A Travellerspoint blog

Dorn Wai Market, Sam Pharn, Nakorn Pathom

A taste of old style Thai

overcast 30 °C

This is definitely a market for Thai people just by the look and feel of it. I have also never seen another westerner there, although I haven’t been often myself. Some people call this a floating market, but to me it looks like a market on the banks of the Nakhon Chaisi River. I don’t think you will see many vendors selling their fruit and vegetables from little boats like in the picture postcards of other Thai floating markets, or like Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. But this market is impressive in its own right.

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Don Wai Market has been in this location for over a hundred years, established in the reign of King Rama VI. I believe it was started by Chinese traders escaping troubles in China, who just happened to land in this location. There is a huge mural near the market which is over 5 metres long depicting an amazing bustling scene from centuries back. Perhaps one of these early traders artwork.
The market was originally famous for the boiled ducks and duck noodle soup, but now there appears to be every Thai food imaginable. So if you are a Thai food aficionado, you’ll love this market.

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How to get there? Nakhon Pathom is on the west side of Bangkok. I had a driver from Thailand International Tours who drove us and we took the Kanchanapisek Outer Ring Road, but Yuan our driver said it is probably best to get a meter taxi unless you have a smart phone with GPS. But if you feel brave head for Wat Rai Khing.

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So this weekend why not try Dorn Wai Market? You are going to love the local fruits and vegetables. Or perhaps enjoy the wide variety of Thai specialties ranging from rice and curries, papaya salad, roasted chicken, chilli paste to all kinds of Thai desserts. You’ll love it!!

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Posted by Nods33 14:47 Archived in Thailand Tagged market thailand tours international wai dorn Comments (0)

Thai Garland Offerings

Thais unique way of arranging flowers

sunny 32 °C

The Thai way of creating garlands became popular during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V. In more modern times you can see vendors at most major intersections selling their garlands to drivers stopped on a red light. Unfortunately some of these vendors are very young, and definitely not the place to be for their young lungs, among the Bangkok polluted roadways. But some would say they have to make a living like the rest of us.

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Along major roads like Silom and Sukhumvit in Bangkok you’ll most likely come across a vendor balancing a woven tray filled with colourful garlands on top of their heads, or sat beside the road waiting for the next customer.

Garlands are offered to the spirits every morning and placed in front of the spirit houses all over Thailand to please the spirits with their aromatic smell of jasmine, and placed reverently at the base of Buddha images in family shrines.

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The way of creating these garlands is by threading a variety of petals and flowers on a cord with the use of a huge needle. Garlands can vary widely in design, with some mainly white petals to some very elaborate colourful designs. A garland can be circular to resemble a necklace or bracelet, or long with two strands of flowers separated by a ribbon.

Garlands are also presented and worn at many festive occasions, such as graduations, birthdays and weddings, for good luck. They are even given to Thai boxers at their fights. Before every bout, a boxer must dance the wai kru which is a choreographed ritual to respect their trainer and opponent. During this rite, a flower garland is draped around the boxer’s neck. Taxi drivers also drape a garland around their rear view mirror, which gives a natural freshness to their vehicles.

This unique Thai way of arranging flowers has been popular for 150 years, and I’m sure will continue for many years to come.

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Posted by Nods33 13:35 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand tours thai vip international concierge Comments (0)

Austin Mini at Nong Nooch

Paul Smith pays homage to the legend of the Austin Mini

overcast 30 °C

Take a look at this classy Mini Cooper by Paul Smith. I’ve been a Mini Copper fan ever since I saw the Italian Job when I was a kid, but since they brought out the new version of this very classic British car I think they have gained even more fans. I didn't expect any cars in a Botanical Garden, was I pleasantly surprised, always good to mix things up a bit.

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For a town or city run around, the Austin Mini has always been a jem. Ok, perhaps not the first choice of car for a long motorway journey, but each car for each purpose. But saying that, there have been countless journeys all around the world in the Mini, and I am sure many more to come. I remember countless stories told by my uncle of his trip to the southern most tip of India in his Mini, from north London in the 1970’s. He usually made this journey in his famous ‘Budget Bus’, with a group of passengers. If you were hip and happening in London during the 1970’s perhaps you have heard of the Budget Bus.

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The Mini is often seen in a variety of colours, or with the Union Jack on its roof or wing mirrors, but seen here in the Paul Smith design. Here Paul Smith pays homage to the legend of the Austin Mini by creating the Paul Smith Mini Cooper. My guide from Thailand International Tours told me she’d heard that the paint is a creation of 83 different shades striped onto the chassis, awesome looking, don’t you think?
Ever since Alec Issigonis was commissioned to get the Mini project moving due to Colonel Nasser of Egypt deciding to nationalise the Suez Canal in the 1950’s, and the subsequent fuel shortages, countless millions of Mini fans have been formed. So big thanks to Issi, and all at the Longbridge plant for having such vision.

There are about 25 cars on show at Nong Nooch Botanical Gardens, so something for everyone at Nong Nooch Botanical Gardens in Chonburi Thailand.

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Posted by Nods33 16:58 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand tours garden botanical international nong nooch Comments (0)

Nong Nooch Garden

The Most Beautiful Botanical Garden in SE Asia

sunny 34 °C

If you are over Pattaya Chonburi way you should take the time to visit Nong Nooch Garden (pronounced "Noot"). It is well known for its impressive Elephant and Thai Cultural Shows, along with what many believe is the biggest and most beautiful botanical garden in SE Asia. Our guide from the concierge company, Thailand International Tours said it is based on Kew Gardens in London, and having been there also, I can see some comparisons, although Nong Nooch definitely has its own feel and style.

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Nong Nooch garden is approximately 15km south of Pattaya, and we were lucky enough to have a driver from Thailand International Tours to pick us up, wait for us, and one of their guides to show us around all day. The garden is constantly changing and being developed, creating new interest for locals and tourists alike. One of the great things I leant about the Nong Nooch garden is that it is dedicated to education, preservation and research as well as the conservation of the world’s largest palm collection, the largest variety of Orchids in Thailand and other tropical flora and fauna.

I am not familiar with the names of the flowers and plants on display, but I think the majority of people would be extremely impressed with the way colours and textures are laid out, and complement each other.

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We also came across a small wildlife section, which was also very well enjoyed by everyone I saw around that part. We even came some classic cars on show, mostly old British motors, namely Morgan, Lotus, Mini, and Austin Heeleys.

It is well worth a visit for an afternoon with the family or a loved one, or even alone to just take in the relaxing environment. It is an experience you will never forget. Just make sure you take plenty of photographs!! My wife and I, thanks to digital camera technology must have taken 3 – 400 in our day.

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Many thanks must go to Ning, our guide from Thailand International Tours who was very knowledgeable about Nong Nooch, had pretty good English language skills, and was a great pleasure the whole day.

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Posted by Nods33 22:58 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand tours garden botanical international nong nooch Comments (0)

Le Beaulieu 2

Finest French Dining Bangkok

sunny 38 °C

Chef Herve and his staff at Le Beaulieu have been at it again today, creating some exotic taste sensations for my wife and I which I feel compelled to share with you all.

Thailand International Tours recommended this restaurant to us earlier this year, and now we find it very hard to stay away. Honestly, Chef Herve is an absolute genius with food, and before I had ever experienced French food of this quality, I never thought it was possible. Sure I have tasted some great French food in Paris on various business trips to the French capital, the south of France on holidays and also in Vientiane Laos, but nothing of the exceptional quality of Chef Herve and Le Beaulieu. So a massive thanks to Thailand International Tours for the fantastic recommendation.

As discussed in a previous blog post Le Beaulieu is down Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, soi 19, a few hundred metres down the soi on the right hand side, in the Asoke Residence. Call 02 204 2004 if you need extra direction advice, Herve’s professional staff will be happy to guide you in.
So what did we feast our senses on this lunchtime?

Well, I ordered Free Range Poached Eggs, with a light Paris mushroom duxelle & meurette sauce, and my wife had Fresh Marinated Salmon, with a great Caesar salad with a tangy horseradish cream sauce. Before the main course we tucked into a bottle of Chateau Lamothe Vincent Merlot, I think 2007 or 2008, which I would recommend for red wine lovers. For main course I chose Traditional Chicken Coq au Vin, with Fresh potato gratin, and my wife ordered the Snail Lasagna, which although we were a little apprehensive on ordering, turned out to be a delight. Amazing taste sensations as usual!!

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So once again, greatest thanks must go to Thailand International Tours for the original recommendation and of course Chef Herve.

Le Beaulieu is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Reservations by phone are highly recommended on 02 204 2004 or 081 584 0650. You can also check out their website at
http://le-beaulieu.com

Posted by Nods33 19:38 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand tours dining french vip international concierge Comments (0)

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