Introducing Pakse, Laos

In this episode, Rod first crosses the border into Pakse, Laos near the Thailand town of Ubon Ratchathani. Exploring the multicultural influences (French, Chinese and more) of the area, we learn that “Pakse” refers to the mouth of the river.

Discover how two fellow Aussies (Tim and Meredith Shaw) are traversing the nation. Hint: According to Meredith, it is “better than Jenny Craig.”

The Lao-Nippon bridge is quite impressive, as you will see, opened as recently in the year 2000 and a gift from the Japanese. A glimpse at a former “private residence”, now a hotel, which boasts “1,000 windows” is demonstrative of the luxuries of previous regimes.

Xuanmai Guest House, Rod’s home away from, a brand new and on the edge of town, is quite charming, with its own pond, and a lot of bamboo!

FROM TOURISM LAOS:

Located : on a curve of the Mekong River
Total area : 3,920 square kilometers
Population : 610,000
09 Districts : Chanthabouly, Sikhottabong, Xaysettha, Sisattanak, Naxaithong, Xaythany, Hadxaifong, Sangthong and Park Ngum
Capital : Vientiane.

According to myth, the city of Vientiane was created by the Naga Souvannanak. Vientiane was an ancient city whose territories covered both banks of the Mekong River. The first name of Vientiane was “Ban Nong Khanthae Phiseuanam” village, which later became “Vientiane” town under the leadership of the first Governor, Bourichan or Phraya Chanthabouly Pasitthisak, between 430-120 B.C.

In 1357 King Fa Ngoum held a grandiose celebration for the great victory of the unification of all Lao territories enhancing his prestige and power over the nobility throughout the Lane Xang Kingdom and the neighboring kingdoms. It was organized in the Pak Pasak area in present day Vientiane.

In 1560, King Saysettha moved from Luang Prabang to declare Vientiane as the capital city of the Lane Xang kingdom, naming it “Nakorn Chanthabouly Sitta tanakhanahood Outtama Rajathany”

During the reign of King Souliyavongsa Thamikarat in the 17th century, Vientiane grew to become one of the most developed civilizations. The city was the center of administration for politics, socio-economics and culture. The kings were brave, clever and kind and people were happy. The palaces were very beautiful, looking like golden houses standing along the bank of the Mekong River.

However, Vientiane was burnt down by Siames troops in 1828, and divided into two cities. The city on the right side of the Mekong River became part of Siam and the city on the left side remained part of Laos. At present, Vientiane is a smaller city, only half of its former size.

In the years of 2009 and 2010; two great historical events take place in Vientiane. In 2009 we hosted the 25th annual SEA Games and in 2010 we held a celebration of the 450th anniversary of the foundation of Vientiane as the Capital (1560-2010). To prepared for the above auspicious events Vientiane people have continued developing the city to be peaceful, clean, green, charming, light and civilized.

…From http://www.TourismLaos.org

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May 17, 2013 · 2:23 am

Chasing Waterfalls Near Pakse, Laos

In this episode Rod begins with a breakfast at a quaint hotel and then explores a local apothecary for local medicines; street food stalls and souvenir shops; a water fall and a famous tree, and more!

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May 17, 2013 · 2:19 am

Exploring Vientiane, Laos

In this episode, Rod first discovers the coffee culture of this capital city, a city that seeks to preserve and celebrate its connections to many cultures—French, German and more. Many of the historic buildings are in fantastic condition. This piece showcases the many eras of Vientiane. And what does Vientiane have in common with Beverly Hills? Watch and find out.

Enjoy the tour of Wat Sisaket as well—the most famous and oldest wat in the region. Not too far away, the Phat That Luang Stupa, golden in the sunlight, reaches skyward above the city. Does the local currency include coins? Find out!

See the most-stunning victory monument as well, built after freedom from the French occupation. And what a view from the top! Rod also shows us the architectural magnificence of the Arc Patuxai followed by a walk on the boardwalk along the Mae Kong river. And the sunset. Wow! Rod wraps up his journey on the Thai side of the river in Nong Khai.

What an adventure!

FROM TOURISM LAOS:

Located : on a curve of the Mekong River
Total area : 3,920 square kilometers
Population : 610,000
09 Districts : Chanthabouly, Sikhottabong, Xaysettha, Sisattanak, Naxaithong, Xaythany, Hadxaifong, Sangthong and Park Ngum
Capital : Vientiane.

According to myth, the city of Vientiane was created by the Naga Souvannanak. Vientiane was an ancient city whose territories covered both banks of the Mekong River. The first name of Vientiane was “Ban Nong Khanthae Phiseuanam” village, which later became “Vientiane” town under the leadership of the first Governor, Bourichan or Phraya Chanthabouly Pasitthisak, between 430-120 B.C.
In 1357 King Fa Ngoum held a grandiose celebration for the great victory of the unification of all Lao territories enhancing his prestige and power over the nobility throughout the Lane Xang Kingdom and the neighboring kingdoms. It was organized in the Pak Pasak area in present day Vientiane.

In 1560, King Saysettha moved from Luang Prabang to declare Vientiane as the capital city of the Lane Xang kingdom, naming it “Nakorn Chanthabouly Sitta tanakhanahood Outtama Rajathany”

During the reign of King Souliyavongsa Thamikarat in the 17th century, Vientiane grew to become one of the most developed civilizations. The city was the center of administration for politics, socio-economics and culture. The kings were brave, clever and kind and people were happy. The palaces were very beautiful, looking like golden houses standing along the bank of the Mekong River.

However, Vientiane was burnt down by Siames troops in 1828, and divided into two cities. The city on the right side of the Mekong River became part of Siam and the city on the left side remained part of Laos. At present, Vientiane is a smaller city, only half of its former size.

In the years of 2009 and 2010; two great historical events take place in Vientiane. In 2009 we hosted the 25th annual SEA Games and in 2010 we held a celebration of the 450th anniversary of the foundation of Vientiane as the Capital (1560-2010). To prepared for the above auspicious events Vientiane people have continued developing the city to be peaceful, clean, green, charming, light and civilized.

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May 17, 2013 · 2:12 am

A Journey from Sawannaket to Vientiane, Laos

In this episode Rod begins with a visit to the famous Montip Restaurant in Sawannaket and journeys to Vientiane, stopping at a famous Stupa along the way, as well as a major sugar factory. Also featured in the journey, rivers and bridges of course, and a genuine look at Laos country life, complete with a stop for a mammoth bowl of noodles at a roadside shop. Rod reveals Laos new openness to tourism, with new bridges to prove this. The journey ends at night with glimpses of tempting street food in Vientiane and a most surprising restaurant!

More Videos:
http://www.RodMcNeil.TV

ABOUT LAOS:

The Peoples’ Democratic Republic of Laos is located in the center of Indochina, sharing borders with China to the North 416 kilometers, Myanmar to Northwest 236 kilometers, Thailand to the West 1,835 kilometers, Cambodia to the South 492 kilometers and Vietnam to the East 1,957 kilometers.

With a total area of 236,800 square kilometers, around 70% of Laos’ terrain is mountainous, reaching a maximum elevation of 2,820 meters in Xieng Khouang Province. The landscapes of northern Laos and the regions adjacent to Vietnam, in particular, are dominated by rough mountains.

The Mekong River is the main geographical feature in the west and, in fact, forms a natural border with Thailand in some areas. The Mekong flows through nearly 1,900 kilometers of Lao territory and shapes much of the lifestyle of the people of Laos. In the South the Mekong reaches a breadth of 20 kilometers, creating an area with thousands of islands.

People and population

– Population: 6.2 million.
– Density: 23 people/square kilometer.
– The population consists of 49 ethnic groups, in 4 main linguistic.

…From http://www.TourismLaos.org

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May 17, 2013 · 2:09 am

Thailand Open Chess Championship News

The Thailand Open Chess Championship 2011 took place from the 11th-17th of April at the Dusit Thani Resort and Spa. The lead organizer was Peter Darby of the Bangkok Chess Club (“Thailand’s Coolest International Chess Club”). This year—the 11th Thailand Open—a dozen grand masters (including Nigel Short) were in attendance and the tournament was viewed live online worldwide as it happened. In this episode, learn the ins and outs of tournament chess, including exactly how time is kept, and exactly why a chess game could last up to four hours. GM Nigel Short brings the viewer up to date on the international chess soon as well, including identifying “growth areas.”

Thailand Open prizes are for 1-10 ranks and 5 best Thais, and certificates for best 3 best juniors and best lady. First prize is Baht 100,000. BCC Challenger has prizes for 1-5 with 1st prize Baht 15,000, and certificates for 3 Best Juniors and best Lady. Top three in the men’s division were 3) GM Francesco Vallejo Pons of Spain; 2) GM Nigel Short of England; and 1) GM Jan Gustafsson of Germany.

RESOURCES

http://bangkokchess.com
http://www.thailandchess.or.th

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May 17, 2013 · 2:06 am

Keeper of the Oceans—Gerry “Koto” Rasmus in Thailand

Gerry Rasmus is referred to respectively as Koto, a well-earned moniker standing for “Keeper of the Oceans.” His longtime volunteer efforts in keeping Jomtien Beach clean near Pattaya, Thailand were inspired by the near death of a young girl. Also in this episode, learn about “Wastercise” and other life, nature, and animal-saving measures undertaken by this noble fellow in this episode of Rod’s program.

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May 17, 2013 · 2:03 am

Gary Holden of “Biggest Loser Asia” Fame

Gary Holden talks with Rod McNeil about his victory over obesity, and explains how he came to be a contestant on the Biggest Loser Asia, a reality show about overweight people. Having been a fan of the American version of the show for almost a decade, he was keen to submit his audition tape. “I had to be taken out of my comfort zone,” he explains about his physical transformation. Now, he participates in triathlons!

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May 17, 2013 · 2:00 am

Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae Profiled While Training in Phuket, Thailand

Mirinda started sports at an early age, playing basketball and lots of other school sports. In 2000, at the age of 19, she competed in her first triathlon. Even though she did not have a background in swimming, running, or biking, she made the Australian Junior Elite Team in 2001. Mirinda went on to represent Australia at the ITU Triathlon World Championships from 2001 – 2005 earning silver medals in 2002 and 2003. Now Mirinda focuses on the longer distance. She won the Nice Long Course triathlon in 2004 and won silver at the ITU Long Course World Championships in Denmark in 2005. In 2006, Mirinda claimed the St Croix and Baja titles early in the year, then won bronze at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. In 2007, Mirinda came second in 4 half Ironman distance triathlons before winning the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in world record time. 2008 saw 5 Ironman 70.3 wins and 2009 another 4 Ironman 70.3 wins and a second place and run course record in her first attempt at the full Ironman distance in Kona.

With 15 Ironman 70.3 wins to date, Mirinda has clearly claimed the 70.3 distance as her own and leaves no doubt that she’s a force to be reckoned with in Ironman racing…….

Name: Mirinda Carfrae
Nationality: Australian
Height: 161 cm Weight: 52 kg
Birthday: 26 March 1981
Occupation: Professional Triathlete
Coach: Siri Lindley: http://www.siri-lindley.com
Hometown: Logan City, Queensland
Training Camps: Queensland, Australia; California, USA, Colorado, USA

MORE INFO:
http://www.MirindaCarfrae.com

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May 17, 2013 · 1:57 am

Run for the Border! Thailand Visa Run Adventures—Part 1 of 2—Pattaya to Mukdahan

Part 1—Pattaya to Mukdahan

In part 1 of his two-part visa run series (a day trip to a border somewhere to obtain a visa extension), Rod travels by bus from Pattaya to Mukdahan, Thailand, by bus.

About Roong Reuang Coach (Mukdahan) Co. Ltd.

“Roong Reuang Coach (Mukdahan) Co.,Ltd. commenced its first day of fixed route bus operation on the 5th of March 2005 on Route 815 Mukdahan-Pattaya. The route was permitted by the Department of Land Transportation(DLT), a division of the Ministry of Transportation with objectives to 1) Connect transportation of the people residing in the middle and the bottom areas of the Northeast and the East of Thailand for both work and tourism purposes; 2) Promote tourism industry of the Northeast and the East especially the provinces of Mukdahan, Umnatcharoen, Yasothon, and Pattaya City; 3) Ease the transportation of people for no longer making many transfers before reaching final destinations therefore saving both time and costs.

After six months of operations, we saw the same needs of the people in the vicinities such as Roi-et and Buriram so we separated the route to be 1) Mukdahan-Yasothon-Surin-Pattaya (Original route) and 2) Mukdahan-Roiet-Buriram-Pattaya.

In early 2007, we extended the route for another 70 kilometers from Pattaya to end at Rayong province, another important industrial city that needs workforce from the Northeast. Thereon, the route 815 was renamed Mukdahan-Rayong.

In October 2009, we were the first to run long-distant bus business that connects the East and the South under the route 393 Rayong-Koh Samui. The route also covers important cities including Pattaya, Chonburi, Hua Hin, Chumporn, and Surattani. The following year, route 831 Mukdahan-Hua Hin was introduced to connect our base areas in the northeast and the ever-growing tourist towns of Cha-um and Hua Hin. In May 2011, we offered another convenient route of 785 Phuket-Hua Hin targeting mainly for tourists transfer.”

Roong Reuang Coach (Mukdahan) Co. Ltd.
http://www.iloveyellowbus.com

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May 17, 2013 · 1:55 am

Run for the Border! Thailand Visa Run Adventures—Part 2 of 2—Mukdahan to Sawannaket

Part 2—Mukdahan so Sawannaket

In part 1 of his two-part visa run series (a day trip to a border somewhere to obtain a visa extension), Rod travels by bus from Pattaya to Mukdahan, Thailand, by bus.

About Roong Reuang Coach (Mukdahan) Co. Ltd.

“Roong Reuang Coach (Mukdahan) Co.,Ltd. commenced its first day of fixed route bus operation on the 5th of March 2005 on Route 815 Mukdahan-Pattaya. The route was permitted by the Department of Land Transportation(DLT), a division of the Ministry of Transportation with objectives to 1) Connect transportation of the people residing in the middle and the bottom areas of the Northeast and the East of Thailand for both work and tourism purposes; 2) Promote tourism industry of the Northeast and the East especially the provinces of Mukdahan, Umnatcharoen, Yasothon, and Pattaya City; 3) Ease the transportation of people for no longer making many transfers before reaching final destinations therefore saving both time and costs.

After six months of operations, we saw the same needs of the people in the vicinities such as Roi-et and Buriram so we separated the route to be 1) Mukdahan-Yasothon-Surin-Pattaya (Original route) and 2) Mukdahan-Roiet-Buriram-Pattaya.

In early 2007, we extended the route for another 70 kilometers from Pattaya to end at Rayong province, another important industrial city that needs workforce from the Northeast. Thereon, the route 815 was renamed Mukdahan-Rayong.

In October 2009, we were the first to run long-distant bus business that connects the East and the South under the route 393 Rayong-Koh Samui. The route also covers important cities including Pattaya, Chonburi, Hua Hin, Chumporn, and Surattani. The following year, route 831 Mukdahan-Hua Hin was introduced to connect our base areas in the northeast and the ever-growing tourist towns of Cha-um and Hua Hin. In May 2011, we offered another convenient route of 785 Phuket-Hua Hin targeting mainly for tourists transfer.”

Roong Reuang Coach (Mukdahan) Co. Ltd.
http://www.iloveyellowbus.com

Leave a comment

May 17, 2013 · 1:51 am