Monday, February 28, 2011

Spirit houses

A spirit house is a shrine that is placed at an auspicious location within a building or its grounds.

They are common throughout South East Asia and can be found in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Burma (Myanmar).

Thais believe that when a new building is erected, it might disturb the spirits who inhabit the site. In order to appease them and prevent bad luck, a spirit house is put up to provide shelter.

Spirit houses come in all sizes and generally take the form of a house or temple mounted on a pillar and can include models or images of people and animals. They can be made of stone, concrete or wood.

The vast majority of homes and businesses will have a spirit house which is known as a san phra phum and is written ศาลพระภูมิ in Thai. The location of the spirit house will be chosen in consultation with a brahmin priest.

We have 2 spirit house complexes, with a total of 4 houses. One is located in the garden next to our house and the other is at the entrance to our guesthouse.

Here are some photos and check out the overhead electricity cables.....they are an accident waiting to happen!!!!





Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Attempted murder

During the course of last night a rather unseemly incident occured. One of our tenants narrowly escaped being killed afer being targeted by gunmen.

Around 10.30pm, 2 shots ran out which woke my wife and sister-in-law and caused a bit of a commotion.

At first I didn't believe they were gunshots and I casually dismissed them. The reason for my nonchalence is that loud noises are a regular occurance here in Thailand and it's not unusual to hear fireworks or firecrackers being set off late at night.

However, in the cold light of day it was obvious that our tenant had been very lucky to avoid serious injury or death.

The tenant in question has recently upset some local political bigwigs and it transpires that she also owes money to loan sharks....so I fear there may be more trouble to come!!!

It's suddenly feeling more like Baghdad than Banglamung at the moment......I may have to invest in a bullet-proof vest and make sure I carry a change of underwear too!!!




Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pattaya highlights: Baan Sukhawadee

Having been hard at work planning our wedding, we recently decided to take a day off and do a bit of sightseeing. The attraction that we chose visit was Baan Sukhawadee.

Baan is the Thai word for "house" or "home" and sukhawadee means purity and happiness.

The estate was built in 2001 and was formerly the private home of Dr. Panya Choititawan, who is a well known farming mogul here in Thailand. It has since been opened to the public and is now used as a venue for weddings and social functions and as a setting for films and television programmes.

I don't think Bernard Matthews can boast such a grand residence.....ahhh bootiful!!!

















As you can see from the pictures, it's s a hotch potch of architectural and design styles with Baroque, Neo-classical, Moorish and traditional Thai elements. I immediately thought of the Palace of Versailles when I saw the landscaped gardens and interior decoration, although a much gauider version!!!

It is certainly a nice place to while away a couple of hours and for those of you that would like to visit, their address is 219 Moo 2, Sukhumwit Road, Na Klua, Banglamung, Chonburi 20150 and their website can be accessed by following the link below.....

http://www.sukhawadee.com/Eng/about.php

My one complaint, however, is the double pricing that's in operation. Double pricing is a common problem in Thailand, where attractions charge one price for Thais and a higher price for foreign visitors. The entrance fees at Baan Sukhawadeee are 100 baht for Thai citizens and 200 baht for non-Thai visitors.