquiry as been launched, but if the generals don't want to cooperate, then that is it.

I only hope these people are found safe and well, then dealt with in a more humane way!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Not so great Human Rights

How does Thailand do it? It's oversea's image is at best laughable and its domestic problems are nearly as bad as the UK.

This week it turn's out that a dodgy goverment agency which is outside the laws of the land as been turning away Bangladeshi Muslim refugee's. That isn't the worst of it, not only did they detain over 800 of them at the end of the year for several days without food and water, they also had a good go at kicking shit out of them. Just when things couldn't get worse the military put them on old boats tied up, towed them out to sea and then cut them adrift with only two day food and water and no engine.

A couple of weeks later they began to turn up on the Andaman Islands in these knackered boats, its not accurate how many died, but it runs into hundred's. Not good!

This comes on top of a report earlier in the week from Amnesty International regarding the systematic torture of Muslims in the south of the country. Whilst Amnesty can sometimes report a very one sided view, they do concede that the Thai authorities in the south face an enemy that is equally barbaric and vicious, this doesn't compensate for the tactics the Thai's are using.

In any case these reports wont put the tourists off coming or business investing in Thailand so will be of little importance in the grand scheme of things, I doubt most Thai's will hear about them anyway, most of the TV is controlled by the Army.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tequila Reef at Pattaya

Mexican is one of my favourite foods and to find a good one in Thailand is difficult task.
On my trip last year we wanted to eat out in Pattaya, it was my choice so I chose a mexican. The only one in Pattaya is Tequila Reef on Soi 7 of Pattaya Beach Road. The first thought I had when the Taxi pulled up was "Shit, i've picked a restaurant in the middle of the worst red light area ever" Nuch was none to happy taking Elizabeth down here either.

The inside was very mexican and the staff looked very pretty aswell, this does them a dis-service because they were excellent and kept Elizabeth entertained all the time we were there.
The food was superb, I had a chicken fajita and it was superb. Has good as any fajita's I have ever had. The service was top notch and all this for just over £25 for all of us. Definately go there again on my next visit to Pattaya.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blue wave Beach Resort

I've stayed at the Blue Wave twice now, whilst not the most luxurious hotel i've stayed in it does have everything you need at a cost that will impress.

The rooms are fairly basic, the air con is good and the satalite TV as about 10 stations in english including Star Movies. The restaurant is ok, although there is an excellent restaurant down the road Rua Rimtarn, this is one of mine and Nuch's favourite places to eat, never had a bad meal.

The pool at the Blue Wave is also very nice, not very big but ok.

What gives the Blue Wave its big advantage is that is on Takiab Beach, a lovely sandy beach that kids love and never to crowded. So when you stuck and bored in Bangkok, just get a £35 2-1/2 hour taxi ride down to the Blue wave at Takiab Beach at Hua Hin.

Too cold, Thailand style

This last week or so Thailand as been in the grips of a cold snap.

The temperature in Bangkok went down to a cold 14c, yes you read that correctly! That's blinkin' barmy compared to the UK at the moment were we are happy with anything over freezing at the moment.

In northern Thailand the temperature went down to 4c, this as damaged the rice crop and several elderly people have succumbed to the cold.

The picture above shows schooll kids with coats and scarves on (Picture courtesy of Thai-Blogs).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Good report for Thailand

Thailand offers the best value for UK holidaymakers on long-haul trips, it was revealed in a report.

The Far East country had the cheapest living costs for tourists in a survey of 15 long-haul destinations by Post Office Travel Services. Involving eight items including meals and drinks, the survey showed that the items would cost just £39.89 in Thailand. This compared with the most expensive destination in the survey - Barbados - where the same items would cost as much as £153.73.

After Thailand, the next best-value destination was South Africa (£46.81 for the eight items), followed by Malaysia (£46.91) and Kenya (£52.24).
Many Britons were caught up in the unrest in Thailand which involved the closing down of the country's main airport for several days. Post Office Travel Services spokesman Andrew Spice said: 'Despite its recent troubles, Thailand remains a great prospect for UK holidaymakers.
'The Thai baht may have strengthened against sterling but prices remain very low in the country, as our new holiday costs barometer shows, and the discounts now available to top resorts like Phuket and Hua Hin will make Thailand unbeatable value

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Clough follows in father's footsteps

Nigel Clough, having managed Blue Square Premier League leaders Burton Albion with distinction for 10 years, follows in his father's footsteps by becoming the Rams' new manager.

If Nigel is a quarter as successful as his dad Brian then Derby are in for great things, similarities are already beginning. At the age of 42, this is the best time for Nigel to find out whether managing a big club is for him. His father often used to say to me that he didn't know whether Nigel had the burning ambition to be a full-time football manager but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Brian came into Football League management at the age of 30; Nigel came into management only two years older at the age of 32. But Nigel has chosen to do it his way; in a low-key fashion, learning his trade while at the same time having a sane, balanced family life and continuing being a devoted family man - who is to say he has got it wrong?

Come on you Rams!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Reckoning time

A very qiuet Thai beach

Its time for reckoning now in the Land of Smiles. The central Bank estimated that the recent week long closure of the Airports cost Thailand more than the tsunami wave and SARS outbreak combined.

$11.5 billion is the figure that is being thrown about, that is a lot of money to any country, but to Thailand its a huge amount. What is more worrying is the cost which will be waiting for the coming year, when people start looking at other destinations were there is a good chance of them coming home on time and their pound is still strong. Sadly they wont be looking at Thailand. The go-go bars are empty and sex is on sale at half price as Bangkok's infamous red light districts suffer from the blockade of the capital's airports and its comebacks.

We've booked, but I know several people who have put off trips or have decided to give Thailand a miss this year. Some of the expat community in Thailand are welcoming the down turn in isitor numbers hoping it will make things easier for them. Prices may well go down short term and there will be no tourist's hassling them on a friday night. A little short sightrd view, but ex-pats especially in Bangkok are a strange breed.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

This cold is too cold

Today I started work at 7.30am, the temperature was a cold -6c!!!!!

Everything was freezing, even breathing was laboured. There was definately no touching of metal without gloves on. All the signs we put up were frigid with cold, we had to be careful not to snap them.

Apart from a brief period just before christmas the cold as been with us now for six weeks. Roll on may, back to Thailand for a bit of sun and hot temps

Please don't criticise

Today in Thailand over 2300 websites have been censored and shut down. The goverment says that they have all commited Lese-majeste. This is insulting the monarchy, and is a serious offence in Thailand, where many people regard 81-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej as semi-divine. It is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The Thai king seems like a real nice guy who only as the best interests of the Thai people at heart. He himself has publicly criticised the law, noting that he should not be above criticism.

This next bit is were I could fall fowl of the law, any website that criticises the crack down is tarred with the same brush, i'm not giving any opinion on what the Thai authorities think is best for the people, but Thai's cannot be immune from the outside world!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Club owner arrested

With the death toll now at 62, the new years eve fire at Club Santki seems to have been an act of wilfull stupidity.

The owner it seems decided to put on a firework display in an over crowded basement club with the exits shut and the windows barred. This piece of crass stupidity as got the owner arrested.

This also brings to light some of the dodgier practices that go on in some of Bangkok's night spots. Bad practice such as poor employee standards, no insurance, no licences and bribes to the local plod, all this will doubtful change long term, but the boys in brown will be running round making it look like they are efficient.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Koh Samed Villa

View from reception at Samed Villas

Before my next trip to Thailand i'm going to try and review all the hotels i've stayed in whilst on my travels in the area.

I'll start with the hotel with the best location, Koh Samed Villas in on the island of Koh Samed, about 250 km drom Bangkok. The accomodation is actually very nice and is on the beach. There are rooms like a conventional hotel, but seperate bungalows. Each bungalow as satalite TV and aircon. The beds are very comfy. Has with all locations on Koh Samed, mosquito's are a problem. Try not to leave doors or windows open and have a snap inspection before you go to sleep.

The food isn't as good as it good be, fine is the best I could say. The price for a standard bungalow which sleeps three is around £35 per room per night, very, very reasonable. If you go to Koh Samed and want to pay that much a night, definately try this place out.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Not a good start

On the first day of the new year, news from Thailand as not been good!

A fire at a nightclub in Bangkok as claimed over 60 lives, from the pictures on TV it looks like an horrific fire, with alot of people trampled to death trying to escape. The club ws called Santika and was in the Thong Lor area of Bangkok on a road called Ekkami. I know the area, but can't picture the club.

Four brits are believed to be amongst the injured which number 200. The club gets a rollocking for allowing in fireworks that may have caused the fire.
In other news, Nuch found out that her Father had an accident, and fell off the roof. He has broken his left leg and right ankle and by all accounts is in a bad way. Get well soon Khun pa.