Sunday, November 23, 2014

Eating Muu Gratha (Thai style BBQ)

Eating Muu Gratha in Chiang Mai (Thai style BBQ)

Thai activities after school or after work it is to eat together. Its very strange to see a Thai person eat alone in a big restaurant. We like to eat together, it is Thai style culture eating.

One popular Thai restaurant is ‘’Muu Gratha” (Thai & Korean pork bbq). People like to go about 2-3 times a week. When I was in university, we would go every week.

The Muu Gratha is fresh food to be bbqd. It has pork ,chicken, sea food, vegetables etc. You collect all the food you would like to bbq and eat, then you take it to your table to cook by yourself.

It is a buffet, Thai people like a buffet. When you eat, you can chat and talk and sit as long as you want until you are full. Once you are full, stop eating keep chatting then when you feel peckish again, you can cook and eat again. On Thai New Year, it is a family time. Most Thai families will make a Muu Gratha together at home.

The Muu Gratha restaurants are open air because they are smokey. People can expect to pay about 139,159,189 ,199 Bht depending on quality and location, the price usually ends with 9
  In Chiang Mai there are many Muu Gratha restaurant.
I personally recommend some from the following links below.

First one is Egg and Golden pan located at Malin Plaza in front of Chiang Mai University
The second one PP Hot pan, located at Suandok gate and another brunch is behind ChiangMai University.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My advice and tips for Loy Grathong Festival 5-7 Nov 2014

       Sawatdii kha I have lived  in Chiang Mai for the last 15 years and this is my personal experience of the Loy Grathong Festival and the way it is celebrated..

From my experience, this is my advice and tips for any new tourists who have  come to  Chiang Mai and have never seen the Loy Grathong festivities  before.
           Thousands of people venture up to Chiang Mai  to see this festival, a mass of beautiful lanterns lighting up the sky, fireworks galore,a photographers dream, a great time for that romantic get away. 

 Where to go in town

1.                First.  Thapae gate and three king monument
This area is very safe for senior people with alot less fire works, you will see nice lanna lamps with colourful surroundings. An amazing parade of floats with many different themes. A very good place to grab those majic photos to share with friends on facebook and instagram

2.                Second. Nawarat bridge and Iron bridge
This is the party zone super area, with  fireworks galore,any age of people bring their own  fireworks to show off on the bridge or place their floating basket into the river. . If you want to be adventurous, walk this area, join in the fun. Many drink and food stalls also to make that special time unforgettable. This area never seems to sleep, and  is the most exciting of all areas. Very romantic..

3.             Third.  Jarern Raat road beside Nawarat bridge, on  the way to Wat Gate
If you want to buy a fireworks, lanterns, floating baskets, come to this area, we close the streets to sell many great items, with many colourful displays. Many years ago, this was the  golden area for the drinkers with many accidents happening here. Many groups form other areas came to show their power and would often end up boxing.
 So now the government has banned the sale of alcohol here to make this a safe and an attractive area for people of all ages..
This areas good for some one who is on a budget, without having to buy those fireworks etc, as the free displays are amazing.
One can still have a  drink and play fireworks under the bridge. Very  good place  to sit and  relax. There is also an alcohol free concert held here, with live bands, dancers etc..

4.               Fourth. Pubs and restaurants on the riverside such as Good view, Riverside etc.
 Golden are for tourists and drinkers, every pub or restaurant gets  fully booked so booking in advance is well recomended.
You will see many pretty girls , handsome boys all around dancing and having fun. having that special meal with a good bottle of wine is a great way to spend the night, Live bands,with a variety of music are in many of these places. Good party atmosphere here.

How to parepare yourself

1.               Your dress
Most importantly, my advice is don’t wear shorts short skirts etc because your legs  will get sparks or get hit from the fireworks. This is a very busy time, so good footwear is advised so you cant get   your feet stood, and with all the water around, wont get too dirty. .Dont be afraid, its a good night out.

2.        Valubles       Don’t carry too much money or wear too much jewelery, carry a lot of small change to buy drinks or snack or firework on the way, as  you walk around taking in the sights..

            3.lighter and candles
             These are  very important at these locations, take your own as these can be rather expensive here on this ocassion.       normal price is 5 Bht but on this night can be as much as  20 bht. Matches are not recomended as can get rather windy asdn can take some time to light. 

3.               A good camera
A good camera is an important item, as you never want to forget the time spent here for Loy Grathong. You will be showing family and friends for many years to come.

4.               Transport
After 20.00 pm these areas are very busy and not many car parks are available. In this busy time the traffic very slow with many traffic jams, full of parked motorbikes etc . A parking lot will charge about 50-100 Bht per car if you are lucky enough to find an empty space, so the most easy way of transportation I can recommend is catch a red car or take a motorbike.

This year I have senior guests staying with me, so not sure where we will end up,a restaurant along the river is my choice this year Im thinking but I will try to take a photos to show you…enjoy your Loy Grathong festival in Chiang mai kha. Please share your photos with me also

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Krathong – Floating Lights and Noppamas Queen on 5-7 Nov 2014

Krathong – Floating Lights 

                     I and my Grathong I buy 30 Bht.

         The krathong is a small floating offering about 20 centimeters in diameter. Traditionally this is made from the leaves and wood of the banana tree. The raft is decorated with flowers, a candle and an incense stick. People often leave a small coin in the krathong, and occasionally they will leave a lock of the hair or even nail clippings. On the night of the full moon people will light the candle and the joss stick, and float their krathong down the river. As with the Khom Loy, this is a way that bad fortune can be discarded and made to float away. Thousands of these will float down the river making for a beautiful and moving spectacle. Usually, at the same time, thousands of Khom Loy will be drifting across the sky, so that the night sky mirrors the spectacle on the water. Almost constant firework displays, and the splashes of small boys diving in to collect the coins in the krathongs, complete the picture, and make for an unforgettable experience. Lanna or Chiang Mai came to adopt the Central Thai Loy Kratong festival only when the Queen Dara Rasami (Lanna woman) of King Rama V came back to Chiang Mai from Bangkok and floated a krathong into the Ping River. Since then, floating of krathong became popular among people in Chiang Mai and later was made even more popular by the Chiang Mai governor to promote tourism. Since then the beauty contest and Kratong Parade have replaced the original spirit of Yee Peng.

 Noppamas Queen

 Beauty contests are often a feature of Thai festivals and the Loy Krathong celebrations are no exception. According to legend Noppomas was a consort of the King of Sukothai in the fourteenth century. She was the daughter of a Brahmin priest at the King’s court. She made the first krathong out of banana leaves in the shape of a lotus flower and presented it to the King. He lit the candle and the incense stick and floated it on the water, so starting the tradition we know today. In fact, the floating of Krathongs (Loy Krathong meansfloating krathong) began as a Sukothai tradtion, but was later grafted onto these festival celebrations all over Thailand. The Loy Krathong Parade usually features contestants in the Noppamas Queen beauty contest, which is always held as part of the celebrations.

Sky Lanterns – Khom Loy / Khom Fai

The Khom Loy, also known as Khom Fai, is a cylinder of paper about one meter high, braced with wire circles. Suspended from the bottom of the cylinder is a tray containing cotton soaked in kerosene. Fireworks and firecrackers are also often attached to the tray. These catch fire and explode after the balloon is launched. Once the cotton is lit it takes about a minute for the air inside the cylinder to heat up enough to lift the balloon into the air.
It is believed that launching one of these balloons can send a person’s bad luck and misfortune away into the air, especially if it disappears from view before the fire goes out. Often people will say a short prayer before launching the balloon. Sometimes they will also place their address in the balloon, or write it on the outside. Anyone who later finds the balloon can then claim money from the sender. In this way the good fortune is shared.

The people in Northern Thailand also venerate Pra Ged Kaew Ju La Manee (the Crystal Chedi in heaven in which the Buddha’s hair is kept), and worship this by sending air ballooned lantern into the high sky. The Chiang Mai area has been the scene of massed balloon launches for a thousand or more.

We went to Thapae Gate looking for the Parade.

Many many people.