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Daily Stories – 13 February

Everyday stories about an

expat’s life in Isaan, Thailand

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In this unique blog You will find hundreds of stories about my life in Thailand, the good and bad. Not just a list of tourist destinations but stories about REALLY living here. I hope you enjoy sharing my experiences of settling into a new country and culture as much as I am living it. 

To visit my main index page click below.

To read today’s stories please scroll down.

Building in Thailand eBook

When my wife and I bought some land in Isaan, which is a region in the north east of Thailand, and then started to build our house I wanted to record the daily events of construction life. For twenty six weeks I wrote a weekly blog update about all the aspects of the build and included as much detail as possible for others who might be thinking of going down the same path. I was surprised by the number of readers I attracted as a result of writing on this subject, many of whom followed the entire build from beginning to end. 

Based on this continued interest I thought I would revisit my original words and bring them all together under the one heading in the form of an eBook. Included in this process has been some extensive updating and expansion of many of the original posts and the addition of the many COMMENTS, which are designed to expand your knowledge and save you time or money or both!

Read more HERE and find out how to obtain the eBook.

I am loving your book – just on my second read at the moment, to make sure that I didn’t miss anything first time around (which actually it turns out I did!).  

Just a note of thanks at this point ……. I am a fairly methodical sort of bloke, but there are many issues which your book highlights which I just wouldn’t have thought about – or if I had, I may well have assumed they were “standard” building practice [U-bends, drain positioning, barge-board alignment] – if it hadn’t been for your excellent descriptions!!  I will probably still “miss” something – that’s the nature of building/design – but thanks to you, it shouldn’t be anything too mission-critical.

The income from my eBook pays for the upkeep of this blog, which is otherwise commercially free unlike so many others.

NEW: Search the blog:

My stories of the day – 13 February 2020

My life in rural Isaan revolves around three main topics of interest. Firstly there is the family farm situated about 1 km from where we live. I love learning about and sharing aspects of farming in a different country. Read my stories and you’ll become a virtual Isaan farmer in time! Click HERE

Secondly is our enjoyment in developing the best private tropical garden in Isaan. We also have a small but still beautiful garden at the farm. In this section I write about any aspects related to gardening in Thailand, illustrated with photos taken in our gardens and locally. Click HERE

And finally I share everyday stories as I see them relating to life in a small rural village. This could cover anything from personal events to festivals and local attractions. Anything that doesn’t fit into the other two headings ends up here. Click HERE 

Or of course read them all in which case just scroll down!

I am a keen photographer and all my photos are shot professionally and edited. The end result is far better than most blogs and social media and I will publish my favourite shots from time to time, which will almost be a fourth topic.

The stories I share here are reflected in my very active social media exposure and you will find me on Facebook as follows:

Tony Eastmead HERE 

Thailand Tropical Gardens HERE

Rural Isaan, Thailand HERE and;

Isaan Photography HERE.

Farm News:

Today’s Update:

We were at the farm this morning as there’s some work happening to fill in a small pond. On the way back I had to take these couple of photos.

For those of you with an Isaan partner you will totally relate to this scene and I don’t have to explain. For others, this is Yuan and Gaun picking newly sprouted leaves from a shrub on the side of the road, which will end up in a meal .

Isaan people have this natural ability to forage and it is part of their nature to identify free food and add it to whatever is cooking that day. I will often see a motorbike pulled over on the highway because the rider has spotted a tree or shrub that produces something edible. The outcome of these harvests is often an ingredient which is very bitter, this being one of the main flavours of most Isaan dishes along with supremely hot and sour.

Tropical Gardens News:

No Update today

Village News:

For anyone thinking of attending this year’s Nakhon Phanom fire boat festival on the Mekong river I received information from a blog reader about this year’s dates as follows:

Good afternoon Tony,
I have had very good communications with the staff of the Porpiang Hotel in Nakhon Phanom and the specific date of the main fire boats is on the 2nd October as per this extract from their email.

“Usually the festival will be held for a week. For example, last year it was held from October 8-14. But on 13th October was the most important date (End of Buddhist lent day), which there will be more than 10 fire boats floating in the river as a competition. Therefore, people from all over the country will visit the festival on 13th October the most. Because on the other days of the event, there will be only 1 fire boat floating in the river.

This year, we do not know yet how long will the festival will be held and last (usually for a week). But the fire boat competition date will be on 2nd October this year, which is the end of Buddhist lent day (regarding the Buddhist calendar).”

For those who don’t know the festival itself is described as:

The illuminated boat procession or ‘Lai Ruea Fai’ event (งานประเพณีไหลเรือไฟ) is a tradition of the Northeastern people that has been practised for centuries to mark the end of Buddhist Lent. Legend has it that the Lord Buddha spent the entire period of Buddhist Lent in Heaven and returned to Earth at the end. To pay respect and welcome the Lord Buddha, Ruea Fai or fire boats decorated with flowers, incense sticks, candles, and lanterns are launched on the Mekong River in the evening. Originally, the boats were made of bamboo or banana tree trunks and decorated with materials that could be easily found. Currently, with competitions to find the most beautiful illuminated boat processions, the boats have become more impressively constructed and decorated. The event will take place at the city hall in Nakhon Phanom and along the Mekong river on Sunthornvichit Road (thanks to for those words)

This is one of the main Isaan festivals so worth a visit but book now because all accommodation is filled well before the event. If you are going let me know as we have booked for the 1 & 2 October. You can buy me a drink.

Thailand Photography

Showcasing some of my favourite photos taken around Thailand during my time here. Last updated 2 February:

Thank you for reading and please leave a comment. It’s the only payment I ask for.


February 2020 – new stories


  1. Alan Clark

    Hi Tony,

    I love the pictures of Yuan and Gaun foraging. It is not just an Isaan trait – my wife and her sisters are constantly on the lookout for edible foliage wherever we go up here in northern Thailand. A lot of stuff is also gathered for medicinal purposes, but identifying the right plants is a skill which I fear is being lost as young people migrate to the cities and loose their connection with the land. I must admit I am a bit wary of some of the mushrooms my wife gathers, especially when she has to get confirmation from her older sister that they are safe. During her 20 years in UK my wife kept pointing out plants which she was sure we could eat, but I never plucked up the courage to try.



    • Tony in Thailand

      We are lucky to be here in time to see this sort of natural behaviour before it dies out to be replaced with processed rubbish. I didn’t have the camera handy but Yuan and Lud stopped outside our gates yesterday to talk to Gaun and Lud got up on the side of their utility to reach up and pick a few small mangoes from a tree in our garden that overhangs the road. It was such a natural process and really reflects the attitude you write about. I’m with you on mushrooms. I was always taught that anything red in nature was a warning to leave alone. On that basis there’s no way I’d be eating some of those wild mushrooms 🙂

      Thanks for the comment Alan.


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