Monday, 15 December 2008

Abhisit Vejjajiva : Thailand's 27th Prime Minister

Abhisit "Mark" Vejjajiva (born August 3, 1964), a Thai political figure, has been the leader of the Democrat Party since February 2005. The House of Representatives of Thailand today, elected him the 27th Prime Minister of Thailand.

Abhisit was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England to Dr. Athasit Vejjajiva and Dr. Sodsai Vejjajiva; he is a lifelong fan of Newcastle United FC. His parents were both medical professors. His father was also a politically influential technocrat and had once served as Deputy Minister of Public Health. After studying at Chulalongkorn University’s Demonstration School, he transferred to Scaitclife School and Eton College.

Abhisit was admitted into St John's College, Oxford, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree (first class honours) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He taught briefly at Thailand's Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, but returned to Oxford to pursue a Master’s degree in Economics. He then became a lecturer in the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat University. He also earned a Ph.D. degree in Law from Ramkhamhaeng University in 1990.

Abhisit married Dr Pimpen Sakuntabhai, a former dentist and now a lecturer at the Department of Mathematics at Chulalongkorn University. They have two children.
The Vejjajivas are a prominent family of Thai Chinese (Hakka) origin who maintained good relationships with the Thai ruling elite from as early as the late 18th century. Abhisit himself is a fourth-generation Thai-Chinese.

He has two sisters. One, Professor Alisa Wacharasindhu, a leading child psychiatrist and her sons (Tom and Tim Wacharasindhu) attended Winchester College and Eton College. Another one, Ngampun Vejjajiva, is a leading Thai author.

Abhisit began his political career in 1992 as a Democrat MP for Bangkok constituency. He was reelected to the same seat in 1995 and 1996. In the elections of 2001 and 2005, he returned to parliament as a Party List MP for the Democrat Party. He has served as Democrat Party spokesman, Government spokesman, Deputy-Secretary to the Prime Minister for Political Affairs, Chairman of the House Education Affairs Committee, and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office.

E-saan Fung-Thon [E-saan in Thonburi]: Halal Thai cuisines in Bangkok, Thailand - Arun Amarin, Pinklao

Click on map to enlarge.

The E-saan fung-Thon Restaurant, which serves halal E-saan (Thai Northeastern style) cuisines is located across the Chao Phraya River via Pinklao Bridge, Bangkok. Go across the Pinklao Bridge and turn right at the traffic lights on Arun Amarin Road, towards the RamaVIII Bridge. Keep left as the restaurant is on the left about 50 metres from the traffic lights. It's just next to a small lane going into the compound of Valentine Massage. If you take a cab, mention 'Walentai Pinklao' which is actually 'Valentine Pinklao'.Khun Noi, a business partner of E-saan Fung Thon greets customers with a big smile.She speaks English well.

The cozy dining area of E-saan fung-Thon Restaurant. It also has a private dining area and a musolla on the first floor.
Food elevator as the kitchen is upstairs.

Here comes our order.

The shrimp tom yam (tom yum koong) simply superb. If you cant take spicy stuffs like me, dont forget to mention "mai phet", which means not spicy. It's still a little spicy but palatable for me. If you dont mention this...ooohhhh it would be fiery spicy!!!!.....and I definitely will not be able to enjoy it...

The fried chicken with garlic and hot basil leaves-kai thot kap bai kraprao, which costs 90baht is very delicious. Keiron loves this dish. A must-order dish whenever we dine here.

Deep fried fish with mango salad-plaa thot kap yam ma'muang.
Three flavoured Seabass- plaa krapong saam rot Catfish salad(kerabu ikan keli)-plaa dook fooShrimp frittersSquid frittersDeep fried cow tongue- lin thot

Tripe salad ( kerabu perut lembu)

Chicken with cashew nut Tomyam 'ayam kampung' @ village chicken (tom yam kai baan)

Mixed vegetable (phat phak ruammit)
The result of a wonderful dinner!

257/10-11, Arun Amarin Crossroad
Khet Bangplad,

Telephone: +66 2 433 2839
Telefax: +66 2 886 8165

E-san fung Thon also offers delivery service. The food ordered will be sent via 'motorsai' and you just have to pay the price of the food plus the 'motorsai' fare.

* Prayer room is available

The New World City Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand


Sara restaurant

The New World City Hotel (a Halal hotel) is owned by a Muslim couple which makes it suitable for Muslim tourists in Bangkok. Although it doesn't serve alcohol in its premise, it's very much preferred by non-Muslim travellers because of its location and reasonable room rates when booked on-line.

The hotel is situated in the historic area of the city. It is not far from the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew Temple, and within walking distance to the Banglumpu shopping area and popular Khao San Road.

It has 172 modern, bright, well appointed en-suite bedrooms : 3 Suites, 54 Deluxe, and 115 Superior. All rooms have windows and balconies, private bathrooms with hot & cold showers, telephone with IDD, TV, and refrigerator.

There's also a surau on the ground floor.

Sara Halal Restaurant offers Thai, European, and variety of Asian cuisine.

For further info and online booking, kindly visit:

p.s.: Walk in rate is much higher: Superior for 2pax-THB1700; Deluxe for 2 pax-THB 2500

Check out their online rate here.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Stir fried sea prawn with grated coconut and egg

500 g fresh sea prawns (udang kertas)
100 g fresh, grated coconut
20 chili padi - chopped (up to your preference)
fresh corainder & spring onion - chopped
jucie of 2 limes
2 eggs omelette - finely shredded - add light soya sauce when making the omelette
90 g butter or more
sugar, salt and pepper to taste

Chopped fresh coriander, spring onion & chili

Fry grated coconut till light brown and put aside.

Shredded omelette

Fry fresh prawns in hot oil till crispy. Put aside.

Melt butter and add grated coconut and fry for a while.
Add in coriander, chilli padi and spring onion.

Add in the shredded omelette, lime juice, salt, sugar and pepper and mix well.

Finally add in the prawns.

Ready to be served with hot, steamed rice.

Thank you very much Auntie Ani for sharing this recipe with me.
Hmmmm it's very yummilicious.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

My new toy: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300

Thank you sweetheart for getting me this cammy. I love ya!!!!

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300

Basic Specifications
Resolution:13.60 Megapixels
Lens:3.00x zoom(35-105mm eq.)
Viewfinder:Optical / LCD
LCD Size:2.7 inch
ISO: 80-3200
Max Aperture:2.8
Mem Type:MS Duo / MS PRO Duo
Battery: Custom LiIon
Weight:6.5 oz(184 g)
Overview by Mike Pasini
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 features a 13.6-megapixel 1/1.7-inch CCD image sensor which is coupled to a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar-branded 3x optical zoom and a 2.7-inch LCD display.
The Sony W300's 35 to 105mm equivalent lens incorporates Sony's Super Steady Shot optical image stabilization to minimize blur caused by camera shake at slow shutter speeds. Other W300 features include ISO sensitivity to a maximum of ISO 3,200, a Memory Stick Duo/PRO Duo card slot plus a not-so-generous 15MB of built in memory, and power from a proprietary lithium-ion rechargeable battery. The Sony W300 also offers high-definition component video output, via an optional proprietary cable or cradle.

The Cyber-shot W300 includes Sony's face detection technology, not only capable of detecting up to eight faces simultaneously, but of differentiating between adults and children, and of automatically triggering the shutter when your subject smiles. Sony's system is linked not only to the Cyber-shot W300's autoexposure and autofocus systems as in most similar systems, but also to white balance and flash metering as well, allowing the camera to ensure proper flash exposure and pleasing flesh tones.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Halal food on Koh Chang (Elephant Island), Trat, Thailand.

So far we found three halal eateries on the island:

Bobby's Food is on Khaibae Beach, 2 minutes' walk from Sea Breeze Bungalows and opposite of Morgan Tour. It serves rotee (roti canai) with all sorts of filling. The rotee is usually served with condensed milk and sugar on it-the Thais love it this way. So, make sure to mention that you don't want milk and sugar on it if you dont want it to be sweet. You can say "mai sai nom, mai sai dtum tan". But not to worry as the girl who prepares the rotee speaks English.

Look at the rotee menu on the board.

I luv goong!!!

Bobby's Food also serves ala carte Thai dishes. The tom yum goong(shrimp) sai pla meuk(squid) and the deep fried Siakap with chili sauce are marvellous.
And guess... who's the cook????...he,he,he....

Next, we found this seafood reastaurant called "Jay Mam" which is owned by a Thai(Buddhist) but the workers are mostly Muslim. There's no halal sign though but I met the three cooks who are all Muslim and assured me that the food served is Halal.
The name of the restaurant is written in Thai, so you need to remember how the restaurant looks like. It's located on Klong Phrao Beach, on the left if you going towards Khaibae Beach, between Klong Prao Wat and Amari Cove Resort.

The live seafood is placed in this pond. Sorry, no more left for the day as it has all been booked.
It's good to come earlier in the afternoon to book the seafood of your choice and come later to enjoy the cooked dishes.

Superbly flavoured Tom yum potek (mixed seafood): 150baht (RM15)

Hoy(lala) with chili and basil leaves : 120baht

Steamed Siakap : 400baht (RM40)

Pla meuk yang (grilled squid) : 130baht(RM13)

Besides all these dishes, we also had fried crab with curry paste : 250baht (RM25) and
Pla kapong samrod (kerapu 3 rasa which was too sweet for me): 180baht (RM18) and
a large plate of khao phad poo (crab fried rice) : 150baht (RM15)
(Sorry, I couldnt find the pictures of these dishes. I might have been too excited when the dishes came that I forgot to snap the pictures)

And here are the three lovely Muslim chefs:
Zailanee, Rohaya and Rozita (at the edge of the picture behind Rohaya-
you can only see her back).
Thank you very much for preparing a wonderful dinner for us!

The third Halal restaurant is an Indian restaurant on White Sand Beach called Taste of India Inn. We didnt try the food as we were not interested in having Indian food on the island.

Thailand Public Holidays Calendar - 2009

Thursday, January 1 2009 : New Year's Day
Friday, January 2 2009: New Year's Day additional holiday
Monday, February 9 2009 : Makha Bucha Day
Monday, April 6 2009 : Chakri Day
Monday-Wednesday, April 13-15 2009 : Songkran
Friday, May 1 2009 : Labour Day
Tuesday,May 5 2009 : Coronation Day
Friday,May 8 2009 : Visakha Bucha
Tuesday July 7 2009 : Buddhist Lent
Wednesday, August 12 2009 : H.M. The Queen's Birthday
Friday, October 23 2009 : Chulalongkorn Day
Thursday, December 5, 2009 : H.M. The King’s Birthday
Tuesday, December 10, 2009 : Constitution Day
Tuesday,December 31, 2009 : New Year’s Day