For legal services in Thailand, contact: Korat-Legal


My friend Henk Landkroon, from Groningen in the Netherlands, has an excellent photoblog: STORMBLAST1953

Friday, March 22, 2013

Andaman Diving - March 2013

Another Andaman Sea dive trip with the wonderful vessel, MV White Manta.

First stop is Phuket to wait for transport to the boat.

I like to stay in Patong at the Tropica Bungalow hotel. It's right on the beach and just around the corner from amazing Bangla road.

But Tropica is an oasis of calm in the madness that Patong has become. It's an older hotel, but has been kept up well.

The garden and pool are very pleasant.

The entrance drive is walled with ancient style fired bricks. At the end, to the right, is the ocean.

Yes, Phuket has a brew pub: Full Moon Brew Work. This is their dark ale with a spicy Thai beef salad. The pub is located in the Jung Ceylon shopping center in Patong.

The Surin Islands.

This is a Dorid Nudibranch, probably a Chromodoris (Richelieu Rock)

Mantis Shrimp (Richelieu Rock)

Banded Coral Shrimp (Richelieu Rock)

Tigertail Seahorse (Richelieu Rock)

Batfish (Koh Tachai Pinnacle)

Harlequin shrimp (large on the left, small on the right) munching on a sea star leg. (Richelieu Rock)

Tiny sea star, maybe 3 cm (just over an inch) in diameter. (Koh Bon Ridge)

Similan Sunset

This scorpionfish fills the full frame: open mouth on the left, eyes center top, pectoral fin and tail at the bottom right. (Three Trees, Similan Islands)

Barrel anemones (Turtle Rock, Similan Islands)

Map (?) puffer (Three Trees, Similan Islands)

Giant Clam - Tridacna (Three Trees, Similan Islands)

Donald Duck Bay, Similan Islands

The White Manta is a great dive boat. the cabins are spacious and well laid out.

Hin Daeng/Hin Muang, South Andaman Sea

Sunrise at Koh Haa, South Andaman Sea

Tour leader Chris creates one of his famous three dimensional dive site maps.

Cathedral Caverns, Koh Haa

Food on the White Manta is terrific; as are the boat crew.

Clear water, beautiful scenery at Koh Haa.

Can't wait 'till next time....

Short YouTube video by yours truly.

Larger, high definition version here: Andaman Sea Diving March 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) Cambodia, February 2013

We finally made it to Siem Reap and the Angkor Wat Historical Park in Cambodia.

But first, One Night in Bangkok....

L'Appart Restaurant and Bar, Sofitel Hotel, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 

Arrival at the Pavillion D'Orient Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Lucky us. The room included a free bottle of wine to enjoy on the terrace.

First exploratory stop was sunset at the 10th Century temple, Prasat Preah Rup

This stone lintel from Preah Rup depicts the Hindu God Indra on his three headed elephant, Erawan.

Siem Reap is full of interesting bars and restaurants.  This is Miss Wong Cocktail Bar which has a Shangai 1930s theme.

Giant heads on the south gate of the Angkor Thom complex.

More big heads. The Bayon

Gallery at Prasat Ta Keo. 10th Century. The Khmers didn't use keystone arches. Instead they used Corbelled Arches in which the stones are all horizontal. 

Pre-lunch beer and snack by the hotel pool.

One of thousands of bas relief carvings at the Leper King Terrace, near Bayon.

Hotel buffet breakfast. Always a treat.

Although Siem Reap has few old colonial buildings; there are a few well preserved gems.

Ta Prohm, 12th Century, has largely been left as rediscovered with the ficus trees still straddling the walls.

Ta Prohm

Banteay Kdei. 12th Century

Banteay Kdei

Angkor Wat. 12th Century

Angkor Wat

Viroth's Restaurant, Siem Reap

Tuk Tuk traffic jam at Ankor Thom's South Gate.

This guy was a great driver. His name is Sopha Khiev. You can call him at (+855) 97 235 6780 or send him email at: khievsopha07@gmail.com 

Tuk Tuk Video

Bone jarring. Mind numbing. Boring. We toured in and around Siem Reap, including the ancient Khmer monuments and other sites, via tuk tuk. One day we went about 130 kilometers (80 miles) in one of these motorcycle taxis. Not many Khmer ruins in this video, but lots of dusty, bouncy road and other mildly amusing stuff.

Larger version on YouTube: Angkor Wat via Tuk Tuk - February 2013

Giant Stone Head at Angkor Thom's North Gate.

Warrior holding Naga at the entrance to Preah Khan, 12th Century.

Stupa at Preah Khan. Most of the temples around Siem Reap were built as Hindu or Brahman structures. Preah Khan was probably a Buddhist monastery. It still has plenty of Brahman icons.

Naga at Preah Khan

Most of the Buddha images are gone; destroyed or looted. This small bas relief at Preah Khan.

Delicate Apsara at Prasat Ta Som, 12th Century.

Lunch at a tourist spot on the way to Banteay Srei

The beautifully decorated Prasat Banteay Srei, 10th Century.

Gin and Tonic at the Elephant Bar, Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, Siem Reap

Intrepid explorer at Bung Mealea, 11th Century.

Stone Lintel from Bung Mealea depicting the Hindu Legend, Churning the Sea of Milk

Inscribed stele from Lolei, 9th Century.

Last night out. Picasso Bar, Siem Reap. Nice Sangria.