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Visiting the Weapon museum in Khao Kho

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We made a trip from Khon Kaen to Chiang Khan via Khao Kho, near Phetchabun. This is a very beautiful area, and was originally famous for being a communist stronghold and the war that has been fought there. As reminder of this you can visit Khao Kho Weapons museum. Seeing this now I had very mixed feelings about this war against communism in Thailand. Were they not just Thai people with a different political / ideologically view? And was the fear of communism not only created by the good old USA out of their fear of the domino-theory? Nowadays its is a beautiful area for holidays and there are many nice resorts and restaurants. For Thai this area is famous for its "blankets of clouds" that fill the valley's in the cold season (nov-jan). It is like a sea of clouds (Talay Mok). But in those old days in Khao Khoa (and nowadays on many places in the world) it was "Let's kill all the blacks, let's kill all the reds". But when there is war between man and wom…

A day at the Department of Land Transport

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While living in Thailand I always try to do everything by the book, as far as possible at least. So when I wanted to buy a car and drive myself in Thailand I went to the Department of Land Transport to apply for a Thai Driver License for a car. In those days in 2003 it was very easy, just show your National & International Driver License and you will more or less get your Thai Driver License. I applied only for car and was asked if I not wanted to have for motorcycle also. Yes, of course! So after paying less as 1.000 Thai baht I had my Thai Driver License for Car and Motorcycle. You will get to cards. The first cards were only valid for 1 year, after 1 year I did get an renewal for 3 years. And after 3 years normally you would get an driver license for the rest of your life. But just before my renewal the law changed and from that day on everybody gets an maximum of 5 years valid driver license. No problem, but every 5 years you will have to go to the DLT to get an renewal. Not …

Traveling in Mae Hong Son province in North Thailand

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Last year I did make a posting about counting all the provinces I had been in Thailand. And I saw I have been to (stayed in) 48 provinces out of the 76. So in the coming months I will travel via my postings from the most southern province I have been to the most northern province, with some photos and information about each province. Mae Hong Son province borders with Myanmar and is an originally isolated province that became famous for its Long Neck hill-tribe people and the famous Mae Hong Son Loop to do by motorbike. The capital town is of course Mae Hong Son. Although I have been many times traveling to Mae Hong Son between 2000 and 2005 I never made many photos and in my travel blog I only made 2 postings about Mae Hong Son.
Popular Travel Destinations Mae Hong Son lake in townBurmese temples like Wat Chong Kham & Wat Hua WiangKiew Lom ViewpointMae Hong Son Mountain (viewpoint over Mae Hong Son town)Hill tribe villages like Ban Rak Thai and Pang Ung How to get to Mae Hong So…

Staying at Sand Dunes Chaolao Beach Resort in Chanthaburi

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As we did not plan our trip to the beaches of Chantaburi at all we also did not make a hotel reservation. So I had a look at Google Maps to find hotels while driving along Hat Chaolao. You will notice that there are many older hotels and that is where Sand Dunes Chaolao Beach Resort did stand out with a new sign along the road and with a new looking building. So we did drive in and were friendly greeted at the lobby. Efficient welcome at the front desk and what more no expensive walk-in prices. As a matter a fact the prices were lower as on their own website or any hotel bookings website. This hotel has a front main building with 4 or 5 floors for the superior rooms and 2 beach side wings for the Deluxe rooms. The ground-floor Deluxe rooms have swimming pool access. The rooms with the best view are the Deluxe-wing beach-side at the 3th or 4th floor. But we had a Deluxe room with partial sea-view. Our room was good size, had private balcony and a good bathroom (shower only). Of course…

Traveling in Phetchabun province in North-East Thailand

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Last year I did make a posting about counting all the provinces I had been in Thailand. And I saw I have been to (stayed in) 48 provinces out of the 76. So in the coming months I will travel via my postings from the most southern province I have been to the most northern province, with some photos and information about each province. Phetchabun province is at the North-western side of North-East Thailand, bordering Central Thailand and North Thailand. The capital city of Phetchabun province is of course Phetchabun.

For me personally it is was probably in 2014 that I did go for the first time to Phetchabun, making a motorbike trip with friends. As Phetchabun province is home to mountains it is a great area for motorbike riding. Also Khao Kho has become a tourist destination for people from Bangkok, in the past this was the battleground between the Thai government and the Communist Party of Thailand. It is a wonderful totally off the beaten track province of North-East Thailand, not on…

Flowers as tourist attraction in Thung Chang

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As you might have seen before Thai people love flowers, so places with beautiful flowers in Thailand become a tourist attraction. Like the private road of a house near Thung Chang in Nan province, North Thailand. About 10 km north of Thung Chang goes from route 101 a private road of about 1 km to the house of the owner of this road. He did plant along this road trees (I think more as 100) that blossom beautiful in March. So once a year he opens the road for the public (entrance fee 20 Thai baht) and many people come here to admire (and make selfies with) the beautiful yellow flowers. For more information about Nan province have a look at Destination Travel Guide Nan - Thailand.




Staying at Chaolao Cabana Resort in Chanthaburi

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As we did not plan our trip to the beaches of Chantaburi at all we also did not make a hotel reservation. So I had a look at Google Maps to find hotels while driving along Hat Chaolao. You will notice that there are many older hotels and that is where Chaolao Cabana Resort did stand out with a new looking entrance and sign. The hotel has a main building with Deluxe rooms and family villa's closer to the beach. And at the moment there are almost finished with an extension of Deluxe Pool Access rooms in a new building. Of course all rooms have TV, Airco, Fridge, Private balcony and Private bathroom with shower. We had a very comfortable night and a very good breakfast buffet. The beach at this part of Hat Chaolao is lovely for a walk in the early morning or at sunset.

The hotel offers private parking, free wifi, beach side swimming pool, beach side restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Staff was friendly and service minded although the restaurant could need a bit more attenti…

Travel Tips : Is the Thai baht exchange rate hurting tourisme?

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Screenshot above is the exchange rate for the Euro to Thai baht (on 11 March 2019)currently the mid-market rate at 35.65 Thai baht for 1 Euro. That is a huge difference in compare the the exchange rate in 2009 when you would get about 50 Thai baht for 1 Euro (see screenshot under). But well that is all about 10 years ago and must be said that in the past 4 years a exchange rate of under the 40 Thai baht for 1 Euro was normal. But still 40 Thai baht or 35 Thai baht for 1 Euro means that for a tourists from the EU costs in Thailand have risen about 11%. And it is not much better for the US$ or British Pound. And besides a more expensive Thai baht, some things have also become more expensive in Thailand. It is clearly that the expensive Thai baht is hurting export of Thailand (but business doing import are laughing themselves to the bank).

But the question is ....Is the Thai baht exchange rate hurting tourisme? OK I do understand that the growing number of non-western tourists (mostly…

A formerly small fishing village at Kung Krabaen

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What was once a very small fishing village along the shore of Kung Krabaen in Chanthaburi province, Thailand is now the place for Kung Krabaen Fish Farming Demonstration Center, 2 small scale hotels  (The Pier Hotel & Stingray Hotel) and 2 restaurants. Still a place where you will find hardly (actually nobody) on the street at a hot morning in February. Well except the guy demanding 20 Thai baht parking fee. At the Kung Krabaen Fish Farming Demonstration Center we saw some fish like the Bull Shark and some big turtles.

The Rice Field Project Part 36 : Making an entrance gate

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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 36, to read the other parts click The Rice Field Project. As all the big truck have now done their job at building our house it became time to make a real entrance gate. But to make that you need strong cement poles. I was thinking just to buy ready-made cement poles but according to the guy making the steel gate itself that is not strong enough. So we first had to get people to build 2 big & strong poles. And a bit smaller pole at the corner of the land. So the same people wo did build the wall behind the house came and did work for 4 times s a half day (3 people). Looks good and strong. Material costs was very low as we used sand, stones, cement and steel from the house construction (with consent of the construction company of course). We only bought some small steel and 2 bags of special cement for a total co…

Eating seafood along the beach in Chanthaburi province

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Going to the beach with my wife means eating seafood, fresh seafood. That started in Pattaya and continued in Chanthaburi. I do not have the names of the restaurants because you could hardly call them a restaurant, but I will give you some location information. And do as we did, just go eat where are the most people eating. All this little places are of course right along the beach and do not have  air-conditioning.
Hat Ao Yang : This is so small you can not miss the 2 restaurants that are there. Small and simple but very good! Hat Chaolao : At the most southern point of the main road, it is the first restaurant about 50m after New Travel Beach Resort.Hat Kung Wiman : Again most southern point of the road along the beach is where are a few sea-side restaurants.

Traveling in Rayong province along the Eastern Seaboard

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Last year I did make a posting about counting all the provinces I had been in Thailand. And I saw I have been to (stayed in) 48 provinces out of the 76. So in the coming months I will travel via my postings from the most southern province I have been to the most northern province, with some photos and information about each province. Rayong province is along the Eastern Seaboard and will be by most tourist be known for Koh Samet or U-Tapao International Airport. For Thai people Rayong is known as Thailands biggest industrial zone (Mathaput).

For me personal it was in 1995 that I was for the first time in Rayong province, to stay 1 night along the sea at Rayong town. Just as stop-over traveling from Koh Chang to Don Muang Airport, as we had been reading that Rayong was a popular destination for people from Bangkok. Much later (starting in 2003) I would go many times to Ban Phe, Koh Samet and Hat Mae Runphueang. Or visit the waterfalls at Khao Samao National Park. And later I would als…

Walking at the mangroves Kung Krabaen in Chanthaburi province

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At the most northern point of Hat Chaolao in Chanthaburi province is a mangrove forrest park and it is part of Kung Krabaen Bay Development Center. From the main road is a small road with a sign and at the end of that road is after 300m a parking. From there you can start walking a elevated wooden trail of 1.5 km thru the mangrove forrest. At the moment (February 2019) it was all brand new. Mind you it is not wheelchair friendly as there are 2 bridges to cross and a few up & down steps. And there are signs of explanations ... in Thai language. But entrance is free. Best to do in the early morning, it opens at 8:00 and closes at 17:00. The trail ends more or less where you did begin and that is where you will also find good clean toilets and some food-stalls selling food & drinks. Following are some photos I did make while walking the walk.





Funny toilet signs in Thailand

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In my collection of weird / funny photos are also toilet signs. This one was seen at a hotel at Hat Chaolao in Chanthaburi. For more of This Is Thailand moments click HERE.

A day at Hat Chaolao in Chanthaburi

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The beaches of Chanthaburi might not be as stunning viewing as the Maldives but they are actually very nice, big and clean. And you will find yourself being one of the few western tourists going there, because yes you will need your own transport. Hat Chaolao is not really off the beaten track, but a Thai tourist destination for in the weekends and school holidays. Along Hat Chaolao are quite a few hotels, some a bit older as Thai tourists come here already more as 20 years. But there are also some newly renovated hotels and even some totally new hotels. Along the main road are a few restaurants, 7-11 and shops. On the north side is Leam Sadet a favourite place for Thai to sit on little matts on the ground in the shade of trees and eat & drink. So that is what we did also. Next to Leam Sadet is a mangrove forrest Kung Krabaen, where you can walk for about 1.5 km thru a mangrove forrest (we did that the next morning). And at the most northern tip of Leam Sadet is Klong Kood where …