Merry Christmas – The Best of Beyond The Mango Juice 2010

I started New Year 2010 by missing my flight home from Bangkok to the UK. On the day of my travel from Udon Thani to Suvarnabhumi airport it seemed as if the whole of Isaan was returning to Bangkok after their New Year festivities. Travelling by car the route from Udon Thani was one of constant traffic jams and I missed my flight check-in by a mere 20 minutes.

I stayed in Thailand for a further five days during which I bumped into an old friend whilst waiting to travel on a local rural bus in Udon Thani. Travelling Thai Style With An Old Friend is my pick from January. This one comes with an amazing photograph of a real dare devil Thai bus conductor.

In February I tried to let readers know the secrets behind Thai Smiles. In difficult and embarrassing situations Thais will hide their true feelings with a smile and not shock and horror facial expressions westerners use. This post has some photographs of beautiful smiling Thai ladies but can you guess what’;s behind those smiles.

Thailand’s Scarecrows and Black Holes is my pick from March. Charcoal kilns and scarecrows caught my eye in Wonderful Wi’s village and on our drives through the rural roads of Isaan. Do you know how charcoal is produced in Thai villages, I was fascinated to find out about a method used which must date back hundreds of years.

Football’s World Cup in South Africa was less than a month away and so I decided to give readers a taste of the up and coming action with a football themed post. The Merlin’s a World Cup Winner centred its attention on my local bar here in the UK and the mystery of some missing footballs. This one’s toilet humour in the best possible taste.

May saw me return to the Land of Smiles for a three week break and a chance to catch up on my old Pattaya stamping ground and also spend two weeks in Udon Thani. Errol Brown’s Hot Chocolate band of the 1970’s and 80’s gave me my inspiration for It Started With a Kiss which I think is probably my favourite post I wrote all year. This one’s got a cute dog in it and later………click on the link and see.

During my May holiday in Thailand I was looking to buy Udon Thani Football Club’s home shirt and my search eventually took me to their stadium at the Institute Of Physical Education. Big Balls and Baggy Shorts – Winning Isn’t Everything is an appropriate name for the story which is my favourite from June 2010 and includes photos of my look at Udon Thani’s hallowed turf and stadium. This one received 12 tweets and I think it’s one of my best posts of the year.

Samantha Fox hit the headlines during her visit to Koh Samui in July. Ex page three topless model Sam and her long time partner Myra were staying on the holiday isle and gorgeous Sam got bit by a stray cat. As Cunning as a Fox’s Tale picks up the story with a tongue in cheek view on the whole pussy affair. This one proved very popular at the time and still receives quite a few hits even today.

August was monkeying around time for myself and Beyond The Mango Juice with a story about The Monkey Training College in Surat Thani, Southern Thailand. The Only Way is Up – Thailand’s Coconut Monkey’s explains about the history of the college and the methods employed to train monkeys to climb coconut trees and harvest their fruit. The Monkey Training College was that pleased with my article they included a backlink on their website.

This year’s flying by, it’s September already and that month saw me head back out to Thailand once again for another stay in Udon Thani, although my September pick focused on important matters at hand before my flight from the UK. Iris Bulbs and a Metrosexual Man is the strangely named title which recieved quite a lot of activity via the comments box. Its a story about flowers, smuggling and…..a metrosexual man.

I was still enjoying the Land of Smiles charms in early October, and the north east of Thailand was basked in an absolute heatwave requiring plenty of fluids to counteract its energy sapping effects. Fluid of the wrong sort was the subject matter of 100% Proof – Lao Khao is a Knockout Drink, a tale about rural Thailand’s most potent drink and my chance meeting with someone who’d had more than his fair share of it. This one got a lot of reaction via the comment box.

In November I put a few words together, attached some images and came up with Thailand’s Amazing and Dangerous Roads. You see some astounding sights travelling around Thailand and this post includes a few photographs of mine taken on my road travels.

December is where we are right now and today I return to Thailand for a Christmas and New Year vacation. I’m sure regular readers will have read my current essays for this month, but for those of you that haven’t, dim your lights and view The Mystery of Thailand’s Strange Creature.

From myself, Wonderful Wi and Beyond The Mango Juice, have a very Merry Christmas and we’ll catch up with you before the New Year.


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

10 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Martyn, an excellent year from BTMJ that has kept me well entertained. I’m sure there will be more of the same in 2011.

    Though hopefully you won’t miss your flight home, that is of course providing you can get away from London.

    Good luck, hope you make it safely.

  2. Hi Martyn, I only started following you blog around July so I missed out on the first half of the year. I’ll check out those earlier posts. I think it is so good having these written records online – it will be fun looking back on them in twenty years if we still have the internet then.

  3. Talen says:

    An excellent wrap up of the year Martyn, I hope you and Wi have a wonderful Christmas and New Years!

  4. Malcolm says:

    Martyn, these were some of my favorites too, and there were a few more that brought a smile to my face , I looked foward to them all and can’t wait till the new year and new stories,Hope you see the two old ladies and see what they are up to these days , I’m sure they have lots to tell . Keep up the blog I never get tired of reading them . We send our best Christmas wishes to you and Wi.
    Malcolm and Ciejay

  5. Catherine says:

    Martyn, what a wonderful 2010 you had at Beyond The Mango Juice. A hearty thanks to you for a year’s worth of wonderful reads.

    Merry Xmas to you and Wi from me 🙂

  6. Snap says:

    Martyn, Merry Christmas from Stray and I to you and the Wonderful Wi! We look forward to reading about your upcoming holiday in Thailand. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of SiamSato for the festive season 🙂


  7. Hoo Don says:

    To Mike and everyone, my flight made it just on time. I’m now here in Udon Thani. Catch up soon.

  8. Adullamite says:

    May your Christmas be all that you wish it to be dear sir!

  9. Lawrence says:

    Merry Christmas to you, Martyn. Thanks for keeping me entertained throughout 2010…

    and a very Happy New Year to you, with plenty of trips to Wonderful Wi and her coffee shop.

    All the best,


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