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Weblog Thailand Oct 10

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Driving around

Just like in the previous two weekends we drove a bit to get more familiar with Bangkok and it's surroundings. We went North and past the old Don Mueang international airport. We did not had any plans and unfortunately we did not bring any camera with us. Soon after the airport we saw Ayutthaya on a sign. Around 10 years ago we also visited Ayutthaya because it's a well known tourist destination for tourists from Bangkok.

Located less than 90 kilometers from Bangkok it's one hour by car. 10 years ago we did it by train, if you have time I would recommend it because it's just a nice relaxed way to travel to this ancient city.

Of course it still looks exactly the same, two things were different though. The first time we visited Ayutthaya it was extremely hot, now it was nice with some wind and just 28 degrees Celsius. Secondly, parts of Ayutthaya are badly flooded at this moment. We saw improvised dykes to protect some historical sites but others were flooded, more than 1 meter of water. Not to mention all the flooded houses with water reaching the roof at some places. Even the road we took was flooded seriously. For Bangkok it is nice that we kept everything dry but now we see the results up country. One of the reasons of the flooding over there is the fact that water is released through dams in a controlled way in order not to flood Bangkok. I wish we could have taken some pictures to show it. (posted by Jitze, 31/10/10)
Website improvement

Check out the top banners on our site. Thanks to Dino we have rotating banners. Not per day but at random. I think it looks great and adds something to this website. We work on the text and Dino gets credits for the layout :p (posted by Jitze, 29/10/10)

Food is one of the things which represents the culture of any country. If I am just thinking of the food in Belgium, it was great. The food in Kazakhstan was simple but reflected the way the Kazakh people lived for hundred's of years. Korean food, well, don't get me started about the strange combinations and the red pepper. Serbia, with all the meat dishes. And now Thailand, known as a very special if you look at the food we can buy here it is just one big discovery. Christina wrote about food, I can assure you that we will publish a lot more about Thai food. (posted by Jitze, 28/10/10)
Flood update 2

Still dry feet although it's uncertain if the dykes will hold all the water. Last week I read in the news that officials expected the water to be high around Sunday. It is now delayed until Wednesday although starting today levels should rise even further because of the spring tide. I am still wondering how they want to keep water out of Bangkok. All the water from the North must pass Bangkok in a regulated way? We will wait and see. (posted by Jitze, 25/10/10)
Thailand floods

The news about the floods in Thailand is bad. At least 25 people have been killed and as many as 1.2 million people have been affected by the floods.

This article in Bangkok Post describes the situation at this moment. Tomorrow and Monday the water level in the Chao Praya river will rise higher in Bangkok. Together with spring tide in the gulf of Thailand this could cause floods in Bangkok as well. If I see water in the streets in our area I will make pictures. (posted by Jitze, 23/10/10)
Today I bought myself a bicycle. After searching the web for a good bicycle shop in Bangkok I went to Probike. Based on the pictures on their website I wanted to check out the Navigator 2.0, suitable for city biking. They had only one Navigator in their showroom and I was afraid that they wouldn't sell it and had to order one instead, while I was really hoping to cycle home this afternoon. Of course there was no problem at all, I bought the bike (with discount) and received also mudguards and a stand for free. They prepared the bicycle for me while I was paying and moments later I was on the road. It was a nice experience to cycle through Bangkok, where traffic blocks the road you just continue on the pavement or pass cars on whatever side it is possible, just like the motorbikes. And I must say that it felt safer to cycle in Bangkok than in Belgrade, the car drivers are used to the motorbikes that go left and right in front of their cars. As you can read I'm quite happy with my new bicycle. By the way, I bought a lock as well;)) (posted by Christina, 22/10/10)

Spooky Spider Cakes

Today Vibeke, Phaw and I made Spooky Spider Cakes for Vibeke's class. They were so easy to make and I was surprised I could find most of the ingredients here in Bangkok. Instead of making normal vanilla cup cakes we made them with strawberry flavour, an idea I came across while searching for Halloween recipes. At the Villa Market near our house they had even writing icing in red and black so I didn't have to mess around with homemade icing and food colouring. The only thing I hope is that the spiders taste as good as they look. (posted by Christina, 21/10/10)

I do you favor, you do me

During my trip I talked to several businessman and most of them had something to say about corruption over here. I don't know much about the level of corruption so I just searched the internet for the 2009 country comparison from an organisation called transparency international. The most corrupted country is Somalia, holding position 180. New Zealand proudly holds first position and the Netherlands is doing fine at position 6. Now the countries we lived in:

Belgium: 21
Kazakhstan: 120 (apparently not much changed since we left in 2002)
South Korea: 39 (which explains all these popular business clubs)
Serbia: 83 (nice between Trinidad and Tobago and El Salvador, they should be happy with that)
Thailand: 84 (therefore no corruption cultural shock for us :p )

It's bad but still in the middle range. If I see funny examples I will post them at our weblog. (posted by Jitze, 16/10/10)
Chang Mai

I woke up early this morning to catch the plane to Chang Mai. After more than 10 years back in this city at 09.30 and I don't remember or recognize much. At that time Christina and I visited Chang Mai together with our Belgian friend Renaud. We took the night train from Bangkok and the plane back. During daytime we did elephant riding and rafting, at night time we went to bars and the night market. But still I expected to remember something. For example the old city walls or the canals in the city center. The thing I remember are the nice green hills surrounding Chang Mai.

Anyhow, I am making pictures now. After returning to Bangkok I will publish them. And Chang Mai is nice, it has fresh air compared to Bangkok and no traffic jams. It's also way more greener in the city without too many high rise buildings. So check the website this weekend for pictures. (posted by Jitze, 13/10/10)
Swimming pool

A nice and warm Sunday. We drove with our car to explore the main roads and highways better. Just to get an idea how to get somewhere fast, and we also discovered another highway exit close to our house.

After that we went back home and to the swimming pool. First time for me and to my surprise the water was quite warm. Not a freezing pool like you get in many hotels. So it is almost like Holiday but tomorrow I will loose the feeling once I get stuck in morning traffic on my way to work. Still, the feeling in the weekend is the special Thailand bonus I guess. (posted by Jitze, 10/10/10)

Water Babies

Yde came home this afternoon with a bottle with water and some colourful bubbles in it. After hearing his super enthusiastic story about water babies and breeding them we decided to look on internet to find out what water babies exactly are. Well, we found out, and I think Yde was a bit disappointed, that they are nothing more than colourful water absorbing crystals used by many florists. Nevertheless he wants more of them and see if (despite the story on internet) you can breed them when you put a boy and a girl together. Probably we will spend our coming weekend searching Bangkok for water babies. (posted by Christina, 06/10/10)

Pattaya and a Crocodile farm

We are back from our weekend in Pattaya. The resort was very nice, we actually met the founder of Cabbages & Condoms. The children could gather eggs from the chicken. Funny, they play Mozart for the chickens all day long. We saw all kinds of tropical plants, bunnies were hopping around and our shower was something between out and indoor showering. When I took I shower a squirrel showed up, can you imagine.

Anyhow, today we left and before we went back to Bangkok we visited a Crocodile farm. And what do you do on a farm like this, you feed the Crocodiles. See that nice Crocodile snapping at the piece of chicken I am trying to feed him.

Crocodile feeding

On the way back we had lots of rain and when entering Bangkok we decided to gamble which highway and turn we had to make. We had luck, we ended up at the perfect exit close to our house so that's good news for the future. We can find our way back home :P (posted by Jitze, 03/10/10)

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