Photos from the Tonle Sap, Battambang and Siem Reap
And I've also posted some photos from the trip to Cambodia, have a look here please. [NEW PHOTOS]
Photos from the Tonle Sap, Battambang and Siem Reap
And I've also posted some photos from the trip to Cambodia, have a look here please. [NEW PHOTOS]
[Video] Tonle Sap
[VIDEO: 3MB] I have just edited a video so you can see what it was like in the Tonle Sap Great Lake of Cambodia. There're some floating villages in the middle of the lake, quite an amazing sight. The file is in MP4 format, you may need to download som plugins (usually automatically) first. (Bangkok, Thailand)
Thai Health Marathon
Some weeks ago Oat helped Pazu to sign his name on the internet to be a volunteer for the Thai Health Marathon, Pazu almost forgot and he didn't even know that it was started at 1am in the morning! Pazu didn't have a very good sleep these nights so it was a bit hard to go, but it was nice that we could ride on the Rama 8 Bridge because normally you can't do it, it's a super highway.
Oat was the rescue team and I don't know if they have any accidents, I haven't yet met him after the Marathon because he went to work. But he looked quite sleepy from the start.
Some wheelchairs raced on the Rama 8 Bridge.
Running till dawn. That's about 42km. (Thailand: Bangkokss)l
Trip to Cambodia
Pazu's Thai visa expired on 17 Oct but because of the Loy Kratong Festival he decided to overstay for a day (and fined 200Baht). He took a train from Bangkok to Aranya Prathet, the Thai-Cambodian border town, on 17 Oct and arrived there at night, stayed until next morning and took a taxi from the border to Battambang, the 2nd largest town in Cambodia.
We stayed in Battambang for a few days only and visited the old Khmer temple (named Ek Phanom) which was built around 12th century AD. Then took a boat to Siem Reap across the Tonle Sap Great Lake. It was very scenic.
This time Pazu travelled mostly by train and shared taxi (a common transportation for longer distance in Cambodia), but he also carried a foldable bike so he could ride in town, he borrowed this bicycle from Ah Chin, thank you very much!
Arrived back in Thailand on 25 Oct. It was a short but nice trip. The photo on the right hand side was taken in Ek Phanom Temple.
On the boat from Battambang to Siem Reap, 4 hours and US$15. Very scenic.
On the way back we met an Amerian lady named Katie and so we took the same taxi and train from Siem Reap back to Bangkok together. She occupied two front seats in the taxi.
The restaurant in Siem Reap had a name KONG. (Cambodia: Battambang and Siem Reap)
Loi Gratong's bad luck
It was the lamp festival and Pazu couldn't wait to take some pics, but oh no, Pazu's old camera (Canon S45) was finally broken, with a very mysterious message showing an error "E18" and after a search on the internet, it seems to be quite a common problem for a few Canon cameras. Some claimed that it's a manufactural defect, some said they encountered this problem within 7 days of purchase. Canon said that they could do something but you have to pay a foetune of repair cost (one claimed to have paid 196 euros!). Most victim users said they would never buy any Canon products in the future. Definitely Canon could do it better to satisfy the consumers, unfortunately they didn't.
Pazu has been quite a loyal fan to Canon camera, his family has four Canon cameras, recently Ah Chin said she wanted to buy a camera and Pazu wholeheartedly recommended a Canon. But after reading so much negative comments about the Canon's customer service (most are helpless except extorting a huge sum of repair fee, or sending back some canned messages like "Customer are the most importabt to us!"), Pazu now became a bit hesitant to praise these Canon products.
Pazu called her sister in Hong Kong this morning, and fortunately she has an old camera for him. Again, it's IXUS400, another Canon model.
Festival Day of the Disabled
Madam Oil invited Pazu to the Festival Day for Disabled People at the Suan Sunanta Garden near the parliament yesterday. The event started at 8am in the morning (so it was quite a struggle for Pazu to wake up so early). Madam Oil was deaf, sometimes she tried to talk with Pazu but her sound weren't quite clear that Pazu had great difficulty understanding her meaning, so most of the time they communicate with pen and paper. The photo (right) was Madam Piyanuch, she was testing a new equipment designed for people with muscle difficulty.
This is a Tuktuk designed to accomodate one wheelchair, this tuktuk protocol was designed by a Bangkok university, the guy in front was the teacher-in-chief.
This is inside the tuktuk. Tuktuk is a common public transportation in Bangkok, most of the drivers are either under influence or just crazy, they drove so fast as to seeking another reincarnation.
The ex-wife of the Crown Prince was coming to hold this festival day, a group of young soldiers were here to protect her (ceremonially).
These 3 disabled students on wheelchair were waiting for almost two hours and they were going to give a letter of thanks to the ex-wife of the Crown Prince.
The lady in an orange suit was the Crown Prince's ex-wife, Thai called her Ongsa (it's a title, not name).
An old couple with a disabled child sat next to the path where the Ongsa would walk through, made quite a contrast to the well-dressed people around. It raised the eyebrows of a few security and they kept coming asking for details, they couldn't get these 3 poor people away. Luckily the Ongsa spotted them, she came close and asked some brief detail and sent a royal staff (woman in pale blue dress) to help this poor family. Pazu wasn't quite sure what kind of help they could do, but at least the voice of the poor was heard by a high royal family member.
This is an actress but Pazu didn't know her name.
This is an actor and Pazu didn't even recognize him.
This is Madam Oil, she held a coupon which could exchange for a gift (box and towel).
Icecreams were free so Oil and Piyanuch ate a lot!
The actor sang on the stage with 2 fans around.
The actress sang on the stage with a big group of fans.
And a little baby jogged on the stage while the actress was singing.
These two foreigners were singers of Isan (NE part of Thailand, the poorest region by average), they were very popular and speak very good Thai, something that Pazu was quite envy. The farang lady later came down the stage and talked to a mom on wheelchair, the mom asked if the singer could touch her daughter who was blind. The singer said no problem (while still singing). Then the mom called her daughter to come, asked her to knelt down on the floor in front of the farang lady singer, the singer was embarrassed and she knelt down herself too. The blind girl touched the hand of the singer anxiously for about 10 seconds. Pazu didn't know if the farang lady really loved to be touched in this funny way, but this glimpse body contact gave the blind girl a huge sense of joy, she cried and then laughed again. The mom of the blind girl just kept showing a thumb up for the singer. (Bangkok, Thailand)
Podcast: How Pazu met Oat
[Podcast 4]: Pazu talked with Oat about their first encounter. This pod is in Thai. (Bangkok, Thailand)
Pazu called Tai again for another round of bike trip, but Tai seemed to be a bit reluctant to go because he had a farewell party with the BTS guys. But hey, we took quite an effort to bring the bike back, you wouldn't tell me that you just wanted to ride for a ... short trip, would you? So here we go!
Tai asked Pazu if he could take pictures outside gun shop, Pazu wasn't quite sure so he asked Oat. Oat wasn't very sure too. While we were wandering outside a shop, the gun lady smiled and waved us in, she asked that if we were travelling and would us want to take a picture too?!? She asked her husband to choose a pistol for Tai first.
Then we sat down and took a pic... Oat didn't have one so he used his fingers to pretend one (a rather stupid gesture if you ask me).
The owner was really nice so she gave another gun for Oat.
This is the name of the gun shop. I don't know if I should suggest you to go and buy one. If you want to buy one, you have to be over 20 years old, have a job or business, and of course a permit paper from the police.
Then we went back (and Tai took a taxi). So Pazu and Oat rid on the Rama VIII bridge again to the Thonburi side for dinner. Do you notice a camera guy on the right hand side? The middle part of the Rama VIII Bridge is a super highway, no bicycles and motorbikes are allowed. The two sides are for walkers and cyclists (or motorcyclists if you can take your motorbike up the staircase!).
The Rama VIII Bridge was built 3 years ago, it's the most advanced (regarding the technology of construction) bridge in Thailand so far.
Under the bridge (on the Thonburi side) is a recreational area. Some people set up an aerobic stage at night. This is the teacher.
This is the group of followers.
This is a crazy guy dancing on the other side of the bridge. Notice that there are no support at all under the bridge. The bridge is 300m and use two pillars only, one on the side of Thonburi (the west of the Chao Phraya River), the other on Bangkok side. (Bangkok, Thailand)
Podcast: Ah Tai
[Podcast 3]: Pazu talked with Tai (a Hong Kong friend) about his job in Thailand. This pod is in Cantonese Chinese. (Bangkok, Thailand)
How to tow a bike
Let's have a simple quiz. Imagine you have one person and two bicycles, how can you take up the extra bike? Pazu would just call a taxi, but Oat had a different solution.
Oat installed an extra front hub at the seatpost (under saddle) of his bike first.
He took off the front wheel of the extra bike and put it on the back of his bike.
You see, this is how he carry the extra bike!
On the way back.
But I still haven't told you why Oat had to tow an extra bike. It's for Tai. Tai (the Hong Kong friend) said his company changed some plan so he couldn't come to Thailand so he couldn't come until next year. He wanted to take a ride around.
And this extra bicycle was of Neung (meaning "one"), Oat's high school friend. Neung moved to a new place to work this morning, it's a very far away place, but I couldn't tell you much because it's a secret, for the sake of "national security"!!! And on our way to Neung's home, it was raining like dogs and cats... (sorry for this old cliche, but my Dutch friend sent me an email with this phrase recently).
Oh and again we had to stop on the way back, because the prince occupied the whole road again!
Before we started our night trip with Tai, we had some Pad Thai at the same place as yesterday.
Riding in front of the Democratic Monument... Tai didn't have much time (and experience) so we couldn't go too far.
In front of the parliament.
In front of Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn), but it's really dark near the main wiharn.
On the Rama VIII Bridge. And this is the end of tonight's bike trip. (Bangkok, Thailand)
Rescue team at night
Pazu followed Oat and Paw for a few hours to see what they did for the volunteer rescue service. The volunteer program was run by the Vajira Hosptial and operated at nighttime when physicians and nurses were busier and first-aid services were in higher demand. Most accidents happened at night, either some fighting or racing, the volunteer team, however, is always here to help! (Note: Paw was the same guy as "Bao" appeared in this blog, Paw said he prefered to write his name in Latin alphabet as Paw rather than Bao, Bpao, or Pao.)
Sorting out the first-aid kit.
But our stomachs weren't ready yet, so we went to Thewet junction to have some Pad Thai (Thai fried noodles).
This was the Pad Thai lady.
And this is the Pad Thai with seafood. I admit it didn't look good but it was delicious. 70 Baht.
Suddenly Oat and Paw stood up because the ex-wife of the Prince passed through the road (yes the police came and blocked the road again!). Pazu asked Oat why they had to stand up while every other person was sitting down. He said he was wearing uniform... they have to show a higher level of respect.
We got a radio signal from the police that an old man died! The police came and led the way for us. The place wasn't too far, near the Si Ayutthaya Street.
It turned out that the man died because "he was old". He died already so nothing could be helped.
So we went back to the base camp in front of the Royal Hotel, Rachini Street, near the Democratic Monument.
Have a chat... note the funny stereo in front of Paw's bicycle.
A funny guy came and kept saying something strange...
Tonight seemed to be quite peaceful, we waited there for an hour or two and nothing happened. Some rescue team members took a rest.
Right in front the rescue teams were a group of homeless people, behind was the Royal Hotel. It was 2:58am and Pazu was too sleepy, so he went back home... and couldn't sleep too well. (Bangkok, Thailand)
Podcast: Thai lesson one
[Podcast 2]: Pazu talk with Ah Chin again about her shopping trip before going back to Taiwan. And she will also teach you a common Thai greeting: Where have you been and taken a pleasure trip and come back? (Bangkok, Thailand)
Final round of shopping
It was very humid today and it rained heavily but Ah Chin still seized this last day for shopping before going back to Taiwan. We took bus number 2 to the World Trade Center to buy some bags of very old and strange style (for her old classmate). She said these kinds of funny styles are now very popular back home...
These are... ugly.
After shopping AC went to the toilet, so Pazu waited outside for her and took a picture too. Do you notice her pics were a bit blurred now? Because Pazu was warned that he couldn't put AC's photos on his web again or he would be punched.
It rained (almost undetected...) when we went back to AC's office, but AC insisted to use an umbrella because she said she couldn't walk in any types of rain, it would cause her human flu or what... (Bangkok, Thailand)
Our first unofficial podcast
Since Pazu bought the smartphone Treo 650 he had been quite obsessed with podcast, podcast is a new way to delivery an mp3 (or avi) file right on your desktop, PDA or smartphone. Pazu thought it would be an interesting idea to publish our own podcast here too, so here we go.
If you still haven't heard about podcast, please go to this link to download one of the following softwares first.
[FIRST PODCAST]: Pazu talked with Ah Chin about Bangkok and Thai food. The podcast is in Mandarin Chinese.
Our podcast feed address is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/kongjr
If you don't like installing any software, you can always just click the link above to listen to the mp3 directly. I hope you like it. (Bangkok, Thailand)
Pazu passed through the parliament and a large section of road was blocked, with lots of army soldiers drilling around. It was a part of the military exercise probably for the birthday of the King (5 Dec). They didn't mind Pazu lingering around so Pazu took some photos.
Drilling in front of the parliament, which was built in 1932 to celebrate the beginning of constitutional monarchy.
Drilling in front of M16.
Drilling in front of the English-styled clown hat.
Another pic of drilling.
Suddenly it's raining!
Put on a plastic bag for safety measure.
Show us the miltary spirit! Drilling in the rain!
The guy on the right must be of some higher ranking...
Without the help of these people, the street wouldn't be so clean.
Finish. Hurry back home.
And march back home too. (Bangkok, Thailand)
The Thaimtb.com is a web forum which has been very popular amongst all keen cyclists around Thailand. Pazu visited the forum very briefly only because he couldn't really understand what they were talking about. Oat kept telling Pazu, "Hey, see this link, they have some funny pics!" And when there was a club ride organized by the Thailand Cycling Club, you could see most photos on this forum within an hour. Thaimtb.com has been established for 4 years and one day the webmaster thought it would be nice idea to arrange a meeting, so here we go.
The meeting was held at a canteen of a big hotel, food and drinks were free. Photo: Mr Kagit (nickname on the web board), which means "pig foot", because he has a "kagit" restaurant. He wanted to cook Kong Junior too...
Miss Oil, the cyclists who appeared here a few times before.
Mr Sempei. He had a bicycle shop and he put a simple road show in the canteen too. He asked Pazu, "Are you free tomorrow?" Pazu answered suspiciously, "Hmm... what are you going to do?" He said he was going to Lopburi tomorrow for racing! He asked Pazu again, "Did you do the body test?" He said everything of him was very good, strong, fit... except that the staff said he had too much fat!
This is Mr Poor Cyclist (as he called himself on the forum), he was from Sukhothai and didn't want to go back home, so he had been travelling solely on his bicycle for a year around most parts of Thailand, he looked like a homeless and he didn't have a home indeed.
This is... Mr... Pazu forgot his name, but Pazu met him in Nakhon Phanom (near Laos) 5 months ago and he just came and asked Pazu, "Hey, do you remember me?!" He's Vietnamese Thai (there's a lot of Vietnamese in Nakhon Phanom) and he had a professional bicycle shop there too.
Stunt show. Two people lied down on the floor while one cyclist jumped through them.
This was the body test designed for cyclist.
Video show at the meeting.
The result of the body test. Pazu (above) was normal, but Oat's result was "#VALUE!", there was an error!!! The technician said because Oat's fitness was too good and that's beyond the calculating capability of the computer, it couldn't display the result!
Miss Oil drank a lot of beer, perhaps she had just separated from her lover.
Mr Poor Cyclist showed Pazu there was a "jigong" (ﾀﾙ､ｽ, a Chinese mythical figure) inside his panner...
It was raining outside so we waited for a while, Oat helped Mr Poor Cyclist to fix his saddle, and Oat just put his helmet casually on an ... ashtray! How could he be so dirty, it's also beyond Pazu's calculation! (Bangkok, Thailand)
Superstition or simply stupid
Oat had a secret. This May when Pazu came back to Bangkok, Oat told Pazu that he would live for another 3 months and would then die. Pazu asked him, "How can you know it?" Oat just said mysteriously, "I know." Then in July he had an accident, and possibly a misfortune for his mis-calculation, he didn't die. And he had been quite alright so far. One day Pazu talked casually about Tarot fortune-telling and said it looked so funny that he couldn't really believe it, but again, Mr Oat, said that he would believe it, it was so real to him. And he revealed that he knew he would die in three months from Tarot! Pazu couldn't really believe his ears, for the past few months Oat kept murmuring about his 3-month fate and it was actually from a deck of Tarot cards?! "Where's the Tarot guy?" Pazu demanded an answer. Oat said embarrassingly, "Hmmm... I put a ten-baht coin into the Tarot machine in the World Trade Center..." Was it superstitution, or simply "ngo"?
Okay, to tell you how to play with this funny Tarot machine, Oat was to sacrifice another 10 baht. This machine was located on the 6th floor of the World Trade Center near the Siam Square.
You want to know about your fate of love, or play a Tarot, or play the Chinese bamboo (a kind of fortune telling, common in all kinds of Chinese temples)?
Choose your date of birth.
Choose to print it out.
Anxiously waiting for his fate.
Examining how many months of life he could live...
Maliciously looking at Pazu's camera...
This is how Oat played with his fingers because Pazu said he would post it on this blog. And about the fortune telling, it was about his fate of love. Oat said he could throw this piece of paper away because the first line said, "The couple is very rich." Oat said he would never get rich. End. (Bangkok, Thailand)
Boat trip from the Golden Mount
Pazu was in Bangkok for quite a long time but only very recently Ah Chin the long-term Expat revealed to Pazu that there was a boat service near the Golden Mount near Lan Luang Street to the World Trade Center via the San Sap Canal. The boat service was only 10baht, it moved so fast and river water splashed around, it wasn't that fun imagining the water was full of E. Coli or what... 薯伯伯在曼谷也呆了一段時間，但直至最近阿靜才告訴薯伯伯，原來在金山寺附近有船可以坐到世貿中心。薯伯伯問：「你為甚麼不早點跟我說啊？」阿靜說：「你又不早點問我！」薯伯伯問：「你為甚麼不早點叫我問你啊？」阿靜說：「你為甚麼不早點叫我叫你去問我啊？」薯伯伯問：「那麼你為甚麼不早點叫我去叫你叫我去叫你問我啊？」阿靜說：「因為你沒有早點叫我去叫你來叫我去叫你來問我嘛！」
A typical house on the canal side. 河道旁的小屋子，以前曼谷叫做東方威尼斯喲！
Don't get me wrong, this is not Ah Chin. Haha. 這個小胖子，不是阿靜，不要誤會喲！呵呵！ (Bangkok, Thailand)
Rescue bicycle of Bao
This is Bao, Oat's friend who also works in the rescue team (Oat said he would probably resumed his volunteer rescue service next month). Bao was quite famous around town probably because of his old weired bike, with a big metallic box at the back as pannier, weighing more than 50kg, he was interviewed by Bangkok Post and TV. Wide publicity has its advantage, it's easier to get sponsor. Recently he got stablizer jacket (for those who break their bones) from Red Bull, the energy drinks company, see photo.
This was Bao's old bicycle (not motored!), equipped with a big box full of first-aid stuff. It was broken already (and he got a new bike from another sponsor).
Self-made LED illumination.
CD playing capability! (Bangkok, Thailand)
Where else do you think Pazu could go in the Halloween? Pazu, Ah Chin, her friend Pa and Pa's niece Yaya went together to Khao San Road the Backpacker Mecca tonight. 萬勝節還有甚麼好去處, 當然就是生米路——背包族的聖地, 世界瘋子的集中地。
A toilet paper ghost. 廁紙鬼, 可能是因為偷看人家去廁所而身亡。
Pazu took this picture secretly, did it in secret because Ah Chin threatened to throw Pazu down to the Chao Phraya River (in Bangkok = very dirty) if he ever again tried to put her photos on this weblog... 薯伯伯偷偷拍這張照片, 「偷偷拍」是因為阿靜恐嚇薯伯伯, 如果他再把她的照片放上網就要把他掉進曼谷那一段湄公河。
Ah Chin found it out! 阿靜發現了, 這次薯伯伯die定了!
Let's take a pic together, from left to right = Ah Chin, Pa, Yaya, Pazu (killed by AC)... 一起拍張照片吧, 從左至右: 阿靜, 拍小姐, 鴨鴨妹妹, 薯伯伯(被阿靜殺了)。
Nothing really scary, so Pazu asked Yaya to show a scared face... 因為沒甚麼真的恐怖, 所以薯伯伯只能叫鴨鴨妹妹做一個受驚的表情。
Bad business. 生意慘淡啊! 香港話叫做「旺丁唔旺財」。
We met a group of members of the Thailand Cycling Club, Pazu, so Pazu took a pic too. 這是泰國單車協會的會員, 薯伯伯也不太認得他們所有人, 但他們好像認得薯伯伯, 真是不好意思。
Pushing through the crowd. 人潮裡跌蕩。
Traffic Jam! 塞車……塞人! (Bangkok, Thailand)