Thursday, 7 December 2006

Thai Villagers told to call off Tiger Hunt

Nice to hear that there are a few remaining in the area, depite the odds. ....

Bangkok Post 26th Nov

Locals say big cat ate their buffalo, cattleBy Subin Kheunkaew

The chief of Sri Lanna National Park yesterday told troubled Chiang Dao villagers to stop hunting a tiger they believe has eaten their buffalo and cattle. "Tiger hunting is against the law. The villagers were advised to raise their cattle well away from the park for safety reasons," said park head Amporn Panmongkol.

The park covers 800,000 rai of mostly mountainous terrain. Located 40km north of Muang district, it spreads across three districts _ Phrao, Chiang Dao and Mae Taeng. Inkaew Sompan, kamnan of tambon Lhongkod, said villagers were petrified after a search for a lost 300kg buffalo, left grazing near the park, turned up nothing but a carcass on Nov 2.

"After hiding in a bush with another cow left as bait in the same spot, villagers spotted a two-metre-long tiger," he said. The site was only 1km from their village. At the end of their rope after losing four buffalo and five cattle in less than a month, troubled villagers formed a hunting party, but it returned empty-handed, Mr Inkaew said. "Three cows were recently gorged in one day with their carcasses left behind as usual," he said. "I feared for our safety so we went to seek help from park officials."

Mr Amporn said the kamnan did the right thing by approaching him because their hunting expeditions could have taken a deadly turn.

Go to the cafe-cafe, I do!

Opened this year in Chiang Dao is Damien's (French) and Mui's (Thai Yai / Shan) Chiang Dao Cafe - Cafe (I don't know how to do e acute)

It's just opposite where the bus boys push people out of the Chiang Mai - Fang or Chiang Mai Tha Ton bus if foreigners ask for "Chiang Dao".

They do great coffee, have good burgers and a respectable array of fast food both farang and Thai, and even a an exotic Shan Bolognese (highly recommended).

Motorbikes for rent too.

You'll find me there most lunchtimes playing Winning Eleven (Playstation 2 football / soccer game) over a soda/ lime and eating one of Mui's spicier dishes, all finished off with a teeth-grindingly good double espresso.

Damien is usually sober during the daytimes - but very entertaining some nighttimes!

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Google penalty / ban - win/ win lose / lose

As a result of being penalised by Google in a desperate attempt to drum up a bit of trade my Adwords spend has gone through the roof.

Google has a win/win situation

Guess that leaves me with lose / lose


Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Thank You - Chiang Mai Tour

It's always nice to get some positive feedback .....


Recently I visited Chiang Mai with my family and booked tours over the internet with your company - . Although my travel agent in Western Australia had not heard of this company or dealt with them in the past we took a chance and hoped that the details on your internet site we as good as they said.
Well we were more than impressed with the quality and service provided by your company and had a trouble free and enjoyable stay in Chaing Mai thanks to you.
We have travelled a fair bit and your company was one of the best we have dealt with, our guides and drivers for the days were fantastic.
Thank you again for your quality and proffesional service, we have recommended to Harvey world travel who is our travel agent in Australia to encourage their clients to use your company as they will not be disappointed.

Thank you again. Kim

Bangkok to Chiang Mai Flights

Budget Airlines operating Bangkok to Chiang Mai Flights (and back!)

Fly 1 2 Go

Nok Air

Air Asia


Non- Budget airlines aoperating Bangkok to Chiang Mai ...

Thai Air

Bangkok Airways

Google Penalty

The reason I could start this blog was because I had a bit more time and didn't know what to do.

(actually I've meant to get around to it for the past few years)

The reason I have more time is that 24th November 2006, "black Friday" and it's subdomains plummeted down the rankings without warning.

As of today they are still languishing way below the key front 2 pages.

I have subsequently found links to some nasty websites buried in a neglected forum which I have removed (in fact the whole forum will be removed).

I have also toned down some of my attempt at world domination selling hotels (over ambitious from the start maybe).

Now I, the staff at and all the people around here who directly and indirectly gain employment via are waiting and hoping for a return to pre Black Friday.

My situation is probably similar to that detailed on the following blog ...

Do I hate Google? - not yet. They seem to have a better / fairer attitude than most big companies.

Do I think that an external body ought to be policing them? - yes.

Why? - Google have such total dominance worldwide in search that the merest whim or tweak of their algorithm sends thousands of companies and peoples livelihoods to the wall.

They have a policy of not giving too much away so that people don't copy their algorithm or find new ways to cheat their way to the top. There must inevitably be times when information / guidelines cannot be clearer because it conflicts with business interests and the best interests of their shareholders.

I am also disappointed that having been a customer of their Adsense and Adwords programs almost since the start that no loyalty or special dispensation to respond specifically to my emails.
I have not been treated like a customer.

Google have the funds to be able to send emails to longterm customers and have humans who can distinguish between blatant spammers who can determine what a website is doing. I think hiding behind the secrecy stuff too much is a smokescreen.

"Running a business has risks, as does having all your eggs in one basket, but if theres only one basket it's tempting to just eat the chicken and forget the eggs." - Stuart Cavaliero on Google

Lampang Ceramic Fair

Lampang Ceramic Fair

1st to 17th December 2006

At Lampang Municipal Stadium, Call 054-226300

This annual ceramics fair in Lampang is an absolute treat. Ridiculously low p ri c es with all the latest products and designs from Lampang's numerous factories.


Jazz Royale Festival - Chiang Mai

Jazz Royale Festival

14 th -15 th December2006

At the area in front of the Chiang Mai University 's Art Museum 053-248604, 053-248607 or hotline 1672. A Royal Jazz Festival to bring HM the King's musical intelligence to the world, will be held with jazz artists across the world including Kenny G, McCoy Tyner, Nancy Wilson, Chris Botti, Regina Carter Quintet, and The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band jointly performing jazz concerts in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Phuket respectively. They will also perform some of HM the King's compositions. Tickets concert are B1,500 and can be purchased at the TAT office and Thai Ticket Master. All proceeds will be presented to HM the King.


Chiang Mai to Pai Flights

Direct Chiang Mai – Pai Flights

Siam General Aviation Co., Ltd. which operates the SGA Airlines is preparing to launch daily flights to Pai, Mae Hong Song in January 2007. The scheduled date for its first flight is the 15 th of January and the flight will operate once a day. The aircraft has a capacity for 12 passengers. The fee for the flight is B1,450 one way. The SGA Airline is also preparing to launch flights from Chiang Mai to Phrae and Chiang Rai too but the fee for both routes is still under consideration. The runway at Pai Airport is 710 metres long and 18 metres wide and will be extended to meet the standards of flight safety operations which requires it to be 1000 metres long by January next year.

For more information on the new routes or bookings, please call 02-6414190 or


Update: 11/7/2011 Chiang Mai to Pai Flights suspended, but will be re-instated at an unspecified time in the future.

Monday, 4 December 2006

Really Responsible Travel

Really Responsible Travel

The travel industry is falling over itself to say how "responsible" it is. is proving very successful.
Lonely Planet has an extensive blurb about travelling responsibly. Many others are doing similar things. They are pretty much all based in wealthy Western nations.
The crux of their claims for "responsibility" is promoting smaller businesses in destination countries. Very worthy, I wholeheartedly agree with this aim.
However, their advertising and affiliate links (on Lonely Planet) are pulling the commissions from peoples hotel / tour / car hire etc. bookings made through their website back into the wealthy countries where they are based, with the poorer destination country missing out on a considerable potential source of revenue.
The internet gives individuals the option of, and power to be being "really responsible". They can book the flight only from their own country, and then find online travel agencies based in their destination country to book hotel rooms, car hire, tours etc.
People will need to do a little research to find out where companies are registered, and that they are legitimate, but in many cases it is not that difficult.
As an example of the problem if you type in "Bangkok Hotels" in Google you will find many non-Thailand based companies in the top 50 rankings.,, are amongst the higher profile companies.There are many reputable Thai based online agencies offering very competitive and reliable booking for the same hotels.
I'm sure that these companies would struggle to come up with a decent answer if you were to suggest that people should use the power of the internet to "shop locally" when booking their travel. They will probably point to their marketing efforts / expertise and expense but much of this is unneccessary with the internet, and a few honest well intentioned soles proividing guidance.
I'm sure many individuals have not even considered this aspect of where their money is going, but would think about it for their future travels.

Important notes:-

I am biased, and have a vested interest in this issue. I run an online travel agency in Thailand I also operate tours and treks in Northern Thailand

However, I am genuinely concerned that the marketing might of the International "big boys" coupled with Googles almost total dominance*, may squeeze out local enterprises, and mean that less wealthy nations may miss out on an opportunity to retain more of the benefit from having visitors.

I am also hypocritical because I sell hotel rooms for countries which are probably poorer than Thailand. I am open to offers on a country by country basis.

* Googles total dominance and the unfortunate affects it has is a totally different story

Chiang Mai Weather / Chiang Dao Weather

Please see the following page for Chiang Mai weather ...

For Chiang Dao you can normally take off 2 degrees.

If you are trekking, nights up the mountain in the villages can be another 1 or 2 degrees off that.

Malaria, Hepatitis in Chiang Dao?

Q. .. Also, is it necessary to get any types of shots? I'm guessing no because you seem to be in a fairly cvilized area but when I told someone I was going north of Changmai, they said "oh you should get hepatitis and malaria shots. I can't believe this but your confirmation would be appreciated, The rest of our vacation includes Bangkok, Changmai and Phuket so I had not planned on gettig any shots.

A. I am not aware of any specific health risks in this area (and we do make it my business to be aware having a young family).

I don't know exactly what health precautions are currently advised for Thailand as a whole but I don't believe that visiting the Chiang Dao area requires anything additional.

With regards to malaria ...I am not a doctor or medical expert so I wouldn't want anyone arranging their healthcare solely on my thoughts. But, personally I don't and would not take Malaria pills for coming to Chiang Dao area. I have only heard of one instance of malaria in the last two years, and it's unlikely that that came from here. The locals would be the first to get, and know about any Malaria and it just seems as if thankfully there is none where we are or where we visit on our tours / treks.Taking precautions like wearing insect repellant at all times, and covering up at dusk are advised.

Chinese New Year Dates

Dates for Chinese New Year
18th February 2007
7th February 2008
26th January 2009
14th February 2010

Chiang Mai to Siem Reap

Q. My husband and I are travelling to Chang MAI ON 23 December. We are interested in flying from Chang Mai to Seam Ripp on 28th or 29th and than to BANG Kock on the 1th januari. Is it possible and can you help us?How much and what airlines?I appreciate it if you get back to us as soon as possible.

A. I believe that the only way to fly Chiang Mai to Siem Reap is via Bangkok with Bangkok Airways

Not a budget airline a "Boutique Airline" in the same way that is a "Boutique website" -

note: not that takes you to a spammy holding page - maybe Bangkok Air can't afford to buy this domain

Friday, 1 December 2006

hello world - test

is this thing working ?