Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 17

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Street Art in Pathum Thani and Bangkok, Thailand

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Pathum Thani is one of the central provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao, Bangkok, and Nonthaburi.

For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathum_Thani_Province

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The province is north of Bangkok and is part of the Bangkok metropolitan area. In many places the boundary between the two provinces is not noticeable as both sides of the boundary are equally urbanized. Pathum Thani town is the administrative seat, but Ban Rangsit, seat of Thanyaburi District, is the largest populated place in the province.[2]

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Pathum Thani is an old province, heavily populated by the Mon people, dotted with 186 temples and parks. The Dream World amusement park is here

For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathum_Thani_Province

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Education and technology

Pathum Thani has a very high concentration of higher education institutions, especially ones in the field of science and technology. This, together with a large number of industrial parks and research facilities (including those in Thailand Science Park), make the region the educational and technology hub of the area.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathum_Thani_Province

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Education and technology

Pathum Thani has a very high concentration of higher education institutions, especially ones in the field of science and technology. This, together with a large number of industrial parks and research facilities (including those in Thailand Science Park), make the region the educational and technology hub of the area.

Academic institutes

National Science Museum, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok University, Eastern Asia University, Pathumthani University, Rajamangala University of Technology, Rangsit University, Shinawatra University, Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, and Thammasat University (Rangsit Center)”

For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathum_Thani_Province

 Street Art in Pahtum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

 “Education and technology

Pathum Thani has a very high concentration of higher education institutions, especially ones in the field of science and technology. This, together with a large number of industrial parks and research facilities (including those in Thailand Science Park), make the region the educational and technology hub of the area.

Research bodies

Thailand Science Park, National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC), National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC), National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), Thai Microelectronics Center (TMEC), Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR), TOT Innovation Institute (TOT)”

For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathum_Thani_Province

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Education and technology

“Pathum Thani has a very high concentration of higher education institutions, especially ones in the field of science and technology. This, together with a large number of industrial parks and research facilities (including those in Thailand Science Park), make the region the educational and technology hub of the area.

Industrial parks

Software Park Thailand (in Nonthaburi, southwest of Pathum Thani), Nava Nakorn Industrial Promotion Zone (1376 acres / 5.6 km²), Bangkadi Industrial Park (470 acres / 1.9 km²), Techno Thani (a “Technology City” administered by the Ministry of Science and Technology), and a number of industrial parks in neighboring Ayutthaya and Nonthaburi Provinces”

For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathum_Thani_Province

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

“Pathum Thani is one of the central provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao, Bangkok, and Nonthaburi.

The province is north of Bangkok and is part of the Bangkok metropolitan area. In many places the boundary between the two provinces is not noticeable as both sides of the boundary are equally urbanized. Pathum Thani town is the administrative seat, but Ban Rangsit, seat of Thanyaburi District, is the largest populated place in the province.[2]

Pathum Thani is an old province, heavily populated by the Mon people, dotted with 186 temples and parks. The Dream World amusement park is here.

Geography

The province lies on the low alluvial flats of the Chao Phraya River that flows through the capital. Many canals (khlongs) cross the province and feed the rice paddies.

History

The city dates back to a settlement founded by Mon migrating from Mottama  in Myanmar around 1650. The original name was “Sam Khok”.[3]:230,369 In 1815 King Rama II visited the city and the citizens offered him many lotus flowers, which prompted the king to rename the city “Pathum Thani”, meaning “the lotus flower town”.[4]

Symbols

The provincial seal shows a pink lotus flower with two rice stalks bending over it, representing the fertility of the province. The provincial tree is the Indian coral tree (Erythrina variegata). The provincial flower is the lotus (Nymphaea lotus).

Administrative divisions

The province is divided into seven districts (amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 60 communes (tambon) and 529 villages (muban).

  1. Mueang Pathum Thani
  2. Khlong Luang
  3. Thanyaburi
  4. Nong Suea
  1. Lat Lum Kaeo
  2. Lam Luk Ka
  3. Sam Khok

For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathum_Thani_Province

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Silpakorn UniversityMahawitthayalai Sinlapakon is a national university in Thailand. The university was founded in Bangkok in 1943 by Italian-born art professor Corrado Feroci, who took the Thai name Silpa Bhirasri when he became a Thai citizen. It began as a fine arts university and now includes many other faculties as well. In 2016, it has 25,210 students.[4]

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silpakorn_University

 Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

History: Silpakorn University was originally established as the School of Fine Arts under Thailand’s Fine Arts Department in 1933. The school offered the only painting and sculpture programs and waived tuition fees for government officials and students. Its creation owes much to the almost lifetime devotion of Professor Silpa Bhirasri, an Italian sculptor (formerly Corrado Feroci) who was commissioned during the reign of King Rama VI to work in the Fine Arts Department. He subsequently enlarged his classes to include greater members of the interested public before setting up the School of Fine Arts. The school gradually developed and was officially accorded a new status and named Silpakorn University on 12 October 1943.[2] Its inaugural faculty was the Faculty of Painting and Sculpture. In 1955, the Faculty of Thai Architecture was established, later named the Faculty of Architecture) and two more faculties were created, the Faculty of Archaeology and the Faculty of Decorative Arts.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silpakorn_University

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

In 1966, Silpakorn University diversified the four faculties into sub-specializations to broaden its offerings, but the university’s Wang Tha Phra campus proved inadequate. A new campus, Sanam Chandra Palace, was established in Nakhon Pathom Province in the former residential compound of King Rama VI. The first two faculties based on this campus were the Faculty of Arts in 1968 and the Faculty of Education in 1970. Later, three more faculties were created: the Faculty of Science in 1972, the Faculty of Pharmacy in 1986, and the Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Technology in 1992. In 1999, the Faculty of Music was created.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silpakorn_University

 

 Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

“In 1997, Silpakorn extended its reach by establishing a new campus in Phetchaburi Province. The new campus was named “Phetchaburi Information Technology Campus”. In 2001 and 2002, the Faculty of Animal Sciences and Agricultural Technology and the Faculty of Management Science were established on the Phetchaburi Campus. In 2003, the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was established, as well as Silpakorn University International College (SUIC). Its role is to provide an international curriculum in additional fields of study.

Ganesha, one of the Hindu deities symbolizing arts and crafts, is Silpakorn University’s emblem.[1] The “university tree” is the chan tree.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silpakorn_University

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Silapakorn University Art Gallery: Hosin Mahawitthayalai Sinlapakon) is an art gallery and museum in Bangkok, Thailand. It is a building in Silpakorn University Wang Tha Phra Campus on Na Pralarn Road, directly north of the Grand Palace and south of Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit. It was created in 1994.[1]

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silpakorn_University_Art_Gallery

 Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Silpakorn University (also known as the University of Fine Arts) is a National university in Thailand. The university was founded in Bangkok in 1943[2] by Italian-born art professor Corrado Feroci, who took the Thai name Silpa Bhirasri when he became a Thai citizen. It began as a fine arts university and now includes many other faculties as well.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silpakorn_University_Art_Gallery

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Museums and art galleries in Bangkok

Bang Khun Thien Museum

Bangkok Folk Museum

Bangkok Noi Museum

Bank of Thailand Museum

Children’s Discovery Museum

Museum of Counterfeit Goods

Golden Jubilee Museum of Agriculture

King Prajadhipok Museum

King Rama VI Museum

Museum of Imagery Technology

National Museum Bangkok

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silpakorn_University_Art_Gallery

Street Art in Pathum Thani, Thailand, near Future Park Mall, photos captured on Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Museums and art galleries in Bangkok

Plai Nern PalacePrasart MuseumPrincess Maha Chakri    Sirindhorn Anthropology CentreQueen Sirikit GalleryRoyal Barge National MuseumRoyal Elephant National Museum

Royal Thai Air Force Museum

Samphanthawong Museum

Siriraj Medical Museum

Thai Human Imagery Museum

Thai Labour Museum

Thai Philatelic Museum

Science Centre for Education

The Science Museum – Klong Luang

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silpakorn_University_Art_Gallery

The Bazaar Area at the PodStel Hotel Complex, Lad Prao Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Podstel Hostel Bangkok

is a brand new premium hostel “Poshtel”, that has over 200 beds to offer in over 5 different room types. Located in an upcoming district of Bangkok right by the intersection of Ratchadaphisek and Ladprao roads, just steps away from two MRT (subway) stations (Ladprao and Ratchadaphisek), the rest of Bangkok city is just at your door step. The hostel itself is within a part of a larger complex called The Bazaar Ratchadaphisek, which comprises of The Bazaar Hotel that accommodates up to 800 rooms, offices, municipal shops, restaurants, a 24 hour supermarket and convenience store, a nightly food street, a full facility gym with a pool, a Muay Thai boxing school, and daily entertainment cabaret and boxing shows at The Bazaar Theater. No doubt this makes The Bazaar a destination in itself.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://podstelbangkok.com/

The Bazaar Area at the PodStel Hotel Complex, Lad Prao Road, Bangkok, Thailand

“Which Hindu gods are widely worshiped in Thailand? Why?

Nasa Saze, I am a scientist

Answered Jan 16 2016

Thailand adopt worshipping some Hindu gods and goddesses. I think it is true that Brahma is widely worshipped more than Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is the god of creation that is why people worship him most. Vishnu is the god of protection might be worshiped in specific places. Shiva was mostly worshiped in the old time while Khmer Empire was ruling parts of Thailand, but he is the god of destruction who is not likely to be worshiped. Thais worship only some Hindu gods or goddesses who (they believe) can give their wishes come true. Some certain places may developed their belief to a specific god such as the worshipping of the Brahma at Erawan Shrine in Bangkok. Many hotels in Thailand will have small shrines of Brahma or Vishnu in front of the hotels.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://www.quora.com/Which-Hindu-gods-are-widely-worshiped-in-Thailand-Why

The Bazaar Area at the PodStel Hotel Complex, Lad Prao Road, Bangkok, Thailand

“Another god who is the son of Shiva, the god Ganesha, is also widely worshiped in many places in Thailand. Thais believe that Ganesha is the god of arts. Everyone who work in the artist field will have the tradition to held ceremonies to pray for this god.”
For more information please visit the following link:                                      https://www.quora.com/Which-Hindu-gods-are-widely-worshiped-in-Thailand-Why

The Bazaar Area at the PodStel Hotel Complex, Lad Prao Road, Bangkok, Thailand

“Goddess of rivers and water, the goddess Ganges, is widely worshiped. Every year Thailand will have the Loy Krathong festival to thank the goddess Ganges. People will make krathong, a floating vessel made from any materials that can float on water with beautiful decorations with flowers and candles and the scent sticks, and then float in rivers, ponds, or reservoirs. This is one of the most famous festival of the year.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://www.quora.com/Which-Hindu-gods-are-widely-worshiped-in-Thailand-Why

The Bazaar Area at the PodStel Hotel Complex, Lad Prao Road, Bangkok, Thailand

“Goddess of the Earth, Phra Mae Thorani, is worshiped by everyone or at least some farmers. I am not sure that this goddess exist in Hindu or not, but I believe Thais adopt the idea that there is a holy spirit of the Earth from Hindu. When farmers will start new season of farming, they will pray for this goddess. There is no big statue or shrine of this goddess, but she is very well-known and everywhere. When Thais go to make merit at temples, they will pass the merit to their dead love ones. There will be a ceremony that the monks will chant a montra to pass the merit to spirits of the dead ones. During the chanting, people will pour water from a jar to a container. This is a symbolic ritual to pass the merit to the water. Then the water will be poured under trees or any ground in the temple. People will ask Phra Mae Thorani to pass the merit to the spirits.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://www.quora.com/Which-Hindu-gods-are-widely-worshiped-in-Thailand-Why

The Bazaar Area at the PodStel Hotel Complex, Lad Prao Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

People pouring water to pass the merit

There is a goddess I am not sure she exists in Hindu or not. The goddess of farming, Phra Mae Posop, is widely worshiped by Thai farmers. During the rice farming season, farmers will held a ceremony (or more 2 or 3 ceremonies) to pray for this goddess to ask her for successful farming.
For more information please visit the following link:

https://www.quora.com/Which-Hindu-gods-are-widely-worshiped-in-Thailand-Why

The Bazaar Area at the PodStel Hotel Complex, Lad Prao Road, Bangkok, Thailand

“A ceremony to worship goddess of farming
People in ancient time adopt the idea that their kings are avatars of Vishnu from ancient Khmer Empire. There are some traditions of expressing the king status as semi-divine in the royal ceremonies that are still practicing until now. People in rural area are still worshiping the king as a semi-divine. In modern Thailand, Thai people don’t worship the king like god, instead they think of the king and the royals as celebrities. Some express their respects to the royals as high as the most senior members of their families.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://www.quora.com/Which-Hindu-gods-are-widely-worshiped-in-Thailand-Why

The Bazaar Area at the PodStel Hotel Complex, Lad Prao Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Thailand major religion is Buddhism and there are some minor religions such as Islam, Christian, Sikhism, and Hindu. Some Buddhist ceremonies also adapt Hindu traditions and that makes it the mixed religion tradition. There are some who really believe in these gods. Nowadays, many Thais might not believe that the gods really exist, but they still follow the old traditions to held many ceremonies during a year.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://www.quora.com/Which-Hindu-gods-are-widely-worshiped-in-Thailand-Why

The Bazaar Area at the PodStel Hotel Complex, Lad Prao Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“The Deity (God) Brahma In the Hindu Religion

  • Hindus believe that Brahma is the creator of the world and everything in it. He was most respected in the early period.
  • At first, he was only an abstract, without forms, until later that the Brahmans created his appearance to make it easier for people to worship. Thus, he has become the god of four faces and four arms.
  • Brahma has a wife called Sarasvati and has a Hamsa as vehicle.
  • Brahma’s origin has been recorded differently. But in the recent scriptures such as Purana, it is believed that he is born out of Vishnu’s navel. Although Brahma is the creator of the World, he has not actually been much respected. There is not any denomination which respects him in particular; instead he is included in other denominations which respect the other two principal gods.”

For more information please visit the following link:

http://www.thailandsworld.com/en/thai-people/hindu-deities-in-thailand/index.cfm

Religion in Thailand is varied. There is no official state religion in the Thai constitution, which guarantees religious freedom for all Thai citizens, though the king is required by law to be Theravada Buddhist.[1] The main religion practiced in Thailand is Buddhism, but there is a strong undercurrent of Hinduism with its distinct priestly class.[2] The large Thai Chinese population also practices Chinese folk religions, including Taoism. The Yiguandao (Thai: Anuttharatham) spread in Thailand in the 1970s and it has grown so much in recent decades to come into conflict with Buddhism; it is reported that each year 200,000 Thais convert to the religion.[3] Many other people, especially among the Isan ethnic group, practice Tai folk religions. A significant Muslim population, mostly constituted by Thai Malays, is present especially in the southern regions.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Thailand

The Bazaar Area at the PodStel Hotel Complex, Lad Prao Road, Bangkok, Thailand

“Podstel Hostel Bangkok

is a brand new premium hostel “Poshtel”, that has over 200 beds to offer in over 5 different room types. Located in an upcoming district of Bangkok right by the intersection of Ratchadaphisek and Ladprao roads, just steps away from two MRT (subway) stations (Ladprao and Ratchadaphisek), the rest of Bangkok city is just at your door step. The hostel itself is within a part of a larger complex called The Bazaar Ratchadaphisek, which comprises of The Bazaar Hotel that accommodates up to 800 rooms, offices, municipal shops, restaurants, a 24 hour supermarket and convenience store, a nightly food street, a full facility gym with a pool, a Muay Thai boxing school, and daily entertainment cabaret and boxing shows at The Bazaar Theater. No doubt this makes The Bazaar a destination in itself.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://podstelbangkok.com/

Lat Phrao roads intersection of Ratchadaphisek Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Lat Phrao Road or Thailand Route 366 is a major road in Bangkok, Thailand. Despite its name the road does not run through the nearby Lat Phrao District. It begins at Phahonyothin Road in Chatuchak District, passes through Huai Khwang and Wang Thonglang, and ends in Bang Kapi District. The road is serviced by two MRT stations: Phahon Yothin and Lat Phrao.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lat_Phrao_Road

Ratchadaphisek Road, Bangkok, Thailand

“Ratchada is overwhelmingly modern but with a less built-up, more out of town feel than, say, Sukhumvit. Distinctive landmarks along Ratchadaphisek Road include the well-known Thailand Cultural Centre, local nightclubs and pubs, as well as department stores and value-for-money hotels. Located just to the north of the downtown metropolitan area, it runs parallel to Viphavadi Rangsit Road to the east, stretching northwards all the way from the end of Asok Road (Sukumvit Soi 21) to Lad Phrao Road. In recent years it’s gained something of a reputation for being an affordable nightlife spot – although this is more among locals than the expat or holiday crowd. It is extremely well-served by the MRT underground.”

For more information please visit the following link:

http://www.bangkok.com/ratchadapisek/#

Ratchadaphisek Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Ratchadapisek is situated to the north of metropolitan area. Ratchadapisek Road runs parallel to Viphavadi Rangsit Road from Lad Prao to Sukumvit’s Soi Asoke 21. Ratchadapisek is within the area of the Thai Cultural Center, several leading department stores, and a wide selection of entertainment venues. Transportation access into and out of Bangkok from here is easy and there are good connections to the eastern seaboard. From 6:00 PM onwards, along Silom Road are numerous street bazaars selling everything from cloths, to watches and souvenirs. To complete your entertainment options, there’s a good choice of pubs and restaurants and Patpong is just around the corner. The Chatuchak weekend market is one Bangkok’s most famous markets. It is popular with locals and visitors alike, looking for a bargain from everything such as discount clothes and souvenirs, to ornate Thai handcrafts.”

For more information please visit the following link:

http://www.bangkok.com/ratchadapisek/#

The intersection of Ratchadaphisek and Ladprao roads, just steps away from two MRT (subway) stations (Ladprao and Ratchadaphisek)

Ratchadaphisek is north of Sukhumvit and is a busy commercial and entertainment district. Accommodation on Ratchadaphisek Road has great access to restaurants, malls and nightclubs. Lots of students, young Bangkok office workers and expat teachers call this part of the city home.

The subway (MRT) follows Ratchadaphisek Road, making it safe and easy to connect between shops, restaurants and hotels. The two major cultural attractions in the area are Siam Niramit and Thailand Cultural Center. These are great venues for first-time visitors to learn about Thai traditions and art, and the presentation includes enough excitement and special effects to interest children.

Hotels in Ratchadaphisek are large and especially popular with Chinese and Japanese tourists. Prices are affordable in Ratchadaphisek, and since guests have access to the subway they can easily connect to the Grand Palace or the Sukhumvit area easily.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://www.agoda.com/ratchadaphisek/maps/bangkok-th.html?cid=-218 “Shopping centers including Lotus, Carrefour and Robinson are located next to the Cultural Center MRT station. The more affordable and more locally-flavored Jusco shopping center is also only a few steps from Thailand Cultural Center MRT. Esplanade is the most popular mall with younger people, featuring an ice-skating rink, cinema complex, mini skate park and several big-chain cafés and restaurants. Behind Esplanade is a dedicated nightclub zone with several large clubs that are busy every night of the week with Bangkok locals. Across the road are Ratchada Soi 4 and Soi 8 – both of which feature many large nightclubs, the most popular called Hollywood.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://www.agoda.com/ratchadaphisek/maps/bangkok-th.html?cid=-218

Ratchadaphisek Road, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Ratchadaphisek covers a large area which is mostly residential and gives visitors to Bangkok a good idea about what life is like for locals. Since it’s also where many expats find affordable accommodation there are plenty of facilities geared towards foreigners, with markets (Ratchada Soi 14), the vintage weekend market (Huay Kwang MRT), Esplanade and Robinson shopping complex presenting plenty to do.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://www.agoda.com/ratchadaphisek/maps/bangkok-th.html?cid=-218

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Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 14

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Worshiper and the Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thai land

Culture of Thailand

Thailand’s culture has evolved greatly over time, from the country’s pre-globalization time in Sukhothai era, to its more contemporary Ayutthaya era, which absorbs influences from all over Asia. Strong Indian, Chinese and other Southeast Asian influences are still evident in traditional Thai culture up until the modern Rattanakosin era.[1] Buddhism and Animism also play a significant role in shaping the culture.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

A Worshipper and Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“People offer prayers and seek blessings at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand. The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. A popular tourist attraction, it often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshippers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered.”

For more information please visit the following link:

Travel & Events

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeZF_mpFbgM

“Thai folklore is a diverse set of traditional beliefs held by the Thai people. Most Thai folklore has a regional background for it originated in rural Thailand. With the passing of time, and through the influence of the media, large parts of Thai folklore have become interwoven with the wider popular Thai culture.

Phraya Anuman Rajadhon (1888–1969) was the first Thai scholar to seriously study local folkloristics. He took copious notes on humble details of his culture such as the charms used by Thai shopkeepers to attract customers. He also studied in depth the oral literature related to different village spirits and ghosts of Thai lore.[1]

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_folklore

Thai folklore: The core of Thai folklore is rooted in folk religion. Until they were recorded, folk beliefs were handed down from one generation to the next.

Village shamans are known as phram, a word that has its origin in Brahma, from a general and vague historical Vedic background. The phram conducts exorcisms and performs marriages, among other ceremonies.”

Thai folklore: Another important figure in Thai folk religion is the mo phi  shaman who would also conduct rituals. To invoke spirits of the dead, four sticks are planted at equal distance from each other on the ground near the burial or cremation place. A thread is tied around the sticks forming a protective square and a mat is spread in the middle, where the mo phi sits down. In front of him, outside of the square there is a mo khao terracotta jar with a yantra painted on the outside containing the ashes or bones of the dead person. Beside the jar there is also a plate of rice as an offering and a stick or switch to keep the spirits at bay.”

Thai folklore: In order to be protected against bad luck, charms and amulets for bringing luck or for protection are popular in Thailand. Some of these are tied around the body or worn as a necklace, while others come in the form of yantra tattooing. The yantra endows the wearer with supernatural protection, love, health, and wealth. In order to bring luck and provide protection, yants are also drawn in the receptions of multinational companies, the entrances of supermarkets, and the interiors of taxis, trucks, and airplanes.[2]

Thai folklore: In shops and houses, often next to a shelf with a Buddha statuette, charms for attracting customers are hung. These include printed pieces of cloth of fish-shaped figures, as well as streamers or framed pictures of a crocodile or of Suvannamaccha, the mermaid character of the Siamese version of the Ramayana. Some of these charms have their origin in the culture of the Thai Chinese, as Phraya Anuman Rajadhon observed, but they have been adopted by the Thai people, often with changes.[1]

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_folklore

Thai folklore:

Miscellaneous folk beliefs

Superstitions of the Thai people include:

  • Auspicious dates. Identification of auspicious dates and moments is common in Thai culture. This is especially important when setting a wedding date, as well as when building a house or purchasing a car.[1]
  • Lucky numbers. Divination techniques are often used to predict numbers before buying a lottery ticket.”

Thai folklore:

  • Cutting one’s hair or fingernails. Wednesday is regarded as a highly inauspicious day for having a haircut.
  • Shapes on the moon. In Thai folk belief the dark spots on the moon, the lunar maria, form either a rabbit shape or the shape of a man and a woman pounding rice.”

Thai folklore:

  • Little fish hanging. A poor person who cannot afford to buy fish may hang a little fish, or a picture of a fish, from the ceiling of his home while eating rice.
  • Gecko. The chirping sounds of different species of geckos native to Thailand have different interpretations according to the moment and occasion. Also, if a gecko happens to fall on or near someone in a home or veranda, it has a meaning which is auspicious or inauspicious depending on the side on which it falls.”

Thai folklore:

  • Auspicious colors. Since certain colors may be auspicious for certain persons, much thought is given to the color of a car before acquiring it. Also in the case of taxicabs certain colors that are deemed unlucky will be avoided. Taxicabs in Bangkok come in various colors and formerly a number of taxis were violet, but these have been repainted in recent years for violet was considered an unlucky color, both by cabdrivers and customers.
  • Rainbow. A rainbow is held in high regard and it is important to avoid pointing at it because one would lose one’s finger.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_folklore

Thai folklore:

Deities

  • Nang Kwak  is a benevolent female deity that brings luck to business owners and attracts customers. She is widely considered the patron of traders and shopkeepers and can be seen in almost every business establishment in Thailand.[3]
  • Phi Fa  is an ancient deity of Isan folklore. In her malevolent aspect she is related to Phosop.
  • Phosop  is the traditional and ancient rice goddess of Thailand. She is part of very ancient Thai folklore rather than of the mainstream Buddhist religion.[1] In order to propitiate her during the different stages of the harvest, ritual offerings known as Cha Laeo used to be periodically made in villages and hamlets in rural areas.[4]
  • Kuman Thong, represented as the effigy of a young boy, is believed to bring good luck.

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

Spirits or ghosts are known generically as phi (??) and they may be found, among other places, in certain trees, burial grounds near Buddhist temples, some houses, as well as mountains and forests. The Phi Pan Nam Range , “The mountain range of the spirits dividing the waters” that divides the Mekong from the Chao Phraya watershed, is named after the ancient spirits believed to dwell in the mountains.”

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

Spirit houses, known as san phra phum  in Thai language, are small shrines to provide a home for the tutelary spirits of a place. They are common near trees and groves and in urban areas, close to buildings. It is considered a bad omen to neglect these spots and offerings are regularly made by people living nearby.[5]

The local beliefs regarding the nocturnal village spirits of Thailand were studied by Phraya Anuman Rajadhon. Most spirits were traditionally not represented in paintings or drawings, hence they are purely based on stories of the oral tradition.[6]

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

Thai cinema, Thai television soap operas and Thai comics have contributed to popularize the spirits and legends of the folklore of Thailand. Phraya Anuman Rajadhon established that most of the contemporary iconography of folk ghosts[7][8][9] has its origins in Thai films that have become classics.[10]

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

Most of the spirits or ghosts are so popular they appear regularly in comic books as well as in films, including the Nak animated movie for children. The most well-known are the following:

  • Chao Kam Nai Wen, the spirit of a person with whom one has previously interacted, usually appearing as a spirit who sitting on someone’s back
  • Krahang, a male ghost that flies in the night
  • Krasue, a woman’s head with her viscera hanging down from the neck”

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

  • Mae Nak, a female ghost who died at childbirth and that can extend her arms
  • Phi Am, a spirit that sits on a person’s chest during the night
  • Phi Hua Khat, a headless male ghost that carries his head”

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

  • Phi Phraya, a female ghost living in the water
  • Phi Phong, a malevolent male ghost having an unpleasant smell. It lives in dark places under the vegetation
  • Phi Pop, a malevolent female spirit that devours human entrails”

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

  • Phi Song Nang, female ghosts that first lure, and then attack and kill young men
  • Phi Tai Hong, the ghost of a person who suffered a sudden violent or cruel death
  • Phi Tai Thong Klom, the wrathful ghost of a woman having committed suicide after being made pregnant and subsequently betrayed and abandoned by her lover”

Thai folklore:

Spirits and ghosts

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_folklore

Thai folklore: Festivals

Some traditional celebrations, including Buddhist festivals, provide an opportunity for the expression of local folk beliefs.

Thai folklore: Folk tales

Folk tales and legends in Thailand were used by elders to instill beliefs in the younger generation. Most stories contain moral lessons teaching the importance of following traditions and to display reverence to elders, parents, and superiors. The stories of the spirit world taught children to be cautious, to stay at home at night, and to respect customs regarding death rituals and the importance of offerings.”

Thai folklore: Folk tales

Many Thai folk tales are based on the texts of Buddhism. Also some of the stories of classical Thai literature, such as Khun Chang Khun Phaen and Lilit Phra Lo, a story about young lovers with a tragic end,[11] originated in folk tales. Phra Aphai Mani is a Thai epic poem that has inspired local folklore.

Throughout Thailand there are also local folk stories connected with particular geographic features, such as the story of Doi Nang Non, the “Mountain of the Sleeping Lady” and the legend about the formation of Khao Sam Roi Yot mountains and islands.[12]

Thai folklore: Buddhist folk tradition

See also: Buddhism in Thailand

The Jataka tales, such as the Vessantara Jataka, the Twelve Sisters, and Prince Samuttakote (Samuddaghosa), have provided inspiration to Thai traditional storytellers. These Jatakas have been often retold, abridged, and adapted to fit local culture in Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Indonesia. As a consequence, they have become so familiar to average people that they fully belong to the folklore of their respective country. Often each country claims the story as its own cultural achievement. Thailand is no exception.[13]

Thai folklore: Buddhist folk tradition

Sang Thong (Suvannasankhaj taka), where the marriage between a man and a woman of different social status is the main subject of the story,[14] and Honwichai and Kawi are also long traditional stories. The “Woodcutter who lost his Axe” is a well-liked Thai tale with a moral lesson promoting honesty.[15]

Sri Thanonchai is a trickster which tricks people with his word.”

Thai folklore: Buddhist folk tradition

Many figures of the Buddhist tradition have been fully incorporated into Thai lore, among these are the yaksa, ogres (yaksha), and ogresses (Pali: Yakkhini), the tall and scary Prets,[16] Ongkhuliman, the violent criminal named after the garland of the fingers of his victims he wore around his neck, as well as Nariphon, the mythical tree of Buddhist literature bearing fruits in the shape of young girls.

Vivid descriptions of the torments of hell,[17] sometimes in the form of garish sculptures, are to be found in some Buddhist temples in Thailand.[18] These representations are so popular that, along with figures of local spirits, they have become a regular feature in present-day Thai comics.[19]

Thai folklore: Animals in folklore

The mynah is featured in some tales for its ability to talk and imitate sounds. The “Hen and her six chicks”, explaining the origin of the Pleiades, “The White Crows” and tales with elephants such as “The Elephant, the Monkey and the Quail”, and “The Elephants and the Bees”[15] are common folk tales, some of which are based on the Panchatantra.[20]

Thai folklore: Animals in folklore

Snakes are part of the Thai popular lore, and depending on the background of the tale or myth, they have different meanings. Nak, Nagas figure in some stories of local folklore and are represented as well in Buddhist temples as architectural elements. Male lust is often popularly represented as a snake growing on top of the head of the lustful man.[21] Thai folk mythology also includes the idea of a link between snakes and women. Some stories based on snakes have been made into Thai movies.[22]

Thai folklore: Folk art and craft

The articles listed below are an essential part of Thai folklore. Some were articles of daily household use in rural areas.

  • Kan Tam Khao, the long wooden pestle of a traditional manual rice pounder.[23]
  • Mo Khao. A traditional Thai clay pot widely used formerly to cook rice. It is also used in ceremonies to invoke spirits as well as to capture evil ghosts and banish them.[24]

Thai folklore: Folk art and craft

  • Kradong, a round rice winnowing basket. The large ones are known as Kradong Mon.[25] Phi Krahang uses two large winnowing baskets to fly in the night.
  • Prakham, the Buddhist prayer beads. Witch doctors usually wear a necklace of beads.”

Thai folklore: Thai Buddha amulet

Thai Buddha amulet is a kind of Thai Buddhist blessed item. It is used for raising funds in order to help the temple producing the amulets. Worshippers can obtain an amulets or Thai Buddhist monk blessing by simply donating money or offering oil to the temple. After the donation, Thai Buddhist monk will give amulet as a gift to them. With the change of time, amulet no longer simply means as a “gift” , but a kind of tool to help enhance luck in different aspects, some people use amulets to improve marriage, wealth, health, love and people relationship.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_folklore

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Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 13

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Worshiper and the Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thai land

Culture of Thailand

Thailand’s culture has evolved greatly over time, from the country’s pre-globalization time in Sukhothai era, to its more contemporary Ayutthaya era, which absorbs influences from all over Asia. Strong Indian, Chinese and other Southeast Asian influences are still evident in traditional Thai culture up until the modern Rattanakosin era.[1] Buddhism and Animism also play a significant role in shaping the culture.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

Sport in Thailand:

Muay Thai (Thai: ??????, RTGS: Muai Thai,  [muaj t?aj], lit. “Thai boxing”) is a native form of kickboxing and Thailand’s signature sport. It incorporates kicks, punches, knees and elbow strikes in a ring with gloves similar to those used in Western boxing and this has led to Thailand gaining medals at the Olympic Games in boxing.”

Sport in Thailand:

Association football has overtaken muay Thai as the most widely followed sport in contemporary Thai society. Thailand national football team has played the AFC Asian Cup six times and reached the semifinals in 1972. The country has hosted the Asian Cup twice, in 1972 and in 2007. The 2007 edition was co-hosted together with Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. It is not uncommon to see Thais cheering their favourite English Premier League teams on television and walking around in replica kit. Another widely enjoyed pastime, and once a competitive sport, is kite flying.”

Sport in Thailand:

Takraw (Thai: ??????) is a sport native to Thailand, in which the players hit a rattan ball and are only allowed to use their feet, knees, chest, and head to touch the ball. Sepak takraw is a form of this sport which is similar to volleyball. The players must volley a ball over a net and force it to hit the ground on the opponent’s side. It is also a popular sport in other countries in Southeast Asia. A rather similar game but played only with the feet is Buka ball.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

“Architecture:

Phra Maha Chedi Si Ratchakan at Wat Pho, Bangkok.

Main articles: Architecture of Thailand, Thai temple art and architecture, and Traditional Thai house

The Major part of the country’s cultural legacy and reflects both the challenges of living in Thailand’s sometimes extreme climate as well as, historically, the importance of architecture to the Thai people’s sense of community and religious beliefs. Influenced by the architectural traditions of many of Thailand’s neighbors, it has also developed significant regional variation within its vernacular and religious buildings.”

“Architecture:

Buddhist temples in Thailand are known as “wats“, from the P??i v??a, meaning an enclosure. A temple has an enclosing wall that divides it from the secular world. Wat architecture has seen many changes in Thailand in the course of history. Although there are many differences in layout and style, they all adhere to the same principles.”

“Architecture:

As the phrase “Thai stilt house” suggests, one universal aspect of Thailand’s traditional architecture is the elevation of its buildings on stilts, most commonly to around head height. The area beneath the house is used for storage, crafts, lounging in the daytime, and sometimes for livestock. The houses were raised due to heavy flooding during certain parts of the year, and in more ancient times, predators. Thai building and living habits are often based on superstitious and religious beliefs. Many other considerations such as locally available materials, climate, and agriculture have a lot to do with the style.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

Traditional games of Thailand:

“Kratai kha deow” or “one-legged rabbit” is a type of catch game. The catcher will call the rabbit, and the rabbit must stand on one leg and jump or tiptoe to catch the other players and switch to rabbit instead. This game will exercise your legs and practice balancing on one leg. The number of players are divided into two teams, or may not have a team at all. Normally, there are two or more players. At the first time, the player will select the rabbit or team by “rock-paper-scissors”. The loser would have to be a rabbit.

In the case of solo player, the rabbit must stand on one leg, then jump to chase and touch any part of the body of other children who have run away. Everyone must stay within the designated area. A player who runs out of space loses the game and must be switched to rabbit, but if the rabbit is exhausted and cannot stand on one leg, it was that defeated and must be punished.

In team play, the rules are similar to the solo player, but the rabbit team will send a representative to catch the other team to all the people. Those arrested will have to wait outside until the rabbit team can catch all of the rival teams. Rabbit team can switch to teammates to catch on until they are exhausted, and if the all of the members in rabbit team are exhausted and cannot stand on one leg, the rabbit team lose the game and must be punished too.”

Traditional games of Thailand:

Banana stalk hobby horse riding

Banana stalk hobby horse riding or “khee ma khan kluay” in Thai is a traditional game of Thailand that Thai kids frequently played in the past. They use a banana stalk to make the parts of a horse such as head, ear, and horsetail. The materials for making a banana rib hobby horse are banana stalk, knife, small bamboo pin, and string. First, find a banana stalk around 1.5 m long. Cut it in the form of the head, neck, and ears, then use a small bamboo pin to connect the ear to the head of a horse. The remaining part of the banana stalk becomes a horsetail. Attach a string between the head and the tail of this banana stalk horse and place on the shoulder of the rider.

Kids sit on the horse and pretend they are riding a real horse, shouting “hee hee” or “yee haaah”, sounds typical of people on horseback. They may race with friends if they have more than two players. The team that runs faster is the winner.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

Public holidays in Thailand:

Important holidays in Thai culture include Thai New Year, or Songkran,[16] which is officially observed from 13–15 April each year. Falling at the end of the dry season and during the hot season in Thailand, the celebrations notoriously feature boisterous water throwing. The water throwing stemmed from washing Buddha images and lightly sprinkling scented water on the hands of elderly people. Small amounts of scented talcum powder were also used in the annual cleansing rite. In recent decades, water fights have been increasingly industrialised with use of hoses, barrels, squirt guns, water-filled surgical tubing, and copious amounts of powder.”

Public holidays in Thailand:

Loi Krathong is held on the 12th full moon of the Thai lunar calendar, usually early-November. While not a government-observed holiday, it is nonetheless an auspicious day in Thai culture, in which Thai people “loi”, meaning “to float” a “krathong”, a small raft traditionally made from elaborately folded banana leaves and including flowers, candles, incense sticks, and small offerings. The act of floating away the candle raft is symbolic of letting go of all one’s grudges, anger, and defilements so that one can start life afresh on a better footing.”

Public holidays in Thailand:

National Elephant Day or Chang Thai Day is a holiday in Thailand, held on March 13, which celebrates the cultural and historical significance of the elephant in Thailand.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

The Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

A Worshipper and Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“People offer prayers and seek blessings at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand. The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. A popular tourist attraction, it often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshippers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered.”

For more information please visit the following link:

Travel & Events

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeZF_mpFbgM

The Worshippers offer flowers and others items to Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

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Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 12

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Culture of Thailand

Thailand’s culture has evolved greatly over time, from the country’s pre-globalization time in Sukhothai era, to its more contemporary Ayutthaya era, which absorbs influences from all over Asia. Strong Indian, Chinese and other Southeast Asian influences are still evident in traditional Thai culture up until the modern Rattanakosin era.[1] Buddhism and Animism also play a significant role in shaping the culture.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

Thailand is nearly 94 percent Buddhist, mainly of the Theravada school (which includes the Thai Forest Tradition and the Dhammayuttika Nikaya and Santi Asoke sects) and an unknown minority belonging to the Mahayana school. In addition there are minorities of Muslims in Thailand (5-6 percent), Christians (1 percent), and other religions.[2] Thai Theravada Buddhism is supported and overseen by the government, with monks receiving a number of government benefits, such as free use of public transportation.

Buddhism in Thailand is strongly influenced by traditional beliefs regarding ancestral and natural spirits, which have been incorporated into Buddhist cosmology. Most Thai people install spirit houses (Thai: ??????????; rtgssan phra phum), miniature houses outside their dwellings, where they believe household spirits live. They present offerings of food and drink to these spirits to keep them happy. If these spirits aren’t happy, it is believed that they will inhabit the household and cause chaos. These spirit houses can be found in public places and on the streets of Thailand, where the public make offerings.[3]

Prior to the rise of Theravada Buddhism, both Indian Brahmanic religion and Mahayana Buddhism were present in Thailand. Influences from both these traditions can still be seen in present-day Thai folklore. Brahmanist shrines play an important role in Thai folk religion, and the Mahayana Buddhist influence is reflected in the presence of figures like Lokesvara, a form of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara sometimes incorporated into Thailand’s iconography.[3]

The traditional customs and the folklore of Thai people were gathered and described by Phya Anuman Rajadhon in the 20th century, at a time when modernity changed the face of Thailand and a great number of traditions disappeared or became adapted to modern life. Still, the striving towards refinement, rooted in ancient Siamese culture, consisting of promoting that which is refined and avoiding coarseness is a major focus of the daily life of Thai people and high on their scale of values.[5]

One of the most distinctive Thai customs is the wai. Used in greetings, leave-taking, or as an acknowledgement, it comes in many forms, reflecting the relative status of those involved. Generally the salutation involves a prayer-like gesture with the hands, derived from the Añjali Mudr? of the Indian subcontinent, and it also may include a slight bow of the head. This salutation is often accompanied by a serene smile symbolizing a welcoming disposition and a pleasant attitude. Thailand is often referred to as the “land of smiles” in tourist brochures.

Public displays of affection are not overly common in traditional Thai society, especially between lovers.[6] It is becoming more common, especially among the younger generation.

A notable social norm holds that touching someone on the head may be considered rude. It is also considered rude to place one’s feet at a level above someone else’s head, especially if that person is of higher social standing. This is because the Thai people consider the foot to be the dirtiest and lowliest part of the body, and the head the most respected and highest part of the body. This also influences how Thais sit when on the ground—their feet always pointing away from others, tucked to the side or behind them. Pointing at or touching something with the feet is also considered rude.

Since a serene disposition is valued, conflict and sudden displays of anger are eschewed in Thai culture. For these reasons, visitors should take care not to create conflict or to display anger. Disagreements or disputes should be handled with a smile and no attempt should be made to assign blame to another. In everyday life in Thailand, there is a strong emphasis on the concept of sanuk; the idea that life should be fun. Because of this, Thais can be quite playful at work and during day-to-day activities. Displaying positive emotions in social interactions is also important in Thai culture.

Often, Thais will deal with disagreements, minor mistakes, or misfortunes by using the phrase mai pen rai, translated as “it doesn’t matter”. The ubiquitous use of this phrase in Thailand reflects a disposition towards minimizing conflict, disagreements or complaints. A smile and the sentence “mai pen rai” indicates that the incident is not important and therefore there is no conflict or shame involved.

Respect for hierarchy is a very important value for Thai people. The custom of bun khun emphasizes the indebtedness towards parents, as well as towards guardians, teachers, and caretakers. It describes the feelings and practices involved in certain relationships organized around generalized reciprocity, the slow-acting accounting of an exchange calculated according to locally interpreted scales and measures.[7] It is also considered rude to step on any type of Thai currency (Thai coin or banknote) as they include a likeness of the King of Thailand.

There are a number of Thai customs relating to the special status of monks in Thai society. Thai monks are forbidden physical contact with women. Women are therefore expected to make way for passing monks to ensure that accidental contact does not occur. A variety of methods are employed to ensure that no incidental contact (or the appearance of such contact) between women and monks occurs. Women making offerings to monks place their donation at the feet of the monk, or on a cloth laid on the ground or a table. Powders or unguents intended to carry a blessing are applied to Thai women by monks using the end of a candle or stick. Laypersons are expected to sit or stand with their heads at a lower level than that of a monk. Within a temple, monks may sit on a raised platform during ceremonies to make this easier to achieve.

When sitting in a temple, one is expected to point one’s feet away from images of the Buddha. Shrines inside Thai residences are arranged so as to ensure that the feet are not pointed towards the religious icons, such as placing the shrine on the same wall as the head of a bed, if a house is too small to remove the shrine from the bedroom entirely.

It is also customary to remove one’s footwear before entering a home or the sacred areas within a temple, and not to step on the threshold.

Traditional Thai clothing is called chut thai (Thai: ?????? Thai pronunciation: [t??út.t?aj]) which literally means “Thai outfit”. It can be worn by men, women, and children. Chut thai for women usually consists of a pha nung or a chong kraben, a blouse, and a sabai. Northern and northeastern women may wear a sinh instead of a pha nung and a chong kraben with either a blouse or a suea pat. Chut thai for men includes a chong kraben or pants, a Raj pattern shirt, with optional knee-length white socks and a sabai. Chut thai for northern Thai men is composed of a sado, a white Manchu styled jacket, and sometimes a khian hua. In formal occasions, people may choose to wear a so-called formal Thai national costume.

Cuisine

Thai dining etiquette refers to the traditional and proper behaviors of Thai people while eating. Since Thai society has a lot of big families, so having a meal together and sharing the food between members of the family is Thai traditional dining style. Generally, Thais eat rice as the main food and share the rice side dishes with one another.
Traditionally, in Thailand, people have a meal on the floor mat and eat the food with their right hands. The rice dishes are on the outer circle while the shared dishes are in the center of the circle with shared spoons to transfer the side dish food to their own rice dish.

In the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV), King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V), Prince Chulalongkorn at that time, was educated by an English woman, courted Western diplomats and leaders and travelled abroad, observe and learn the western dining and he found out the fork and knife are not suitable for Thai food (no need to chop anything, he introduced the fork and spoon and so began the use of cutlery in Thailand. Thais use the fork to push the food onto the spoon (right hand), which then goes into your mouth instead of making the meat stable for the knife function.[8] Nowadays, Thai dining is mixed with various countries’ dining cultures, so Thai people use a lot of styles to eat not only with spoon and fork one but also chopstick, knife and bare hand as well.

Regional Thai dining[9]

  • Central part of Thailand

In central Thailand, sitting on a chair, eating at a table and using a fork, spoon and shared spoon are longstanding customs (Rama IV). For Thai rich family dining, variously shaped napkins are added on the table and also employ waiters or waitresses to serve the food and beverages beside the table. For some poor people the shared spoon is not used.

Northern part of Thailand

Thai northern people still preserve their traditional culture by using small food bowls and putting them on a “Kan tok” (Thai northern small table). They are decorated with wood, pearl or yellowish gold. Sticky rice, glutinous rice is the main food eaten with shared dishes. It is contained in “Kratip Song Soong”, high-height container for sticky rice. Beside “Kan tok”, there is “Kon Tho Din”, jar made from the soil and “Kan ngeaun” silver cup. After finishing the main course, the desserts are served and also “Buri Chai Yo”, the cigarette, which is end of the meal.

  • Northeastern part of Thailand, “Isan”

Typically the food is served on a large flower-patterned circular zinc tray. The sticky rice contained in ”Kra Tip Song Taei” (low-height container for sticky rice). Then the desserts are served.

Southern part of Thailand

The local people eat on a floor mat. The dishes are placed on the center of it. They sit in the circle and traditionally eat with their bare hands. The drinking water is contained in “Kan”or”Jok”, (little Thai cup.) Nowadays, fork and spoon are used instead of bare hands. Sitting on a chair and eating at a table now predominates. There are only few local people who still preserve the original dinning style.

Ways of serving food in Thailand

There are two main ways to serve Thai food, “Raad Kao”, individual dish and “Gap Kao”, separate dish.[10]

Individual Dish

In the past, Thai people had large families. Due to the difficulty of eating together at the same time, placing the rice side dish and the rice on the same dish and serving individually is to some extent supplanting the traditional Thai dinning style.

Separated Dish

The rice side dishes are separately served with the rice (not same dish). Normally, this style is suitable for eating with others. The shared rice side dishes are in the center of the circle. Each has their own rice while the side dishes are shared by transferring them with the shared spoons to the individual rice dishes.

Table setting

  • Individual dish

The spoon is on the right and the fork is on the left side of the dish.

  • Shared dishes

For rice dishes, the spoon is on the right and the fork is on the left side of the dish. Shared dishes are placed in the center of the table with the serving spoons.

Manners and customs

  • Ordering

For shared dish style, let the senior of the group order their rice side dish first and then another select the menu which everyone can eat and try to order balance of dish, ordering fish or seafood, pork, shrimp, chicken and vegetarian dishes which encompass a full range of tastes. Spicy, sweet, salty and bitter will all be represented, often all in one dish. When the dishes are served, all of them do not come at once. The food keeps coming and coming.

Dining

Thai people eat using the fork and spoon combo method. The spoon acts as the main tool and the fork is the supporting tool pushing the food onto the spoon and the shared spoon is the main tool to scoop the food from shared dish to rice dish. Some people use their own spoon to scoop the food from the shared dish directly but it is not a good dining manner for Thais because they concern about sanitation issue. If the shared dish is curry, it is transferred to an individual little cup first. Then they sip the soup from the spoon. Sipping it from the cup directly is not proper, Moreover, making noise during eating and sipping is impolite in Thailand. On the other hand, talking during eating is not prohibited. However, Thai food menus include a lot of fish and spices of which some parts are not for eating—splitting the food is the general behavior for Thais. Splitting on the spoon, and put them on the edge of the dish or provided dish for the trash is Thai general practice.
After finishing eating, placing the spoon and fork down close together on the bowl/plate, gathering the trash to one side of their dish and stacking the empty plates at the side of the table makes the waiters realize that customer(s) require them to clean the table.
Since there are a lot Chinese families in Thailand, the Chinese culture is mixed with the Thai culture. Sticking up sticks, poking a stick or skewer into food on a plate and having it stick straight upwards, is impolite. To be polite using a toothpick, block the mouth with one hand before you pick with the other.

Bill

The bill is usually picked up and paid by the wealthiest or most important person[11] or inviter or oldest person.[12] If customers are friends the bills are usually paid separately.

Birth traditions and beliefs

Main article: Birth in Thailand

Traditional principles concerning pregnancy and childbirth are largely influenced by folk beliefs, especially in rural areas of central and north Thailand. Modern practices follow the Western medical model.

Nicknames

See also: Thai names,

Thai people universally have one, or occasionally more, short nicknames (Thai: ???????? name-play) that they use with friends and family. Often first given shortly after birth by friends or an older family member, these nicknames are overwhelmingly one syllable[13] (or worn down from two syllables to one). Though they may be simply shortened versions of a full name, they quite frequently have no relation to the person’s full name and are often humorous and/or nonsense words. Babies may be given a nickname of a relative or named for a characteristic of birth, e.g., “little”. Traditionally, nicknames would relate to things of low value, e.g., “dirt”, which was to convince evil spirits lurking in the vicinity that the child was not worthy their attention. Today this folk custom is on the decline.

Some common nicknames translate into English as “small”, “fatty”, “pig”, “little”, “frog”, “banana”, “green”, or “girl/boy”. Though rare, sometimes Thai children are given nicknames in the order they were born into the family (i.e., “one”, “two”, “three”, etc.). Nicknames are useful because official Thai names are often long, particularly among Thais of Chinese descent, whose lengthy surnames stem from an attempt to translate Chinese names into Thai equivalents, or among Thai with similarly lengthy Sanskrit-derived names. In recent years, English language words have become popular nicknames. Examples include: “Ice” (????); “Bank” (?????); “New” (???); “Ball” (???), and even “Beer” (??????).[13]

Marriage

Thai Buddhist marriage ceremonies are generally divided into two parts: a Buddhist component, which includes the recitation of prayers and the offering of food and other gifts to monks and images of the Buddha, and a non-Buddhist component rooted in folk traditions, which centers on the couple’s families.

In former times, it was unknown for Buddhist monks to be present at any stage of the marriage ceremony itself. As monks were required to attend to the dead during funerals, their presence at a marriage (which was associated with fertility, and intended to produce children) was considered a bad omen. A couple would seek a blessing from their local temple before or after being married, and might consult a monk for astrological advice in setting an auspicious date for the wedding. The non-Buddhist portions of the wedding would take place away from the temple, and would often take place on a separate day.

In modern times, these prohibitions have been significantly relaxed. It is not uncommon for a visit to a temple to be made on the same day as the non-Buddhist portions of a wedding, or even for the wedding to take place within the temple. While a division is still commonly observed between the “religious” and “secular” portions of a wedding service, it may be as simple as the monks present for the Buddhist ceremony departing to take lunch once their role is complete.

During the Buddhist component of the wedding service, the couple first bow before the image of the Buddha. They then recite certain basic Buddhist prayers or chants (typically including taking the Three Refuges and the Five Precepts), and light incense and candles before the image. The parents of the couple may then be called upon to “connect” them, by placing upon the heads of the bride and groom twin loops of string or thread that link the couple together. The couple may then make offerings of food, flowers, and medicine to the monks present. Cash gifts (usually placed in an envelope) may also be presented to the temple at this time.

The monks may then unwind a small length of thread that is held between the hands of the assembled monks. They begin a series of recitations of Pali scriptures intended to bring merit and blessings to the new couple. The string terminates with the lead monk, who may connect it to a container of water that will be “sanctified” for the ceremony. Merit is said to travel through the string and be conveyed to the water. A similar arrangement is used to transfer merit to the dead at a funeral, further evidence of the weakening of the taboo on mixing funerary imagery and trappings with marriage ceremonies. Blessed water may be mixed with wax drippings from a candle lit before the Buddha image and other unguents and herbs to create a paste that is then applied to the foreheads of the bride and groom to create a small dot, similar to the marking made with red ochre on Hindu devotees. The bride’s mark is created with the butt end of the candle rather than the monk’s thumb, in keeping with the Vinaya prohibition against touching women.

The highest-ranking monk present may elect to say a few words to the couple, offering advice or encouragement. The couple may then make offerings of food to the monks, at which point the Buddhist portion of the ceremony is concluded.

The Thai dowry system is known as the sin sodt (Thai: ??????). Traditionally, the groom will be expected to pay a sum of money to the family, to compensate them and to demonstrate that the groom is financially capable of taking care of their daughter. Sometimes, this sum is purely symbolic, and will be returned to the bride and groom after the wedding has taken place.

The religious component of marriage ceremonies between Thai Muslims are markedly different from that described above. The Imam of the local mosque, the groom, the father of the bride, men in the immediate family, and important men in the community sit in a circle during the ceremony, conducted by the Imam. All the women, including the bride, sit in a separate room and do not have any direct participation in the ceremony. The secular component of the ceremony, however, is often nearly identical to the secular part of Thai Buddhist wedding ceremonies. The only notable difference here is the type of meat served to guests (goat and/or beef instead of pork). Thai Muslims frequently, though not always, also follow the conventions of the Thai dowry system.

Funerals

Traditionally, funerals last for at least one week. Crying is discouraged during the funeral, so as not to worry the spirit of the deceased. Many activities surrounding the funeral are intended to make merit for the deceased. Copies of Buddhist scriptures may be printed and distributed in the name of the deceased, and gifts are usually given to a local temple. Monks are invited to chant prayers that are intended to provide merit for the deceased, as well as to provide protection against the possibility of the dead relative returning as a malicious spirit. A picture of the deceased from his/her best days will often be displayed next to the coffin. Often, a thread is connected to the corpse or coffin which is held by the chanting monks during their recitation; this thread is intended to transfer the merit of the monks’ recitation to the deceased. The corpse is cremated, and the urn with the ash is usually kept in a chedi in the local temple.

Thai Chinese and Thai Muslim minorities bury their deceased according to the rituals of their respective communities.

National anthem and respect for the flag and king

Twice a day, at 08:00 and again at 18:00, the national anthem is played by all Thai media outlets. Thais stop what they are doing and stand at attention to pay homage to the flag during the anthem. Students in school stand in front of the raised flag and sing the national anthem at 08:00 every school day. The practice dates from 1935 when the regulations for the raising and lowering of the colours was published in the Royal Gazette. The Flag Act of 1979 decreed that those who do not observe the custom by standing in silence during the anthem are subject to a fine of up to 2,000 baht and not more than one year in prison.[14]

In a related practice, the royal anthem of the King of Thailand is played before movies, concerts, and sporting events. All are expected to stand.[citation needed]

Traditional arts

Thai visual arts were traditionally Buddhist. Thai Buddha images from different periods have a number of distinctive styles. Thai temple art and architecture evolved from a number of sources, one of them being Khmer architecture. Contemporary Thai art often combines traditional Thai elements with modern techniques.

Literature in Thailand is heavily influenced by Indian Hindu culture. The most notable works of Thai literature are a version of the Ramayana, a Hindu religious epic, called the Ramakien, written in part by Kings Rama I and Rama II, and the poetry of Sunthorn Phu.

Traditional Thai paintings showed subjects in two dimensions without perspective. The size of each element in the picture reflected its degree of importance. The primary technique of composition is that of apportioning areas: the main elements are isolated from each other by space transformers. This eliminated the intermediate ground, which would otherwise imply perspective. Perspective was introduced only as a result of Western influence in the mid-19th century. Monk artist Khrua In Khong is well known as the first artist to introduce linear perspective to Thai traditional art.

There is no tradition of spoken drama in Thailand, the role instead being filled by Thai dance. This is divided into three categories: Khon, ‘Lakhon, and Likay, Khon being the most elaborate and Likay the most popular. Nang drama, a form of shadow play, is found in the south.

There is also Thai folklore, Sri Thanonchai as an example.

Dance

The first detailed European record of khon and other classical Siamese dances was made during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It described a dramatic tradition and style that are almost identical to the Thai traditions we still see today. Historical evidence clearly establishes that the Thai art of stage plays must have already been perfected by the 17th century. Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, had a formal diplomatic relation with Ayutthaya’s King Narai. In 1687, France sent the diplomat Simon de la Loubère to record all that he saw in the Siamese Kingdom and its traditions. In his account Du Royaume de Siam, La Loubère carefully observed the classic 17th century theatre of Siam, including an epic battle scene from a khon performance, and recorded what he saw in great detail:

“The Siamese have three sorts of Stage Plays: That which they call Cone [khon] is a figure dance, to the sound of the violin and some other instruments. The dancers are masked and armed, and represent rather a combat than a dance. And though every one runs into high motions, and extravagant postures, they cease not continually to intermix some word. Most of their masks are hideous, and represent either monstrous Beasts, or kinds of Devils. The Show which they call Lacone is a poem intermix with Epic and Dramatic, which lasts three days, from eight in the morning till seven at night. They are histories in verse, serious, and sung by several actors always present, and which do only sing reciprocally…. The Rabam is a double dance of men and women, which is not martial, but gallant … they can perform it without much tying themselves, because their way of dancing is a simple march round, very slow, and without any high motion; but with a great many slow contortions of the body and arms.”[15]:49

Of the attires of Siamese khon dancers, La Loubère recorded that: “[T]hose that dance in Rabam, and Cone, have gilded paper-bonnets, high and pointed, like the Mandarins caps of ceremony, but which hang down at the sides below their ears, which are adorned with counterfeit stones, and with two pendants of gilded wood.[15]:49

Today “ram Thai” (Thai: ?????), ‘Thai dance’. Thai dance, like many forms of traditional Asian dance, can be divided into two major categories that correspond roughly to the high art (classical dance) and low art (folk dance) distinction.

Although traditional Thai performing arts are not as vibrant as they once were, suffering inroads from Western entertainment and generally changing tastes, Thai dance drama is not extinct. What survives displays the elegance of an art form refined over centuries and supported by regal patronage.[citation needed]

Aside from folk and regional dances (southern Thailand’s Indian-influenced Menora dance, for example), the two major forms of Thai classical dance drama are khon and Lakhon nai. In the beginning both were exclusively court entertainments and it was not until much later that a popular style of dance theater, Likay, evolved as a diversion for the common folk who had no access to royal performances. Apart from Lakhon nai, Lakhon chatri is also one of the most important Thai dances.

The Music of Thailand includes classical and folk music traditions, e.g., Piphat and Mor lam, respectively, as well as Thai pop music, e.g., “String”. Thai classical music is synonymous with those stylized court ensembles and repertoires that emerged in its present form within the royal centers of Central Thailand some 800 years ago. These ensembles, while being deeply influenced by Khmer and even older practices and repertoires from India, are today uniquely Thai expressions. While the three primary classical ensembles, the Piphat, Khrueang sai and Mahori differ in significant ways, they all share a basic instrumentation and theoretical approach. Each employ the small ching hand cymbals and the krap wooden sticks to mark the primary beat reference.

Several kinds of small drums (klong) are employed in these ensembles to outline the basic rhythmic structure (natab) that is punctuated at the end by the striking of a suspended gong (mong). Seen in its most basic formulation, the classical Thai orchestras are very similar to the Cambodian (Khmer) pinpeat and mahori ensembles, and structurally similar to other orchestras found within the widespread Southeast Asian gong-chime musical culture, such as the large gamelan of Bali and Java, which most likely have their common roots in the diffusion of Vietnamese Dong-Son bronze drums beginning in the first century.

Traditional Thai classical repertoire is anonymous, handed down through an oral tradition of performance in which the names of composers (if, indeed, pieces were historically created by single authors) are not known. However, since the beginning of the modern Bangkok period, composers’ names have been known and, since around the turn of the century, many major composers have recorded their works in notation. Musicians, however, imagine these compositions and notations as generic forms which are realized in full in idiosyncratic variations and improvisations in the context of performance.

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Thailand

A Worshipper and Thai Classical dancers perform for Pra Phrom (The four-faced Brahma God) at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“People offer prayers and seek blessings at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand. The Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma. A popular tourist attraction, it often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshippers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered.”

For more information please visit the following link:

Travel & Events

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeZF_mpFbgM

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