While Amazing Thailand is blessed with dramatic scenery, beaches, and mountains, it is the Thai PEOPLE who really make travel to Thailand special. FACES & PLACES is a Thailand travel blog (linked to Tourism Thailand and Tourist Authority of Thailand websites) that introduces you to some fun and fascinating Thais and farangs eager to share their favourite destinations, restaurants, attractions, bars, and other 'secret' tips with you in an easy-read 'top 5' format ...
Monday, 13 December 2010
Yuth: Great balls of fire ...
Wonderful Cha-Am Beach near where Yuth works.
Yongyuth Singnon (Yuth to his friends) has been in the hospitality industry since the age of 12. "I started my hotelier career at age 12 helping my aunt to run a bungalow in Koh Samui," he explains.
Yuth was born in, and grew up in, Nongkhai Province in north-eastern Thailand on the border to Laos (known mostly to travellers for the Friendship Bridge that links the two countries). "It was a very peaceful community with an eclectic mix of people, cultures and food."
He's still a huge fan of the place. "Nongkhai is a city that should not be missed. It is unlike other Thai cities with a wonderful IndoChina cultural mix."
Renowned as peaceful and charming, Nongkhai City is a blend of people, cultures, cuisines and architecture drawn from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China. "There is even a French influence in architecture resulting from the Second World War. Visitors can find a good baguette amongst the market of fresh produce grown along the banks of the Mekong River.”
"My home in the northeastern part of Thailand is my favorite. There are many beautiful places in Thailand, but home is where my heart is. To me, Isan people are pure and joyful with no attitude. Visitors are welcomed with a genuine sense of hospitality that emanates from the heart – without any ulterior motives. Perhaps this is partly because the cities and towns of Isan have not had very much outside influence," says the keen traveller who enjoys learning more about tourism, and understanding tourist requirements, from each trip he makes.
Now, with 19 years' experience under his belt he's working at the Alila Cha Am (www.alilahotels.com/chaam). Cha Am beach is adjacent its more famous sister beach, Hua Hin, just a couple of hours south of Bangkok.
In his spare time, all too rare for the busy 31-year old now, he enjoys reading and people watching.
Yongyuth shares his Top 5 must-dos around Thailand:
1/ Arun Residence and Restaurant: http://www.arunresidence.com "Wat Arun Templehas become a trademark of Thailand nowadays. This place is the most beautiful view point to enjoy night view of Wat Arun Temple and life of Chao Praya River. The resort with signature bar and restaurant in same place where tourists cannot miss it."
2/Nongkhai province: "Thai & Laos Friendship Bridge/ Indochina market and yearly Naga Fireballs event. The Mekong River is home to a strange, beautiful and baffling phenomenon -- the Naga Fireballs. On the full moon night of October, coinciding with the end of the Buddhist Rains Retreat, hundreds of colourful fireballs rise out of the river."
Famous khao chae
3/The refreshing Thai delicacy Khao Chae at Phetchaburi: "This is chilled rice in jasmine-scented water with condiments. A small street shop near 7-11 convenience shop in Phetchaburi fresh marketis run by an old kind man, price only 15 Baht per dish. Khaow Chae has its origins in the legends of the people of Mon, who created this special dish as a gift for the gods during Songkran. Under King Chulalongkorn’s rule Khao Chae flavoured with jasmine-scented water became a favourite in the palace, and by 1910 the Thai delicacy was enjoyed throughout the country."
4/JJ Market, Bangkok: "This Weekend Market is the perfect place for bargain hunting ... there are all products from all of Thailand.