Category Archives: Buddhism

Healthy Eating! Eat Smart! A Bangkok weekend…Tea Tasting, Butterfly Pea Flowers…

What a weekend…Bangkok and seeing my Number 1 son…Perfect…It was a weekend of tea tasting, shopping, delicious food and lots of walking…

Bangkok a city which never sleeps…A city I love but only for a few days…It is vibrant, busy and the markets…so many…Chinatown is one of my favourite areas and where my favourite hotel is The Shanghai Mansion…A quirky hotel and we managed on our tour of Chinatown to have two pitstops and at the Shanghai Mansion both times… the first stop was for the most delicious smoothies and the second later in the afternoon when we were shopped and walked out was for a Passionfruit mocktail as it was Visakha Bucha Day one of the most important holidays in the Thai calendar… Alcohol is strictly forbidden on this day…So mocktails it was…

Visakha Bucha Day signifies the three most important days in the life of the Lord Buddha and it happened on the full moon of the sixth lunar month.

The Buddha was born on this day into the Royal family in what is now Nepal it was also the day that he departed this earthly life at the age of 80 years.

The Budhha also achieved The Enlightenment what is known as Nirvana on this very day so three important events in the life of Budhha.

In 1999 the United Nations unanimously resolved to declare Visakha Bucha day an international day.

My passionfruit mocktail was a delight topped by half a passionfruit…brulee…that half of passionfruit was awesome with a crackable top on top of the passionfruit a simple idea but amazing which has made me think…recipe…A passionfruit cheesecake with a brulee topping…I can just taste it…Drooling here…So watch this space…

Our first Food stop… I won’t number them as there were a few… haha…But we did walk them off…  I redeemed myself and my step count for that day alone was 19, 265 steps so I completely smashed my 10,000 steps that day…

The best bowl of noodles I have tasted for a long time and the most awesome steamed prawns with a delicious dip…Time for more shopping and our first stop was…

Tea Tasting...We stopped at a stall selling tea as my son wanted to take some home and the girl invited us to take a seat and she offered to do a tea tasting it was awesome…Even hubby he who does nothing healthy…was encouraged to try the teas…He did but showed none of the appreciation that it deserved…haha…But number 1 son and mummy thoroughly enjoyed the experience and came away with a few bags of tea and a beautiful glass tea strainer and pot which totally enhanced the brewing of the teas…

My purchase was some Butterfly Pea flowers for my granddaughter who loves her green and herbal teas which make an awesome drink either hot or cold …it is also a caffeine-free alternative to green or black tea.

To make Butterfly Pea tea…

Butterfly Pea Flowers Dried

First, rinse the tea with hot water and warm the pot and cups.

You will require about 2 tsp of Butterfly Pea flowers to every 500 ml of hot water (90c-95c) the water should be just under the boiling point.

Infuse the Butterfly pea flowers for 2-4 minutes for the 1st and 2nd brew gradually increase the brewing time for subsequent brews…I use my tea generally 3 times sometimes 4 depending on the tea and your taste.

Butterfly pea tea in a pot

I just love the beautiful blue colour of this tea as it is so pretty especially cold in a glass on a sunny day.

If you add a drop of lemon juice then it changes the colour to a lovely purple…

Will the blue butterfly pea flower tea stain my teeth? Bluechai teas will not stain your teeth in any way. The anthocyanins contained in the butterfly pea flowers are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear blue or pink depending on the pH.

One of the most prominent benefits of drinking blue tea is that it has a lot of antioxidants. These powerful bio-compounds help the body fight free radicals which are toxic and cause premature ageing. It is a good idea to detox the body once in a while with an antioxidant-rich drink like blue pea tea.

It also makes a refreshing cold drink,  I sometimes keep a jug in the fridge.

My second purchase was some Rosella Flowers…


Another caffeine-free alternative to green or black tea Rosella is packed with Vitamin C. It is said to be a safe, natural way to lower Blood Pressure but please check with your doctor first if you are on BP meds.

It is also known to help circulation and can be drunk hot or cold.

To make Rosella tea it is the same as above but as it is a slightly sour tasting tea you may wish to sweeten with raw sugar or honey it can also be blended with black tea or chrysanthemum tea.

For me, as I don’t like sweet drinks it is perfect I love the sour taste…I also do not use tea bags but use fresh dried flowers/leaves I was also a very bad mother as the only time my children were allowed soda/fizzy drinks was Christmas and their birthday they all have perfect teeth and no fillings…According to researchers who compared green and black tea to soda and orange juice in terms of their short- and long-term erosive effect on human teeth. The study found that the erosive effect of tea was similar to that of water, which has no erosive effect.

If you want further proof of how damaging sodas are for teeth then Sally’s post reveals all on the worldwide market for fizzy drinks and it is scary reading and I am so pleased that I was a bad mother who didn’t allow sodas …

Our next stop well all that walking made us hungry was a seafood restaurant and the crab curry was wonderful…

Carol 7 flavours seafood Bangkok 2

We also visited some temples, a few markets  but the reason I am showing you all this is to say yes I am mindful what I eat most of the time but when I am away for the weekend I enjoy myself and eat what I fancy although I did tread very gingerly on the scales yesterday and gave a huge sigh of relief when they showed the same as last week so  if I   am good this week I hopefully will not put any extra pounds on.

Until next week have a good one and enjoy! xxx\

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on 


Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:

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Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx







Asanha Bucha Day…Thailand.


Today is a very special day in Thailand a public holiday and one of  Theravada Buddhism’s most important festivals which celebrates the Lord Buddha’s first sermon at Benares in India over 2,500 years ago.

The Buddha preached his first sermon at a deer park and from this sermon, the Dharma (doctrine) of the Buddha was symbolised as a wheel. The Dharmachakra is also known as the Wheel of Life, Wheel of Law or Wheel of Doctrine and can be seen on flags in temples and buildings all across Thailand. Similarly, pictures or models of deer can often be seen at temples or in depictions of the Buddha.


The four noble truths are suffering ( dukkha) caused by craving (tanha) then a state of beyond suffering (Nibbana) the eightfold path then leads to Nirvana. All the schools and traditions of Buddhism revolve around this central doctrine of those four noble truths.

Such was the enlightenment of one of the five that he requested that Buddha accepted him as a disciple this wish was granted and thus the first order of the monks began.

Known  Asanha Bucha in Thailand,   The Theravada Buddhist festival takes place in July,  on the full moon of the sixth lunar month known as the full moon of Cancer.

It is also celebrated in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Laos, Myanmar and in countries with Theravada Buddhist populations.

The day is celebrated by donating offerings and candles to temples and listening to sermons… Traditionally, candles are amongst the items donated to the wat for Asahna Bucha and processions featuring candles are held at various towns in Thailand.


The tradition dates back to the times before electricity where the extra light was needed at the temple during the darker days of the rainy season. Local people will also ‘wian tian’ which involves walking around the wat with a lit candle, lotus flowers and incense.

The following day is known in Thailand as Wan Khao Phansa or Buddhist lent; it is the first day of Vassa, the Theravada rains retreat.


Vassa is a three-month retreat observed by Theravada practitioners this takes place during the wet season and lasts for three months.

A 2-day alcohol ban is also observed during this period.

I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into the Buddha days here…

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Thank you  for reading and have a lovely weekend x



Retired no one told me! …Star fruit, Pickled eggs and Protein Drinks

It’s that time again I just don’t know where the time goes…Do You? Have you had a good week? A good response to your posts? Learnt something new I know I do every day and I love it!

Fruity Fridays and the popular Banana.

Fruity Fridays Banana

Then I got pickled! Pickled Eggs (2)

Protein Drinks...were next always a controversial subject with me..well anything mass produced is if I am honest…Look at my homemade one so vibrant and good for you…

Raspberry Protein Shake

Wednesdays is the day when the lovely Sally lets me loose with my chatter and recipes on Smorgasbord…My food Column where Carol Cook’s…

That’s all for this weeks roundup I hope you enjoyed reading my posts if you did miss any make sure you don’t next week and just follow my blogs…

Tomorrow it is Fruity once again and I am showcasing??????? Won’t you just have to wait and see??? xx





Wat Baan Waeng or Heaven and Hell.

50 km’s north of Udon Thani where we now live is Wat Baan Waeng or Pho Chai Sri as it is also known.

It is home to larger than life statues and sculptures which depict the heaven and hell side of Buddhism. So in other words if you stray from the path of the five precepts of Buddhism then “Hell” is what awaits you.

It shows the fate or karma of these individuals and the gory fates that await them for their sins.


Initially when we pulled into the temple we were met with the scene of monks sitting, children playing and stalls selling trinkets, spiritual items and a well. The water level of which is always very high so if you do want to peer down into the blackness then first remove your shoes before you step onto the plinth. The well according to local folktales just appeared!

Such tranquility that we  thought we had chanced upon the wrong temple(wat).

But no, if you follow the path lined with Buddhas statues you will be led through beautiful gardens, music playing, good food and drink everything that heaven is meant to be.


Happy smiles and music playing.


All plaques and writing are in Thai so it will enhance your visit if you have someone with you who can read Thai.


The tree of life depicting the man or king at the top surrounded by ladies. Showing as flowers hanging from the tree of life.


Do not be fooled!

You are now entering hell.


You will then come upon statues showing the horrific torture that you would suffer if you went to hell. Depending on your sin your punishment would fit the crime. A liar would have his tongue removed and a thief his hands.



Forced to climb the thorny tree or be eaten by the waiting dogs. It looks like he wasn’t quite quick enough.


A liar…Off with your tongue!


Boiling liquid!


Cruelty to animals will not be tolerated.


Karma reigns!  What goes around comes around as the saying goes.


A fruitless gesture, begging for mercy I don’t think any mercy was going to be granted here.

I hope you enjoyed this trip through heaven and hell, it will be on my to visit again list as there is a temple being built in the middle of the lake there which promises to be a lovely tranquil place to sit and read or write.

I hope you enjoy!



Wat Pa Phu Kon, Issan, Northern Thailand

Standing proud on top of a hill in 400 acres of lush green fields and forests  surrounded by other hills  is this beautiful little known temple, unless you have a Thai connection or live in Issan many people are not aware that it even exists. It has a stunning aqua blue roof and literally sparkles in the sunlight and the blue of the roof reflect of the blue sky so there this is shimmering bright blue aura around the temple, it is sight to behold.

It is very popular with Thais and we arrived on one of the busiest of days a holy Buddha day luckily we had left early but even so the queue for the trucks to take us to the top of the hill was fairly long but we were shaded by the trees which surround this lovely temple.

You can drive to the top of the hill but on busy days like this they have trucks to ferry you upwards as the car park at the top is very small for the amount of cars there would be.

The dress code is very strict here. No sleeveless t/shirts or blouses, No shorts or skirts above the knee. Thai style skirts or trousers will be lent to you in the event your dress is unsuitable.

It is quite a new temple and very clean and bright it has spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and although very busy on this holy Buddha day has an aura of peace and calm.

Nga snakes guard the entrance to the main temple and inside is a stunning white marble reclining Buddha which is made out of 43 blocks of exquisite Italian Carrara marble each weighing 15-30 tons each block. The cost of building this  was in excess of 50 million baht and was a generous donation by an elderly Thai lady in honour of the king.This temple also houses  lots of carvings and numerous other Buddha images in gold and marble. The wall painting show a story of ten reincarnations of Buddha. It is beautiful to see.

We were met with the sight of many people holding prayer mats and walking and praying as they circled the reclining Buddha, it is lovely to see people laying bare their faith and love for Buddha it is something which always humbles me here wherever people feel the need to pray  they do…..

If you live in Issan or ever travel to here it is a beautiful temple and worth the visit.The isolation and peaceful natural environment makes this an ideal place for meditation so if you crave solitude and tranquility then this is the place for you.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour around this lovely temple.

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot and if you want to share this post with your friends I would be honoured.

Wat Tung Tookham, Udon Thani, Thailand.


After the know.. Weekend food shopping etc

We decided to take a trip out and just 15km from Udon Thani Town is Wat Tung Tookham …well we went round the houses a bit and then were pointed to this little, very little soi….Big Red men Working sign across entrance….

So we travelled along a bit and thought nought here… so went back just as said workman was removing his barrier…Ah ha so down this track we went ..just one car wide and now we saw signs …so we followed the signs through a little Thai village and there it was…. Looking a bit in need of some TLC….not a bit like the pics in the tourist brochure…

It is a charming temple ..we were the only visitors and the only human life we saw were 2 lone monks and 5 laughing children… as well as Buffalo grazing in the was lovely!


Some of the many Buddhas here are covered in Thai coins, both old and new and with the sun on them they glisten and this is made even lovelier as the temple is among the trees… it was so calm and peaceful.

Beneath the temple is a spirit ball and holy water seeps through the floor..this is a little temple which is only opened during important holy days so people can collect some water…  the water is said to bring good luck.

The roof and walls of this temple are adorned with over 8,400 images of Phra Somdej Wat Rakhang ( Amulets) it is very beautiful.

Close by is also a Thai Silk Village so if you like traditional Thai clothes then it is the place to shop.

By this time we were starving so headed back to Udon Town and joined the hordes who were eating seafood along the front of the shops it was very busy and then I had my first fried ice cream??? No pics I afraid… too hungry… will take them next time as it was all lovely, freshly cooked succulent mussels and ?….That’s just your taster for another time…I am kind to you guys … Ha Ha


Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot …..Love you all x