iCare Club 2010, Creative Social Business Contest

There will be nine teams of university students presenting their ideas on three different topics. This event gives teams 15 minutes to present their ideas and judges will ask questions for 10 minutes. The event is run in Thai language and is geared towards the Thai context in terms of it’s problems, participants, judges and audience.

iCare Club
Location: Hotel S31
Time: 8:00-17:00
Partner: change fusion, Ashoka, Magnolia, TCDC, BE magazine, I care

Suan Rod Fai Park – A Wonderful Park in the City

Near Chatuchak Market there is a great place for jogging, biking, swimming, playing tennis or having a family picnic. It is best known as “Suan Rod Fai”, or Train Park, by the Thais and there are several train artifacts lying around.
The park is a converted golf course which the BMT changed into a public park. Now it is a popular spot for joggers and bikers to go, especially in the mornings, to get a good workout. It is also a great location for families to spend the day. There a several playgrounds in the central area of the park, a pool, a butterfly garden and nice lakes to look at. There a many large trees which provide a shady place to sit and relax.
There is a wonderful 3 kilometer paved bike path that goes around the perimeter of the park. Even if you don’t have a bike or want to bother transporting it, bikes can be rented for as little as 20 baht for the day. The selection varies from toddler sized bikes with trainning wheels to typical bikes with baskets, mountain bikes and tandem bikes.

After you @ J-avenue, Thonglor

Enjoying some Nutella Shibuya toast at a trendy local hangout, After You. This shop offers a great selection of sweets, hot and cold beverages and even a few breakfast items.
Many of the desserts are warm concoctions topped with ice cream. The result is a delicious teat that must be eaten quickly and is better when enjoyed with a few friends.
At this shop you must order at the counter and pay first. If you have a sweet tooth, you can even pour additional syrup on your dessert. Also, try the lightly flavored iced tea that is available and complimentary.

Common Fruits in Thailand

Some Dragon Fruit sliced at the market, with a...
Image via Wikipedia

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.
Photobucket
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)

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.

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.

Photobucket

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

Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

Strategic Car Ditching to Avoid Bangkok Traffic

As a Bangkok commuter living in the suburban areas of the city, I find travelling by private car a necessity. Most days travelling to and from work is the main priority, but things get more complicated on the occasions I need to go into the Sukhumvit or Sathorn area of Bangkok.
Whenever possible, I’d suggest using the BTS skytrain or MRT subway lines if it is convient. There are designated parking lots situated at the certain stations like Mochit, Thailand Cultural Center, and Queen Sirikit Center for BTS and MRT passengers. When using these parking lots, remember to stamp your parking cars at your destination station to get the lower parking rate. One word of caution, check the times of operation for these parking lots since most close at 1:00 am. If you have not collected your car, you will have to pay a rediculous overnight fee.

Thailand’s National Museums

Bangkok Museum
Image via Wikipedia

Thailand has many national museums located in different regions of the country where you can learn about Thai history, traditions and cultures. The main museum is located in Bangkok next to Sanam Luang, not far from Wat Pra Kaew.

National Museums of Thailand in Bangkok and Central Thailand

* Bangkok National Museum ( Bangkok )
* Kanchanaphisek National Museum ( Pathum Thani )
* Royal Barges National Museum ( Bangkok )
* Royal Elephant Museum ( Bangkok )
* Changton National Museum ( Bangkok )
* Benchamabopit National Museum ( Bangkok )
* The National Gallery ( Bangkok )
* Silpa Bhirasri ( Bangkok )
* Chaosampraya National Museum ( Ayutthaya )
* Chantharakasem National Museum ( Ayutthaya )
* Narai National Museum ( Lopburi )
* Inburi National Museum ( Singburi )
* Chainatmuni National Museum ( Chainat )
* Uthong National Museum ( Suphanburi )
* Suphanburi National Museum ( Suphanburi )
* Phra Pathom Chedi National Museum ( Nakhon Pathom )
* Phra Nakhon Khiri National Museum ( Phetchaburi )
* Bankao National Museum ( Kanchanaburi )
* Ratburi National Museum ( Ratchaburi )
* Chownathai National Museum ( Suphanburi )
* Prachinburi National Museum ( Prachinburi )
* The National Maritime Museum ( Chanthaburi )

National Museums of Thailand in North Thailand

* Ramkhamhaeng National Museum ( Sukhothai )
* Sawanworanayok National Museum ( Sukhothai )
* Kamphaeng Phet National Museum ( Kamphaeng Phet )
* Phraputthachinnarat National Museum ( Phitsanulok )
* Chiang Mai National Museum ( Chiang Mai )
* Chiang Saen National Museum ( Chiang Rai )
* Hariphunchai National Museum ( Lamphun )
* Nan National Museum ( Nan )

National Museums of Thailand in Northeast Thailand

* Phimai National Museum ( Nakhon Ratchasima )
* Mahaviravong National Museum ( Nakhon Ratchasima )
* Roi Et National Museum ( Roi Et )
* Surin National Mmuseum ( Surin )
* Ubon Ratchathani National Museum ( Ubon Ratchathani )
* Khon Kaen National Museum ( Khon Kaen )
* Ban Chiang National Museum ( Udon Thani )

National Museums of Thailand in South Thailand

* Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum ( Nakhon Si Thammarat )
* Chaiya National Museum ( Chaiya, Surat Thani Province )
* Thalang National Museum ( Phuket )
* Songkhla National Museum ( Songkhla )
* Muchimavas National Museum ( Songkhla )
* Chumphon National Museum ( Chumphon )
* Satun National Museum ( Satun )

Bangkok Traffic Pictures

Here are some photos to help people visualize traffic situations in Thailand. All of these pictures were take along Pitsanulok Road heading towards Thammasat University and Ta Praatid on a Friday afternoon. I normally commute between Ratchadapisek area and Thammasat in the late afternoon. This takes roughly 45 minutes on average, but there have been occassions where it takes 2-3 hours!!

   

Colorful Bangkok Taxis



In New York the typical taxi color is black and yellow, but in Bangkok you’ll get a full range of colors from bright pink and orange to combinations of orange and green or blue and red. Taxis run 24/7 in Bangkok, although it can be hard to find an available taxi during morning and evening hours. It is especially difficult to grab a taxi when it is raining. The bright colors of Bangkok taxis make them easy to identify in the jumbled mess of Bangkok traffic.

rightMake sure you use metered taxis whenever possible as the taxi fare is calculated using a system of distance and/or time that is standard. However, if you do get in a taxi and the taxi driver doesn’t want to turn on the meter you can either get out and try to get another taxi or negotiate a flat fare beforehand. Metered taxis generally have the picture and license information of the driver posted in the taxi car. The license of the taxi is also posted in the taxi car in case you have difficulties with a certain taxi driver and need to make a complaint.