3 r e a s o n s to love Thai food

Ask anyone you know that loves Thai food and they will give you their personal reasons for enjoying it so much. There is definitely a reason this style of cuisine is growing in popularity around the world. If you are considering joining the ranks of enthusiasts, consider just three of the most often stated reasons for loving this culinary style:

p1Reason No. 1: Variety One thing is for certain: you will never get bored exploring Thai food. Since there have been a variety of cultural influences on the population in Thailand, there are different styles of Thai food that are more popular in different areas of the country. This has led to an immense variety of Thai foods with different flavors and cooking styles. There are still some elements on the cuisine that pull all of these different influences together, such as the love of rice and vegetables, but how these basic foods are combined, spiced and made into meals is quite varied.

You can experiment with different types of Thai foods to see what pleases your palate the most. Have some fun with it and try a variety of recipes to get the full experience of what Thai food has to offer. If you are interested in learning to cook Thai, eating authentically prepared dishes from a delivery service or restaurant is the best way to study. You will then know what the cuisine is all about and recreating that in your own kitchen will be easier. To be an excellent cook of Thai food you have to be an eater of Thai food.

Reason No. 2: Intense flavor The different flavors used in Thai food and the way they are mingled together is another reason to love this style of food.

p6Once you taste it, you see that it is quite different from other ethnic foods because of the spices, vegetables and fruits used in very unique ways. Thai food should have a lot of flavors and there should be a lot of flavor mixtures that are pure heaven on the tongue. Not only is this true of Thai desserts, but of main courses as well.

Reason No. 3: Healthy options Thai cuisine is one of the few culinary styles that can easily be made very healthy. If you are concerned with weight loss or just keeping in shape and healthy so you can sustain an active life, Thai food is a great way to eat out of the house without setting your goals back.

Some of the most basic ingredients found in Thai recipes include vegetables, rice, and lean meats like chicken. There isn’t a lot of beef found in Thai food, which is a good thing considering the high saturated fat in beef. Rather, you will learn to cook meatless meals as well as working with healthier meat options like fish and chicken. A lot of authentic Thai recipes will use fresh spices and herbs rather than thick sauces and oils that can pack the calories into a meal. Even recipes that do have sausage, oil and other fatty elements can often be tweaked a bit to be lighter and more calorie-friendly. Remember, not every Thai meal will be completely healthy, but you have a lot more options for healthy eating with this type of cuisine than you do with most others. — http://www.articlesnatch. com

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New Year on the beach

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New Year, mainly to get away from their snowbound cities. And they aren’t disappointed — Pattaya offers a few of the most beautiful beaches the world has ever seen. Pattaya is also known for its excellent nightlife, thanks to an array of clubs and bars that cater to anyone looking to have fun! Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country and follows the Buddhist calendar. Nevertheless, Thais, like those in Pattaya, attach a great significance to the international New Year. For the locals, it is usually a time for merriment with good reason. Well, for starters, employers would usually dig deep into their pockets and present employees with so-called bonuses — which means an extra month’s income or more. In Thailand, New Year’s is a time to be generous. People of all ages would hit popular places in town on New Year’s Eve.

p3Bars and nightclubs spillover with revelers, all out to have a jolly good time. Until the wee hours of the first day of the new year, the music, dancing and drinking continues. It is also the time when police turn a blind eye on places of entertainment operating beyond the stipulated closing times, and become more tolerant of drunken revelers. This is not to suggest though, that violence will be tolerated, too.

p2Even in a cosmopolitan atmosphere like Pattaya, New Year is a time to also get together with family members and cherish joy and love among one another. Among locals, it is customary to call on close relatives and exchange greetings and wish them good health and fortune. The occasion is just as significant to children. It is the time when visiting relatives present the youngsters with what’s considered “lucky money”. Depending on the affluence of the relative, the tiny envelope contains a sum of money for the kids to buy things they like with. On New Year’s Eve, practically all the major hotels will hold a gala dinner/dance with special shows and fireworks. Tickets for these events are for sale early on and guest from in and out of the hotel can attend.

But New Year parties are not confined to hotels, but also at clubs, restaurant and bars. But watching the whole city erupt with joy could be a more laidback way to celebrate to usher in 2018.

H a p p y N e w Y e a r !

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The Beach Road

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Most visitors to Pattaya meet on Beach Road, the city’s most popular thoroughfare. Running parallel to the city’s main beach, the road starts at the Pattaya North Traffic circle (roundabout) and goes south all the way to Walking Street. Three beaches can be reached from Beach Road. The North Beach or Pattaya Neu is the least crowded of the three and the most peaceful. It starts from the roundabout to the north.

North Beach has some of the best open-air seafood restaurants found right on the sandy beach. The Middle or Central Pattaya beach is the busiest and the most crowded at any time of the day or night. Just a bit off North Beach, passing the Golden Mermaid and Dolphin statues, this is also where shopping malls, boutique shops, bars and restaurants, hotels are cramped together, competing for space. On the beach itself are clusters of deck chairs with colorful umbrellas that can be rented for a few baht a day.

There’s a wide array of foods to choose from, available at the flick of a finger, thanks to those ubiquitous ambulant vendors who sell everything from coco juice to roasted pork and amulets. The South Pattaya beach has a totally different character from the North and Central beaches. There is no beach area here to speak of. The whole beach is occupied by business establishments. Here, the real fun and excitement starts at 7 p.m. when the street is closed to vehicular traffic and transforms itself into what everybody calls the Walking Street. Most of the city’s songtheaw (blue pickup truck) public transport vehicles ply the Beach Road. One can travel the whole length of the road for a measly ten or 20 baht. Apart from the beach chair, everything else can be rented at the beach, including water sports facilities, like parasails, banana boats and jet skis. Massage service is also available at the beach.

 

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B a n g s a e n A worthwhile weekend retreat

 

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There are few places in the world that offer an amazing variety of sights and sounds such as Thailand. Fresh discoveries will surely surprise and delight every visitor. That’s because the country is a virtual dream holiday destination overflowing with culinary and cultural delights, festivals and feasts, islands and beaches.

One beach not too far from Pattaya is Bangsaen in the province of Chonburi. Primarily visited by locals, it used to be a mere fishing village but is now a bustling town ideal for that quick weekend or weekday trip. Upon arrival, simply rent a canvass chair and soak in the fun and sun. If the heat gets a bit too punishing for the skin, there are huge umbrellas that can also be rented. Food vendors who gather near the shore sell Thai food and snacks. In the center of town is Ang Sila, a food market known for fresh fish, squid, crabs and other shellfish unloaded daily by trawlers plying the waters of the Gulf of Thailand.

 

Another market worth a visit is Nong Mon where the best dried seafood and sweets made from coconuts are sold as well as fresh and preserved fruits. Between Ang Sila and Bangsaen beach is Sammuk Hill. A winding road leads to the top where monkeys live in their natural habitat. Just the right place to take some photos. At the end of Bangsaen is Laem Ta, a cape with a concrete walkway and a new pavilion where visitors will be treated to a spectacular sunset view. Children will surely be interested to explore Srinakarinwirot University’s marine aquarium that houses practically every form of marine life in the country. Accommodation is easy, with numerous hotels, resorts and budget inns located close to the beach. Just look for one that will suit your budget. Getting there: Bangsaen is only 14 kilometers from Chonburi town. From Sukhumvit Road, traffic to Bangsaen branches off to the right at kilometer 104.

 

Thai sweetmeats fit for royalty

 

p1They look like miniature fruits and vegetables such as chilies, cherries, mangosteens, oranges, mangoes, bananas, etc. They taste sweet, smell fragrant, and appear attractive and colorful. They are called luk chub. In the old days, luk chub were the sweetmeats made for the king of Siam, after meals in the palace.

The skill of making these little sweetmeats could be learned only from people working in the palace. Nowadays, eating luk chub is not limited to palace people. However, they remain as the sweetmeats for high-society people since they are rather expensive and Thais usually present them to their superiors on special occasions like New Year’s Day, birthdays, or as a gift.

p2To make luk chub, the basic ingredients are ground mung beans, sugar coconut cream, clear gelatin, and food coloring. Ground bean paste is mixed with sugar before coconut cream is added. The mixture then is heated over a gentle fire until it becomes sticky. After leaving it cool, the mixture is taken to be molded into the desired shapes of fruits and vegetables. This important step needs good dexterity.

Every curve and line requires a very gentle touch to shape the mixture into the miniature fruits or vegetables. But the size of each piece is limited by the amount of mixture that can be made to hold together. Then the little models are painted in various colors. When dry, they are dipped in clear gelatin. The sweetmeats can be kept in a refrigerator for up to three weeks. Nowadays luk chub are not as commonly found as other Thai sweats. They are sold only in some shops selling Thai desserts

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Sugar Hut Resort… Keeping the Thai Tradition Alive

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Pattaya has fully embraced modernity just like the rest of other areas frequented by tourists in the Kingdom of Thailand but some traditions are still well kept alive creating a wonderful blend of modern conveniences and ancient Thai lifestyle. That’s exactly what you’ll find and feel at Sugar Hut Resort, a family-owned enterprise nurtured through the years, which offers a unique experience living in an old Thai-style house. Set away in secluded jungle-like surroundings where animals like peacocks and rabbits freely roam around, Sugar Hut boasts of elevated wooden villas each with a serene and beautiful garden-like bathroom with traditional earthen Thai jar and a deck area that separates the bedroom from the living room. “You can barely see Thai-style house in Pattaya. It’s mostly high-rise buildings,” says Yanin Viravaidya, general manager of Sugar Hut Resort and a second-generation scion of a medical doctor who established the resort. Yanin says their resort offers “an escape from the whole hectic city” and a chance to relive in a wooden traditional Thai-style house without sacrificing the conveniences of the modern-day era. Each villa has an elevated bed with a beautifully- laden mosquito net. Each bathroom has hot and cold water and a rain-shower for that that earthly jungle-feel. The living room is equipped with a mini refrigerator and a cozy sofa where you can hang out or unwind.

There are three swimming pools around the resort, each with wet and dry saunas. Non-guests can also avail of these amenities for just 1,000 Baht per person per day. Nearby is a restaurant where you can sample some of the best Thai dishes you can find. The resort also has a lounge area where you can read books or magazines, learn more about Thai culture or simply to chill out. And there’s more—Sugar Hut can arrange boat trips, scuba diving or even a brief tour to the city. Yanin assures their staff are always ready to help guests to make their stay in Thailand truly amazing. For more info: visit http://www.sugar-hut.com or call (66-038) 428-374 or 364-185.

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The Chinese Temple at Ang Sila : Nha Ja Sa Tai Jue Shrine

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Known as Nha Ja Sa Tai Jue Shrine to worshippers of Chinese origin, or Wihan Thep Sathit Phra Kiti Chaloem to the speakers of Thai, this imposing temple can easily match the architectural sophistication and meticulous details that are on offer at any of the more famous attractions to be found in the Chonburi area, a province not too far from Bangkok. Although it may not be as well-known in expatriate circles or with tourist agencies, the Chinese temple in Ang Sila, a small fishing village on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand has so far, up until now, unfortunately been living in the shadows of the far more “famous” venues that Chonburi province has to offer, such as its resort town of Pattaya, which favours foreign clientele, and the smaller town of Bang Saen with its Thai travellers. But times are definitely changing and more and more tourists, mainly Chinese, now visit Nha Ja Sa Tai Jue Shrine to burn incense and offer prayers.

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The temple has become a strong religious centre in the local community and its affluence in both worshippers and donations is obvious to those who have frequented the temple in the last few years. Two decades ago, the place housed just a small Chinese shrine but when the Dharma Rasami Maneerat Foundation decided to celebrate the King of Thailand’s 72nd birthday in style, construction of a complex of buildings to accompany the shrine began in earnest. Although the construction of the main hall was officially finished in 1999, only four years after work had started, anyone visiting the temple agrees that, with such a huge project, that kind of work never really finishes.

p4This is true, especially when we have in mind that the Foundation owns a stretch of land surrounding the temple that adds up to 12,800 square meters and at 6,400 square meters, Wihan Thep Sathit Phra Kiti Chaloem occupies half of that, with plenty of space left to continue building. And that is exactly what Dharma Rasami Maneerat Foundation is doing. Although the main building with its four stories is fully decorated and the adjacent buildings in the courtyard are complete, as you stand in the street in front of the temple you can easily see that construction is well under way on the right-hand side of the temple’s compound. Having been built for such an auspicious occasion, the late Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the 19th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, had presided over the opening ceremony. That event saw the casting of seven Buddha images and the Supreme Patriarch also presented the temple with relics of the Lord Buddha.

p3To add to the honour, he also bestowed the name of the shrine, which means “Home of All the Gods.” Wihan Thep Sathit Phra Kiti Chaloem is located on the road between the Old Market at AngSila and Khao Sam Muk monkey hill in Bang Saen, about 5km from downtown Chonburi City. The temple is open daily from 8am to 5pm on weekdays, while on Saturdays it stays open until 6pm and on Sundays until 8pm. The entry is free and, if you drive, a score of volunteers will help you park your car without expecting a tip. For more details regarding the time and dates of special religious services and festivals, you can call 03 839 8381 for some helpful advice.

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