June 29, 2010

Tasty Thai buffalo wing -Street food

These chicken wings are main dish on many streetside shops in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand. Never try it means you not really in Thailand.

Thais soaked the wings with soy sauce or fish sauce and some other ingredients like garlic or peper ,marinates for an hour or more ,then grill it on fire along street's footpath .The by-product of this dish is a plume of smog or foggy-smelly smoke rising up on the sidewalk.

Well.....this is one of the crazy dish in Bangkok.Welcome yourself with one of these when you were there.This food is not means for westernner ,just for ordinary thai people so this is not a tourist thing.

Most shop that sell it are Northeastern food shop or E-sarn food shop.You may tried thai food in the past in your own country but I have to say those Thai restaurant around the world mostly sell Thai central food (Just a central thai cusine) .While in Thailand we have other cusine as well: Northern,Southern and Northeastern .We will talk about those cusine later.

ปีก - Peek means = wing

ไก่ - Gai means = chicken

Then ปีกไก่ - Peek-Gai = Chicken wings

ปิ้ง - Ping means = Grilled

A good news is the menu is not hot . Unless you put in an accompany black-and-smell chili concentrated sauce(or jaew - แจ่ว in Thai.)

Adidas football museum

Our work rapidly deteriorate since the world cup begins in South Africa. Fewer updates and seem like all things just stop now… ….ha ha ha.

Well…one of us here found an Adidas Exhibition in Bangkok .This is a showcase for all world cup’s official footballs made by Adidas in the pass 40 years .

Also, Dont miss our scoop: Behind Adidas World Cup 2010 Football design

Let see all Adidas balls here :

Above: Telstar 1970 World Cup Mexico

Above: Telstar 1974 World Cup Germany

Above: Tango 1978 World Cup Argentina

Above: Tango Espana 1970 World Cup spain

Above: Azteca 1986 World Cup Mexico

Above: Questra 1994 World Cup USA

Above: Tricolore 1998 World Cup France

Above: Fevernova 2002 World Cup South Korea Japan

Above: Teamgeist 2006 World Cup Germany

Above: Jabulani 2010 World Cup South Africa

June 19, 2010

Strange railway carriages service in Thailand.

We found an old looking poster at Hat Yai railway station .The poster has many pictures and informs about all various services of Thai railway.

But. Have you ever seen this following two services ? :

Air-conditioned Reserved Saloon

Air-conditioned conference car

Are these really put in service ? or just a show case and long forgotten ? No one know and what we really sure is no one on Eastcode team never seen any of this “concept railroad car” before.

June 18, 2010

Rocket festival vdo in Phonsavan,Lao

Our friend at Hotsia.com capture this video clip from a paddy field not far from Phonsavan,Laos . One of our team accompany him said This is not the biggest rocket but quite impressive lah!

Laos and Thai(in the Northeast)use home made rocket to ask "Pa-ya Tan",the lord of sky,to give them seasonal rain and posperity.

Old Posters bring old nemories of the brave Elephant round up

On 18 March 2010, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) just turned 50 ! The old name was Tourist Organization of Thailand and I found this old poster from the organization ‘s exhibition .

The English poster said :

“Elephant round up
November 16-17 ,1963

in Thailand
Ask your travel agents or write the tourist organization of Thailand for details…”

You can see clearly that the elephant tamer hold a long stick with a lasso rope for catching a wild elephant.

The Thai word for “elephant round up” is “คล้องช้าง” (Klong-Chang) .The word Chang is means Elephant (So Chang Beer is means elephant beer!)

Oh 1963! Seem like a lifetime ago ! The Vietnam war still raging on and the American Military involving more and more in Vietnam,Laos and Thailand at that time.

The address of this poster still use the old one at Rajdamnoen Ave ,not far from Khaosan road and the main royal palace.
Wow……Thailand changed a lot in the past 50 years.

The elephant round up is an archaic traditional Siam practice of round up wild elephants in to a big trap by a group of hunters –tamer and some domesticated elephants . Those wild one will be tamed to work as a domesticated elephant work force.

But the Thai version said something a bit different :

Hard to see! Exciting!

Also It’s just the elephant show not a word mentioned any thing about round up .I thinks that because the word might not so catchy in Thai .

Also this is said clearly that the show locates in Surin province in the Northeast and close to Cambodian border. Years later,This show will organizes annually in the province and become famous worldwide.

But the group of Tamers who handdle an ancient art of capturing one of the most dangerous and biggest wild animal and tamed them for domestic use are the "Suay" or "Kuy" people.(call kuy is more polite) .They are Not ethinic Thai or Lao or not even Cambodian.They are an ethnic group of their own and one of the oldest settler in this region.

Food Coupon in Thailand

These are food coupons uses at an exhibition hall in Bangkok. (Impact –Muangthong) But the style is commonly uses in many places all over Thailand especially in food courts or cafeterias in any big department store. (but in China or Singapore they use electronic card instead of paper coupon)

The system works simply like this : wanna buy some food? Then looking for a coupon booth somewhere – buy it with Thai money then use those coupon as currency in the cafeteria .

The coupons left unused can be returned to the booth and got your cash back.But only on the same day basis.

Basic Thai conversation:

June 13, 2010

Hua Hin Jazz Festival 2010

Click to see bigger map

Hua Hin Jazz Festival will open on June,18-20 ,2010 in Hua Hin, Prachuabkirikhan province,Thailand.

Hua Hin Jazz Festival is an eight years old jazz festival and used to see a better day . Now reduce to mainly consit of Thai bands with a few of international artists . Also the audiance changed from hard core jazz fan to more of young rich and yuppies from Bangkok who drives all the way from the city by car.

But this year artists still got some really interesting like : Lee Ritenour ( USA ) and Hye Mi (Korea).

Hua Hin is a Thai resort town on the gulf of Thailand and Pacific coast. The beach there is not as good as those down south but the location has an advantage of closer to Bangkok,just 4 hrs by personal car, and not quite explicit on sex tourism as of Pattaya ,Chonburi,on the Eastern sea board.

The following is the schedule of Beach stage at Intercontinental Hotel Hua Hin, a furthur down the main road from central Hua Hin .

The following is the schedule of Beach stage near Sofitel Hotel ,at Damnernkasem Road ,not far from the Hua Hin railway station.

see more info on artists at the official website here at www.huahinjazz2010.com/artist.htm Although not much English information there.

June 12, 2010

the word "Thai" in Vietnam is not relate to "Thailand"

The picture above is the Thai Binh Market in Ho chi Minh City (Saigon),Vietnam. When travels through Vietnam, You will find many words and place names calls "Thai" .This is not relates to "Thai people" or "Thailand" at all .

The only chance of relation is the word "Tai" or "Black Tai" which is the the name of ethnics in the Northern Vietnam that has close relates to Thai and Laos .

But most of the word :Thai you found in Vietnam is not relates to Thailand .

Vietnamese Language learning:

Chợ means= market .So Chợ Thai Binh is means Thai Binh Market (The market is not far from the backpacker's are at Pham Ngu Lao street in District 1 ,Ho chi Minh city.

Do not confuse with the word: Chó which means dog!

The most expensive airport food

The food price in Asian airports are all expensive(especially Thailand.) But this one at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) is really exceptional. This 8 pieces rice paper roll is quoted as an 8 USD dish! This simply means each piece will cost you a US dollar.

Vietnamese Language tips:

Sân bay Quốc tế Tân Sơn Nhất = Tan Son Nhat International Airport

Sân bay means = airport

Quốc tế means = international

June 11, 2010

Secret behind Adidas World Cup 2010 Football design

I was in Kuala Lumpur,the capital of Malaysia, last week. The night is hot and humid.I stopped at a food shop on Jalun Pudu or Pudu road and need a refreshing drink and found the answer in a fresh coconut ,cut up and serves chill with a straw.

Well....i opened the makeshift lid then look at the coconut and thinking hard....Did i saw this before ? Somewhere? Then the memory rush back.. ha ha !

This is exactly the new design and official FiFa's football from Adidas for the South African World Cup 2010! You can see the similarity with a big replica of the Adidas football or soccer ball that i took in Bangkok,Thailand,several days ago.

The Adidas Football is the cut up coconut ! The style of cut up is look like Southern Indian style becoz the guy who sold me the coconut is a Tamil .Other countries have there own style of cut that not look like this .

The coconut ball!

June 10, 2010

what is Sarsi drink?

A visit to any Southeast Asian convenient store will give you a headache,sights and sounds,aroma rising,and also many strange names on those shelves. The name "Sarsi Drink" is one of the strangest and you really have no clue of what it was there in the can.

Look at this following pic from Malaysia. What we see here is : carbonated Sarsi flavored drink and Experience the Blast! wow...sound interesting and really inviting but absolutely no idea of what inside .

The mysterious Sarsi drink is named after "Sarsaparilla" : a plant from Central America which is a main substance uses to make this drink and ....root beer! So It is tastes similar or almost the same to root beer.May be a bit stronger taste.

Sarsi is the name uses and well known in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. Also in Taiwan and Hong kong. In Thailand "root beer' is the prefers name.

Next time you looking for root beer then looks for Sarsi !

Vertical calendar in Singapore and Malaysia

This kind of calendar align the dates in vertical rather than horizontal and can create a problem with travelers who not used to this alignment . From our experience,It's seem like almost all travel agencies or bus ticket sellers in both Malaysia and Singapore always use this kind of calendar. The trick is when you feel something really wrong with the calendar ,then try to look up and down instead of left and right!

There are English,Chinese and Tamil 's alphabets in the calendar

Thai Travel Festival 2010

Just back from the annual Thailand Tourism Festival (or เทศกาลเที่ยวเมืองไทย).This is one of the biggest travel fair host by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and a showcase of many activities, stage performances and wide range of tourism products.Although, this event mainly for promotion of local tourism and targets Thai traveller but a food section that got almost a hundred booths of all regional Thai cusines made this travel show is a must visit for all travelers.

Above:the food zone which many choices of Thai dishes from big four regions...yummy ! Oh some really strange too...

Date and time:

June,9-13 2010

10.00-21.00 hrs
Challenger Hall 1-3

Contact organizer:Tourism Authority of Thailand
TAT Call Center: 1672
Tel: 02 250 5500

Organized by:
IMPACT Exhibition Management Co., Ltd.
Special project department
Tel. 02-833-5262-65

all brochures stuff full in my daypacks .Many are in English.

June 9, 2010

New Warning at Suvarnabhumi Airport

The usually warning we got at any airport are those ….delayed or cancelled .But this is the new sign we found at the Suvarnabhumi Airport (read su-wan-na-phum) while waiting for a plane to Yangon,Burma.

I suspects that the computer,just a pc,is overloaded while deal with Thai display .Because It's stop when show the flight schedule in Thai.

The warning said:

Windows-Out of Virtual Memory

Your system is low on virtual memory.To ensure that Windows runs properly,increase the size of your virtual memory paging file. For more information ,see Help.

Thai Airport Authority should ask Bill Gate and Microsoft for help….

Breakfast included in Myanmar

Many hotels and Guesthouses in Myanmar(Burma)usually included a free breakfast in their hotel’s bill . Might be the British influence or whatever but the breakfast itself always look more Continental rather than the English one.

These are some examples from a breakfast service at Sunflower hotel near Scott’s Market in Yangon, Myanmar. Ok enough for a traveller!


A Western or Noodle one? The choice is yours!

Power outages in Yangon, Myanmar ( Burma)

Always check out for local electricity situation when you visit Myanmar(or Burma) which is the old name of this Southeast Asian country. Even in Yangon! (or Rangoon)

Myanmar always hot In April and May,some place like Mandalay can rise up to 40 C . But the real disaster will struck at night when some part of Yangon or other big cities might not have enough electricity coverage, some district might got a power outage for a certain period of time.

You thought you paid for an aircon room .Then ,You got one but without any electricity . So next time you looking for a hotel or guesthouse in Burma ,ask about the outage situation so u don’t have to pay extra for an aircon service which is not exist.

In a smaller town and rural area, The outage is an integrated part of daily life .Only place that has electricity at night in a smalltown is a teashop which have to runs a generator to service an audiance of local soccer fans who enjoy live football match from the English Premier League.

If you are a serious photographer , charge up your battery every time while the electricity last or bring a car adapter from home .

Our Japanese friend who just back form Myanmar said the rotational electricity supply in Rangoon was abolished at the beginning of this year which look like a good news but not. Now without the rotational system ,some can not really sure when the power will be restored and when an outage. Also, some said the supply is in so low voltage which can not operate other machine except the lights.

Above: An electric generator outside a shop in Yangon commercial district .Many shops and companies in Yangon have to relies on this small gasoline generator to runs business.

June 8, 2010

Hat Yai fried chicken

The Thai ‘s southern dish called Hat yai fried chicken(ไก่ทอดหาดใหญ่) is becoming a famous food in Thailand. The fried chicken is deep fried in vegetable oil until crispy and eats with sticky rice .The real difference is some fried onion that will put on the sticky rice ,when you unwrap the package again an astonishing aroma will rise up ….

“ไก่” - Gai means “chicken”
“ทอด” – Thod means “fry or deep fry”

Then ไก่ทอด (Gai-Thod) simply means “fried chicken” and Gai-Thod Hat-Yai = Hat Yai fried chicken(ไก่ทอดหาดใหญ่)

Some said the origin of this dish is not from Hat Yai but from Thepha district (เทพา) about 50 km to the south of this junction city ,but become well known after the dish spreading to Hat Yai later.

"It's OK, Bangkok!

Bernama news of Malaysia reported that AirAsia, the biggest Low-Cost Airline in Asia, launched a campaign to help Bangkok revive its travel and tourism industries after a big political crash that got 85 people killed and 1,400 wounded.

AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said the budget airline will aggressively market Bangkok and other tourist spots in Thailand with low fares and attractive promotions called "It's OK, Bangkok! AirAsia's Behind You!
AirAsia operated 973 flights a week to 11 destinations within Thailand such as Bangkok(กรุงเทพฯ), Phuket(ภูเก็ต), Chiang Mai (เชียงใหม่), Chiang Rai (เชียงราย), Hat Yai (หาดใหญ่) and Krabi (กระบี่).

Muang Ngoi(เมืองงอย) video clip

A crazy freiend of us,Mr Golf, runs a cool channel of travel video clips at Youtube.com and his website at www.hotsia.com . This is a clip captures the morning scene from Muang Ngoi in Northern Laos,just an hour of boat ride from Nhong Khieu.This place only accessible by boat and famous for those wonderful limestone mountain surrounding.The audio is in Thai.

Below: Google sattellite map of Muang Ngoi

View Larger Map

June 7, 2010

Minivan from Hat Yai to Surat Thani

Hat Yai is the main crossroad in the south . The most convenient crossing point between Thailand and Malaysia.

Surat thani (สุราษฎร์ธานี) is the name of one of the biggest province in the southern Thailand and most foreigner come here to catch a ferry trip to Koh Samui (เกาะสมุย) ,Koh Phangan (เกาะพงัน) or as far as Koh Tao(เกาะเต่า) All of these are big resort islands in the gulf of Thailand.

If u travel from Malaysia and based your trip to the Gulf of Thailand area ,Then you need to go from Hat Yai to Surat Thani by Minivan .

There are two ways to get to Surat Thani from Hat Yai by a minivan . The Price of both sevices should be around 240 Baht and the travel time around 4-5 hrs .

1) Around Nipat uthit road 1-3 in central Hat Yai : Find a minivan service like this one

Prasert Tour

In Hat Yai at Nipat uthit 1 road near Mon-Thien hotel 074-354050 ,244500,086-9680279

At Surat : 55 Chonkasem Road (next to ChokeAnanTour ) Central district Surat Thani 077-210068,289417 ,089-1954473

Above: on the left side is From Surat to Hatyai and on the right side is Hat Yai to Surat Thani .Please note that Thai time use 24hours basis.

I have nothing relates to this Mini-van service .Only stop by their desk and ask for information.

2) Go to the main bus station at Sri Phuvanath road . Around 4 Km from central Hat Yai and will cost around 30-40 Bhat for a motorbike –taxi ride or Tuktuk .

At the bus station ,You will find many service with mini-van to several places in Southern part of Thailand including Surat Thani.

Above: Minivan to Satun(Main pier to Tarutao and Langkawi island on the Indian ocean coast)

Some Mini-van also travel directly to Samui island via Nakhon Si Thamrat and ferry.