Monday, April 15, 2013


In March I went to Thailand for a conference before I went to Singapore.  The week before I went I posted on twisty puzzles asking for puzzle shops in Thailand. I didn't get any replies so I went on my conference thinking I would find no shops or meet with no people. When I was in Thailand my colleagues and I tried some Thai whiskey and I posted a photograph of that on Facebook. I later received a message from Traiphum on Facebook asking if I would like to meet him.  

By the time I receive this I was already in Singapore but I I lucked out and he was staying in Bangkok for a couple of extra days when I returned the following week I met him on Monday at the hotel. 

For me this was quite funny because when I was when I was in the tuk-tuk the tuk-tuk driver kept telling us that we had four people and there were only three.  When I got to the hotel they told me my friend was waiting for me I had no idea what they were talking about I was confused because I thought they were saying I had to pay for another person in the room.  (the Tuk-tuk driver was in my head and I thought I had an imaginary friend that everyone but me could see)  Anyway I met with Traiphum. He brought many of his custom-made puzzles to show me and I also met his girlfriend I think her name was NeeNee but if I got it wrong I'm very sorry.  

His work is absolutely amazing!   I have one of his puzzles, but only one because they are quite expensive they run around US$150 and can go upwards of US$400 for one puzzle I enjoyed playing with them and I really liked meeting him.  A very very nice man. We sat and talked for about an hour before he had to catch a bus to go back to his hometown.  I was very happy because we were late the plane left a little bit later than it should have and I was over one hour late but he waited for me.  It was very kind of him to do so.  

The puzzles of his that I saw were some new ones that he was building and the number of old ones that he had just completed. He brought along and all almost 10 x 10 x 6 that he'd completed a 7 x 7 pyramid type puzzle, a 6 x 6 x 4 OLz'd puzzle and and the helicopter not the helicopter the Megamix cube that he had been working on. He also pulled out a 6 x 6 x 6 cube with bigger bits on the outside and smaller bits in the inside I don't know the name of that one but I'll post a photo of it anyway here and he showed me another one that he had been working on and it's a 9 x 9 x 3 with hidden layers he's just an absolutely amazing builder identified by 5 x 3 that I saw of his.  

He let Katherine muck up some cubes.  It was very nice of him to show me how he makes the puzzles so he brought out one that he was still working on and he said he does all the cutting and his girlfriend does all the fine work.   There's a photo here is one of the puzzles in a partial state very nice of him but he told me I could post it here for everyone to see.  All in all it was a really fun hour or two that we have spent together just looking at his puzzles I felt very bad because we were on holiday and I didn't bring any puzzles with me because I know in Thailand it's very very easy to get wooden puzzles and I didn't want the extra weight because I wanted to bring toys back with me.

After he left we checked into the hotel room and we took off for Road We Were Staying near That Area and Having Stayed There You Know 20 Years Ago When We Were Young I Knew I Would Be Able to Find Puzzles over in That Area.

I found lots of burr puzzles a couple of packing puzzles mostly mostly burst some of that the pyramids with the balls that you put together a couple of twisting barrel type puzzles a number of pegged jumping puzzles.  These are very typical of what you'll find in Thailand unfortunately for me I had all of these from many visits that I had taken previously.  Altogether I spent about a week and a half in Thailand and  I came home with absolutely nothing new.

Bug wanted to buy a T-shirt so I took her out to some of the night markets to look for T-shirts and of course we found puzzles there as well again with the wooden puzzles there was nothing new I found nothing I didn't already half but we didn't find a number of cyclone puzzles that were being used as lights they were in packages with varying in size from maybe 1 inch 2 foot and a half across. These range from one US dollar to about US$20 very cheap puzzles but because I have some already I didn't buy any of these either.

 I didn't see one puzzle that I have not had before and it was called a rocket ship I think there were about 13 pieces in it. I didn't buy this one. It wasn't expensive it was about HK$100 but it's a very large puzzle I am in total it was about a foot and a half tall for 13 pieces and this is just a bit too big for what I was looking for and my suitcase was already fairly full so... 

 I just decided that next trip I'll look again and maybe buy that rocket ship.   I'm going again next summer for another conference and I'll buy it then.  Thailand overall is a nice place to visit but as far as puzzles for me it was empty. It was dead. Bad. But I did get some nice jewelry so it wasn't a busted trip after all.

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