On the way to Phi Phi Island 2008

The Phi Phi Islands (Thaiหมู่เกาะพีพีThai pronunciation: [pʰīː pʰīː]) are located in Thailand, between the large island of Phuket and the western Strait of Malacca coast of the mainland. The islands are administratively part of Krabi provinceKo Phi Phi Don ("ko" (Thaiเกาะ) meaning "island" in the Thai language) is the largest island of the group, and is the most populated island of the group. although the beaches of the second largest island, Ko Phi Phi Lee (or "Ko Phi Phi Leh"), are visited by many people as well. The rest of the islands in the group, including Bida Nok, Bida Noi, and Bamboo Island (Ko Mai Phai), are not much more than large limestone rocks jutting out of the sea.
Phi Phi Don was initially populated by Muslim fishermen during the late 1940s, and later became a coconut plantation. The Thai population of Phi Phi Don remains more than 80% Muslim. The actual population however, if counting laborers, especially from the north-east, from the mainland is much more Buddhist these days. The population is between 2,000 to 3,000 people (2013).
The islands came to worldwide prominence when Ko Phi Phi Leh was used as a location for the 2000 British-American film The Beach. This attracted criticism, with claims that the film company had damaged the island's environment, since the producers bulldozed beach areas and planted palm trees to make it look like the book,[1] an accusation the film's makers contest. The film's release was attributed to an increase in tourism to the islands. Phi Phi Leh also houses the 'Viking Cave', from which there is a thriving bird's nest soup industry.
Ko Phi Phi was devastated by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004, when nearly all of the island's infrastructure was destroyed. As of 2010 most, but not all, of this has been restored.

Buddhist monk beaten by red shirts. A new low.

Bangkok -- Redshirts activists have dismantled the rally stage set up by anti-government protesters in Nonthaburi province today.
Supporters of the People's Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD) have previously installed a rally site, complete with loudspeakers and a stage, near the office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission in the province.
But pro-government Redshirts under the name People's Radio for Democracy (PRD) later arrived at the scene, and proceeded to dismantle the rally stage.
A leader of the PRD claimed the operation was meant to "seize back" the area from anti-government "rebels". The PRD has held rally in front of the NACC office in the past to protest the Commission's corruption case against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Although no PCAD supporter was present at the rally site at the time of the incident, fistfights erupted when a monk approached the Redshirts before berating them for their actions and making other impolite remarks to the activists.
Some of the Redshirts became enrgaged and mobbed the monk, who was later rescued from the angry mob by police officers.

Good morning Thailand. Hard Rock cafe Bangkok.

1904-Petchaburi sugar palm juice

Farmers to target Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok Thailand

About 10,000 to arrive in capital today in bid to push govt to resign; leader rules out siege of airport

BANGKOK: -- Tens of thousands of farmers, travelling on more than 1,000 farm tractors in a long convoy from the upper northern and central provinces, will today arrive in Bangkok and move to Suvarnabhumi Airport in a concerted attempt to pressure the caretaker government to resign.

They believe the government's exit would remove the legal hurdle impeding funding for the rice-subsidy project.

Meanwhile, another group of farmers plans to file a petition with the Office of the Ombudsman, demanding a probe into the government's rice-pledging scheme, as corruption is suspected to be the reason for the inability to pay the farmers.

Former Chart Thai Pattana Party MP Chada Thaiset, who represents Uthai Thani farmers, led some 15,000 farmers from Uthai Thani, Ayutthaya, Singburi and Ang Thong to Bangkok.

"I decided to lead the convoy because I feel sorry for the farmers and I am fed up with the government's lies about the payment, which never came," said Chada, whose party is a coalition partner of the Pheu Thai-led caretaker government.

Some farmers would be heading to Suvarnabhumi Airport, for a purpose he did not specify. But, they insisted that they would not obstruct air traffic or raid the airport. They only wanted to make a symbolic demonstration. After that, this group of farmers will move to other places.

Happy Makha Bucha day Thailand

Today commemorates two separate events that occurred on the same date 45 years apart, during the Buddha’s lifetime 2,500 years ago. The first event was the coming together of 1,250 monks from all locations and directions, to meet and be ordained by the Buddha. This event occurred seven months after the Buddha began his teaching. The second event, which occurred 45 years later, was the Buddha delivering his teachings shortly before his death. Both of these events occurred on the day of the full moon of the third lunar month, a month known in the Buddhist Pali language as ‘Makha’. The ‘Bucha’, also a Pali word, means to venerate or to honor. Thus, Makha Bucha Day is for the veneration of Buddha and his teachings on the full moon day of the third lunar month.

Makha Bucha Day represents a great deal in terms of the development of Buddhism in Thailand. It is a highly ceremonial event and in Thailand it’s an event that was only recently revived as part of Thai Buddhist tradition. The Supreme Patriarch of the Marble Temple in Bangkok, Kittsobhana Mahathera, did this in 1957. Before 1957, the full moon day of the third lunar month was celebrated as a Buddhist Holy Day. Because of local ceremonies that occupied this day in different parts of the country, the Makha Bucha ceremonies today take on the different flavors of the various locales.

At this time in the evolution of Buddhism and Buddhist principles in Thailand, it is important to understand how the majority of Thai people view Buddha and the Buddhist philosophy.