Visitors to Thailand will soon find themselves immersed in a culture that is bursting with gods, demons, giants and mythical beasts. They are everywhere; they tower over you as they ominously guard doorways, they grin at you from intricate carvings, they bedazzle you from golden silk threads and dance around you from beautifully painted landscapes. These exotic creations are truly Thailand. They are so deeply ingrained in the culture, customs and beliefs of the Thai nation that myth and fact have merged into one epic legend.... READ MORE
The classical Thai masked dance drama known as Khon is the highest form of dance drama found in traditional Thai performance. Dancers dressed in elaborate costumes and wearing brightly colored masks and headdresses perform the beautifully controlled dance movements that describe the Khon drama.... READ MORE
Ayutthaya was once a great kingdom that extended right across Northern Thailand and encompassed the whole of the land of the million elephants, which today covers Laos and part of Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia. The city was founded in 1351 by King Ramathibodi I (U-Tong), when he turned an existing settlement into what was to become the ancient capital of Siam. During its history, the Kingdom was ruled by 33 kings, who, unlike the kings from the neighboring Kingdom of Sukhothai, had absolute rule, were declared devaraja (god-king) and considered to be the earthly incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.... READ MORE
Today, the Thai's are renowned for their love of peace and harmony, so it may come as some surprise to learn that they have a somewhat turbulent past. The first settlers are thought to originate from the Dai (Tai) tribe, who migrated south from Sipsongpanna (thought to be modern day Jinghong in Yunnan Province), China. The ancient Dais were sophisticated people, they had established their own calendar and system of writing, and historical documents record their love of the creative arts. For centuries the Dai people had enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle.... READ MORE
The people of Thailand are an interesting group. They hugely influenced by Chinese culture, being located just to the south of China, so I am sure that some of the things I am going to describe are part of the greater "eastern" culture as well as the Thai culture. However, Thais have developed a unique blended culture of their own. You might wonder how this might affect your stay here in Thailand. If you are not in Thailand more than a few days or a week you may not even notice, especially if you confine your visit to the well known tourist areas where Thai Culture is a bit diluted by the visiting foreigners. However, I have been living among the Thai people and I find their culture quite endearing.... READ MORE
Two and a half thousand years ago, in Kapilavastu (now called Nepal), there lived a prince called Siddartha Gautama. Gautama was married and had a son, but despite being a wealthy prince, set to become a great king, he was generally unsatisfied with his life. Then, at the age of 29, Gautama encountered an old man, a sick man, a corpse, and a holy man. These ‘four sights', which are now referred to as the four heavenly messengers, changed his life.... READ MORE
The current ruling Royal House of the Kingdom of Thailand is the House of Chakri.
Traditionally, the name of a Siamese king was (and continues to be) considered sacred and therefore it is never spoken. Following the deposition of King Taksin in 1782, when the ex-military leader, Chao Phraya Chakri took the throne, he did not give himself a royal name, only being referred to as ‘Phan Din Ton' meaning ‘The First Kingdom'. And although the name Rama (taken from the Hindu god Rama) had been previously linked to the Siamese monarchy, it wasn't until the reign of King Vajiravudh (Rama VI, 1910 - 1925) that the practice of using the name Rama for the Chakri Kings was first introduced.... READ MORE
Whether you need to unwind after a long, hard day or just want to pamper your senses, a Thai massage is the perfect treat for your mind, body and soul.
Grounded in ancient Buddhism, Thai massage is said to have been developed over 2,500 years ago, by the Buddha's physician, Jivaka Kumarabhacca or as he is known in Thailand, Shivago Komarpaj. The ‘Father Doctor', as Shivago is affectionately known, introduced his particular form of massage to the Buddhist monks to help them soothe their bodies after long hours practicing meditation..... READ MORE
Animals have always played an integral part in Thai history and culture, and although there are snakes, tigers, buffalo and many mythical creatures the most popular of all the beasts are the monkey (ling in Thai) and the elephant (chang in Thai)...... READ MORE
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