Market Day in Wang Pho

Most of these veggies were growing out behind his house just the day before , he has a huge garden.
I swear this pork is so fresh , I thought I heard a loud squeal

these eggs are so fresh that when they start to run low they run out to the truck where the hens are laying more on demand.

After all the eggs are laid they then are sold here , minus all their feathers of course

Believe it are not , but some of these fish are still flopping around on the table .

It's been a while since I posted anything about one of my favorite things to do here in Wang Pho , doing the weekly shopping at our fresh fruit and veggie market and oh ya I don't want to forget the fresh meat and fish market too
I can't wait for the net to get sooo advanced that we will have scratch and sniff available on all the pictures . The one great thing about the fresh market is all the wonderful smells all mixed together . I would be amiss if I forgot to mention that on market days there is also a lot of already cooked food vendors at the market about 25% of the market is fast (Thai style ) food to take home to eat. Ciejay and me talked about it one day and we both agreed that if we really wanted to we would never have to cook at home ever, and fresh cooked meals are within 5 minutes ride or walk from our home , something to think about as we get older , ha ha ..
Sorry no scratch and sniff , but hope you enjoy the pictures . Malcolm
Do you have a fresh fruit and veggie market near you and do you visit it often ????
We have a huge Tesco Lotus that we could buy our fruit and veggies if we wanted to , but not only are the local markets stuff fresher , it helps our local farmer to sell their stuff and get a little income from all their hard work and it also keeps our little town from being a poor village .

The Phuket Butterfly Garden

Update 31st March 2015 - Sad to report that the Phuket Butterfly Garden has now closed. Seems that the visitor numbers were not high enough. Back in "the old days" there were a lot less things for tourists in Phuket to do, but now there is a lot of competition for tourist's time!

We've been to the Phuket Butterfly Garden a few times, it's only a couple of miles from our house and keeps the kids entertained in an educational way. I have blogged about it before a couple of years ago, but I knew that the place had expanded, and indeed is still expanding, currently adding a section all about the life cycle of the silk worm/moth (educational, and with the added bonus of being able to sell silk souvenirs in the gift shop!). A perfect mornings entertainment for the family - we went again on a grey October day after some noodles at a nearby restaurant. Was not really a beach day, or a day for outdoor exploration, and who doesn't love butterflies?

Mum and Dad were visiting from the UK, and were armed with cameras. I wanted to get some new butterfly pictures, and my daughter brought her camera too. I think Mum and Dad could have stayed all day! Entrance is still 300 Baht for adults. There is a lower entry fee for locals, which I qualify for too. If you want to see lots and lots of butterflies, this is the place to come. There are also large numbers of insects and other creepie crawlies and lots of educational displays. When you enter, you pass through the insectarium first. And then through a door made of hanging chains into the butterfly garden. Umbrellas are provided in case the weather is not perfect. Despite the grey skies during our visit, there was no rain.


Orange Butterfly

Butterfly Blues

We all wandered our separate paths around the garden. Many photos were taken. My first proper camera was a hand-me-down from my Dad who was always a keen photographer. My parents never go anywhere without cameras! And the Phuket Butterfly Garden is a photographers paradise. Although butterflies are hard to catch... some sit still longer than others.. some just don't stop moving.

Mum in the butterfly garden

Dad photographing butterflies

Don't get the idea that the air is thick with flitting wings, but there are a lot of butterflies of all different colours. Mostly they flit and flut and land on flowers.. sometimes they find other places to land...

Butterfly on glasses

Butterfly landed on her head

Our son couldn't get one to land on his head. Not for want of trying. He decided the best place to wait patiently was next to the butterfly feeding station where bits of fruit are placed for fruit loving butterflies...

Please land on my head

We had an enjoyable hour or so, about half of which I spent trying to get a photo of one particular butterfly which seemed flittier and fluttier than the rest, no fancy colours, just black and white, but always on the move. Finally got it. Mum was after the same one.. in fact there were 2 the same. My favourite butterfly...

Butterfly at Phuket Butterfly Garden

Phuket Butterfly Garden - Location Map

View Phuket Butterfly Garden in a larger map

Related pages:

Phuket Botanic Garden
Phuket Butterfly Release (July 2010)


Ciejay and me took a little day trip to Supan Buri , to meet up with Sister Tui for lunch and a short visit the other day, on the way there we could see lots of evidence of the flooding from the past week , it was like the road was going across a huge lake with water on both sides of the road and the fields as far as the eye could see was flooded and you could see that the houses that were in the low land and along the fields still had water surrounding them, I am sure was lots of damage not only to crops , but also to the many homes along the river and the rice paddies.
We were driving and came around a curve in the road and almost ran over a flock , herd , or what ever you call a lot of ducks being moved from one pond to another by the duck herder , it was quite a sight , I was able to get a couple of shots off thru the windshield , they were moving pretty fast and there was cars behind me also , hope you like the pictures , have you ever seen a herd of DUCKS??? Malcolm

Early Winter Weather ...

Taking advantage of a blast of early winter weather here in the Rai, I ventured over to Chiang Mai yesterday on the Ninja.  It was time for the 6000 km checkup and with the temperature in the high teens with clear skies, I set out early with a smile on my face.  Could have done without the fog and its effect on visibility, as I passed in and out the banks that lingered in many areas along the route, but it was a great ride.  Even with a liner in my jacket, there was a distinct chill in my bones.  Something I had been looking forward to, after so many months of sticky hotness.

Bumped into another resident of the Rai, finalizing the purchase and the delivery of his white Kawasaki 250.  Visited, also, with a Vulcan owner and a shopper or two, while waiting for the service to be completed.  Will be back in Chiang Mai next month for the bike week, it seems.  A couple of riding buddies are eager to make the ride over, so guess I will tag along.  Yesterday’s 500 km was a bit more than what I consider a comfortable distance, so will be glad for and overnighter next month.

Definitely no need for the air conditioner the last few night, which takes some getting used to.  With the windows open and no ambient white-noise from the A/C, the sounds of nature permeate the darkness and travel unimpeded through the crisp night air.  Since the weather in Hawaii was so good, it is nice that the weather here is also trying its best to be accommodating.  Makes the whole jet-lag thing a little less distasteful.

The eventful nature of village life, sent us off on our trip to Hawaii with an emergency appendectomy for the mother in law, a day and a half before departure.  We returned to a house and dogs well taken care of but were shortly barraged with more family tragedy.  An uncle down south committed suicide and a relative from the other side of the family also died this last weekend.  So part of the family is off to Rayong, while others are heading over to Phrae.  We are sitting out this one as someone needs to hold down the fort, so to speak.

Soon I need to continue the trip report of our stay in Hawaii.

A Trip Down Memory Lane ...

As the title suggests, we have just returned from a trip down memory lane, of sorts.  Flight schedules being what they are, it is necessary to spend a little time in Bangkok, both coming and going to Hawaii, from the Rai.  Normally we would stay with a dear friend in Bangkok but with some ungodly flight times and excessive luggage, we opted to stay at the Arnoma, right next door to where we used to live.  It was the most affordable option in that particular area.

It was of course fun visiting old haunts and catching up with old friends.  In the end it reminded me of how I survived in Bangkok for over thirty years.  Mine was not a street level or footpath existence.  It was described by a fellow I was talking with in the coffee shop the other day, as a modular life moving from one pod to the next, not unlike living on the moon, perhaps.  There was a sleeping pod, dinning pods, health-club pods, shopping malls and Skytrain. 

We returned from our trip to Hawaii with well over 500 photographs.  Here are a few from our time in Bangkok.

Wang Pho Tetsaban and Village folks to the rescue

Putting out a plea , and thanking the people for their help

The response was great , people were coming , walking , motor scooters, bicyles , cars and trucks , bringing what they could

food and water and help is on the way from Wang Pho

As most of you know , Thailand and it's people have been experiencing a lot of flooding in the past month and over a million folks have been affected , many people have pitched in and helped to send relief to as many of the people as possible . I take my hat off to all the effort I have seen in the media and the support they have given to the people in need . Thailand loves their own and when there is a need the people of Thailand rise to the occasion. We in the Burgess house whole have sent some monies to help where it was needed . Today it really got close to home when our local tetsaban announced over the speakers that some people in the Sai Yok district were in need of help , you should have seen the response from the folks of our village , almost everyone was giving something and the local police men were loading it into trucks , and as soon as it was full they took off and another empty would pull in and wait to be loaded , I was sooo pleased with the response from Wang Pho and the surrounding villages, and it made me proud to be a part of such caring people. Ciejay and me jumped in and did our part on the local level as well, and we are so glad that we know the people are getting food and water , that is needed sooo bad. Help were you can ,and remember those in need. Malcolm and Ciejay

Visitors from wayyyyyyy down South

Aasa and Phil Brumley
A couple of months ago I got a e-mail from a reader of my blog Retired in Thailand and Loving It, Phil Brumley, who lives in Queens Islands , Australia . He stated in his e-mail that he and his wife Aasa were coming to Thailand for a holiday and to visit family in Bangkok, and while they were here they wanted to look around The LOS for a place that they might like to live for 6 months out of the year. They plan on retiring in a year or so. Phil and Aasa don't want to live in a big city as Phil says they are "country folks" and would prefer to live in a small village not to far from BKK, and Aasa's family , something like a 2 or 3 hour drive.In the e-mail he stated that they planned on being in Thailand the end of October and ask if we would like to get together for lunch while they were here to talk about my thoughts concerning ,moving and living in Thailand . Well you know me I love to meet new folks and especially readers of my little blog on retirement , while I am not an expert on the subject of moving and living in the LOS, I feel like I have a few words of wisdom to impart to ears and hearts that are welling to listen, and he mentioned my favorite subject "LUNCH ", of course I said yes.
Then the other day I got a call from Phil saying they were in BKK and coming to Kanchanaburi for a few days , soooo we made plans to meet for lunch ,and a chit ,chat about lots of stuff. I must say we were delighted to meet them and had a great lunch , visit and talk , they are swell folks and Phil , when they make the move to retire part-time in Thailand, will be a falang we other falangs can be proud to have as a friend living in Thailand . After we finished our lunch and great visit, we took a little ride to our village of Wang Pho , to show them around the area, and all that our little village has to offer, and our ever so humble home . It may be small , but we seem to have a lot of stuff that other small villages I have visited do not have "I'm real proud of our town" and the folks that are elected to make sure that it is always clean , well kept and a safe and happy place to live . I think they liked what they saw and they will be traveling to a lot more places before they make up their mind where they want to settle . As I said before it's always a pleasure and fun to meet new folks and especially, a reader of my blog and Phil and Aasa were a delight. I think after our visit and talk that Phil knows now why "I'm Retired in Thailand and Loving It. Phil and Aasa thanks for the visit, Ciejay says thanks too.

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Early Morning at Kathu Shrine

I always try to visit my "local" shrine in the morning when they are doing their street procession as part of the Phuket vegetarian festival. Kathu is (so the history books say) where the festival originated and the local community take a lot of pride in the festival and their history. I already blogged about our visit to the shrine on the 7th for the opening ceremonies of the festival. I also headed to Kathu a couple of times during the week for food, as I tried very hard to stick to the vegetarian diet for the duration of the festival. On Friday 15th the idea was to be at the shrine nice and early, but the morning looked so grey. I did not rush, got to there at about 6:30am, a bit late to watch face piercing. I had been earlier last year and had some piercing photos like this one. Last year the morning was bright and sunny.

Seemed to me that with approaching rain the participants in the procession were keen to get moving. They walk all the way from Kathu to Phuket Town, through town and end by the sea at Sapan Hin, a walk of about 8km. Barefoot. With sharp objects embedded in cheeks, or carrying statues of the emperor gods. Actually, maybe they were glad for a cooler, wetter morning. Easier walking compared to a hot sunny morning.


I had been shopping the day before and bought a 50mm f1.8 lens for my trusty Canon EOS 20D. Figured it would be good for portraits like the one above, and good in lower light. Using a fixed lens is rather odd when you are used to a zoom, the composition of the photo depends a lot more on where you stand, and varying the aperture can have a huge effect. And if you want to zoom out, walk backwards!


The shot above uses f2.8, as I wanted to blur the face and accentuate the piercing on the arm. Obviously the spikes in the cheeks and lips weren't enough for this guy - give me needles in the arms too! And the photo below, one of my favourites from the day, shows I think why I wanted that new lens.

Vegetarian festival Phuket

The devotees started out of the shrine at about 7am. I had decided not to follow them to town due to the weather plus this blog is still just for fun - I have a dive shop to run! The guy below is a local policeman and a regular participant in the vegetarian festival.

He's bananas

Ma Song with axes

The Ma Song (above) swings axes outside the shrine. Some of these Ma Song really do cut themselves such as this guy at the Bang Neow shrine procession on the 13th. Some seem rather more careful to swing without cutting too much!

The procession left the shrine led by the most important Ma Song who was carried along on a vehicle. Other Ma Song were on foot. Not all cut themselves. I am not sure of the hierarchy, but I think that the most important Ma Song, the ones who really seem possessed by spirits, are the ones who do not impale themselves. They leap about, or walk bent like old men, offer prayers, and I hear them speaking in strange voices. Can be a bit spooky. A lot of attention goes to those with pierced faces, but Ma Song like the one below are fascinating to watch.

Ma Song in a trance

The way they walk, talk and move, I defy anyone to tell me it's all an act. I am sure there is something quite real happening, even if it's sometimes hidden behind the showmen - the ones who stick unusual objects in their cheeks in the hope of getting their picture in the paper! Yes, I mean you, Mr "baseball bat"!

Anyone for baseball?

The rear of the procession is the loudest. While the odd firecracker may be thrown at the feet of the Ma Song, the majority are saved for the gods and those carrying them. As the emperor god images are paraded through Kathu village, I dashed around trying to avoid deafness and too much smoke inhalation and trying to get a photo. The guys carrying the god images are prepared - wearing sports shoes rather than sandals and certainly not barefoot like the pierced devotees. Barefoot would be asking for burns! Firecrackers are thrown and hoisted above the gods on bamboo poles. The noise and smoke are something to witness.


Firecrackers in Kathu village

As the procession left the village that was pretty much the end of the festival for me. I did attend the fire walking event at Kathu shrine on the 16th (photos here) and very very almost lasted an entire 10 days on the vegetarian diet. By the evening of Saturday 16th I was ready for a big ol' burger and it happened that a friend's restaurant (The Lunch Room) had just been renovated and does burgers and they have big TVs to watch the English football! Farewell vegetarian festival 2010. Next year the festival starts earlier (date depends on Chinese lunar calendar), about September 27th. So, only 11 months to go!

More photos from Vegetarian Festival at Kathu Shrine 15th October (Flickr)

Retirement and the Honey Do List

Believe it or not I built this table with my own hands , it is from the wood that we took off of the front of the house when we started the remodel. It has been outside in the weather(under the back deck roof) for 6 years and the finish had wore of and it was looking bad , soooo it was on my list to do something with it . As you can see I've got all my stuff ready to jump right into the project.

I am wearing a mask to keep all the fine dust out of my nose and mouth, and a pair of safety googlies to keep dust out of my eyes too.

I started out with a course sandpaper and then a fine grit, and after I had removed all the old finish , I gave it a once over with a fine wet and dry paper and then fine steel wool for the finishing smoothness.

As you can see the weather had really dulled the old finish which if I remember I only put on one coat of urethane , this time I put on three coats with a steel wool rub between each .

I had slid on and off of this bench , having my morning coffee that all the finish had worn off it or cracked , because of being in the sun and weather for 6 years , so this time I gave it 3 coats too. It is so smooth that you can see the little Kapow bush reflecting in the finish.

Take a look at the finish on this table , here to you can see the tree reflecting in it's finish . It took a lot of elbow grease and a sore arm to get it smooth enough for this finish. I like using urethane instead of a normal wood finish or shellac as it will not leave a water or white ring on the table finish when you set something cold or hot on top of it and it cleans up real good with soap and water which you can't do with some finish products.

Come on over to Wang Pho and we'll sit here and enjoy a little chit ,chat and a good cup of coffee or even a good glass of wine if you come in time for lunch .

While I had all my stuff out and the weather was holding up ,I took this opportunity to put another coat (really two more ) of urethane on the back and front teak doors.

I even took a piece of the jack -fruit scraps and made a sign with our names and address , some I have been going to do for 6 years , Maybe I was spending a little to much time in the hammock ha ha .

Well, I know you've seen me mention Ciejay's Honey Do List in a few of my post and to be truthful , It's my to do list too. Yesterday and today for the most part the weather has been just right for getting a few of the List things done , I don't want to wait to long as the time to really enjoy this paradise called the LOS is coming up real fast , the rain will stop , the humidity will go away , and the travel bug will bite and I don't want to have to feel guilty that I didn't get a lot done when I could have .I got a couple things done that were on the list , By the way nothing on the list is earth shattering , if something is really important,( if I can't do it myself) I pay someone that knows how to do the job for me , I have found out that the best thing in owning a home and anything else , that maintenance is a very important thing the better you take care of something the longer it will last and give you years of enjoyment with just a little TLand C.
I took a few pictures of the couple of projects and will write a little description about each . Hope you enjoy the pictures and also I want to show you that I don't spend all my time in the Hammock.