Recently in Southern Thailand Category

A Woman in a Fish Hook Dress

In October of 2003, Piyawat and I made a road trip to Kuala Lumphur, Malaysia. Over the course of two weeks, we put almost exactly 4-megameters on his Honda City. (That's about 2,500 miles, but it's much more fun to say "megameter".)

One of the coolest spots we visited was Wat Suan Mokkhaphalaram in Nakorn Si Thammarat. In one room of the temple complex, there was an amazing collection of paintings from all kinds of different religious traditions: Buddhist, Christian, Taoist, etc.

Last December, someone found my website and emailed me the following:

I have been searching for close to three years now (on and off, obviously - I'm not possessed ;) for an image of a painting in that temple that I read about in a book about feminist perspectives on Buddhism:

"At Wat Suan Mokkh, in Thailand, there's a painting of a sexy lady, her miniskirt adorned with scary barbed hooks as she slyly displays a fishing rod: she's warning of dangerous female intentions."

Do you possibly have a picture of this mural? Would you know where I could find an image of this mural?

This email has stuck in my head all this time, and when I heard a friend of mine was visiting the temple, I asked her to take a picture of the woman with the fish hook dress. She did, and sent it to me. Now, my quest is complete and I can present to you a "warning of dangerous female intentions."

fishhooks.jpg

Violence in the South

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I hesitate a bit to make this post, for fear of overly worrying people who are important to me. But it is a very important issue here in Thailand, indeed much more important than recent news stories like SARS and Bird Flu.

As most people know by now, I'm sure, over 100 people (mostly Thai-Muslim teenagers) were killed in Southern Thailand when they attacked police stations with automatic rifles and machettes. The police apparently knew they were coming and responded with much superior firepower.

From what I can tell, this is not a Muslim vs the West, Osama Bin Laden style attack. Instead, it is a rekindling of a centuries old separatist revolution. Back in the days when Thailand (Siam) was ruled by kings, almost every king had to deal with the southern, mostly Muslim provinces who wanted to either be a part of Malaysia or wanted to be an independent country.

This most recent attack happened a couple of days ago. For this entire year, almost daily attacks have been going on against monks, temples, schools, and government buildings. I haven't written anything about it before, but now the battle has been upped a notch. A Bloomberg article today said:

"A separatist group in southern Thailand told tourists to stay away from the Patani Raya region and the neighboring provinces of Phuket, Pangnga, Krabi and Pattalung."

It's definitely a good strategy for the groups. I don't know if they actually have the means to pull off a Bali-style attack on Phuket (and even if they did have the means, I would of course hope that they never accomplished it) but there is no doubt that Tourism is the Thai governments golden goose, and therefore their soft spot.

Not surprisingly, Prime Minister Thaksin is denying everything in his typical bombastic style saying that the attackers were simply drug-addicted youth who were paid off by crime interests.

Final Pics from Big Trip: Krabi and Ranong

Egg BoyI have been posting a lot of text this year, but haven't posted any pictures. I am changing that today, with the remaining pictures from our (Piyawat and my) trip to Kuala Lumphur.

The pictures posted today are ones from Krabi and Ranong provinces in Southern Thailand. You can see them in the Pictures of Southern Thailand photo album. Or, if you want to see all of the pictures from our trip through Thailand and Malaysia, see the October 2003 album.


Temple
More pics! The new batch are from the eastern coast of southern Thailand -- specifically temples that we visited in Chaiya and Nakorn Si Thammarat.

You should know the drill by now: Pictures of Southern Thailand Photo Album.

Oh, and by the way, Happy Halloween to everyone! Some friends and I are celebrating tonight by eating American food and going out on the town. Full report tomorrow...

Pictures from Ko Tao and Ko Ngan Yuan

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Ngan Yuan
Today's pictures were taken at Ko Tao and include shots from our exploration of the island by motorcycle on October 12 and by boat on October 13 (with a a close-up of a school of dolphins!).

Again, they are viewable in the Pictures of Southern Thailand Photo Album.

Pictures: Petchaburi Palace

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EmeraldWow... I have just been looking through the 300+ pictures I took on my 2-week trip through southern Thailand and Malaysia. It's going to take me forever to get them on the website, so I'll just try to do a few every day for a week or so.

So the first batch of pictures are from our first day (October 11, 2003) and were taken at the palace of Rama V in Petchaburi, Thailand (built in the 1800s). You can view them in the Pictures of Southern Thailand Photo Album.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Southern Thailand category.

Central Thailand is the previous category.

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