Title: Bottle Beach, Koh Phangan (Drone-Photo: Dietmar Eckell)

After nine years of producing the travel blog Faszination Fernost in my native German language I now start adding some content in English. My name is Bernd Linnhoff, the Thai people call me Khun Ben, I`ve been living in Thailand for 14 years now. The newsletter Mail from Thailand will be mainly about Thailand of course but you will find some stories, recommendations, links and videos concerning other countries in South East Asia too. So here is the first issue of my newsletter. I hope you will find some entertaining and informative stuff here, and I`m looking forward to get some feedback maybe.

Right now I`m in Chiang Mai, where I live since 2012,

and life is almost as lively as before the pandemic. The road traffic around the moat has become a challenge again. I take part in this rodeo with my scooter twice a day and I’m always happy when I’m back home in one piece. The annual smog just started and in the North of Thailand hundreds of thousands have flocked to hospitals for treatment of sore airways. Bangkok is still sinking, by the way, and fast. It is hard to imagine that the countless skyscrapers under construction will effectively stop this process.

Smog over Chiang Mai

It was devastating to hear this Wednesday that one of the young „Wild Boars“ footballers rescued from flooded Tham Luang Cave in Chiang Rai in 2018 has died suddenly in England. .

A boat trip along the northern shore of Koh Phangan

Since my first trip to Thailand in 1994 (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao), Koh Phangan has been my favorite island until today. Not so long ago I made a boat trip along the rocky northern shore of Phangan with some friends.

February 2023: Flower Festival in Chiang Mai

Photo Faszination Fernost/B. Linnhoff

Chiang Mai’s Flower Festival delighted locals and visitors alike for the 46th time in early February. Where else should the feast take place than in the city called the „Rose of the North“? It’s one of the country’s most colorful events; the highlight is always the parade through the city center with the most imaginative floral creations.

World Tea & Coffee Expo 2023

Photo Faszination Fernost/B. Linnhoff

Chiang Mai may be a provincial capital, but it’s extraordinarily active in maintaining the traditions of the ancient Lanna Kingdom while also bringing the world to the city with modern events. For caffeine lovers, Chiang Mai is considered the coffee capital of Southeast Asia, a plus for local digital nomads. No wonder, then, that the World Tea&Coffee Expo 2023 took place in Chiang Mai, in the shopping and strolling center One Nimman. Like the visitors, the brown beans and tea leaves came from Thailand and around the world. And once again I found that it’s getting harder and harder to get a plain black coffee.

Nackte Wahrheit (Naked Truth)

In the spotlight: Sophirat Muangkum (Photo Faszination Fernost/B. Linnhoff)

The opening of Sophirat Muangkums‘ solo exhibition in Chiang Mai was well attended. At first I thought the title of the exhibition had attracted the majority of art lovers: Nackte Wahrheit (in German language!). But when I spoke briefly with the artist, I found out that she has 50,000 followers on Facebook and has also earned her first merits abroad. So we see the works of an artist who is already established but also worthy of support.

Local visitors dominated the opening crowd in the Head High Second Floor rooms; indicating again that the German host Reinhard Kressner has made a name for himself in a short time as a sponsor of Thai artists. The exhibition, which also lived up to its title with a nude guitarist at the opening, runs until March 11th.

Lei and Ou la la: Birthday Party at CU Corner

Our friend Lei was celebrating her birthday and shared the party with another birthday girl, Ou, better known as Ou la la. Place of a lot of merry action: the popular live music bar CU Corner in Moon Muang Soi 1 in the old town of Chiang Mai.

Just to remind you: It`s now two years that the military seized power in Myanmar again by a coup. What debt and desparation can do to the burmese people you can read read in this article.

Some links to

Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai city guide (Independent)

Chiang Mai: Restaurant Seafood by the Ping (Chiang Mai Citylife)

Bangkok: Park Hyatt Hotel (TravelandLeisure)

The Secret Island next to Koh Chang: Koh Ngam (Ink and Travel/Youtube)

Phuket: 10 best Phuket tours (Phuket 101)

Laos: Flying Through the Trees Like a Monkey at the Gibbon Experience (Indie Traveller)

So much for now. See you again soon.

Stay healthy!

Yours, Khun Ben

P.S. Weird scenes are unfolding in Thailand following the legalization of cannabis.