Soi Dogs in Thailand

I know about twenty Soi dogs in Thailand (so named because they hang out in alleys, or sois). They’re not well cared for  and, if this story moves you, sign the petition to improve their lives. If you’re in Chiang Mai you can volunteer or adopt a dog from Care for Dogs. They do heroic work caring for lost dogs who need homes. I walk two miles around my neighborhood at dawn each morning. The streets… [Read More]

Cheap Alcohol in Thailand

Cheap alcohol in Thailand is one of the country’s great attractions and my personal joys, but The World Health Organisation (WHO) released its “2014 Global report on alcohol and health” on May 12 and Thailand was a standout: not in a good way, either. The average quantity of pure alcohol consumed by each Thai adult, 15+ years, increased from 6.8 to 7.1 liters between 2008 and 2010. The global average is 6.21 litres, but for Southeast Asia it’s… [Read More]

Thai Elephant Lullaby

The Thai traditional elephant lullaby goes back a long way. Elephants are very communicative with one another and have a highly-developed language. They also love listening to soothing music. Here’s the charming video of a Thai lady putting an elephant to sleep by singing her a Thai elephant lullaby: Here’s another beautiful elephant moment in Thailand: the elephant is blind: And they also make music, as you’ll learn from National Geographic.

Samadhi Sutra

Samádhi Sutra: Samhadi, the Great Quenching, is a desire-free state valued by Buddhists, who worry a great deal about desire and the transcendence of desire. The Samadhi Sutra is recited every day, probably thousands of times, in temples throughout Thailand. It is especially read to the monks, who are expected to be serious about Enlightenment: Concentration: Tranquility and Insight “Monks, these four types of individuals are to be found existing in world. Which four? “There is the… [Read More]

Adultery in Thailand

Adultery in Thailand: Three Handy tips on Keeping your Penis attached to the rest of you. Wonder no more. Though Thailand has never been a major force in spectator sports, it recently took the coveted Adultery World Cup by a comfortable margin. But if you, silly farang, think you can get away with it, think again: Thai ladies play for keeps and, though you may escape with your life, you may leave something precious behind… Before you… [Read More]

Thai Sex Shows

Thai sex shows 100 years ago: a Humorous Tale with Interesting Pornographic Elements: Thai sex shows 100 years ago arrive long before the influx of GIs during the Vietnam War have revived  sex shows, but this kind of entertainment had already emerged as a feature of Bangkok night life by the 1920s. In Sayam Rat, a popular newspaper from those times, described how employees from the Chai-oi ngiw (Chinese folk opera) walked around the city streets… [Read More]

Persistent Ghosts in Thailand

Persistent ghosts have been a problem this year in Thailand In last month’s newsletter we brought you news of a serious haunting at Nari Samosorn Building, where a state employee reported encountering a ghost. (A state employee reported encountering a ghost inside the Government House, just days after officials completed a series of rituals aimed at appeasing the spirits believed to reside inside the building). Alas, Sinsakorn Aroon, a 60-year-old official who works at the… [Read More]

Understanding Thai Temples

If you want to understand Thai Temples, here are some easily recognized features to get you started: The Thai word for temple is wat. When you are giving or receiving directions, Thais usually refer to the nearest wat since the neighborhood wat’s location will be familiar to everyone. That’s how central they are to Thai life. Temples usually consist of several buildings: large buildings, shrines (big and small) and monuments enclosed–all by a wall. There are thousands… [Read More]

Don’t Argue in Thailand

Whatever You Do, Don’t Argue in Thailand! The tale: A 46-year-old German man, the owner of 99 Beer Bar on Chaweng Beach (a well-known entertainment district on Koh Samui) and his Thai girlfriend were in a nightclub parking lot when they found three teenagers sitting and drinking alcohol on the German’s motorcycle. The German man became angry and began arguing with the teenagers, demanding that they get off his bike and leave the parking lot…. [Read More]

Ghosts in Thailand

More Ghosts in Thailand… After an army officer said he smelled “ancient perfume” and experienced paranormal activity – as he and his soldiers were moving furniture from Naree Samosorn Building inside the Government House compound last week – officials at Government House were forced to perform a religious ceremony during efforts to renovate the building. “I was so scared I had goosebumps,” said the officer, who did not give his name, “because I know that… [Read More]

Thai Dog Skin Trade

There’s a little-known Asian business that will never be big in the West: the Thai dog skin trade. Dog leather is soft, fine-textured and readily distinguishable from other leathers due to its foul smell and scars. If you’re not an expert, you might mistake it for sheep hide. The president of the Thai Footwear Association said the strong odour makes dog skin a less attractive option for factories to manufacture as golf gloves and drums, but the shortage… [Read More]

Thai Buddhist Amulets

Thai Buddhist amulets are something of an obsession in this Buddhist land. Buddhist amulets are part of Thai culture and you see them everywhere. Amulets, on the other hand, ward off evil and repel bad luck. The word itself comes from the Latin amuletum, ‘to protect a person from trouble”. They can be gems, paintings, rings or pendants, animals, and even words. (Talismans, a related form of what we call ‘charms’ bring luck). In most treasured form,… [Read More]

Thai Grilled Rats

Thai Grilled Rats, nu phook, are hunted in the rice fields and grilled for sale as a rural delicacy. They’re a regular source of both protein and income during the last two months of the year for villagers across Thailand. The greater bandicoot rat (bandicota indica) is a rodent of the muridae species found in China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam that grows to 27–29 cm, plus an equally long… [Read More]

Thailand’s Human Rights

Thailand’s Human Rights Have you heard about Thailand’s Human Rights? Thailand’s recent coup d’etat has been surprisingly well-received by even my Red Shirt friends. Like them, I’ve been a steady supporter of the ousted Prime Ministers, brother-and-sisters, Thaksin. They did a lot for poor people and farmers. And even my wealthy Thai friends supported them. But it seems that there’s a darker side to Mr. Thaksin: he seems keen to sell out traditional Thailand to folks like… [Read More]

Thailand Retirement Helpers