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  • LIFESTYLE

    Exploring the world garden

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 05/06/2016

    » During my visit to the Philippines two months ago, a good friend of mine gave me a bag of pistachio nuts which her sister, Pin, had sent her from the US. Pin and her family live in Delano, California, and she regularly sends food packages that includes pistachio nuts, almonds, dates and raisins to her sister in the Philippines.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Chasing waterfalls

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 23/08/2015

    » It was only 3.30pm but with rain threatening to fall at any time, darkness descended fast on Lam Nam Kok National Park in Doi Hang, Chiang Rai province. It had rained the night before and parts of the trail were slippery. One false move could easily send someone rolling down the steep mountainside to the point of no return.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Space invaders

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 02/08/2015

    » What’s in a name? It may not sound funny to you, but I find it amusing how American lawmakers could waste so much time and energy, not to mention taxpayers’ money, deliberating over what to call a fish. Last year, Senator Bill Hoffman of Minnesota was concerned that the name “Asian carp” was “hurtful” and “offensive” to some people so he sought to change the name to “invasive carp”. And guess what, the Minnesota Senate approved the bill.

  • LIFESTYLE

    A place in the shade

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 14/06/2015

    » I was enjoying my favourite phad thai at the Sampran Riverside’s Inn Chan restaurant when I overheard someone telling resort owner Suchada Yuvaboon that her family have been regular guests of the resort for decades. She said they would either spend their weekends there, staying overnight at the hotel, or drive from Bangkok on Saturday or Sunday just to have lunch at the Inn Chan. Not just every now and then, but nearly every week.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Growing farm fresh kids

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 03/05/2015

    » Not many teachers would use a farm as an educational tool for grade school children, but Preciosa Soliven, PhD, is no ordinary teacher. As the founding president of OB (Operation Brotherhood) Montessori Centre, which operates five schools in and around Manila in the Philippines, she motivates children to develop into self-dependent adults from the age of three.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Don’t waste a drop

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 12/04/2015

    » It is a Thai custom to make merit on religious and other important holidays. This Songkran, three days of celebration which starts tomorrow, you can be sure that large crowds will be converging on Sanam Luang and major temples in Bangkok and the provinces to make merit by giving alms to monks.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Taking a leaf of faith

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 08/03/2015

    » For the past several decades, Damnoen Saduak in Ratchaburi province has been a popular destination for foreign tourists wishing to see its floating market. While most visitors love it, there are those who think the market is only staged.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Living art in miniature

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 01/06/2014

    » During a trip to Japan years ago, I visited a village in Omiya, in Saitama prefecture outside Tokyo, where more than a dozen families grew and sold bonsai. “We get visitors from all over the world all the time,” Saburo Katoh, owner of Mansei-en nursery and founder of the Omiya bonsai village, told me at the time. “But the bonsai season is in October and November, when seasoned bonsai enthusiasts come to buy plants.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Despite development, Phuket's botanical bounty remains

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 18/11/2012

    » The once sleepy tin-mining town of Phuket is now a thriving metropolis, with traffic jams a regular feature of every day. If the intrepid tourists who fell in love with the natural beauty of a deserted beach called Patong, where they stayed in 25 baht a night bamboo huts in the early 1970s, were to return today, they would not be able to recognise the place with its many five-star hotels, bars and shops. In Patong the only place not overrun with buildings is the beach itself, but even this is covered from tip to tip by reclining chairs for rent.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Take it to the bank trees to plant by rivers

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 15/07/2012

    » Nick Ferren sent me an email saying that he built his house on the bank of a tributary of the Moon River in Ubon Ratchathani. ''With the flooding, the soil at the bank should be protected,'' he wrote.

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