Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas fever in Thailand

When December month comes, once more Thailand becomes colorful. The lights on Christmas trees, stadium decorations, models and merry Christmas songs fascinates people in and around the country. For many Thai Christians here, spending time with family, going to church, remembering Christ’s birth and His mission to save humanity from sin are all important.
The Christmas day has been celebrated by billions of people around the world as Jesus Christ birthday and most western countries observe it on 25th December. While the exact date is debatable. Christmas is a very special holiday to many people, both Christian and non-Christian. For countries that have
 Christian backgrounds, there
 are a number of different ways 
the holiday is remembered,
 including the length of the celebration.
For both Christian and non-Christian, the holiday is celebrated with special foods, gift giving, decorations, songs, caroling and giving to those in need. While many other holiday elements exist such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees, ornaments, reindeer, and decorative lights, the heart of Christmas is giving. One will often find that those who participate in the holiday see it as a time of expressing love through giving and this is closely linked to the greatest Gift that God made for all humanity.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Words from Bhutanese Gold Medalist

On 10th December, I met with Master Ugyen Wangchuk, a Bhutanese Fourth Dan black belt Karate Master on his way back from Japan, who recently won Gold Medal in World Suzuki Karate Tournament held in Tokyo, Japan.

Getting to know marshal art is not an easy game, yet through is hard work and his collective patience made him to win international Gold Medal in Karate. As I know, he is an enthusiast master, who consistently advocates Karate for future Bhutanese.

He said, Karate is great exercise, a competitive sport, body building physique, technique, discipline, self-esteem and confidence. More than a medal, he was happy to gain new skills and experiences that he can use to train his students back at home. 

Master Ugyen Wangchuk

Master Ugyen Wangchuk

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tips beyond Swa-De-Krub

Thais are known for their tolerance and hospitality, and the people will have no difficulty in adjusting to local customs. As in any unfamiliar society, a visitor should, nevertheless, be aware of certain do’s and don'ts to avoid offending people unintentionally. 

Basically, getting along involves good common sense and how one should behave at home. Still, there are a few special tips for people who want to visit Thailand. Thais do not normally shake hands when they greet each other, but instead press the palms of their hands in a prayer-like gesture.

  • Thai people consider the head as the highest part of the body so don't touch their head with no reason, especially the elder's head because it means you don't respect them.
  • The feet are the lowest part of the body and are considered a humble thing. To avoid a rude behavior, do not point anything or anyone with your feet.
  • Hug or kiss between man and woman in public are acceptable in some country. But affection displayed in public is inappropriate in Thailand.
  • Woman can't touch Buddhist monks and the monks can't directly take anything from woman's hand. If a woman wants to give something to a monk, the monk will spread the rope and the woman should lay down the thing on it.
  • It is all right to wear the shoes when walk around the temple but when you want to go inside the church or chapel (where a Buddha image is kept) you should take off the shoes. The shorts are not recommended.
  • Thai people have a deep respect to the royal family. The visitors should also show respect to the king, the queen and the royal family even if it is the picture. You should stand up to show the respect during the royal anthem in the theater.
  • Seniority is one of the Thai ways. Show the respect to the elder or the parents of Thai friends.
  • Losing your temper, especially in public, will most likely get you nowhere. Thais see such displays as poor mannerism. You have a greater chance of getting what you want if you keep a cool head and remain polite.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Echoes of Young Ornithologist

Mr. Rigdhen graduated with Forestry Science from College of Natural Resources under Royal University of Bhutan in 2004. He is an enthusiastic bird lover that likes nothing better than sharing his passion with others. He is proficient in plant identification, but his passion for learning about birds and wildlife keeps him busy most of the time. 

He believes that smallest amount of time spent in right way can lead to feelings of oneness with the earth, and peaceful feelings and that nature will surprise you, if you allow it to show you itself the way it wants you to see it. He considers himself blessed to be born in Bhutan, a fantastic place that really stimulates him with one of the highest bird density on this planet. 

Birding involves a significant auditory component, as many bird species are more easily detected and identified by ear than by eye said Mr. Rigdhen. Most birdwatchers pursue this activity mainly for recreational or social reasons, unlike ornithologists, who engage in the study of birds using more formal scientific methods.  

Mr. Rigdhen always anticipate to sight new birds species in the country and that gives strong determination to remain as birder. However, his unfailing hopes made him to discover Oriental Bay Owl (Phodilus badius) in central Bhutan recently, which is classified with barn owls with heart-shaped face.

As per the fact file hosted in, Oriental Bay Owl is nocturnal owl measuring about 10 inches in length with a wingspan of about 15 inches. This owl has distinctive angular facial disks and dark colored eyes. It has light chestnut brown in color underneath with darker brown upperparts. This bird can be found scattered throughout Southeast Asia, from India to China, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Malay Peninsula. The breeding season of the Oriental bay owl varies with region. It nests in hollow trees and tree stumps, laying between three and five eggs. Prey is located using extremely sensitive hearing and consists of small mammals, small birds, reptiles, frogs and insects. 

The Oriental bay owl has several calls, including whistles, hoots, wails and screams. The owl is classified as least concern on the IUCN Red List 2004 and is listed under Appendix II of CITES. Besides, it is thought to have low population numbers but is not currently considered to be threatened and no conservation action has been targeted to this species until now.

Mr. Rigdhen served in various capacities in the field of protection and conservation of environment until now. To have sound conservation, it is always his interest to work in the field and provide options for communities so that their dependence on the resources is greatly minimized. His skill on conservation of forests and environment significantly contributes to sustainable management so that our future generations live in harmony with nature.  

I have seen your passion for birding since your childhood. I remember your struggle in choosing your subjects for your work. Let me confess here that as a birder, I did have doubts but I must say you have proved all qualms by your greatest achievement. Achieving goals would not have been possible without the dedication you put in your work and without the patience, skills, professional virtues and your excellent commitment to the nature. 

Please accept my heartfelt congratulations for the achievements you have obtained, indeed, it is great honor for whole Bhutanese people for making this journey happened. With no doubt, your work deserves recognition and appreciation however, lucrative offers may tempt you to opt for an easier road and you will have to be very careful.

Photo: Mr. Rigdhen, Zhemgang Forest Division, Bhutan

Monday, November 5, 2012

Education in Thailand

Widespread air travel, escalating education costs in developed countries and upsurge of world population have all contributed to a global explosion of education in Thailand. With and advantage of western accreditation, Land of Smile has become most popular destination for education in the world with full confidence in foreign education, which is seen as the gold standard for education service providers around the world. 

Given the Thailand’s reputation for graceful and attentive education service, it is not hard to see why Bangkok has quickly become the education hub of Asia. The Universities in Bangkok are some of the highest quality in the world, meeting or exceeding western standard. 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Macro of Citrus limonium

It is an easy to photograph a sliced lemon fruits; however here getting an interesting macro photography might require immense efforts, which, of course, would be the point. 

I used the knowledge of macro photography to make it very easy for the novice to understand the creative concepts needed to shoot. This is indoor picture and main feature required for the shot is light. As long as I have good strong light I can do this kind of setup and unleash an infinite amount of creative possibilities. Though light is an important component for the shot, it does create a problem – namely harsh shadows. To solve this problem the reflector comes in handy by redirecting light onto areas that are shaded.

Everybody knows lemon is available in the market but nobody knows about its story and characteristics. Just a brief, it is a small and straggling tree about 11 feet high, irregularly branched, the bark varying in color from clear grey on the trunk, green on the younger branches to a purplish color on the twigs. The evergreen leaves are ovate-oval, about two inches long, the margin serrate with sharp spines in the axils of the stalks. 

Closer angle

Closer angle

Closer angle

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Recent photo journals

Sincere dog at Punakha District, Bhutan

Coffee house at Docula pass, Bhutan

Mr. Iranian at Punakha HSS Park, Bhutan

Scenes of Wangdue Dzong gutted by fire recently

Scenes of Himalayan Bhutan as i flew over Bangladesh

Tourist taking picture at Paro International Airport, Bhutan

Drukair KB 140 (Air bus) grounded at Paro International Airport, Bhutan

Domestic flight grounded in Paro International Airport

Front view of Dochula Lhakhang, Bhutan

Missina Municipality, Bhutan

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blue bottle fly (Calliphora vomitoria)

This is where macro photography comes in. The pictures that reveal details, which can’t be seen with the naked eye. It gives us a glimpse into the world of the very small, which goes largely unnoticed by us as we hurriedly shuffle through our day.

While shooting macro photography, it is very rare to progress the shot you want in the very first frame. I often sequence dozen shots or more trying to get just the right angle or right position. Only macro photography is possible when the specimen cooperates. 

Occasionally I manage to catch a subject just right with the first shot. If you look at the photo you can see that the fly had its head tilted up when I took the shot. I was very close to it and it was definitely looking at me. I pressed the shutter, and then the fly was gone. But I had the shot…..............

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Immature Subject

Kids are one of the most rewarding subjects for photography and also rewarding to the photographer to take a good portrait of a child. If they are not keen on being photographed there is not much you can do unless you can make them comfortable with the idea of being photographed. Their feelings about you and the camera can change instantly since their expressions and gestures are endlessly wondering.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Phishing Scam

Another new scam e-mail arrived in my inbox. While this email is a phishing attack with its immediate purpose to brain wash if I am so innocent. The subject line didn’t give it away and it is said simply, “from Anita.” The ruse was dead obvious to me, but I’ve been in this game a long time and I’ve got my guard up. It is interesting to dig into the guts of a scam email like this one. On the other hand, the email itself was ridiculously brazen and almost laughably as it reads under;

Hello Tashi,
Good Morning, I am very sorry telling you my experience I felt empting myself to you and to have confidence in you, My Ernest prayer is that you find this mail in good health, I know that Internet has been greatly abused over the recent years and is very unsecured for information of vital importance.
I am Anita Autara 17years old a Medical Student of Bassam, I lost my family because of political crisis in Cote d'Ivoire, I have decided to take the chance seeing that no other means could have been faster and more efficient than the e-mail before my late father death he disclosed to me that he deposited the sum of $6.5 million dollars in a fixed deposit account which I am the next of kin. 
Please I humbly need your assistance to help me get this money transferred to your account, to serve as my guardian and to make an arrangement for me to come over after the inheritance is transferred into your account.

From Anita

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Card swipe for smart phone

This is another shift from cash-based to card-based transaction system launched by Visa International Thailand. Anyone can process his or her cards through this payment platform, which has a tiny magnetic card reader that attaches to a smart phone. This functions as a card reader, which turns a smartphone or tablet into a secure acceptance point-of-sale device via a card swipe. An accessory can be plugged into the phone allowing merchants to accept payments by Visa credit and debit cards in any location.

No paper will be used as a slip for payment and no need to wait for a receipt, sign on the screen and sends a copy of payment record straight to your e-mail. I personally feel, that the movement is to attract the new generations, who wishing to make online purchases. And for many who are wishing to make online purchases, they have no choice but to borrow their parent’s credit card. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Macro photography

I just love taking macro pictures of any subject. The minute details are which I keep trying to capture, as I cannot admire those with my naked eyes. I always want to know how I get such wonderful pictures with such amazing detail. I take more than 100 shots before I get the right one with macro focus.  

My passion about photographing insects that, I can spend hours together behind a small creature to get that best shot. The macro that i use is 100mmf/2.8, which is specifically designed for close-up work. The lens have long barrel for close focusing and ensuring high reproduction ratios for macro photography.