Saturday, June 15, 2013

Be it ever so humble, there is no place quite like Isaan

Excellent article from Bangkok Post by Suthon Sukphisit about Isaan's environement and its resulting food staple and culture...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Battle for Preah Vihear resumes at The Hague

The final chapter of Thailand and Cambodia's 51-year battle for Preah Vihear temple...

Background Information on Preah Vihear temple

World Heritage Listing and related information on Temple of Preah Vihear

International Court of Justice:
Protocols, hearings and documents on Temple of Preah Vihear (Cambodia v. Thailand)

Bangkok Post:
Local news in Thailand
International Court resumes temple hearing Monday
Cambodia, Thailand begin argument before ICJ on disputed area near Preah Vihear
Thailand 'stoked' border conflict
Thailand: Cambodia has an agenda
ICJ's verdict owed respect
Cambodia accused of lies
Thailand warns ICJ about temple map
Poll: People concerned on border war
No Conclusion over Preah Vihear

The Diplomat:
Preah Vihear temple: Redrawing Jungle lines

Preah Vihear temple: UN court hears Thai-Cambodia disput

Next stop Khon Kaen

Recently I had the chance to make a stop over in Khon Kaen and spend one night in this beautiful town in the middle of Thailand's Northeast. Khon Kaen is located some 400 kilometres northeast of Bangkok in the middle of the Korat plateau. Khon Kaen is the regional Hub for Finance, Transportation and Education. The regional Silk trade as well as agriculture are important industries in this Isaan city.

Khon Kaen is one of Thailand's major cities under its National Economic and Social Plan. Khon Kaen is home to two important educational institutions: Rajamangala University and Khon Kaen University, which makes Khon Kaen the largest university town in the Northeast.

Khon Kaen Airport raised to international standards in 2005, with the opening of a new terminal. TG, Thai Airways International, operates for flights a day between Khon Kaen and Bangkok. Used to Suvarnnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Khon Kaen's airport appears to be sleepy and laid-back. Never the less, the service I experienced was of high quality and the airport is small but tidy. Two Black Canyon coffees, a few small shops and a tiny TG lounge make the time pass by quickly.

Khon Kaen city is nestled around the northeastern Highway known as Mithraphap Road ('Friendship Highway' or 'Highway 2'). This road road links Bangkok to the northeastern Isaan provinces and to the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, which extends to Vientiane in Laos.

Greenleaf Hydrofarm & Restaurant
Greenleaf is located on the small road linking the city of Khon Kaen to its airport. The restaurant offers a great mix of healthy Thai and Western fusion food and seems to be quite famous among the locals. The selection ranges from typical Thai curries to Mexican tacos, healthy fresh salads and superb steaks. The steaks come in a local, US and Australian version and are prepared as per the cook book. Simply delicious.

Greenleaf Hydrofarm & Restaurant, 17 Airport Road, Khon Kaen, Thailand 40000, (043) 345-565, (086) 862-3423

Rachawadee Resort & Hotel
Close to the airport located is a small, but exquisite example of Thai hospitality: Rachawadee Resort & Hotel. The resort was build in 2007 by the Somjaiwong family who's dream was to bring an oasis of tranquility and fine dining for vacationers and business travelers to their hometown of Khon Kaen. The resort's keystone is its Kinaree Restaurant which has all the popular Isaan dishes and many original creations on offer. The family friendly Rachawadee Resort is situated in a nice and lush garden with swimming pool, close to the airport, ideally positioned to spend some relaxing days in this city.

Rachawadee Resort & Hotel, Khon Kaen Airport Road, Khon Kaen, Thailand 40000, (043) 468-222,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

When the Golden Shower Tree blooms - Songkran is around the corner

The Golden Shower tree (cassia fistula) can be found everywhere in Laos and Thailand's northeastern provinces, also know as Isaan. The flowering tree is native to southern and southeastern Asia, from Sri Lanka through India to Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.
The golden shower tree is the national tree of Thailand, and its flower is Thailand's national flower. The yellow flowers symbolize Thai royalty. Thailand's biggest flora exhibition, the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek, was named after the tree. In Thai the Golden Shower tree is called 'dok khoon' or 'ratchaphruek'.

The tree is also a popular ornamental plant and an herbal medicine.

The Golden Shower trees grows to 10-20 metres in size. Isaan's raod are often flanked with this fast growing tree. The flowers are 20-40 centimetres long and each yellow flower is 4-7 in diameter with five equaly sized petals and shape.

The fruit is a legume, 30–60 centimetres long and 1.5–2.5 centimetres broad, similar to a long bean. The fruit contains several seeds which are poisonous.

The Golden Shower tree has a strong and very durable wood.

In April the tree is flowering and turns with its bright yellow color Thais and Lao alike in a good mood - the local new year festival (Lao: Pii Mai, Thai: Songkran) is approaching. The water splashing event is held yearly on the 13th -16th of April.
Sawadee Pii Mai!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

5th Thai-Lao bridge plan to be discussed

Plans for construction of a 5th Thai-Lao friendship bridge across the Mekong River, between Bue ng Kan province of Thailand and Paksane town of Bolikhamxay province if Laos, will be raised for discussion when Transport Minister Chadchat Suttipunt visits Laos on Feb 21.

5th Thai-Lao bridge plan to be discussed | Bangkok Post

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Northeast Thailand given major tourism boost

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is collaborating with travel trade partners to promote the destination by organizing Amazing I-San Fair 2013.