The elephant has always been one of the the most important animals in Thailand. They were used for warfare, for doing heavy work like logging, and they were a symbol of power, wealth and prestige. To this day the king of Thailand keeps a stable of white elephants which are very rare and considered highly auspicious. Well, they are not exactly snow white, but they are much more light skinned that the usually very dark skinned animals.
However training elephants to become domesticated work animals can be a traumatic and painful experience for the animals since it takes quite a lot to break the will and the sense of freedom of those giants. Read the rest of this entry
Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city. It is also the second most important city with a huge tourism industry. The latest push is to turn it into one of Asia’s main convention centers.
Chiang Mai’s population is exploding since it is one of the most appealing cities not only in Thailand but in all of Southeast Asia. Why? It still has a laid back atmosphere which has fallen by the wayside in Bangkok already. Despite being a major city, people are still friendly, courteous, helpful, and always ready to flash you a friendly smile. Read the rest of this entry
Wat Rong Khun, the white temple near Chiang Rai, Thailand
By contributing author Meghan Pierce
Like most people, I felt a strong urge to flee the nest right after high school and to go and experience life on my own. Going to school at a university wasn’t enough. I didn’t want to just learn about the world, I wanted to experience it. I had my mind set that the only way this was ever going to happen was if I traveled.
I wanted an experience that was unlike anything that would ever happen to me in Western civilization. I had an imaginary globe spinning around in my head and it wasn’t going to stop until I stepped foot on a plane and headed to a faraway land. Or at least that’s what I thought at the time. Read the rest of this entry
Recently I purchased some sunblock cream in Thailand. When I checked the ingredients, I saw that they contained a whitening agent. Since I did not want to be whitened or bleached, I checked some other brands – same story – all contained whitening agents.
I went to a couple more drugstores, and finally in the third one I found an imported sun block which did not contain any skin bleach.
I have known since a long time that most Thai women are obsessed with being as white as possible. Read the rest of this entry
Dentist working on a Thai girl
Sometimes people ask me what happens if they have to go to a doctor or dentist in Thailand. They should really ask this question to the thousands of people who fly to Thailand from all over the world every year to get excellent medical treatment for much lower prices than in their home country. Read the rest of this entry
The plants might look pretty, but they still block the sidewalk
You would think that sidewalks are meant for walking. At least that’s how it works in western countries. But in Asia this is not necessarily true. Although I have observed this in some other Asian countries as well, let’s talk about Thailand, because that’s where I live.
Sidewalks are often not very pretty affairs in Thailand. However I want to make a few things clear: Read the rest of this entry
It’s this time of the year again when I had to escape from my usually beautiful home town of Chiang Mai, Thailand. During March and April the pollution levels are dangerously high due to seasonal agricultural burning. Whoever can, is leaving the city during this period.
Lanta Old Town street sign
This year my voluntary exile was Ko Lanta, an island in the south of Thailand with clean air and fresh sea breezes. While the island itself will be the subject of another article, in this one I will focus on one tiny little spot on the island which happens to be quite unique. It is the historic Old Town.
Its character is quite different from the rest of the island. Ko Lanta is predominantly inhabited by Muslims. The heart of historic Old Town however is all Chinese. It was settled over 100 years ago by a group of immigrants from China who arrived there by boat from their homeland. Read the rest of this entry
Listing of massage services on a shop window in Ko Lanta, Thailand
Thailand is famous as the land of smiles, the land of beautiful beaches, and the land of many exotic attractions. It is also famous as the home land of Thai Massage. If you have not been to Thailand yet, you might not even know what Thai Massage is, but as soon as arrive, you will see it all around you.
It will find YOU, mostly in the form of massage therapists trying to entice you to enter their shop. Almost every hotel either offers Thai Massage or can arrange for therapists to provide this service in your room. Read the rest of this entry
Islands in the Trang province of Thailand
When people think of Thailand, they often envision gorgeous beaches, palm trees, white sand and crystal clear ocean water. And yes, this does exist, but only in the southern part of Thailand. The bulk of Thailand is mostly land locked.
I remember when Thailand was hit by the infamous Tsunami in 2004, many of my concerned friends in the western world sent me emails asking me if I was safe. Actually I live over a 1000 miles away from the area which was affected, and the closest I ever go to it was watching it on TV, just like my American friends. Read the rest of this entry