Posts Tagged ‘Thailand’

Thailand beer towels come at a price for tourists!

Posted on May 22nd, 2009 by Jim

Hi from Dubai where stealing, pinching and borrowing of any kind is not tolerated, even in extreme cases of kleptomania.

dubaibanWhat about Annice Smoel? The Australian Mother of 4  who faced a possible five-year jail sentence for theft after two of her girlfriends hid a pub towel in her handbag as a prank?

It happened earlier this week in a bar in Phucket, Thailand and after days of publicity about her case, and support from politicians, including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Victorian Premier John Brumby, Ms Smoel acknowledged the media storm that helped bring her home with a 1000 Baht fine.

Politicians from all levels offered help as they responded to the story of a “ridiculous” and “over-the-top” reaction to the alleged theft. Thai authorities saw potential damage to their tourist industry and were ready to make a deal that culminated in Ms Smoel’s early release.

In this gripping Thai news report (hold onto your seats – this must have been done is someones living room and must qualify for one of the worse delivered news casts ever) they confirm she is as free as a bird now:

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Maybe the Thai authorities should take action and sack amateur news readers?

I ask you though – did they over react and hands up, what have you ‘begged, borrowed or stolen’ over the years whilst sober, tipsy or as nissed and a pewt?  Confession time – comments and drunken memorbilia welcome right here, Hic!

Happy New Year (for the third time) Songkran!

Posted on April 9th, 2009 by Gareth inThailand

“Happy New Year”

This was said to me at midnight on 31st December by my family members from England while we celebrated in the Philippines.

It was said to me again on 26 January by my family members from China (mother in law, brother in law, sisters in law, nieces and of course my wife) over a huge plate of ‘zhao zi’ or dumplings, although it was said in Chinese ‘Xin nian kuai le’

I’ve just had it said to me again by all my work colleagues here in Thailand this morning.

So for the next week or so its SongKran. This is the biggest festival of the year in Thailand. It consists (as far as I can see) of throwing water everywhere and shouting ‘happy new year’.

This morning we all turned up in our compulsary loud, flowery shirts, had a prayer ceremony at 7am outside the factory (as you all do each day right?) and gave our food parcels to the local Monks. My wife only let me give them this on the strict understanding they wouldn’t be misbehaving like they do in Lhasa. There was so much food donated it had to go into a pick up truck as the elephants panniers filled up pretty quick – there’s never a spare elephant around when you need one is there?

Now for the next 4 or 5 days everyone has a good time, plays jokes on each other and throw lots and lots of water over each other.

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Clearly I am going to have to do my best to try and enjoy this, but 2 weeks off work surrounded by lots of young ladies in wet T shirts will certainly go a long way to help. Some snorkeling & SCUBA diving off Koh Chang combined with lots of fresh sea food and copious amounts of beer will also come in handy.

Certainly having 3 new years and 3 new years holidays is the way forward in my book. More Songkran info here for your general interest!

No loaded question at the end of the post today, just happy new year to you all and if I could lob some water at you I most certainly would.

Kap khun krup, xie xie, thanks.

GO! Smell the Bond Film set, Phang Nga Bay, Thailand!

Posted on November 2nd, 2008 by Gareth inThailand

Having read a couple of the Bond related posts on GSTF I was inspired to go and check out some Bond scenery. It took the form of Kayaking around a number of islands off the coast of Phucket, all around Phang Nga Bay here in Thailand.

Here you will find ‘James Bond’ island. This was featured in the film ‘The man with the Golden Gun’ and is a really great site with photographic opportunities every where you turn.

I have to admit that whilst everyone else was happy photographing it I was the one who had to swim out to it to really make sure that Mr Scaramanga wasn’t lurking around the back somewhere with his little henchman ‘Nik Nak’.

I also checked for a villain with a white cat.

After taking a boat from Phucket out to the islands we then decanted into Kayaks.

We then paddled around for the entire day taking in island after island. As well as being great exercise its also a good, relaxed way to spot the wildlife in the area. At any point we felt like we’d put on the snorkeling gear and watch the fish swimming in and out of the coral and plant life and were also treated to Dolphins tearing around and about for half and hour or so.

The rest of the area is made up of small islands with lots of tunnels and caves, some of these islands are hollow like a chimney, from the outside towering, sheer cliffs. Once you paddle through narrow tunnels to the inside its almost like being in one of those lost stone age films, the ones where the crew land on an island only to find Dinosaurs and the like roaming around.
After breathing in and passing under the outside of the island you break out into a small lagoon with some strange sounds and sights.
At times it was almost eerie in that once you broke into the centre it was as if the outside world no longer existed.

If you get out to Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines or anywhere in South East Asia I highly recommend a Kayaking trip, just make sure you breath in as you go through the tunnels.

Have you been involved in a film or lived in a place that became a set?

Have you ever been Kayaking?

Do share any tales you might have.

Something for the weekend?

Posted on October 8th, 2008 by Gareth inThailand

Greetings from Thailand flower folk. So its almost the weekend – a bit early to be counting down the run in but so what? That means its time to start thinking what are you going to do.

Over indulge on Friday night and sleep it off on Saturday?

Spend time catching up on jobs or plan to DO SOMETHING.

I’m lucky in that I live somewhere where I can do many exciting things.

This weekend I’ve finally got round to booking myself a dive. Its been a while since I donned my SCUBA gear and took the plunge under the ocean.

If you haven’t tried it then thats a real pity as there is so much to see down there be it a reef dive, a wreck dive or simply a mooch about…..

Read the rest of this entry »

Tasks to find inner peace……

Posted on October 3rd, 2008 by Gareth inThailand

Hi from Thailand flower smellers. I am passing this on to you because it really worked for me and we all could use more calm in our lives. By following the simple advice I heard on a Medical TV show, I have finally found inner peace ……..

Read the rest of this entry »

GO! Smell our final Detox day!

Posted on May 14th, 2008 by Jim

Hi  GO! Smell the flowers from  the Spa Koh Chang. Our final day here having completed the cleansing program and we’ve both lost eleven pounds each in weight, feel clear headed, healthier inside & out and generally more chilled out.

To ‘keep it real’ we’ll report back on our result in 3-4 months time. Before the cleanse Jim had blood pressure, pulse and  blood work done (his biggest fear – needles  :-) ) to measure pre-cleanse lipid profile, (cholesterol & triglycerides), Biochemistry (Blood glucose) , Endocrinology (testosterone) and thyroid.

The immediate step-on-the-scales-whoop-whooop-high-5 results but that could be down to water loss, clearly a lack of carbs and just giving the body a break so time will tell and getting back amongst ‘reality’.

We ‘broke-fast’ with Papaya, mango and bee pollen:


Back for more general abuse with Thai massage:

Smell the flowers, Em:

We’ll reflect on the key things we learned and share them with you here when we return to Dubai  in the next couple of days. It’s been great learning and laughing at the threads here at GO! Smell the flowers, at times when we barely had the energy or the inclination so thanks for all your interest, support and comments.

NOW! Where did we put that hose pipe?  Do share how you’ve found our detox diaries and this whole experience we’ve shared with GO! Smell the flowers and feel free to add a few captions to the photos above just for fun as we leave ourselves wide open as ever, which, after 8 days of colonics could be interesting – Cheers!

GO! Smell the detox Dairies – Day 8: Down the hatch!

Posted on May 13th, 2008 by Jim

Our final day of the cleanse! Energy levels are pretty high considering it’s 7 days since we’ve consumed any solids and drink with the exception of water, coconut water, Wheatgrass:


Cocktails of Carrot juice and slurps of Oolong tea, a herb popular in China we understand.

So, with only 1 final flush to go (pure water first thing tomorrow morning) and a few ‘flora grow’ bacteria tablets we’re done! Then after breaking our fast we can star gradually re-introducing solids back into our day to day lives.

What would you break your fast with? Comments welcomed as we prepare to post how we feel after this intensive cleansing experience. Cheers! (B)

GO! Smell the detox diaries – Day 7 – Yoga!

Posted on May 12th, 2008 by Jim

Hi from the Spa Koh Chang with less than 48 hours to GO! before we break the fast with only 4 more colonics remaining.

To help keep things moving we’ve tried our hand at Yoga, first thing, in the morning to help us stay us on track and our bodies active without food. Whatever your capabilities it can aid relaxation, improve flexibility, help with detox and massage the organs of the body – always a bonus, right?


Pictured above with Yoga instructor Cliff on Day 5 of our fast we declined to bring our feet together like that – maybe another time, after a few ice cold Chang beers perhaps (B) :-) A big thanks to our teacher Cliff who taught us a few stretches that’ll keep tension at bay and exercise our eyes whilst we tip-tap away on the laptop.

So anyone ever tried Yoga? How do you help stay / get in physical and mental shape and as the years catch up with you? Do tell, hold that pose and release!

Detox Diaries Day 1 – Pre colonic irrigation

Posted on May 6th, 2008 by Jim

Sawadee Krup (Jim) Sawaddee Ka (Emma) as GO! Smell the flowers start our detox diaries from the Spa Koh Chang Resort, Thailand. We’ve decided to stick our necks out and share the ups, downs and insides of our Thai ‘ clean-me-out’ Spa experience designed to rejuvenate and lead us on the path towards a healthier and happier life.

Good eh – or is it? Some would argue this is totally unnecessary.


We’ve decided yet again to give our bodies a chance to heal as it is believed they work at their full potential after 24-36 hours without the intake of food as our healing mechanisms works best when we stop eating, ingesting, digesting and metabolising food. Hmmmmm, F-O-O-D – Homer Simpson drool – GO! Homer:

On the flight from Dubai to Bangkok we chose to pass on the ‘we’re entitled to it so we’ll have some’ alcohol, bread, coffee, meat and peanuts. Same for the hop over to Trat, the skip on a boat to Koh Chang and all that remains is the jump but will we have the energy as we start our Pre-cleanse diet.

A bonus start to our trips as we’ve a letter featured today in the Dubai ‘paper of the people’ (lift right clenched fist above your hand) 7 days. We addressed an article on ‘ How has the internet changed your life?’ and this community blog is a case in point. Read it here!

So, welcome to the garden to all new readers and feel free to post a comment in any of the articles below and get amongst it and share your knowledge, experiences and opinions with other as we literally dig deep and share our detox diaries with the world before, during and after our 9 night / 10 day stay.

Group hug anyone? Now where did we put that hose?

Prepare for the Thai detox diaries!

Posted on May 5th, 2008 by Jim

Colonic irrigation anyone?

Some 21 months after our first Thai Spa experience in Koh Samui we’re preparing our luggage, so to speak, as we leave the bling of Dubai for the rains of Thailand this time at the Spa in Ko Chang.


We’ll be posting regular (it’s important to be regular) updates right here on how we get on, off and a bit of both as we embark on a 7 day fast to detoxify, cleanse, purify, spit, polish and whatever else is on offer. So, the majority of Jim & Em content here at GO! Smell the flowers will be detox based for the next 10 days, best read either on an empty stomach.

Comments and support welcome here – get ready for the detox diaries :-)

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