About this Site
Phuket's guide mainly photo of its beaches and islands, the regions of Thailand further north, temples and ruins, but also Bangkok the capital. Reports also in Vientiane, Laos, Angkor, Cambodia and Bali, the island of the gods in Indonesia.
Also included on this site are News about Phuket and everyday life.
Who am I ?
I am a very common average Frenchman, living full time in Thailand since 1997 where I started my small family.
I spent the first part of my life in Strasbourg where I worked like everyone else. Unlike many who create blogs and have a fairly developed knowledge of the world, I didn't travel much before moving to Phuket.
Two stays in Madagascar and one in the Comoros Islands were my only holidays away from our metropolis, for the rest, my knowledge of the world is limited to Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, England with a certain preference for the land of roast beef...
I met my wife in 1996. She already had two daughters, Dao and Dune, aged 6 and 7 at that time.
Our daughter Napha arrived with us in April 1998 and since then we have had peaceful days on an island that is certainly very busy but where the climate is fairly regular throughout the year and remains very pleasant.
The rainy season is sometimes quite difficult in the long run, but we deal with it... and then... we can't have everything either.
Aviation is my oldest passion since I was a child (in the picture opposite, I was sitting on the rear wing of my father's plane in Hanoi, Vietnam, I was 3 years old). Even today, when I see a plane landing or taking off, I am as admiring as a child. My last dream... to travel in the A380. Those who do not have a passion for planes say "well, yes, nothing exceptional and this and that". For me, it is an incredible success and technological achievement, "enormous" "hallucinating"!
Airliners, the French patrol.
The photo, the video
The tennis I stopped in 2017 after 40 years of practice, rather in "diesel mode" and more rarely in the last years in Phuket (it is hot in Phuket)...
The English football I watch regularly on TV (and I don't care what everyone makes because if I had to take this detail into account, I wouldn't watch anything anymore) most sports have become professional..
Football, which I can no longer play for a long time and which was my first passion, alpine skiing, which I have completely forgotten since my arrival in Thailand, billiards, which I have always loved and played, unfortunately there is no French billiards here... I have therefore decided by necessity to join the 8 pool... which I now play assiduously.
The music I don't play, but listen to: rock, folk, pop, blues, country, classical. My favorites...? Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, and many others.
Computers and everything you can do with a computer
DIY in the house: painting, carpentry, electricity, building houses (which I did here, by the way) through all the stages (design, plans, site supervision), listening to people who have very interesting experiences and anecdotes to tell, in short, everything that can make me dream to the point of regretting not having done the same job as these people.
And then, it's so much more interesting than saying bad things about your neighbour....
One thing is certain: rich with all these anecdotes, it will help me to make a different choice and chart another course in my next life... who knows!
From time to time a good book that doesn't tend to put me to sleep, where I don't have to read a sentence twice to understand its meaning... but unfortunately, here in Thailand I read very little.
Why this Site ?
Having had a certain attraction (not to say passion) for photography for a long time, the arrival on the market of digital photography has upset everything and changed everyone's attitudes quite a bit.
In the past, with film, we used to take off with a few rolls of film. We would come back through the corner shop to have our pictures developed and then for the most patient and orderly, we would paste all our creations into albums designed for this purpose.
When digital technology first appeared, it gradually changed everyone's habits and revolutionized both the world of professionals and that of small amateurs.
No more worrying about the number of reels to be expected during a "photo trip", no more worrying about the sensitivity of the films to be expected, no more choosing between reel brands: (Kodak, Agfa and others whose shades were quite different according to the manufacturers), no more under-exposed photos because the film chosen was not sensitive enough or vice versa, and finally, no more expenses: purchase of reels, cost of developments in the shop, cost of albums.
If at the time we were limited in the number of photos due to the films in the bag, nowadays, it is enough to have enough memory cards once and for all and the scrap can become endless...
This number of photos growing with the return of each outing, also makes it necessary to be more and more ordered, to classify your photos on your computer in a very clear way, and not to hesitate to put in the basket everything that is bad. Not given to everyone.
My blog, precisely allowed me to make an important sorting in all these photos, and to make a sort by genre, by place, by time period etc... and moreover, to be able to access it from any computer in the world... pretty awesome, though. So why not allow everyone to visit my photo folders... and so why not add a few comments.
Could these photos, which are not pro photos, interest people...? Actually, I wasn't really wondering about it, but since Phuket and Thailand are very popular destinations, I quickly realized the growing number of visitors.
Over the months, this site, which I have named "Le Blog de Rainier", has started to get a good attendance, reaching about 6,000 visits per month and many messages of satisfaction and sympathy that are always very positive.
I got caught up in this game which, at the same time, motivated me to go out with my camera and do little reports here and there, on an island where I have had the chance to live for a few years and which offers magnificent landscapes.
So why not share all this? Why not show people living on the other side of the world how to live here, the beautiful corners, the islands, the dream beaches.
This has become the main purpose of this blog.
Before that, when I went looking for information on the net for specific places, I found a lot of interesting sites but not really what I wanted.
Many sites with poor quality photos, miles of text sometimes fun to read, sometimes boring, sometimes very interesting. So I wanted to do the opposite, i.e. propose many photos in larger formats, clearly visible and with very little text.
I am not a historian, nor a geologist, still less an archaeologist, so I leave the explanation-text part to others who do this very well and much better than I could do.
I sometimes add a link to a corresponding site that seems well written to me and that gives more information by completing my photos.
Over the past two years, the number of messages received has increased and the many encouragements are always welcome, I must admit.
I have no claim to photography and I don't think of myself as a photographer far from me that claim. This hobby is an interesting solitary activity that gives me some pleasure just like a friend who started playing guitar late, who trains every day for several hours and he too, I know, will never take himself for Eric Clapton.
Every day I see photos of much better quality than mine, but the pleasure I have in putting them online is very satisfying.
There is room for everyone on the web and there is no limit, and the number of blogs or sites has changed considerably over the past two to three years.
My discovery of Thailand
It seems that there is no such thing as chance... but that everything is traced. I have always shared this theory, but to use a common expression, I would still say that it was really by chance that I came to Thailand.
Arriving one evening in the clubhouse where I had been playing tennis for many years, two of my usual partners were firmly seated at the bar talking over a draught beer after their game. When one of them saw me coming, he laughed at me and said, "We're going to Thailand in February, are you coming with us?" And I, so dry, said, "Shucks... why not"
Until then, I had never been too interested in Thailand, I had a very vague idea of its location, but no more, so when I got home that same evening, I opened my dictionary to locate exactly this country that I didn't know at all...
From then on, everything would go on.
In February 1994, my first trip to Thailand with my two companions was necessarily a series of discoveries.
I remember the first night in Bangkok, fatigue and jet lag made me very anxious in this huge city that I didn't know. Everything scared me.
After we settled in our first hotel, a refreshing shower and a few beers in a noisy bar nearby, it was dark and dinner was already on,
Stunned and hungry, I only wanted one thing: a huge, rare steak with half a ton of fries to regain some strength, but what was my disillusionment... the steak was ridiculous, archi-cooked and the fries full of oil. The horror.
I was so disappointed that with the fatigue I had a really negative reaction by telling my two friends that I wasn't going to stay long in this country and that I was going to fly back to France the next day. Really, I didn't see myself staying here for a month... I'm still laughing about it!
After a good night's rest, morale improved. In the space of a few minutes, after meeting very smiling hotel staff and friendly taxi drivers, we set off to discover some of the city's splendours: the Grand Palais, Wat Pho, Wat Arun.... and some well known neighborhoods. Sure that the morale at that time was much better.
Well, a big city like Bangkok, noisy, polluted, huge and with an impressive urban traffic... it wasn't what I imagined to have fun on vacation.
Our programme was clear by mutual agreement: two or three days in Bangkok, then five or six days in Chiang-Mai before heading to Phuket.
72 hours after our landing in Bangkok, we arrived by train in Chiang Mai where we would stay a few days before reaching Phuket, which I had vaguely heard about.
Taking the train in Thailand, you have to do it at least once, and I must say that it was very exotic but also tiring. The landscapes, the folklore at stops in small towns with all the fruit sellers, the local dishes that took the train... it was really very attractive and fun.
We had chosen a random hotel in Chiang Mai with a large swimming pool, and the twelve hours of train that had exhausted us had not cut off our appetite, quite the contrary, we were even hungry.
Sitting by the pool with my fellow travellers, the real feeling of well-being in the land of smiles began "really" as we "attacked" our first real meal with a bottle of rosé wine cooled in an ice tray within reach.
The sound of the glasses as they toasted marked the beginning of a beautiful adventure that lasted a month. Often I think back with a certain nostalgia to this superb period.
My discovery of Thailand
After a few days in Chiang Mai, the three weeks we spent in Phuket were great I must say.
Everything was new. The discovery of bars and girls, the music in each bar that was as deafening as it was surprising, the magnificent beaches and the superb weather... in short, it was a little paradise.
The following year, I came back to Phuket, then the following year, then the following year.
On November 17, 1997: a new life began, all my counters were reset: I landed definitively, with just a suitcase, a backpack, my camera and some music CDs and since..... I'm there!
So is it chance... is it fate...? personally, I prefer the second hypothesis because I remain convinced that it had to be done!
The photo on the left: one of the first made in Phuket (Surin Beach).
"Blog"... "Site"... which term to choose?
I started building my blog without really knowing what I was getting into. If I had a good experience on a computer until then, the field of the Web for me was completely new and an unknown world.
Going through a well-organized platform with facilities, ready-made structures, with many design choices for the presentation, was a very practical solution for me and one that served me well I must admit.
So for two years I fed this blog several times a week with short reports made in the Phuket region. It must be said that it was quite easy, Phuket being very photogenic, it was quite easy to leave for a few hours and come back with dozens of photos.
As time went by, my blog slowly but surely turned into a "Web Site" but still kept a blog part.
What is the difference between a Blog and a Site...?
It's not very complicated.
A blog is like a newspaper: you add daily small articles about your life, your activity and all these small articles also called "posts" are automatically classified in reverse order of creation (the most recent at the top).
A site, on the other hand, looks more like a catalogue that you can consult as you wish, just as you would consult a paper catalogue. The advantage of the site over a paper catalogue is that the site can be updated and put back online without incurring the slightest cost and in a very short time. A private individual will not start creating a paper catalogue anyway, as the cost is far too high.
A site or blog, anyone can access it and anyone can do it, but you already need to use a computer, take an interest in it and be connected.
There are still many people who are not computer enthusiasts, but with a site on the net you will reach many more people around the world! For the net, it is well known, the notion of distance does not exist. Whether you send an email to your neighbour across the street or to your family 25,000 km away, it's the same thing.
June 2013: Destination Siam
The idea had been in my head for a while and finally, with those heavy rainy days in June that gave me the opportunity to spend a few hours reorganizing the site a little, and also to make some updates... I decided in the process to rename my site...
The name SIAM is more focused on the purpose of this site and I think this name is a little more appropriate.
Rainier's Blog has lived well and continues to live, but now here is DESTINATION SIAM! The two appellations work together!
The connection remains unchanged: "www.rainier.fr" and the principle of the structure in general, either.
I hope that despite this very small change, you will always enjoy coming back to visit me...
See you soon....
If you want to know more about my early years in Phuket,
I suggest you click on the button below