Why Such a Fascination for Sky Lanterns (Khom Loi)?

Thais releasing a Khom Loi

Thais releasing a Khom Loi (Joe Grez/Sesame)

Pai, Thailand – I have a dilemma. It has to do with the Chinese and Thai traditions of releasing hot air rice paper lanterns (Kongming [Chinese], Khom Loi [Thai]) into the night sky. Happens quite often in the north of the country now, with numerous lanterns coloring the black, faint white polka doted sky with moving golden orange pixels of various sizes. The first site of it is rather striking and as more people release lanterns into the sky, the night becomes that much more entrancing. So what’s my problem with this?

Muay Thai Special: Part 3 of 3: Fight Night w Charn Chai and Liam Kirkham

Muay Thai Fighters in Pail Thailand (sesame/joup)

Muay Thai Fighters in Pail Thailand (sesame/joup)

Muay Thai Special: Part 2 of 3: Charn Chai Muay Thai Gym: Pai, Thailand

Muay Thai Fighter Training (joup/sesame)

Muay Thai Fighter Training (joup/sesame)

Pai, Thailand – The second installment of Joup’s three part coverage of grass roots Muay Thai. I have traveled a long road through Thailand to the small town of Pai (80km NW of Chiang Mai) to find the origin and heart of Muay Thai – beyond the glitz and glamor of the UFC and Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. Of course both Lumpinee and the UFC are huge in modern fighting (and betting and prize purses), but the essence of the successful UFC fighter flow from training in Muay Thai. Joup has reviewed a basic history and development of Muay Thai in Part 1. Now we’ll observe the Pai Training Gym named Charn Chai with head trainer Bee. Part 3 will conclude by following the fighters of Charn Chia including Englishman Liam Kirkham (1-0) in bouts taking place at an annual festival in Pai.

Muay Thai Special: Part 1 of 3: History of the Art

Muay Thai fighter in training.

Muay Thai fighter in training. (Sesame/Joup)

Pai, Thailand – Being one of the most utilized money earning martial arts in the world leads to respected acclaim and ultimate popularity, all of which seemingly go hand in hand. However, for those that live the life of Muay Thai – the life of training, regimen, fighting and yet more training – there lies so much more. I have traveled a long road through Thailand to the small town of Pai (80km NW of Chiang Mai) to find the origin and heart of Muay Thai beyond the glitz and glamor of the UFC and Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. Of course both Lumpinee and the UFC are huge in modern fighting (and betting and prize purses), but the roots of the successful UFC fighter stem from, in part, training in Muay Thai. In this three part story Joup hopes to gain insight into Muay Thai through reviewing it’s history and development, observing a Pai Training Gym named Charn Chai with head trainer Bee and finally by following English fighter Liam Kirkham (1-0) who trains at Charn Chai and will fight his second fight in Pai.

Travel Review: Where 2 Next Hostel Manila, Philippines

Where 2 Next Hostel Manila

Image Courtesy of Where 2 Next

It’s been long overdue but still in order to review a fine hostel found in the Malate area of Manila. I spent a good amount of time at Where 2 Next(W2N) hostel this past year as it was my value laden launching pad to the rest of the Philippines. Let’s go over the pros and cons of W2N and why ultimately I think it’s a fine place to plan your next move.

The Horror Movie Work Week Bonus: International Film #2 : Shutter 2004 (Thai)

Official Movie Image of Shutter

So I couldn’t let Bakes have all the movie going fun. This month provided his wealth of knowledge into the horror film realm with four installments of his “Horror Movie Work Week.” Find them here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Halloween Night Addition #4. Bakes, you covered a lot of film…A LOT. So I’ll just dabble in your area of expertise (as I often like to do in other topics as well) and put a spin on it in our first crossover column. So my pick for the month (well it’s November 1st so celebrate The Day of the Dead) is the Thai film Shutter directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom. When in Thailand…get spooked by the Thai.

East Timor and the Still Evident Problems

Image: Erik Jelinek for Joup

The Indonesian-era integrasi monument in Dili, depicting a personification of East Timor breaking free of its colonial chains.

2 of 512345

EnglishFrenchGermanItalianPortugueseRussianSpanish