Monday, 31 January 2011

Inside A Resort Unit

Friday, 28 January 2011

Journey In Bangkok

Yesterday as I only had hand luggage and no specific schedule I decided to get the airport rail link into Bangkok. 

Easy to get do on the basement level at the airport.  Decision time, Express at 150Baht or the stopping City Train for 35 Baht to Makassan.  No rush so obvious choice.

Got off at Makassan to transfer to the subway.  They call it a connection, but what a hike!  Still thankfully no heavy bags.

Makassan to Hua Lamphong was 28Baht.  Journey time from getting of the plane at the airport to exiting Hua Lamphong MRT station, 1 hour.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Nok Air Add A Flight

Nok Air are adding a fourth daily flight between Udon and Bangkok starting February 1

DD9218 leaves Bangkok at 1900 arriving Udon at 2005.  The return, DD9219 leaves Udon at 2035 arriving Bangkok at 2135

Site News

I am working on a revamp of the main site and improve navigation.  However I am being held up by a delay in a software release.  As it includes features I want to use, I don't want to do too much until the release is there.  I had hoped to have it ready this month, but realistically it's going to be next month now.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Seems the crackdown is going to continue

Having followed recent reports of police raids in Pattaya, the latest announcement from the Anti Corruption Commission seems to indicate all agencies want to get in on the act.  It can only mean more police raids on bars in Pattaya, at least in the short term.

Yet another new airline aims to take off.

Seems like it's going to be a year of start ups, but how many will survive.  This time it's PC Air aiming to launch in March using used Airbus 310 aircraft and openly advertising for transgender cabin crew.

Full Story

Monday, 24 January 2011

Just back

from a trip to Pattaya.  Brought some goods back for Nit to sell at the markets - plates/glasses etc.  See how it goes, if well then I'll make a trip and bring a full load.  Also looking at a trip to Bangkok rather than buying locally.  Researching the best wholesale markets for Chinese goods on line.

New Thai-Korean Airline starts up

Crystal Thai is due to start flights between Thailand and Korea this month.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Driving Licence Renewal

Renewed my driving licence in Nong Han last week.  The process was simple.  They needed the residence letter from immigration, my old licence and a medical certificate.  The latter introduced last year for renewals.  Another bit of Thai nonsense as to get the medical certificate all I had to do is go to a clinic, hand over my passport and they filled out a standard form.  No check up or anything.  But I guess the clinic got 50Baht out of it.
For some reason, despite the fact that the letter from Immigration is supposed to confirm where I am staying they also required copies of my passport details page and visa, but not entry stamp, and a copy of the Blue Book for the house.

It was lunch time when we got there, but the guy took my papers and the fee and said he'd call once lunch was over.  AT 1pm, my name is called over the tannoy system, I went in, photograph taken and new 5 year licence in hand in 5 minutes.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Nok Mini Update

Daily flights between Chaing Mai and Udon to resume on February 1.

DD957 Departs Chiang Mai 1550 arrives Udon 1710.  Return flight DD958 departs Udon 1740 Arrives Chiang mai 1900

daily flights between Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen from March 14th

DD973 departs Chiang Mai 09:00 arriving 1025.  Return flight DD974 eparts Khon Kaen 10.55 arriving at 1200

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Now On - Wang nam Keow Flora Fantasia - Korat

The Horticultural Science Society Of Thailand in cooperation with state and private sector organizations, with support of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Nakhon Ratchasima office, will be jointly organizing the Wang Nam Keow Flora Fantasia flower festival during December 20, 2010 – February 28, 2011.
The Wang Nam Keow district of Nakhon Ratchasima is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and provides the perfect setting for the Wang Nam Keow Flora Fantasia flower festival. This tapestry of floral art, the vertical gardens and floral labyrinth created from more than 200,000 potted plants and flower beds covers an area of 60 rai (9.6 hectares) and is set against the picturesque backdrop of a midst shrouded-valley. Top artists will also be taking part in the event and will be presenting floral works of art as impressive as the ones created with a paint brush. Additionally, a scenic vantage point provides the perfect spot for photography.
Wang Nam Keow is a particularly popular destination during these three months of Thailand’s cool season, especially with individuals and families who are health-conscious. It is the perfect place to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine, cloudless blue skies and fresh air.
Part of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Thai Red Cross Society for the construction of a new blood bank.
Getting to Wang Nam Keow Flora Fantasia
Take Highway 3052. The event venue is situated near the Pho Chalerm Phrakiat temple intersection on the Wang Nam Keow- Khao Pang Ma hill 9th kilometre (Km 9) section of the highway.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Added to the fleet

Added to the fleet yesterday.  I've been looking for a local runabout that it doesn't matter who drives for trips to town adn in teh village.  Found it on Monday and went and purchased yesterday.

15 minutes at Immigration to get a residence letter, an hour at the Udon Transport office saw the name changed and new plates.  I have to go back today to pick up the Blue Book.

Isan to be the target for Domestic Tourism Campaigns

The North east is to be highlighted in domestic Tourism Campaigns during 2011.
See Also:

Bangkok, January 7, 2011 — The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will kick off its annual promotions for 2011 by highlighting the unique products and services of Northeast Thailand, a culturally- and environmentally-rich region that is set to attract extensive investment and travel interest in the years to come.
The “Amazing I-San Fair 2011” will be held during 27-30 January 2011, at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok. It will highlight the tremendous diversity of the northeastern region, as reflected in its art and culture, ancient traditions, local cuisine, indigenous crafts, folk music, song and dance, and traditional festivals.
The Fair will feature cultural presentations, live demonstrations, folk performances and exhibits designed to both entertain and educate visitors. The event is open free of charge for the public daily from 10.00 hrs. till 20.00 hrs.
TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “We are very pleased to start the New Year by raising the profile of the Northeast region amongst both foreign and domestic visitors. It is very much in line with the balanced strategy that we are pursuing to ensure that Northeast Thailand gets its fair share of visitors and narrows the gap with other popular beach and marine tourism destinations all along our coastlines.”
He said that it is also important to facilitate the recovery of the various Northeast destinations and businesses that were badly affected by the flooding late last year.
With the Asian Highway making strong progress, the roads and bridges linking Thailand with its neighbouring countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion, especially Lao PDR and Cambodia, will further enhance the transportation infrastructure and boost the accessibity of the entire region, Mr Suraphon said.
“In addition to all the superb natural and cultural attractions, Northeast Thailand has also seen some wonderful new boutique hotels that are perfect for small, exclusive groups of travellers seeking to better explore this region, while staying in comfortable surroundings.”
New flight connections are also being established. For example, Thai AirAsia late last year inaugurated two entirely new routes linking Phuket to both Udon Thani and Ubon Ratchathani. Domestic airline Nok Air also provides daily flight connections to both Udon and Ubon as well as the provinces of Buriram, Nakhon Phanom, and Sakhon Nakhon.
The Fair is divided into 4 main zones — an exhibition zone, seven Amazing I-san zones, a live demonstration zone, and a dedicated area for cultural performances.
The exhibition zone features a full range of I-san products and services, such as, special tour packages, accommodation offers, airlines, local food, and other related services.
Each of the seven Amazing I-san zones will highlight a different theme namely- 1) Charm of the Mekong River 2) Destination of Natural Ozone 3) The Guiding Light of Buddhism 4) South I-san Civilization 5) Magnificent World Heritage and Ancient Civilizations 6) Impressive Dinosaur Skeletons and Footprints 7) I-san Boutique (trendy and chill out).
Live demonstrations will include I-san crafts based on indigenous folk wisdom, sketching, drawing, painting or weaving of native patterns, designs and motifs, some of which are highly ornate, on textile, pottery, earthenware, silver, musical instruments, and other materials.
Skilled artisans will also demonstrate ways to make other handcrafted items; such as, organic cotton weaving, pottery from Ban Chiang, various traditional I-San musical instruments, basketry (including reed mats), painting on a Phi Ta Khon mask, brassware, silverware, and others.
The cultural performances and activities zone will include a variety of folk performances typically performed during traditional festivals,as well as interesting and unseen performances of I-san culture.
The packages and products are expected to be heavily discounted in order to attract visitors. Mr Suraphon said, “This would be a good time to plan ahead for the months of April and May when the Royal Thai Government has declared a number of long-weekend periods to facilitate domestic travel during the school holiday and Songkran periods.”
TAT is expecting at least 60,000 visitors to the show with a projected business estimate of a minimum two million Baht.

Friday, 7 January 2011

2011 Amazing Thailand's Best Products Festival January 21st-30th

Udon will host this event from January 21 to 30th at the Festival ground.

It's been a few days

Since I posted as a result of a bad back which kept me in bed.

We are now off the temporary electricity tariff which should save some outgoings at the resort.

New Year is over and the locals are realising they don't have any spare cash left so takings at the market stall are showing a temporary decline.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Just added to the main site - Bus Numbers

I've just added a page with some inter provincial route numbers, starting with those servicing Udon's central bus station.

The info is here, and is based on information gathered on my trip to Udon.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Oh Hum

Took the bus to Udon today, needed some shopping.  Nit dropped me off in Nong Han on the way to today's market.  Managed to complete the shopping list before heading back home.  Of course I should have known better than rely on any Thai when they said the last Baht Taxi from Nong Han leaves at 6pm.  Arrived in Town at 5.... nothing!  Ended up paying 120Baht for a Tuk Tuk.  Oh well, Ill add it to the bill for the resort shopping I did in town ;)

Still waiting for the Electricity company to change us over from a temporary meter to a permanent one, which will reduce our electric bill significantly.  Hopefully once the holidays are finished they'll be here, but a chase up mid week I think.  I remembered because I was doing a bank rec and forgot about the money for the deposit stashed away.  I was about 12k out that I was racking my brain about.  Having remembered I feel relieved.  Of course as TiT we have to pay the new deposit and for the new meter when they come to install and then wait to get the deposit from the temporary account back, they can't just transfer the deposit over.  12k might sound high to some of yopu, but with the resort and everything we have a 30Amp meter not the more standard 5Amp.