Thailand Blogs – January 2011 Review

I kick off my first Thailand Blogs review of 2011 with a great collection of posts from January. This is my 23rd review in the series dating back to 2009 and throughout last year it proved to be growing in popularity. I’m now receiving occasional keyword search hits on terms like ‘Mango monthly blog review’, and that’s very encouraging to see.

January was a good month for Beyond The Mango Juice as my Google page rank climbed back up to 3 after 18 months firmly stuck one place below.

All the photographs in this months review were taken on my Christmas and New Year holiday in Thailand.

Congratulations are on offer to Mike Rose and Thailand-Blogs after Mike’s excellent site scooped Thailand Voice’s Blog of the Month award for January.

My pick from Thailand-Blogs from last month is Thai New Year 2011 in which Mike and partner Duen join their local community for a joint New Year and birthday party. A Thai party wouldn’t be the same without singing and this one had an antique karaoke machine and plenty of warbling wannabes as well as Christmas presents for all the kids. There was even a fight between two soi (street) dogs.

If you like a blog written with wry witticism then Cooee is a surefire bookmark for you. Blog host Snap is an Australian woman staying in Chiang Mai with husband Stray and her posts are always full of offbeat humour or packed with information and photographs. Thai Survival Kit For Newbies is my choice for January from the lovely smiley Snap.

Why Does the Foreign Teacher Always Smell Like Peppermint – Bad Reputation Part 8 is the latest in Paul Garrigan’s series recalling his teaching days in Thailand. Paul recounts tales of English teachers ‘Brothel Breaks’ and the ‘boys talk’ about it all in after school drinking sessions. If any of you are considering teaching in Thailand then head to for an excellent guide on the pitfalls to avoid when pursuing a teaching career in the Land of Smiles.

Tweet Tweet is the theme of Women Learning Thai… and some men too in my January selection Design Flaws of Thai Nesting Birds. Catherine pushes her Thai language books to one side and sets about making good a flawed birds nest outside her apartment window. Birds of a feather may stick together but Catherine has to use heavy-duty packing tape to safely secure a Sunbirds nest to a tree. If you like birds I recommend you taking a peek and a peck at this one.

A Shooting at the Cop Shop in Pattaya is a mysterious trail of a gunshot, boys in brown, a coffee shop and Pattaya’s very own Glitterman. Talen and Thailand, Land of Smiles use foot power to go undercover and stake out a coffee-house after a tip-off about a big police raid about to happen there. The post has a glorious photograph of Pattaya’s Glitterman ‘swanning’ around Thailand’s wild child coastal resort.

Malcolm and his buddy Jerry head out of Wang Pho for two days of fishing with the song lyrics ” some days diamond and some days coal ” on their minds in So much to see and do and tell. If you enjoy seeing photographs of Thailand and especially those off the well beaten tourist trail then cast your eyes and catch this one from Retired In Thailand and Loving It.

Thais fascination with their National Lottery is the focus of Thai Life in Phana and Lottery Numbers — remember you heard it here first. A banana tree in Lawrence’s garden has grabbed the attention of the village locals because its fruit is growing in an unusual way. A local mor song (a kind of psychic) arrives and makes a blessing to the tree before gently stripping away some of its soft bark to show a strange mark interpreted as the numbers 814. That can only mean it’s National Lottery time.

Smiles in Thailand – The Land of Smiles would be the perfect slogan for a Thailand tourism campaign but teeth and toothpaste would be nearer the mark in Thailand Musings January post. Thais are famous for their flashing white-toothed smiles no matter what situation they face, but interpreting what really lies behind the smile goes a long way to understanding Thailand’s people and culture. Thai’s embrace embarrassment, regret, confusion and even anger with a smile but reading what’s behind it is a science in itself. Sink your teeth into this one and get to the roots of the Thai smile.

Staying on the subject of Thai culture, Small Insight into the Superstitious Mind of the Thai looks at Thais fear of upsetting spirits. A construction company is faced with the dilemma of an old tree (spirits are believed to live in them) in the middle of a planned new road. Do they cut it down and face the wrath of the spirits. The company comes up with a novel idea to kill the tree and hopefully ward off the spirits fury. Get into the spirit of things and jump aboard The Thai Pirate for this one.

If any Thailand newbies and wannabes are thinking of exchanging big bucks for Thai baht before flying out to Bangkok then first check out Siam Rick’s post Exchange your dollars for baht in Thailand. Behind the Noodle Curtain offers advice on ATM withdrawals and the fees attached plus guidance on travellers cheques, credit cards and cash. Getting the best value out of your money in Thailand is the theme to Rick’s advisory post.

Some restaurants names can perfectly describe their food and the one reviewed on Camille’s Samui Info blog apparently does exactly that. The Orgasmic Beach Restaurant in Bophud on Koh Samui gets the thumbs up from Camille and his family and friends who enjoyed among other delicious dishes, Grilled sea bass with mozzarella, Poppy seeds crusted lamb loin and White snapper fillet with zucchini. The restaurant’s rated the best on Koh Samui by Camille who advises to make a reservation first. You’ll get hungry looking at the photographs attached to this one.

That’s it from my Thailand Blogs – January 2011 Review and I hope you enjoy my selection of posts.


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.

12 Responses

  1. Hi Martyn, thanks for the mention and congratulations on another first rate review of the month.

  2. Martyn says:

    Paul – no problem with the link, always a pleasure reading your blog.

  3. Catherine says:

    Once again, an excellent review Martyn. And of the blogs I get to on a regular basis, you’ve chosen to share the posts I would have as well.

    I’ve always wondered how ATM withdrawals in Thailand work – I do it all the time albiet blindly – so I’m off to read Siam Rick’s post.

  4. Martyn says:

    Catherine I really enjoyed your TWEET TWEET post and I hope you get what you’re looking for from Rick’s post.

  5. Mike says:

    Hi Martyn, thanks for the mention I the review. I must have time on my hands but take a close look at the titles of our friends blog posts, you can generate some interesting sentences 😉

    I missed that post by Lawrence about the lottery too so thanks for reminding me, might tell Duen about it around the 16th of the month!

  6. Martyn says:

    Mike I haven’t had much time on my hands and so I apologise to you and everyone for replying late.

    Lawrence’s banana tree held the lucky numbers but next time…..well….keep your money.

  7. Snap says:

    Martyn thanks so much for the mention, and for being the first Thai based bloggeer to visit and frequent Cooee. Through you and Beyond the Mango Juice, I’ve come to know and enjoy many, many more Thai orientated blogs and writers.

    By the way, happy new year of the wabbit!

  8. Martyn says:

    Snap I hope Stray is recovering enough to pull a few beer cans open.

    I’m glad I was of help in guiding you into the Thailand blogs social club.

  9. Malcolm says:

    Martyn , sorry I didn’t comment the first day , BUTTTT I’ve been so busy checking out behind doors and under beds at Nam for snakes sooo she will go back home , I didn’t find any more , but with all the noise I was making beating the pots and pan together like a drum , if I was a snake I would leave too.Thanks again for the review and kind words , I didn’t post as much as I would like to lately , But the yard work and outside remodel and painting all the decks and steps and trim and urathianeing the teak doors inside and out have kept me pretty busy , But as my ole Dad use to say work while the sun is shining , it may rain tommorow . Good advice. thanks again . Malcolm

  10. Martyn says:

    Malcolm I’ve been sooo busy myself.

    I still can’t get your cobra story out of my head and it’s a definite inclusion in my next review, unless you can beat it.

    Looking for cobras under beds, that’s never going to get listed on my CV under hobbies.

    Have fun in the sun and your Dad was right about work and sunshine.

  11. Lawrence says:

    Hi Martyn

    Thanks for the emntion (that looks about as accurate as lottery number predictions, so I’ll leave it un-edited) but mostly for pointing me towards several posts I’d missed. Like everyone else, I seem to have been very busy last month, and now in Bali I have a bit of time on the net while Pensri snoozes through the morning. It seems to be the rainy season here (maybe it always is) and Pensri always says that the rain makes her sleep. So it’s blog-catching-up time for me now.

  12. Martyn says:


    No problem with the emntion

    You do seem to travel around a bit, or at least you have during the past 12 months. Bali sounds good compared to the UK right now.

    Thais seem to have some strange theories about the rain. Wilai reckons it gives her the aches, as for sleep, they seem to have the knack of that anyhow.

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