Some DOs and DON’Ts When Visiting Thailand

bangkok grand palace crowds

Whenever traveling to a foreign country it’s a good idea to read up on the culture, to see how it differs from your own in order to not offend the locals. Just about every guidebook for Thailand will inform travelers that you shouldn’t point your feet at a Buddha statue, but you should stand up when you hear the national anthem. You get the idea. There are many other DOs … Continue reading…

Kuman Thong – Thailand’s Golden Ghost Boy

kuman_thong_ghost_boy_statue

If you know anything about Thai people, you’ll know that they are seriously afraid of ghosts. That’s why it might be surprising to know that millions of Thais willingly invite a ghost to stay at their home or business. Of course this isn’t such a scary ghost like the distraught Mae Nak or the grotesque Phi Krasue—rather we’re talking about a cute little boy ghost called Kuman Thong. The name … Continue reading…

How to Get a Thai Driver’s License – And Why You Should

thai drivers license

There have been many reports recently of traffic police in Chiang Mai targeting foreign motorists for not having a Thai driver’s license. In the past, the traffic cops would usually only stop motorbike riders not wearing helmets in order to line their pockets with cash “fines” paid on the spot. But it seems they’ve now realized that foreigners are easy pickings when it comes to lacking the proper documents to … Continue reading…

Northern Thailand’s Own Sakura Cherry Blossoms

beautiful_sakura_blossom__khun_chang_khian_chiang_mai_thailand

Living in Japan for seven years, one seasonal event that I always looked forward to was the brief, but spectacular blooming of the sakura, or cherry flowers. So naturally, I was excited to find out that Northern Thailand has its own variety of wild cherry that grows in the mountains and creates fabulous pink blossoms each winter. The variety of sakura growing in Thailand is the Wild Himalayan cherry (Prunus … Continue reading…

Mae Nak Shrine – Home to Thailand’s Most Famous Ghost

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One thing you need to know about Thai culture is that Thais take ghosts very seriously. And in this nation of haunted places and ghost stories, none is more famous than the legend of Mae Nak Phra Khanong. It’s a bone-chilling tale of love lost and undying devotion (or would that be undead devotion?) that every Thai knows well. The story has been recreated on stage, for TV, and in … Continue reading…

Koh Lanta – Thai Muslims, Jellyfish, and Magic Mushroom Shakes

empty beach at bamboo bay koh lanta thailand

The island of Koh Lanta is kind of a strange place. It’s the sort of place where Swedish families build sandcastles next to beach bars that serve up psychedelic milkshakes for customers who party all night and won’t fall asleep until after the neighborhood mosque has announced the dawn call to prayer. Coming from the north of Thailand, it really is quite a change up to see the majority of … Continue reading…

The Biggest Buddha in Chiang Mai

the largest buddha statue in chiang mai

Most visitors to Chiang Mai have been to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep on top of the mountain overlooking the town. But there is another holy temple on a mountain top close to the city that few know about. The temple, Wat Prathat Doi Kham, is also home to the largest seated Buddha image in Chiang Mai. Wat Phrathat Doi Kham is actually older than the city of Chiang Mai. It … Continue reading…