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Birth and death at Death Station in Bangkok

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And extra ordinary place to enjoy your coffee or cake. OK the name and the photo above is not what you expect as photo for a coffee shop. Of course it is a bit more as just a coffee shop. With the theme of birth and death they try to make people more aware of and support people with 2 most important events in life. The first one (birth) is celebrated and talked about a lot, the other (death) is not talked much about. One of the things that here is talked about is Organ Donation, what surely in Thailand is not a thing many people talk about. There is an coffin where you can lay inside to experience death. And there is an huge replica of the female birth organ where you can experience birth.

Death Station is a bit difficult to find as it is between buildings between Phahonyothin road and Ari Soi 1. From BTS Ari station walk to the Mercedes dealer and just after that is a small dark passage going to Death Station. Death Station is daily open from 10:00 to 19:00.






A weekend to Chiang Rai

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Although it is raining season we decided to go to Chiang Rai for 2 days, a bit shopping and meeting old & new friends. From Nan we took route 1148 to Chiang Kham, a route thru the mountains and passing stunning view ... if it was not so clouded and rainy. Never mind it was a nice trip but I adjusted my speed for safety. In Chiang Kham we had a lunch and the continued to Chiang Rai where we decided to stay in Le Patta Hotel, right in the middle of town. Now most people know Chiang Rai from the White Temple or the Nigh Bazar but we skipped both. Instead we did visit the beautiful Wat Phra Keauw and the local markt nearby this temple. Highly recommended if you want to experience the real way of life in Chiang Rai!


Staying at Le Patta Hotel in Chiang Rai

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Le Patta Hotel is located right in the middle of Chiang Rai town, just 5min walk from the bus station and famous Night Bazar. But the location is not the prime reason why we did stay here already 3 times. It is the wonderful hospitality and quality of the hotel that brings us back, although the hotel is not really cheap. The service with a smile starts already when arriving by car and the parking guard helps us parking and takes our luggage. In the meanwhile someone of the front desk is awaiting at the door of the lobby to welcome us. Then at the counter are 2 people working together to have your check-in as smooth & quick as possible. Five minutes after arriving we are relaxing in our room. And although the hotel is not advertised as 5 star boutique hotel the rooms feels 5 star every way. Comfortable bed, sound-proof doors, private balcony, big TV and luxury bathroom. The hotel has a small tropical garden with a swimming pool. Once in the garden you do not notice you are in the …

Wine at PB Valley Kasalong Restaurant in Chiang Rai

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While staying in Chiang Rai we liked to have a dinner & drink at a stunning location. This time we did choose Kasalong Restaurant, part of PB Valley Winery, along a small lake about 30km north-east of Chiang Rai town. So you will need your own transport. The restaurant is located right along the small lake and between an old fruit farm of more as 5.000 rai land. Indeed a stunning location to sit, relax and enjoy a wine of PB Valley Winery Khao Yai. Must be said that the location is stunning, the service outstanding, the wine great but the food was just average.

Travel Tips : Wildlife Do & Don't

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I am passionate against entertainment with animals so I do not go to ZOO's, elephant / tiger camps / sanctuaries, fishing for fun (yes I do eat fish), snake farms, crocodile shows and what more people can think of to abuse animals. And not making selfies with captive animals is part of that. Example tigers are killers, they do not sit for fun next to you. A wild tiger would never tolerate you hugging him and making a selfie. Do not kid yourself, the tiger is drugged!

Staying at Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel in Chiang Mai

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Chiang Mai Plaza Hotel is conveniently located near the Ping River and the Night Bazar. The hotel opened its doors in 1986 and has been renovated in 2006. The hotel consists of 2 buildings of 10 floors and has a big swimming pool. Of course all rooms have private bathroom with bathtub with shower, TV, Air-conditioning, Free drinking water and Fridge. The rooms are big and comfortable but a bit old fashioned. Chiang Mai Plaza offers free private parking, fitness and a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They serve a good international buffet breakfast. Staff is a mix of service minded older staff and clueless younger staff.

After a beautiful and impressive lobby the rooms feel outdated and some rooms even a bit worn out. The swimming pool is huge, but it looks a bit like it was accidentally left there after renovation. Photos on their website are not really representative for reality. So you can guess ... this hotel is not really my cup of tea but good value for money. For more…

The Rice Field Project Part 22 : The final adjustments and building a wall again

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As part of Living in Thailand, the Rice Field Project follows our journey of buying land, preparing it for building our house and finally building our house. This is part 22, to read the other parts click The Rice Field Project.

So yesterday we did get the final floor-plan design and some 3D pictures of how the house would look like (see photo). Mind you here are still a few minor things not correct. Like the window on the right is to small. And the windows are all same hight as the front door. And the front door is planned to be 2 meter high. That means all windows are also 2 meter, what I find too low. But that are things that can easily be changed later.

In the meanwhile people started to work on the low wall at the rear-end of our land. And as I said this wall is going to be mostly in the ground. To be exactly 50cm into the ground and only 40cm above the ground. With every 2.5m a pole of 1.2m high. The all wall will be 25m long and include 2 chanot poles. Total costs for this wil…

Taking the Green Bus from Chiang Mai to Nan

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While I was in Chiang Mai for some reason I had to go back to Nan for 1 day, so I did choose to take the bus and I did choose the Green Bus. I see them many times driving in Nan and they have a good reputation. In Chiang Mai they are leaving from the Arcade 3 Bus Station and in Nan they stop at Nan Bus Station. From Chiang Mai to Nan is 316km and by car you could drive that in 5 hours. OK of course the bus will stop a few times so it will take a bit longer. Actually it took me 6½ hours, not bad. It was a comfortable trip, no crazy driving in regards to speed or overtaking. Mind you there are a few stops, like after 10min already at a gasoline station where an office of Green Bus is. Then at Lamphun bus station what is about 10km from the highway. Then at a parking in the mountains where an broken Green Bus was parked. Then at the Lampang bus station, Phrae bus station what is in the middle of town and as last at Wiang Sa bus station. No toilet or lunch stop, but you get served a snac…

Staying at Anantaya Home in Phrae

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Anantaya Home is located about 500m from route 101 at the south side of Phrae, for us traveling by car a very convenient location. Just a 5min drive into Phrae town and nearby restaurants. Officially it is called Anantaya Home Organic Farm & Resort. All rooms have bathroom with bathtub (but a bit small) and separated shower, Air-conditioning, TV and fridge. Anantaya Home offers private parking, free wifi and bicycles. Anantaya Home also has a restaurant & coffee shop where they serve besides a simple but good breakfast also lunch and dinner. We loved our stay here, our room was clean and comfortable. When checking in the staff was welcoming and friendly. For more information see Facebook page of Anantaya Home. Of course this hotel can be booked via AGODA or BOOKING but they have great walk-in prices. All photos come from their facebook page and reflect reality.



Dinner at Rom Mai Yai Restaurant in Phrae

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As we were staying in Phrae for 1 night we were recommended for dinner to go to Rom Mai Yai Restaurant, what is only a few km from our hotel (Anantaya Home). And that was a good choice!. Rom Mai Yai is a big modern restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating and even also karaoke rooms. No, we did not test the karaoke rooms. Rom Mai Yai Restaurant serves Thai, Northern Thai and limited Western food. And for the wine lovers they have a very good selection of wine in their wine room. The beer lovers were not so well served with a limited selection of Thai beers. Luckily for me they also serve cocktails. Staff was professional and the food delicious. For more information see Rom Mai Yai Restaurant.


Old houses in Phrae

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At a early morning we did drive thru Phrae and besides many beautiful old teak wooden houses be aware that there are many traffic camera's in Phrae town. Our first stop was at Baan Wichairacha, build in 2423 (1880). Unfortunately I could not walk around the house but behind the main building are more old style wooden buildings. And on the left side are unfortunately some modern shophouses that are somehow decorated in a style to match the old teak wooden house. Our second stop was at Baan Chao Nan Chaiwong, that is under renovation and for that reason closed until the end of this year. A last photo from an old style house of what I am not sure if it is actually old. The roof looks modern and brand new. If you like old architecture then Phrae is a must go place!







The Rice Field Project Part 21 : A bit more adjustments

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As part of Living in Thailand, the Rice Field Project follows our journey of buying land and preparing it for building our house. This is part 21, to read the other parts click Rice Field Project.

Last week we did sign an official Design Contract in what we officially give the order to design our house. That sounds a bit weird as we are already about 2 months busy with the design of our to be house. So why? Well until now it was just the floor plan and the roof type. Now at the next stage of design the full design papers will be made incl. all the be used materials and prices. This is a lot of work and they want to be sure that we will pay for that. Pay? Well yes and no. Within the building contract we will have free design of the house but of course it is not free. So we now pay 20.000 Thai baht for the design (architect) and that money we get back after paying the first deposit for the building.

The planning is that within the end of this month (September 2018) the full design will…

Staying at Gallery Lake View Hotel in Khon Kaen

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Gallery Lake View Hotel is located right along Bung Kaen Nakhon in Khon Kaen center. Be aware that due to change of the lake you might actually not really have lake view anymore. Gallery Lake View Hotel is an renovated apartment building and offers many types of rooms from superior rooms for 2 people to family rooms or suite rooms. Of course all rooms have Air-conditioning, TV, fridge and small balcony. Gallery Lake View Hotel offers private parking, free wifi and breakfast.

That all sounds great, but our experience was the opposite. That might all be a bit personally but I do not like the air-conditioning straight on the bed. I do not like a hard bed and big pillows. When we asked for other pillows the answer was "No have". When we asked for extra towels to be used as pillow the answer was "20 THB per extra towel". When after not even 10min in the room we asked to check-out and get our money back the answer was "Can not". When we checked-in we had to pay…

Changing Khon Kaen

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After visiting the family of my wife in Khorat we did go to Khon Kaen, where we did live from 2011 to 2016. Khon Kaen has become much bussier as when we were living there and we were shocked by all the construction that is going on. Above the railroad is being build an elevated rail. The main train station of Khon Kaen is gone (see my posting about Khon Kaen Train Station) and 2km south is an temporarily train station build. I was wondering what this elevated railroad is for. The high speed railroad from China to Bangkok? The light city rail for Khon Kaen? No none of that all. It is the double track railroad between Nakhon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen. At least that is what I was told. Now I am not a construction engineer but to me it looks too small to be double track. And where are they going to build the high speed train line from China? And where are they going to build the Khon Kaen Light Rail track? And will the old railroad still being used for cargo? Well never mind This Is Thail…

Staying at Scent of Sukhothai Resort in Sukhothai

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Scent of Sukhothai Resort is located near the Historical Park of Sukhothai and has a lovely tropical garden with swimming pool. Of course all rooms have private balcony, bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, fridge and TV. Scent of Sukhothai Resort offers private parking, bicycles, free wifi and a good breakfast buffet. Although we had a good stay here the welcoming was a bit weird. As we had not made an reservation we asked at the reception for the walk-in price. Of course I had already checked the price on Agoda and I was unpleasantly surprised by an walk-in price that was about 20% higher. And no way they would offer an promotion price, so while standing at the reception I booked the room via Agoda. It really beats me .... I pay less, get points and they get now about 30% less as their walk-in price. For more information see Facebook page of Scent of Sukhothai Resort. This hotel is best booked with AGODA or BOOKING. All photos come from their Facebook page and the photos of the r…