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Phuket’s vegetarian nirvana at Lotus restaurant

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket’s vegetarian nirvana at Lotus restaurant | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The Vegetarian Festival is a yearly religious event held in honor of the nine Taoist Gods (Kiu Ong Iah), who are revered for their power to protect Phuket island and its inhabitants.

For ten days during the ninth lunar month, the Chinese community observes a strict code of conduct to purify the body and mind: celibacy, cleanliness of the body, abstinence from alcohol and meat products.

During this time, vegetarian restaurants spring up all over the island to cater to vegetarian practices. Usually, vendors will cook up a multitude of various dishes in advance to save time for this very busy period. So what you get is mostly unappealing, overcooked vegetables and soggy fries. Not so with the Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant in Samkong, for every dish is cooked fresh on the spot.

Khun Pennapa ‘Poom’ Somnam, who has been a vegetarian for more than ten years, opened Lotus 12 years ago on Hongyok Utit Road behind Bangkok Hospital Phuket. Only a month ago, the restaurant moved to larger premises on the same road. The new Lotus is bright and clean and fully air-conditioned. There’s also a small outdoor area, which has proved popular with diners.

“Lotus, or Dok Bua in Thai, is a Buddhist symbol of enlightenment. Admittedly, you don’t reach nirvana easily, but I believe that we should all try to at least practice the Buddhist precept of non-violence, and vegetarianism is part and parcel of this,” says Khun Poom.

At Lotus, many types of mushrooms which are acquired daily from a nearby farm are used in place of meat. There is also mock meat to please the die-hard carnivores, which is made by combining mushrooms, soybean derivatives and herbs. It comes in many shapes and forms, such as roast duck, stewed pork and even prawns. It tastes and smells uncannily like real meat, although Khun Poom assures me that the seasonings they use are derived solely from natural products, notably the pungent shitake mushrooms and fermented soy paste.

Following the strict code of Phuket vegetarianism, where most strong-smelling herbs are forbidden, Khun Poom will not use garlic, onion, or chives in her cooking. However, pepper and chillies are allowed, so you will find a few spicy dishes here.

The meatless menu is varied, and all the usual Thai fares can be found: yam, or Thai salads; curries; stir-fries and noodles. Pla Pad Pong Curry (90 baht) is a cross between stir-fry and curry and has an unmistakably Indian flavor about it.

Pad Thai (60 baht) is every bit as good as the version with prawns. Try also the Kha Moo Rom Kwuan (90 baht), a kind of flavored smoked ham, or the Gaeng Ped Ped Yang (90 baht), roast duck red curry.

For the purists who have an aversion to mock meat, sample instead the refreshing Nam Tok Hed (80 baht), Isaan-style mixed mushrooms salad, or the aromatic Makuer Yao Pad Prik Horapa (60 baht), eggplant cooked with sweet basil and fermented soybean.

Perfect as snacks or side dishes are Goong Tempura (70 baht), battered and bread-crumbed fried mushrooms wrapped in seaweed, and Yam Pla Dook Foo (90 baht), crispy fish (tofu) salad with herbs.

There are various kinds of refreshing homemade herbal drinks. When it was suggested that these drinks tend to be on the sweet side, Khun Poom said she would consider reducing the amount of sugar used.

The restaurant is open daily from 10:30am to 8:30pm. Please note its unusual closing days: every first Sunday, and second and fourth Saturdays, of the month. T: 076-211985.

The Phuket Vegetarian Festival ends tomorrow. Click here for a schedule of the street processions.

— Nanthapa Pengkasem

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Thai Life

Three Thai lottery winners take home 6 million baht each

The Thaiger

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Three Thai lottery winners take home 6 million baht each | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Winner Suwarn Sinthao, owner of a convenience store in Thailand's north east - Khaosod

781403. That’s the magic six numbers you needed for yesterday’s lottery, which would award you with a grand prize of 6 million baht if you had a winning lottery ticket. Three people won, a convenience store owner in Nakhon Ratchasima and married couple from Rayong.

Suwarn Sinthao bought her ticket hoping to win a three-number prize of 4,000 baht but when she realised that she had all 6 numbers she just sat down and cried. Khaosod News went to interview Suwarn the store owner in Nakhon Ratchasima, along with lots of friends, relatives and well-wishers. Suwarn said she purchased the ticket using the numbers on an old car she had seen in a dream.

She says she will be using the money to pay off the family’s debts and the rest to renovate her store and home. She says she’ll also donate some of her winnings.

The other winners were a married couple from Rayong. 43 year old Sompong Raethuan and 32 year old Wimon Molatin filed a report at the Pluak Daeng Police Station after realising they had won 2 first prizes brining their total winnings to 12 million baht. They say they’ve been using the same sequence of numbers for a long time. The couple work at a local factory and the tickets were purchased at a market in the Pluak Daeng District, north-west in the Rayong Province. The say the money will be invested for future plans whilst both will continue to work in the factory.

Congratulations to all the winners. The next government lottery draw will be on March 1.

SOURCES: Khaosod | Thai Residents

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Thai Life

Toilet paper vs bum gun – which one is better?

The Thaiger

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Toilet paper vs bum gun – which one is better? | The Thaiger

Put down your knife and fork. We’re going to talk about bumguns, arse-blasters and Number 2s.

Let’s take a moment and travel to a western country and sit on the toilet. We do whatever we need to do and then… where’s the water gun? Instead you’re confronted with a roll of toilet paper, patterned or otherwise (why?!) Asian people have been happily washing their nether regions after Number 1s and Number 2s forever. Why hasn’t the West caught on? It’s not as if a westerner hasn’t experienced the joy and wonder of a quick squirt below and been unable to take the idea home.

Now some enterprising scientists have done the research and the bum-gun comes up the winner. An American rectal surgeon in New York, Dr Evan Goldstein, told a squeamish audience at ButtCon (basically Comic-Con, but all about bottoms instead of comics) that a squirt with water is actually a much better way to clean yourself after using the bathroom.

Now it starts getting a bit gross.

Asians already know that using toilet tissue after defecating basically means you will simply smear that faecal matter around, without actually cleaning the area. If you’re eating a low-roughage diet the problem is worse.

Meanwhile, washing with water will thoroughly clean the area of any trace of faeces. A bit of well-aimed water pressure for a few seconds will do a much, much better job than a few metres of toilet paper! Finishing the spray-job with a quick wipe of tissue paper will then leave your backside feeling cleaner and fresher after every poop!

“Besides being a better cleaning agent all-around, only wiping your bum using tissue can actually lead to injuries.”

Dr Evan Goldstein, speaking to Insider, said that the skin on the anus is quite thin and delicate. And dry toilet paper can be abrasive.

“This is why wiping too many times, or any harsh actions, could lead to painful tears, or tears, and even bleeding.”

Some Americans have now taken on the idea of cleaning up with water and agree that using a bidet to wash your backside can be more comfortable than toilet paper. Especially for people who just had surgery, given birth, or experience irritable bowel syndrome. Scientists now also universally agree that a squat toilet is healthier than a sitting on a porcelain throne… but one thing at a time!

The contentious topic, a favourite at ButtCon, now comes down on the side of the wet finish rather than the paper finish.

But not all research on bidets or ‘bum guns’ is positive. A large study of women in Japan in 2010 found that frequent use of bidets could interrupt the normal bacterial flora in the vagina and lead to infection.

So, it’s more hygienic and, well, it feels better (come on, admit it!). But there’s also plenty of other reasons to back the bun-gun. The average American reportedly uses 3 rolls of tissue a week, the whole country goes through about 36.5 billion rolls a year. And how much water goes into making one roll of tissue paper? About 140 litres. The production of that pure white toilet paper uses even more water. Making tissue also involves the pulping of millions of trees, and using tonnes of chlorine.

And then there’s all the energy involved in manufacturing, the packaging and transporting of the rolls of paper to retail outlets. Tissue paper is also known to clog plumbing and force city sewer systems and water treatment plants to work much harder.

So, next time you’re reaching behind and having a quick squirt (please aim carefully), you’ll feel better knowing that your backside is probably happier with the end result.

And a big shout out to all the proctologists out there for doing a job most of us wouldn’t! Have fun at ButtCon.

SOURCE: msn.com

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Police say the ‘Skullbreaker Challenge’ could lead to injury, death and jail terms

The Thaiger

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Police say the ‘Skullbreaker Challenge’ could lead to injury, death and jail terms | The Thaiger

Thai Police are warning teenagers against copycat versions of a idiotic and dangerous craze known as the ‘Skullbreaker Challenge’ citing victims ending up with spine and head injuries. And even death. The online fad, gaining notoriety on social media, involves tricking someone into jumping into the air before friends on either side kick the player’s legs out causing them to fall heavily on their back.

Doctors say the online fad, which originated in South America, is potentially “deadly” and could easily harm the skull, brain and neck bones. The Thai Medical Services chief Somsak Akkslip says the Skullbreaker Challenge is life-threatening as the victim’s head can hit the ground, with deadly consequences.

“The consequences could be horrific. The victim’s skull will be broken and nerves will be damaged, with bleeding in the brain.”

Thai police and doctors are fearful Thai kids and teenagers will be inclined to experiment with the fad after the popularity of clips posted on social media. Police remind people who are responsible for causing severe injuries to others, especially when the harm is pre-meditated, will face jail terms of between 2-10 years.

“Specifically, if a victim is seriously injured, his friends can be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail and pay a maximum fine of 200,000 baht under the law’s Section 297.”

Police are asking parents and teachers to educate kids about the dangers of the Skullbreaker Challenge and urging them not to imitate the ‘game’ or caving into peer pressure.

This report examining the latest stupid online craze from NBC, Florida…

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