Mountain Temples and Shrines can be magical places to find while traveling in Thailand for a number of reasons. One, they usually add to the beauty of the mountain scene and Two, they provide scenic views that one would not normally have access. A few mountain Temples and Shrines that I have visited are presented below. Follow the links to find out more information.
Thai Culture is rich in art, music and dance and Nang Yai (which means Grand Shadow Play) combines the three in a sophisticated performance. Nang Yai uses leather, cut into intricate patterns representing traditional characters. These characters come to life when they are used to tell lovely stories on backlit stages supported by music performed on traditional Thai instruments.
The Temple of Wat Khanon is home to the Nang Yai Museum, a thai primary school and a Nang Yai theater. Students at the school are taught how to make the puppets and perform in the shows. The museum preserves approximately 330 puppets that are over 100 years old as well as newly created puppets. The theater offers a free showing of Nang Yai at 10 am every saturday. Wat Khanon is a World Heritage Site due to the preservation of the Nang Yai art.
Wat Khanon, built in the late 1700's, is located in Ratchaburi Province along the Mae Klong River, approximately 100 kilometer drive due west of Bangkok.
Nang Yai Theater
Nang Yai Museum
The winters in Thailand are dry and cool and to grow an extra rice crop the farmers need to find a source of water to start the second crop. Some Thai families make this a fun event by draining a farm pond that may be on their property and having a BBQ.
The draining of the pond turns into a day-long event starting with a picnic lunch, as they watch the water level descend. When the water level is as low as the pumps will allow the entire family jumps into the pond to catch the fish. The catching is mostly by hand but may involve a net on two. The fish are mostly dug out of the mud at the bottom of the drained pond. During the draining, the family was able to catch mostly cat fish, a few big frogs and some smaller fish.
Many of the catfish were cooked on an open fire, throwing the fish into the hot coals. The fish are then eaten with a spicy dipping sauce.
There were also an interesting dishes prepared like chopping up catfish and marinated in freshly caught red ants all crushed by hand. This was allowed to sit then added lime, fish sauce, sugar and ground baked rice (larb).
There are market areas found in remote areas of Thailand that sell various animals, reptiles and insects that live in the jungle. These markets are not easily or often visited by foreigners. However, I stumbled on such a market outside Ta Phraya National Park on my way through to that part of Isaan. The creatures sold at these markets are collected in the jungles areas of Thailand and are considered delicacies to some ethnic groups in Thailand. The creatures includes frogs, ants and ant eggs, beetles, giant water bugs, and tree crabs and many more... Photos of a few of these are shown below:
Food Courts can be found everywhere as you travel throughout the country, in malls, gas stations/rest areas on the highways and in business office areas (and a hole lot more). The food courts are a natural extension of the street markets found everywhere in Thailand and deeply ingrained into the Thai Culture.
When I first moved to Thailand I was quite intimidated by food courts for a few reasons:
After living more than 10 years in Thailand I now know the foods sold in food courts. I have a separate blog that will help you with this, but it does take time to become comfortable with identification. I suggest you experiment but a word of caution, most foods are spicy (as I'm sure you are aware).
Food court operation are mostly the same with few changes here and there:
Usually you are required to purchase coupons, which you use as money as the various vendors. The unused coupons are returned in exchange for money. Malls may have swipe cards or some variation.
Select your food, redeem your coupons and bring your plate(s) to an empty table. Easy right? Well, now you need utensils which can be found at the utensil station. These stations have spoons and forks (no knives) and an electric pot of simmering water. The water is used to give the utensils a last brief wash.
Now you ready to enjoy your tasty Thai food!
This year's Loy Krathong was on November 14th and during the super moon! Giving people like me great opportunities for photographs. As always, I am here to share.
Loi Krathong occurs on the evening of the 12th full moon in the traditional Thai lunar calendar and in the Western calendar this usually falls in November. On this day Thais launch their krathong in a river, canal, lake or a pond, making a wish as they do so. The traditional krathong is a floating decoration made from a slice of the trunk of a banana tree or a spider lily plant. A beautiful event to see during your travels in Thailand.
This blog presents 14 of the most well-known Thailand icons, when you see the photos, you know that it is Thailand, especially if you have been lucky enough to visit Thailand. A lot of the icons are also tourist attractions that I have already blogged about so I have provided a link to those blog in the brief write-up below. Let me know if the comments below what is your favorite Thailand icon and why…
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Songkran was a bit different this year... People were unsure of when the water play was allowed due to government restrictions because of the ongoing drought. However, Thursday, April 14th was by far the biggest day for water fighting in Bangkok. The Silom area was packed with thousands of people enjoying the Songkran festivities of spraying water. The photos and video below are of the Silom area but there were other areas of big water play like Khao San Road.
The vast majority of Thais celebrate Songkran in the small streets (sois) throughout the cities and villages throughout Thailand by spraying water at people, cars, motorcycles and Tuktuks as they pass by their location. Friends gather at locations, usually with alcohol and fun music, have fun with the children in the sois by splashing water.
Bangkok celebrated the beginning of the Year of the Monkey with celebrations in Bangkok's Chinatown for several blocks starting from the Chinatown Gate along Yaowarat Road. The celebrations were packed with thousands of people enjoying the festivities. The festivities included cultural performances from China, dragon parades and lion dances, street stalls selling Chinese food, and lantern decorations.
Gain a basic understanding of some of the historical culture leading to what is Thailand today. Click here to view a list of Articles about Thai Culture.
Bangkok's 9 Royal Temples
Bangkok Must Sees
Exploring Thailand's Nature
Islands of the Thai Gulf
Thailand's Royal Palaces
Thailand and World War 2
Explore Chiang Rai
Explore Chiang Mai