HMONG TRIBE AND NEW YEAR MARKET

One of the places I always make sure I visit when I travel is local markets.  Why?  Because it is one of the best way to learn (more) about the culture there.

Towards the end of my Rosa’s Road Trip in Phetchabun, Thailand, we decided to pop by to see how the “Hmong” tribe were getting down for Thai New Year.  

The Hmong is an ethnic group from mountainous regions of China, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Read More

VIBRANT COLOURS OF CHIANG RAI FLOWER FESTIVAL 2015

Winters are beautiful, cold and white, but without a single flower in sight.

I found myself waking up in Chiang Rai, where Thai people travel to in our cold season to experience something somewhat close to “Winter”.   The “wintery” weather here isn’t so cold but cool enough for certain types of flowers—categorised as winter flowers among the Thais—to blossom.

A van picked me up from the Dusit Island Resort and headed straight down to one of the landmarks of Chiang Rai city, “Tung Garden”.  This was where the vision of varying vibrant colours struck me, and that vision was real.
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COOKING A THAI SEAFOOD FEAST WITH KHAO KOR LOCALS

It was our final night of at Saiphin’s hometown in Khao Kor, and we all knew it was going to be epic.

Nearly 20 people gathered up at Saiphin’s house as we started to prepare ingredients for our cook-up session.  Prawns, squid, kaffir lime leaves, coriander root, lemongrass, garlic, chili, basil, galangal and so on–I predicted a Thai seafood feast and I was right.Screen Shot 2558-12-20 at 10.52.51 AM

Saiphin announced that we would be making three dishes that evening: stir-fry prawns with curry power, stir-fry squid with chili & basil, and the famous tom yum prawn.  I can say that these three are common every-day dishes found anywhere in Thailand, whether you are at a fine dining restaurant in Bangkok or at a street vendor with sticky tables by the beach. Read More

THAI-LAOS CULINARY TIME WITH KHAO KOR LOCALS

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Having arrived at Saiphin’s house in Khao Kor district in Petchabun province, Thailand, I found myself surrounded by the laughter and joyful smiles of Saiphin’s friends and family.  It had been a year since she last visited her hometown, so we all were greeted by over 40 people from her local area.

Being known as the best chef in town, Saiphin took no time to wind down;  she headed straight to her mother’s kitchen at the back of her house.  Excited to get to learn to cook with the locals and for the locals, Read More

FRESH COLOURS OF LHOM SAK FRESH MARKET | PETCHABUN, THAILAND

This was the start of our Rosa’s Road Trip.  

Our road trip van came to a stop.  I woke up and realised we had arrived at Lhom Sak Fresh Market in Petchabun province, Thailand.

The sun had just risen, but the market had been awake for a few hours already.

First there was a light whiff of typical fresh market odour mixed with the smell of exhaust fumes from delivery motor bikes.

A few more steps forward and we were greeted by the scent of greens and spices. Read More

LA CHAMPAGNY WAS A CHALLENGE

To ski, or not to ski.  That is the question.

I got an invitation from good family friends to join them on their ski trip in France back in April 2014.

I am a boarder.  Snowboarding is hands down my most favourite sport.  Back in the days when I was finishing my high school in Vancouver, I would go up to Cypress mountain every other week or so and board until the mountain closed.  After leaving Canada in 2004, I never got the chance to go snowboarding, but I every single day I daydreamed of riding fresh powder.

Then the invitation came.  Saiphin and Alex are my very good friends despite the almost-20-year age difference.  They and their friends take their children on a road trip to France every year to ski, and that year they planned to go to La Champagny or Champagny En Vanoise. Read More

THE WORLD AT YOUR FEET

Certain things are difficult to explain in words.  The sensation you get when you are diving through fresh powder, racing down a steep mountain is one of them.

Skiing/Snowboarding is a sport to many people.  To some, it is so much more.  There is something about being up there in the mountains.  You can take the ski lift up to the same peak every morning and you will still be in awe seeing what surrounds you. Read More