Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Fruit Du Jour: Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)

From Wikipedia: The fruit can weigh from 150-600 grams; some may reach one kilogram. The flesh, which is eaten raw, is mildly sweet and low in calories. Few people find its taste offensive; some may consider it bland. It is generally recommended that dragon fruit be eaten chilled, for improved flavor; dragon fruit should not be used to accompany strong-tasting food – except to "clean the palate" between dishes. The fruit is also converted into juice or wine, or used to flavor other beverages. The flowers can be eaten or steeped as tea.

To prepare a pitaya for consumption, cut the fruit vertically into two halves. From here, either cut the halves into watermelon-like slices, or scoop out the two white fleshy halves with a tablespoon. Eating the fruit is sometimes likened to that of the kiwifruit due to a prevalence of sesame seed-sized black crunchy seeds found in the flesh of both fruits which make for a similar texture upon consumption. Although the tiny pitaya seeds are eaten with the flesh, have a nutty taste and are rich in valuable lipids, they are indigestible unless chewed.

There are some farms in Vietnam that produce 30 tons of fruit per hectare every year.

At first I did not like it, taste was like a mixture of melon and cucumber, but after a while I like it now.

Price 50 Baht/kg

Monday, 26 October 2009

Life is great!

Cause to celebrate, bandages are off!

The life is great again.

Do I look like Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Fruit Du Jour: Sala Fruit

Sala Fruit (A member of the Salacca family)

The Sala Fruit is white inside (the red, prickly skin is easily removed before eating) and has a big pit. Extremely sweet, like concentrated mango.

May to August

In season price range:
30-60 baht per kilo

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Short trip to Malaysia

I got 30 days Thai visa on arrival, 30 days are gone,
need to go to a Thai consulate in a neighbouring country.

Took these pics from the ferry:

Leaving Thailand:
Stayed for 2 nights in this Guest House in George Town, Penang, Malaysia:
British legacy is strong here. Electric plugs, road markings, buildings, solid infrastructure...
Less anarchy than in Thailand, where capitalism has gone wild, so to say. One feels that the state has it under control here.

City Hall:
View from island on to the mainland (tropical storm is coming):
Turkeys on this market have no idea what is going on right behind them:

Saturday, 17 October 2009

No news

The view from my kitchen door

Some kind of plant nurserySunset

I am off to Malaysia for 3-4 days now...

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Host family

I am still looking for a host family, as I believe it is the quickest way to get the feel for Thai people. A hotel manager I happened to talk about it knew immediately what I wanted: South of Thailand is a wrong part of the country for this purpose, go up north. Here people are bent to make big bucks out of rich foreigners.

So, my plan is to stay in this house one month (I paid upfront), till then I will be fit again to hop around.

A human body never stops fascinating me, so versatile, with self repairing mechanism build in :)
I visit medical centre daily to change bandages, initially I had 7, now are 2 left, in a week the last one (right elbow) will have gone.

But I continue riding a motorbike, its a mass transportation system here.

On this island one does not need a driving licence, children are on the road as well...

Isn't he cool? :)

Internet access in Thailand

1° Free Hot Spots ~ They are often not where you want them to be. Either advertised or you just try to connect to some hotel and it works.
2° Internet cafes   ~ 1 Baht/min   They are everywhere, haven't tried rural areas though...
3° (Some) places you stay ~ you pay 50 Baht, get receipt with username, password and 2 hours, which you can use through the day.
4° 3G: buy sim card for 50 Baht, load it with 350 Baht, insert it in your netbook (mine has 3G module built in, alternatively you need usb dongle). Metered on volume, good for checking email and light surfing only, should last for 5-6 hours. Or you can put sim card in your phone and have a local number.
5° 3G: got to phone shop, buy sim card for 50 Baht, choose a monthly plan, there are several, (I have chosen 100 hours for 350 Baht), unlimited for a month costs ~ 1000 Baht.
6° In many areas there are commercial wi-fi providers: you see a strong signal, connect, type and you will be presented with different plans: daily, weekly, monthly. (unlimited monthly ~ up to 2000 Baht)

3G connection (5° and 6°) is VERY slow, not for Skype or uploading pictures. (I am using AIS provider, have not tried others).

The rest is bearable, ~ 2 MB/min

Thursday, 8 October 2009


Fruit on this picture, with prices:

Grapefruit - 25 sweeter and less acidic than I know it
Tangerines (0,5 kg) - 10
Bananas (29 Pcs) - 15 taste is slightly different, and note the size :)
Papaya (1.2 kg) - 55
Never seen bananas with pips (stones) before,
only some of them have them:

Imported fruit is expensive, i.e. grapes 100 Baht.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Rented a house

Looks picturesque. Quiet. One hears only waves and birds. Inside is very simple, if not substandard. But who cares, here one spends a day outside. Will stay here for a while and see for myself rainy season and tropical storms.

View from inside:


Was lying on the beach, watching two small guys trying to park a huge motorboat. Helped them a bit and then I had a little chat with this guy, Min. His brother and their uncle came here from Myanmar on one year visa to work (things are not that good on that side of the boarder). They are working on these two boats ferrying tourists to and fro. They are paid 4500 Baht a month + three meals + a place to sleep. Locals get more.

Then the second boat came, and when a group of 20 or so tourists were passing by, I asked: "How was the trip?" An Australian guy answered: "They know how to get from us money for nothing..."

That made me laugh.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Change of plans

It turned out, that wet season is about to begin.
It would last till mid-(end-) December.
I did not know that seasons differ on mainland
and islands... This is how it looks like right now here:

Which means I have to make new plans. Initially I wanted to go
direction Malaysia-Indonesia, but weather wise it the same there
as here.

It is fine in Philippines, but its too expensive to fly. Though, a
traveller from previous post knew it and bought a ticket long
time ago, cheaply. He is already there.

I am thinking going back to Bangkok, like 18 hours again
on the road. Get there a Vietnamese visa, (for Laos and
Cambodia one does not need it). And move on to there.
Spend 2 months there and then head back to my Koh Phangan.
China and Cambodia don't appeal to me at the moment.

One little tip from someone though - and I might be heading
somewhere else, I am not fixed on anything...