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.