Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Warning: Don't spank your monkey

It's official chaps, spanking your monkey can prove fatal and should come with a government health warning!!!!

This is what ultimately led to the demise of poor Khun Leurit Chanchum, from the Nakhon Sri Thammarat region in southern Thailand.

Let me set the record straight before you start thinking that Khun Leurit was a boss-eyed, sex pest who spent his days looking up the skirts of the local lasses.

He was actually a professional coconut collector, ably assisted in his task by Nong Khwan, his highly-trained macaque. Believe it or not, Nong Khwan graduated with honours from "Withayalai Ling", the country's foremost monkey training college based in Surat Thani.

The morning of February 25, 2009, began much the same as any other, with a neighbour hiring Khun Leurit to collect his coconuts. The first tree was duly harvested, but when prompted to climb the next, the cheeky monkey decided to work to rule and refused.

But, as I've always said, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys!!!

Nong Khwan, not being subject to the same workplace rights as most other citizens, was then giving a beating by his none too pleased owner.

According to reports, this led to the creature flying into a rage and once at the top of tree, it started kicking the bunches of coconuts, causing one to dislodge and fall onto the head of the hapless Khun Leurit, knocking him unconscious. Despite being taken to the local infirmary he later died from the injuries he sustained.

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "going ape"!!!!!

If you wish to read the full story from the Phuket Gazzette please click on the following link.....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thailand's national football team unveils new sponsor

You couldn't make this up!!!

With obesity levels worldwide hitting epedemic proportions, the next sponosr of the Thai national football team, is that bastion of healthy and nutritious cuisine............McDonalds!!!

Ronald McDonald must be laughing himself hoarse with the irony of it all!!!! You can just picture him slavering like Pavlov's Dogs and rubbing his fat, greasy hands together with the thought millions of Thai children nibbling on his McNuggets.

In terms of being a danger to children, Ronald McDonald makes Gary Glitter look like the Sugar Plum Fairy.

“This will be a great help towards our efforts to reach the 2014 World Cup Finals,” said FAT (Football Assocation of Thailand) president Worawi Makudi. “This funding will help develop our game, especially youth football, and all the players, junior and senior, will get to enjoy the food too,”.

Urrrrmmmmm lets have a little think about that Khun Worawi!!! If your players are gorging themselves on a diet of Supersized McChuffer meals, then by 2014, you'll be presiding over a bunch of McLardarses who won't even be able to waddle to the team coach!!!!

Call my cynical, but I'm sure the 25 million baht (£500,000) that will be coming the way of the FAT (no doubt via Khun Worawi's offshore bank account) over the next 3 years, may have something to do with his enthusiasm for the sponsorship deal.

Like a lot of organisations in Thailand, the FAT is managed spectacularly poorly and has allowed the team (both playing staff and management) to get away with to many mediocre results!!!!

My plan to ensure Thailand's qualification for the next World Cup would start with ensuring that no more half-arsed managers, like Peter Reid and Bryan Robson were hired. I would also endeavour to send Thailand's best young players and coaches, to train in Europe (or South America) which will allow them to develop a better appreciation of the game. Investment in grass roots fotball is also important but I think it can come from a better source than Ronald & Chums.

Otherwise Thailand's next generation of footballers will end up looking like goal-keeper supreme and poster boy for healthy eating...... Billy "Fatty" Foulkes........

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thailand's Taliban: The Muslim Insurgency in the South

"Taliban, staying here in Thailand, Fawlty!!! Bunch of Camel jockeys, Bloody bad eggs, all of 'em!!!"

I'm afraid in the current political climate that most people would probably agree with the Major on this point!!!!!

It may seem incredible to believe that a country famed for it's gentle Buddhist religion is suffering the scourge of Islamic extremism. And it will certainly cause your spinchter to pucker up tighter than a Scotman's wallet, knowing that only hours from Thailand's tourist hotspots, lurk large numbers of FundaMENTAList ragheads.

The Southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, home to many of Thailand's muslims, have been experiencing an increasingly violent insurgency over the last 5 years.

The population in the South who are mainly Malay-Muslims, had for years lived in relative peace with their Buddhist neighbours. But now there is an increasing jihadist undertone and the attacks have become more sophisticated, including car-bombings and ambush attacks which would suggest their have been outside influences and Thailand's muslim have been brainwashed by international extremists.

Fortunately, the attacks have remained fairly localised and have not yet spread to the tourist areas!!!

But this doesn't mean we should take our eye of the ball, it is always wise to be vigilant!!! You just have to visit Tony's disco in Pattaya to see the large numbers of, urm, Arabian gentleman, to know that there are a significant amount of muslims already in Thailand!!

There is a good chance that Mr. Bin Laden won't be paying a visit to Thailand and lets hope that doesn't change any time soon!!! Although the poor fella does need to get out a little bit more. I'm sure Bora Bora in winter, is infinitely preferable to Tora Bora!!!!

Don't let this post put you off visiting Thailand, as most of the country is extremely safe. But if you do see anyone with a beard waddling down Sukhumvit Road, wearing a trench coat in the height of summer..............then I have one word for you......................RUN!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thai Culture & Festivals: Loy Krathong

Thailand has a wonderfully rich and unique cultural heritage and it is famous around the world for its vibrant and colourful festivals.

For me, the most striking and eagerly anticipated of these festivals is the annual, "Loy Krathong" or "Festival of Light".

It is traditionally performed on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month. For those of us using the Western Calendar, this usually means it is held during the first week of November.

Unlike many Thai festivals, with their complex rituals and meanings which can often be difficult for foreigners to understand, the concept of Loy Krathong is very simple.

The word 'Loy' means 'to float or sail' while 'krathong' refers to the vessel, usually lotus-shaped, upon which offerings are placed. A typical krathong will contain sweets, flowers, betel nuts and
coins, as well as candles and incense.

Traditionally, the kratong was made from a lily plant or woven banana leaves, but these days modern materials such as foam or plastic are often used. However, this has caused significant
environmental damage and people are being encouraged to go back to natural materials.

On the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month people will gather beside lakes, canals and rivers with their kratongs. They light the candles and joss sticks, make a wish and then place their kratongs in the water. The candle flame is said to signify fulfillment of wishes, a release from previous sins and long life.

Being a romantic festival, couples who make a wish together on Loy Kratong are believed enjoy a happy future together.

The orgins of Loy Krathong remain unclear and there are many legends surrounding the practice.

Many believe it came into existence as a way of paying tribute to 'Phra Mae Kongka', the goddess of water. While others believe it has it origins in India, where devotees honoured a footprint of the Buddha, on the beach of the Narmaha River.

Whatever the truth of its origins, Loy Kratong was first documented in the ancient Thai kingdom of Sukhothai, in the 13th century. Queen Nang Noppamas is reputed to have made a small boat to carry offerings of candles and incense.

Today, it remains one of the most popular and endearing of all the Thai festivals and can be experienced nationwide, even in the smallest villages and hamlets.

If you are planning a trip to Thailand, a visit during Loy Krathong is highly recommened, so you can experience the beauty and majesty for yourself.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Supplier of the month: Salil Hotel Bangkok

Welcome to the first in my series of blogs highlighting the best in accommodation, attractions, services, entertainment and dining.

The featured supplier for the month of November is the Salil Hotel in Bangkok. Hotel Description:

The Salil Hotel is a small boutique property, offering excellent service and accommodation set amongst Thai-colonial style architecture, it features 27 stylish guest rooms and suites.

Salil Hotel is centrally located on Sukhumvit Soi 8, only 2 minutes by Golf Cart to the Nana BTS Sky Train station. All main business districts, shopping centers, restaurants and tourist attractions are in very close proximity. The new international airport is only 30 minutes away. Thus Salil Hotel is suitable for both the business and leisure traveller.

The luxurious rooms are beautifully decorated in the Thai-Colonial style which provides you with the ultimate experience of a bygone era. There are different room designs ranging from 25 sqm to 35 sqm from stylish one-bedroom units to spacious suites-all fully furnished and equipped with deluxe amenities. All rooms have 29" LCD TV, DVD player, Satellite TV channels and in room movies.

Guest Benefits:

- Complimentary welcome drinks and cool towel upon arrival
- Complimentary in room coffee and tea making facilities
- 2 bottles of complimentary drinking water daily
- Cable TV and satellite movies
- 10% discount off food at Café de Salil
- Free DVD & CD rental

Room Facilities:

- Air Conditioning
- Wifi internet access
- 32” LCD TV with 80 cable TV channels : NHK, Bloomberg, Fashion, DD sport, and other - worldwide popular programs
- DVD/CD player
- Free DVD movie/CD/books rental
- Complimentary tea and coffee making facility
- Refrigerator
- Mini bar
- Hairdryer
- Keycard lock
- Electronic safety box
- Daily room cleaning service
- Linen change service
- Laundry service

Hotel Facilities:

- Shuttle service to main street / Nana BTS station and pick up to hotel (Free 24 hours)
- Check in 1 PM and check out 12:00 noon
- Internet café at Café de Salil
- International dialing by operator/IDD
- 24 hours front desk
- Laundry
- Luggage store room
- Free DVD movie/CD/books rental
- Café de Salil : stylish coffee shop with its open-air terrace, offers a friendly welcome for all day dining. Lavish buffets are presented for breakfast, with a wide selection of Thai and international dishes, but there is also a full bar service and comprehensive a la carte menu offering everything from a simple snack to a full meal. Open from 6:30 am – 10:30 pm
- Tour desk
- Limousine service

Hotel Location:

50,50/1 Sukhumvit Soi 8, Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110

For Reservations & Enquiries:

Tel : (+662) 253-2474-7 Fax : (+662) 253-2478

E-mail :

For more information please visit the website at

Penfold's Opinion:

I personally think this hotel is an absolute gem and one of the most under-rated hotels in the city. The standard of the rooms, level of service and quality of the food in their restaurant-cum-cafe is second to none, compared to the price that you're paying.

The location is great, being close to the Nana BTS (sky train) and there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area. The only downside is there are lots of market traders/touts along the route trying to sell you tacky toursit crap!!!! But c'est la vie!!!!

However, I always urge people to do their own research before visiting Bangok and Thailand in general, as this will make your stay more pleasurable and you won't experience any nasty surprises.

Although I like this hotel and would reccomend it to any friends or family going to Bangkok, I am sure there are just as many people who won't like it!!!!!

If you would like to read some other independent reviews, rather than take my word for it, please click on the link below!!!