Entries in thailand (7)


Valentine’s Day in Asia – is it a big deal?

Valentine’s Day in western countries is celebrated by everyone from young school children to senior couples who have been married for decades. It’s usually a pretty standard affair – a card, a romantic dinner, chocolates, a gift, and – for the truly dedicated – engagements or weddings.

But in Asia – where western traditions often have to be modified to fit around long-established cultural norms – Valentine’s Day takes on interesting new dimensions.

For instance, in China, there are several important rules one must observe if they want to impress someone. Do not, under any circumstances, give an umbrella or a fan. This is because the Chinese word for both sounds similar to the Chinese word for “to leave” or “to separate,” which is definitely not what Valentine’s Day is about. Similarly, avoid shoe shopping, since shoes represent someone who is ready to walk away.

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Thailand Short Getaways

Living in Thailand or one of its neighboring countries brings with it the considerable privilege of being close to a vast array of weekend destinations. Luxurious seaside resorts, island bungalows, high-rises – even remote mountain villas – dot Thailand's terrain and many of them are just a short flight from Southeast Asia's major cities.

With Valentine's Day looming, here's a quick guide to five of Thailand's most relaxing and romantic destinations for a last-minute getaway.

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Thailand: Pai Valley Village

Natural aircon: that is one of the main attractions of the northwestern Thailand valley resort known as Pai. If you find Asia swelteringly hot, Pai is the place to go to breathe, a real chill-out zone.

Just try not to get travel sick on the way. The reason: from the nearest attractive town, Chiang Mai, Pai famously lies at the end of 762 bends, near the border with Burma. So, take some motion sickness pills and a plastic bag just in case.

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songkhla: hat yai insider guide

Simila beach Koh Noo Kho Meaw

While not the most obvious Thai destination on the international traveler's itinerary, Hat Yai does have its fair share of attractions for those passing through. This southern border city is the third largest metropolis in Thailand after Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and is visited mainly by Malaysian holiday-makers and people there on business (this is also a major transport and import/export city).

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food blog: package fatigue 

vegetarian foods in thailand

It was recently ‘jeh’ week in Thailand. Jeh food – ahaan jeh – means ‘vegetarian food’ and jeh week was due to some kind of Chinese event.  The reason I know this is because all the vegetable-based foods I usually eat were moved to a special display at the other end of the supermarket, up-priced and rebranded with a giant red and yellow Chinese-style sticker saying “JEH”.

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What to wear for Asian weddings

Lots of people ask me what’s the appropriate thing to wear to a wedding, so here’s a breakdown for you….

At the ripe old age of 28, I’m finding myself making more and more appearances at friends’ wedding receptions. Compared to last year (when I attended zero wedding parties), this year sees a whopping increase with at least five wedding receptions attended so far.  And for the coming year, I have already RSVP-ed to two wedding parties. Whoa!

It seems like everybody in their late twenties suddenly realizes that this is their last chance to get hitched before the dreaded 3-0 creeps up on them. Anyhow, it was at these joyous-yet-super-boring, cookie-cutter wedding receptions that I often see foreigners (friends of the bride or groom) showing up wearing something red. More often than not, the guys come wearing either red neckties or red dress shirts, and the girls in red dresses.

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life's a beach: chaweng beach

best beach in samui

It can be seen as a package holiday or a stop on the backpackers’ trail, but regardless of what sort of traveler you happen to be, Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui, Thailand, is a remarkable place. 

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