Culture and politics forum

Culture and politics forum

Robert McNamara dead at age 93

Posted by somtam2000 on 7/7/2009 at 06:56

Robert McNamara, considered by many as the primary architect behind the Vietnam war died yesterday at age 93. The Washington Post has a fascinating five-page obituary on him -- it is well worth a read. McNamara "changed his mind" well after the events of both World War Two and Vietnam -- best captured in the film The Fog of War -- a fascinating documentary on the man and has actions. In one of his best known quotes in the film, he says (talking of the firebombing of Tokyo): "In a singl ...

Viewed 5,600 times, with 22 replies.


Posted by MADMAC on 22/6/2009 at 14:35

I have now been to two Carabao concerts since I have lived here. If you happen to be in a city where he's playing, the show is well worth the take. Carabao is sort of the Bruce Springsteen of Thailand, sings about a lot of social issues, has been around forever... ...

Viewed 6,331 times, with 30 replies.

Elephants at Citadel in Hue

Posted by isis63 on 24/1/2010 at 10:38

Please don't support the business of taking photos on the elephants at the Citadel in Hue. The two animals I saw were both chained (by a very short chain) to a tree and seemed very agitated and frustrated by the fact that they could barely move. There is no reason why a fence couldn't be built so at least the animals could move around while they are not being used at photo props!!! ...

Viewed 3,735 times, with no replies.

Isaan and Laos - what's the difference?

Posted by somtam2000 on 17/6/2009 at 07:57

I've cut all the following messages out of a different thread and pasted into this one. Initial comment in this comment also removed. - Somtam2000 You've been to Laos before, so obviously you must like it. I prefer Thailand, as I find Laos is just a run down version of Thailand, and not any cheaper either. But some people do prefer Laos. ...

Viewed 18,435 times, with 95 replies.

Hmong to be deported

Posted by MADMAC on 28/12/2009 at 09:50

Thailand used the Hmong just like the US did in it's fight against communist incursion. This action disgraces Thailand for sure. The US should accept the Hmong refugees - we owe them. ...

Viewed 3,719 times, with 6 replies.

On Vang Vieng: What do people think?

Posted by somtam2000 on 11/9/2009 at 07:06

Somsai is the word of wisdom here. The kids who are partying in VV aren't hurting anyone. "Not respecting Laos culture?" Nonesense. I don't doubt that there are some Laotians complaining about the drunk kids, everywhere in the world people complain about drunk kids having fun. It's one small part of the country that's become a little party town - what's wrong with that? Nothing is the answer to that question. If that activity makes you uncomfortable or you don't want your kids to see it, then ...

Viewed 9,970 times, with 88 replies.

Buddhist pendant question

Posted by justjess on 10/10/2009 at 13:30

I was visiting a wat outside of Sangklaburi, Thailand. I came across a monk and spent some time of rough conversation about the temple, the meditation poses of the Buddha, and my trip through the town. Before I left, he gave me a small pendant with the image of a monk on both sides. I've tried to do some research on the meaning behind such a gift, but can't seem to find anything. I'm not too well versed in Buddhism, so maybe this question has an obvious answer. Was I supposed to reciprocate wi ...

Viewed 20,269 times, with 20 replies.

Have the Thai police been told or......

Posted by Thaiman on 6/11/2009 at 15:29

On our recent trip to Thailand there seemed to be an awful lot of Police doing vehicle checks.Every day we saw at least one road check and one day I saw four in different locations.Even saw a Bangkok red bus pulled up and the policeman writing out a ticket.Don't know if he was booking the driver or there was a problem with the bus.Anyone else noticed any difference?Perhaps it's just getting close to Xmas he he. ...

Viewed 3,535 times, with 2 replies.

A 'culture' issue

Posted by BruceMoon on 20/8/2009 at 18:27

On another Forum 'discussion', some contributors took the view that because they are married to a SE Asian, and regularly travel to SE Asia, they are more able to make comment than mere 'tourists'. Implied in their stance is that only westerners that have an emotional and psychological 'bonding' to SE Asian culture (read have 'partners' to teach/explain) are in a position to comment authoritatively on matters of SE ASia. The question this raises is should only these 'bonded' people answer ...

Viewed 4,287 times, with 14 replies.

What's wrong with this picture - Malaysia

Posted by MADMAC on 15/7/2009 at 14:46

Proselytizing of Malaysia's majority Muslims by members of other religions is forbidden, though the reverse is allowed. Muslims are also not legally permitted to change religion. ...

Viewed 7,686 times, with 49 replies.

Respecting local culture

Posted by MADMAC on 18/6/2009 at 14:49

This is an interesting topic that we were discussing but was a trailer of another thread when it probably should have been its own. At what point do you ignore local culture because it conflicts with your own? Does anyone here have examples of where they were confronted with such a conflict and how did they resolve it? ...

Viewed 5,561 times, with 28 replies.

Preah Vihar and the Thai-Cambodian love/hate relationship

Posted by sayadian on 8/10/2009 at 20:52

I just thought this was a very thoughtful and interesting article on Thai Cambodian relations. This is a small quote the full article in the Bangkok Post can be found here. 'Professor Chanvit Kasetsiri rightly noted that among the neighbouring countries of Southeast Asia, none seems more similar to Thailand than Cambodia. Both nations share similar customs, traditions, beliefs and ways of life. This is especia ...

Viewed 5,204 times, with 4 replies.

Thailand for sale

Posted by somtam2000 on 6/10/2009 at 15:00

The very good Thai politico blog has just published a very interesting story on Thailand, and how the sex and political "industries" are intertwined. You can download the full story here (in a 12 page PDF format). A lot gets written about Thailand's sex industry -- much of it bland, boring and, more often than not, just plain wrong --this is certainly not the case with this particular piece. It does concentrate on the farang side of the industry, barely touching on the sea ...

Viewed 5,951 times, with 14 replies.

What happened to the Americans captured by the Pathet Lao?

Posted by MADMAC on 16/9/2009 at 14:06

I have done a lot of reading on this subject. The government of Laos itself has been vague and non-commital on exactly how many were held, where they were held, and what happened to them. To my knowledge, only one was ever released, and one escaped. What of the rest? I am sure that they are all long since dead - probably executed at the end of the war. Has anyone here heard anything on this subject while visiting Laos? ...

Viewed 4,155 times, with 12 replies.


Posted by BruceMoon on 30/8/2009 at 19:20

Across several threads here on Travelfish, references have been made to the impact of US politics on SE Asian political affairs. And, embedded within these references has been the involvement of the (US) CIA. To be fair, the references largely point to CIA involvement pre-1980's. Nevertheless, and as history shows, when the US has sought to involve itself in SE Asian affairs, and wanted to involve itself at a hands on level, but doesn't want to be seen as doing it at a 'state' level, it h ...

Viewed 3,902 times, with 9 replies.

Thai Chess

Posted by MADMAC on 29/7/2009 at 03:22

For any of you who enjoy playing International Chess, Thai Chess is very easy to learn. If you play international chess well, you will adapt to Thai chess fairly quickly. I love playing it and recently spent an entire afternoon in Bangkok playing with a bunch of motorcycle taxi drivers. The origins of the game are fascinating and I encourage any chess players to take the time (and it won't be much - I learned in about five minutes) to learn. Great fun. ...

Viewed 3,928 times, with 3 replies.


Posted by MADMAC on 19/8/2009 at 02:27

My wife's village has a cock fighting "arena" and I also found one near my house where I live now. I'm not a fan of animal fighting (cocks or dogs), but I do know that it is popular here. Not sure if it's legal or not - but obviously it goes on pretty openly. Have any of you attended? Thoughts? ...

Viewed 4,150 times, with 15 replies.

Thai wedding ceremony

Posted by MADMAC on 24/6/2009 at 00:16

A friend of mine is about to marry a Thai woman from the area, and he asked me what the wedding ceremony was going to be like. I asked him how "culturally sensitive" he wanted to be. Of course, he wants to make a good impression on his new in laws. So I told him one word applies - pain. I spent five hours on my knees, man I could barely stand when my wedding was over. I sucked it up, and pretended it was a great time, but it was horrible. Hot, jet-lagged, dehydrated and my knees and back were sc ...

Viewed 5,700 times, with 4 replies.

Corruption in Thailand

Posted by somtam2000 on 2/7/2009 at 13:33

We've just added a new feature to the site titled "Corruption in Thailand". As you've probably heard or read, Thailand has had a lot of bad press of late and this story briefly discusses the issues. How big are the risks really? You can read the full story here: I look forward to hearing some tales of woe ... or not perhaps! And don't forget if the police robbed you, use the story to enter our competition to win a Pacsafe bag! ...

Viewed 7,675 times, with 19 replies.

Love this new section

Posted by MADMAC on 18/6/2009 at 14:29

Outstanding addition. Let's hope it catches on... ...

Viewed 3,452 times, with 6 replies.

Browse more pages of the forum:

Please login to add a new post

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a post to the forum. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.