Spelunking Phu Pha Phet Cave

Derick and Summer were the youngest in the group of tourists in Phu Pha Phet cave. I thought they won’t survive the two hour walk inside the cave, well I thought wrong. As a matter of fact they enjoyed it, Summer got so fascinated by the things she saw and Derick, oh well, because it’s so dark and he gets to use a flashlight.

We came as a side trip since the cave is within the vicinity of the waterfalls we went to earlier that day. Although unprepared it turned out successful. They love it and are looking forward to spelunk again.

This time though we have to prepare some things before hand like.

  • Face mask especially if your kids are asthmatics. It might be dusty inside from loose soil or bat droppings.
  • Tiny backpacks for water bottles, face towel, and the likes
  • Comfortable rubber shoes are definitely better than open loose slippers
  • Long stretchy pants would be comfortable and it would be easy to crawl or duck if there is a need to.
  • Wear mosquito repellent lotion for protection.

For more details about Phu Pha Phet Cave Satun Thailand.

Here’s a slideshow of them in the cave

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Car Camera: Dengo

Having a car camera is in trend and beneficial. We are really not the type who would just jump in the bandwagon, but we found it useful, so we got one. Firstly, as we’re expats we could not speak the local language effectively and so explaining things is really frustrating at times. Secondly, nowadays some people would do or say anything just to get away with something, so it is better to have a piece of evidence.
We have scouted stores for the right one, by the way there are many choices to choose from, but eventually settled for Dengo Cam which is only available online. So what got us decided on this?Here are the reasons.

  1. It is a dual camera for a little over $56, great deal we thought. It has a 140 and 120 wide angle lenses for front and back respectively.
  2. It has an auto on and off, loop recording, and motion detection features.
  3. It has a built-in battery and a FHD recording resolution.
  4. Plus, installation is easy and the delivery is right on time.

Wow!

But there’s the catch.
Although the image quality is great, the recording lags all the time. We tried changing the memory card from a lowly 8gb to its maximum capacity as advertised of 32gb, then back to 8gb, and then to an even lower 2 gigabyte, it still lags. It is important that your car cam does not lag. What if an important thing happens right on the moment it lags and so that won’t be recorded.

Another is that it does not loop automatically as advertised. We found this out the hard way. We got bumped from behind and the driver initially denied it but immediately “agreed” when we told him it’s on camera. Looking through the recordings we found out that it has stopped recording two days prior to the accident. Good thing he didn’t ask for it. Whew!

We’ve learnt that aside from image and recording quality these two features mentioned above are total essentials.

Now, we know what to look for in the car cam.
Well, if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t ……….

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You’ll Be Forever Remembered H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej

 

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The night of 13th October 2016 is the quietest in Thailand history.  The King so loved and revered not only by Thai people but also by foreigners, has died.  People are mourning, and those who have been praying outside the hospital where he was admitted, cried their hearts out upon knowing.  My family and I are one with our Thai friends, colleagues and the entire kingdom in this mournful time.  His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej will forever live in our hearts.  May he forever be remembered by his kindness, good deeds, and love for his people.

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How Do Majorettes Dress Like In Your Country?

Majorettes are dancers doing a choreographed movement, baton twirling.  They perform this during parades together with marching bands.  I remember as a grader I used to envy how great they look in their glossy, skimpy dresses and how awesome to see those tricky baton twirls.  All were always excited to see them. Young girls dreamed of becoming one but were told that only selected few could become one as there are qualifications to meet like one must be tall, slim, fair-skinned (oh so discriminating!) and must be pleasant looking.

Now living in Thailand, it’s amazing to know that anyone could be a majorette.  Qualifications? Nothing like what were mentioned above. Anyone who’s interested is welcome to join.

Amazing Thailand.

And totally amazing costume!

Majorettes here look like Moulin Rouge dancers.

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How do majorettes dress like in your country?

 

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Total Solar Eclipse: Thailand

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Solar Eclipse, Thailand March 9, 2016 Photo by Ryan D.

With the sky so cloudy, the spectators did not really get to see the moon move into the path and cover the entire disks of the sun revealing the corona. The sky cleared up though as the shadow of the moon was moving slowly away from the sun.

It was, nevertheless, a good experience for kids whose experiencing it for the first time. They got to use the filters issued by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand.  They got curious about the sun and the moon; and ask many questions like. Why do we have to use this? Why is it not good to look directly at the sun? Why is the sun’s color different in this photo? Why couldn’t I see the moon?

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For me though, this solar eclipse is not as thrilling as the 1995 total solar eclipse in Davao City Philippines.  It was fascinating.  It happened on a broad daylight, so there was a few minutes of total darkness, some roosters even crowed.

There are 4 kinds of solar eclipses( total, annular, partial, and hybrid ), which of these have you already observed?

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Stylishly Versatile

After-work means going-out time for my family.  Park, mall, and the beach are few of our favorite destinations.  However, having to go home and change into something is just too tiring. It takes time, energy; and it fades the thrill and excitement of the moment.  The yehey-we’re-going-out glee is gone.  So there could be three possible scenarios thereafter. The plan is postponed, completely cancelled, or  you’d just go with the motion of doing it because it has already been planned.

zalora thailand 2

So I thought a versatile attire should do the trick.  What I needed was something I can wear in the office and yet still be comfortable wearing while strolling around with my family later.

Zalora Thailand

Recently I got a panelled Pencil Skirt from Zalora Thailand collection. It came exactly when I needed it. The timing is just perfect. Anyway, it is elegant. It is definitely comfortable, one important quality I look for in my clothing. I love that it is made from stretchable material.  A pencil skirt sometimes can feel restrictive but because it is stretchable, you can move around comfortably without looking stiff and choked. The fabric has just the right feel.  It is neither too thin nor too thick.  It feels cool to the skin.  Being in Thailand where the weather can be very hot, it is something important to consider.

You might want to check out their wide variety of skirts, or you can simply click Zalora Thailand banner at the sidebar for discounts.

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Krathong Making Contest

Loy Krathong is celebrated on the month of November.  The word “loy” means to float in English.  Krathong, on the other hand, does not have an exact English equivalent as far as I know.  If you have any idea please let us know in the comment section below.  It is somewhat like a floral “float” made from either banana trunk or bread, with a candle and incense sticks. They then float this on a river, lake, or pond.

Some schools run a contest to make krathong making even more exciting and memorable.  In the university I work with, students majoring in English were responsible in running the entire program, which started with a brief history of the celebration; followed by the krathong making; and finally the contest.  Students and staff were welcomed to participate.  Everyone gathered in the faculty hall, took the materials, and made their krathong for an hour.

 

Here are this year’s beautiful krathongs (2015)

Happy Loy Krathong!

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Reasons Why You Should Consider Educating Your Child in an International School

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Here are some reasons why parents should start thinking of sending their children to an international school.

1. Children educated in an international school are trained to become open-minded individuals.

Learning and socializing together with children of different nationalities will give our children a holistic perspective of the diversities of this world.  As early as the formative years, they learn, play, talk, and build bonds with children from different family backgrounds, culture, traditions, and religious affiliations.  This exposure instills in them great values of respect and acceptance for people regardless of their race, religion, and skin color.  This would also enrich and strengthen their love and understanding of their own culture.

2.  Teaching is relatively personalized as compared to local, mainstream schools.

How is this possible? You may ask.

Classes never go beyond 15 students (at least in the international school I know).  So within the time allotted for each subject, the teacher has ample time to look into individual student’s works and needs. With this class size, classroom management is far more easier, so most of the time is spent doing actual discussions and activities with the students.

3.  Children are prepared to be globally competitive.

Our children will run this Earth.  They are the future of this world.  In this era, the world is the market.  Businesses, companies, and industries are no longer confined within four walls.  Together with this change, is the challenge to be competitive.  Academic excellence is not enough.  Being able to speak more than two languages including English is definitely an advantage.  The ability to adjust, adapt, and deal with variety of situations involving diversities in attitude, perception, and values of people which may only be attained from years of exposure are important as the future looks like one big melting pot of culturally diverse individuals.

4.  Children in an international school acquire English Language quicker.

The rate of language acquisition differs in each individual.  But most often than not, environment exerts the bigger influence.

For Thai students, speaking English is a challenge.  Cable and TV shows, magazines, newspaper, street banners and ads are 99% in Thai.  The medium of instruction even in Bilingual schools is Thai.  Movies and famous cartoon shows are translated to Thai.

In an international school, English is the medium of instruction in the classroom.  It is the language used in the office, in the canteen, and in the playground. This is the best environment for Thai children to learn English.

 

If these reasons are important to you and are now planning of sending your kids to an international school, and you happen to live in Songkhla Thailand, or moving to Songkhla, or living in nearby cities, I might be of help.  I know of a reasonably, affordable, child-oriented international school here.  Please send me a personal message at MitchRyan’s Blog or email me at mitchelle.juaban@gmail.com. ^_^

 

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Koh Lipeh

One of the best islands I’ve been to in Thailand is Koh Lipeh.  Koh meaning Island, so the island of Lipeh.  My friends and I had a blast. We always have smiles in our faces every time we reminisce those moments.  We went there by super speedboat.  It was damn scary.    It felt like we were just gliding up and down the big waves.  There were few times when it felt like the boat was falling especially after a big wave.  I had the same feeling when I first went on a Ferris Wheel back in my primary years, which I swore never to ride again. Anyway, the ride was super fast.  It could dry your mouth, and blow your saliva into the air whenever you speak. My gosh… the wind was so strong it could distort your face. LOL!

Finally!!! Arrived in beautiful Koh Lipeh in one piece.

I love the long stretch of fine powdery sand of the seashore. All of the beaches here are not fenced, unlike in the  Philippines especially in our city of Davao.

It is public. It is for all. Even if you own acres of land fronting  the seashore, you can never own the shore itself.

 

There are so many cottages to choose from. There are cottages near the shore, and the expensive ones up on the hill.  You can always compromise/bargain with the owners. This gives us more budget for other activities we want to do.  There were four of us, but the owner allowed us to rent a cottage for two.

Night life in Koh Lipeh is exciting.  There are many restaurants and bars to choose from.  They are not very strict about the number of drinks you order. As long as you order something, they are a OK with that.

Another time-worth activities that will give you good memories for a lifetime are snorkeling and island hopping.  It’s a whole day activity.  A long tail boat will take you to different islands from any point in Koh Lipeh.  You can snorkel at the middle of the sea, or swim once you reach the islands. Be sure to bring your underwater camera, it’s totally an experience of a lifetime. I was able to snorkel in one of the islands with the help of my good friend Tom Hoffmeister. The water is clear and clean.  There were many corals and fish.

Or if you don’t feel like doing these, you can just stay on the island..lay down by the beach and watch the beautiful sunset.

 

The best time to go there is August to April.  From May to July, sea waves are gigantic.

I am so glad I was able to do this.  It felt good. I feel good recalling those days.

Have you been to any place in Thailand? Which one did you enjoy the most?

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