Monday, November 6, 2017

Thinglish Kitchen – We Are Now Open!

Today, we are pleased to announce the grand opening of Thinglish Kitchen. Located in Khao Saming district just 9km from Trat City you will find a relaxed and peaceful place for the whole family to enjoy healthy home cooked food by Lek and Katae our Mother and daughter chefs and hosts.

Katae and Kek Open Thinglish Lifestyle

We will be serving many of your Thai favourites and a selection of European fusion foods, all with a Thinglish twist to tantalize your tastebuds from 9:00am to 5:30pm daily.

We also have a specially selected dessert menu if you are feeling like a naughty but nice treat and a selection of seasonal fresh fruit shakes and teas. We even take Bitcoins!

Here is our November sample menu:

Thinglish Kitchen Menu

Katae at Thinglish Kitchen Eat Here Sign It's a Thinglish Thing! Toy London Bus Fresh Fruit British Icons Business at Thinglish Kitchen Orchids Thai Sign of Thinglish Kitchen Katae and Lek Cherub Strawberry and Banana Smoothie We accept Bitcoin at Thinglish Kitchen Thai Noodles Thinglish Lifestyle Menu

Katae Adjusts Eat Here Sign

How to Find Thinglish Kitchen

From Trat:

The easy answer is ‘follow your nose’… but seriously to find Thinglish Kitchen from Trat, head up the Sukhumvit Road towards Bangkok for approximately 9km. You will see signs for Wat Lamphulai and Lamphulia Riverside Resort & Spa, here you will need to make a U-turn and head towards the temple. At the temple the road curves to the right and you will pass the resort on your left soon after. Further down the road on the right, you will find Thinglish Kitchen.

From Chantaburi – San Tung:

If you are heading towards Trat and/or Koh Chang from the north you will enter Khao Saming district. You will first see a 9km marker sign for Trat City and then signs for Wat Lamphulai and Lamphulia Riverside Resort & Spa. Turn left onto the road and follow the directions as above.

When all else fails, ask for the fallang’s place. I’m the only fallang in the village!

Directions to Thinglish Kitchen

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We look forward to welcoming you at Thinglish Kitchen.

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Thinglish Kitchen – We Are Now Open!

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Building the Thinglish Kitchen

Thinglish Kitchen logoThinglish Kitchen is our venture into the local Trat restaurant scene by my wife and Thai family. I’m spoiled daily with the amazing fresh food cooked and presented to me it would be a shame no one else could experience it too, so when we started discussing opening a restaurant, I was all ears!

Our last piece of land near the public road we decided to landscape with a wildlife pond as the main feature, (you can read more about that here) and site the restaurant so patrons can eat in relaxed and pleasant surroundings.

Construction starts on Thinglish Kitchen Restaurant

We hired a local construction company from San Tung who made a steel frame and concrete floor structure. The building process took 20 days.

Pouring concrete

The kitchen is a spacious area with east and south facing windows. The main dining area is typical Thai style open air dining but covered from the sun and rain with a large overhanging roof. Water collected from the roof is collected in two ongs positioned behind the restaurant and will provide an extra supply for the raised beds during the dry season.

Laying the restaurant floor

We gravelled a path from the top road to the restaurant entrance and Papa Outlaw constructed gates and a fence. We used lots of plants we have grown from cuttings to beautify the garden area as well as two local nurseries where we purchased some trees and shrubs that were planted firmly in the ground or in containers at the front of the restaurant.

Hanging the Thinglish Kitchen sign

We will also be grassing a small area to the right of the restaurant, but alas this will be after the opening as we are still waiting for the delivery.

Planting the Thinglish Kitchen garden

As we are very much into growing our own food we managed to sneak a few edible plants into the landscaping including 50 pineapples, a dozen aloe vera, papaya, some spearmint and 4 beach cherry trees. I’ll also be adding some banana and if you look closely you’ll notice some of the ground cover is pumpkin.

Sign for Thinglish Kitchen Restaurant

The Thinglish Kitchen will be opening on Tuesday 7 November from 9 to 5:30 daily. Food you can expect will be Thai favourites like noodles and krapow to fusion food such as black spaghetti to wanton cheese, plus desserts and of course everything has a Thinglish twist to tantalize your tastebuds. It’s tratlicious guaranteed!

View of Thinglish Kitchen

Check back for our next blog post when we do the big reveal of the  finished restaurant. At Thinglish Kitchen we will welcome you and your family for the best in relaxed dining this side of the mighty Khao Saming River.

We are close to Wat Lamphuria and Lamphuria Riverside Resort and Spa in Khoa Saming District just off the Sukhumvit Road, approximately 9km from Trat City center.

Building the Thinglish Kitchen

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Banana With Coconut Milk (Thai Dessert)

ingredients for bananas in coconut milk - Thai dessertToday i will show you how to cook a very simple Thai dessert. It’s so simple and very easy to cook even my husband could do it, but I’d never let him in the kitchen! 555.

It’s takes 12 Minute to do this!!! So let’s get started.

Serves: 4
Ready in: 12 Minute


  • 8 ————— Bananas
  • 100 ml ——– Coconut Milk
  • 3 ————– Pandan leaves
  • ½ tsp ——- Salt
  • ½ tbsp —– Sugar
  • Water


How to Prepare Bananas with Coconut Milk

  1. Peel the bananas and then cut them in half both ways, just like in the picture below.

cutting bananas up for Thai dessert

2. Add water and pandan leaves to a pot or pan and bring to boil.

pandan grass in water

3. Add the bananas quarters and cook until they are tender.

cooking bananas for a dessert

Share this Thai dessert with friends on twitter. Click bananas

5. Add ½ tbsp of sugar and ½ tsp of salt.

adding sugar to Thai dessert

adding salt to Thai dessert

6. Add 50ml of coconut milk and everything mix together, then add the remaining 50ml of coconut milk. Remember to keep stirring all the time and slowly bring to boil.

boiling bananas in coconut milk

Enjoy Your Thai Desert

7. That’s it, Serve HOT.

bananas in coconut - thai dessert

Tada!! It very easy to make this yummy Thai dessert and it take only “12 minute”. This is the perfect dessert if you or your family have a sweet tooth and still get 2 of your five fruits a day!

If you tried making this Thai dish, we would love to hear how you got on, please let us know in the comments below.

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Banana With Coconut Milk (Thai Dessert)

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pond Life

Landscaping a wildlife pond at the front of our property near the public road is the last part of our development… probably!

We have observed the land over the course of a year and noticed it never dried out. The area it sits in is in a depression and provides an overflow to a lake across the road. We decided to dig it deeper and retain more water for ourselves and transform the area from a wet marsh land to a beautiful and thriving wildlife pond.

Pond LifeBuilding a Wildlife Pond in Thailand

Thinglish Kitchen


On one side of the pond we will be constructing a family restaurant called ‘Thinglish kitchen’ where our Thai family will be preparing lots of healthy dishes with many of the fresh ingredients coming straight from our gardens. What a way to while away an hour or two than dining with friends while feeding the fish and watching the wildlife! More of Thinglish Kitchen in future posts!

Pond Life


We are now in the process of planting out the natural pond with aquatic plants to provide shade and food for the wildlife, while also being aesthetically easy on the eye for us humans.

One hundred tilapia were released into the pond earlier this week. In the future, these will provide us with a constant source of protein and control the mosquito population.

Tilapia Fish

We also plan to make a floating biomass island to provide the wildlife with more cover and help clean the pond water. Once we have collected all the components needed, we will set about constructing the floating island on dry land before launching it in the pond.

Cleaning Grey Water – Naturally

cleaning grey water naturally

We are also planting a small area with diverse aquatic plants, gravel and charcoal to filter grey water from the Thinglish Kitchen. This will naturally clean and be absorbed into the ground and seep into the pond to keep it topped up during the long dry season.

So, this once ugly and unused piece of land will continue to slowly transform in to a little oasis full of life to support the frogs, toads, dragonflies and fish and provide a great place to gaze over and relax while eating some healthy food with friends.

Sunset by the wildlife pond

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Pond Life

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Black Spaghetti with Spicy Seafood

Hi Everyone!!

I’m back here again to cook Thai fusion food and today I will cook black spaghetti with spicy seafood (Thai Style), So let do it…

fresh ingredients to cook Thai food

black spagetti

Start with the following ingredients:

  1. Meat (In this example I will use seafood but you can use chicken or pork etc.)
  2. Sweet basil
  3. Finger root
  4. Pepper
  5. Kaffir lime leaf
  6. Garlic
  7. Chili
  8. Soy Sauce
  9. Oyster Sauce
  10. Spaghetti


How to prepare black spaghetti with spicy seafood

  1. Pound chili and garlic with a pestle and mortar.

pestle and mortar

2. Heat a medium sized pan and then add chili and garlic.

cooking Thai food with Thinglish Lifestyle

3. When the garlic starts to turn yellow and smell appears, add shrimp or another type of meat and stir fry it up.

stir fried thai foodStir fry spicy seafood

4. Add black spaghetti (first you need to boil the spaghetti up before stir it in), after add pepper, finger root, kaffir lime leaf, soy sauce and oyster sauce.

Gently stir it all up.

Cooking with Katae

5. Lastly add sweet basil and then turn off the heat.

Thai fusion food

6. That’s it!! It’s so easy to cook!

Black Spaghetti with Spicy Seafood

PS. If you are Thai or just like ‘spicy’ you can add more chili.

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Black Spaghetti with Spicy Seafood

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Rubber Tree Plantations

Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees. When you think of Thailand, images of white sand beaches fringed with palms trees come to mind. If you stop to look around on your travels you may start to notice another tree in proliferation, the rubber tree.

Rubber Tree Plantation

Rubber trees are not native species to Thailand, the first being planted way back in 1899 by a Thai-Chinese investor. Today, Thailand only competes with Indonesia as the largest producer and exporter of natural ‘latex’ rubber. Almost 90% of all Thai rubber is exported and is used to make condoms, balloons, tires and surgical gloves. Incredibly, the Thai rubber export market nearly doubles that of its rice market.

Rubber Plantation Thailand

Rubber Trees Across Thailand

When you start to look around you will notice rubber tree plantations just about everywhere. These monoculture, 20 foot high commercial rubber tree plantations are generally privately owned and it’s estimated around 1.2 million Thai households have at least one person who works farming rubber.

tapping a rubber tree for latex

When a tree is around seven years old it is ready to be tapped. This is done about every other day and mainly at night when it’s cooler. We sometimes hear our neighbors going out or see the farmers head torches among the trees from our home. Each time a tree is tapped it yields about 50g of latex and the life of a tree is approximately 30 years.

acetic acid bottles

The latex sap is collected in a cup attached to the tree. The rubber farmer adds a drop or two of acetic acid (vinegar) to the latex that causes it to coagulate very quickly.

rubber tree farming

The price of rubber seems to be quite volatile and has been hitting the lows for the last few years. I guess it’s part supply and demand and part tied to the price of petroleum.

When the price of rubber bottoms or the trees reach a certain age, and produce only small latex yields, huge swathes of land are cleared and the trees are sold for lumber. This is made into furniture, plywood and composite boards. Pineapples are often planted on the cleared land as this is currently seen as a high cash crop when rubber falls. However, the price of rubber has a way of bouncing back!

rubber tree seeds

I walk our dog Taxi throughout our neighboring farmers rubber tree plantations every morning as part of our daily routine. It’s a great way to start the day. We can see the wood and the trees but we still have to keep an eye out for snakes, but that’s another story!

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Rubber Tree Plantations

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Cryptocurrency Freedom!

In my previous blog post I explained what being self-sufficient meant to me. Apart from farming and securing our own food and water supplies, I briefly touched on being debt-free and investing. One thing I didn’t mention was cryptocurrencies.

I only know a handful of people who know anything about cryptocurrencies and I believe It’s a such a huge game changer, like mobile phones, the Internet and AI, so I thought I’d share my my take and journey in to the world of cryptocurrencies right here on Thinglish Lifestyle because more people need to get up to speed with this technology and free themselves from the shackles of the central banks.

Cryptocurrency - Control Your Future Wealth

I would strongly encourage you to research and educate yourself on cryptocurrencies. The markets can be very volatile with wild swings in either direction, but if you choose to invest, only invest what you can afford to lose.

Personally, I do not day-trade cryptocurrencies, I bought a basket of currencies by dollar averaging and hold for the long-term gains (or losses).

Disclaimer: I’m not a financial advisor. I’m just writing about my own experiences. If you decide to get into investing in the cryptocurrency space it’s at your own risk. Man up, you alone take ownership of your actions. What goes up goes down and past performances are no indicator of future performance. Speculate at your own risk. Got it? Cool!

So, what is a Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a decentralized and an alternative means of payment and/or store of value.

Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency first emerged as a side product of another invention by Satoshi Nakamoto, he never actually intended to invent a currency.

In his announcement of Bitcoin, Satoshi said he developed “a peer-to-peer electronic cash system“.

His goal was to invent something many people failed to create before digital cash.

“Announcing the first release of Bitcoin, a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending. It’s completely decentralized with no server or central authority”.  – Satoshi Nakamoto, 9 January 2009 – SourceForge.

All centralized attempts to build digital cash systems before Satoshi had failed but by building it as a file sharing network (Blockchain) he succeeded and gave birth to cryptocurrency.

What is a Blockchain?

A Blockchain is like a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. This computer network is designed to regularly update the spreadsheet. It is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions.

For more technical explanations of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology visit Blockgeeks.

My radar picked up on cryptocurrencies a couple of years ago but I didn’t understand it and was too busy doing other things (buying land and building a house) to educate myself about it. As a bullion investor I also saw it as another form of fiat currency with nothing backing it. How uniformed I was!

Earlier this year things had changed and I revisited the crypto space again.

After seeing what happened to people’s life savings overnight in Greece, Cyprus, Venezuela and Porto Rica I knew entrusting a bank with your money wasn’t a wise decision. Not only can the banks close their doors and turn off their ATM’s overnight, cutting off your cash supply but they can also bail-in your account funds to keep their sinking ship afloat a little longer.

There is also a world-wide drive to make it illegal to use cash (UKIndia). Of-course we are told these attempts to control money is for our own good, to stop the drugs trade, terrorism or corruption (Governments want a monopoly on all these things!).

Find out what Fiat Currency and Fractional Reserve Banking is. They didn’t teach you this in school, I wonder why? No is the time to educate yourself on the future of money!

So, by my reasoning, if I trust my cash deposits with the bank I could realistically wake up one bright morning and have no access to my money. This precedent has already been set in the countries I mentioned earlier in this post (I bet no one in these countries thought it could happen to them). By any definition, that would make us slaves to the banking system.

By building a house and owning land, art and bullion limits my exposure to these banksters and investing part of my portfolio into cryptocurrency is a natural progression of my inherent desire for freedom.

Yes, crypto currencies are digital money but they are not owned or controlled by central banksters. So, if the governments want us to stop using cash I’m all for that, but I’ll use a decentralized system outside of their centralized system. If everyone did the same we could bring these warpigs down and the world would be a better and more peaceful place without them.

How Do You Start Buying Cryptocurrencies?

To get started you will need to connect your bank account, debit/credit card with a digital currency exchange so you can purchase some fiat currency for cryptocurrency. I would recommend starting with the service offered by Coinbase. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Coinbase - Cryptocurrency Exchange

  1. To register on Coinbase you will need to have your name, address, bank account details and a form of ID such as a passport at the ready.
  2. Once Coinbase has verified your ID and connected your bank information to your account you can purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin using your local fiat currency.
  3. I would start small until you are comfortable with the purchasing mechanics. You don’t have to buy a whole coin. You can purchase a small part of a coin – 0.00000001 for example.


Storing Cryptocurrency Offline in a Ledger Nano Wallet

Once you have purchased your cryptocurrency you should obtain a ‘Wallet’ to store it in. Why? Learn more about security and all that good stuff here.

You can get a secure wallet from one of the many service providers currently available online, Exodus Wallet or MyEtherWallet are two for a start. However, the most secure place to store your cryptocurrency is offline. I store mine on a Ledger Nano.

Ledger Wallet protects your bitcoins

Trading Cryptocurrencies

You could stop there once you have bought your cryptocurrency of choice. Keep in in a safe place and forget about it until you need it for a rainy day or retirement. However, you can also trade cryptocurrencies.

There are currently nearly a thousand cryptocurrencies to choose from at the time of writing. Some good, some bad and some you don’t want to touch with a barge pole. Again, it’s always good to do your own due diligence and research, and research again before investing in any cryptocurrency (it’s not like buying a bar in Thailand!! 555).

Thankfully, there is a lot of information and white papers on credible cryptocurrency websites, Reddit, Google and Youtube etc. Just turn up your BS detector to eleven and remember if anything looks too good to be true… it’s a ladyboy!.

I have invested in a handful of cryptocurrencies based on price point, the project, who is behind the project and their white papers. If it sounds like an interesting idea and I can get behind and believe in it, I make a small investment and then follow up with a larger stake(s) if I’m still confident. This is known as dollar averaging or hedging your bets.

I then tend to hold my investments for the long term.

It is possible to start day trading, buying currencies at a low price hoping it will rise and then selling it on, making a tidy profit. But beware, there are many pump and dump schemes out there, so don’t gamble with your life savings.

Studying charts, researching and generally spending a lot of time doing this kind of thing on a daily basis isn’t for me. Trading is akin to gambling, it can also be quite addictive so again, make like a flying insect in a dress, beware!

To buy and sell cryptocurrencies you will need to go to an exchange. Poloniex and Bittrex are my two preferred exchanges.

Cryptocurrency Exchange - Poloniex

Other Investment Opportunities

Another way to invest in Cryptocurrencies is by taking part in an ICO – Initial Coin Offering.  An ICO is very much like a IPO (Initial Public Offering) but without the government regulation.

It’s very high risk game. The project you are investing in may never come to fruition. You could easily lose all your initial stake. Again, it’s wise to do your own due diligence and find out who is behind the project and what, if any successes or failures they have had in the past. Don’t listen to the hype.

As always do not invest any more than you can comfortably afford to lose. That shirt looks good on you!

Here’s a video of a recent ICO I invested in…

In Conclusion

I think everyone should invest a little in cryptocurrencies. We are at the beginning of a very interesting time in our lives and the development of the blockchain.

As the blockchain technology protocols and applications advance and more people start to invest in this sphere the price will rise and fortunes will be made (and lost) for the early adopters.

If you made it to the end of this post, Thank You! I know it’s a little off topic to what we usually write about on our blog. I would recommend continuing your education on cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. It is a fascinating subject whether you decide to invest in it now or not. It’s here to stay and it is certainly not going away as long as we have the Internet.

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