Monthly Archives: October 2011

Zentraveler tours Thailands Floating Market.

Floating Market

One of the most cost-effective ways to take tours is to tag along on a group tour which always has some good surprises thrown in for the traveler. My partner Perla said we were going to feed the elephants and then go to the floating market which I had on my list of things to see. Off we go on a brand new bus with an experienced Thai tour guide to point out interesting things about the country of Thailand and different scenic venues as we traveled through the countryside.

Thai Tour Bus

I thanked Perla for arranging this trip and thought this was a pretty cool way to travel, since we were picked up at the hotel and didn’t have to haggle price and figure out taxis, bus terminals, train stations, tuck tucks,tricycles,ferries, etc that I usually have to do when backpacking by myself.

We arrived at the elephant feeding station where I purchased several bunches of bananas and proceeded to feed the elephants who have a ravenous appetite. Perla came to me excited and said we can ride the elephants on a jungle trail…I thought of my aching lower back and said I probably couldn’t stand the bouncing and jarring and I will pass. Perla bought her ticket and went on the platform where I was going to photograph her as she mounted the elephant. The mahout said one can’t ride we need two to balance the weight… so what the heck since the loading was just an easy step from the platform, off I go like some hollywood superstar heading down the jungle path.

Our elephant seemed a bit crazy and kept veering off the path to eat small trees and whatever treats it liked. Then our mahout driver dismounted the elephant and waved goodby as he headed into the jungle for a possible bathroom call. The elephant kept walking straight up the path as if he knew where he was going (I told Perla no worries elephants have good memories.) The mahout returned and we ended up going through a small stream with the water up to the elephants shoulders. I am glad I had the opportunity of a lifetime to enjoy a ride on one of the most majestic animals of the world. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Elephant Riding

On our next venue we mounted a six seater wooden dug-out boat with a strange-looking engine and proceeded at a leisurely rate down the jungle interior taking in the sights of the wildlife and amazing vegetation…. and just as if we signed up for a new James Bond movie chase scene our driver began to go full throttle though the narrowest of canals, taking blind corners at full speed and narrowly missing other speed demons as they proceeded toward the floating market.

Local Boat scene

Giving one of those thank you secret prayers which are very personal it felt good to be on terra firma and become a spectator at the floating market. Even though its touristy in nature the floating market is a kaleidoscope of great photo opportunities with the colors of the local foods, textiles and local crafts almost overwhelming the normal senses and cameras.

Native Handicrafts

We had a great lunch next to the water and it was fun just to watch all of the different boats maneuver through the floating market… adding to an already colorful atmosphere.

Local Vendors

So there you have it… if you really want to see a county on the quick it might make good sense to tag along on a group tour and see what the adventure has to offer.

Selecting Exotic Fruits

Zentraveler footnote: Because of the extreme flooding in and around Bangkok if any readers have any extra money all contributions would be greatly appreciated by the Thailand flood victims. Thanks,

QUOTE: “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” —- Rosalia de Castro

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Traveling provides tremendous opportunities for fun, adventure and discovery. When we visit places in other countries, we gain a better understanding of the people living there. We learn their cultures, history and background. We discover the similarities they have with us, as well as their differences from us. It is interesting to learn from people with diverse backgrounds.Traveling helps to enrich our lives. It increases our knowledge and widens our perspective. When we visit interesting places, we discover and learn many things. We discover new people, surroundings, plants and animals. If we want to make our travels more exciting and challenging, we can choose to plan our own tour and select the specific places we want to visit. Traveling not only provides us fun and adventure, it also provides us marvelous insights and enlightens our minds.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Help save the Earth by having smaller families as we reach the seven billion mark on world population this month. The world’s agricultural systems are already dangerously overstretched. Rainforests are being cut down to make way for new farms; groundwater used for irrigation is being depleted; greenhouse gases emitted from agricultural activities are a major factor in global climate change; fertilizers are poisoning estuaries; and countless species are threatened with extinction as we grab their land and water and destroy their habitats.

ZENTRAVLER SAYS:It’s all in zee travel. Travel light, travel often and take tons of photos.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Filed under adventure travel, elephant riding jungle trail, floating market, mahout elephant handler, native handicrafts, Thailands floating market, Uncategorized

Zentraveler on exotic Edidble Banana Flower.

Banana Flower

The large purple stem that forms below a bunch of bananas is cut off to increase size of bananas and is a gourmet treat throughout Asia. Banana Flowers can be eaten raw, stir fied, broiled, cooked, used as a soup, or to compliment a rice dish.

Banana, plantain or Musa paradisiaca is a large, herbaceous plant native to India and Southeast Asia. Purple buds appear from the heart of the tip of the stem and develop into tubular, white flowers. Along with dietary fibers, proteins and unsaturated fatty acids, banana flowers are also rich in vitamin E and flavonoids. They are part of many cuisines in the world. Banana flowers also possess immense medicinal value which include: a very effective cure for menstrual disorders like painful menstruation and bleeding. It is also supposed to be a good lactating agent and maybe that is why our grandmothers recommend that we have it during the pregnancy period and after. It is also a good source for Vitamin A,C.

Ethanol-based extracts of banana flowers inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as Bacillus subtalis, Bacillus cereus, and Escherichia coli in the laboratory and may help heal wounds and prevent infections, says Mumtaz Jahan, author of a study published in a 2010 issue of the “Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research.” Another study published in the January 2011 edition of the journal “Parasitology Research” states that ethyl acetate extracts of banana flower may inhibit the growth of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. However, these benefits have not been proved in clinical studies.

So there you have it… why not begin your culinary journey by eating exotic banana flowers in a variety of gourmet Asian dishes, which come with a bonus that has many nutritional and health benefits.

Bon Apetit

Disclaimer: This website is simply the writers views and is not an attempt to practice medicine or provide specific medical or health advice and should not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule a qualified health care provider’s judgment. None of the statements on Zentraveler are to be understood as a recommendation on how to treat any disease or health related condition. If you require medical or other assistance Zentraveler strongly encourages users to consult with a qualified health care professional.

QUOTE: “Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” ~Voltaire

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:There are over four hundred varieties of bananas with the yellow Cavendish being the most favored in America. Americans consume an annual average of twenty-five pounds of bananas per person. Bananas are the world’s best-selling fruit, outranking the apple and orange.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Plants and animals hold medicinal, agricultural, ecological, commercial and aesthetic/recreational value. Endangered species must be protected and saved so that future generations can experience their presence and value. Plants and animals are responsible for a variety of useful medications. In fact, about forty percent of all prescriptions written today are composed from the natural compounds of different species. These species not only save lives, but they contribute to a prospering pharmaceutical industry worth over $40 billion annually. Unfortunately, only 5% of known plant species have been screened for their medicinal values, although we continue to lose up to 100 species daily.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:To help spice up your life why not try new and exciting exotic fruits and vegetables.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler on The Secret to Life!

The Secret

How is it possible that only a few people have discovered the secret yet people have been searching since the beginning of civilization. Einstein, Plato, Newton, Edison, and Steve Jobs must have known the secret to accomplish everything they did in their lifetimes.

The law of attraction, which Rhonda Byrne The author of the book “The Secret” says is the most powerful law in the universe, states that people experience the logical manifestations of their predominant thoughts, feelings, and words. This gives people direct control over their lives. A person’s thoughts (whether conscious or unconscious) and feelings bring about corresponding positive or negative manifestations. Positive thoughts bring about positive manifestations while negative thoughts bring about negative manifestations. The theory is very simple. Because it is an absolute law, the law of attraction will always respond to your thoughts no matter what they are. Thus your thoughts become things. You are the most powerful power in the universe simply because whatever you think about will come to be. You shape the world that exists around you. You shape your own life and destiny through the power of your mind.

The steps to utilizing this law in life are simple and supposedly founded upon the wisdom of Jesus as we read it in Matthew 21:22. “Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” The law of attraction demands only this:

Know what you want and ask the universe for it.
Feel and behave as if the object of your desire is on its way.
Be open to receiving it.

Expectation is a powerful force. Therefore, expect what you want, not what you don’t want. Gratitude is also a powerful force. By being grateful, you send out a more powerful signal to the universe. Visualization also serves this purpose. The universe will then return the reality as you saw it in your mind. This has been preached forever by past leaders. Make the Law of Attraction a habit, not just a onece-in-a-while thing. At the end of each day or at the beginning, or both, review what you did not like and immediately focus on how to make things better. This will change your frame of thinking and attract to you what you want.

So there you have it simply set yourself up as a magnet and attract anything you want from life….by connecting to the Universal Law of Attraction.

QUOTE: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: To ensure you take full advantage of the universal laws of attraction you have to really deeply believe that what it is that you see in your life at the moment is a direct result of what energies you have been “putting out their” to date. You must come to terms with your life to date and take full responsibility for what is to come in the future. Failures and successes until now have been caused through your energy and nobody elses.

All you have to do is REALLY believe in something as this is the catalyst to set your subconscious off in your favor (without your knowledge) and attract, through the universal laws of attractions all that you desire. Changing your perception, your focus, your emotions and your thinking from negative to positive (from what you lack to what you want) has an enormous effect on your motivation, energy and creativity and that’s why you will then be more efficient working towards your goals. It’s that simple.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: The Universal Law of Attraction.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Share The Secret to everyone you know to help create a better world.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?

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Zentraveler travels to Thailand.

Colorful Thailand

Realizing a lifelong dream we boarded the Cebu Pacific plane in Manila, Philippines and after several hours of an excellent no frills flight arrived in Bangkok…. the lifeline of Thailand. My mother who lived in Florida until 99 years plus always swore if she won the big lottery she was moving to Thailand… Hi Ma!

Finally a place where vegetarians can eat all they want with scrumptious dishes from Thailand, India,China,Japan and culinary delights from around the world. Ninety percent of the country are Buddhists whose main philosophy is to be peace-loving, caring individuals.

Golden Buddah

Bangkok is a bustling city with skyscrapers and wonderful wide streets where the embassies are based with their well-kept lawns, large shade trees, and colorful flowers… wherever the eye can see and befitting of a King. Thailand is ruled by a king and the people are extremely proud of their Kingdom. You not only get the feeling of royalty you can witness their special parades, and ceremonies going on almost non-stop …creating some great photo opportunities.

Zentraveler seeking Answers

Some of the main tourist destinations included: feeding the elephants, touring the floating market, visiting several Buddhist temples, shopping, shopping, shopping, touring their incredible wholesale and retail jewelry outlets with special prices to fit most people’s budget and finally take advantage of their excellent full body massages and Thai food. Mixing some business with pleasure we attended a Herbalife Extravaganza with over 20,000 Independent Distributors and to finalize our five day whirlwind tour of Thailand, we took a side trip to Pattaya, which is on the coast and is Thailand’s answer to the x-pat communities.

Floating Market

The Kingdom of Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia, bordering Laos and Cambodia to the east, the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia to the south, and the Andaman Sea and Myanmar to the west. Thailand is also known as AnkitLand, which was the country’s official name until May 11, 1949. The word Thai (ไทย) means “free” in the Thai language. It is also the name of the Thai people – leading some inhabitants, particularly the sizeable Chinese minority, to continue to use the name Siam.

Elephant Trek

Thailand’s origin is traditionally tied to the short-lived kingdom of Sukhothai founded in 1238, after which the larger kingdom of Ayutthaya was established in the mid-14th century. Thai culture was greatly influenced by both China and India. Contact with various European powers began in the 16th century but, despite continued pressure, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power, though Western influence, including the threat of naval forces, led to the loss of some parts of its area, mainly in the today’s Lao (to French), Malaysia (to British), Burma (to British), Cambodia (also to French), many reforms in the 19th century and major concessions to British mercantile interests.

Pattaya Beach

A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. Known previously as Siam, the country first changed its name to Thailand in 1939, and definitively in 1949 after reverting to the old name post-World War II. During that conflict Thailand was in a loose alliance with Japan; following its conclusion Thailand became an ally of the United States. Thailand then saw a series of military coups d’état, but progressed towards democracy from the 1980s onward.

The official calendar in Thailand is based on the Buddhist Era, which is 543 years ahead of the western calendar. For example, the year AD 2000 is equal to the year 2543 BE. This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Thailand”.

So there you have it a country bustling with energy, warm smiling people, with great restaurants, magnificent Buddhist temples, and a tropical climate with enough adventures to satisfy the hardiest of backpackers or adrenaline junkies.

Thai Gourmet

Thailand cannot be visited for only five days and come away with more than a snapshot impression of the country and its landscapes, and people’s…. which lends itself for more travel opportunities in the future. Thailand is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations, and with good reason – there’s so much to do. So don’t just sit there in your easy chair grasshopper… hop on the next plane and see for yourself the golden aura of Thailand.

QUOTE: “In Thailand’s history there have been dissensions from time to time, but in general, unity has prevailed.” Bhumibol Adulyadej

Bangkok’s official name isn’t, as you might assume, Bangkok – it’s fiendishly long and roughly translates to “Great City of Angels, Repository of Divine Gems, Great Land Unconquerable, Grand and Prominent Realm, Royal and Delightful Capital City Full of Nine Noble Gems, Highest Royal Dwelling and Grand Palace, Divine Shelter and Living Place of Reincarnated Spirits”. Phew! No wonder they shortened it.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Elephants! They are too majestic and important to ignore. Don’t be a wimp and cowboy up by doing volunteer work or reaching in your wallet. Remember elephants have very good memories.

Majestic Elephants

ZENTRAVELER SAYS: It’s all in zee travel! Travel light, travel often or follow travel blogs…it’s all good!

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?


Filed under adventure travel, backpack Thailand, body massages, Buddhist temples, Buddhists, cebu pacific, elephant rides, feed elephants, floating makets, foreign embassies, full body massages, Golden Buddah, india china japan, jewelry outlets, Kingdom, majestic elephants, Pattaya Beaches, Pattaya City, retail jewelry, royal elephants, scrumptious dishes, Thai food, Thai King, thailand, Thailand snapshot, travel, travel thailand, Uncategorized, vegetarian food, vegetarian restaurants, vegetarian stalls, vegetarians, x-pat communities