Page 1

Vol. I

Th9Krung

No. 7

Thep

International

Tr;p

F;ve

Chron;c::le

Edition

Khung

March 1st,

.

1989

Krabane

(Chantaburi) - Well it's ----------------------~-----------------==-~~~~--four down and two to go. We met at 9.00 to 1eave Ban g k 0 k s h0rt 1Y thereafter. Khun Wattana was our guide and Khun Sanut jOlned along. to represent our project team. Khun Yaowa, 08 from Compaq and I completed the group. -

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The Khung Krabane Bay Royal Development Study Center is located in Chantaburi, a province in the eastern part of Tha i1and. The center was founded following the visit of His Majesty The King to the area on December 28th, 1981. During His visit, He had the opportunity to observe the deterioration of the way of life of the coastal villagers in the province. The main cause be ing the destruction of the natural coastal environment, the mangrove forest. It was His recommendation that a study center be established to tackle this growing problem. TRIP SIX We had a brief rest over the weekend and start off on Monday the 9th for the NorthEast of Thailand. This time our group included Khun Suwanna, Khun Wanida, Acharn Sinchai from Compaq. We left early in the morning as it wou 1d take the better part of the day to reach the center. Lunch was quick as we wanted to make good time but it didn't prevent us from buying snacks. It was currently season for macam (ta~arind) a bean-like frult that has meat resemb 1ing a date. I got hooked on the rich

Another beautiful beachside vista. Khun Wattana, Acharn Yawaores and Khun Sanut pose in the sunset.

The trip down lasted just over f i ve hours, witn a stop at a roadside restaurant aptly called the Wi ndmi 11. Food was Tha i but the decor a little on the wooden shoe side. We we re b illeted to the house right along the beach. The surf was much stronger here and my colleagues were a little apprehensive about my urge to plunge right in. I was told that the undercurrent is very strong at this time. Well I figured Davey Jones probably doesn't have a computer so I just ran amuck in the surf. The first afternoon we were introduced to the head of the center and his staff. PHU

Khun Yaowares started the additional training while I went on a tou r of the center. Khung Krabane Bay is an interesting site which constitutes a natural resource important in several aspects. In the past the Bay and its adjoining areas of inshore water was one of the major inland fishing grounds of Chantaburi. The inner part of the Bay was made up of (continued page 2)

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acid/sweet taste. But too many of these can set your stomach a-running. Everything in moderation they told me. The NorthEast (or Esarn) is mos t hard hit by economlC woes. It suffers from a poor water supp 1y making farming difficult. Many laborers come from Esarn to look for work in Bangkok. The center is located in the midst of a large reservoir system managed by the Royal Irrigation Department. Located in the province in Sakkon Nakorn, the center has cqntributed greatly (contlnued page 4)

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2

The Krung Thep Chronicle

Khung Krabane(from page.1) mangrove forest wh1cn stretched along the length of the shoreline and inland for a depth of 150300 meters. The center is located right along the large horse-shoe bay. The mal n obj ect ives of the cente r are to preserve the mangrove forest in the area and promote job opportunities. A major function the center is to Qroduce prawn brine to sell to local farmers at a slightly lower than average price. This allows new growth in the area and generates a lot of income. It has become so successful that many major companies have setup commercial sites nearby. By this time it was getting dark and we had to start thinking about supper. The head of the center invited us out for a seafood feast. We went to a place in the town of Chantaburi proper, about a 20 minute drive. The food was at its usual state of excellence. But the prawns were huge. There were near lobster size. Oh what a 1 i fe. That evening there was a ce 1 ebrat ion in honou r of King Taksin the "founder" of Thailand. We just managed to get in some of I·····:·.·::: ..::·

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their bags for the new condo-pona down the road.

The next morning a western breakfast was served in our house. I thought for sure I would get rice SOUR with prawns instead of bacon and two. Oh well the change was good.

Then you have to feed them at the right time. I never though the little bugs were that sens itive. Nor that they were that profitable. Farmers guard their ponds from predators that walk on two 1 egs as well as those that slither on the ground. A farmer can recover his capital investment within the first crop if he is careful and a little lucky.

The morning was spent on a tour of the remaining Qroject sites. The people from the Te 1 ephone Authority were br1nging the portable telepnone equipment to test later that day. One of the interesting points was the growing of cashew trees. I nave eaten the very expensive nut often and assumed it grew 1 ike a peanut under the ground. Wrong. The cashew nut grows at the end of the cashew fruit. There is only one nut per fruit and not too many fruit per tree. I had my hand at picking one. Flrst I got coverea in the sticky sweet juice of the fruit and then real ize that there was no way I was going to get tne shell open. I gave up after five minutes of bashing the nut with a rock which resulted in flattening it but not cracking it. From there we toured a project that was just start ing. The Livestock Department is trying to see what small an1mals they can raise to provide supplementary income and protein to the villagers. The building was being cleaned and swept to ready it for the work. We met with the project coordinator and talked over some of his ideas.

The edge of the project sight 1S right along the bay. We took the opportunity of low tide to wander about and take some pictures. The bay is huge and I cou 1 d bare 1 y make out the trees on the other side.

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1st, 1989

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We packed up and drove off to the prawn farms. Prawn farmi ng is a comp 1 icated procedure I found out. killing-cells . sOme of First you have to maintain my ·fr iends blame it on the right level of salt in .th'e. ·.··<gi.:reen'fhQU·se:\ the water. You also have to watch the oxygen :··:.·:··effect~: .:f]ustt.hInk····· content of the water. You its a heck ."of lot can te 11 the air is stale when the llotter<that;ottaWCi.·····:<getting little guys start packing ...... <: .:... .: ..: :... :..::.. : .:... '. . .

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We went to a surf-side restaurant for a noodle lunch. There was a little village of fishermen just off the project site. The inhabitants slept during the day and fished for squid (nummy nums!) during the night. I had a dish with the catch of the previous evening. Good but not near spicy enough. The TOT showed up a little 1 ate but not too 1ate to connect the computer and make a call to Bangkok. Khun Wattana managed to connect to Khun Suwanna and exchange a file about the center. We then showed the staff how to connect to a BBS and down load files. Over all a very successful afternoon. Evening promised a relaxing time eating and drinking. Life does not deserve to have me lounge around it all the while. The next morning we finished breakfast and tried the communications again. Success! This stuff is getting easier and easier. We wrapped things up before 1 unch and sa, d our good-byes and thankyou's. On the way to Bangkok we stopped at a temp 1 e that teaches meditation to large groups. The wat is located high upon a hill. They have a little trolley car to ferry not so able people up and down. The main complex has five floors. Each floor is a large hall. One floor had cots to let people use the room as (continued page 4)


The Krung Thep Chronicle

- March 1st 1989

INSIGHT Well March is bringing on the visitors. I spent; a good part of Febr~ary trying ~o conVlnce my mald that it's no big deal. My friends are ok. She was a little hesitant at first. She has gotten used to my greference for local dishes and doesn't get much pract ice in ahaan tereria .

Once I had to get her straightened out there was getting my place ready. I have almost everything for entertaining folks but the place was short a few items. So I set about making a list of the things I would need. The guests namely John and Tim, Cindi and Gerry each couple coming for a stay of just over two weeks each. They might appreciate sleeping in a bed instead of on the floor. I had to contact my landperson and get an extra bed. No problem she said. The next week I had the extra bed and proceeded to arrange the room. My guest room is small and lntended for one bed. I cou 1 dei the r put the beds together or put them along side opposite walls. I f i qur ed the two guys would prefer that latter option and made it so. The next day I decided to put a picture on the wall and noticed that my maid had rearranged the beds into the "close" position. I guess she misunderstood when I sa id that the two, guys were comi ng first. Well I moved them back ana explained to her that John and Tim were good friends but not that close. Ahhhh the room looked find. Not the Royal Orchid but it would be comfortable enough. Next step the hong nam (literally the water room). A few stops at the local tha7at (market) and we had extra ~owels, glasses, and necessary tOlletrles. The living room is well equipped. I even have one of those chairs that most folks h~ve crashed out in at Party Central one tIme or another. Stereo and a limited 'l ibrar y the only thing missing was a video machine and a TV. Now I figured t.ha t fo 1 ks trave 11 ing ha 1fway around thls orb wouldn't be lnto watching the latest Chuck Norris flick so I passed on the visual entertainment. After all there would be plenty to do at night. What next I thought well Amporn takes care,of cleaning, cooking, washing and gettlng the newspapers wnat else could there be. My schedule wasn't primed for the vlsits. We had a big demo scheduled for the first week in March. So I couldn't rea 11 y take the time I had planned to take off. But at the last moment it got

3

"0

cancelled so I thought there would be problem except we slgned a contract with a company and they would require some of my time. But in the end no blg deal. The folks were probably in the mind to do a bit of travelling so I had made some tentative reservatlons. A couple of weekends by the beach never killed anybody.

There was also a trif to Singapore where John, Tim and mysel would meet up with Cindi and Gerry. Getting a ticket out of the country meant I had to get a visa to leave and reenter the country. There was a 1so someth ing about tax clearance. I handed over my passport to one of my Thai counterparts. They in turn passed ita long to the department that wou 1 d authorize my trip and write a letter for the two o t.her departments that I a 1 so needed approval from. Knowi ng that any bureaucrat ic process will take exactly one day more than the time you allow for it to finish I sent my passport in the end of January. A month and a half before I had to leave. My Thai counterpart and I waited. And waited for an answer back. She tried calling but the person wasn't in. Near the end of February we got a call asking why we hadn't picked up my passport yet. We were shocked. No one told us and when we called we were told it wasn't ready yet. The biggest shock came when I realized that tnls was just the first step. I had 1 ess than two weeks to get a 11 the paperwork finished and get my ticket. Aaack. So much for my attempt at deriving an equation. We 11 I did get my passport back. And most of the arrangements were completed in time. But that and deta i 1 s of the "Canucks Visit Thailand" are for next issue.


4

(from pa.ge 1) to the environment and general well-being of the people. There is a regional palace nearby as well. The final fifteen kilometers of the drive w ere the m 0s t exhilarating. The road cl imbed up a steep mountain and wound down from the top to the bottom in super halr-pin fashion. There was a sign saying that there was a tourist attraction about one k ilometer down the road. When we got there I saw a neatly ~roomed park in the midst of an asphalt snake twisting down the mountain. Look like a killer fairway with the putting green just up on of the slopes. A sight that must be seen to be believed. We arrived at the Irrigation Department Center just after 18.00. Just in time for a quick shower and then a pop down to grab some grub. Our quarters were in a cottage alongside a reservoir. Tne vie w was a g a in spectacular. From our balcony you could see the sun set beh ind the mountains that framed the reservoir. I was reminded of the Gatineaus, although the peaks were a 1ittle higher but no chance of snow even in January. About a hundred yards from our bunga low there was a 1awn bow 1ing track. The King's Mother has a penchant for this lawnbowls type of game and Her interest has sparked a fervour in many Thais. While we were heading out for supper there were some serious balls being rolled (and no doubt a few baht exchanging hands).

The Krung Thep Chronicle to the Royal Deve 1opment Study Center. It is located about forty minutes from the Irrigation department. The center is highly integrated with a variety of projects and activities going on. We met with the acting center chief, an engineer with a keen interest in computers. He had loads of questions and Acharn Sinchai and I hel~ed out as best we could. Our first task was to get the computer connected to the telephone and test our communications. Having an engineer was great all I had to do was let him know what we wanted to do and it was done, no problems. We then got down to the nitty gritty and had another successful mission. Our morning was spent demonstrating the communications and testing. After lunch we left to tour the center and Acharn Sinchai provided the staff with additional training. The center focused on irrigation and providing alternate income sources for the people. We toured a large reservoir that was the main source of water for the area. The 1oca 1 government had built several cottages on one side of the reservoir and set up a mini-resort. I

- March 1st, 1989

had a brief chuckle when I was told that I could rent the houses for periods of three hours. We a 1so dropped by sites that made cloth. I picked up some that could be used as pakama (men's all purpose cloth) and other pieces. They told me that the best samples were sent to the Royal Project fair at Kao Hin Sorn. I watched some of the ladies work on cloth. There was a very intr icate piece that the Qerson had been working on for over three months. She hadn't quit reached the two or three yards that I need for a shirt.I would come back in a bit. Our last stop was at a training center. The facility has only been in operation for two years and already several hundred villagers have been trained. The site is decorated with rows of flowers and some "exotic" crops are grown on an experimental basis. The NorthEast is currently the focus of the "Green Esarn" program to reforest the area. This center is well ahead of the game. On our way home we stopped at a Dalry Center. The local farmers bring their m i1k to be eo 11ected and graded. Their samples and amounts are recorded. At the end of the month they (continued page 5)

We drove into the central town to have dinner. We would be coming in for most meals as the bungalow did, ,nqt have cooking f ac i l i t i es . But I didn't mind the cooks were mostly Vletnamese who settled here a few years ago. I could have had any variety of European meal but chose to eat traditional meals instead. The even ing was cut short as we had driven along way and cou 1d use some sleep. The next morning we drove

Sitting in the morning sun, Khun Wanida, Khun Suwanna and I are sad to leave this tranquil spot.


The Krung Thep Chronicle

- March 1st 1989

5

Trip 6 (from page 4) bring their receipts and get thei r money. At the same time street vendors and store owners buy up the pasteurized milk packed in p'lastic pouches. They get them for (Baht) 2.50 and se 11 them at 3.00. We picked up a dozen or so for snacks. Milk is almost always sweetened and comes in plain, The top floor had 1 ittle chocolate and strawberry houses that were memorials f 1avors. I found the mi 1k to people donated by their sweet but not as sweet as families. Inside each were the kind I buy at my local works of art, Buddha grocer. images, paintings of revered monks, exp.ensive That evening we went for a furniture, tapestries and treat. There was a little in some wax rep 1 icas of but very famous restaurant highly revered monks. I that serve "French" beef. admi t I was foo 1 ed into I was curious to see how th ink ing that the wax they served steak with models were real. I looked Thal food but found it closely and the more went well with the rest of closely I look the more I the dishes. was convinced it was real. Who would think to put After dinner we went stubble on a man's chin. shopping and I bought up a My Tha i f riends chuck 1 ed whole lot of goodies that to themselves at my I like so much I may not bring them as gifts. I confusion. found some lnteresting Other buildings included a silk from Laos, as well as chapel (undergoing the traditional Thai renovations), a museum handicrafts and souvenirs. with artifacts donated by peop 1 e who have given up The next morning we the ir mate ria 1 possess ions decided that we had after adopting the finished our work and it strictest of Buddhist was time to do a 1 itt 1 e teachings. Included in sight seeing. We drove to this collection were money a local wat that has a (in any number of shri ne to a most revered denominations), tea monk. They displayed his serv ices, fine porce 1 a in, personal effects wooden stuffed animals, silver teeth and ai 1 and gold, rare gems, imported explained the significance goods, Buddha relics of each item. The front of stolen from other wats and the sh rine was a fresco returned here as an act of detailing his life story. conscious. It was unfortunate that we could From there we drove not have stayed longer to towards the Laotian examine everything in Border. The rice fields detai 1. were not as lush nor green as they had been in Chieng We left the temple around Ma i but they we re be ing 14.00 and arrived in harvested wlth the same Bangkok shortly after vigour. Tri p ~ive( from page 2) , sleeplng quarters durlng the fruit harvesting season. Another floor housed the central Buddha images and the platforms from which learned monks examined peoples star charts and gave New Year blessings. Another floor was a greeting hall for guests.

19.00.

WEEKEND

IN

'KAO

YAI'

As if I had not had my We stop'ped just outside fi 11 of trips. Our f r i end the park to look at a tall Khun Yak invited Gord and water fall and have lunch. myself to take a trip to There wasn't a great Kaq Yai National Park. Kao volume of water as it was Yal means big mountain in dry season but it was neat Tha i and we were not just the same. We had a disappointed. Our group fun time. Bryan accidentleft early ,Saturday. Our ally fell into the water. party conslsted of Khun It was so hot it seemed Yak, Khun Piak (Yak's like a damn fine idea. wife), Nong Nat (their daughter), the nanny, Khun We then drove on to the Ooy (our secretary), Bryan park. The drive there was (GGBsd~on),~ord,Khun Prapas ~vh~nmore ppectacular than (or s drlver) and I. ~ leng Mal. The valleys

Along the Mekong river wh t cfi divides the Golden Triangle, there lS a famous chedi (stupa) containing an important Buddha relic. The significance is that, it towers almost ten storles. It has undergone extensive renovations and additions over the course of time. The most recent was Qecause she 11 ing t.opp1 ed 1t over. Looked flne to me. The surrounding buildings were ornately decorated in a style that blends Tha i, Laot ian and Chinese architecture. We walked from the temple to the river bank. We had several offers to take us in a boat to look closer but I thought that there might be tl1e odd sniper mistaking me for a MIA seeker so I passed. The Mekong is very wide in some places anti th is was one of those places where it was. Walking back we were offered goods smuggled in from Laos. The most interesting were pots and pans made from aircraft that had been shot down. An interesting concept and my Thai friends said that old airplanes make great cookware. I wonder if its the same for the Cruise. The day pressed on and it was tlme to head back. Th is even ings suppe r was followed by a stop at a local bakery for fresh bread for the morning and sweets for the evening. We 1eft early the next mornlng but flrst stopped to feed the animals at the menagerie in the center. Following another long day on the road we finally arrived safe and sound.

NATIONAL

PARK

and peaks provide wonderful vistas.

some

We arrived and settled in to our cottage. Our first step was to pick up supp11es. Beer, Mekong, cola, lce and snacks for later. After showering we left to visit a friend of Khun Yak who is open i ng a resort nearby. The hote 1 was almost complete and there was a party that evening. (continued page 6)


The Krung Thep Chronicle

6

Kao Yai (from page 5) We arrived late in the afternoon and took up the offer of canoes and set about exploring a small stream/river. It reminded me of La Blanche when my dad, brother and a couple of friends went camping and we went paddling down the stream. After an hour or so of splashing about and getting thoroughly soaked we caTled it quits. We were i nv ited to stay for the dinner and a great fuss was pu t up when we sa id we did not want to impose. As they say the more the merrier. The barbeque was excellent. Bryan found the beef excellent (I did too and was glad he kept getting extra plates) and I help myself to plenty of sh ishkabob. We had to drive back to the park before the gates closed and it was very dark out there in the jungle so we left before the evening ended. Ou r host ins isted that we take a doggy bag to tide us ove r t ill morning. When

we

arr ived

back

at

the cottage we broke out the ~rllsky and the guitars. That combination made for out some very interesting video. The next mor n i ng took a refreshing stroll through the jungle. We arrived back at our camp to pack up to head out to a water fall. The fall was down a small valley and we had little bit of a climb to get there. We first went to the top of the fa 11sand then decided that the pool below looked very interesting. We climbed down and were amazed by the number of people escap ing the heat by the poo 1side. When we got to the bottom I rea 11zed I forgot my bathing suit. No pr051em. Khun Prapas offered me his pakama (see photo) which is basically a three yard piece of cloth you wrap around yourself and with a little tuck and twist you have a bathing suit. The water was crystal. Ice crystal. For the second time in my stay here I had been cold near to the point of shivering. But that didn't deter me from frolicking around the water fall. Water hurts. I had a bruise or two from the "hydro-massage" but it did feel refreshing. I had a few problems with my makesh ift trunks. A few times I found the piece of cloth a few meters behind me. No problem. Just rewrap it. I did have a few tense moments while getting out of the poo 1. I su rv ived and felt refreshed after my dip in the ch ill y waters. We drove back to Bangkok 1ater that afternoon. It was nice to escape the city traffic and smog but after .all my travell ing it was n 1 ce to get home and take time for myself.

- March 1st,

1989

Development News With the installation of the workstations complete and the first phase of the analysis complete the deve 1 opment of the prototype i~ nearing corn p 1 et, 0 n. A demonstration is scheduled for April 04th. A local firm, SinoBrit has been contracted to develop the system and help in the installation and training. Khun Wan;dal. involved in the p rOJec t since the first trip, has been promoted and moved to another department. We will miss her support and dedication to the project. We hope that she will attain success and happiness in her new po s it ion. She isn' t that far away (one floor down) and we can st i11 keep in touch. Khun Ooy, the project secretary, has won a scholarshlp to study in Australia. She will commence her studies at the Un ivers i ty of Sydney shortly. We will have to struggle without her help and assistance. Thank you for all your help and best of luck in your studies. A Thai-Can Joint Venture On Sunday the 29th of January, James E. (Khun Jim to those that love him) Roy married his fiancee Khun Rattana in a ceremony that start very early in the morning. After the traditional festivities in the morning the newly weds went to wa7 p~ra (pay respect) at the c t t y Shrlne and Wat Phra Kheo. I joined the festivities that evening and wished the coup 1e the best. The evening featured the water-pouring ceremony, a buffet dinner and a series of speeches from various friends of J im and Rat tana' s . My sqaush partner, Harry, thrilled everyone by giving a roasting in Thal, English and French.

The Last Word

The evening wrapped up quickly. Its a good thing too. By that time the :::-:.:.:::.,t:rf:::~·a.te1:y:::J:::.:l'$.v.eP~:~::.f:I;licl ::-t. ;i;~e t9::::··::· br i de and groom and been :::..:.pl..lt ....:~.he::.f>tuf:t;: :t0get.hE!r~:.::.I ... ha-'l~::::: ..... runn1ng around for more ....... J!\Qst Oft~e article~ .~ri1:t~n .1... than 16 hours. Best of . jl1~~.neec:ithe couple of hours to ·:f~i~;g~~!PhO~ci9~~r;i~~1."f:::.~9~~}:: wishes to Jim and Rattana. :Well I <knoSl:· I.am,·::la:te •.. Very·:iaiai::::·:· ~\.\t .·.wt.th.· ..:.al:l::.th~::·.£Ql-~$:::·d~QPP.~@: ...·..· -r.

KTC-VOLI-07-MARCH01-1989  

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