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Articles and Posts

Boat trip to explore historical areas for foreigners in Bangkok

Today I’m on a boat trip organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Thai media to explore historical neighborhoods along the river in Bangkok where foreigners used to live. The trip is called “ย่านฝรั่งในบางกอก” (Foreign Quarter in Bangkok). This project is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ cultural diplomacy. Its purpose is to create historical awareness, which is an important foundation for learning about the nation’s cultural heritage and important past events and create a correct understanding of the history and culture of the country. [STOP 01] Wat Rachathiwat in Dusit district was originally established pre-Ayutthaya. It was given its present[…]

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Railway Exhibition at Hua Lamphong Station

Calling all train fans! There is an event at Hua Lamphong station from now until 16th January 2022 where you can get up close with steam locomotives and also visit places in the 105 year old station that are not normally open to the public. As well as taking pictures of the steam locomotives, there are also various carriages on display from the wooden benches in 3rd Class to the sofas in the 1st Class carriage. There is also a board room with a very long table At the front of Hua Lamphong station, you will find the railway museum[…]

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Boat Trip on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok

Good morning from Bangkok. Today I’m on a special one-day excursion on the Chao Phraya River aboard the RIVA Express. I love doing boats trips and so couldn’t resist. Cost is 699 Baht and there will be seven stops. This is a live THREAD of the trip. The RIVA Express has a lower deck which is air-conditioned and an upper deck which is open to make it easier to enjoy the views and take pictures. There are also male/female toilets. [ STOP 01] Our first stop was the Guan Yu Shrine, which is the soul of Thai-Chinese people. Inside there[…]

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How much do you trust public drinking water?

I’ve promoted the free drinking water dispensers at airports before, but several people had a valid question. How much can we trust that they maintain the filters? So, I brought along a TDS Water Meter to measure dissolved solids in the water. The first TDS reading is tap water at Phuket Airport. At 92ppm that is actually safe to drink or at least brush your teeth with. * Obviously my meter doesn’t test for everything. For example, it doesn’t detect poisons like arsenic and so only use it as a guide. At Phuket Airport, they have these drinking fountains. The[…]

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Train Excursion to Sai Yok Noi Waterfall

Good morning from Bangkok Railway Station. Today I’m taking the excursion train to Nam Tok in Kanchanaburi. There will be a couple of stops along the way before we get to the waterfall. When you get on the Nam Tok excursion train, it’s important that you get in the right carriage. This is because the train also has carriages for the excursion to Hua Hin. At the junction, the train will split. We will go west and the other half will go south. Tickets for the day-long excursion train to Nam Tok are only 120 Baht for 3rd Class carriages[…]

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Exploring Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

This morning I’m exploring Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem on foot. This outer moat for the Grand Palace was dug in the 1850’s during the reign of King Rama IV. The canal is 20m wide, 3m deep and 5.5km long. All of the land on the right hand bank of this photo belongs to the railway. As you can see from these photos, the BMA are improving the landscape on each side of Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem for 1,250 meters where it runs alongside Bangkok Railway Station. They will widened the path to include a jogging track and also plant 151[…]

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Train Excursion to Pasak Cholasid Dam

Good morning from Bangkok Railway Station. Today I’m going on a special day excursion to Pasak Cholasid Dam. The train leaves at 6:00am and returns tonight at 6:50pm. To go on the train excursion, you must be fully vaccinated or can show a negative ATK covid test taken within 72 hours. After we had boarded, someone came round to inspect our certificates. Really it was just a cursory glance. He told me, just to make passengers feel better. This is Bang Sue Grand Station which will replace Bangkok Railway Station as the new terminal station for the capital. It’s about[…]

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Improving the landscape of Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

The Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) are improving the landscape on each side of Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem for 1,250 meters where it runs alongside Bangkok Railway Station. They will widened the path to include a jogging track and also plant 151 more trees. This is an artist impression of what this section of Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem canal will look like. The BMA anticipates that this new green area will be finished by March 2022.   Share this… Line Facebook Pinterest Twitter Linkedin Whatsapp Telegram Xing 1Artboard 1 copy 2 Snapchat Email Post Views: 7

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Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

One of my favourite riverside markets is Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market in Taling Chan district of Bangkok. I went there the other weekend and it was just as popular as ever. If you are worried about crowds, I would strongly advise you to arrive by 9:00am at the latest. This is a great place to come to eat a meal or two and do some shopping. We also did a boat tour from here which lasted about one hour. You can take the public boat, but we decided to rent the whole boat for only 300 baht. I highly[…]

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The Grand Palace during Covid

Now is a great time to re-visit or take visitors to the Grand Palace as there are hardly any tourists. Usually there are long lines to take selfies, and then you will always get strangers in your photos. Not so at the moment. Entrance fee is ฿500 for foreigners and free for Thais. I’ve never seen the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Grand Palace so empty. It’s really weird not seeing group tours. It’s also very nice, as the Thais here were really happy to see us. They kept asking, “Where are you from?” – This is really[…]

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Monks Doing Alms Round by Boat

The tradition of offering alms to monks on boats is not seen so much these days. In the old days, when canals were the highways, it was more common. One place where you can still observe this is at Kwan Riam Floating Market in Minburi district of Bangkok. If you come at 7:30am on Saturday or Sunday, you can offer alms to monks on boats. Once finished, you can then have breakfast in this riverside market. They also do short 30-minute boat tours from here along Saen Saeb canal. It is a nice market, but it is not my favourite.[…]

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Hidden Bangkok Canal Tour

One of my passions is boats and canals. During my youth in the UK, my parents often took us on canal boat holidays during the summer. So, even today, even though I don’t as yet own a boat (one day maybe), I love exploring the canals and doing boat tours whenever I can. So, I was really happy when the guys at Hidden Bangkok Tours invited me to do a boat tour on the Thonburi side of the river. In the days before the long-tailed boats, these slower boats were the way you got around. From a tour point of[…]

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Headache Stencil, Thailand’s Banksy

One of the most well known political street artists in Thailand is Headache Stencil. Like Banksy, he likes to remain anonymous as much as he can. He told Khaosod, “I started calling myself Headache Stencil because I knew what I did is going to cause people headaches. I’ve been a troublemaker since I was a kid.” His street art has been appearing on walls since the military coup in 2014, but he became famous in 2018 with his political commentary about the luxury watches belonging to the deputy prime minister and the poaching of a black panther by one of[…]

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Applying for the Yellow Vaccine Passport

Today I’m at the Department of Disease Control to apply for my yellow vaccine passport which I will use for international travel. I’m applying at the office in Nonthaburi, but you can also apply at your local health office or provincial hospital. This THREAD gives you the steps. [2/6] I made an appointment to apply for the ‘COVID-19 Certificate of Vaccination’ from the website of the Division of Communicable Diseases: vpassport.ddc.moph.go.th. But please note, after 30 October, you must use the Mor Prom app to make an appointment. [3/6] My appointment was at the Department of Disease Control in Nonthaburi[…]

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Letters from Thailand – #5

The tallest buildings in Bangkok, where to buy cheap Antigen self-tests, meeting the British Ambassador, a monk blesses a Airbus aircraft, Bangkok floodgates and more. Share this… Line Facebook Pinterest Twitter Linkedin Whatsapp Telegram Xing 1Artboard 1 copy 2 Snapchat Email Post Views: 2

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Lunch with the New British Ambassador

I was really happy to be invited to have lunch with the new British Ambassador last week at his private residence. This follows my tour of the new embassy in AIA Sathorn Tower a few months back. I find these informal meetings with ambassadors, and consular staff, very important to get to know each other and to let them know about concerns of the expat community. I share a number of social issues and concerns as them such as tourist safety, road safety, air quality and climate change, and of course, fair and equal treatment of foreigners living in Thailand. During lunch,[…]

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