Thousands gathered outside CentralWorld Mall near the Rachaprasong intersection counting down to the New Year! There was an international crowd and everyone was having a great time counting down to 2016! Swadee Pee Mai! (Thai for Happy New Year!).
The Exhibition Market "Art Box" is now at EM district. Art Box is now located on Sukhumvit Road just west of Benjasiri Park opposite from the Emporium Mall. Get there by taking the BTS Sky Train to Phrom Phong BTS Station, take exit 6 and continue just past the Benjasiri Park. As with other Art Box Exhibition, this rendition is chock full of tasty food and interesting art from local artisans. The market is easy to get to and a great place to either have dinner or get a tasty dessert.
When living in a foreign land, noting cultural differences can be interesting. One of big cultural differences between Thai and western cultures happens at the beach where Thai people have nearly opposite habits to us westerners.
First of all, Thai people do not go to beach for sun, they go for the food, having a deep love for seafood. Thailand makes this easy as you can find probably the most delicious seafood cooked Thai style!
When staying at a beach town, if they make it to the beach at all, it will be in the morning when the day is still cool or late in the day when the sun is not so strong. Of course there is good reason for this, Thailand is a tropical country and very hot and humid most of the year, so keeping out of the sun is a smart thing to do and the seafood is a good excuse to get away. As we know as westerners, the prime time for worshiping the sun is from 10 am to 4 pm, exactly the times that you will not see Thai on the beach.
If you do see Thai people on the beach they will be tucked up under a sea of umbrellas, keeping cool and eating delicious food that is carried right to their chair by an ambitious beach vendor.
You will find information on some of the Thailand Beaches in the sections on Southern Thailand and the Thai Gulf.
Loy Krathong remains my favorite of Thai celebrations. A festival of lights making the city of Bangkok light up across the city with fiery lanterns. The lanterns lighting up the waterways of city is truly a sight to be seen. Unfortunately, I will not be able to make the activities this year (November 25th) but I wanted to share Loy Krathong photos from the last several years.
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 where as the modern krathongs are more often made of bread or Styrofoam. The Thais are moving away from Styrofoam because of the obvious impacts to the environment. Thais are often seen launching the floating lanterns on this day and there is the occasional fireworks making this holiday magical to observe. The festival likely stems from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits, so important to the survival to the Thais of long ago.
There are a number of Royal Palaces open to the public throughout Thailand. Most of these palaces act as Museums, offering the exposure of Thai History to the general public. This post compiles a list of palaces that I have visited and that are worth a visit from you!
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej combined his keen interest in mechanisms, motors, and vehicles and his strong desire to help the Thai people by cleaning the increasingly polluted waters of his country by developing water aeration devices. In 1993, His Majesty became the world's first sitting monarch to be granted a patent for an aerator used in waterway treatment. The device, referred to as "Chaipattana Low Speed Aerator", which is a paddle-wheel machine attached to a floating buoy that adds oxygen to water though the moving of the water with the paddle scoops. The Chaipattana Low Speed Aerator can be seen in many of the waterways in Thailand. The photos in this blog are from Lumpini Park in Downtown Bangkok. The monument shown in the photo to the right is a tribute to the Thai King and his efforts in developing this important device.
When I am in Bangkok for Halloween I like to go to Khao San Road to see some interesting costumes. Halloween in Khao San Road is definitely more for adults, but Halloween is not really celebrated in Thailand in the normal sense. Thousands of people crowded the Khao San Road Area to enjoy the festivities.
The photo set attached to this blog shows you some of these creative people in Thailand. Let me know what you think…
Any man can become a monk in Thailand. To become a monk, a man should be at least 20 years old, he must be able to read and write, and he must study and understand the precepts for being a monk. He is given an examination, and if he passes, he is given a certificate of entry to the monkhood by the district head in his province. On the day of ordination, his head and eyebrows are shaved, he is given a white robe, and this is celebrated at the temple with his family and friends. Any ordained monk may leave the order at any time he chooses simply by informing the abbot at his temple. A monk in Thailand is treated with great respect, and the institution itself is highly revered and sanctioned by the government. The government encourages businesses to give time off to their employees who may want to be a monk for a short time and provide pay leave, which is a tax deduction for the business. Others may make it a lifelong vocation.
I was invited to a Monk Ordination Ceremony by a good friend who was becoming a monk for 3 weeks. I was able to take both video and photos of the entire event which is in two main parts, the head shaving ceremony and the main ordination event.
The Shaving ceremony takes place the day prior to the ordination date and begins by family and friends each taking a piece of hair using special scissors. Then the monk leading the ceremony shaves the heads of the supplicants. When the heads are completely shaved (including their eyebrows) then an orange herb is applied the supplicants bodies.
The day of the ceremony begins with the supplicant dressing in an ornate robe and having a special breakfast with the closest of family members. Then the supplicants don white robes and walk three times around the temple, leading the ordination participants. Following the third time around the Temple the supplicant toss good luck coins the attendees. The ceremony begins with the supplicants in the white robes and mid way through the ceremony the robes are changed to the traditional orange robes of the Monk and they are given their alms bowls. The Alms Bowls are special for once the supplicant becomes a monk they will use the bowls every morning to gather gifts of food for the temple.
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