OTOP Festival and more

The OTOP is an organization which was started when the Prime Minister Thaksin was in power and it is something that has continued despite these beginnings.

It means 'One Tambon One Product' - it aims to teach the Thai people to be proud of something which is particular to where they live - in Thailand these areas are called Tambons.

One Tambon One Product (OTOP) is a local entrepreneurship stimulus program designed by Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra during his 2001-2006 Thai Rak Thai government. The program aimed to support the locally made and marketed products of each Thai tambon (subdistrict). Drawing its inspiration from Japan's successful One Village One Product (OVOP) program,[1] the OTOP program encourages village communities to improve the local products' quality and marketing, selecting one superior product from each tambon to receive formal branding as its "starred OTOP product". It provides both a local and national stage to the promote these products. OTOP products include a large array of local products, including traditional handicrafts, cotton and silk garments, pottery, fashion accessories, household items and food. After a military junta overthrew Thaksin's government in 2006 following an election cancelled for irregularities, the OTOP program was cancelled. However, it was soon revived and rebranded.

The  Festival was in the Car Park in Sapan Hin and was in a very large air-conditioned 'tent'. The was a great deal to choose from and every where we looked there was something of interest.

My first spot of interest was the unmistakable smell of the Northern Chiang Mai Sausage - wonderful and never to be missed. Not as good as eating it in a restaurant in Chiang Mai but close.

The next spot was the man with the Iced Sweet Tea - Fabulous - I have his card somewhere but I seem to have lost it - a fabulous act but the drink was a little sweet but it was definitely worth it!

Time for something to eat and then it was time for a Crepe - deliciously sweet... As I wandered about munching I found that there was some eerily creepy (almost life like) Buddhist figurines...

Then it was time for some gifts and we found plenty of them - definitely worth a visit and maybe two.

View Sapan Hin - South Phuket in a larger map

Traditional Thai puppets and rain do not mix

This outing was certainly one that was something that I had not anticipated until two days before the actual event!

Driving to work one morning I spotted a sign with some Traditional Shadow Puppets on it. Taking a snapshot of it I took it to work where they told me all about this puppeteer.

He has a disability and is blind in one eye but performs the Traditional Puppet Shows – Nong Deow – I have never seen him and I had not seen a Traditional Puppet Show in Phuket for 3 years.

Excitedly I prepared myself but the rain was… but we made a decision – GO!

We went to a field East of Phuket - สนามมาสดา - to watch it and it was a mud bath – the rain was still coming but it did seem to slow down occasionally.

We stayed for approximately an hour and a half but we needed to go home – it was fun but it would have been better if it had not rained.

This was in the morning at work so maybe I should have thought a little more?

But this is what we did not see...

Angry Birds, Breakfast, Coffee, shopping, lunch and dinner

The day started with us taking Jemma to school and all I wanted to see was an Angry Birds coach – We did.

After this was a stop in Phuket Town for some breakfast – we chose to visit Kaewjai for a taste of the local flavour. Kaewjai is on the outskirts of Phuket Old Town on Phang-Nga Road. On entering they are friendly and their menu is quite extensive for Thai dishes – Chuen chose the Congee for breakfast.

What did I have? Well I have to admit that I am not sure but it was a delicious little morsal of something. They are delicious and are served with a raw chilli which I did eat with it – fabulous but hot! Review will be here.

After this I wanted a cappuccino so we wandered to Café 154 at Royal Phuket City and we will never go there again – the coffees were terrible and the cake was certainly not fresh - a review will be here.

I logged into foursquare whilst I was there and there was a complaint that they charged for the Wi-Fi! This MUST change.

So we visited Coffee Circle for an immaculate Cappuccino.

After this we visited a wood shop to buy wood to make Jemma’s Doll House have a garden….

Then it was time for lunch – we went to a new restaurant - สมตำบนเทง – one which was next to a lake that was full of catfish – which were there because people had released them there to make merit!

As we chose our food we were given fish food to throw into the lake! Food was in a set menu and was cheap – certainly one for the more adventurous! Traditional and Spicy – see restaurant reviews here.

After this we chose to go out for dinner with friends and because of the weather we chose Chayo Seafood because it was near to us – very nice. I am happy that they had picture menus because I was there first. There will be a review but I have to say that the floating seating area does make a wonderful addition.

The Lotus Flower

The lotus flower can be seen throughout in the Buddhism temples – either as an offering or as a decoration.

The Lotus is an extremely hardy flower and is able to grow in a great many hostile conditions – mud is the one most typically referenced in Thai culture.  In mud the flower can grow and the head of the lotus will be above the water.

This pattern of growth is said to represent the progress of the soul from its’ start in the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience and into the sunshine of enlightenment.

There are other explanations but this is the one that I learnt when I was young and I do see the Lotus Flower grown in some extreme conditions.

An important thing for visitors to note is that you should resist the temptation to take a good sniff at any flowers that you buy for the purpose of a Buddhist offering. The flowers are being presented to Buddha and are not for your benefit.

Pud Jor Chinese Temple

I have always celebrated how much I enjoy visiting the Chinese Temples scattered throughout Phuket and it was no until I saw a post by Wings Phuket that I understood that the alter at the back of the Shrine has another purpose.

Photograph courtesy of Chen Ming Qi Micky
The photograph above is a photograph of Pud Jor Temple and the ritual outlined below being performed.

the alter is directly to the left of this
under here
There is a culture of belief that parents will bring their child at one month old to the Temple to ask the Khuan Im Pud Jor Goddess for good fortune for their child. Walking under the alter is also a way of exorcising any 'bad luck' from the same child.

View Chinese Shrines in Phuket in a larger map

The meanings of the postures of the Buddha - Friday

This is from Wat Koh Sirey
In every temple there a number of different Buddhist states and each one has a different meaning - this does not remain consistent when I read all the documentation BUT I have chosen this one from Willy.

The Friday Buddha image is standing with both arms crossed over the chest with the right hand covering the left.

A short period after the enlightenment, while the Lord Buddha stayed under the Banyan tree, he stated that it was too difficult for ordinary people to understand dharma and bring it into practices. He was discouraged to teach dharma.

This Dharma that I have found is profound, hard to see, hard to understand; it is peaceful, sublime, beyond the sphere of mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise. But this generation takes delight in attachment, is delighted by attachment, rejoices in attachment and as such it is hard for them to see this truth, namely…nirvana.

However with his great mercy and loving - kindness , he clearly understood that living creatures possessed different habits just like nature of a lotus.

If you were born this day:
You are fun loving, friendly and ambitious, probably an entertainer or public figure.
Lucky day is Tuesday and lucky color is pink.
Unlucky day is Wednesday night and unlucky color is light green.

View Buddhist Temples in Phuket in a larger map

How to make your Krathong

Loy Krathong is an old festival in Thailand. 

 Small boats are made from banana leaves and branches.  They are decorated and set adrift on the ocean.  They are meant to bring good luck to partners if their kratongs stay together and take away all the ill fortune........... have a go.  Another beautiful ceremony from Thailand.

Made this video a while ago but it come in useful every so often ;)

TiminPhuket - Restaurants

Phuket Travel Guide

Dear Tim in Phuket

Greetings from Phuket.com!
Our team of writers and photographers here at Phuket.com spends a lot of time looking for the best activities, hotels, restaurants – and blogs – to share with our readership. We have selected your blog to be listed in our ‘Phuket Best Blogs’ feature page http://www.phuket.com/blogs/

Thank you for your gracious gift of this logo to put on my Restaurant Blog.

The snake and the Thai Lottery.

Well this was a shock to my friend. We were attending a Fair in Sapan Hin and we were attracted to a group of people surrounding something.

As we drew closer some people were leaving clutching a small silver cylinder, intriguing was my first though, but the crowd opened up and we were admitted.

As we got closer my friend got more excited and she searched for a one hundred baht note – we were at a Snake Show. Very different from the ones that I had experienced in Bangkok- however.

At one time the snake handler spat water over and over on the snake and I was told that this action would mean that the handler would have strength over the snake.

After this a small boy was chosen from the audience to pick a small silver tube – after this the silver tubes were offered to the audience for a contribution. Many of the onlookers bought one and supposedly they would help you to win the Thai Lottery.

My friend did not win… 
but then she told me what it meant by having a snake in your dreams…

View Sapan Hin - South Phuket in a larger map

Phuket Happenings - October 2013

Wow - what a month!

We spent two weeks in Australia followed by The Phuket Vegetarian Festival (followed by Pneumonia on the lung) and then a weekend in Bangkok!

Then there was the Boare Fair and Halloween...

The end of the month has come upon me rather quickly so my synopsis is a little short.

The Russian who damaged a statue of the Revered Historical Abbot - Luang Por Kongdet.
Why did he do this?

The Fire at Supercheap - no casualties
- what effect will this have on the people that survive on the reselling of produce from here
- will there be a sudden increase in prices?

The Boob Job is big money 
- is this what they meant by Medical Tourism?
- a cheap excuse to post this image?

Tourists cannot find the bus to Patong
- and nobody is helping ABBA Forever comes to Phuket 
- no thank you
- on the chat a comment is made that it is not clear that this is not the original line up
- the reply "how old do you think they would be?"
Ha Ha

Russian Dive Instructor dies during a swim off Racha Noi

Lee Aldhouse is awaiting sentencing (murder in Phuket)
- watch this space

Building a road to Freedom Beach 
- a good idea but people are sceptical that the people want to build it so that their land adjacent to the road will gain in value.
- the same as the Metro in Bangkok - 'follow the leader'.

Phuket Ladyboys rob a Tourist 
and if they are not Ladyboys would this be commented on?

Phuket Illegal Van drivers are granted temporary amnesty 
- they are not taxi drivers or coach drivers?

Phuket Jet Ski Thug is swiftly fined 
- but the complaints are many
- don't hire a Jet Ski
and this is Thailand...

Bangkok think of legalization of Krathom 
- to bolster tourism in the low season?

Whether you understand / support is personal
BUT I want a T.Shirt!

Picture from Richard Barrow's tweet
StyleBung is the agreed change - apparently...

Son of Patong Mayor is under investigation for Land Encroachment  
- watch this space !

but they will cooperate

Thai woman forces kitten to smoke weed 
why? I am confused
then the vest?
I am lost...

Hong Kong and China Resident killed in another motorbike accident
Visa Run crash and fatality...

View Accident black spots. in a larger map

Borae Fun Fair and Market

I suppose that technically this is on the outskirt of Boare and closer to Phuket Town but it was close.

We arrived as they were setting up and Jemma immediately played on the Bouncy Castle, Rollers in the Water and the Trampoline.

I went to listen to the band who chose Eric Clapton to tune up on - not sure about which lyrics because they started singing a Pink Floyd Song - but nothing matters when your daughter has a smile soooo wide!

After this we went to play with the traditional Fair games - throwing balls, throwing darts.

Then there were the Thai Market Shops with so many things to buy - I was happy that Jemma was more hungry so we went to the food stalls instead.

I do wonder about the items above though?

Then we went to the food - Bubble Tea and Fried Chicken with Sticky Rice.