13 Years Since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: My Wife Will Never Forget

13 years ago, most people didn’t know what a tsunami was. Today we all remember the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26, 2004, leaving more than 230.000 people dead, most of them in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.

My wife was 16 years old at the time and one of many helping injured people at Krabi Hospital in Krabi Town. Helicopters flew in wounded from Phi Phi Island, and she remembers hearing ambulance sirens all day and night non-stop. The following days she saw dead bodies in huge refrigerated containers and on the open ground for identification.

My In-Laws Cut down Their Rubber Tree Plantation in Krabi

Thai natural rubber prices have fallen from a peak of 179.25 baht ($5.41) per kg in 2011 to 45 baht ($1.38) per kg in December 2017 (36.95 baht as record low in Jan-Feb 2015). My in-laws, with a 3-hectare land, have waited a long time for the price to go up, but have now given up on rubber tapping. They recently cut down 1.000 rubber trees and sold it as rubberwood for around 200.000 baht.

Subject to Photograph in Thailand: The Macaque Monkeys

Monkeys are a lot of fun, and they are so photogenic it’s ridiculous. In Thailand, you will most likely run into a few macaques, so be ready with your camera — they’re such a great subject to photograph. Just don’t get too close them as they can be aggressive, which is why you should use a camera with a bit longer focal length lens. Below are a few shots of macaques I’ve taken in Phuket and Krabi.

Two macaques on a scooter up at Monkey Hill in Phuket Town.

Thailand Travel Advice: The Ultimate Guide

Thinking too much about travel advice and safety will just ruin your vacation — you need to relax and enjoy your well-earned holiday weeks. Just keep these tips in the back of your head, and you will have an awesome time in Thailand.

Advice on food and drinking water

Traveler’s diarrhea is a stomach and intestinal infection that commonly causes loose stools and abdominal cramps. It’s caused by unhygienic handling of food or drinking contaminated water. Traveler’s diarrhea usually isn’t serious, but very unpleasant.