Common Fruits in Thailand

Some Dragon Fruit sliced at the market, with a...
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Tropical fruits (phon-la-mai) are easily grown in Thailand due to its warm climate throughout most of the country. There are many indigenous fruits that are mainstays of the Thai diet, such as bananas, durian, mangoes and pomelos. Thailand also has many types of fruit that are not native, such as grapes, starfruit and dragonfruit. There are even vineyards in many valley areas of Central Thailand.
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Thai often eat fruits are  as a dessert or a snack. Fresh fruit is often sold prepared and ready to eat. You can buy a plastic bag full of fruit pieces with a wooden skewer for picking them up. Most bags come with a little bag of seasoning that can be salty, sweet and spicy. Thai people like a balance of flavors and fruit is no exception.

INDIGENOUS THAI FRUITS

  • Banana (Kluai)
  • Durian
  • Langsat
  • Longkong
  • Thai Mango (Ma-muang)
  • Thai Orange (Som Keow Wan)
  • Pomelo (Som O)

TROPICAL FRUITS GROWN IN THAILAND

  • Custard Apple (Noina)
  • Grape (Aa-ngoon)
  • Guava (Farang)
  • Jackfruit (Kanoon)
  • Jujube (Put-Sa)
  • Lychees (Linchee)
  • Longan (Lam Yai)
  • Mangosteen (Mangkoot)
  • Papaya (Malakaw)
  • Pineapple (Sapparote)
  • Rambutan (Ngoh)
  • Sapodilla (Lamoot)
  • Water melon (Taeng Mo)
  • Young Coconut (Mapraow On)
  • Dragon Fruit (Kaew  Mang Gorn)
  • Starfuit (Mafurng)
  • Pomegranate (Tuptim)
  • Santol (Katorn)
  • Zalacca (Rakam)

Thailand Volunteer Opportunities

The Volunteer Work Thailand website offers a list of non-profit organization working in Thailand that are looking for international volunteers. It is a fairly comprehensive list and includes some basic information about each organization, such as what they do, location, length of stay, what’s provided.

Another place to search for job, internships and volunteer opportunities in the non-profit sector is idealist.org. The section for Thailand offers some good leads, but many are related to volunteer teaching in Thailand. It is worth checking out though and hopefully more organizations in Thailand will use this resource so there will be a greater variety of opportunities listed.

Critism of Ideas for Thailand

This article linked in the Malaysian Insider from the Bangkok Post critizes the intentions of the Ideas for Thailand campaign by the current government. The project started as a way to give Thai citizens a way to share their ideas to make Thailand a better place to live.

Over 3,000 ideas were accepted and then screened to 50 ideas. These 50 ideas will then present their ideas at Siam Discovery Center Floor 1 on September 23, 2010. The judges will choose the 20 short-listed ideas that will be broadcasted on NBT channel. The final 5 ideas will receive 100,000 in start up money as a reward for their idea.

While given a channel for Thai citizens to propose ideas that can help Thailand is great, the question is: “Will these ideas actually be implemented?” Ideas are nothing more than ideas if no action is taken. The next step would be to see if the government will support the development of implementation plans or support the people who proposed these ideas further in developing their projects.

NSTDA’s Investor Day

NSTDA to Offer a Place for Potential Investors to Buy Innovations NSTDA will hold the NSTDA Investors’ Day 2010 fair to exhibit research results, bridging “investors” and “inventors” with the idea to commercialize over 20 innovations and bringing them to the marketplace. The exhibition, which will be held on 16 September 2010 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, will be a platform for researchers to showcase their research results and receive votes from investors for their work. Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakool, president of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), said technology-based businesses are a key force behind inventions, and new innovations and technology, help to raise Thailand’s competitiveness against other countries and drive the country’s economic growth. These are the reasons why NSTDA plans to organize the NSTDA Investors’ Day fair to bridge industrial, investment and financial sectors with the science sector, paving the way for investments in technology-based businesses that will contribute to the economic growth and social development of the country. This fair will also provide an opportunity for NSTDA researchers to showcase their inventions to investors and exchange ideas with their peers, as well as to stay informed of the demands of the industrial sector to further their research and development. “There are five inventions by NSTDA researchers that have great potential and are market-ready;

1. The AquaRASD system – a closed water re-circulating system for housing aquatic animals that requires only one freshwater replacement per year

2. G-Rock – lightweight synthetic granules made from industrial waste that can be used to produce lightweight concrete blocks with high impact resistance and great insulation

3. CephSmile V.2 – a computer digital imaging system that generates ‘after’ pictures of patients after receiving orthodontic treatments and helps orthodontists plan treatments. This is an updated version of the software and can be made available as a web service

4. Easy Silk Care – a nano-treated emulsion that helps keep silk fabrics wrinkle-free, soft, smooth and easy to care for without having to dry-clean them.

5. K9 Diagnostic Kit-MDR1 – a diagnostic kit for testing pill allergies in canines.The kit will detect the “allergy gene” in canines in under 90 minutes, which is much faster than sending the tests to labs that normally takes 2 to 3 days at least.

The researchers who came up with these five innovations will be given five minutes each to present their work before allowing investors to cast their votes for the project they want to learn more about. The researcher with the most votes will be given an additional 25 minutes,” said Dr. Thaweesak. Activities at the NSTDA Investors’ Day will include; 1. A keynote address entitled “The Future of Thailand’s Science Sector in the Next 10 Years”, delivered by Dr. Veerachai Veerametheekul, Minister of Science and Technology, and a lecture on the subject of “10 Emerging Technologies to Watch” by Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakool, president of NSTDA 2. An exhibition of innovations, business negotiations and services offered by NSTDA’s partner firms. In addition to showcasing outstanding, ready-for-market innovations, the fair will also exhibit over 20 innovations by the four national research centers, which can be rapidly further developed for commercialization. The displays are presented under the theme “Better Food, Better Living and Better Energy”. Inventions that will be showcased at this fair include Nano Acne Treatment, In-Car Temperature Sensor and Thermal Alarm, Instant Plant Disease Test Kit and Intelligent Film that helps extend the shelf-life of fresh produce.

Thai Reader Project by University of Wisconsin

If your Thai learning adventure has become a struggle due to the lack of intermediate to advanced materials, check out the University of Wisconsin’s Thai Reader Project.

The authors have attempted to create effective lessons in the reading of Thai that will help learners progress from the level of basic literacy to reading at the advanced level.

The lessons are based on authentic readings of the sort that learners of Thai will encounter in daily life in Thailand, ranging from basic informational texts to such as menus, timetables, newspaper advertisements and the like, to more complex texts such as news articles, editorials and short narratives.

There are two readers with 76 lessons. Volume I is for beginners up to high readers, Volume II is for intermediate to advanced readers. These are free resources which can be downloaded as PDF files.

Learning to read Thai

Being Thai-American, I am lucky enough to be able to converse in both Thai and English. I grew up in the United States so English happens to be my mother language. As for my Thai, I have become more fluent in Thai the longer that I have lived in Thailand. I especially noticed that my vocabulary expanded as I worked and studied over the past few years. But, I was never formally instructed in Thai so my reading and writing skills are rather poor.

Recently, I have begun trying to increase my reading proficiency in Thai. The difficult part in reading Thai is that, unlike English, each word is not separated by spaces. This makes it difficult to break down where one word begins and ends. With practice, one is able to distinguish between one word and another.

There are a few good websites offering lessons on learning Thai. One that I particularly like is Thai-Language.com The website offers a lesson section with reading exercises, vocabulary building, listening exercises and quizzes. There is plenty of information for English-speakers with any level of interest—from beginners who wish to learn a few phrases before their vacation to advanced students who may be living, working, or retiring in Thailand someday.

While doing the reading exercises, I noticed that if you place the computer cursor over the word you are reading that word becomes highlighted in yellow. As the cursor moves along, there is also a pop-up showing the meaning of the word in English. There is the option to hide or show the transcription of the Thai text in phonetic English. On the right hand side is a translation of the text in English.

The dictionary section offers a few different ways to find the meaning of Thai words, including a phonemic transcription, reverse phonemic transcription, bulk look up and google translate tool. The bulk look up tool has a handy feature in that it can break down the Thai sentence into words and look them up all at once.

All in all this website offers quite a few tools to help make learning how to read Thai more proficiently an easier task. It’s worth looking through and utilizing this wonderfully free Internet resource.

Ama Custard Bun

I came across an interesting dessert today. It is a custard bun from Ama Bakery. “Ama” is what many Thai-Chinese call their grandmothers.

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Inside the box are these oval-shaped custard buns. Each bun is inside a plastic bag with a foil wrapper.

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Here’s the custard bun split open so you can see the green custard inside. The dough is very soft and the custard is sweet.

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Baan Hom Thian @ Suan Pheng

Ratchaburi is a province that provides a nice easy weekend drive from Bangkok. A major attraction in the area is Baan Home Thian (the ‘House of Scented Candles’) which is located near the kilometer 33 marker on highway No. 3087.

Baan Home Thian is a quaint photographic destination. The decorations are very retro with old items, toys, furniture and vehicles on display among the shops and gardens. The main merchandise for sale here is a large range of colorful scented candles, available in various designs and sizes. The owner makes this uniquely designed candle for local and international markets. The prices range from small (25 baht), medium (50 baht), large (120 baht) and X-large (160 baht). Don’t miss the opportunity to make your own candles at the candle making workshop.

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Directions:  You can drive only 2 hours by using Highway 4 (Phetkasem Road), which will take you through Nakhon Pathom province on to Ratchaburi province. When you reach Ratchaburi’s Muang district, you’ll see a sign directing you to turn right for the local road (No 3087).

Sing Lek Lek Tee Reak Wa Rak (A Little Thing Called Love)

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Sing Lek Lek Tee Reak Wa Rak is the story of a school-yard romance between Nam (Pimchanok Lerwisetpibol), who is mathayom 1, and older boy, Chon (Mario Maurer), who is mathayom 4.  Nam is the ugly duckling in this story who undergoes a transformation in order to win the heart of Chon, who is portrayed as the school’s heartthrob.

Throughout Nam’s transformation, she is surrounded by her three best friends. They struggle through the tough years of mathayom 1-3 while sticking together. They try to make the boy of their dreams fall in love with them by using a book which offers 9 love tips. The girls often clash with the group of pretty popular girls who are in the dancing club. This movie is filled with sweet scenes which will make you laugh and cry as you watch Nam and her friends.

The most humorous character in the movie is the English teacher, Tukkie. There is a parallel story showing Tukkie’s rivalry with the pretty dance teacher as they both try to purse the handsome PE teacher.

PhotobucketI got the t-shirt for this movie.

Release Date:  August 12, 2010

Rating:  ท ทัว่ไบ

Actors:  Mario Maurer, Peerawat Herabat, Pijittra Siriwetchapan, Pimchanok Leuwisetpaibul, Tukkie

Directors:  Puttipong Pormsaka Na-Sakonnakorn and Wasin Pokpong.

19th Discovery Thailand 2010

The 19th Discovery Thailand & Discovery World

Covering Queen Sirikit National Convention Center’s exhibition areas, the events will bring together over 750 leading local and international tour operators as well as fully-integrated tourism services, including hotels, resorts, airlines, domestic and outbound travel agents, national and overseas tourism promotion organizations, car rental companies, boat cruises, travel equipment providers, restaurants and many more. As such, this event is an excellent place to do some holiday planning and get good value for your money. It is expected that over 300,000 visitors will attend this event looking for travel packages and discounts over the weekend.

Dates: September 2-5, 2010

Time: 10 am – 9 pm