Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mieng Come, Thai appetizer

Mieng Come is a delicious Thai appetizer. I had my first encounter with this appetizer when my wife and I went to a floating market located in Rayon about two weeks ago.   The ingredients are basically toasted shredded coconut, flakes lemon, peanuts, small size dried shrimps, dried ginger, red onions, Thai chili peppers, piper armentosum or Collard greens,  and sweet sauce.  In the right side of the picture you can see a Thai dessert called Khanom Mo Kaeng.
This is the way how to blend the leaves.   There are very simple rules that we have to follow if we want to do it perfectly.

She carefully explained the procedure ... again, again and once again...  
As you can see, now it is ready!!! We used the leaves as the ‘wrap’ for the ingredients, topped that with the sauce and bit into it.

Here we go: we put on the leave dried shrimps and fresh ginger...

then, toasted shredded coconut...
then, roasted peanuts...

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... and finally, on the top of all of them she pour the sauce...

As I chewed the small parcel, various, actually countless, flavours exploded in my mouth. Just a year ago, I was reluctant to try some kind of typical Thai food, dessert and appetizer since the combination they do in Thai cuisine was rather odd for me.   Thus, some days at dinner I used to have a 'more' familiar food while my wife had noodles or Asian food, as an example click here.  However, currently I am already familiar with the delicious Thai food.  Thus, no sooner I chewed the small parcel than I was hooked.  While eating, my wife -in a funny way- told me that, long ago the way how the young woman open their mouths to introduce in it this appetizer was a key criteria for being chose as a girlfriend for young Thai guys.  Thus, I suppose, eating this appetizer was  almost an art performed with harmonic movements ; ) 
The main gate of Ko Kloi  Market in Rayong.  I will post some pictures of this place later.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Birding in Rayong!!!

THAILAND, the land of amazing culture and nature heritage, is located in the northwest of Southeast Asia. The territory sprawls over 513,115 square kilometers and is bordered by Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. 

The country is physically assorted with paradisiacal beaches, tropical lowland to mountain evergreen and deciduous forests, with a mixture of pine, scrub and freshwater swamp forests, which mingle as very fine shelter of wildlife of all kinds. This fertil land is well recognized by avid birdwatchers as one of the most bird-rich countries in the world. It is said that over 990 species have been spotted in Thailand!!! So, this awesome country is home to an impressive number of species of birds that vary from residents, that stay all year around, to breeding birds, that spend a good part of the growing season in Thailand to raise their young, migrants who pass through the country with the seasons, to wintering birds who like to spend a good part of the winter in Thailand to escape colder conditions up north. Well, those birds are here for us to watch them and enjoy them.

The pictures below were taken last Sunday afternoon here in Rayong.  That afternoon was raining, after around two hours the rain stopped just during the sunset, thus the beautiful yellow color in the pictures.  As a sign of joy, birds started to sing beautifully which drew my attention, I grasped my camera went to the balcony and shot!!!.  By the way, do you know the species of these birds??? If so, let me know!! 

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Star friendship 
Although some could claim that Friedrich Nietzsche became insane at the end of his life, we however are still intrigued by Nietzsche, the great philosopher but also an astonishing poet.  One might think of a number of answer to my utterance: the variety of his interest, his entertaining and accessible style, perhaps his aphoristic ambiguity that leaves so much more work to the readers of our time and hence keep the reader thinking back over it, again and again.   
The picture was taken in Khao Yai National Parlk, Thailand on November 4th, 2012

"We were friends and have become estranged. But that was right, and we do not want to hide and obscure it from ourselves as if we had to be ashamed of it. We are two ships, each of which has its own goal and course; we may cross and have a feast together, as we did - and then the good ships lay so quietly in one harbour and in one sun that it may have seemed as if they had already completed their course and had the same goal. But then the almighty force of our projects drove us apart once again, into different seas and sunny zones, and maybe we will never meet again - or maybe we will, but will not recognize each other: the different seas and suns have changed us! That we had to become estranged is the law above us; through it we should come to have more respect for each other - and the thought of our former friendship should become more sacred! There is probably a tremendous invisible curve and stellar orbit in which our different ways and goals may be included as small stretches -let us rise to this thought! But our life is too short and our vision too meagre for us to be more than friends in the sense of that sublime possibility. - Let us then believe in our star friendship even if we must be earth enemies".

Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wat Ratchabophit and Royal Cemetery

Panoramic view of Wat Ratchabophit
It is said that this temple was built in 1863 during the reign of King Rama V, Chulalongkor. Wat Ratchabopit is certainly not regarded as  the  'must see' list when visiting Bangkok, but if you would like to visit a place that on one hand isn't swarming with tourists, and on the other hand, a place which shows an early attempt to blend both Western and Eastern Culture,  then this place is  worthwhile to visit!
First of all, let us welcome you with the Thai Wai before touring across the temple. Click here to see a brief description of the Tai Wai, how to do and its meanings.
Main gate of the temple. The exterior panels of the windows and doors represent Insignia designs of The Royal Decoration. There is also a royal cemetery with monuments containing the ashes of the Queen, concubines, sons and daughters of King Rama V, and various other member of the Royal Family. Here are more wiharns featuring chedis, in both modern and traditional styles. The cemetery contains tombs, monuments and memorials to numerous members of the Thai Royal Family, particularly those most closely related to King Chulalongkorn.
PhraUbosodh or the main ceremonial building of the temple is of a distinguished combination of two different styles, Thai and Gothic. The outer part of the building is of Thai style. it is decorated with pieces of The Old Thai Benjarong Ceramics which Is certainly a unique representation in the country.
Wat Ratchabopit is one of the royal monasteries in Bangkok which combines both Western and Easter architecture. Thus, The temple is also a beautiful place to visit and quite suitable to take photos.
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The entrance to PhraUbosodh or the main ceremonial building of the temple is flanked by sculptures of elefants made of bronze.

Bonsai Trees are also part of the decoration of this temple.
PhraVihara or the secondary ceremonial building is of the similar characteristic to PhraUboshodh or the mam ceremonial building. It is on purpose to keep The Principle Buddhist manuscript, Tripitaka. The panels of doors and windows are of painted wood carving with bits of glided glasses.
The gate of the PhraUbosodh or the main ceremonial building of the temple is made of a heavy wood, which is beautifully painted and carved with images of daemons and lions.
An impressive chedi modelled after the famous Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathom province (the highest Chedi in the world, click here to see it), contains relics of Lord Buddha, while the enclosure around it contains many Buddha images in varying postures.
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Phra Chedi or the pagoda is built in a round bell-like shape on a platform. The spire arrow-like top of the pagoda is surmounted with a small round gold ceramics ball in which The Lord Buddha's Relics are kept. The sixteen niches install the Buddha image representing various positions.
Across the royal cemetery there are boards providing information about each mausoleum; however, it is written in Thai.  If I am not  wrong,  in this monument is kept the ashes of the Thai former Queen.   If not, the ashes is of someone very closely related to King Chulalongkorn.
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Yes, it is fall, after visiting the royal cemetery, we walked along this road crowded with dead leaves reminding me that everything is sporadic, that things sadly always come to end.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

One Day Trip to Suphan - Buri: Buffalo Village

One way to experience the traditional lifestyle of Thai farmers is at the Buffalo Village in Suphanburi. In Thai it is called “baan kwai”. Thai farmers, and their trusty companions, the buffalo, are considered the backbone of the country. The Buffalo Villages feature the rural lifestyle in the central region such as Thai farmer villages, rice-threshing ground water, buffalo ranch, traditional Thai houses on stilts. Buffalos were really important in the Thai farmer live, they are in fact hardworking animals that all farmers can rely on. The use of buffaloes was starting to die out on farms as farmers turned to other means of ploughing such as using tractors. However, it is said, when fuel prices started to rise then some farmers decided to go back to the trusty buffalo. So instead of visiting a farm, people can now learn about traditional farming at this theme village. They aim not only to raise awareness of the important role the buffaloes have played but also to help conserve the dwindling breeding stock. The main attraction here are the daily buffalo shows which last about 30 minutes. Visitors can also enjoy many corners featuring different local wisdom such as Thai medical knowledge, traditional Thai massage, local herbs, and Thai astrology.

*Blogger has changed its template, now I cannot write any comment below each picture...  I need time to fix it... or to learn how it works.
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